The NBA season ended and the Draft 2022 passed, it is now the hour of the “free agency”, which will agitate the first days of July.
This year, it will start from the night of June 30 to July 1, at midnight in France (6 p.m. in New York). As always, the signatures will only become official once the moratorium period is lifted, one week after the opening of the “free agency”, on July 6 at 6:00 p.m. in France (12:00 p.m. in New York).
This year, the rear position is dominated by three All-Star caliber players whose contract situation could settle in the first minutes. Then, there are a large number of good “role players”, some looking for a contract extension, others rather looking for a new start in sport.
1 – Bradley Beal (29 years old – player option – Washington Wizards)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists
Bradley Beal should, a priori, continue to write his story in Washington. ESPN indeed advance that the rear should decline its “player option” for next season this Thursday (36.4 million dollars), to extend in stride with the Wizards.
The contract is in, and it would be $248 million over five years, the biggest deal ever, which only reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic could top if he were to extend with the Nuggets. this summer.
Among the very best players potentially available on the market this summer, Bradley Beal should therefore seal his future very quickly, from the first minutes following the opening of the “free agency”.
2 – James Harden (32 years old – player option – Philadelphia 76ers)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 22 points, 7.7 rebounds, 10.3 assists
Stats 2021/22 (playoffs): 18.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.6 assists
Holder of a “player option” of 47.4 million dollars for next season, James Harden should play his release clause Thursday evening, then extend with the 76ers.
This is indeed what ESPN reports, which evokes a contract of two seasonsat a rate slightly lower than the maximum, to allow its leaders to retain some financial leeway to recruit other reinforcements for the 2022/23 season. Like PJ Tucker.
3 – Zach LaVine (27 – unprotected – Chicago Bulls)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists
Stats 2021/22 (playoffs): 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6 assists
While his four-year contract signed in 2018 is now over, the rear of the Bulls is an unprotected free agent, and can therefore sign wherever he wishes.
The Bulls should naturally be his priority, even if he had warned his franchise at the end of the season that he intended to take advantage of this status to weigh the pros and cons of each of its options.
Not really spoiled sportingly since the start of his career, nor by fate with operated knees, Zach LaVine finally tasted the playoffs this spring, after a convincing 2021/22 season for the Bulls. His leaders pulled out all the stops last summer to surround him as well as possible, and we imagine that they therefore have his confidence when approaching this crucial month of July for the rest of his career.
Among the potential competitors of the Chicago franchise, we will have to keep an eye on the Maverickswho are interested in his profile and who could make him the replacement for Jalen Brunson, if this one were to fly to New York.
4 – Anfernee Simons (23 – protected – Portland Trail Blazers)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 17.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists
The young Blazers nugget should continue his career in Oregon. Both the present of the franchise with Damian Lillard, and the future with rookie Shaedon Sharpe, the 23-year-old fullback is not going to run out of options.
His rookie contract ended, he is a protected free agent, and the Blazers therefore have their hands on his future. The club can offer him a qualifying offer of 5.8 million dollars for the 2022/23 season, but we imagine that the two camps would prefer to seal his future this summer, and therefore sign an extension from July 1.
Moreover, if Anfernee Simons were to accept an offer from another team, potentially far superior to that which its leaders have in mind, the Blazers will still be able to line up to keep it. Hence the interest for the franchise to extend it quickly, before the auctions explode…
5 – Collin Sexton (23 – protected – Cleveland Cavaliers)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 16 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Stats 2021/22 (playoffs): did not play
After a shortened season (11 matches) due to a tear in the meniscus of the left knee, Collin Sexton does not necessarily approach this “free agency” 2022 in a comfortable position, since his injury has caused his value to drop on the market.
The Cavaliers have their hands on his future since he is a protected free agent, but the club may not make it their priority. Because JB Bickerstaff’s men have just won 44 games without him, and the idea of breaking the bank for a player who is coming back from a major injury could cool his leaders.
Especially since his injury at the start of the season, the Cavaliers have recruited on his post: Caris LeVert by transfer during the year, and who could well extend this summer, then Ochai Agbaji by the Draft, Thursday evening.
The most likely scenario is therefore a departure from Collin Sexton this summer. We imagine that the Cavaliers will try to keep him, but could be forced to let him go, faced with higher offers on which they cannot match.
6 – Malik Monk (24 – unprotected – Los Angeles Lakers)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists
7 – Donte DiVincenzo (25 – protected – Sacramento Kings)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists
8 – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (29 – not guaranteed – Washington Wizards)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists
9 – Victor Oladipo (30 – unprotected – Miami Heat)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists
Stats 2021/22 (playoffs): 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists
10 – Gary Harris (27 – unprotected – Orlando Magic)
2021/22 stats (regular season): 11.1 points, 2 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Others : Lonnie Walker IV (protected), Shake Milton (team option), Austin Rivers (unprotected), Jeremy Lamb (unprotected), Ben McLemore (unprotected)…
Qualifying offer : proposal made by a franchise to one of its rookies during his last year of contract. Based on his former salary, this offer matches any offer made to the player by another franchise. If the player does not return with his team the year of the qualifying offerhe is automatically free next season, and his team will not be able to match an offer then.