2021 NBA Free Agency Predictions

It’s that time of year where rosters get flipped upside down, and even though this isn’t expected to be a top-heavy free agency, it will still be impactful. In this article, we select 30 free agents and predict each of their landing spots.

Jarrett Allen – Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs have been high on retaining Allen ever since they acquired him in January. They also drafted Evan Mobley who they’ve been high on his versatility to play either the 4 or 5. The Cavs have recognized that if the Garland/Sexton experiment is ever going to work, they need the backline of their defense to be strong.

Contract – 4 year/90 Million

Carmelo Anthony – Los Angeles Lakers 

Carmelo Anthony looks to finally play with long-time friend LeBron James. Melo will be on a championship roster and be relied on to make shots and provide scoring off the bench. 

Contract – 1 year/vets minimum. 

Lonzo Ball – Chicago Bulls

Lonzo and the Bulls appear to have mutual interest according to insider Chris Haynes and this doesn’t come as a surprise as the Bulls were linked to getting Ball at the deadline. Also, the Bulls desperately need playmaking and defense and Lonzo should provide that along with matching the timeline for Chicago.

Contract – 4 year/80 Million

Will Barton – Denver Nuggets

Will Barton stays with Denver, as he has found a home there since 2014-15 and has been a valuable role player. Barton declines the player option to explore financial possibilities but ends up coming back to a nice payday. 

Contract – 3 year/45 Million

Nicolas Batum – Brooklyn Nets

The Nets make a sneaky move to get Batum as he was a key role player in the Clipper’s playoff run. He has transformed into a small-ball 5 and the Nets could use lineups with him down the stretch of games as they play a switch-heavy style defensively. His leadership and IQ will be big for a team with championship aspirations. 

Contract – 1 year/vets minimum

John Collins – Atlanta Hawks

After this past post-season, there’s no reason why either side should split. Collins has earned his payday and Atlanta is the perfect place for him to continue to grow his game, earn a max deal, and be contenders in the Eastern Conference. 

Contract – 4 year/125 Million 

Mike Conley – Utah Jazz

Utah has made it clear they want to retain Conley as they have been exploring trade options for many of their role players to make it work. There seems to be too much mutual respect between the 2 sides and a deal will get done. 

Contract – 3 year/75 Million

DeMar DeRozan – New York Knicks

Many teams have expressed interest in Demar, however, none of these teams have what the Knicks do and that’s money. The Knicks were recently the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and could look to bring in more talent after being knocked out in the first round. 

Contract – 2 year/ 50 Million 

Spencer Dinwiddie – Washington Wizards 

The Wizards have been linked to Dinwiddie via sign and trade as they search for a new starting PG. Spencer will be a solid fit next to Beal and help keep them competitive with his shot-making and playmaking capabilities.

Contract – 3 year/60 Million (3rd year TO)

Evan Fournier – Indiana Pacers

Fournier will stay in the eastern conference, landing in Indiana. The Pacers have been looking for a proven 6th man this off-season and find that in Fournier. Evan Fournier looks to be paid this off-season and gets his best chance here. 

Contract – 4 year/72 Million 

Rudy Gay – Boston Celtics

The Celtics get a scorer off the bench in Rudy Gay as he will add isolation scoring and a go-to guy when Tatum/Brown are off the floor. The Celtics are a little thin on the bench right now so bringing in Gay would help them immediately.

Contract – 2 year/18 Million (2nd year PO)

Devonte Graham – Charlotte Hornets

Graham comes back to being the 6th man with Charlotte, as the Hornets accepted the qualifying offer to make him a RFA. Whether Hornets and Graham agree to a contract or Graham agrees to another offer, expect Hornets to match. 

Contract – 3 year/48 Million

Blake Griffin – Brooklyn Nets

The Nets and Blake come to an agreement here as Blake offered floor-spacing and size at the 5 last season. Expect the Nets to also add a rim protector on the cheap, but Blake can still add value whether it’s off the bench or as a starter for a team that’s ready for a championship push.

Contract – 1 year/vets minimum

Tim Hardaway Jr. – Dallas Mavericks

It’s hard to argue with the sides not coming back together as Tim Hardaway Jr. played a valuable role for the team through his shot-making. This is the best chance Hardaway has to be in a meaningful role while getting a payday. 

Contract – 4 year/76 Million 

Richaun Holmes – Sacramento Kings

Holmes thrived as a roll man last year with the Kings averaging 14.2 PPG on 63.7% from the floor. Now adding a third guard in Davion Mitchell in the draft, they will need their dominant role man to play with this 3 guard tandem. Sacramento isn’t going to settle with Tristan Thompson who is showing his age and losing production. Holmes will anchor as the team’s center for the short-term.

Contract – 2 year/26 Million

Talen Horton-Tucker – Oklahoma City Thunder

Horton-Tucker gets an opportunity to play and start for the tanking Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder make this move as an investment, hoping he pans out. 

Contract – 3 year/45 Million (3rd year TO) 

Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers

According to reports, Kawhi is expected to resign with the Clippers despite opting out of his deal. This was a little odd as he can make himself more money next season as a free agent if he intended to stay in Los Angeles. However, the 2 other suitors were Mavericks and Heat that were interested, but they will most likely explore the safer route with guys they know want to be there.

Contract – 4 year/176 Million (4th year PO)

Kyle Lowry – Miami Heat

Lowry will make his way to the 2020 Eastern Conference Champs. The Heat looks to make a splash and believe they are setting themselves up to get Lowry. The only other team that has set themselves up for Lowry is the Pelicans. I don’t see him picking them over Miami. 

Contract – 3 year/90 million (3rd year PO)

Lauri Markkanen – San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are going all-in on the rebuild and adding a young, talented forward. He has had trouble adapting as a modern-day stretch 4 as he struggles to defend the perimeter, but he adds much-needed spacing to compliment the young guards. The Spurs also have a great track record of getting players to reach their potential on that end, so this feels like a worthy gamble for San Antonio.

Contract – 3 year/51 Million (3rd year TO)

Patty Mills – Boston Celtics

The Celtics are thin at the guard position as Smart, Dunn, and Pritchard seem to be their 3 guards right now. Adding Mills would give the Celtics a veteran who can run an offense and also light it up occasionally as the other backcourt members aren’t necessarily known for their scoring.

Contract – 2 year/21 Million

Victor Oladipo – Dallas Mavericks

Victor’s Market is not what it was at the trade deadline after suffering another injury. Dallas was one team looking to add him at the deadline and take the chance on him. Victor would be a great fit with Luka providing defense and a secondary ball-handler. 

Contract – 1 year/13 Million

Kelly Olynyk – Toronto Raptors

Olynyk was very impressive with Houston, averaging more than 18ppg. He has been a proven stretch big for many seasons and will fit into Toronto. The Raptors have always been a fan of centers capable of shooting with Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Aaron Baynes. 

Contract – 2 year/22 Million

Kelly Oubre – Houston Rockets

The market gets dry for Oubre as he ends up in a situation where he may not be competing for a title, but this will give him guaranteed money and opportunity. Rockets are fairly thin at forward. This is a signing that they could potentially move off of later to gain more draft capital.

Contract – 3 year/50 Million (3rd year TO)

Chris Paul – Phoenix Suns 

This shouldn’t be surprising for many, as Chris Paul just had a historic season with the Suns. They look to run it back and continue to compete for the franchise’s first championship. 

Contract – 3 year/90 Million (3rd year PO)

Bobby Portis Jr. – Minnesota Timberwolves 

This may crush Bucks fans, but they have made it clear that they are prioritizing P.J. Tucker over Portis. Minnesota can offer Portis not only the money but an opportunity as a starter. Portis’s edge could help reshape the culture and will give them stability at PF. 

Contract – 3 year/45 Million

Norman Powell – Portland Trailblazers 

Powell could get some looks from outside teams, but expect Portland to retain him. The Trail Blazers need hope going into next season and bringing back Powell could help that. This becomes an offer Powell can’t refuse. 

Contract- 3 year/60 Million 

Derrick Rose – New York Knicks

Rose goes back to the coach that he has thrived with and that is Coach Thibs. They have an excellent relationship and Thibs is comfortable with his “drive-first” mindset that many other teams aren’t a fan of. This could be different if the Knicks decide to chase after Schroder, but if Thibs has any input, Rose will be back in a Knicks uniform next year.

Contract- 2 year/21 Million 

Duncan Robinson – Miami Heat

Duncan Robinson comes back to Miami, as Miami wants to get back on top of the Eastern Conference. Duncan has a pivotal role with Miami and they can’t afford to lose him. 

Contract- 4 year/68 Million (4th year TO)

Dennis Schroder – New Orleans Pelicans 

As other dominoes fall, Schoder and the Pels are “stuck” with each other. Pelicans not getting their first choice, they get a PG that can create his own shot and play within a system. It’s hard to say how much Covid affected Schroeder’s play in the postseason, but he’s a player that averaged 18.9 PPG when he was in OKC 2 years ago. He is still only 27, I expect the Pels to give him a chance, but on a deal that gives them the flexibility to not be “beholden” to it.

Contract- 2 year/50 Million (2nd year TO)

Gary Trent Jr. – Toronto Raptors

Trent stepped up this season with both Portland and Toronto. He is only 22 years old and provides shooting. Those two things should intrigue the Raptors in matching most offers. 

Contract- 4 year/64 Million (4th year PO) 

Article written by Bradley and Sean Patten

Photo found on NBA Analysis Network (https://www.nbaanalysis.net/2021/03/29/knicks-are-a-team-to-watch-for-demar-derozan-in-nba-free-agency/)

Published by bsscouts

This account is run by Bradley and Sean (BS) Patten. We are twin brothers who are passionate about basketball and want to make it into the NBA industry. We will be posting articles regularly​ on the NBA and up and coming NBA prospects.

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