Chris Paul joining a longtime friend? Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan back together on the same team? Lonzo Ball to the East? These are just a few of the possible outcomes we may see as we are approaching NBA free agent period.
It is no doubt that Chris Paul has become one of the most influential players in the NBA during recent tenures with the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and now the Phoenix Suns. He has been an incredible leader on and off the court that allowed him to lead these young teams to the playoffs, even when it was in doubt.
His current contract grants him the player option to either extend for another year or to become an unrestricted free agent. If the Suns are to be eliminated this postseason there is a high chance that he will leave, to join a more solidified contender for the NBA championship.
There are very few teams that are in need of an elite point guard like Paul, and with his age there is a very small window for him to win that title that he has not won in his career yet. I think that there is only one team, outside of the Phoenix Suns, that would benefit from signing him — the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan
Two best friends and former long-time teammates back in Toronto could possibly be having a reunion this off-season. Despite Kyle Lowry’s age, he is still performing at a high level and would be a great addition to any offense that needs his scoring and playmaking abilities. DeMar DeRozan is still an elite scorer as he just posted his eighth consecutive season scoring 20+ ppg.
Obviously, if these two were to play on the same team again, they would need to be in a spot where both of their playstyles would fit the system. There are two teams that I think would be a good fit for and have the cap space available to go out and get these players. The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two rebuilding teams that can be in the playoff hunt if given the right pieces.
Possibly the most important free agent that could shake up the league if he decides to decline his player option and leave the Los Angeles Clippers. Regardless of what result happens to the Clippers this postseason, I think that he will accept the player option and stay in Los Angeles.
In my opinion, I think that the Clippers are just a few pieces away from making a deep postseason run that people are expecting to make. If Kawhi Leonard wants the best chance to win a title, he should influence management to sign a free agent this off-season, one to help with spacing and defense.
Personally, I think that the New Orleans Pelicans would like to move on from Lonzo this off-season. They have not seen the consistency they expected from him when they traded for him last year.
With his expiring rookie contract, if the Pelicans allow him to enter free agency, there are plenty of teams out there that could use his elite playmaking abilities. Many playoff teams are in the hunt for a young, athletic guard to make a further playoff run. The one team I can think of that needs this are the New York Knicks.
The previous Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-20 saw his role on the Lakers diminish as the season went on. Although he has never started for more than 20 games in a season during his career, he has always had the impact of a starter on the defensive end.
He has voiced his frustration with his current role with the Lakers and with his contract reaching the player option year, I think that the best move for Montrezl is to leave Los Angeles for good and find a new team elsewhere.
Many teams are in need of a big man that can adjust to today’s game, one of these teams being the Washington Wizards. Throughout the season we have seen that the Wizards’ big men have been subpar and to compete in the Eastern Conference you need someone capable of being able to guard the 4 and 5 positions.
Akshay is a rising senior at the University of Miami. He is studying Marketing with a minor in Sports Administration. He is joining Knup Solutions with hopes of being able to contribute to the team at a high level, with his high attention to detail and perfectionist personality. Has done recreational freelance work for online gaming and sports previously, and is excited to use his skills in the real world.