Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff 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 playoffs ongoing at the Orlando campus, it’s time to examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors.

Rajon Rondo, Lakers, 34, PG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $5.2MM deal in 2019

Just when it seems that Rondo’s career is winding down, he reinforces how effective he can be when he’s healthy. Rondo was an afterthought when play resumes, as he was still recovering from a busted right hand. Coach Frank Vogel didn’t hesitate to give Rondo a large role once he was ready to play again in the conference semifinals. Rondo piled up 10 points, nine assists and five steals in the Lakers’ Game 2 win over Houston and 21 points and nine assists in Game 3. He came up two assists shy of a triple-double in Game 4. Rondo has a $2.62MM player option for next season. He’s given himself the flexibility of opting out and getting a better offer in free agency.

Jae Crowder, Heat, 30, SF (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $35MM deal in 2015

Crowder has played a major role in the Heat’s surprising run to the Eastern Conference semifinals. His defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo and 3-point shooting were instrumental as Miami knocked off the top seed. He averaged 15.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.2 APG in 33.6 MPG and made 43.2% of his shots during the conference semifinals. When Miami acquired Crowder from the Grizzlies before the trade deadline, it was assumed Andre Iguodala would make the biggest impact. Instead, Crowder has re-established his value. He’ll attract plenty of attention on the free agent market and could get a full mid-level from a playoff contender.

Mason Plumlee, Nuggets, 30, C (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $41MM deal in 2017

Plumlee got steady playing time as Nikola Jokic’s backup during the regular season, averaging 7.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 2.5 APG in 17.3 MPG. As the playoffs have progressed, Plumlee’s minutes have plummeted and so has his confidence. Even with his six-point outing in Game 5 against the Clippers on Friday, the big man is averaging more fouls (2.2) than points (1.6) in 10.3 MPG uring the postseason. That, plus the fact Plumlee doesn’t stretch defenses, complicates his ability to find a home in unrestricted free agency this offseason. Plumlee will probably be staring at veteran’s minimum offers, a far cry from what he received three years ago.

Stanley Johnson, Raptors, 24, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $7.4MM deal in 2019

Johnson’s representatives did their client a big favor by securing a player option on the second year of his contract. It would be foolhardy for Johnson to pass up the guaranteed $3.8MM and test the free agent waters, considering he’s spent most of the season at the end of Toronto’s bench. Johnson’s postseason minutes have consisted of three late-game appearances in blowouts. He wasn’t in the rotation throughout the regular season, either. Johnson was the eighth pick of the 2015 draft and his first team, Detroit, is still lamenting the fact it picked him instead of Devin Booker, Myles Turner or Justise Winslow.

Brad Wanamaker, Celtics, 31, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.44MM deal in 2019

Coaches often shorten their rotations during the postseason but Wanamaker has continued to receive steady bench minutes from coach Brad Stevens. He’s averaged 5.8 PPG and 1.7 APG in 17.8 MPG and made the most of his limited 3-point opportunities (52.6%). Wanamaker, who spent most of his career overseas, re-signed with the Celtics last season on a minimum deal. He’s a restricted free agent but his qualifying offer of $1.82MM is peanuts by NBA standards. He’s improved his chances of the Celtics extending that offer, unless they have their eyes on another free agent point guard to back up Kemba Walker.

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11 thoughts on “Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff Edition

  1. Sillivan

    Clippers can offer Rondo 2 years 12 million to block Lakers sign another good player
    Warriors can offer Wanamaker 2 years 12 million

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Why would they? They already have Beverley and Lou Williams.

        • El Don

          Really if y’all can’t see how Rondo is so very much better than Beverley & Lou… really what is the point to throwing pearls at swine!
          Anyway just to give you a very basic point, just one as y’all can’t take more, right?
          Based on this website Rondo has a 40.7% of becoming a HoF, right?
          Now Beverley has a 0.0%, ouch… & yes you guessed it right again Lou has a 0.0% chance to get in the HoF.
          Now please watch some hoops, you might even learn somethin’!

    • Bryan

      No one is giving Brad $6m a year. What are you smoking dude? Do you even watch basketball?

        • x%sure

          2/12 is a lot for either but they are as HR said, (up!) in theory. A lot of teams will have a rookie PG to carry though, reducing demand.

  2. The Howler

    While the playoffs can cause players to raise their performance to a higher level it is a small sample size and begs the question where was this for the rest of the year? Beware signing players based on a good run in the playoffs or drafting them because of a good six game run in the NCAA tourney!

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Stanley is only 24 wow. It’s a shame how some players just don’t develop or get better. Why have a guy sit at end of bench. If you are not teaching and pushing him every day. Oh well
    Crowder deserves a contract. He has played well for Heat. But how much can you pay him? Plus Drajic is a FA too. Heat want cap space for next yrs crop of FA. It’s going to be a tough call for them.

  4. bknowledge

    Mason Plumlee could help Dallas. Plumlee is a serious upgrade over their current starting center Powell.

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