NBA Free Agency Predictions

By Hayden Ore
Jun. 30, 2017

The NBA free agency period officially opens tomorrow, so here are my predictions for where the top-25 available players will end up. Enjoy!

25 Mason Plumlee (PF Denver Nuggets - RFA) After being dealt at the trade deadline last season, I doubt Plumlee will be looking to move on from Denver already. He will also receive very few offers since he is a restricted free agent and the Nuggets will likely match the best offer to keep him. Prediction: Denver Nuggets

24 Andre Iguodala (SF Golden State Warriors - UFA): We know that the Warriors will look to re-sign Kevin Durant and Steph Curry first and foremost, so it doesn't seem like there will be room for an aging Iguodala. He will likely look to join another winning team to make the playoffs next year. Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies

23 Taj Gibson (PF Oklahoma City Thunder - UFA): The Thunder will prioritize chasing other big-name power forwards early in the free agency period. Instead of waiting around to get replaced, Gibson will likely move on to another team where he has a good chance of starting. Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers

22 Kyle Korver (SG Cleveland Cavaliers - UFA): As good of a shooter as he still is, Korver's age will likely keep him from being heavily pursued by teams. While the Cavs have no cap space, they will likely look to bring him back on a very small contract. Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers

21 Nerlens Noel (C Dallas Mavericks - RFA): The Mavs have a lot of cap space and will likely match any offer made for Noel after trading for him just last season. He's a young talent that they hope to rely on heavily as they creep back towards the playoffs. Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

20 Nikola Mirotic (PF Chicago Bulls - RFA): After trading Jimmy Butler away, it's clear that the Bulls are looking to rebuild. While Mirotic won't exactly keep them away from the bottom of the league, there's no real use in bringing him back. They'll likely make him an minimal offer and be outbid. Prediction: Charlotte Hornets

19 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG Detroit Pistons - RFA): Not a lot of teams will be looking to spend a ton of money on a shooting guard this year, so the Pistons will easily be able to keep Caldwell-Pope in Detroit. Prediction: Detroit Pistons

18 Dion Waiters (SG Miami Heat - UFA): After emerging as a solid player for Miami last season, Waiters should get a decent amount of attention in free agency. However, as I mentioned before, there a very few teams who will be looking to write a large check to a shooting guard, so Waiters will not be tempted away from South Beach. Prediction: Miami Heat

17 Dirk Nowitzki (PF Dallas Mavericks - UFA): Both Dirk and the Mavs have made it very clear that he will never play for another team in the NBA. Although he is declining, Dallas will give him a solid contract out of respect. Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

16 Rudy Gay (SF Sacramento Kings - UFA): The Kings will be looking to shift the power towards their younger talent, and therefore will not look to bring back Rudy Gay. He'll get a decent amount of offers and will ultimately choose the team that offers him the most total money. Prediction: Brooklyn Nets

15 Jrue Holiday (PG New Orleans Pelicans - UFA): Holiday did not look like himself in the second half of the season, and the Pelicans will certainly be looking to upgrade at point guard. He will walk away from New Orleans and find a team desperate for a new starter. Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers

14 Pau Gasol (PF San Antonio Spurs - UFA): While the Spurs aren't rolling in money, they are definitely looking to make a big free-agent signing to keep pace with the West's other elites. In order to accomplish this, Gasol will need to take a large pay cut to make room. Prediction: San Antonio Spurs

13 JJ Redick (SG Los Angeles Clippers - UFA): With Chris Paul gone, the Clippers' remaining free agents will likely be moving on. Redick is the best shooting guard available, so he will get some looks from teams looking to add a pure shooter. Prediction: Brooklyn Nets

12 Derrick Rose (PG New York Knicks - UFA): Rose is still an effective NBA point guard and will get some solid offers for his services. However, I doubt any of them will be enticing enough to lure him away from the Big Apple after just 1 season. Prediction: New York Knicks

11 Otto Porter Jr. (SF Washington Wizards - RFA): I don't picture the Wizards being big free-agency players, therefore they can focus on getting a deal done with Porter. Since they will be willing to spend some money to secure him, I doubt any teams will make an outrageous offer for him. Prediction: Washington Wizards

10 George Hill (PG Utah Jazz - UFA): George Hill was very efficient last year for the Jazz, and they will be looking to bring him back as a recruiting tool for Gordon Hayward. I don't think he'll be prioritizing winning in his decision, which should make re-signing no problem. Prediction: Utah Jazz

9 Jeff Teague (PG Indiana Pacers - UFA): As they try to trade Paul George, the Pacers will look to really blow things up to start a rebuild. This will obviously mean that Teague will not receive a contract offer from Indiana, allowing him to put himself in a better position. Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans

8 Serge Ibaka (PF Toronto Raptors - UFA): Ibaka was just traded to Toronto a few months ago and played well for the Raptors. He'll likely have to wait for an offer until the team is done pursuing Paul Millsap and working to re-sign Kyle Lowry, but I believe he'll eventually get a deal done. Prediction: Toronto Raptors

7 Danilo Gallinari (SF Denver Nuggets - UFA): The Nuggets are a team on the verge of making the playoffs, but Minnesota's recent upgrades are making Denver's life difficult. I don't think they'll give up quite yet, however, and bringing Gallinari back is a crucial part of their success. Prediction: Denver Nuggets

6 Paul Millsap (PF Atlanta Hawks - UFA): After trading Dwight Howard within the division, it's clear that Atlanta is considering throwing in the towel. Millsap will likely sign with a winning team, and Atlanta doesn't appear to be that. Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder

5 Kyle Lowry (PG Toronto Raptors - UFA): I've heard a lot of people speculating that Lowry will sign with the Sixers, but drafting Markelle Fultz makes that very unlikely in my eyes. He will likely either stay in Toronto or go to a win-now situation somewhere else. Prediction: San Antonio Spurs

4 Blake Griffin (PF Los Angeles Clippers - UFA): I think Griffin is definitely going to be looking to leave since Chris Paul is gone. It's just a matter of where he's going. I'd say it's a toss-up between Miami and Oklahoma City, but the Thunder are low on cash, giving the Heat the ability to make the better offer. Prediction: Miami Heat

3 Gordon Hayward (SF Utah Jazz - UFA): Hayward is the best free agent that has a decent chance of switching teams. Miami and Boston are both in pursuit of him, but I think the Heat will opt to go all-in on Blake Griffin instead since they are more likely to outbid the Thunder than the Celtics. Prediction: Boston Celtics

2 Stephen Curry (PG Golden State Warriors - UFA): The rumors of Steph Curry to Charlotte make no sense to me. The Hornets already have Kemba Walker and will likely look to split shooting guard minutes between Nicolas Batum and Malik Monk. There is no team that can offer a sweet enough deal to steal Curry away from Golden State. Prediction: Golden State Warriors

1 Kevin Durant (SF Golden State Warriors - UFA): Durant has already said that he is more than willing to take less money to keep the Warriors core intact. I don't know how well the Warriors front office will be able to do with that, but they should be able to secure Durant and Curry at the very least. Prediction: Golden State Warriors

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