The NBA Free Agent hype was real. Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, Mike Conley became the NBA’s highest paid player and Pau Gasol replaced Tim Duncan. Everyone in the NBA is getting paid. With every team having money, many free agents are off the market. The remaining free agents, except one, aren’t signing mega-deals or influencing power change in the NBA. These are the best of the rest.
PG Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson is a low-risk, high-reward free agent. Last season was his worst and he looks to turn his career around. Lawson averaged 5.7 points per game with the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers combined. He averaged career low’s in points and minutes per game. Two DUI arrests in 2015 didn’t help his on-court production. With no issues, yet, this offseason, Lawson finally has time to clear his head. In the previous seasons he averaged 15-17 points and 7-10 assists per game. This is Lawson’s second and final chance in the NBA.
Potential Destinations: Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings
SG J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith took a pay cut last offseason to remain on the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will have to again if he wants to return. Smith stepped up as the Cavaliers starter since he was traded by the New York Knicks. Last season he shot 40 percent from three for the first time in seven seasons. He could easily chase the money in free agency, but it’s clear Smith is enjoying his time as a champion. Expect him to take that pay cut and return to the Cavaliers.
Potential Destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder
SF LeBron James
LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. He is expected to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a two-year deal with a player option the second season. It will be larger than Kevin Durant’s two year, $54.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. No one knows when James will sign his new deal but Cleveland has nothing to worry about. Let James enjoy his time bringing a title to Cleveland.
Potential Destinations: Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Cavaliers
PF Donatas Motiejunas
Donatas Motiejunas entered a big contract season with the Houston Rockets. He looked to improve off his career high 12 points and 5.9 rebounds per game the previous season. His season was cut short due to a back injury and only played 37 games. Today, he is still dealing with a back injury. Many teams fear his frequent setbacks from back surgery in 2015. Minus the injury, Motiejunas brings value to any team as a 7-foot forward who can shoot. The Rockets final say because he is a restricted free agent.
Potential Destinations: Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs
C David Lee
David Lee started 2015 with the Boston Celtics and ended 2016 on the Dallas Mavericks. His play on the Mavericks will serve him well in his contract negotiations. Lee averaged 8.5 points and 7 rebounds per game in Dallas. He played in all 25 games, scored in double figures 11 times and posted four double double’s. At 33, Lee can play when given the chance.
Potential Destinations: Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors