Here’s what we know about the NBA offseason and the start of the 2021 season.
Wait. We don’t know much of anything. The next NBA season may start around Christmas or sometime in January. No one knows how many games will be included in the schedule and if fans will even be allowed to watch games in person.
One thing we do know though is there are some quality free agents available. Here’s where they might end up.
Davis can opt out of the final season of his current deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s likely that he does, but not so that he can jump ship. Having helped LeBron James and company with the NBA title, Davis isn’t going anywhere.
He’ll likely work to sign a new deal that will pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $34 to $35 million next season. Expect Davis to stay in L.A. and help James repeat next season.
After averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game last season, VanVleet is primed to get paid. The Toronto Raptors point guard made $9.3 million last season and there are a handful of teams that would pay much more to get a player of VanVleet’s talent.
The Pistons and Knicks are both in need at the point and have the salary cap money to do so. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is well known for working with some of the NBA’s best point guards including Derrick Rose when he was in Chicago.
Speaking of the Bulls, they could be in play for VanVleet also. VanVleet is an Illinois native and current Bulls point guard Kris Dunn is a restricted free agent. If he leaves, Chicago may go after VanVleet.
Where VanVleet likely ends up is right where is now. Toronto is one of the NBA’s elite teams. The reason why is the backcourt of VanVleet and Kyle Lowry. Why break up the duo?
Yes, Toronto will have to pull off some financial wizardry, but they have the front office to do it. VanVleet will continue playing for championships in Toronto.
Ingram won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award and rightfully so. In 62 games, Ingram averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. All were career-highs.
Ingram made $7.2 million last season and is a restricted free agent. The New Orleans Pelicans will have a new head coach in Stan Van Gundy and still have the player many consider the next NBA superstar – Zion Williamson.
Will Ingram stay in New Orleans? If the Pelicans want to continue to make playoff appearances and eventually play for NBA titles, then the answer is a resounding yes. What will be interesting will be what Ingram’s final price tag is.
The Oklahoma City Thunder parted ways with head coach Billy Donovan after the season was over. That is a likely indication that the Thunder are going to clean house and Gallinari is no exception.
He’s 32 years old and has had some injury problems in the past. His last two seasons have been injury- free, but the Thunder will be looking to build around younger players.
Gallinari still has a lost to offer as a 6-foot-10-inch 4 that can step out and shoot. He’s one of just four players at the position who have shot 40 percent or better on at least 300 three-point attempts over the last two seasons.
Miami just lost the NBA title and is in need of a stretch-4 that can create shots. Gallinari is that guy. The same is true in Golden State where Gallinari could be a veteran coming off the bench. He would have to take a pay cut to do so, but with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back the Warriors could compete for an NBA Title next season.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.