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.

Daniel Theis, Celtics, 28, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2019

Heading into the playoffs, no one quite knew what the Celtics’ big man rotation would look like. There’s no doubt right now which center coach Brad Stevens trusts the most. Theis has played heavy minutes when he’s been able to stay out of foul trouble. He averaged 30.1 MPG in the seven-game series against the Raptors and was productive (10.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG) while keeping turnovers to a minimum (1.0). He’s averaged 33.5 MPG thus far against the Heat. Moreover, the Celtics’ staff trusts that Theis can switch onto a variety of players defensively. His $5MM salary for next season isn’t guaranteed but it’s hard to imagine Boston would let him go.

Marcus Morris, Clippers, 31, PF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $15MM deal in 2019

Morris had an interesting and controversial journey through free agency last summer. He reneged a two-year agreement with San Antonio and signed a one-year, $15MM pact with the Knicks. When the Clippers acquired Morris at the trade deadline, he was viewed as potentially the final piece to a championship puzzle. The Clippers crashed and burned in part because Morris was a non-factor as the series against the Nuggets wore on. In the last two games, Morris averaged 6.0 PPG and shot 3-for-14 from the field. He was better at being an irritant than a difference-maker. It will be interesting to see if his price tag drops this offseason.

Serge Ibaka, Raptors, 31, PF/C (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $65MM deal in 2017

Ibaka had a strong postseason run while coming off the bench. He averaged 14.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.3 BPG in 22.8 MPG while making 51.1% of his 3-point attempts. Ibaka turns 31 on Friday but he’ll receive his biggest birthday gift in the coming months when the Raptors or some other suitor hands him a lucrative deal. ESPN’s Bobby Marks believes he will get full $9.3MM mid-level exception offers from playoff teams without cap space but that Toronto may offer a one-year deal at $18MM to keep him and preserve cap space for next summer.

Monte Morris, Nuggets, 25, PG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $4.66MM deal in 2018

When Malik Beasley was dealt to the Timberwolves in February, Morris became the clear-cut backup to Jamal Murray. He’s been a key piece off the bench during the Nuggets’ dream run to the Western Conference Finals. Morris averaged just 16.6 MPG against the Clippers but scored in double digits four times during the series. He’s also played smart and poised, making more steals (10) than turnovers (8) in 297 minutes during the first two playoff series. Morris has a $1.66MM non-guaranteed salary for next season. That seems like a very big bargain.

Meyers Leonard, Heat, 28, PF/C (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $41MM deal in 2016

The Heat have received significant contributions from a good chunk of their roster during their surprising carpet ride to the Eastern Conference Finals. Leonard hasn’t been among that group. Leonard, who made $11.3MM this season, was a starter until February when he suffered an ankle injury. He’s been relegated to cheerleading status during the restart, appearing in two seeding games and one postseason game. He was mainly a second-unit player in Portland before this season and he’ll have to compete for a rotation spot wherever he lands next season.

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10 thoughts on “Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff Edition

  1. Simmons>Russ

    How about Malik Beasley (signs and trade) and the first overall pick for Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner.

    Pacers get Beasley a young shooter for Oladipo who may leave in FA next offfseason so they get good value return. Plus swap Turner and get the first overall pick in a draft in which they have no picks. They build a starting 5 of Brogdon Beasley Warren Toppin Sabonis or Sabonis Wiseman.
    Pretty good young team considering next year Oladipo could go for nothing and Turner isn’t exactly improving in bunches each year.

    TWolves however would get Oladipo and Turner.
    Turner and KAT would work well at the 4/5 constantly being able to switch with KAT amd Turner both able to shoot from deep and work down low. However defensively the team become much much stronger. Oladipo is a lock down wing defender and Turner is one of the best shot blocking bigs and is still young. KAT is weak defensively so Turner helping him would be a huge upgrade. In the clutch DLo and Oladipo are two very clutch players and having the luxury of two finishers plus KAT would be hard for teams to guard.

    Off the bench the TWolves would still be solid with Layman Culver and James Johnson all on there waiting to help.

    • Scott

      Personally, I think Toppin is going to be a bust and Wiseman is such an unknown that I wouldn’t make that deal. To me, Edwards is the only player I would consider at 1, so trading for Beasley and #1 doesn’t make sense if you are going to take Edwards at 1.

    • tjbarnaba

      Salary cap makes it impossible for the wolves to take on both of those highly paid players without moving Towns or Russell. Nice work Jane Austin but back to class you go

      • Simmons>Russ

        Actually Turner gets 18 mil and Oladipo 22mil.

        They could sign and trade Beasley for let’s say 22mil and with Evan Turners deal expiring for 18.6 mil they could let him walk, freeing up the money for Turner.

  2. Curtisrowe

    Theis is a lock to get picked up. He has always been this good, he just was splitting time with Baynes and Horford. Very sold NBA player.

  3. hoosierhysteria

    Wiseman needs a coach…someone to teach him. Is he coachable? What kind of kid is he? If he is bad actor….warriors won’t touch him.

  4. The Howler

    Ibaka is fool’s gold. As soon as a team signs him on 3 year 60 mil deal they will have sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach which will be confirmed once the season starts.

    • x%sure

      The one- year deal makes sense. Kind of amazing what he has accomplished just by running and hoisting.

  5. x%sure

    Theis pretty much forced his way on to the Celtics on his own, not considering any other team, followed his dream, and turned out to be the right type of center for the era. There were so many doubts… actually there still are, and Grant Williams is the ‘smallball’ center lol. So Theis is the mediumball center?

    Monte Morris is so unrelated to the other Morrises. He deserves a chance to be first-string. Since Denver could use Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks would be ideal.

    Is Meyers Leonard getting punished? GM Riley does not like it when a player goes against the team, regardless of why.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      Leonard was playing well before the injury. Some team will pick him up.

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