The trade deadline is in the past and the focus is shifting to the draft and this year’s class of free agents. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders takes a broad look at free agency for the summer ahead, passing along a number of noteworthy tidbits from his conversations around the league. His entire NBA AM piece is worth a read as he examines the outlook for several teams, and we’ll hit the highlights here:
- The Celtics are planning to target marquee free agents this summer, with Kevin Love atop their list, followed by Greg Monroe, Kyler writes. Marc Gasol and restricted free agents Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler are others in Boston’s sights, sources tell Kyler. It appears the Celtics will look to re-sign Brandon Bass to a salary lower than the $6.9MM he’s making this season, Kyler suggests, also indicating a likelihood that the Celtics renounce Jonas Jerebko‘s rights. That wouldn’t preclude a new deal with Jerebko, something that Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported earlier that the Celtics would like, though it does indicate that the C’s aim to open cap space. That’s a path of questionable merit, as I examined.
- There’s a “sense” that the Sixers will make a play for Monroe, too, as well as Butler, Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson, according to Kyler.
- Monroe, Love and Rajon Rondo are at least willing to meet with the Lakers this summer, Kyler hears, though Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge are long shots for the team, the Basketball Insiders scribe cautions. Still, chatter is connecting the Lakers to just about every would-be free agent, including Jackson and Brandon Knight.
- It’s unlikely that Rondo gets a full maximum-salary deal in free agency this summer, league sources tell Kyler, who surmises that teams would float short-term max offers instead. A full max from the Mavs would entail a five-year deal with 7.5% raises, while other teams can offer four years and 4.5% raises.
- Sources also tell Kyler that they believe Monta Ellis will opt out this summer, which is no surprise given his level of play and the $8.72MM value of his player option.
- Kyler also gets the sense that Paul Millsap is content with the Hawks and would like to stay for the long term, though it appears Atlanta is eyeing an upgrade at DeMarre Carroll‘s small forward position.
- The Spurs will make Gasol their top free agent priority this summer, Kyler writes, though the team will have trouble signing him if Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili return at salaries comparable to the ones they’re making. In any case, San Antonio was believed to be the team with the most interest in Monroe last summer, Kyler adds.