With the Golden State Warriors winning the championship, the NBA season is over. Though many might think there won’t be much happening until the beginning of next season, if you pay attention to basketball, it’s known that the free agent season can be nerve wracking. Signings and trades can shape the future of a team, and teams could lose star players or gain them. Let’s take a look into what’s in store this off-season.
Here are some of this year’s biggest free agents:
Harden is surprisingly still available as an unrestricted free agent, meaning that he is able to sign with any team that he wants. He was traded earlier in the year to the Sixers from the Nets in a deal that sent Stephen Curry, Andre Drummond, and Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets. After the end of the season, Harden opted out of his $17.4 million player option for the next season with the Sixers. Even though he declined his option, he is still expected to sign a multi-year deal with Philadelphia for more money.
As expected, Ayton has been this year’s most interesting free agent. Ayton is a restricted free agent, which means that if a team offers him a deal, and Phoenix matches it, he has to stay with Phoenix and take that deal. However, if Phoenix doesn’t match the offer, he’s permitted to leave and sign that deal with that different team. What is interesting about Ayton is that there seems to have been a falling out between him and the Phoenix Suns. There is potential that he will go to Brooklyn on a sign and trade since Kevin Durant is seeking a trade from the Nets as Phoenix is actively trying to sign Durant. Ayton also has options with the Indiana Pacers. If he remains unsigned by the time Kevin Durant is traded, there is a potential he will either sign a multi-year deal with the Suns since he is still only 24 years old and has proven to be a reliable center.
The free agency negotiations opened up on June 30th, but players aren’t allowed to officially sign with teams until July 6th. Some players have already come to agreements with teams that won’t become official until the 6th. These deals include:
Zach LaVine, who’s agreed to a five-year deal with the Bulls worth $215.2 million.
Bradley Beal has reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth $251 million with the Washington Wizards.
Jalen Brunson (previously with the Knicks) has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth $104 million with the New York Knicks.
With the off-season just starting, there’s sure to be blockbuster deals and signings that no one sees coming. It’ll be exciting to see how the off season plays out and forms the teams for next season. Take a look at the NBA free agency site to stay up to date with signings here!