2017 NBA Free Agency Predictions

Tonight at midnight eastern time, teams can officially start talking and negotiating with free agents around the NBA. We’ve already seen the first big move take place with Chris Paul heading to team up with James Harden in Houston, and Gordon Hayward is the next signing everyone is waiting for.

In this article I’ll rank the top 5 free agents at each position, and where I think they will be heading (or staying) this summer. Enjoy!

Restricted Free Agents

Restricted free agents are some of the easiest to predict, only because their team can match any offer that comes their way. Last season we saw a few teams (especially Brooklyn) offer huge contracts in order to lure away young talent. But with the cap being lower this year than expected, there are a couple players that could be in new uniforms come next season.

1. Otto Porter – Washington Wizards

Porter had a career year in 2016-17 after an impressive playoff performance the season prior. Showing off his improved 3-point range and defensive ability, he’ll be the top RFA on the market this year. I expect the Nets to put in a max offer sheet and the Wizards will be forced to match, although I’m sure they’ll likely try to place Porter in a potential sign-and-trade for the Pacers Paul George. Prediction: Wizards match a 4 year $110M offer sheet.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Nets have signed Otto Porter to a 4 year, $106M offer sheet. Wizards have until Saturday 7/8 to match

2. Nerlens Noel – Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks made a great trade with the Sixers last season to acquire one of the best young rim protectors in the game last year. Noel is reportedly their top priority this off-season and this deal should get done quickly. Prediction: Re-signs with Mavs – 4 years, $110M

3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are in a weird place right now. They are stuck in the dreaded middle-ground and Caldwell-Pope is a serious threat to leave in free agency. SVG will have to decide if they want to be way over the cap for a middling team. Prediction: KCP signs with the Brooklyn Nets – 4 years, $100M

4. Tim Hardaway Jr – Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks traded Kyle Korver and Dwight Howard in order to try and re-sign their young free agents. Prediction: Re-signs with Atlanta – 4 years, $75M

UPDATE: Tim Hardaway Jr. has agreed to a 4 year, $71M offer sheet with the New York Knicks. The Hawks have until Saturday 7/8 to match.

5. Tony Snell – Milwaukee Bucks

Snell came into his own with the Bucks after a mid-season trade with the Chicago Bulls. Milwaukee Bucks want to bring him back, and I don’t expect him to entertain other offers. Prediction: Re-signs with Milwaukee – 4 years, $70M

UPDATE: Snell has resigned with the Milwaukee Bucks on a 4 year, $46M deal (Adrian Wojnarowski)

Point Guards

1. Steph Curry – Golden State Warriors

Don’t need to type much here. Curry no doubt stays for with the Warriors on a max deal. Prediction: Re-signs with Golden State – 5 years, $210M

UPDATE: Curry has re-signed with the Warriors on a 5 year, $201M super-max contract (Shams Charania)

2. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors

Lots of talk surrounding Lowry for the last few weeks. Will he go seek a ring elsewhere? Or does he stay with the familiarity of the Raptors? Prediction: Lowry resigns in Toronto – 4 years, $120M

UPDATE: Kyle Lowry to re-sign with the Raptors on a 3 year, $100M deal

3. Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans

Holiday and the Pelicans are mutually interested in a deal, and this could get done very quickly. Prediction: Holiday re-signs with New Orleans – 5 years, $160M

UPDATE: Holiday agrees with New Orleans 5 years, $125M (up to $150 with incentives)

4. George Hill – Utah Jazz

Hill will generate lots of interest, mostly from the Knicks and Spurs (reportedly). I see it coming down to either re-signing with the Jazz or leaving for San Antonio.

UPDATE: After the Jazz trade for TWolves point guard Ricky Rubio, there is no chance for Hill back in Utah  Prediction: Hill signs with the Spurs – 4 years, $85M

UPDATE: George Hill to sign with the Sacramento Kings – 3 years, $57M (Shams)

5. Jeff Teague – Indiana Pacers

With the Pacers likely looking to rebuild after the inevitable Paul George trade, I find it extremely unlikely that they look to resign Jeff Teague. Prediction: Signs with the New York Knicks – 4 years, $80M

UPDATE: Teague has agreed to a 3 year, $57M deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves (Stein)

Shooting Guards

1. J.J. Redick – LA Clippers

The best shooter on the market, Redick seems like a lock to leave the Clippers. I expect him to sign a contract with a middling team where he can get the most money. Prediction: Signs with the Philadelphia 76ers – 3 years, $55M

UPDATE: JJ Redick has agreed to a 1 year, $24M deal with the Philadelphia 76ers (Woj)

2. Dion Waiters – Miami Heat

Waiters island gained a massive uptick in visitors last year with the Heat. He (of course) opted out and I would expect him to get at least $15M a year from somebody. Prediction: Re-signs with Miami – 3 years, $50M

UPDATE: The Miami Heat have re-signed Dion Waiters to a 4 year, $52M deal.

3. Shaun Livingston – Golden State Warriors

They won’t have the money to keep both Livingston and Iguodala, so it’ll be interesting to see which one leaves. Prediction: Signs with the Dallas Mavericks – 3 years, $44M

UPDATE: Livingston has agreed to a 3 year, $24M contract to return to the Warriors

4. Kyle Korver – Cleveland Cavaliers

He didn’t have a great end to the season after being traded to Cleveland, but I don’t think he’ll go anywhere at least for next season. Prediction: Re-signs with the Cavs – 1 year, $5M

UPDATE: Cavs to re-sign Korver to a 3 year, $21M deal

5. Vince Carter – Memphis Grizzlies

There have been talks with him going to a contender, and it would be great to see VC win one before his career ends. Will have lots of suitors though. Prediction: VC signs with the Warriors for the veterans minimum

UPDATE: Vince Carter will sign with the Sacramento Kings on a 1 year, $8M deal

Small Forwards

1. Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors

Durant will go back to the Warriors, but for how much? Durant has reportedly told the Warriors that he would be willing to take less money to keep the core together, and he will wait until the end of July before signing a deal. Prediction: Re-signs with the Warriors – 5 years, $205M

UPDATE: Kevin Durant to re-sign with the Warriors – 2 years, $53M with opt out after first year

2. Gordon Hayward – Utah Jazz

The biggest decision of this year’s free agent class lies with Hayward. He’s the #1 option with Utah, but there’s no denying the Brad Steven connection. The rest of the league likely waits on his decision. Prediction: Hayward re-signs with Utah – 5 years, $178M

UPDATE: Hayward to leave Utah for the Boston Celtics – 4 years, $128M

3. Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors

He’s gaining a lot of interest around the league (to no one’s surprise) and could leave the Warriors. Will he cash in on what’s likely his last big contract, or take a pay-cut in order to stay on a championship team. Prediction: Re-signs with the Warriors – 3 years, $24M

UPDATE: Iguodala turns down Rockets to re-sign with Golden State – 3 years, $48M

4. Danilo Gallinari – Denver Nuggets

Gallinari will get many offers from middling and contending teams alike. It all depends on whether he is willing to take a pay-cut. Prediction: Signs with the Miami Heat – 3 years, $62M

UPDATE: Danilo Gallinari agrees to sign and trade to the LA Clippers – 3 years, $65M

5. Rudy Gay – Sacramento Kings

Coming off an achilles injury, it’ll be interesting to see the market for him. He still could get a big money contract especially if teams with cap room miss out on stars. Prediction: Signs with OKC – 3 years, $45M

UPDATE: Rudy Gay will sign a 2 year, $17M deal with the San Antonio Spurs

Power Forwards

1. Blake Griffin – LA Clippers

With Chris Paul gone, I expect Griffin to stay in LA where he can be “the man.” Prediction: Re-signs with LA – 4 years, $145M

UPDATE: Blake Griffin has agreed to a 5 year, $173M deal with the Clippers

2. Paul Millsap – Atlanta Hawks

No way I see a scenario where he stays with the Hawks. Prediction: Signs with the Phoenix Suns – 4 years, $130M

UPDATE: PaulMillsap will sign with the Denver Nuggets – 3 years, $90M

3. Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors

I think the market for him will be smaller than he imagined it would be. Prediction: Resigns with the Raptors – 3 years, $70M

UPDATE: Ibaka to return to Raptors – 3 years $65M

4. Pau Gasol – San Antonio Spurs

He opted out so he can sign a long term deal. I think that happens. Prediction: Re-signs with San Antonio – 3 years, $60M

5. Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies

Randolph will definitely be tempted to chase a ring elsewhere. Prediction: Re-signs with Memphis – 3 years, $48M

UPDATE: Z-Bo to leave the Grit and Grind, will sign with Sacramento – 2 years, $28M

Centers

1. De-Wayne Dedmon – San Antonio Spurs

After re-signing Gasol, the Spurs won’t have the money to bring him back. Prediction – Signs with the Golden State Warriors – 3 years, $25M (Mid-Level Exception)

2. JaVale McGee – Golden State Warriors

After the resurgence he had last year, he might be able to get a bigger contract elsewhere. Prediction: Re-signs with the Warriors – 2 years, $5M

3. Nene – Houston Rockets

He’s recovering from an injury and at 34 years old, likely will have a small market. Prediction: Re-signs with Houston – 1 year, $2M

UPDATE: Nene has agreed to a 3 year, $11M deal with the Houston Rockets

4. Kelly Olynyk – Boston Celtics

Currently a RFA, I think the Celtics will renounce his rights in order to clear money for a bigger name. Prediction: Signs with the Atlanta Hawks – 2 years, $16M

UPDATE: Kelly Olynyk has agreed to a 4 year, $50M deal with the Miami Heat

5. Andrew Bogut – None

He’s telling teams he will be fully healthy by the start of next season. I think a contender signs him to be a backup. Prediction: Signs with the San Antonio Spurs – 1 year veterans minimum.

 

And there you have it! There are my predictions for 2017 free agency! I always love this time of year, and it should be a lot of fun. Have fun being glued to Twitter, I know I will.

Post by Thomas Mooney

Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomas_mooney1

Follow the blog on Twitter @AFewGoodMics

Listen to the podcast on iTunes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s