Free Agency will be approaching soon in the summer (or perhaps fall should the season and draft be pushed further), and this free agency is stacked with stars. Where are these players signing? We’ve got you covered with predictions!
1. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis as #1 free agent is a no brainer. The Laker’s forward has put up 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 55 games this season. A little over a year ago, Anthony Davis had requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. Many anticipated him to be traded to the Lakers by the trade deadline, however, the Pelicans weren’t high on the Lakers offer. Later in the off-season, Davis was traded, and has thrived playing alongside LeBron James. The superstars are currently leading the Lakers to the first seed in the west.
It seems that Davis likes his new team in Los Angeles. Will he stay though? Davis has his mind set on winning a championship to cement his legacy in history once he retires. This led to him requesting a trade from New Orleans in the first place. The results of this season (if it continues) likely will influence his free agency choice and Davis has been rumored to sign with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. Although many believe this is the choice, he likely will stay with LeBron and attempt to build a dynasty.
Final verdict: Davis resigns with the Lakers.
2. Brandon Ingram
Ever since Brandon Ingram got traded to New Orleans, he’s been thriving as a star. His averages of 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists earned him a ticket to the all-star team, his first all-star appearance. Here’s the hitch: Brandon is a restricted free agent.
With New Orleans having one of the best young cores in the league, they’re looking to make the playoffs next year. Having Ingram leave won’t be ideal for them, thus it is likely that they’ll match any option for him. New Orleans was expected to make the playoffs this season, however is currently in the 10th seed, and as to how the rest of the season will be conducted is unknown, it seems unlikely they can make a push for the playoffs. With that said, it is crucial not to forget about the injury of the first overall pick of the draft, Zion Williamson. His injury started in the Preseason and lasted all they way to late January, resulting in New Orleans falling short of the playoffs. Whether or not Ingram wants to stay is irrelevant, the Pelicans are going to match any offer he gets.
Final verdict: Brandon stays in New Orleans.
3. Andre Drummond
Pistons were desperate to ship Andre Drummond before the trade deadline. His expiring contract made it hard to find a trade suitor, however, at last, they traded him to Cleveland minutes before the deadline. Cleveland was able to dump two horrible contracts (from John Henson and Brandon Knight) and have Andre Drummond play out the season with them, at the very least. Drummond, who has played 8 games for the Cavs, has put up 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks.
The Cavs have two young lottery picks in Sexton and Garland. Also, veterans Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, the only ones remaining from the 2016 championship team, each can be solid for the Cavs next season, despite them aging. It would be hard to see why Drummond wouldn’t re-sign. He’s still young himself (26 years of age) and he can help this Cleveland team make the playoffs as a 6-8 seed. Plus, his $28.8m player option deal won’t be given to him anywhere else except Cleveland. There’s no reason for him to reject money like that.
Final verdict: Andre resigns with the Cavs.
4. Montrezl Harrell
Montrezl Harrell has been a beast for the Clippers this season, with averages of 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks off the bench. He’s the 6th man any team would dream of. The Clippers acquired him in the trade that sent Chris Paul to Houston. Upon joining the Clippers, his career took quite a turn. He went from a nobody to an impactful role player.
With the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the past off-season, the Clippers are finally read to contend. They’ve been dominating this year, currently residing in the second seed in the west. They have a huge chance to win the finals this year (should the season resume), and can win for a couple more years with Leonard and George under contract. Why leave? Harrell has the chance to bring his impact on a team that needs his energy off the bench to win. His situation couldn’t be more perfect.
Final Verdict: Harrell resigns with the Clippers.
5. DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan was probably the most loyal player the Raptors have had this decade. Yet they still traded him in the 2018 off-season for Kawhi Leonard. The rest of the Raptors season was historic. Demar this season is putting up 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists for the Spurs. Many might criticize him as a “playoff choker,” yet, DeMar still has value for teams looking to make a deeper run in the playoffs.
At the 2020 trade deadline, San Antonio was looking to trade DeMar, and the Orlando Magic showed great interest in him. Orlando made the playoffs last year as a 7th seed, and exited in the first round. Pairing Nikola Vucevic with another all-star will hopefully help the Magic make a deeper run throughout the playoffs, possibly as a second round exit. The Magic also have Markelle Fultz, who is starting to stay healthy and has started to show some of the talent that was expected of him in draft night. The Magic already have a shooter (Evan Fournier) and just need someone else who can score alongside Vucevic. This is where DeMar comes in.
Final Verdict: DeMar signs with the Magic, or any other team of their caliber.