Small forward is the marquee free agent class of 2016.
LeBron James isn’t leaving Cleveland (yet), but Kevin Durant is next in line and he is taking meetings with a variety of teams — he probably stays in Oklahoma City, but nothing is set in stone.
After that come a number of players who could help teams — Nicolas Batum, Harrison Barnes, Chandler Parsons, Luol Deng and others. In this latest PBT Extra I talk about the top five at the is position and who could land where. Including Durant.
The Brooklyn Nets need a point guard, they just waived their best one from last season in Jarrett Jack.
The Brooklyn Nets need to sell tickets and increase local viewship on their broadcasts.
One guy who might help in both those areas? Jeremy Lin. And the Nets are going to go hard after him, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
If you want another connection, new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was an assistant to Mike D’Antoni with the Knicks back in the Linsanity days.
While Lin’s numbers last season were similar to previous years, he looked more comfortable on the court in Charlotte. He averaged 11.7 points and three assists per game mostly in a sixth-man role for the Hornets — he had the ball in his hands more than in Houston or Los Angeles, which allowed him to play to his strengths of attacking and creating.
In Brooklyn, with Brook Lopez as his pick-and-roll partner, Lin could do some damage and have a good season. Add a couple of shooters around them and the Nets will not suck (which should be their goal after last season).
Lin has other options. Charlotte would like to retain him, but it will be difficult because they have several key free agents and have rightly prioritized re-signing Nicolas Batum. When other teams strike out on Mike Conley Lin will get calls.
Wherever Lin lands, he’s going to make a whole lot more than the $2.2 million he had to settle for a year ago.
There are a couple interesting players at the top of our list of best free agent shooting guards — except they aren’t going anywhere.
DeMar DeRozan is only meeting with the Raptors, and the Wizards will match any offer for Bradley Beal.
When you’re talking about players who could be on the move and really help teams the most likely name is Kent Bazemore (who is going to take his time and not make a decision until after the Fourth of July). Dwyane Wade is threatening to leave Miami, but we saw this movie last year and the sense is this is just him looking for leverage.
I take a look at all of it in this latest PBT Extra video.
The Nets shopped around the idea that another team could save just shy of $6 million in cap space by trading for then waiving Jarrett Jack, but there have been no takers.
So the Nets will save that money themselves — they have waived Jack, the team announced.
The Nets are now on the hook for Jack’s $500,000 buyout, unless a team snaps him up off waivers. This will give the Nets a little more money to spend in free agency.
And it is possible a team just picks him up off waivers (taking on his $6.3 million contract for next season). Jack is a solid backup point who can get a team some buckets, he averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 assists per game last season.
There are two issues: He’s coming off ACL surgery, and he turns 33 right as next season starts.
He’s going to get picked up as a backup point guard, but more likely teams will wait to see how the market shakes out then try to get him on an even more favorable deal (for them).
When we broke out the top five point guards on the market, we noted that there is an All-Star level player in Mike Conley and then the talent pool drops off quickly.
But there are some interesting players on the market — what teams will want Jeremy Lin and how much are they willing to pay him? Can the Mavericks keep Deron Williams? Will teams pay much for Rajon Rondo, or did they see him hunting stats last season in Sacramento and still have doubts?
I talk about all this in this latest PBT Extra.
There’s not a lot of great talent (which is why after the market settles, expect trade rumors for ones like Ricky Rubio to surface again) but there are some interesting questions and fits in this group.