On July 1, the NBA free agency period begins. It will be a period chock-full of anxiety and manic travel for all 30 franchises. The goal is simple: Improve your team with the hopes of eventually challenging the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors.
As for the champs in the Bay Area, this period will primarily be used to retool and re-sign existing free agents from last year’s title team.
Not only did we rank the best free agents out on the market, but predictions will be given as to where these talented players will eventually play next season.
Note: While Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Nerlens Noel are technically free agents, none of them are going anywhere.
20. G/F Kyle Korver: Age 36
Despite his age, Korver remains one of the best shooters in the league. The gunner from Creighton shot an eye-popping 44.7-percent from three this past year. Korver will never be a star defender — nor is he a big-minute player at this point in his career. With that said, he’s a player with an elite skill. These sorts of players tend to stick around despite diminishing athleticism.
It isn’t exactly known as to whether the Cavs will make a play to bring Korver back. A bad squad may overpay Korver to be a starter, though a contender would gladly bring him off the bench as a specialist. The Lakers — a team in need of both shooting and experience — will nab Korver with a short, incentives-laden deal. He should get plenty of open looks with Lonzo Ball patrolling the point guard position.
Verdict: Korver signs with the Los Angeles Lakers
19. G/F Jonathon Simmons: Age 27
Simmons is the classic case of a player making himself tons of money via a strong playoff performance. We saw little used Bismack Biyombo transform himself into a $72 million-dollar player based upon one excellent playoff series.
Simmons has turned himself into the traditional Spurs player — excelling in energy and effort. Duly, he’s a fantastic athlete and has shown glimpses of being a capable scorer. While he’s got some upside, he isn’t overly proven. There will be one team willing to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at Simmons. As a restricted free agent, San Antonio has the opportunity to match. The Spurs likely will wait and see what will happen when addressing the point guard spot (aka Chris Paul). As such, they might not have the resources to bring him back — especially since they also have to determine the futures of Patty Mills and (potentially) Manu Ginobili.
Verdict: San Antonio will not match a potential offer to retain Simmons. The small forward will join a rebuilding team (such as the New York Knicks or the Phoenix Suns).
18. G/F Shaun Livingston: Age 31
Golden State is in a bit of predicament. The Warriors will re-sign both Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. In addition, the franchise is planning for when both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will become free agents in the upcoming years. It doesn’t help when the team’s two best role players — Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala — are free agents.
Livingston has been a vital piece to head coach Steve Kerr’s championship puzzle. His versatility allows for him to play multiple positions on the floor. Livingston can initiate the offense, post the ball up on the block versus smaller players, and also be effective from the perimeter. A seasoned vet, Livingston will garner interest from teams all across the league.
Verdict: Livingston will re-sign with Golden State. The Warriors retain his Bird Rights — thus allowing for them to go over the cap in order to keep him in the fold.
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