NBA free agency primer: The biggest need and key targets for all 30 teams
Here's the skinny on the key free agents to keep and target for all 30 NBA teams
Free agency is just about here, and despite teams preparing for this for years, no one knows what is about to happen. This is always a crazy time of year, but with the salary cap ballooning to $94 million, almost everybody is going to have a ton of money to spend.
You already know that role players are going to make more than $10 million per season. You know that everyone wants Kevin Durant, and he will at least listen to some pitches. Beyond that, though, let's have a look at where teams stand and what realistic moves could be made this July.
Here's the deal: The Hawks have five players that are entering free agency yet it is mainly Al Horford who Atlanta will likely focus on. Kent Bazemore is also a free agent and filled a vital role in Atlanta last season. But Horford is their All-Star big man and a large part of their system. The Hawks want to re-sign Horford and by all reports, he wants to return. But he will be listening to other teams, so Horford could potentially leave Atlanta.
Biggest need: It mainly depends on if Horford stays or goes. If he leaves, then a center will desperately be needed. However, if he stays, the Hawks will need to find a backup point guard. Atlanta traded Jeff Teague and promoted Dennis Schroder to the starting lineup, leaving no one to truly back him up. That void will need to be filled in free agency.
Free agent they should keep: Al Horford is one of the main reasons the Hawks remain a top tier team in the East. If they aren't planning on blowing it all up, then they should re-sign him.
Free agent they should target: Brandon Jennings could be a nice scoring point guard off the bench. He's streaky but the Hawks could possibly get Jennings on a decent deal. Especially since last season became a transitional year for Jennings.
Here's the deal: The Boston Celtics are sitting pretty. They can have enough cap space to target two max offers if they want to and they don't really have to sacrifice a lot of depth to do it. They have Avery Bradley , Isaiah Thomas , Jae Crowder on bargain deals. They have their coach locked up for years and they can make moves with a lot of assets at their disposal. The Celtics can be heavy hitters this summer.
Biggest need: A star. We all love Isaiah Thomas. And he's an All-Star. However, he's been abysmal in the playoffs both times and just needs help. If you can get a couple of guys above him in the hierarchy, you can wreck the East with Thomas as your third option.
Free agent they should keep: None. Their main free agents are Evan Turner , Tyler Zeller , and Jared Sullinger . They shouldn't need any of those guys in their future, but Danny Ainge loves him some Evan Turner on the court.
Free agent they should target: Kevin Durant and Al Horford. Seems obvious, right? Convincing Durant to come East to challenge LeBron James in Celtic green would be a lot of fun. Getting Horford to be the big man inside to join up with KD would turn this team into an instant title contender.
Here's the deal: The Nets under Sean Marks are essentially starting from scratch. The best player on the team is Brook Lopez and the second best player on the team might be Bojan Bogdanovic . Or maybe it's Jarrett Jack ? It also could be second-year player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson . They moved Thaddeus Young in order to get the 20th pick in the draft, so there are a lot of holes to fill on this team.
Biggest need: Talent. It's as simple as that. Marks will be tasked with finding guys who are willing to trust the Nets' rebuilding process and it will cost them an overpay. Kenny Atkinson will be tasked with developing them. But regardless of where the Nets look for positions, roles, etc., the one goal will be finding talent for this roster.
Free agent they should keep: No. Maybe they could use Wayne Ellington as a shooter/veteran in the locker room but there isn't anybody they "need" to re-sign.
Free agent they should target: Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside . Yes, I know they have Brook Lopez and so this flies in the face of having him on your team. But you can probably move Lopez for some roster depth while gambling that either Howard can be a star again or Whiteside can be a cornerstone. It's probably a crazy gamble but you can afford to do that while you're not wasting assets.
Here's the deal: With the Hornets returning to the playoffs last season, the buzz was back in Charlotte. However the Hornets have a lot of decisions to make this summer if they want to continue to build on that success as key players like Nicolas Batum , Al Jefferson , Jeremy Lin , Courtney Lee and Marvin Williams will be free agents.
Biggest need: With Kemba Walker not being a strong defender, having some form of protection at the rim would help Charlotte immensely.
Free agent they should keep: The Hornets will likely have to offer him a max yet Nicolas Batum is they guy they should keep. Batum doesn't put up gaudy numbers but he is such a versatile player and was a big reason why Charlotte experienced success last season.
Free agent they should target: Why not try and get Hassan Whiteside to come home to North Carolina? Sell him on the homecoming, the Bojangles and playing for team owner Michael Jordan? It would be a big and splashy investment but Whiteside could be a nice fit in Charlotte.
Here's the deal: Major transition year for Chicago. Pau Gasol , Joakim Noah , Derrick Rose are out the door. Jimmy Butler has been shopped, or at least discussed in trade talks. Taj Gibson could be moved. The Bulls seem ready to head in a different direction, but don't seem to know what direction that should be.
Biggest need: They've got nothing at center, which is great since the free agency crop is awful this year and that's factoring that two of their centers who are not coming back are on the list.
Free agent they should keep: Since Noah's out, it'd down to Aaron Brooks or E'Twaun Moore , and they have enough depth at 2-guard. They really don't need to keep anyone.
Free agent they should target: Hassan Whiteside would be audacious, but a really interesting option would be Chandler Parsons , which would give them a great 1-2 punch on the wing with Butler and Parsons.
Here's the deal: NBA champions, so things are going pretty well. They've got a lot of free agents, however, in J.R. Smith , Matthew Dellavedova , Timofey Mozgov , and Richard Jefferson (who says he wants to return). Owner Dan Gilbert proved he's willing to spend crazy amounts for a title in Cleveland; you have to assume he's willing to pay to retain one.
Biggest need: Continuity. You want to keep a special group together, and what this team did coming back from 3-1, even if it had holes, is worth keeping together. You don't want to try and integrate new pieces. Losing J.R. Smith after a career year in which he became a hero would be a hit to morale and their 3-point firepower.
Free agent they should keep: J.R. Smith. The others are expendable, but Smith means too much to LeBron, the team, the city. Man, it's been a weird year.
Free agent they should target: Either Jared Dudley or Marvin Williams would give them a 3/4 combo forward if either were willing to take huge paycuts for a chance at a title. In many ways Williams is a better fit than Love is on the team.
Here's the deal: Eight players in total, a big chunk of Dallas' roster will be free agents this summer. So yet again, the Mavericks can head into next season with a vastly different roster than they had the previous year.
Biggest need: Center. Zaza Pachulia is a free agent and although he was nearly an All-Star (due to the fan vote), his play digressed as the season winded down. Salah Mejri is a decent player but he's not at the stage yet where the Mavs can count on him for long stretches. So the Mavs should look for a big man to control the paint this offseason.
Free agent they should keep: Dirk Nowitzki . Don't let him join the Warriors, Mark Cuban!
Free agent they should target: Hassan Whiteside, who the Mavs are already planning on pursuing. He will solve their woes at the center spot and give them a legitimate rim protector.
Here's the deal: The Nuggets have more talent than you think, but it's unclear how many of these guys will still be on the roster when they return to the playoffs. A major trade or two wouldn't be surprising.
Biggest need: Uh, a star? But it's hard to imagine that being solved in free agency. If they're not going to shake things up, then I suppose their biggest need is a playmaking 4.
Free agent they should keep: Nobody? Their free agents are Mike Miller , D.J. Augustin and Darrell Arthur , and they all would fit better elsewhere.
Free agent they should target: How about Marvin Williams, who has established himself as a reliable 3-point shooter who can capably play power forward? Chasing him seems more realistic than landing a bigger name like Nicolas Batum or Chandler Parsons. If Denver's goal is to get back to the playoffs as soon as possible, Williams would help.
Here's the deal: They made a solid run to the 8th seed. They'll retain Andre Drummond and have the starters they need. But their bench, the entire year, was a trashcan, on fire, rolling down a very steep hill. They'll swing for the fences, but they're in a fine position if all they do is add depth.
Biggest need: Backup point guard. Backup shooting guard. Backup small forward. Backup power forward. Aron Baynes was actually OK at center, but hey, it's a theme, so, backup center.
Free agent they should keep: Andre Drummond, since he's their best player and one of the five best centers in the league. Drummond's a restricted free agent, so they can match any offer but the common belief is that he'll agree to a max five-year re-sign, but not ink it until after the Pistons have pursued other options.
Free agent they should target: Mo Speights would give them a really good weapon off the bench to just get some points, and you could pair him with Baynes well.
Golden State Warriors
Here's the deal: Amazing that we're wondering what the 73-win Warriors should even do in free agency, but they didn't win the championship and that sent Joe Lacob into evil villain mode. They're going to be aggressive. There are rumors of chasing Dirk Nowitzki. They have restricted free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli to decide on. The Warriors could keep the status quo and try to prove the last three games of the NBA Finals were a fluke. Or they can be aggressive and risk disrupting everything Bob Myers and company have built into what was supposed to be the league standard of excellence.
Biggest need: Perspective? I don't think it's wrong to go after Kevin Durant this summer. That sounds like an unbeatable combination that you'd go 80-2 with in NBA 2K17 every season. But the Warriors should also realize they just had arguably the greatest regular season in NBA history and were really close to capping that off with another ring. Do they need wholesale changes?
Free agent they should keep: Leandro Barbosa . The Brazilian Blur will likely be inexpensive and he was really great in the second unit and in the locker room. Keep him around just for keeping guys loose and dropping scoring binges on opposing benches.
Free agent they should target: Let's not get cute here. Go after Kevin Durant and see if you can get him. Are you endangering gutting depth from the team? Sure. Are other teams scared of a Steph-Klay-KD-Draymond quartet? Absolutely. You don't want to mess with excellence but you could create an intergalactic All-Star combination.
Here's the deal: This is James Harden 's team so Dwight Howard ain't coming back. To replace Howard and to help support Harden, the Rockets are planning on pursuing big-name free agents like Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and Al Horford. If they get one of those players, it would be a big win for the Rockets.
Biggest need: Last season exposed Houston's flaws so they could use some help at every position besides shooting guard. Adding bench depth will also be key.
Free agent they should keep: Donatas Montiejunas could thrive in D'Antoni's offense so retaining him could be a great move for Houston. Of course there still may be some hurt feelings from trading him and then having to welcome him back but at 25 years old, Montiejunas could be a solid player to pair with Harden for the foreseeable future.
Free agent they should target: Kevin Durant. Why not? It wouldn't hurt to see if Durant wants to play with his old teammate in James Harden again. If not, Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford and Ryan Anderson will be good players for the Rockets to target.
Here's the deal: They reconfigured their team through trades this month, first with the addition of Jeff Teague, and then Thaddeus Young. They need to reconfigure the bench, but they've already taken major strides in the right direction.
Biggest need: They have a lot of firepower but they could still use shooters. Their biggest problem is big depth, with Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi 's free agency, but with the kind of style that Larry Bird is pursuing, they need wings who can shoot.
Free agent they should keep: The Mahinmi question is tough. He's one of the best available centers on the market. But with Myles Turner , they don't need a major investment at that position. They can re-sign Mahinmi and bring Turner off the bench, but that's a waste of his talent. Or they can start Turner and bring Young off the bench, but that's a waste of his impact as well. Or they can start Young and Turner, but that means Mahinmi's being underutilized. It's a tough choice. If they don't keep Mahinmi, they should retain Solomon Hill , a good defensive wing who has shown promise.
Free agent they should target: E'Twuan Moore isn't a big name on the market, but he's a 45 percent shooter with length. He could help what Indiana Hoosiers 's trying to pull off.
Los Angeles Clippers
Here's the deal: The Los Angeles Clippers don't have a ton of flexibility to add a really good player in free agency unless they find a new home for JJ Redick. Their Big Three of Chris Paul , DeAndre Jordan , and Blake Griffin are eating up $64 million. They only have Redick, Paul Pierce , C.J. Wilcox , and Branden Dawson under contract. So their goal should be either re-signing their guys or finding two cheaper depth options and hope they can steal veteran minimum quality players.
Biggest need: Small forward help. As much as a backup point guard would be helpful, the Clippers need someone on the wing who can give them consistent minutes. There are some good options out there, but finding a high value, low risk veteran at the position who isn't Wes Johnson would be ideal.
Free agent they should keep: Cole Aldrich , Jamal Crawford , Austin Rivers , and Luc Mbah a Moute. The Clippers cultivated a solid second unit this past season and it may not be unreasonable to get everybody to stay on nice but cost-effective contracts. Aldrich is a good backup center, Crawford is a great x-factor, Rivers earned his stripes as a defensive player, and Luc is a great glue guy in the rotation.
Free agent they should target: Joe Johnson . He can stretch the floor and he's solid enough defensively with someone like DeAndre Jordan behind him to trust. Joe Jesus may not be that expensive and he's younger than Paul Pierce. He's the perfect Doc Rivers addition.
Los Angeles Lakers
Here's the deal: It's the post Kobe Bryant era and that means it's time to start convincing superstars to come to the Lakers, right? Probably not just yet. The Lakers hired a coach people like in Luke Walton and they've accumulated some nice young talent with D'Angelo Russell , Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle , but this franchise seems far away from being a major player for someone like Kevin Durant. Amazingly, the Lakers still have some work to do in building up their credit with stars looking for greener grass to frolic on.
Biggest need: Well, a star. But also a center. The center is easier to get than the star is and a couple of the big men you'd try to convince may have the capability of becoming a star in Laker gold. After all, Andrew Bynum was pretty close to star status for a couple of seasons and now it's news when he shows up to an NBA game with slippers and blond hair.
Free agent they should keep: Jordan Clarkson . The "Arenas provision" should make it pretty easy to match any offer sheet given to Clarkson, but he's also a second-round pick they got right. They should continue developing him and see if at worst, he can be a dynamic guard off the bench for them.
Free agent they should target: Swing for the fences if you're the Lakers. That means you're trying to get Kevin Durant or Al Horford to join you, but you can definitely convince Hassan Whiteside to be a Laker. It could end up going horribly wrong but it can't be worse than Bynum, right?
Here's the deal: The Grizzlies were a revolving door of players last season and Memphis Tigers is now looking to get back to a more even keeled year. A new coach and Marc Gasol returning from injury should help Memphis reestablish themselves.
Biggest need: A lot of it depends on Mike Conley , who is a free agent. If he leaves, Memphis will need to get a point guard. If he stays, then the Grizzlies need help in a variety of areas except for center. As always, Memphis could use a shooter.
Free agent they should keep: Mike Conley. Always a borderline All-Star, next to Gasol, Conley is their best player and quite vital to Memphis' offense. Lock Conley up and try to continue to build around him and Gasol.
Free agent they should target: Kent Bazemore seems like a perfect fit in Memphis. He's a strong defender and has developed into a solid shooter. Plus he fills the need at small forward.
Here's the deal: Dwyane Wade is a free agent again and so are other important players like Luol Deng , Joe Johnson and Hassan Whiteside. There's probably a 99.9 percent chance Wade is staying, but Miami will have to make a decision on Whiteside. Will they pay him the big bucks or will they let Whiteside walk in free agency?
Biggest need: If Whiteside leaves, they'll need a center. Otherwise, with Chris Bosh 's situation still up in the air, the Heat may need to start looking for a starting quality power forward that can be there on a more permanent basis.
Free agent they should keep: Their franchise player and number one guy, Dwyane Wade is who Miami should re-sign first and foremost. Wade could be looking to get one last big time deal and the Heat should pay him accordingly. He is still worth every penny for the Heat and not just for sentimental reasons. Wade is still an All-Star caliber player and should continue to be for at least the next two or three years.
Free agent they should target: With Bosh remaining the great unknown, Miami should go hard at Horford. He fits their system perfectly and should definitely elevate the Heat into the upper echelon of the East.
Here's the deal: Randomly fell apart when they were supposed to make the playoffs, then came on strong towards the end of the year. If you just take out the 2014-2015 season, they're right on track for a rebuild around Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker .
Biggest need: Any person who can stop another human being from scoring with the basketball. Also, rim protection.
Free agent they should keep: Jerryd Bayless is affordable, can shoot the lights out, and is a veteran presence they need off the bench. It wouldn't hurt to get Miles Plumlee on a cheap deal, either.
Free agent they should target: Joakim Noah would be worth the risk, even with the injury problems.
Here's the deal: Minnesota can afford to do nothing in free agency, as it has the best collection of young talent the league has seen since the Thunder had Russell Westbrook , James Harden, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka all on rookie contracts. If new president and coach Tom Thibodeau wants to win now, though, he can add talent with almost $30 million in cap space.
Biggest need: Shooting. The Timberwolves were 29th in 3-pointers attempted last year, and while that was mostly to do with former coach Sam Mitchell's priorities, it also had something to do with the roster. If they're going to get the most out of Towns and Wiggins, then they need better spacing.
Free agent they should keep: Veteran forward Tayshaun Prince can stick around if there's room on the roster for him, I suppose.
Free agent they should target: Allen Crabbe is just 24 years old and 3-and-D wings like him can fit on almost any team.
New Orleans Pelicans
Here's the deal: With eight players becoming free agents, the Pelicans will have the chance to dramatically reshape their roster. Especially since the Pelicans will likely let Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon walk in free agency.
Biggest need: The Pelicans can use a wing that score with some regularity.
Free agent they should keep: Meh, the Pelicans don't really need to bring anyone back but perhaps re-signing Kendrick Perkins has some value. Perkins' veteran knowledge should not be overlooked.
Free agent they should target: Kent Bazemore would be a nice fit at small forward in New Orleans. He provides defense and shooting, two areas the Pelicans can use an upgrade on.
New York Knicks
Here's the deal: Phil Jackson is trying to make big moves here. Carmelo Anthony is locked up. Kristaps Porzingis is on a rookie contract. And they just acquired Derrick Rose. There isn't much depth on this roster at this point with Kyle O'Quinn and Justin Holiday as the only other players under contract, but the Knicks may have upwards of $35 million in cap space this summer to use.
Biggest need: Shooting, specifically on the wing. They're rolling the dice with Rose as a healthy point guard option, so you need a versatile wing that can really fill it up from deep. Have to keep the defense honest, and the Knicks need to have backup options ready to go if Kevin Durant remains to be a sane person.
Free agent they should keep: Lance Thomas , Langston Gallaway, and Cleanthony Early . Gallaway and Early are restricted free agents, who should be brought back on reasonable deals. Thomas has carved out an NBA career for himself and he needs to be part of the depth on the wings.
Free agent they should target: Nicolas Batum. The Timberwolves once convinced Batum to sign an offer sheet while David Kahn was the shot-caller in Minnesota. Phil Jackson should be able to get Batum to add shooting and defense alongside Melo and Rose.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Here's the deal: All eyes are on the Thunder as free agency begins, and for good reason. If Kevin Durant re-signs, it is a massive victory for a franchise that has been one of the best in the league for the last seven years. If he leaves, Presti will need to restructure a team led by Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo .
Biggest need: Another two-way wing player. Oladipo was a nice start, but he might end up just being a replacement for Dion Waiters . If that's the case, some more depth would be helpful.
Free agent they should keep: Durant seems important.
Free agent they should target: Swingman Gerald Henderson seems like the right kind of guy for Oklahoma City to bring off the bench, and he should come cheaper than, say, Kent Bazemore or Courtney Lee.
Here's the deal: The Magic are a team in transition. They made a splashy move to get Serge Ibaka and are now poised to potentially become a playoff team. Orlando also doesn't have too many key players who are free agents. Meaning that the Magic will have plenty of cap space to perhaps lure some big time free agents to Orlando.
Biggest need: The Magic could use an upgrade at small forward, especially since Mario Hezonja will likely slide into the shooting guard spot with Victor Oladipo leaving in a trade. Henzonja could play small forward if the Magic choose to re-sign Evan Fournier but having a player that isn't coming off a uneven rookie season in your starting lineup would greatly benefit Orlando.
Free agent they should keep: Evan Fournier could be nice to keep. The same can be said of Andrew Nicholson . But both players are just fine players and can likely be replaced down the road with younger and better talent.
Free agent they should target: Chandler Parsons or even Harrison Barnes to fill that need at small forward could be solid fits. Parsons is also from the Orlando area so the Magic can market that hometown angle for all that it's worth.
Here's the deal: It's Bryan Colangelo's world and the Philadelphia 76ers are living in it. They're full of young players on the roster and have roughly $50 million to spend before they get to the salary floor. The problem is building up trust with a free agent market the organization has ignored for years under Sam Hinkie. The Sixers have a low reputation around the free agency market and that's where Colangelo has to bring his experience with agents to convince them the Sixers are capable of winning soon. That's his toughest challenge this summer.
Biggest need: Veteran guards. The Sixers have Nik Stauskas , Kendall Marshall , and T.J. McConnell . The Sixers need to find a point guard or a lead guard who can provide some real talent and experience on the court. It's been too long without a point guard they can rely on to make plays.
Free agent they should keep: Ish Smith . He's not a great point guard by any means but he could be a perfect third point guard in their "break glass in case of emergency" box. They don't have his Bird rights so they don't have any advantages in re-signing him, but they're so far under the salary cap that they can offer anything.
Free agent they should target: Brandon Jennings. It is tough to think he'd want to go to a team like the Sixers right now but if he wants to start and he wants shots to put up, then he swallows his pride and decides to show the rest of the league the Sixers are acceptable to sign with from now on. Could be a good gamble for both sides.
Here's the deal: The Phoenix Suns have a weird mix of veterans and young players, but there's enough talent on the team to be dangerous. Alex Len , Dragan Bender, and Marquese Chriss are going to be mentored by Tyson Chandler . Devin Booker can learn from Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe . They still have guys like T.J. Warren and Archie Goodwin . Some patience here and maybe one more nice free agent acquisition could make this team tough to play against.
Biggest need: Somebody on the wing. The Suns really need a quality small forward to pull everything together in the desert. They have depth inside. They have depth in the backcourt. They need a small forward who can provide a veteran presence and keep things moving.
Free agent they should keep: Mirza Teletovic . Everybody loves the overly confident shooter who is always ready to fire off some 3-pointers. Teletovic probably won't be expensive and the Suns have roughly $35 million to spend anyway.
Free agent they should target: Nicolas Batum. They managed to convince Tyson Chandler to join them last season. Batum has been a dynamic wing battling injuries over his career. Convince him you can make the playoffs with him and your warlock training staff can keep him healthy.
Portland Trail Blazers
Here's the deal: The Blazers should feel great about winning 44 games and advancing to the second round of the playoffs, but they need to avoid a Bucks-like regression. Last year, general manager Neil Olshey made a bunch of small bets on players who seemed likely to thrive in bigger roles. Now, he is trying to set the team up for sustained success. This task is tougher.
Biggest need: Rim protection and defense in general. There was a stretch in the middle of the season where they looked like they were figuring it out, but they still finished 20th in defensive efficiency.
Free agent they should keep: Forward Moe Harkless, guard Allen Crabbe and center Meyers Leonard are all young and they're all restricted free agents. I'll bet Leonard is the most expendable because of Portland's other frontcourt options, and I'll bet Crabbe is its top priority because he made 39.4 percent of his 3-pointers this past season.
Free agent they should target: Why not aim high and make a pitch to Al Horford? Portland has a nice story to sell him now.
Here's the deal: I don't know. It's like Vlade Divac has decided to corner the market on big men with DeMarcus Cousins and guys who could in theory be effective next to him but still have a lot to prove. Their point guard situation is a mess with Rajon Rondo as a re-sign possibility and Darren Collison dealing with legal troubles. They don't have enough reliable shooting on the roster, which could give Dave Joerger some of the same problems he had in Memphis without the great team defense to fall back on. The Kings need a big move and there just might not be one for them.
Biggest need: A point guard. Collison is a nice backup option but you really don't want him starting. The idea of Rondo and Joerger trying to work together is pretty laughable. And you can't survive in today's NBA, especially the Western Conference, without a passable option as the lead guard.
Free agent they should keep: Quincy Acy . He's a fun energy guy for them that everybody loves. He shouldn't be expensive, so you're not cracking too much into the roughly $30 million they have to spend.
Free agent they should target: Jeremy Lin. He's a nice stopgap at the point guard situation until you figure out a long-term replacement. He runs the pick-and-roll really well, should be a good enough 3-point shooter, and can be a nice team defender for Joerger. Offer him the starting job and pray for the best.
San Antonio Spurs
Here's the deal: The Spurs are the Spurs. They pretty much have everything figured out.
Biggest need: Youth, shooters. Oklahoma City's athleticism overwhelmed San Antonio in the second round of the playoffs and if the Spurs want to keep in line with teams like the Thunder and Warriors, they have to get some young and athletic players.
Free agent they should keep: They have two big ones in Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan . Both players could retire but it seems like they want to return for at least one more year. There is value in bringing back fan favorites Matt Bonner and Boban Marjanovic as well.
Free agent they should target. Kevin Durant fills their need for young, athletic scorers but he likely may not head to San Antonio. Mike Conley and Kent Bazemore are also solid options for the Spurs.
Here's the deal: They were the second best team in the East but they have two key free agents they have to re-sign. The problem is they don't have the room to sign either guy and you could make a real argument that it would be better not to tie themselves to either. DeMar DeRozan isn't a modern wing, but he is a perennial All-Star. Is it crazy to let him walk for max money? Bismack Biyombo had a good season but can you trust a big man who can't catch a pass? Or do you keep one and hope to make it back to the conference finals?
Biggest need: Even with all of those questions I just posed, continuity might be the biggest need for this Raptors team. It helped them finally break through the first-round into the conference finals. They have a great attack on both ends of the floor. They could use more shooting but that could come from Terrence Ross too.
Free agent they should keep: DeMar DeRozan. I have my questions about a high volume shooting guard who can't make 3-pointers consistently, but he's too good to just let walk. You can always try to move him next summer when teams are still trying to figure out how to spend all of this money.
Free agent they should target: Trevor Booker . This isn't a sexy pick for the Raptors but they need some power forward depth. Booker has occasional 3-point range to the corners and is a solid hustle, energy guy off the bench.
Here's the deal: The Jazz were supposed to break out last year, but injuries and poor point guard play held them back. After acquiring George Hill , they'll be expected to win 50-plus games next year as presently constructed. They don't have to do much more this offseason.
Biggest need: Health and Hill should fix most of their problems. They could use some playoff experience, though.
Free agent they should keep: Trevor Booker is their only free agent, and he's unrestricted. If he will sign a reasonable contract and he's OK with his role, then he's worth keeping around because of his athleticism and defensive versatility.
Free agent they should target: I love Jared Dudley here, but I'm not sure Utah will sign anyone who is going to take minutes away from their young guys. How about Leandro Barbosa, Lou Amundson or Luis Scola ? While their names all start with the letter L, these tough vets have all been on winning teams.
Here's the deal: The Wizards aren't going to sign Kevin Durant. The KD2DC movement was the first of its kind but it is already over. Durant doesn't want to come home and the Wizards will just have to move from that dream.
Biggest need: Besides the backcourt, the Wizards have needs basically everywhere else. Power forward, small forward and bench depth are all needed.
Free agent they should keep: The Wizards reportedly will max out Bradley Beal and despite his injury history, it is probably the right move to make. Beal is still quite young and is an excellent shooter. Pay him and see what new coach Scott Brooks can get of the Wizards' backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. There is definitely value in retaining Jared Dudley but it all depends on the type of contract he is demanding.
Free agent they should target: Harrison Barnes. A trio of Barnes, Wall and Beal would make the Wizards a really solid team for years to come in the East.
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