Free Agent Stock Watch: Restart Edition

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. With the first round of the playoffs ongoing at the Orlando campus, it’s time to examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors.

Jordan Clarkson, Jazz, 27, SG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $50MM deal in 2016
The late-December deal with the Cavaliers that sent Clarkson to Utah was one of the most impactful trades this season. Clarkson filled a much-needed role as a scorer off the bench for the Jazz. He has reinforced his value during the restart, particularly during the first-round series with Mike Conley leaving Orlando for the birth of a child. Clarkson averaged 22.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.0 APG in the first two playoff games against Denver and was a team-best +33 in Friday’s Game 3 win. Utah will certainly try to retain Clarkson but the Jazz will have competition for one of the league’s top reserves in the prime of his career.

Paul Millsap, Nuggets, 35, PF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $90MM deal in 2017
Michael Porter Jr. has been playing some small forward for Denver during the restart due to injuries but his future in the current NBA is at the four, the spot Millsap has occupied when healthy. Millsap’s performances in the restart have been rather forgettable – 10 points or less in five of seven seeding games, along with 21 total points and seven rebounds in 65 minutes during the first three games of the Utah series. Perhaps the Nuggets will bring back Millsap if he’s willing to accept a modest contract and a bench role. It’s hard to see any other team viewing the big man as a starter at this stage of his career, so interest in him may be limited.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Nets, 25, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.48MM deal in 2019
Luwawu-Cabarrot has been one of the big surprises in Orlando. The Nets staggered into Orlando with a depleted roster, but the performances of Luwawu-Cabarrot and other unsung players allowed them to win five seeding games. He scored 24 or more points in three seeding games and has been a major factor off the bench against Toronto in the Nets’ first-round playoff series, averaging 21.5 PPG in the first two games while making 47.4% of his 3-point attempts before the Raptors slowed him down on Friday. His $1.8MM salary for next season is not guaranteed, but he has forced Brooklyn’s hand to retain him beyond this season.

Trey Burke, Mavericks, 27, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $229K deal in 2020
Burke filled a roster spot this summer with Willie Cauley-Stein opting out of the restart. Though the Mavs still had other guard options, Burke has played steady minutes off the bench, averaging 12.0 PPG and 3.8 APG in the eight seeding games. He impacted Game 2 of the playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes. If nothing else, the 6-foot point man who has played for five organizations proved this summer he belongs on an NBA roster as a second-unit floor leader.

Jeff Green, Rockets, 33, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $696K deal in 2020
Raise your hand if you thought Green would be an impact player this postseason after the Jazz lopped him off the roster to add a G League standout. The Rockets rescued him off the scrap heap and he’s been a marvelous fit in Mike D’Antoni’s small ball system. Green scored in double digits in all but one of the seeding games and he’s been a huge factor against Oklahoma City in the playoffs, averaging 18.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 35.0 MPG through two games. If D’Antoni remains in Houston beyond this season, Green will likely re-sign there. If not, the journeyman has earned another opportunity to wear an NBA uniform.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 thoughts on “Free Agent Stock Watch: Restart Edition

  1. Sillivan

    Lakers or Knicks would offer $6 million to Jeff Green. This would test how much Rockets owner will pay the luxury tax for Gordon (portion) and Green.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Even with him playing so great for the Rockets right now, add in the fact he turns 34 next week, plus he has been making the vet minimum for the last 3 seasons, so it would seem extremely unlikely that anyone uses their MLE to sign him. I’m sure he will be more than happy to come back to Houston for the veteran minimum.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Not if Lakers want him. I can’t believe he finally made sense ?? Lakers considered Contenders. Why wouldn’t he rather play in LA. Plus Lakers can’t get anyone except minimum players. He’s actually a very good option. They need another SF with size.

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            The Rockets are considered contenders just as much as the Lakers. And after Utah cut Green last December he was available for close to 2 months until Houston finally decided to give him a chance after the AS break.

            Also he started his career with Seattle/OKC and played with both Harden and Westbrook then, so these guys have history together. Green knows that he fits well with the Rockets, and there’s no way of telling how he would fit in with the Lakers. I’m sure he would much rather stay in Houston with their excellent team chemistry than go to LA.

            • KnickerbockerAl

              Green was gone 2011-12. Har en played 1 yr 1/2 with Green. 3 yrs with Westbrook. And he was a bench guy never more than 26 mins There’s no history. Westbrook maybe. You read what Paul George says about Har en. It’s on ESPN look it up. It’s hilarious. Remember who told you first.

              “I’m no James Harden,” George said of how he tries to impact the game on both ends of the floor. “That’s not my knack … to just shoot the ball, score the ball. I can and I pride myself on being effective on both ends. But there’s going to be nights like this where I just can’t make a shot, and I can’t allow that to affect my game.”

              link to

              Dude I’m not a hater. Just a realist. I get your a homer. You can love the guy all you want. Don’t change the facts. I appreciate team play, the whole gm. Not just the stats. Basketball is a 2way sport. Unfortunately the D doesn’t get the press or credit. Like it does in NFL. The gm is more about offense now. But you have to play D to win championships. Cause if you can’t make stops when it counts. You will never win. It’s a 2way game not a stats gm. I’ll leave you and your star alone.

              • harden-westbrook-mvps

                If you even bothered to look up the facts you would see that HarDen actually does play defense now. Not only that, he has become one of the top inside defenders in the entire NBA. I’m not making this up, it’s 100% true. Harden was a terrible defender 5-10 years ago, we all know that. But if you look at how much his game has improved on that end of the court over the past few years, you would see that I’m not being a homer (you’re just being a typical Harden Hater). He truly is the best player in the NBA right now.

                • Curtisrowe

                  Harden is much better on D than in the past. And I like Jeff Green. But he ain’t making 6 mill next year.

          • wagner13

            You need to look at scheme fit as well. Green is a great player for D’Antoni’s system but as illustrated in Utah, isn’t effective in a more conservative offense. The Lakers use bigs that can dig into the paint, such as Davis and McGee, while relying on guards for outside shooting. With Kuzma in the mix as well, I struggle to see where Green fits in.

            Conversely, Green complements the defensive profile of Tucker quite well and probably appreciates that Houston gave him a chance when nobody else did. Also, “Playoff P” has lost the right to criticize anyone after his previous couple of shooting performances

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Warriors will definitely have a choice of ring chasers. They probably sign two in positions of need. I’m not a Warriors fan. But they are in a great place for next yr. I’ve been watching this gm a long time lol. I’ve never seen a Contender come back. In such a huge way. #2 pick in draft, 17 mill TE option, Big trade potential with picks, big trade potential with Wiggins. Then the ring chasing vets. Dude they will be loaded next yr. They should be the Overwhelming Champion favorite.
    Throw in fact they are healthy, hungry, and pissed.

  3. x%sure

    3 of the 5 are ex-Cavs. Clarkson as readily available for some time but supposedly GM Altman got no offers even though he was clearly a scorer (but not a passer). He finally went for small change. Argh.

    Timothe was around for a training camp, doesn’t show up in Bas.Ref., highest PER 11 but gaining.

    Jeff Green can go blow. Dantoni is having a great year. Why would Green leave?

    • KnickerbockerAl

      DAntoni is leaving. Green is leaving. No contracts. I’ll do the research for you, don’t worry.
      At minimum salary. Who picks Houston over LA. Har en over Bron. Lakers need a big SF off bench. Rockets full of them. It just makes sense. Lakers can only sign minimum players. So it’s a smart move.

  4. wagner13

    I could see Millsap heading back to Atlanta as a veteran presence on a young and rising team. He would provide frontcourt depth behind Collins and could start at the 4 if Capela continues to struggle with injuries. GM Travis Schlenk mentioned adding some experienced talent to the roster. With some money to spend, why not pursue a solid defender and rebounder to come off the bench in Millsap?

    Trey Burke seems to thrive in Dallas as an instant offensive contributor off the bench. He might as well re-sign

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