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NBA: a look at the main free agents on the market

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The market for free agents in the NBA, again this year, will have a significant impact on the teams that want to claim the title. The decision of some impactful players could significantly change the landscape at the dawn of next season.

League rules made overtime so suitable for veterans during a time when salaries increased faster than the cap.

However, a handful of overtime will be available when the NBA’s free agent season officially opens Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. Players and teams can agree on contracts during this moratorium period, but cannot conclude them before 6 July.

Kyrie Irving | Chief | Brooklyn networks

All eyes of the NBA will be on Kyrie Irving’s decision in the coming days, both as to how it will affect the market and how it could affect the future of Brooklyn teammate Kevin Durant. .

Since only a handful of teams will have room to absorb Irving’s 36.9 million order, a drop likely won’t bring Irving back to market. However, a nightmare scenario opens up for the Nets if Irving signs elsewhere and leaves Brooklyn with nothing in return.

That threat could help Irving find a prime destination if he and the Nets can’t agree on a new contract.

james harden | Guard | Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden also has until Wednesday to decide whether to accept the option year under his contract. Since Harden is already earning more than the maximum salary (his option is $ 47.4 million), this decision really depends on how both parties want to structure his next contract.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that Harden intends to apply his option. He could also extend his contract with the 76ers for a few seasons, at most.

Bradley Beal | Guard | Wizards of Washington

Although Beal is content to extend his contract with the Wizards, he can increase his 2022-23 salary to the expected maximum of $ 42.7 million. According to Wojnarowski, it is very likely that Beal will reject the option and will again sign a five-year contract worth $ 248 million with Washington that will keep him in Washington until he turns 33.

Zach LaVine | Guard | Chicago Bulls

Zach Lavine has become a champion and the Bulls probably should have renegotiated his deal first, but instead they decided to add Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan last summer.

Lavine can now aim for a maximum value contract in the market.

However, the Bulls are the only team that can offer LaVine a five-year contract, which represents a not insignificant option for the guard who would have turned 32 at the end of his contract.

Deandre Ayton | Center | Alone Fenice

After refusing to extend Ayton last fall, the Suns now face a tough decision. They will have to offer him a maximum offer during the limited free will period if they cannot find a replacement by mutual agreement.

Ayton remains one of the NBA’s great puzzles. Is he a multi-talent center or simply the product of a supportive environment alongside Chris Paul and Devin Booker?

The answer probably lies somewhere in between.

The Pistons seemed ready to make a bid for Ayton, but ultimately chose Jalen Duren in the project.

Ayton’s case is one of the most intriguing as the free agent season approaches.

Bridge miles | Ala | Charlotte Hornets

Bridges’ stellar season, averaging 20.2 points per game, has come on time.

Shoppers can rejoice that Bridges season wasn’t the product of a fortune, as its 3-point percentage dropped to 33% after hitting 40% in 2020-21. Instead, Bridges showed massive growth by creating attacks for himself and others at just 24.

Given Bridges’ ability to play in any winger position, he fits pretty much anywhere and will be a prime target when the market opens.

Collin Sexton | Guard | Cleveland Cavaliers

In 2020-21, Sexton ranked 18th in the NBA with an average of 24.3 points per game. Of the 17 players that preceded him, 16 were elected to the All-Star Game. Sexton did it in a season when he turned 22 and typically players like that don’t reach the free agent market.

Sexton’s situation was complicated by the way the Cavaliers played in his absence after suffering a meniscus tear early last season. As a 6-foot-1 shooting guard, Sexton has obvious defensive shortcomings. However, her scoring potential could allow him to earn a significant salary.

Anfernee Simons | Chief | Portland track blazer

Simons took full advantage of teammate Damian Lillard’s injury to prove he is a real attacking threat. Simons, who just turned 23 earlier this month, got the keys to Portland’s bout when Lillard was sidelined and averaged 22.0 points and 5.5 assists with an efficiency impressive (.600 real shot percentage) in 30 starts.

The Blazers sold CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans, allowing Simons to take on the role of McCollum playing alongside Lillard as a starting guard and supporting him on point.

Simons is practically certain to return to Portland. The question is how close his new contract will be to the maximum allowed for players with less than seven years of experience: $ 30.5 million.

Jalen Brunson | Chief | Dallas Maverick

It is significant that the free agent who receives the most attention before July 1 is a player who was on the bench until last season and who is entering his prime (Brunson turns 26 in August). While starting alongside Luka Doncic, Brunson proved he can be effective in a hybrid role by initiating the attack and positioning himself around another creator (he has a 37% success rate on 3-point shots).

Perhaps most importantly, Brunson improved his playoff performance. He averaged 21.6 points after a disappointing first-round winning streak against the Clippers in 2021, which left observers wondering if he would be able to keep his worth against a defense of high level.

The New York Knicks seem like a natural suitor to acquire him, having recently hired his father (Rick Brunson) as an assistant coach.

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