Every NBA Team's Updated 2021 Free-Agency Big Board

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterApril 21, 2021

Every NBA Team's Updated 2021 Free-Agency Big Board

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    Darren Abate/Associated Press

    While NBA free agency will be delayed a month this year, teams should already be assembling their big boards.

    Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the 2021 free-agency period will officially kick off on August 2 at 6 p.m. ET, with a moratorium period that runs from August 3-6.

    This year's class is no longer star-studded thanks to extensions signed by LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Rudy Gobert and others, although there's plenty of quality starters and possible All-Stars to be found.

    Still a few months out, here's how every team's free-agency big board should be coming together.

Atlanta Hawks

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
    • PF John Collins
    • PG Patty Mills
    • G Frank Ntilikina

    Choosing to keep Collins at the trade deadline after failing to come to an extension agreement last fall almost certainly means the Hawks will be prepared to match whatever offer sheet he receives in restricted free agency.

    Arguably the second-best free agent on the market, Collins is an athletic 23-year-old who can play both big man positions. He's second on the Hawks in scoring this season (18.0 points per game).

    With the free-agent market now watered down, expect Collins to sign a max or near-max deal with a team that has significant cap space—like the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder—if the Hawks don't come to an agreement with him first.

    With Lou Williams entering free agency, the Hawks may need to find another backup guard behind Trae Young.

    Mills is a proven veteran who can step in and help Atlanta win now, while Ntilikina, 22, gives the Hawks a big, defensive-minded guard who can help cover for Young's deficiencies on that end.

Boston Celtics

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press
    • G/F Evan Fournier
    • F Otto Porter Jr.
    • PF Paul Millsap

    The Celtics are set to start dipping into the luxury tax since Jayson Tatum's extension kicks in next season, so their free-agent spending will be extremely limited.

    Keeping Fournier around should be priority No. 1 given Boston used $17 million of its $28.5 million trade exception to acquire him. The 28-year-old has only played four games with the Celtics—he's missed Boston's past eight contests in compliance with the NBA's health and safety protocols—but he's averaging 15.3 points and shooting 61.1 percent from three since a disastrous debut.

    From there, Boston should be looking at veterans who can play multiple positions and serve as the starting power forward if needed.

    Porter is a career 40.2 percent shooter from deep who can defend guards and wings while Millsap would bring good defense, floor spacing and 120 games of playoff experience to the Celtics. With only the mid-level exception to use, the Celtics will likely only be able to afford one more quality player after Fournier.

Brooklyn Nets

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
    • G Spencer Dinwiddie
    • C Nerlens Noel
    • C JaVale McGee

    With a 2021-22 roster that's already over $150 million in payroll, the Nets won't be major players in free agency.

    Dinwiddie can choose to return to Brooklyn on a $12.3 million player option. If he elects for unrestricted free agency, the Nets have his Bird rights and can continue to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. Assuming he makes a full recovery from a torn right ACL, Dinwiddie is likely the best free agent the Nets could afford to sign.

    Noel has set himself up for a significant raise from the $5 million he's currently making—thus potentially putting him out of the Nets' price range. The allure of potentially winning a championship would likely serve as Brooklyn's only chance at the 27-year-old center taking a discount to sign.

    McGee should be a low-cost center who remains an excellent rim protector and doesn't need offensive touches to make a big impact.

Charlotte Hornets

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
    • C Andre Drummond
    • C Montrezl Harrell
    • C Richaun Holmes

    The Hornets need to go center shopping in free agency and there will be plenty of quality options available.

    Jarrett Allen is the best of the bunch, but he's a restricted free agent who the Cleveland Cavaliers likely won't let get away.

    Drummond, 27, continues to be one of the NBA's best rebounders and is also an underrated passer. While his shot selection isn't ideal at times, Drummond should find himself with plenty of open looks near the basket off passes from LaMelo Ball.

    The Hornets tried to sign Harrell last offseason before he took less money to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Charlotte should try again this year assuming he doesn't opt into his $9.7 million player option. Holmes would be another quality option, one of the most underrated players in all of basketball this year who has started all 50 of his games for the Sacramento Kings.

    The Hornets have their own free agents to worry about as well, namely Devonte' Graham and Malik Monk. However, they need to find an answer to the center position first.

Chicago Bulls

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press
    • PG Devonte' Graham
    • PG T.J. McConnell
    • PF Lauri Markkanen

    After bringing in franchise center Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline, the Bulls need a true point guard to make life easier for everyone.

    Lonzo Ball is probably out of Chicago's price range now, but Graham and McConnell are good options.

    Graham, 26, has one of the best on/off ratings in all of basketball (plus-9.8, 13th overall) and is a good passer and three-point shooter (37.4 percent). With Zach LaVine, Coby White and Vucevic, the Bulls wouldn't need Graham to be a big-time scorer, but rather a table-setter for others.

    McConnell among the NBA's best backup point guards, a defensive menace who always looks to others before shooting it himself.

    The Bulls probably don't want to overpay Markkanen, but losing him for nothing in free agency isn't ideal, either. Chicago should match whatever offer Markkanen gets now (or else work out a sign-and-trade) and figure out his future later.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press
    • C Jarrett Allen
    • C Isaiah Hartenstein
    • PG Ish Smith

    Allen is the best center on the free-agent market, a 23-year-old true rim protector who takes smart shots and rebounds at a high level. As a restricted free agent, don't expect the Cavaliers to let him go anywhere.

    Cleveland should try to come to terms before Allen signs an offer sheet somewhere else, as teams like the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder could all offer a max deal if they wanted.

    With Kevin Love's $30 million-plus salary still on the books, the Cavs are limited in all other spending.

    Bringing back Hartenstein ($1.8 million player option) should be a priority, as the 22-year-old center has played quite well (8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks in 19.7 minutes) since coming over from the Denver Nuggets in the JaVale McGee trade.

    The Cavs will also need a backup point guard with Matthew Dellavedova hitting free agency. Smith, an 11-year-veteran who has made a positive impact on the Washington Wizards bench this season, would be an upgrade.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press
    • SG Gary Trent Jr.
    • SF DeMar DeRozan
    • SF Duncan Robinson

    Considering this is likely the last year the Mavericks will have salary-cap space for the forseeable future, they should be persistent in searching for a third star or finding players who best complement Luka Doncic.

    Trent has become a walking bucket (15.6 points on 39.5 percent from three), and at 22 could grow alongside Doncic for years to come. The Mavericks would have to throw a hefty offer at Trent for the Toronto Raptors not to match, however, possibly shifting Dallas' goals to other wings instead.

    DeRozan doesn't fit the age timeline, but he's one of the best players available and he's become a terrific playmaker. Even with Doncic, the Mavericks are just 28th in assist percentage this season.

    Robinson is another restricted free agent, but Miami may be more willing to let him go if they want to spend money on bigger fish. A 41.3 percent mark on catch-and-shoot threes seems tailor made to play next to Doncic, keeping the floor spread for everyone else.

Denver Nuggets

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press
    • G Will Barton
    • SG Victor Oladipo
    • PG Derrick Rose

    Barton is the name to watch in Denver this offseason, as the 30-year-old wing has a $14.7 million player option he'll need to make a decision on. Given all Barton brings with his versatility, defense, outside shooting and playmaking, the Nuggets need him back, especially while Jamal Murray recovers from a torn left ACL.

    The Nuggets should also be on the lookout for some buy-low offense to help fill Murray's shoes until he can make his return to the court.

    Injuries have wrecked Oladipo's value, meaning the Nuggets could possibly get him on a one-year, prove-it deal. A talented scorer and willing passer when healthy, Oladipo could slide into Murray's starting spot while getting his own value back up.

    Rose is another offensive option for Denver to consider. He's improving the Knicks by 11.8 points per 100 possessions while on the court, showing off a better three-point shot (36.8 percent) and solidifying the team's bench.

    Giving Oladipo or Rose the full mid-level exception while Murray recovers should help keep the Nuggets competitive in the West.

Detroit Pistons

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press
    • G/F Talen Horton-Tucker
    • G/F Hamidou Diallo
    • G/F Josh Hart

    While they raised some eyebrows at the time, the free-agent signings of Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee have actually turned out quite well for a Detroit team with room to grow.

    The Pistons should now be on the lookout for some young, quality players to place alongside Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey.

    Horton-Tucker may be the biggest unknown in free agency, as the Los Angeles Lakers second-year wing won't turn 21 until December and has only played in 59 career games. Given how many vets the Lakers will likely want to keep in free agency, the Pistons could throw a sizable offer sheet at Horton-Tucker and hope L.A. doesn't match.

    Diallo has played well since arriving in Detroit via trade (9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 47.1 percent shooting from three in 20.7 minutes). His athleticism has always been on display, with a reliable three-point shot holding the 22-year-old guard back from reaching his potential. If his newfound outside shooting is at least somewhat sustainable, Diallo could be a nice rotation player with the Pistons.

    Hart is another restricted free agent who would be a versatile wing for Detroit, either as the team's starting shooting guard or key bench piece. One of the best rebounding guards in the NBA, Hart can defend multiple positions and should still be getting better after just turning 26 last month.

Golden State Warriors

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press
    • G/F Kelly Oubre Jr.
    • C Daniel Theis
    • F Jeff Green

    While Oubre hasn't been a strong fit in Golden State, the Warriors are so far over the cap that they can't sign anyone as remotely talented as the 25-year-old wing.

    Re-signing Oubre would as least keep talent on the roster and serve as a potential trade piece down the road should the Warriors want to go star hunting.

    Getting another big man is a priority as well considering the Warriors rank 29th in rebound percentage this season (47.6 percent). Theis is good enough to start at center if James Wiseman misses extended time following his right knee injury. The 29-year-old Theis also provides some valuable floor-spacing.

    Green has shown off an improved three-point shot this year (40.3 percent) and can play and defend multiple positions off the Warriors' bench.

Houston Rockets

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press
    • PF Lauri Markkanen
    • G/F Kelly Oubre Jr.
    • F/C Kelly Olynyk

    The Rockets' needs in free agency will likely depend on where they land in the NBA draft, assuming they can lock in a top-4 pick.

    Shooting their shot for Markkanen would add a floor-spacing power forward to the mix, keeping the driving lanes open for Kevin Porter Jr and John Wall. While he no longer looks like a future star, Markkanen is still just 23 and should at least be a solid starter for a decade or more.

    Getting Oubre out of Golden State would be another good signing. Just 25, he still fits a rebuild with the Rockets, a team that ranks just 27th in offense this season (106.7 rating).

    Olynyk was thought to only be a salary matcher in the Victor Oladipo trade, although he's been the best player in the deal thus far. The 30-year-old is averaging 17.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 59.5 percent overall and 40.9 percent from three in his first 14 games in Houston and may be worth keeping around.

Indiana Pacers

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
    • PG T.J. McConnell
    • G Alex Caruso
    • G Kendrick Nunn

    The Pacers should have most of their core intact with Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon all under contract for at least the next two seasons.

    McConnell could be the team's biggest loss, as the 29-year-old backup point guard is third in the NBA in steals per game (1.7) and 16th overall in assists a night (6.5).

    If the Pacers can't re-sign McConnell, they should target other reserve ball-handlers who can provide a spark.

    Caruso is a good defender and three-point shooter (41.3 percent) who at 6'4" can play either guard position.
    Nunn brings a little more offensive pop as a natural scorer who seems destined to be a sixth man on a championship-level team.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Leonard is by far the biggest name in free agency this year, even if it's unlikely he'll leave the Clippers.

    While a first-round playoff exit could leave a little doubt, only a few other teams have the max cap space needed to sign Leonard, which gives the Clippers another advantage for keeping their star.

    Ibaka is another important starter to keep around. While he's battled injuries this season, the veteran big man is still a good defender and outside shooter who will likely look for a raise above his $9.7 million player option.

    Either re-signing Nicolas Batum or adding another versatile forward should be next up on the list. Porter can play a similar role as a multi-positional defender who can hit the three ball with accuracy.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press
    • PG Dennis Schroder
    • G/F Talen Horton-Tucker
    • C Montrezl Harrell

    The Lakers will have to pick and choose who they want to pay this offseason, especially with nine players able to hit free agency.

    Schroder is the most important of the bunch, ranking third on the team in scoring (15.4 points) and second in assists per game (5.5). He probably won't be cheap, either, as a new deal could mirror the four-year, $70 million contract he's currently playing under.

    The Lakers can match any offer sheet Horton-Tucker signs as a restricted free agent and he remains the team's best young trade piece in any future deals at age 20.

    Harrell has a $9.7 million player option, but will likely choose not to pick it up while looking for a raise either in L.A. or elsewhere.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
    • F Justise Winslow
    • G/F Tim Hardaway Jr.
    • F Doug McDermott

    The Grizzlies aren't yet in the phase of building where they can just throw big money at veterans to compete for a title, but they could still use a couple of rotation pieces that complement the young core.

    Memphis holds a team option on Winslow for $13 million, a number he's done nothing to deserve at this point (7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 34.9 percent shooting in 20.9 minutes). If the Grizzlies don't want to give up on the 25-year-old forward entirely, they should try to re-sign him as a lower number.

    Ranking just 23rd this season in made three-pointers per game (11.2), the Grizzlies could use a few extra snipers in the rotation.

    Hardaway has been a solid starter for the Dallas Mavericks, making 2.8 three-pointers per game on 38.6 percent shooting this season. McDermott, a career 40.7 percent shooter from deep, can play either forward position and would also help give Ja Morant the spacing he needs.

Miami Heat

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    Rich Schultz/Associated Press
    • PG Kyle Lowry
    • SF DeMar DeRozan
    • G/F Duncan Robinson

    Not trading for Lowry at the deadline could be a blessing in disguise, especially if the Heat can sign the veteran point guard during the offseason without giving up any assets.

    Lowry, 35, is still playing at a high level this season (17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.1 steals) and could greatly improve Miami's 24th-ranked offense.

    DeRozan is another interesting option. He's an excellent playmaker and scorer who would fit in perfectly on the wing with Jimmy Butler and brings 58 playoff starts worth of experience. Would Lowry and DeRozan each take a major pay cut to team up again?

    Robinson has been an important part of Miami's success the past two years and his outside shooting is crucial alongside Butler. The Heat are 9.1 points per 100 possessions better the past two seasons with Robinson on the floor. As a restricted free agent, Miami can match any offer Robinson receives.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Mike Strobe/Associated Press
    • F/C Bobby Portis
    • SG Victor Oladipo
    • PG Derrick Rose

    Portis is thriving this season in a bench role for Milwaukee, averaging 11.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 21.2 minutes while hitting 52.1 percent of his overall shots and 46.5 percent of his threes.

    His $3.8 million player option seems extremely low now. The Bucks will likely have to give Portis a nice raise to get him to stick around.

    Oladipo would be an intriguing option. The Bucks discussed trading for the two-time All-Star last offseason, and his continued injuries could bring Oladipo's value low enough for Milwaukee to afford now.

    Finding a backup point guard is also important. Jeff Teague will be a free agent and Rose could provide an offensive spark in the second unit. The chance to play for a title should be enough to draw him to the Bucks as well.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press
    • PF Paul Millsap
    • F/C P.J. Tucker
    • F JaMychal Green

    A roster full of guards and wings combined with an All-Star center means the Wolves should be eyeing the power forward position, especially players who can defend. Minnesota is just 28th in defense this season (114.9 rating).

    Millsap and Tucker are both in their mid-30s but should be good enough to play rotation minutes for another year or two. Both are solid three-point shooters who bring plenty of playoff experience to a young Wolves team that is currently tied for the NBA's worst record.

    Green doesn't carry the experience of Millsap or Tucker, but at 30 has more left in the tank.

    At 6'8" and 227 pounds, Green can spend time on the wing or drop down and play a small-ball 5. He's shooting 41.3 percent from deep this season, tied for a career best.

New Orleans Pelicans

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press
    • PG Lonzo Ball
    • F/C P.J. Tucker
    • PF Paul Millsap

    Keeping Ball at the trade deadline was the right move for New Orleans. Paying him anything less than $20 million per year on a new contract should be considered a win.

    Ball is the best young point guard on the market, one the Pelicans can't afford to lose for nothing. As a restricted free agent, New Orleans can match any offer sheet Ball signs.

    After locking in their point guard, the Pelicans need to add some defensive bodies to the core.

    Tucker or Millsap would provide Zion Williamson with a veteran backups and either would able to drop down and play center for stretches as well. A 27th-ranked defense has held the Pelicans back to this point, so any help on that end is a plus.

    Keeping Josh Hart would be nice, but New Orleans has to consider the cost with a max extension coming for Williamson in the near future.

New York Knicks

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    Brad Penner/Associated Press

    If there's a dark horse to land Leonard in free agency this offseason, it has to be New York.

    The Knicks have finally shown the ability to operate as a competent franchise for the first time in years, have an All-Star in place with Julius Randle, one on the way in RJ Barrett and are the third-best defensive team in all of basketball.

    Even if Leonard returns to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Knicks have max cap space and should at least make a run at the two-time Finals MVP.

    Paul would be another dream target. While his age (35) doesn't exactly fit the timeline, we've seen the Point God continue to improve teams wherever he's gone. The Knicks rank just 29th in assist percentage this season and would be an extremely tough out in the playoffs with Paul, Randle, Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and others.

    If Paul stays in Phoenix on his $44.2 million player option, New York should make a run at Ball instead. Point guard is a major need and Ball better fits the team's young core. He also wouldn't cost nearly as much as Paul, provided the New Orleans Pelicans don't end up matching an offer sheet. The Knicks have the cap space to max out Ball if they wanted to, giving the Pelicans an extremely difficult decision.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press
    • PG Lonzo Ball
    • SG Gary Trent Jr.
    • G/F Talen Horton-Tucker

    Like the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks before them on this list, the Thunder should have heavy interest in Ball.

    A backcourt of Ball and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would provide plenty of size, scoring, playmaking and defense, with either able to run the show or spot up as needed. OKC has the worst assist-to-turnover ratio in all of basketball this season (1.40) and could use another ball-hander with some experience.

    Trent, a scorer at every level who is still young enough (22) to grow with the core, is another candidate for a starting guard to slot next to Gilgeous-Alexander.

    Horton-Tucker is the wildcard (and a restricted free agent like the others), but the Thunder have the cap space to make an offer big enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to seriously consider letting him walk. Putting up 16.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals per 36 minutes, he should only be getting better at age 20.

Orlando Magic

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    Marta Lavandier/Associated Press
    • G/F Duncan Robinson
    • G/F Kelly Oubre Jr.
    • SG Malik Monk

    The Magic have some interesting young guards (Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton) and big men (Jonathan Isaac, Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba) to go around, but need some help on the wing to return to postseason contention.

    Robinson is a sharpshooter who opens the floor up for everyone else. Given all three of Orlando's young guards are shooting 30.3 percent or worse from three this season, spacing is going to be key.

    Oubre is a three-level scorer who's rebounded after a slow start to the season (17.4 points on 37.2 percent from deep over his last 30 games) and at 25 can still fit a rebuild.

    Monk, 23, is enjoying the best season of his career (13.1 points on 42.4 percent shooting from three) and can play either wing position.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Marta Lavandier/Associated Press
    • G/F Danny Green
    • SG Victor Oladipo
    • C Gorgui Dieng

    Keeping Green around is extremely important to the Sixers championship hopes. Green is a starter in all 56 games this season who can defend multiple positions and is knocking down 42.1 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes.

    A new deal for Green pushes Philly well into the luxury tax but also helps keep the title window open.

    It's worth taking a flyer on Oladipo if his price comes down due to injury considering he's a potential spark plug off the bench who can score or make plays for others.

    With Dwight Howard becoming a free agent, the Sixers will need a reliable backup center to Joel Embiid. Dieng brings some added floor-spacing (45.3 percent from three this season on 53 total attempts) and is a solid defender.

Phoenix Suns

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    Brandon Dill/Associated Press
    • PG Chris Paul
    • PG Goran Dragic
    • G/F Josh Richardson

    It's crazy to think that a team would want Paul to opt into his massive $44.2 million player option at age 36 next season after he seemed like one of the NBA's most overpaid players just a few years ago.

    The Suns should actually be concerned that Paul will elect to become a free agent, especially when the New York Knicks have the cap space to offer him a multi-year deal at an equally large number.

    If Paul does leave, point guard becomes the biggest need on the team.

    A reunion with Dragic would be a good backup plan, as the 34-year-old is averaging 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26.7 minutes with the Miami Heat and can still run an offense.

    If Paul sticks around, the Suns should shift their focus to adding the best player available that they can afford, preferably one who can play multiple positions off the bench.

    Richardson is one of the league's most versatile players who would play a big role in Phoenix's rotation.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press
    • G/F Norman Powell
    • PG Patty Mills
    • G/F David Nwaba

    Swapping Gary Trent Jr. for Powell may have been a win this season, but it now opens the door to potentially losing both this summer.

    While the Blazers could have matched any offer Trent received, Powell will almost certainly turn down an $11.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent. Keeping him is a must for a team that needs all the talent it can get to compete in the West.

    Backup point guard has been an issue for years and Portland needs someone who can run an offense while Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum both need a breather.

    Signing Mills away from the San Antonio Spurs would be a tremendous accomplishment, especially since the Blazers rank dead last in team assist percentage (50.7 percent).

    Portland is also a mess defensively, so filling up the rotation with anyone who can stop anyone is a must. Nwaba (6'5", 219 pounds) can cover anyone from point guards to power forwards and should be a low-cost option who helps improve a 29th-ranked defense.

Sacramento Kings

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    Elsa/Associated Press
    • C Nerlens Noel
    • C Richaun Holmes
    • C JaVale McGee

    Just how bad is Sacramento at stopping opposing teams? A 118.3 defensive rating this season isn't just the worst in the NBA, it's the worst in recorded basketball history.

    While bringing back Richaun Holmes would be fine, Noel is the better overall defender and rim protector who could make a real difference for the Kings. He and Jarrett Allen are the two true elite defenders among centers on the free agent market .

    If both Noel and Holmes sign elsewhere, McGee would be a good low-cost option. He's holding opponents to just 45.7 percent shooting from within six feet of the basket, a drop of 15.4 percent from their normal success rates.

San Antonio Spurs

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press
    • PF John Collins
    • SF DeMar DeRozan
    • PF Lauri Markkanen

    The Spurs project to have max cap space this summer and could be a sneaky destination for some of the bigger names.

    Collins would represent a perfect pairing with San Antonio's collection of guards and wings, able to pick-and-pop or fly to the basket for thunderous alley-oops. He's an improving defender who could even turn into a very good one by playing under Gregg Popovich.

    Spending some of that money to bring back DeRozan is an option as well. San Antonio could also look into potentially orchestrating some sort of sign-and-trade. Losing the four-time All-Star for nothing would hurt, especially since he's only improving as a playmaker.

    Markkanen wouldn't cost as much as Collins and keeps the floor spread for guys like Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson.

    While the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls could match offers for their power forwards, the Spurs are one of the few teams who could force them to pay more than they'd like.

Toronto Raptors

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    Rich Schultz/Associated Press
    • SG Gary Trent Jr.
    • PG Kyle Lowry
    • C Andre Drummond

    Although Lowry is the most accomplished player in franchise history, it's probably more important to keep Trent under contract moving forward.

    Trent is 13 years younger than Lowry, a restricted free agent who should combine with Fred VanVleet to create the Raptors' new starting backcourt. Averaging 17.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals on 38.9 percent shooting from three in 12 games with Toronto, Trent should be in demand from a number of teams looking for young talent.

    Of course, if Lowry wants to return to the Raptors, they should more than welcome him back and use Trent as the team's sixth man for now. The 35-year-old has earned as much and the two sides could then work out an agreement on a future trade should Toronto continue to struggle.

    Finding a center replacement for Aron Baynes could also be important considering Baynes' contract is non-guaranteed for 2021-22.

    If Drummond's asking price reaches a reasonable level, he and Chris Boucher would provide varying skill sets in a strong center combo.

Utah Jazz

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press
    • PG Mike Conley Jr.
    • F Nicolas Batum
    • F/C Kelly Olynyk

    Conley, an All-Star this season who has the second-highest on/off rating (plus-12.8) in all of basketball, is really the only free agent the Jazz should worry about.

    There's really no reason for the 33-year-old point guard to want to leave, either. Utah has the best record in basketball at 43-15, there's plenty of talent up and down the roster and Conley has thrived individually in the Jazz's system.

    Assuming Conley comes back, Utah should just look to add a couple of veterans to the rotation for depth.

    Batum has proven his worth with the Los Angeles Clippers this season (8.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 41.5 percent shooting from three) and could play multiple positions off Utah's bench.

    Olynyk brings some floor-spacing to the center position—one of starting center Rudy Gobert's only real weaknesses.

Washington Wizards

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press
    • C Serge Ibaka
    • C Richaun Holmes
    • C Nerlens Noel

    Daniel Gafford has been solid at center since his trade to the Wizards, but Washington could also use a veteran big man to help make a playoff push next year.

    Ibaka knows Russell Westbrook's game well from their time together with the Oklahoma City Thunder and his defense would help improve a Wizards team that ranks just 22nd overall this season.

    If Ibaka re-ups with the Los Angeles Clippers, Holmes would be a great option as well. Averaging 14.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and shooting 64.1 percent from the field this season, the 27-year-old has become a huge bright spot for the Sacramento Kings this season.

    Noel would be another terrific target, giving the Wizard's a lockdown defender in the middle who doesn't need the ball to be effective.


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