NBA free agency 2021: Live updates, rumors, news as Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with Los Angeles Clippers

NBA free agency is starting to wind down as most of the biggest names on the market have already secured deals. Kawhi Leonard  (Los Angeles Clippers) and Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) both opted to return to their respective teams, while other stars like Mike Conley (Utah Jazz) and John Collins (Atlanta Hawks) also chose to stay put. Other notable players like Kyle Lowry (Miami Heat), Spencer Dinwiddie (Washington Wizards), DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball (Chicago Bulls) have found new homes within the league via sign-and-trade agreements being worked out. 

We've also seen several veterans join forces with contenders, including Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers), Andre Drummond (Philadelphia 76ers) and Patty Mills (Brooklyn Nets). Other players like Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, Trae Young and Julius Randle have reportedly come to agreements on contract extensions. While there have been plenty of deals agreed to at this point, the league's free agent frenzy is far from over.

Teams have begun negotiating contracts with players on Friday, Aug. 6, after which deals can officially be signed. It's been busy around the NBA, and we have you covered with all the action right here. 

More on free agency: Tracker | Winners and losers Top 45 players | 5 under-the-radar signings

Live updates
(269)
Pinned

Kawhi plans to re-sign with Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly working toward re-signing franchise superstar Kawhi Leonard to a new contract, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. The details of the contract are unknown at this time, but it should be a huge weight lifted off of L.A.'s shoulders in coming to an agreement with Leonard on a new deal.   

kawhi-2.jpg
Getty Images
August 6, 2021, 7:42 PM
Pinned

Top free agents remaining

Our Colin Ward-Henninger is keeping tabs on all the free agency moves during these past few days with his free agency rankings and tracker. Here's a look at the top players available based on his rankings:

17. Dennis Schroder (age 27) » UFA
22. Lauri Markkanen (age 24) » RFA
37. Josh Hart (age 26) » RFA
51. JJ Redick (age 37) » UFA
56. Denzel Valentine (age 27) » UFA
57. Wesley Matthews (age 34) » UFA
65. Paul Millsap (age 36) » UFA
70. Hamidou Diallo (age 23) » RFA
71. DeMarcus Cousins (age 30) » UFA

cousins.jpg
August 3, 2021, 10:53 PM
See New Posts
Pinned

Oubre reportedly fielded plenty of offers

Kelly Oubre Jr. did not secure the long-term contract that he was hoping for entering this offseason but that doesn't mean he didn't have a number of different options before agreeing to join the Charlotte Hornets, apparently. Oubre turned down offers from the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets, Nets, Blazers and Cavs before settling on the Hornets, his agent told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Pinned

Schroder reportedly discussing deal with Celtics

For the first time this offseason, a true suitor appears to have emerged. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Boston Celtics and Schroder are discussing a deal. Keith Smith adds that the hold-up at this stage comes down to contractual demands. The Celtics reportedly would prefer a short-term deal. Ideally, they'd only like to give him one year. But Schroder is still seeking a long-term pact.

Pinned

Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade to Miami official; Dragic, Achiuwa to Raptors

With the moratorium on free agency lifted, players can now begin to sign deals that were previously reported earlier in the week. The Heat wasted no time in securing the sign-and-trade to bring Lowry to Miami on a three-year, $85 million deal, which will also send Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to Toronto. It's still unclear if Dragic could be headed to a different team, as its been reported that if he could choose he'd prefer to play alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas, but for right now, he's a member of the Raptors.

kyle-lowry-raptors.jpg
Pinned

Reggie Jackson to re-sign with Clippers on two-year, $22 million deal

After averaging 17.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds in the playoffs this past season, Jackson will be returning to the Clippers for two more years to try and help this franchise win a championship, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. After the Clippers fell to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals, an emotional Jackson thanked his teammates and the Clippers organization for saving him after hitting what he called "basketball depression" in 2020. He'll now return to an L.A. team that will still be considered title contenders in the 2021-22 season.

Pinned

Luka Doncic expected to sign five-year, $200 million extension with Mavs after Olympics

Once Doncic is finished up competing for a bronze medal in Tokyo, a contingent of Mavericks front office brass including Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, Nico Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd will head to Slovenia next week to present a five-year rookie max extension to their franchise star worth more than $200 million, per NBA insider Marc Stein. Dallas shelved extension talks at the request of Doncic until after the Olympics were over, but he is expected to sign on the dotted line when he's done playing for the Slovenian national team. 

untitled-design-2021-05-26t011334-630.png
Getty Images
Pinned

Markkanen looking to leave the Bulls  

It looks like Lauri Markkanen is interested in a fresh start somewhere other than Chicago.

Markkanen is a restricted free agent and he has played his entire career in Chicago up until this point. One team that is reportedly interested in Markkanen is the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets are reportedly preparing an offer sheet for Markkanen, and it will be very interesting to see if the Bulls decide to match it, or let him walk. 

Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 6, 2021, 12:29 PM
Pinned

Hornets sign Oubre to two-year deal

After two-plus days of free agency, most of the notable names were already off the board. Now, Kelly Oubre Jr. has joined the ranks of players that have secured a new deal. He'll join the Charlotte Hornets on a two-year, $26 million deal, according to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. 

This will be the fourth team in four seasons for Oubre, who has struggled to find any consistency with his game or place in the league. He's coming off a disappointing season with the Golden State Warriors, during which he got off to a historically bad shooting start, and missed 15 of the final 20 games due to a hand and wrist injury. 

Now healthy, he'll have another chance to prove himself on a young, up and coming Hornets team. His size and athleticism aren't in question, nor is his effort. But while he's a versatile defender, he's not quite as good as you'd hope on that side of the ball, and his offense is often too streaky. In particular, his 3-point shot just needs to be better. He's at 32.6 percent for his career, and has never shot better than 35.2 percent. 

The Hornets are making a big bet that Oubre can improve in those areas, and that his overall style of game will fit right in with the team they're building. That, at least, seems likely. His ability to get up and down the floor will make the Hornets an even more dangerous in transition than they were last season, when they finished fourth in the league with 23.1 fastbreak points per game. 

August 6, 2021, 4:32 AM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 6, 2021, 4:22 AM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 6, 2021, 2:44 AM
Pinned

Hornets interested in Oubre

Kelly Oubre Jr. is one of the best remaining free agents, and he could be on his way to Charlotte, according to a report from David Aldridge of The Athletic. Oubre is currently in discussions with the team, though no deal is imminent. Oubre spent last season with the Warriors, and was largely up and down, especially with his 3-point shooting. But he's a young, athletic wing who works hard on the defensive end and can guard multiple positions. His energetic style would certainly be a fit with the Hornets, who love to get up and down the floor.  

Pinned

Kaminsky staying with Suns

Frank Kaminsky has spent the last two seasons with the Suns, and is going to stick around for at least one more according to a report from Marc Stein. The big man played sparingly in the playoffs, but did see some important minutes in the Finals after the Suns' already thin frontcourt was hit with injuries and foul trouble. He doesn't figure to have a huge role with the team, but he'll get to stick around with a contender so this seems like an easy decision for him. 

Pinned

Iguodala choosing between three teams

The Heat decided not to pick up Andre Iguodala's option for next season, which made him an unrestricted free agent this summer. Now, the former Finals MVP is reportedly choosing between three teams according to Shams Charania of Stadium: the Nets, Warriors and Lakers. If someone told you go guess what teams Iguodala was looking at, those would have all been right up there, so this isn't surprising at all. At this stage in his career he wants to play for another championship, and the Nets and Lakers are two of the favorites heading into next season. The Warriors, meanwhile, could be a contender again, and also have the nostalgia factor. 

August 6, 2021, 12:44 AM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 6, 2021, 12:28 AM
Pinned

Birch staying in Toronto

Near the end of last season, the Magic waived Khem Birch, which paved the way for him to go home to Canada and sign with the Raptors. Now, Birch has agreed to a three-year, $20 million deal to stay in Toronto, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. This is the first big payday of Birch's career, and a clear sign that the Raptors think he's capable of taking on a bigger role in their frontcourt. In 19 games with the Raptors last season, Birch put up 11.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. 

August 5, 2021, 11:22 PM
Pinned
@wojespn via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 11:18 PM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 9:00 PM
Pinned

Drummond downplays past "beef" with Embiid after signing with Sixers

In one of the more surprising moves of free agency, big man Andre Drummond agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran's minimum to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, and more importantly, become teammates with Joel Embiid. That wouldn't be so newsworthy if the two didn't have past dust-ups before, which typically resulted in Embiid outplaying Drummond whenever the two matched up against each other, which led to the Sixers franchise star trolling him on social media. 

But the past is the past, and at least according to Drummond, it was never that deep anyway.

"I think for me there was never any real beef," Drummond said. "At the end of the day, it's the game of basketball. It's a heated game. We're both competitive. The way we play is we, sometimes we talk. I don't think it goes any further than that. I don't think there's any real beef, or malice towards each other. It's part of the game. We're on the same team now. It's not something I'm thinking about or anything that's really bothering me."

The two always jabbed at each other through social media and public comments, but never hit below the belt. Now, that trash talking will be put to the side while the two try and chase a championship together with the Sixers.

embiid-drummond.jpg
Pinned

Report: Hornets interested in Lauri Markkanen

Since the opening few hours of free agency the signings have come in at a snail's pace, and one of the big-ish names left on the market is Markkanen, who is a restricted free agent with the Bulls. After a disappointing season in which he was pushed to the bench in favor of Nikola Vucevic, who Chicago traded for last season, the offers that he would've had two years ago aren't coming in. However, the Charlotte Hornets are said to be interested in the sharpshooting big man, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Whatever the Hornets offer can be matched by the Bulls, but after making moves to sign DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, the need for Markkanen isn't there anymore for Chicago. 

This will be something to keep an eye on as teams shift from signing players to executing trades, because perhaps Markkanen is dealt in a sign-and-trade either to Charlotte or somewhere else.

markkanen.jpg
USATSI
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 8:06 PM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 8:05 PM
Pinned
@wojespn via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 7:19 PM
Pinned

Masai Ujiri agrees to new deal to remain president of Raptors

Although the Raptors lost beloved franchise star Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat via a sign-and-trade, Toronto can find solace in knowing that the man who was responsible for building the 2019 championship squad will remain with the franchise. As reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ujiri is signing a "significant new deal" to remain president of the team, in addition to becoming the vice chairman of the franchise. In a video released by the Raptors on Twitter announcing the news, Ujiri said:

"On the court, our goal is clear: Win. It's simple: Win. Bring another championship to Toronto. We are united in that mission and nothing else will do. We will bring young talent to this city and continue to build with our unbelievable players. I've said it before, and I am saying it again: We will win in Toronto. I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead this team. I love being the leader of the Toronto Raptors and I'm here to stay."

Several teams across the league have been interested in prying Ujiri away from the Raptors, most recently the New York Knicks when they were searching for a new head of basketball ops before tapping Leon Rose to lead them. He's also been courted by pro teams outside of the NBA, per Wojnarowski, but it sounds like at least for the near future he's staying in Toronto.

Masai Ujiri
Masai Ujiri USATSI
Pinned

Lou Williams is returning to Atlanta

After being shipped off to the Hawks at the trade deadline last season by the Clippers, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year is re-signing on a one-year, $5 million deal to stay in Atlanta, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Although it was shocking that Williams was traded to Atlanta last season, especially since he said on social media at one point that he would retire in L.A. whenever that happened, he played a key role in Atlanta's Eastern Conference Finals run. 

When Hawks superstar Trae Young went down in the Eastern Conference finals against the Bucks, Williams stepped into the starting lineup and dropped 21 points in a surprising Hawks win. Bringing him back for one more year ensures that Atlanta continues to have his instant offense off the bench.

lou-williams-hawks-edited-1.jpg
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 6:33 PM
Pinned
@ShamsCharania via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 6:32 PM
Pinned
@wojespn via Twitter
August 5, 2021, 6:25 PM
Pinned

Rumor: Ben Simmons has cut off communication with Sixers, would like to play for Warriors

According to KRON4's Jason Dumas:

"Ben Simmons has cut off communication with basically everyone in the Sixers organization. Everything is going through his agent, Rich Paul. Ben is open to going to the GSW, though he doesn't have much leverage in the situation."

After an unceremonious exit from the second round of the postseason where Simmons was heavily criticized for his play, and several reports detailing a possible trade being imminent for the All-Defensive guard, it's not surprising to see that the relationship between the two sides has soured a bit. However, Philadelphia doesn't have to send Simmons to a team of his choosing. In the end, the Sixers will trade Simmons to a team that can offer the best package in return for a three-time All-Star. Most recent reports suggested that Philadelphia was asking for an All-Star level player in return for Simmons, so the going price for him will be expensive.

bensimmons-072821.jpg
Getty Images
Pinned

Clippers were going to DeRozan's home ...

Here's an interesting bit from Yahoo's Chris Haynes (via Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast) on how close the Clippers came to landing DeMar DeRozan's agent before the Bulls swooped in last minute:

"The Clippers brass were driving, they were on their way to DeMar's house. Things got a little bit more interesting with the Bulls, and DeMar DeRozan's agent, Aaron Goodwin, called, it looked like it was going to get done. It looked like the deal was going to get done with Chicago. He called the Clippers out of courtesy and was like, 'You know what, let's not waste anybody's time. Out of respect for you guys, let's cancel this meeting. He's going to go elsewhere.'"  

The Clippers, for what it's worth, ad little cap space to sign him to a big deal. According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated a few days ago, the Bulls were able to convince DeRozan to join because GM Marc Eversley flew to Los Angeles to meet with DeRozan. Eversley was the assistant GM of the Raptors when DeRozan played in Toronto, and the two have a longstanding relationship.

In the end, the San Antonio Spurs finalized a deal to send DeRozan to Chicago for Thad Young, a future first-round pick and two second-round picks. The 31-year-old DeRozan, who averaged 21.6 points, seven assists and 4.2 rebounds last season, will then sign a three-year, $85 million-plus deal with the Bulls.

derozan.jpg
August 5, 2021, 3:35 PM
See More

Our Latest Stories