This is a strange article to write at the moment because like, sports don’t exist right now but we’re going to pretend like it’s business as usual. I can’t keep writing about this virus. We all need a break.
It’s also strange because this halt in sports combined with Daryl Morey driving full speed into Tieneman Square ruining China’s relationship with the NBA means the salary cap is going to take a pretty decent hit.
But fuck it, let’s talk the offseason.
Here are the Top 13 NBA free agents in 2020:
13. Goran Dragic
Little peek behind the curtain here but this was supposed to be a list of the Top 15 but no. 14 was Evan Fournier and I realized I was writing about Evan fucking Fournier so the list had to be adjusted. Go Magic or whatever though.
Anyway, also in Florida is the Dragon—who is arguably the best point guard on the market this summer—who is the odd man out thanks to Kendrick Nunn stepping up out of nowhere this season. He’d be perfect for Philadelphia but they decided to exclusively dedicate their salary cap to players 6-foot-10 and above.
12. Joe Harris
Congrats to Joe Harris for turning himself into a none-Evan Fournier player aka a player that I’m willing to write sentences about. All the credit goes to him alone and none of it goes to Kenny Atkinson, according to Kyrie Irving.
11. DeMar DeRozan (Player Option)
DeMar DeRozan should pick up his player option and wait until 2021 when more teams have cap space because it improves his chances of tricking another team into giving him max money but at the same time, DeRozan can’t afford another year of irrelevance playing meaningless basketball in San Antonio and being one of the worst perimeter shooters in the NBA.
Remember when he cried after the Raptors traded him to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard as if Kawhi isn’ the best player in the NBA and DeMar is just some player in the NBA? Laugh out loud.
10. Montrezl Harrell
Harrell fills boxscores in limited minutes off the bench but he’s also in the perfect situation playing on the Clippers. But some dumb team is about to hand him a BAG with the expectation that he can produce the same value in a star role and I promise you, he cannot.
Oh no wait. He’s a power forward. Welcome to the Knicks, Montrezl Harrell.
9. Fred VanVleet
Out of all the random bench point guards that have emerged in the NBA Finals like JJ Barea with the Mavericks and Matty Dellavadova with the Cavaliers, VanVleet is the only one who stepped up in the Finals and carried that production into the following season.
What makes VanVleet the most valuable point guard available is that he won’t demand a max contract. If Terry Rozier makes around $19 million this season than FVV should be getting something around those terms which doesn’t sink your salary cap.
8. Andre Drummond (Player Option)
I get the feeling the Andre Drummond’s agent had a wink wink deal with Cleveland’s front office in order to get the trade made from Detroit at the deadline. Meaning, it’s safe to say that Drummond’s people have already discussed him turning down his player option in order to re-sign a max deal with the Cavs.
Personally, I wouldn’t build my team around a guy whose 20 points and 15 rebounds a game have no effect on the outcome of that game but I do not run the Cleveland Cavaliers so carry on.
7. Davis Bertans
Davis Bertans can’t miss 🔥
He went a perfect 6/6 from 3PT in the first half and has 22 PTS. pic.twitter.com/MLFie1RXCs
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) December 6, 2019
6. Bodgan Bogdanovic (Restricted)
Luke Walton is an awful head coach and that is one full display with his strange handling of Bodgan Bogdanovic vs. Buddy Hield when it comes to the Kings starting 5. Sacramento already gave Buddy his extension so they’ve made their decision on who they believe should be in the backcourt with De’Aaron Fox which means Bodgan is going to be the best young star on the market.
(Sacramento will probably just match any and all contract offers.)
5. Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari might go down as the most underrated player of this era. His 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists of 40% shooting from 3 is helping the OKC stay in a playoff picture that no one predicted that be anywhere near after trading Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul but it turns out that trading a bunch of great players and first draft picks for just one player who freaks out at fans looking at him wrong at least once a week is actually a good thing. Strange.
4. Gordon Hayward (Player Option)
Gordon Hayward is set to make $32 million next season and he’d be a fool to turn that money down. There’s no way a team would ever give me another max contract unless my man suddenly balls out in the playoffs and leads the Celtics to the NBA Finals.
I still believe he can help bring a team like Sacramento or Detroit to the next level and perhaps he doesn’t thrive in an offense with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown all playing the same position at the same time. Damn, he’s going to get another max, isn’t he?
3. Brandon Ingram (Restricted)
Shh don’t tell this to anyone at ESPN or Bleacher Report but Brandon Ingram is actually the best player on the New Orleans Pelicans and I reallyyy hope the Pelicans are smart enough to realize that Ingram helps Zion, not hinders him.
You don’t want to waste the beginning of Zion’s career by surrounding him with bums like Cleveland did with LeBron. As a restricted free agent, he’ll most likely be back but you never know. Although, sometimes you know. In this case, you know.
2. Anthony Davis (Player Option)
The biggest downside to this regular season being cut short is that it all but guarantees Anthony Davis re-signs with the Lakers and just runs it back. It would have been hilarious if Los Angeles traded away their future for a season with Anthony Davis before he opted out and signed with the Bulls or some shit.
That dream is dead and he’ll be a Laker next season. Yawn.
1. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers … Player of the Week in the Western Conference folks
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 2, 2019