And-Ones: Option Decisions, Avdija, Draft, Onuaku

With the NBA season over and 2020’s free agent period approaching (eventually), John Hollinger of The Athletic takes a look at all 43 team and player option decisions that must be made this fall, evaluating which options are likely to be exercised and which will be turned down.

While Anthony Davis and Jerami Grant are viewed as the only locks to decline their respective player options this offseason, Hollinger identifies seven more players who he thinks will opt for free agency: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Wesley Matthews, Austin Rivers, Willie Cauley-Stein, and James Ennis.

With the exception of Caldwell-Pope, McGee, and Cauley-Stein – who is technically earning slightly above the minimum – those players are all on minimum-salary deals, so it won’t be a surprise if they explore the open market, even if they have to settle for another minimum contract. However, KCP’s case should be interesting — his $8.49MM option for 2020/21 is close to mid-level territory, but he could still probably do better after an impressive showing in the NBA Finals.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks take a look at next steps for the NBA, including what next season’s schedule might look like and when roster moves might resume. While there’s currently a freeze on transactions, team executives confirmed to ESPN that the moratorium will be lifted and trades will be permitted before the draft on November 18.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and Jeremy Woo of have each published updated versions of their mock drafts for 2020. Both draft experts have Anthony Edwards going No. 1, but O’Connor has a surprise pick at No. 2, penciling in Deni Avdija. League executives expect Avdija to “enter the mainstream conversation as a top-three pick” in the coming weeks, according to O’Connor.
  • Former NBA big man Chinanu Onuaku has reached an agreement to sign with Croatian team KK Zadar, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Onuaku was the 37th overall pick in the 2016 draft, but didn’t see much action in two seasons with Houston, appearing in just six total games before being traded and waived.
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12 thoughts on “And-Ones: Option Decisions, Avdija, Draft, Onuaku

  1. hiflew

    Austin Rivers is probably going to Philly to reunite with Dad. Might not actually be fit for the team.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      So with all of the problems they had together in LA and the accusations of nepotism, and even though he might not be a good fit with his dad in Philly, Austin is probably going to join him there anyway?

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Top three is too high for Deni. Although I take him over Ball, for sure. Minny is not passing on Edwards. He’s not only a top talent. He’s a perfect team fit and need. Only other player I can say that for is Okongwu. But he you can trade down for, not #1 pick. Warriors are chasing a Title next yr and next 3-4 yrs. Best thing they can do for that is draft Wiseman. Unless there is a trade out there. With a better scenario with vets. Hornets cannot pass on Edwards or Wiseman. But I doubt either is there for them. My point is neither top three team is interested in Deni. At 4 the Bulls could take him. Considering their new coach Donovan. Deni is big time fit at the 3. But Bulls biggest need is at PG. They have good young talent. They need a decision maker. To make it all come together. An IQ PG would be their best acquisition. Now they could trade for Holiday. Then draft Deni. Or they can just take Halliburton. Hayes is also in this category. But he is further away from impacting team. Deni is going 4-6

    • hiflew

      Did I miss something? You think top 3 is too high for Deni, but you’d take him over Ball, for sure. You have Minnesota taking Edwards and GS taking Wiseman. But at 3, you say Charlotte cannot pass up Edwards or Wiseman, who would already be off the board.

      Who do you think is the third top 3 pick if Deni and Ball are not there?

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Minny and GS have plenty of rumors of trades. It’s foreseeable a trade can happen. I’m not a Ball top 5 talent. But I know plenty teams are. The story is about Deni not Ball. If it was my decision Minny takes Edwards, GS takes Wiseman, Charlotte takes Toppin. But I believe Ball probably goes here.
    Facts are this draft by definition. Is 4-8 could be as well as 9-14. It’s not like a huge difference. Achiuwa who could go lottery or 15-18. Could be as good as Okongwu. Many believe Hayes future is better than all guards. So yes you are missing it. Deni is not going top 3. No matter what. Highest will be to Bulls. If there are trades one of top two could fall to three, Hornets so they will not pass on that. I’ve seen Wiseman as low as 10. So there is a certain amount of uncertainty with whole top 10. You get it now
    No I’m not a Ball fan. Not as a high pick. I think he’s more hype than substance. I do think he is talented. But 3-4 yrs away. He’s still growing into his body. He doesn’t play D. His shot has left him. His handle is not there for NBA. Plus the drama he brings. To me it’s not worth it. I rather have Lonzo. He’s not that great talent that I can’t have someone else. Halliburton, Hayes will be better PGs. To me he’s more a combo guard. And probably will be best at SG. He was a scorer in HS. His shot can be fixed. He’s got Klay size and is a playmaker. But I wonder about his commitment.

    • If bulls draft ball,i hope bulls trade him to nola for jrue.bulls should give expiring opj too.ball brothers in one team will be good for comercial. I dont want lmelo ball on my bulls.lonzo far better then him

      • stevep-4

        oh god no…if Avdija is available at 4 bulls should take him, but if not, then one of the PGs other than ball
        if Karnisovas is so smart maybe he can trade down in combination with a couple of players and improve the roster, no one is untouchable

        • Off course i love if bulls draft avdija or haliburton. I said “if”. I dont want lamelo but bulls decide to draft the best available.if ball at 4th,bulls will draft him.and i want bulls trade him asap.jrue is a good guard.can defense and offense.can play at 1 and 2.and sometime play at 3.he far better then opj+lamelo.

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