With NBA Free Agency less than 60 days away, lets take a look at who will be some of the names that your favorite team could consider adding this summer.
The 2019 Center class has the potential to be very deep only if some players decide to opt out of final year of contracts. So lets take a look at how I rank the upcoming free agent class.
- Nikola Vucevic- Orlando Magic- Unrestricted
- Al Horford- Boston Celtics- Unrestricted- Player Option
- DeMarcus Cousins- Golden State Warriors- Unrestricted
- Marc Gasol- Toronto Raptors- Unrestricted- Player Option
- Hassan Whiteside- Miami Heat- Unrestricted- Player Option
- Jonas Valanciunas- Memphis Grizzlies- Unrestricted- Player Option
- Enes Kanter- Portland Trail Blazers- Unrestricted
- DeAndre Jordan- New York Knicks- Unrestricted
- Robin Lopez- Chicago Bulls- Unrestricted
- Dewayne Dedmon- Atlanta Hawks- Unrestricted
Vucevic became a first-time all-star this season as he led the Orlando Magic back to the playoffs in 7 seasons. But when the bright lights of the playoffs came on, he didn’t have his best set of games as his Magic were eliminated by the Raptors. He had every chance to put the pressure on teams to pay him a maximum contract. But since he didn’t, he should command a big payday if he decides to leave Orlando. Hello, Dallas.
Cousins, was well on his way to earning his big summer deal until another injury potentially derailed that chance. The good news is that he could return for the NBA Finals and the bad news is that with second potential major injury in less than 2 years could be he considered an injury risk? What we do know is he won’t be back in Oakland, so is another California team be in his future? He has worn jersey colors with purple and yellow in two seperate stops, so maybe why not combine them?
Now 4 of my top 6 centers have player options and their situations are just as interesting. Horford and Gasol are entering the mid 30’s player option season. That means they a big money on the table for next season if they opt-in. But would they want to opt-out, take less money next season and take more money long-term? Expect Al to resign in Boston, but Gasol’s future could be depended on what Kawhi Leonard does.
I don’t expect Hassan Whiteside to opt-out of $27 million, but he could have a few suitors if he decides on opting out. But Jonas is an interesting case. He only has a $15 million dollar player option, sounds like alot of money. But the way good big-men get paid in this league, he defiantly under priced. Is he willing to be on himself this summer or the next and that’s his real question.
Kanter, Jordan and Lopez should all get looks from teams looking to contend for the NBA Finals. But they could be also mid-level exception candidates as well.
- Willie Cauley-Stein- Sacramento Kings-Restricted
- Brook Lopez- Milwaukee Bucks- Unrestricted
- Thomas Bryant- Washington Wizards- Restricted
- JaVale McGee- Los Angeles Lakers- Unrestricted
- Jahlil Okafor- New Orleans Pelicans- Unrestricted- Team Option