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A Quick Look in the Future: Next Summer Notable Free Agents

This summer will always be remembered as one of the best and wildest free agent’s periods in the whole history of the league. Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard moved the market as the whales they are, but no one expected the sequence of surprises their decisions triggered. Durant’s decision to go to Brooklyn led to an unlikely scenario of D’Angelo Russell heading to Golden State (it’s another question whether he will stay there for more than one season). Kahwi Leonard chose the least talked about team of his three suitors and initiated the coming of Paul George to LA in a blockbuster trade. As a result, OKC pushed the button and exchanged Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul. Now they are trying to move Paul’s huge contract, but it will be difficult.

Let’s take a quick look at next summer most notable names on the market, albeit it’s so early and most of these players could reach an extension agreement with their current teams. Anyway, the market will be way smoother at this time next year.

Anthony Davis, LA Lakers

Davis is still technically on the list. His agent Rich Paul (who is also LeBron’s agent) made no secret about the superstar’s future plans. Davis wanted the chance to play in one of the biggest sports markets and got his wish granted with the trade to the Lakers. Davis has a player option next season which will pay him about 25 million USD. He is expected to decline that and sign a long-term max deal with the Lakers.

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Draymond’s decision will likely mirror what Klay Thompson did this summer. Thompson announced his signing on the social media with a comment stating, “There was never a doubt.” Green has said that he took a discount in 2015 in order for the Warriors to sign Durant in 2016. Like Curry and Thompson, his hometown discount days may be over. Green’s value on the market has somewhat plummeted down in the last 2 season, but still Warriors’ management would surely consider him for a max contract. Otherwise some other team will surely offer him the max and GSW core will be shattered forever. Yet Green’s playmaking ability and defense have fueled the Warriors’ championship run before Durant’s coming in Oakland, and he also was a big contributor in this year’s trip to the Finals.

 

DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs

DeRozan also has a player option next season. It’s somewhat of a certainty that Davis will decline his, but DeRozan might accept it. DeMar would be the top guard available on the market next summer and could ensure himself long-term security. Yet declining the option would lead to DeRozan turning down about 27.8 million USD, not minor money even in today’s NBA. DeRozan’s ability to score is still as present as ever in San Antonio. He finished last season with the best field goal percentage since his rookie season. Accepting his player option would leave him being on the second tier of available free agents in 2021, when the next splash will happen. Next offseason, he would be the main guy for any team chasing a natural scorer. Yet, 28 million USD…A hard one to tackle for the player and his agent and the situation in San Antonio during the season will probably shift the balance in one or another direction.

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

Lowry will be a 34-year-old point guard, coming off a huge 33 million USD payday. Kyle’s play next season will be the main factor in determining his value. Leonard and DeRozan are no longer Raptors, but the team should still be a playoff contender. Five consecutive All-Star appearances place Lowry in the position of one of the most loved by the fans all-time Raptors. With Leonard’s departure, Lowry’s scoring numbers should also go back up. It seems highly likely that he will finish his career as a Raptor on a good contract, as a prize for his loyalty to the organization.

DeMarcus Cousins, LA Lakers

Cousins’ true value will be determined after he finishes his season-long audition with the Lakers. This was the plan all along for the past season, but his injury unfortunately prevented DeMarcus from showing his real ability with GSW. At his best, Cousins is one of the top offensive big players in the NBA. Achilles and quad injuries played a role in Cousins looking too slow in Golden State, resulting in a dry market in free agency. The big guy still managed to average 22.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and a career-high 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. Cousins recently posted a picture where he looked to have lost weight. A full offseason of basketball and no injuries could allow Cousins to finally get the big payday that he’s missed the past two seasons. As thin of good big men as today’s NBA is, Cousins will surely see some attention from GM’s next summer, even more so if he registers a good injury-free season alongside LeBron and AD.

 

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