5. Kyle Lowry – TOR (PG)
22.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 7.0 apg
Toronto had a complimentary backcourt with Lowry and DeRozan. DeRozan can drive to the rim or take mid-range jumpers, or Lowry who has proven to be a good threat from downtown. He is also a good provider for the team, averaging 7 assists a game and scoring a good 22 points a game. However, Toronto keep falling short in the playoffs and it looks like the organization is parting ways with him. Lowry is looking for a max contract and the Raptors are not interested.
4. Paul Millsap – ATL (PF) (player option)
18.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
Since his move from Utah to the Hawks, Millsap has been one of the top frontcourt players in the league and helped make the Hawks regular playoff contenders. He was a starting member of the team that once went 17-0 in January. Opting out of the contract for a max contract in the future, it will not be at Atlanta.
Sending Dwight Howard to Charlotte shows the Hawks would prefer young talent. Millsap is now 31 but still a good scoring and rebounding option and can provide for his teammates. Millsap might be tempted to teams like Denver, Phoenix and Sacramento who would be able to give him his max contract.
3. Blake Griffin – LAC (PF) (player option)
21.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.9 apg
Since making his debut, Griffin has been an explosive player and one that is capable of all-round production. Together with Paul and Jordan, he is a key member of the resurgent Clippers who are currently the better team in LA. With him and Paul in free agency, the Clippers have a big question about their organization’s future.
The call on Griffin can further be complicated by his injury record. He has had lengthy injury spells in each of the last 3 seasons. Offering a max contract of $177.4 million for 5 years for someone who is injury prone, would be a risky gamble. Other teams can offer at most $131.5 million for 4 years. Lob city is over at the Clippers. riffin could seriously consider other teams now.
2. Gordon Hayward – UTA (SF) (player option)
21.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.5 apg
This is Gordon Hayward’s first date with free agency. The forward had a breakout season, earning his all-star game debut and a career high scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage. It’s no wonder that teams are going to be interested in signing him. He also helped Utah get past the clippers before being swept in the 2nd round of the playoffs by the eventual champions.
For Utah to keep their star man, they suffered a blow when the all NBA teams were released. Had Hayward been named to it, he could exercise his player option and then take a max contract from the start of next season. However, he wasn’t named and can get a maximum $177.4, 5 year contract with Utah (if they go that high) or $131.5 million for 4 years with any other team. This could tempt a team like Boston to sign him, as they have a lot of young assets and cap space to trade.
- Stephen Curry –GSW (PG)
25.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.6 apg, 1.8 spg
What a bargain the GSW had with Curry. Signing an extension in 2013-14 for 4 years’, worth $44 million, it was a bargain that paid off. People were not sure about Curry owing to his injury record prior to this, but this splash brother repaid the faith shown by the team. 2 MVPs, 2 Championship rings and a scoring title. His low salary meant they could sign Durant and bring all other pieces to their puzzle.
He has stated his intention of signing with the Warriors and he is likely to remain with this franchise, and take on a max, 5 year, $207 million contract. No other team would be able to offer him this much and from a financial and championship view, he would be staying at GSW.