Free Agent Stock Watch: Central Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Central Division:

Wayne Ellington, Pistons, 33, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2020

What has gotten into Ellington? Signed to add some depth at the shooting guard spot, Ellington has emerged as a starter and is on the hottest 3-point roll of his career. He’s knocked down at least four long balls and scored at least 16 points in each of the last seven games. Overall, he’s averaging a career-best 13.4 PPG in 24.2 MPG while making 53.2% of his 3-point attempts. Obviously, he’s not going to sustain this pace but at the least, Ellington has shown he can still help a team with his perimeter shooting.

Andre Drummond, Cavaliers, 27, C (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $127.2MM deal in 2016

Sometimes people tend to dwell on a player’s shortcomings and forget about the positives. The Pistons basically gave away Drummond to a division rival last February to clear cap space. Yes, he can’t shoot from outside and he’s brutal at the foul line but what’s so bad about having the best rebounder on the planet on your side? Drummond is averaging a career-high 18.9 PPG with the aid of two young guards breaking down defenses. With the addition of Jarrett Allen, he’s probably not in the Cavs’ long-term plans. He’s not a max player but Drummond is still one of the league’s top big men and he’ll get a strong multi-year contract despite his flaws.

Tomas Satoransky, Bulls, 29, PG/SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $30MM deal in 2019

Chicago has an interesting dilemma with Satoransky following the season if it’s unable to move him in a trade. His $10MM salary for next season is 50% guaranteed. The Bulls would have to eat $5MM in dead money to cut him loose but Satoransky’s status with the organization has fallen. He was once viewed as its potential solution at point guard. Right now, he’s struggling just to stay in the rotation. If he winds up in the free agent market, Satornasky won’t be viewed as more than a second-unit option.

Bobby Portis, Bucks, 25, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $7.4MM deal in 2020

Portis has a $3.8MM player option on his contract for next season. The way he’s playing, he’ll certainly decline it and take his chances on the free agent market. Portis has been a solid addition for a title contender, establishing himself as the team’s sixth man. He’s averaging 10.9 PPG and is second on the team in rebounding (7.7 RPG), while his PER ranks third on the team. Portis’ offensive production has dipped some in the last two weeks but he still had a 21-point outing against Atlanta on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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30 thoughts on “Free Agent Stock Watch: Central Division

  1. Stilt Armstrong

    Ellington will stay in Detroit this season, and play somewhere else next season. (Clippers?)

    Drummond will be waived, and end up in DAL, or BOS. (Depends on league injuries)

    Satoransky is a weird fit on any team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is out of the league after CHI. (Reminds me of Mario Hezonja a little)

    I don’t think Portis will get much more than that 3.8 million if he does. Would take a near unimaginable playoffs performance for him to garner much more from another team next season.

    • Walladipo and Wood

      A buyout does seem likely for Drummond, but as far as next season goes he will be taking a huge pay cut just like the one that Steven Adams got from the Pelicans. No one is going to pay Drummond more than $20M/year the way things are right now. He might be lucky just to get as much as Adams.

      • Stilt Armstrong

        Agreed. I think Drummond is the more spectacular player than Adams, but he isn’t a critical piece for a contender. Could help Dallas & Boston a lot. On or off the bench.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Drummond is worth more than Adams. Not even close. Don’t get why NO signed him. He’s solid and can mentor Hayes. He’s overpaid a bit. Whiteside n McGee can give the same thing. Scoring is still a premium in NBA. Drummond can get a contract from Hornets or Mavs. Both can use him, a steady influence in the middle. Cavs will probably buy him out. If he wants a title run he will sign with a contender. Most money will come from Mavs or Hornets imo. They could pick him up or get him as FA.
          A great pickup is Ellington. He’s shooting lights out this yr. And is instant offense off the bench. Bucks should be talking to Pistons now. If Heat trade for Oladipo (Herro). They should be looking at Ellington too. He’s shooting .53% 3PT FG

          • Stilt Armstrong

            I like the fit with the bucks, but what do they give in return? They are pretty spent.

            • Stilt Armstrong

              Answered my own question, they pick him up off waivers. Especially if he likes winning championships. Good yin, to Lopez’s yang.

              • KnickerbockerAl

                His contract is only 2.5 mill. They could move a player and 2nd rd pick. He’s a FA to be. He’s not staying in Detroit. Looking for that last contract next yr at 33.

          • tjbarnaba

            Drummond is not even in Adams class. Adams doesn’t kill the offensive flow of his team with pointless isolations. If you actually watched Drummond play rather than only looking at the stats, you’d see that. It’s pretty obvious who watches basketball and who just plays fake GM on the toilet.

            • KnickerbockerAl

              I see more in a game than you do in a year.
              You get this pass only. Flow of the gm is not dictated by players. It’s by team offense. Cavs have been depleted all yr. And don’t have the talent NO does. Yet One is (9-10) the other (7-10). Drummond gets a rap for not playing D. Yet defensive reb is 40% of playing D. Drummond is a career 9.1 DRB. Adams is a career 4.2 DRB. My toilet paper has your posts on them.

          • The Howler

            Bucks 3pt shooting is drastically better than last year so adding another 3 pt shooter does not make sense unless there is a drop off or an injury. They need another front court because Thanasis and DJ Wilson can’t hang with the big boys.

            • DeathbyDeathwest

              Howler I mostly agree, but I would be curious to see Thanasis play more minutes, and play in the second half of games. He’s looked surprisingly playable in moments this year, despite his reputation of just being the team mascot.

              I wouldn’t mind never seeing DJW play for the Bucks again, though he can’t have trade value unless someone wants to believe he’s the next Wood.

    • Curtisrowe

      Satoransky is a rotation player on most teams. He plays three positions, PG, SG, and SF, reasonably well. Hezonga is a small forward and a power forward, their games are not similar.

      • Stilt Armstrong

        Hezonja never brought the ball up the floor and initiated offense for the Portland Trailblazers, his last stop before being out of the league?

        I 100% disagree on Satoransky. He can’t shoot, and his numbers are like Draymond Greens.

        If your team just can’t move the ball, and initiate offense without him OK, but not for $10 million. A non-rebounding, non-shooting, point forward is a rotation player on most teams?

        Maybe someone pays him the minimum, but when you have Jordan Mclaughlin on a 2-way, and guys like T.J. McConnell, Payton Pritchard, Carsen Edwards, and Jevon Carter deep into the depth chart, I don’t see what you disagree with me about at all, or what was there to take exception with.

        • Curtisrowe

          Ok, well Satoransky is a PG, not a point forward. Hejonza is not. It’s a very odd comp.

          Satoransky has averaged around 23 minutes a game for his career. You know, a rotation player.

          He is a career 37 percent three point shooter, which is obviously fine.

          It’s just odd saying he is going to be out of the league. He won’t be.

          • Stilt Armstrong

            Why do so many look to call people fools & unintelligent, based off of two sentences?

            I simply defend myself. If a wrong is unaddressed then it happens over & over. I am not abusing anyone on here, why should they me?

            Its far from courteous & polite discourse. I like to make more friends than enemies when possible. I’m not scared of having to do some shoveling along the way…

  2. Sillivan

    I am concerned about Knicks and Thunder cap room

    How can Knicks spend $73 million and Thunder $72 million this summer?

    Knicks pay Lonzo Ball $80 million and hope his agent bring up a superstar?

    • Cap & Crunch

      Easy for Thunder -they will just buy up another bad contract and get a pick

      Lotta nice RFA’s to bid on this offseason if your NY …… Things will get savage in that market this year

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Chk out David Duke from Providence. He’s a good size scoring PG. Plays both ways and is similar to Dillard. He will be there between 7-10 in draft. We can trade up for him.

    • afsooner02

      Thunder might also resign SGA long term. They’re obviously going to try at some point. That’s some of that cap space right there. He’s gonna cost a little more than the 5 mil they’re paying him now.

  3. cavsarethebestever42

    The problem with Drummond is he wastes so many possessions!!!!! He takes very ill advised shots, and demands the ball! He’s only good for rebounding and defense. But when he starts missing shots (which he always does) he will stop playing defense.

  4. leftcoast11 - pyramidsuccess

    Drummond would be a good fit in Boston & Dallas.When you rip down 18 a gm you deserve the ball on the block if you have positioning!

    • tjbarnaba

      Yeah. You don’t watch the games. He doesn’t get the ball in the post. He gets it in the high post/FT line extended, faces up, does ISO dribbles like he’s a guard and turns the ball over or throws a laser beam with no touch at the backboard. No GM is giving up assets or paying this guy 20mil a year on a new deal.

  5. CallerBernard

    There is always controversy about Drummond, he’s a good center that teams must address he is very capable of 20/20 whenever he chooses. There is only a handful of big men who can stop him. Yes he gets lackadaisical yes he takes shots that he shouldn’t yes he tries to do too much on offense sometimes yes he’s more finesse than power than people like but he’s a 19/15 machine that rarely has bad nights,and almost never gets hurt. Coaching and scheme would help him tremendously because he hasn’t had much of either.

  6. Sillivan

    The CBA rule may not allowed this
    Knicks offer one year contract $25 million to Lonzo Ball this summer

    IMO
    Knicks this summer lottery pick is worth $75 million
    They won’t trade this pick for Lonzo

  7. x%sure

    The successes of Ellington & Portis, and now Randle, suggests that the middling-FA spree the previous Knicks management was on was not wrong. They got talent for the money, but there was always disappointment about that offseason in losing the big names to the Nets.
    And Fizdale was better matched to who they did not land, rather than who they did land. That year needed a Thibs-type coach.
    The timing was off is all… or, a dark cloud follows Dolan!

    • KnickerbockerAl

      All media driven, no one is coming here till we win. Real fans didn’t want Fizdale. 4 coaches in 4 yrs only screams chaos. Thibs got basically the same team playing D. And we’re .500 and not very good offensive team. Knicks are still rebuilding. We are nowhere yet.

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