By Samuel Kobi
This year the NBA free agent class isn’t the most impressive. The end of the season has hurt many teams financially, but few are looking to acquire new players to be part of the team. At the top of the list is:
1. Anthony Davis(Power Forward/Center)
2019-20 Stats: 26.1ppg, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 blocks
This past year, Davis won his first NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers, making his appeal even bigger. AD is a big man that can score and at the same time a great defender. With astounding stats, Davis is put at the top of the free-agent list, but there is very little chance he switches teams.
Main Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
2. Brandon Ingram(Power Forward/Small Forward)
2019-20 Stats: 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1 steal
Brandon Ingram played great in the NBA bubble and during the rest of the regular season. He was named an All-Star in the 2019-2020 season. Accompanying him on the Pelicans is Zion Williamson, who is looking very promising for the upcoming season. This is a stellar duo. The Pelicans are looking to re-sign Ingram as he is a large part of the Pelicans’ bright future. If Ingram doesn’t re-sign with the Pelicans, teams that may sign him are the Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks.
Main Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans
3. Fred VanVleet(Point Guard/Shooting Guard)
2019-20 Stats: 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.9 steals
Fred VanVleet won a title in 2019 and had a great playoff run this past postseason which significantly helped improve his stock. The Toronto Raptors are in an awkward position with three of their players; Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Fred VanVleet, all up for free agency. The Toronto guard could re-sign or go to the Detroit Pistons or Miami Heat. The Detroit Pistons are rebuilding, so they have a lot of cap space. They are looking for a solid point guard to support Blake Griffin, their star player. As Miami’s players Solomon Hill, Meyers Leonard, Goran Dragic, and Jae Crowder are free agents now, the Heat also have a lot of cap space. Fred VanVleet would fit in well, being able to shoot in the backcourt and get the ball to his teammates. Soon after Raptor Kyle Lowry retires, Fred VanVleet is the up and coming star on the Toronto Raptors.
Main Prediction: Detroit Pistons
4. Demar DeRozan(Shooting Guard/Small Forward)
2019-20 Stats: 22.1ppg, 5.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 53.1 FG%
Demar DeRozan is a veteran player with a lot of playoff experience. Some possible places DeRozan can sign to are to the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, or Sacramento Kings. After the departure of Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics the Hornets only won 24 games. With a very young team adding a skilled veteran player would be a good start to the offseason pushing the Hornets in the right direction. Another very young team is the Chicago Bulls. They also could use a prolific scorer and skilled veteran to help out. The Sacramento Kings’ new general manager is Monte McNair, the former assistant GM for the Houston Rockets. He was interested in signing DeRozan to the Rockets last year so may try and do the same this year.
Main Prediction: Charlotte Hornets
5. Andre Drummond(Center/Power Forward)
2019-20 stats: 17.8 ppg, 15.8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1.7 blocks, 53 FG%
Despite Andre Drummond’s stellar stats, he went to the Cavaliers for close to nothing. He has a 28.7 million dollar player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will probably take this deal because he doesn’t expect anything close to that number from any other team.
Main Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Montrezl Harrell(Power Forward/Center)
2019-20 Stats: 18.6ppg, 7.1 rebounds, 58 FG%, 1.1 blocks
This past year Montrezl Harrell won the sixth man award. During the playoffs, he got into it with a few of his teammates on the Clippers. If he doesn’t re-sign with the Clippers, some possible teams Harrell could go to are the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. As mentioned earlier, the Miami Heat have a lot of cap space. Montrezl Harrell could be an excellent power forward or center for the Miami Heat coming into the next season as Meyers Leonard’s contract has expired. Montrezl Harrell could also go to the New York Knicks. The Knicks have been rebuilding for a long time now. Adding Montrezl Harrell could be a good start to fill the power forward position.
Main Prediction: Miami Heat
7. Gordon Hayward(Small Forward/Shooting Guard)
2019-20 stats: 17.5 ppg, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 50 FG%
Gordan Hayward has a 32 million dollar player option and stays with the Celtics. Another team may offer him better, like the Miami Heat or New York Knicks, because of the unimpressive free agent class. The Miami Heat could use Hayward as a solid bench player. Also, the Knicks have a lot of cap space and could use a player like Gordon Hayward as a small forwarder shooting guard.
Main Prediction: Boston Celtics
8. Goran Dragic(Point Guard/Shooting Guard)
2019-20 stats: 16.2 ppg, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.7 steals
Goran Dragic had a tremendous season. He played very well in the playoffs and was made a starter until his injury. Some say the Heat could’ve won the Finals if he wasn’t injured. Dragic was very helpful throughout the Heat season and postseason which is why he could re-sign with them. If he doesn’t stay wit the Heat he could go to the Mavericks. In the bubble the Mavericks had trouble filling the point guard spot. Goran Dragic would be a great addition to the Dallas team.
Main Prediction: Miami Heat
9. Danilo Gallinari(Small Forward/Power Forward)
2019-20 stats: 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals
Danillo Gallinari had a great season performance but didn’t do as well in the playoffs. He is unlikely to re-sign with the Thunder, and he was planning to sign with Dallas, but the deal fell through just recently. Since he isn’t going to either of these teams, some possible teams for him to sign to are the Rockets and the Chicago Bulls. The Rockets have lost their head coach Mike D’Antoni, and their assistant GM, Monte McNair, the team’s approach will change drastically. The Rockets aren’t finals contenders but could use a small or power forward like Danillo Gallinari. The Chicago Bulls are crafting their team around star Zach Levine. Adding a solid small/power forward like Danillo Gallinari to the mix would strengthen the team.
Main Prediction: Houston Rockets
10. Evan Fournier(Shooting Guard/Small Forward)
2019-20 stats: 18.5 ppg, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals
Evan Fournier played a great season with a career-high average of 18.5 ppg. He has a 17 million dollar player option but may decide not to take it so he can take a more secure, long-term deal for himself. Some teams that would be a good fit for Fournier are the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. Evan Fournier would be a nice stable replacement for the point guard, Kevin Heurter, on the Hawks. On the other hand, Evan Fournier could also go to the Pistons, where he would support the Detroit star, Blake Griffin.
Main Prediction: Atlanta Hawks