Ultimate 2022 NBA free agency guide - Needs, priorities and spending options for all 30 teams

Ultimate 2022 NBA free agency guide – Needs, priorities and spending options for all 30 teams

The 2022 NBA Finals and the 2022 NBA draft are behind us, which means it’s time to turn our full attention to the 2022 NBA offseason. Free agents can begin negotiating with teams starting Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. The NBA’s annual player movement moratorium — during which most contracts can’t be signed and trades can’t be made official — begins July 1. A week later, everything that gets reported during the moratorium can become official after the league sets the final salary-cap and luxury-tax numbers for the 2022-23 season.

While only five teams enter this offseason with significant cap space to work with, all 30 teams have things they need to address this summer. We have a complete team-by-team guide to free agency, including what to watch, available exceptions, key dates, current roster status and every team’s free-agent list.

We’ll continue to update this file as moves get made throughout the summer, so be sure to check back often as big moves can shift priorities leaguewide.

Who to Watch: Travis Schlenk

The Hawks’ head of basketball operations has gone on the record saying he is not going to rely on continuity with the current roster.

Bird Rights Explainer

Bird rights
A team can exceed the cap to sign a free agent who has played three consecutive seasons with his current team. Bird rights transfer to a new team in a trade.

Early Bird rights
A team can exceed the cap to sign a player who has spent two consecutive seasons with his current team (without being waived, carries over in a trade), but it is restricted to 175% of his previous salary or 105% of the average player salary. A team can exceed either limit with available cap space. A contract signed using the early Bird exception must be for a minimum of two years, not including options. It cannot exceed four years.

Non-Bird rights
A free agent who has played one season with a team can sign for 120% of his previous contract or 120% of the minimum salary exception. Teams can exceed either limit but only with cap space or an exception.

Restricted free agent
A free agent either coming off his first-round rookie contract or who has signed a three-year contract and has three or fewer years of service can be given a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. In that case, his current team would have the right to match any offer. If the player is coming off a one-year or two-year deal, the maximum salary in the first year on an offer sheet from another team cannot exceed the full midlevel.

Note: A first-round pick who had his third-year or fourth-year option in his rookie-scale contract declined cannot be extended a qualifying offer and becomes an unrestricted free agent. His current team is limited to offering a contract with a first-year salary worth up to the value of the declined option.

“We made the decision last year to run the same group back,” he told Atlanta radio station 92.9 The Game. “We probably should’ve tried to upgrade, as opposed to stay the status quo. The way the season played out, we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.” Remove Trae Young from trade discussions, and that leaves Atlanta with five players — John Collins, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela — who have salaries ranging from $9.8 million to $25 million. The Hawks also have eight future first-round picks, including a top-16-protected pick from Charlotte in 2023.

What else to watch:

The rookie extension of Hunter

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax midlevel, veterans minimum and trade ($1.7 million and $1.8 million)

Above the luxury tax: $5.5 million

Note: If Danilo Gallinari is waived, Atlanta has $11 million in flexibility below the luxury tax.

Key dates:

June 29: Gallinari’s $21.5 million contract becomes fully guaranteed. There is currently $5 million protected.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend Hunter’s contract.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Jalen Johnson and fourth-year team option of Onyeka Okongwu.

Atlanta Hawks Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
T. Young K. Huerter D. Hunter J. Collins C. Capela
B. Bogdanovic A. Griffin D. GallinariPG O. Okongwu
C. Brown2 J. Johnson
Other: Tyrese Martin (SF)
PG: Partially guaranteed
2: Two-Way

Players under contract: 10

Team needs:

Defensive-minded backup point guard

Frontcourt depth if Gallinari is waived

Extension-eligible: Bogdanovic, Gallinari and Hunter (rookie)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The luxury tax

After an appearance in the NBA Finals, the big question for the Celtics this offseason is whether ownership has an appetite to spend deep into the luxury tax. Including Al Horford‘s partially guaranteed contract, the Celtics enter the offseason $7.5 million over the luxury tax. Boston has the $6.5 million tax midlevel exception available, along with three large trade exceptions of $17.1, $9.7 and $6.9 million. Despite being over the tax, Boston can use the trade exceptions in a trade — but not to acquire a free agent via a sign-and-trade deal.

What else to watch:

The Jaylen Brown extension options: three years, $119 million is the max allowed

The rookie extension options for Grant Williams

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax, veterans minimum and trade ($17.2 million, $9.7 million, $6.9 million and $3.8 million)

Over the luxury tax: $6 million

Key dates:

June 29: The deadline to exercise the team options of Juwan Morgan ($1.8 million) and Sam Hauser ($1.6 million). Hauser has $300,000 in protection if the option is exercised.

July 7: $9.8 million trade exception expires.

July 15: Nik Stauskas‘ $2.2 million contract becomes guaranteed.

July 18: $17.2 million trade exception expires.

Sept. 1: Malik Fitts‘ $1.8 million contract has $50,000 in protection if he is on the roster.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Brown and Grant Williams.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the fourth-year team options of Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard.

Boston Celtics Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
M. Smart J. Brown J. Tatum A. Horford PG R. Williams
P. Pritchard D. White A. Nesmith G. Williams D. Theis
N. Stauskas NG S. Hauser T J. Morgan T
M. Fitts NG
PG: Partial guarantee
T: Team Option

Players under contract: 14

Team needs:

Extension eligible: Brown (as of Oct. 1), Horford and Grant Williams (rookie)

Irving opted in to his $36.5 million contract, and the question moving forward is whether the decision is a short-term solution or the former All-Star is in a Nets uniform for the foreseeable future.

He is eligible to sign an extension for an additional four years up until next June, but Brooklyn has shown no inclination for giving him a new contract.

Would Brooklyn explore trades for Irving, or will it play out the season and let Irving walk for nothing next offseason or perhaps work out a new contract.

That is the unanswered question that will hover over the Nets this offseason and into the regular season.

What else to watch:

The cost of their own free agents, Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton

Does the front office have the authority to go deep into the luxury tax?

The Seth Curry extension

Available exceptions: $6.5 million, veterans minimum and trade ($11.3 million, $6.3 million, $3.3 million, $1.7 million and $1.3 million)

Over the luxury tax: $9 million

June 29: The Nets have to decide on the $1.6 million team option of Kessler Edwards.

July 6: The $3.3 million trade exception expires.

Aug. 11: The first day Curry’s contract can be extended for more than two seasons.

Aug. 19: The $6.6 million trade exception expires.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend Ben Simmons‘ contract.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team options of Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe.

Brooklyn Nets Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
K. Irving S. Curry B. Simmons K. Durant D. Sharpe
P. MillsP C. Thomas J. Harris
K. Edwards T
P: Player option
T: Team option

Players under contract: 9

Rim protector at center and frontcourt depth

Backup point guard if Mills becomes a free agent

Depth at power forward and center

Extension eligible: Irving, Curry, (as of Aug. 11), Simmons (as of Aug. 11) and Harris

Free-agent status:

Kessler Edwards | Team | Restricted | Non-Bird

What to watch: Restricted free agent Miles Bridges

Bridges enters the offseason coming off a career year in Charlotte. However, restricted free agency has taught us that the Hornets hold leverage because they have the right to match Bridges’ next contract, especially with only five teams having substantial cap space (Detroit, Indiana, Orlando, Portland and San Antonio).

Still, the Hornets could make an aggressive offer to the forward at the start of free agency, eliminating the risk of Bridges signing a less-than-appealing offer sheet or the threat of him signing the one-year, $7.9 million qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

A contract that starts at $24 million per season (five years, $139 million) would keep the Hornets below the luxury tax in 2022-23, allowing them the financial flexibility to avoid being a taxpayer in the future — even accounting for P.J. Washington signing an extension this offseason and LaMelo Ball doing so in 2023.

The Hornets cannot afford to overplay their hand and use the threat of a shrinking market to leverage Bridges. While the Hornets have leverage now, that will not be the case if Bridges gets turned off by a hardline stance in the negotiations and asks out or does the unthinkable and signs the qualifying offer.

What else to watch:

Can the current roster become more than a play-in contender?

The extension options for Washington

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual and veterans minimum

Below the luxury tax: $37 million

June 30: Kelly Oubre Jr.’s $12.6 million contract becomes guaranteed. There is currently $5 million protected.

July 7: The last day to waive Nick Richards‘ $1.8 million contract.

Aug. 1: The last day to waive Jalen McDaniels‘ $1.8 million non-guaranteed contact.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Washington and Gordon Hayward.

Oct. 31: The last day to exercise the third-year team option of James Bouknight.

Charlotte Hornets Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
L. Ball T. Rozier G. Hayward P. Washington M. Plumlee
J. Bouknight K. Oubre Jr.PG J. McDanielsT M. Williams
J. Thor K. Jones
N. Richards NG
Other: Bryce McGowens (SG) and Josh Mynott (SF/PF)
PG: Partially guaranteed
NG: Non-guaranteed
T: Team option

Players under contract: 12

Bouknight to develop into a rotational player

Extension-eligible: Washington (rookie), McDaniels, Hayward, Mason Plumlee and Richards

Free-agent status:

Miles Bridges | Restricted | Bird

What to watch: Free agent Zach LaVine

LaVine was clear after the season that he will explore his free-agent options this offseason. “I plan to enjoy free agency. We’re gonna have to experience A through Z without making any fast decisions. I think that’s something me and [agent Rich Paul] are gonna go through and experience.” What the All-Star will find is a substantial pay gap if he stays in Chicago versus signing with another team.

LaVine is eligible to sign a five-year, $215 million contract with the Bulls, $55 million more than another team can offer. The four teams with the $37 million slot to sign LaVine are Detroit, Indiana, Orlando and San Antonio. If he wants to land in a place like Dallas, it will come in a complicated sign-and-trade deal, something the Bulls would have to sign off on.

Because LaVine is receiving a 120% raise off his 2021-22 salary and Chicago is over the cap, he would be subjected to the base year compensation restriction in a trade. That means only 50% of his new cap hit for 2022-23 counts as incoming salary, while his full amount is used as outgoing.

What else to watch:

The health of Lonzo Ball: 27-13 record before his injury

The extension options for Nikola Vucevic and Coby White

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel and trade ($5 million)

Below the luxury tax: $47 million

June 29: The deadline for Tony Bradley to opt in to his $2.1 million contract.

July 7: The $5 million trade exception expires.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend White’s contract.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the fourth-year team option of Patrick Williams.

Chicago Bulls Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
L. Ball C. White D. DeRozan P. Williams N. Vucevic
A. Dosunmu A. Caruso J. Green M. Simonovic T. BradleyP
D. Terry
P: Player option

Players under contract: 11

LaVine in a Bulls uniform when training camp starts

Depth at power forward and center

Extension-eligible: Vucevic and White (rookie)

Free-agent status:

Tony Bradley | Player | Non-Bird

What to watch: Collin Sexton

Sexton missed most of the regular season and, despite concerns about his injury and his long-term fit with Garland, received a $8.6 million qualifying offer and is now a restricted free agent.

From a medical standpoint, the Cavaliers will have the best insight on how the guard has recovered from a torn left meniscus that cost him most of the season. If there are no red flags to his knee, Cleveland can take a more proactive approach to a new contract if Sexton is part of the future. They can also walk away from an offer sheet if there are concerns regarding his knee and they believe the contract is more of a liability.

Sexton has value, either with the Cavaliers or possibly in a sign-and-trade deal. The guard had a career year in 2020-21, averaging 24.3 points and shooting 47.5% from the field.

“He’s enormously important to us, he’s been enormously important to us,” president of basketball operations Koby Altman said after the season. “To lose him, you can see throughout the year why we missed him or how we missed him. We owe Collin a great debt of gratitude for what he’s done, the work he’s put in and he continues to put in. An important part of his team.”

The Cavaliers’ finances in 2022-23 will play a role in his future. Including their draft pick and non-guaranteed salaries (Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens), the Cavaliers have a $21 million buffer below the luxury-tax threshold.

What else to watch:

The rookie extension of Darius Garland: Is he max worthy?

Should Cleveland explore extensions with Caris LeVert and Kevin Love, or prioritize cap flexibility in 2023?

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual and veterans minimum

Below the luxury tax: $23 million

Oct. 17: The deadline to extend Garland and Dylan Windler

Oct. 31: The last day to exercise the third-year team option of Evan Mobley

Cleveland Cavaliers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
D. Garland I. Okoro L. Markkanen E. Mobley J. Allen
C. LeVert C. Osman K. Love
O. Agbaji L. Stevens NG D. Wade
D. Windler
Other: Isaiah Mobley (PF), Luke Travers (SF) and Khalifa Diop (C)
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 12

Team needs:

Bench scoring and backup center

Extension-eligible: Garland (rookie), Love, LeVert and Windler (rookie)

Free-agent status:

Collin Sexton | Restricted | Bird

What to watch: Jalen Brunson and the hard cap

Brunson’s decision dictates the Mavericks’ offseason. As an unrestricted free agent, the guard is free to sign with any team that has cap space, but Dallas has leverage because it can offer him the most money (up to 30% of the salary cap) and years (five). If Brunson returns, the Mavericks will have their backcourt of the future, but at a likely cost of $300 million in guaranteed money. It will also come at a significant financial cost in a projected $100 million in salary and luxury-tax penalty in 2022-23.

If Brunson departs, the Mavericks are left with the $6.5 million tax midlevel exception and are challenged to acquire a free agent in a sign-and-trade deal because they are right at the $157 million threshold.

What else to watch:

The comfort level with the luxury tax

Roster resources: $6.5 million tax midlevel and Brunson to improve the roster.

Available exceptions: $6.5 million midlevel and veterans minimum

Over the luxury tax: $6.5 million

July 3: Maxi Kleber‘s $9.2 million contract becomes guaranteed if he is not waived by 11:59 p.m. ET.

July 4: Frank Ntilikina‘s $2 million contract is guaranteed if he is not waived.

Aug. 12: The trade restriction for Dorian Finney-Smith is lifted.

Oct. 17: The last day to exercise the fourth-year team option of Josh Green.

Dallas Mavericks Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
L. Doncic S. Dinwiddie R. Bullock D. Finney-Smith C. Wood
F. NtilikinaNG T. Hardaway Jr. M. Kleber D. Powell
J. Green D. Bertans
Other: Jaden Hardy (SG)
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 11

Team needs:

What to watch: The supermax extension of Nikola Jokic and the luxury tax

The current MVP is set to join an exclusive club.

Jokic will be not only the ninth player to sign a supermax contract but also the first second-round pick and youngest player to do so.

The five-year, $254 million contract will be the largest contract in NBA history — for now.

The extension does not start until the 2023-24 season, but Denver is set to pay a tax penalty in 2022-23 for the first time since 2009-10.

The Nuggets are $2.1 million over the tax threshold and have four open roster spots.

What else to watch:

Does the front office have the authority to spend outside of the veterans minimum?

The health of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax midlevel, $8.2 million trade and veterans minimum

Over the luxury tax: $2.5 million

Key dates:

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Murray and Monte Morris

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Bones Hyland and fourth-year team option for Zeke Nnaji

Denver Nuggets Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
J. Murray W. Barton M. Porter Jr. A. Gordon N. Jokic
M. Morris B. Hyland P. Watson Je. Green Z. Nnaji
C. Braun
Other: Ismael Kamagate (C)

Players under contract: 11

Team needs:

Depth at small forward and center

Extension eligible: Jokic, Murray and Morris (as of Sept. 30)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The direction with cap space

For a third consecutive offseason, the Pistons are positioned to spend in free agency.

Detroit will enter the offseason with a projected $35 million in room, the most of any team.

The options on how the Pistons use available room consist of signing a restricted free agent (Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges or Anfernee Simons) to an offer sheet or taking back unwanted contracts — but with either a young player or pick from a team like the Knicks.

There is also the pressing need to surround Cade Cunningham with perimeter scoring, and Detroit can break up some of its money, perhaps on a player like Malik Monk, Bryn Forbes or Gary Harris.

What else to watch:

Is free agent Marvin Bagley III part of the future?

Available exceptions: $5.4 million room midlevel and veterans minimum

Below the salary cap: $35 million

Note: Cap space does not factor in the free-agent hold of Bagley

Key dates:

June 29: The team-option deadlines of Hamidou Diallo, Luka Garza and Frank Jackson. Guard Cory Joseph also has a $5.2 million player option.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Cunningham and fourth-year team options of Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

Detroit Pistons Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
C. Cunningham J. Ivey S. Bey K. Olynyk I. Stewart
C. Joseph P K. Hayes L. Garza T J. Duren
S. Lee H. Diallo (T)T I. Livers
C. EdwardsNG F. Jackson T
Other: Gabriele Procida (SG)
P: Player option
T: Team option
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 14

Cory Joseph | Player | Bird

Frank Jackson | Team | Early Bird

Marvin Bagley III | Restricted | Bird

Braxton Key | Restricted | Non-Bird

Luka Garza | Team | Restricted | Non-Bird

What to watch: Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II

An additional $100 million tax penalty to keep free agents Looney and Payton could be deemed as a luxury, especially when the Warriors could potentially rely on three players — James Wiseman, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga — who are on inexpensive rookie contracts.

As the regular season and playoffs confirmed, Looney and Payton are more than expensive insurance policies.

Looney is one of five players to play 82 games this season, and 80 came as the starting center. He had 19 games of 10-plus rebounds and 12 games of five-plus offensive rebounds. In the playoffs, he led all players in offensive rebounds, ranking in the top 10 in offensive rebounds per game.

Looney has established Bird rights, and despite the Warriors’ financial restrictions, his next contract can exceed the salary cap with a significant financial penalty. A contract that starts at $7 million would cost the Warriors an additional $36 million toward the luxury tax.

Payton averaged a career high 7.0 points per game this season, but it was his impact on the defensive end that stood out. He averaged 2.8 steals per 36 minutes this season (second best behind only Jose Alvarado) and held opponents to 40.4% shooting as the closest defender. That ranked in the top 10 among more than 300 players to defend 300 shots, per ESPN Stats & Information research.

Payton was waived after training camp but established early Bird rights because he did not sign with another team after clearing waivers.

Golden State can pay him a salary up to $10.9 million and does not have to dip into its $6.4 million tax midlevel. But the contract has to be a minimum of two seasons, not including a player or team option.

What else to watch:

The bench resources: veterans minimum and tax midlevel exception

Is some of their youth expendable? Wiseman, Kuminga and Moody

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax midlevel and veterans minimum

Over the luxury tax: $23 million

Aug. 3: The first day that Golden State can extend Green’s contract

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Poole and Klay Thompson

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team options of Moody and Kuminga and fourth-year team option of Wiseman

Golden State Warriors Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
S. Curry K. Thompson A. Wiggins D. Green J. Wiseman
J. Poole M. Moody P. Baldwin Jr. J. Kuminga
Other: Ryan Rollins (SG) and Gui Santos (SF)

Players under contract: 9

Extension-eligible: Wiggins, Thompson, Green (as of Aug. 3) and Poole (rookie)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: Eric Gordon

The offseason should bring more clarity on the future of Gordon, who will turn 34 in December and is coming off one of his more productive seasons. The Rockets will need to weigh his value with their young players or in a possible trade.

“I think we’ve seen real growth in our young players, and I think Eric is a big part of that,” GM Rafael Stone said after the trade deadline. “He’s bought-in and wants to be part of it. He feels good about the process. He likes where we are at.”

He has a $19.6 million cap hit this season and a non-guaranteed salary of $20.9 million in 2023-24.

What else to watch:

Who is expendable on the roster? 18 players are under contract.

Kevin Porter Jr.’s rookie extension: Is there a body of work to trust him with a lucrative contract? Can he play alongside Jalen Green?

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4 million trade, $4.1 million biannual and veterans minimum

Below the luxury tax: $30 million

Houston Rockets Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
K. Porter Jr. J. Green G. Mathews J. Smith A. Sengun
T. Washington E. Gordon J. Christopher. J. Tate. B. Marjanovic
T. Burke. D. Nwaba K. Martin Jr. T. Eason M. Chriss
S. Brown U. Garuba
D. Nix

Players under contract: 18

Player development of their young players

Extension eligible: Porter (rookie), Gordon (as of Sept. 3), Jae’Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr. (as of July 23)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The direction with cap space and Malcolm Brogdon

The roster decision Indiana must currently navigate is whether to use cap space (Indiana could have up to $25 million) to improve the roster at the risk of long-term flexibility, or use the 2022-23 season as a bridge year with a clear focus on Indiana’s young players.

The two highest paid (and oldest) players on the roster, Brogdon and Buddy Hield, have two years left on their contracts and give the Pacers another resource, either to keep or explore moving in a trade.

How Tyrese Haliburton fits with Brogdon is also a question that Indiana will need to answer. Although it was a small sample, the Pacers were outscored by 16.3 points per 100 possessions with both players in the backcourt.

Brogdon signed a two-year extension last offseason and is under contract through 2024-25. He has salaries of $22.6 million, $22.5 million and $22.5 million over three seasons, respectively.

What else to watch:

The renegotiation of Myles Turner‘s contract

Available exceptions: $5.4 million room midlevel and veterans minimum

Below the salary cap: $27 million

June 29: The deadline to exercise Oshae Brissett‘s $1.8 million contract.

July 6: Duane Washington Jr.’s $1.6 million non-guaranteed contract becomes fully protected.

July 10: Terry Taylor‘s $1.6 million partially guaranteed contract becomes fully protected.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Goga Bitadze and Hield.

Oct. 31: The last day to exercise the third-year team option of Chris Duarte and fourth-year team option of Haliburton.

Indiana Pacers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
M. Brogdon T. Haliburton C. Duarte O. BrissettT M. Turner
T. McConnell B. Hield B. Mathurin I. Jackson G. Bitadze
D. WashingtonNG T. Taylor PG
Other: Andrew Nembhard (PG), Hugo Bessoan (SG) and Kendall Brown (SF)
NG: Non-guaranteed
PG: Partial guarantee
T: Team Option

Players under contract: 12

Team needs:

Starting and backup power forward

Extension eligible: Turner, Bitadze (rookie) and Hield (as of Oct. 1)

Free-agent status:

Oshae Brissett | Team | Restricted | Early Bird

What to watch: The roster outside of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

The Clippers started free agency early when Covington agreed to a two-year, $24 million extension in May.

Covington’s extension is an example that despite limited financial flexibility and a lack of draft picks, there are other avenues for how the Clippers can improve their roster.

Now entering the offseason, Los Angeles has four players who earn between $11.2 million and $16.8 million — Norman Powell, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris Sr. — that they can use in a trade.

They also have early Bird rights to free agent Nicolas Batum, and two valuable trade exceptions of $9.7 and $8.3 million.

Available exceptions: $6.5 million midlevel, veterans minimum and trade ($9.7 million and $8.3 million)

Over the luxury tax: $18 million

June 29: The deadline to exercise the $7.5 million team option of Ivica Zubac

July 18: The $8.3 million trade exception expires

Oct. 17: The last day to extend Morris’ contract

LA Clippers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
R. Jackson P. George K. Leonard M. Morris I. Zubac
T. Mann N. Powell L. Kennard R. Covington
J. Preston B. Boston
Other: Moussa Diabate (PF)

Players under contract: 11

A healthy Leonard and George

Free-agent status:

Who to watch: Russell Westbrook and Rob Pelinka

There is no surprise that Westbrook opted in to to his $47.4 million contract for next season. Now it is up to general manager Pelinka to build a win-now roster around rookie head coach Darvin Ham. Because of the challenges of moving Westbrook’s contract without attaching a draft asset, the Lakers’ front office will operate with the belief that the $6.5 million tax midlevel and veterans minimum exceptions are the lone resources available for their remaining eight roster spots. For the Lakers to have better results than the free agents they signed last offseason, they must be less reliant on veterans who were previously on the roster or at the tail end of their career.

What else to watch:

The LeBron James extension: 2 years, $97.1M starting on Aug. 4

Adding affordable youth in free agency (tax midlevel and veterans minimum)

Available exceptions: $6.5 million midlevel, veterans minimum and trade ($2.7 million and $1.7 million)

Over the luxury tax: $560,000

June 29: The last day for Westbrook to opt in to his $47.4 million contract. Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel also have a team option.

Aug. 4: The first day that James is eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million extension.

Los Angeles Lakers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
R. Westbrook A. Reaves NG L. James S. Johnson A. Davis
K. Nunn T. Horton-Tucker W. GabrielT
Other: Max Christie (SG/SF)
T: Team option
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 8

Team needs:

Youth sprinkled throughout their bench

Depth at every position

Extension eligible: James (as of Aug. 4) and Westbrook

Russell Westbrook | Player | Bird

Wenyen Gabriel | Restricted | Team | Non-Bird

Offseason transactions: Jake LaRavia (first round), David Roddy (first round), Kennedy Chandler (second round) and Vince Williams Jr. (second round)

What to watch: Free agent Tyus Jones

Tyus Jones enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, but because he has established Bird rights, the Grizzlies have a distinct advantage of signing him to a contract that exceeds the $10.5 million midlevel that most teams have to offer.

The Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs are the teams with available cap space. Teams like the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards would need to create room or work a sign-and-trade deal with the Grizzlies.

Jones boasts a 7.0 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2021-22, the highest in a single season since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, per ESPN Stats & Information research. The last player to accomplish that feat? Jones in 2018-19.

Concern over Morant’s durability is another reason Jones should be a priority signing for Memphis. In 24 games as a starter in place of Morant, Jones averaged 12.7 points and 6.6 assists. The Grizzlies went 19-5 in those games.

What else to watch:

Do Dillon Brooks and Steven Adams fit long term? Last year of their contract

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual, veterans minimum and trade ($4.1 million and $1.1 million)

Below the luxury tax: $45 million

Note: If Jones and free agent Kyle Anderson do not return, the Grizzlies could have $19 million in room.

Key dates:

July 3: John Konchar‘s $2.3 million contract becomes guaranteed

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Morant, Clarke and De’Anthony Melton

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team options of Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama and fourth-year team option of Desmond Bane.

Memphis Grizzlies Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
J. Morant D. Bane D. Brooks J. Jackson Jr. S. Adams
T. Terry (2) J. Konchar PG Z. Williams B. Clarke X. Tillman
D. GreenPG J. LaRavia D. Roddy S. Aldama
K. Tillie
Other: Kennedy Chandler (PG) and Vince Williams (SF)
PG: Partial guarantee
2: Two-way

Players under contract: 14

Team needs:

Veteran backup point guard

Extension eligible: Morant (rookie), Clarke (rookie), Brooks, Konchar, Adams and Xavier Tillman (as of July 27)

Free-agent status:

Yves Pon | Restricted | Non-Bird

What to watch: The roster resources

The opportunity to build out the roster this offseason likely will not occur with a blockbuster trade, but rather with Miami’s own free agents — notably P.J. Tucker, Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin — and minor tweaks.

The Heat have $128 million in contracts with $96 million earmarked toward Butler, Lowry and Bam Adebayo.

Butler and Adebayo are close to untouchable in any trade.

Lowry has $58 million remaining on his contract, struggled to stay healthy last season and has regressed on the court.

The remaining $33 million in salary consists of the $16.9 million owed to Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and four players on minimum contracts: Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Omer Yurtseven and Haywood Highsmith.

Miami will be challenged to cobble together enough salary to put in a trade.

Herro is extension eligible, and a new contract would contain a poison pill restriction, making the guard close to untradable during the season.

Tucker opted out of his $7.3 million contract, and Miami can still bring him back at either $8.4 million (non-Bird rights) or on the $10.5 million midlevel exception.

Because of the over-38 rule, the maximum years that Tucker can sign for is three.

What else to watch:

Are there enough assets to add a superstar?

The cost to retain Oladipo and Martin

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual, veterans minimum and trade ($1.8 million)

Below the luxury tax: $22 million

Key dates:

June 29: The contracts of Vincent, Yurtseven and Strus become guaranteed

Oct. 17: The last day to extend Herro’s contract

Miami Heat Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
K. Lowry M. StrusNG J. Butler N. Jovic B. Adebayo
G. VincentNG T. Herro D. Robinson O. YurtsevenNG
J. Smart2 H. HighsmithNG
NG: Non-guaranteed
2: Two Way

Players under contract: 10

P.J. Tucker | Non Bird

Caleb Martin | Restricted | Non-Bird

What to watch: Bobby Portis

Unlike last offseason, when the Bucks were restricted to offering Portis a contract that could not exceed $4.5 million (120% of his 2020-21 salary), Portis is now allowed to sign a contract that starts at $10.9 million because he has established early Bird rights. The contract has to be for a minimum of two seasons and cannot include a player option in the second year.

If Portis agrees to a two-year, $22.6 million contract with the Bucks, he will enter free agency in 2024 when he is 29 years old.

On the court, Portis started 55 regular-season games in place of the injured Brook Lopez, averaging 16.1 points on 49% shooting and 41% on 3-pointers. In seven games as a starter in the playoffs over the past two seasons, he averaged 15.4 points and 11.3 rebounds.

What else to watch:

Low-cost free-agency options for bench help: veterans minimum and tax midlevel

The extension options of Khris Middleton

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax midlevel, veterans minimum and trade ($1.6 million and $1.5 million)

Over the luxury tax: $4.5 million

Key dates:

Oct. 17: The deadline to extend Middleton’s contract

Milwaukee Bucks Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
J. Holiday G. Allen K. Middleton G. Antetokounmpo B. Lopez
G. Hill P. Connaughton T. Antetokounmpo S. Mamukelashvili2 B. PortisP
L. VildozaNG M. Beauchamp
R. TuckerNG
Other: Hugo Besson (SG/PG)
P: Player option
2: Two-way
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 12

Depth at small forward, power forward and center (if Portis does not return)

Insurance at backup point guard

Extension eligible: Lopez and Middleton (as of July 11)

Free-agent status:

Who to watch: President of basketball operations Tim Connelly

The new head of basketball operations is tasked with shaping a Minnesota roster for sustainable success in the future. It starts with Karl-Anthony Towns. The All-NBA center is eligible to sign a four-year, $210 million supermax extension. His teammate D’Angelo Russell is on an expiring contract, and his future is anything but certain. Russell is extension eligible but played a reduced role in the first-round loss to Minnesota.

What else to watch:

The supermax extension of Towns

Russell’s expiring contract

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual, veterans minimum and trade ($4.8 million)

Below the luxury tax: $28 million

June 29: The last day to exercise the $1.9 million team options of Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell

June 30: The $4.8 million trade exception expires

July 20: Reid’s contract becomes guaranteed

Oct. 17: The deadline to extend Towns’ contract

Oct. 31: The last day to exercise the third-year team option of Leandro Bolmaro and fourth-year team options of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels

Timberwolves Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
D. Russell P. Beverley A. Edwards J. Vanderbilt K. Towns
J. McLaughlin M. Beasley J. NowellT J. McDaniels W. Kessler
L. Bolmaro W. Moore Jr. N. Reid T
Other: Matteo Spagnolo (PG)
T: Team Option

Players under contract: 13

Team needs:

Extension-eligible: Towns, Russell, Reid, Nowell and Malik Beasley (as of July 9)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: Zion Williamson‘s rookie extension

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, can sign a five-year, $187 million max rookie extension this summer. Giving Williamson the full value without any injury contingencies, however, would be reckless.

There is no denying that Williamson is an All-Star, All-NBA and top-20 player — when he’s healthy.

Over his first three seasons in the NBA, Williamson has played a total of 85 games. He missed 48 games during his rookie season and all 82 this past season.

Per ESPN Stats & Information research, Williamson is only the third No. 1 overall pick in the modern era (since 1966) to play fewer than 100 games in the three seasons after being drafted. David Robinson spent the first two years out of college fulfilling his Naval Academy obligations, and Greg Oden dealt with multiple injuries. Both Robinson and Oden played 82 games in three years.

What else to watch:

Balancing the roster: 15 players under contract entering free agency

CJ McCollum‘s extension

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax, veterans minimum and trade ($6.4 million and $1.8 million)

Below the luxury tax: $4 million

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Williamson, Jaxson Hayes and McCollum

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Trey Murphy III and fourth-year team option of Kira Lewis Jr.

New Orleans Pelicans Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
Z. Williamson C. McCollum B. Ingram H. Jones J. Valanciunas
J. AlvaradoPG D. Daniels G. Temple L. Nance Jr. J. Hayes
K. Lewis D. Graham T. Murphy W. Hernangomez
N. Marshall
Other: EJ Liddell (PF) and Karlo Matkovic (PF/C)
PG: Partially guaranteed

Players under contract: 15

Extension eligible: Williamson (rookie), Larry Nance Jr., McCollum and Hayes (rookie)

Free-agent status:

What to watch: Cap flexibility

After trading the No. 11 pick in the draft and Kemba Walker, the Knicks made it known that their top priority this offseason is to create cap space for free agents.

New York currently has $13 million in space and would need to waive Taj Gibson‘s $5.2 million non-guaranteed contract and trade either Nerlens Noel or Alec Burks to create additional room.

If New York does create $26 million for a player like Jalen Brunson, it would still have flexibility to re-sign center Mitchell Robinson.

What else to watch:

The price of unrestricted FA Robinson

Available exceptions: $5.4 million midlevel and veterans minimum

Below the salary cap: $13 million

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Barrett and Cam Reddish

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Quentin Grimes and fourth-year team options for Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin

New York Knicks Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
I. Quickley E. Fournier R. Barrett J. Randle N. Noel
M. McBride D. Rose Q. Grimes O. Toppin T. GibsonNG
A. Burks C. Reddish J. Sims2
Other: Trevor Keels (SG/SF)
NG: Non-guaranteed
2: Two-Way

Players under contract: 12

Team needs:

3-and-D versatile wing

Extension-eligible: Barrett (rookie) and Reddish (rookie),

What to watch: Luguentz Dort and balancing the roster

The Thunder went in the direction of exercising Dort’s $1.9 million option and not running the risk of facing competition this offseason in signing him to a new contract.

Dort returns on an inexpensive contract, and now the Thunder are eligible to sign him to a four-year, $58 million extension, or they play out the season and allow the guard to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

The Thunder also face a roster crunch with 19 players under contract — not including second-round pick Jaylin Williams — and will explore trade options with veterans Derrick Favors and JaMychal Green.

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual and veterans minimum

Below the luxury tax: $17 million

June 30: Theo Maledon‘s $1.9 million contract becomes guaranteed

July 3: Isaiah Roby’s $1.9 million contract becomes guaranteed, if not waived

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Ty Jerome and Darius Bazley

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team options of Josh Giddey and Tre Mann and the fourth-year team option of Aleksej Pokusevski

OKC Thunder Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
S. Gilgeous-Alexander L. Dort J. Giddey C. Holmgren D. Favors
T. Jerome T. Mann K. WilliamsNG D. Bazley I. RobyT
V. Krejci PG Jal. Williams O. Dieng J. Robinson-Earl M. Muscala T
T. MaledonNG A. Wiggins A. Pokusevski
L. Waters 2 J. Green
Other: Jaylin Williams (C/PF)
PG: Partially guaranteed
NG: Non-guaranteed
T: Team option
2: Two-way

Players under contract: 19

Team needs:

Heavy dose of player development

Extension eligible: Dort, Kenrich Williams, Bazley (rookie), Jerome (rookie), Roby, Favors and Maledon (as of Aug. 28),

Free-agent status:

Derrick Favors | Player | Early Bird

Isaiah Roby | Team | Restricted | Bird

What to watch: Mo Bamba and cap flexibility

Bamba’s free agency will dictate how much flexibility the Magic will have. Orlando has $92 million in guaranteed salary, but the Magic will be right up against the $122 million salary because of Bamba’s $22.7 million cap hold.

How that cap space evolves will depend on several factors. First, the Magic front office must determine if Bamba is expendable now that they have drafted Paolo Banchero to pair with Wendell Carter Jr. The next question is if they want to stay over the cap or become a room team.

What else to watch:

Available exceptions: $5.4 million room midlevel and veterans minimum

Below the salary cap: $27 million

June 30: Moritz Wagner‘s $1.9 million contract becomes guaranteed

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team options of Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner, and fourth-year team options of RJ Hampton, Chuma Okeke and Cole Anthony

Orlando Magic Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
M. Fultz J. Suggs F. Wagner P. Banchero W. Carter Jr.
C. Anthony R. Hampton T. Ross C. Okeke
D. Cannady NG J. Isaac
M. Wagner NG
Other: Caleb Houstan (SF/SG)
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 12

Extension eligible: Terrence Ross, Jonathan Isaac (as of Sept. 30) and Markelle Fultz (as of Sept. 30),

Free-agent status:

What to watch: James Harden‘s contract

Harden is likely back, but his contract for 2022-23 determines whether Philadelphia has the $6.5 million tax or $10.5 million midlevel exception.

If Harden opts in to his $47.4 million deal, the Sixers — barring a trade — are $3.7 million over the tax and limited to the smaller extension.

He would then be eligible to sign a two-year, $102 million extension.

If Harden opts out and signs a contract that starts at $40 million, Philadelphia would then be able to afford a player like P.J. Tucker.

What else to watch:

Is Matisse Thybulle a trade chip or part of the future?

The roster resources: $6.5 million tax midlevel, Thybulle and Tobias Harris

Available exceptions: $6.5 million midlevel and veterans minimum

Above the luxury tax: $4 million

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Thybulle and Harris

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year option of Jaden Springer and fourth-year option of Tyrese Maxey

Philadelphia 76ers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
T. Maxey J. HardenP M. Thybulle T. Harris J. Embiid
S. MiltonT D. Melton F. Korkmaz G. Niang C. BasseyNG
J. Springer I. JoeNG P. ReedNG
C. Brown2
P: Player Option
T: Team Option
NG: Non-guaranteed
2: Two-Way

Players under contract: 13

Extension eligible: Harden, Thybulle (rookie), Harris, Shake Milton and Isaiah Joe

James Harden | Player | Bird

What to watch: The cost of restricted free agent Deandre Ayton.

One of two things will happen this offseason with Ayton and the Suns.

Either the former No. 1 pick will join an exclusive club of centers (Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo) who are currently on max contracts, or the two sides’ failure to reach an agreement on an extension last October will continue.

The offseason now presents the question of whether Phoenix now views Ayton as a $179 million player (or perhaps $138 million with one fewer year) after another strong season. If they do, he will be in a Suns uniform for the foreseeable future.

But what happens if Phoenix uses the threat of restricted free agency and the limited number of teams with available cap space as leverage? Will the Suns tell Ayton to go out and get an offer sheet from another team, with the belief it would get matched?

What else to watch:

Does the front office have the authority to spend outside of its own players?

Available exceptions: $6.5 million tax midlevel and veterans minimum

Note: The Suns have the $10.5 million midlevel exception if Ayton does not return

Below the luxury tax: $22 million

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Booker and Johnson.

Phoenix Suns Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
C. Paul D. Booker M. Bridges J. Crowder
C. Payne L. Shamet C. Johnson D. Saric
T. Craig

Players under contract: 9

Insurance policy at point guard to back up Chris Paul

Backup power forward

Extension eligible: Johnson (rookie), Booker and Crowder

What to watch: Anfernee Simons

Simons is at the forefront of the Trail Blazers’ rebuild.

Because of the roadblocks of free agency and trades, the former first-round pick’s development will play a big role in how quickly this roster improves.

Simons is a restricted free agent, and the Trail Blazers have made it known how important he is to their future.

“A core piece, definitely,” general manager Joe Cronin told The Washington Post’s Ben Golliver. “We wanted to create a runway here for him.”

The runway Cronin mentioned are the trades of CJ McCollum and Norman Powell at the deadline, along with playing more of a feature role because of Lillard’s injury.

Simons is one of four players — including Kevin Durant, Tyler Herro and Kyrie Irving — to average at least 20 points and 40% from 3 since Jan. 1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also attempted 10.4 3s per game (converting 42%), second most in the NBA behind Fred VanVleet. In 2021-22, he shot 46.6% on catch-and-shoot 3s, the highest rate in the NBA among players with 200 attempts. Simons had the biggest increase in points per game (+9.5) from the prior year this season.

As for a new contract, the five-year, $90 million deal that Powell signed last August is a comparable salary. An average of $16 million per year appears as an overpay, especially when you consider Simons started only five games before this season.

However, Simons will be only 23 years old when the season starts, and the development he showed in 2021-22 — and the fact that teams like Detroit and Orlando have significant cap space to make an offer sheet — means Portland will need to take an aggressive approach.

What else to watch:

Damian Lillard‘s extension: 2 years, $106 million

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual, veterans minimum and trade ($6.6 million and $3.3 million)

Below the luxury tax: $30 million

July 10: Eric Bledsoe‘s $19.4 million contract becomes guaranteed if he is not waived.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Damian Lillard and Nassir Little.

Portland Trail Blazers Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
D. Lillard J. Hart N. Little J. Grant
E. Bledsoe PG S. Sharpe J. Winslow T. Watford
D. LouzadaNG K. Johnson G. Brown
Other: Jabari Walker (PF/SF)
PG: Partially guaranteed
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 11

Team needs:

Versatile wing with size

Extension eligible: Damian Lillard, Nassir Little (rookie) and Eric Bledsoe

Free-agent status:

Anfernee Simons | Restricted | Bird

What to watch: The $40 million of expiring contracts and Richaun Holmes.

To add outside of the draft will likely come via trades. Sacramento is over the salary cap and will have the $10.3 million midlevel exception.

Its best resources are the expiring contracts of Harrison Barnes, Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless and Alex Len. The four players combine to earn $35 million in 2022-23.

Barnes has been the Kings’ most consistent player, averaging 14.5, 16.1 and 16.4 points the past three seasons, respectively. Because he is on an expiring contract but also extension eligible, the Kings have a decision to make about the forward’s future role.

Holmes is not on an expiring contract but is the Kings’ most appealing trade asset besides Fox and Domantas Sabonis. He is under contract for the next three seasons ($11.2 million, $12 million and $12.9 million) but there are concerns about how he fits with Sabonis and whether he can adapt to coming off the bench. He went from averaging 25.7 minutes as a starter to 15.4 as a part-time role player after the trade deadline.

What else to watch:

Restricted free agent Donte DiVincenzo.

The Domantas Sabonis extension.

Available exceptions: $10.5 million, $4.1 million biannual, veteran and trade ($4 million)

Over the salary cap: $36 million

June 29: Chimezie Metu‘s $1.9 million contract becomes guaranteed.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend Domantas Sabonis’ contract.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year option of Davion Mitchell.

Sacramento Kings Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
D. Fox J. Holiday H. Barnes K. Murray D. Sabonis
D. Mitchell T. Davis M. Harkless T. LylesT R. Holmes
C. MetuNG A. Len
T: Team Option
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 12

Team needs:

Veteran backup point guard

Extension eligible: Harrison Barnes, Domantas Sabonis (as of Oct. 1) and Justin Holiday

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The direction with cap flexibility.

The Spurs once again have cap flexibility, but the amount will be determined by how the front office views Lonnie Walker IV, who is set to become a restricted free agent. Walker struggled prior to the All-Star break (11.2 points, 40% from the field and 29% on 3s) but improved in the second half, averaging 16.2 points, 45% shooting and 39% from 3.

Per ESPN Stats & Information, Walker ranked just 98th in effective field goal percentage among 108 players to record 50 games played and 10 field goal attempts per game. He has the second-highest usage rate on the team behind Dejounte Murray but has seen his role go from a starter to reserve.

San Antonio enters the offseason with $14.5 million in cap space, accounting for Walker’s $13.4 million cap hold. If the Spurs let him walk, that cap space increases to $31 million.

There are other avenues to increase flexibility outside of renouncing their former first-round pick. Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford and Jakob Poeltl are on expiring contracts totaling $26 million, plus the Spurs have $9 million in nonguaranteed contracts.

Richardson, however, has been a solid addition off the bench since he was acquired from Boston and provides a veteran presence. In 21 games with the Spurs, Richardson averaged 11.4 points and shot 44.4% from 3.

Poeltl’s $9.4 million contract is considered one of the better values in the league. He started 67 of the 68 games he played this season, averaging a career-high 13.5 points and 9.3 rebounds.

What else to watch:

Balancing the roster: 15 players under contract entering free agency.

The extensions: Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl.

Available exceptions: $5.4 million room midlevel and veterans minimum

Below the salary cap: $31 million

Note: Does not include the free-agent hold of Lonnie Walker IV

Key dates:

Aug. 1: $500,000 of Tre Jones‘ $1.8 million contract becomes guaranteed.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option of Joshua Primo and fourth-year team option for Devin Vassell.

San Antonio Spurs Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
D. Murray D. Vassell D. McDermott K. Johnson J. Poeltl
T. JonesNG J. Primo J. Richardson J. Sochan J. LandaleNG
B. Wesley M. Branham K. Bates-DiopNG Z. Collins
R. Langford
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 15

Lob-catching, shot blocker at center

Versatile stretch power forward

Scorer to complement Dejounte Murray

Extension eligible: Keldon Johnson (rookie), Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl and Tre Jones

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The bench.

Despite having their starting five under contract for next season, there is still work to do for the Raptors’ front office.

Because Toronto puts a high premium on minutes played with their starting five, the bench has struggled. Toronto’s reserves ranked last in minutes per game, points per game and 3-point field goal percentage this season.

Finding help starts with their own free agents: Thaddeus Young and Chris Boucher.

The Raptors don’t have cap space, but Young and Boucher have Bird rights that allow the front office to exceed the $123 million salary cap to sign the two veterans. The Bird rights to Young were a critical component of why the Raptors acquired him from the Spurs at the 2022 trade deadline.

Those Bird rights to their own free agents and the $10.5 million midlevel exception should be enough for the Raptors to improve their bench.

What else to watch:

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual, veterans minimum and trade ($5.3 million and $3.1 million)

Below the luxury tax: $36 million

Key dates:

July 4: The salary protection of Dalano Banton increases from $150,000 to $300,000.

Oct. 17: The last day to extend the contracts of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam.

Oct. 31: The deadline to exercise the third-year team option for Scottie Barnes and fourth-year team option for Precious Achiuwa.

Toronto Raptors Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
F. VanVleet G. Trent Jr. O. Anunoby S. Barnes P. Siakam
D. Banton PG S. Mykhailiuk P P. Achiuwa
K. Birch
Other: Christian Koloko (C/PF)
PG: Partial guarantee
P: Player Option

Players under contract: 9

Team needs:

Bench depth at every position

Extension eligible: Pascal Siakam (as of Oct. 1) and Fred VanVleet

Free-agent status:

What to watch: The roster outside of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

The Jazz return 11 players and once again project to have one of the top payrolls in the NBA.

Outside of Mitchell and Gobert, their tradable contracts consist of Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gay and Bojan Bogdanovic. The rest of the roster consists of Juancho Hernangomez, Jared Butler, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Udoka Azubuike. Those players were not part of the playoff rotation, with only Hernangomez seeing meaningful minutes.

Their 2024 first-round pick is owned by Oklahoma City and the earliest a first can be sent in a deal is 2026, but that is only if the top-10 protected first to the Thunder is conveyed in 2024. In the second round, they have only three picks available (2025, 2026 and 2029).

The Jazz do have the $6.5 million tax midlevel and $9.8 million trade exception to use, but that would come at a financial penalty.

What else to watch:

The search for the next head coach.

Bojan Bogdanovic’s expiring contract.

Does the front office have the authority to use the tax midlevel and trade exception?

Available exceptions: $6.5 million midlevel, veterans minimum and trade ($9.8 million and $1.6 million)

Over the luxury tax: $5.4 million

Key dates:

June 30: Juancho Hernangomez’s $6.6 million contract becomes guaranteed.

Oct. 17: The deadline to extend the contracts of Jordan Clarkson and Nickeil-Alexander Walker.

Utah Jazz Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
M. Conley D. Mitchell R. O’Neale B. Bogdanovic R. Gobert
J. Butler J. Clarkson J. HernangomezNG R. Gay U. Azubuike
N.A-Walker
NG: Non-guaranteed

Players under contract: 11

Extension eligible: Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez

Free-agent status:

Offseason transactions: Johnny Davis (first round) and Yannick Nzosas (second round)

What to watch: Bradley Beal

Beal is eligible to sign a five-year, $251 million contract this July. That number drops to four years and $186 million if he joins a different team either via free agency or a possible sign-and-trade deal, something the Wizards would have to agree to. Beal will run into a dead end in free agency because there are no teams with $43.2 million in cap space to sign him outright.

The biggest contract in NBA history certainly would come with risk for both Beal and the Wizards.

From Beal’s perspective, securing the most money is the goal, but what happens if this roster does not improve in the offseason and the Wizards are a team just competing for the play-in tournament year after year?

The trend in recent years has been for players to sign now and ask out later, something that would likely happen in Washington if the roster does not improve. That is a problem for another day, and at the very worst, Washington has one of the more appealing trade assets in the NBA if Beal does ask to be traded down the road.

The Wizards were once financially straddled by the supermax extension that John Wall signed and would be signing Beal to an even bigger contract than Wall’s. That is the price of doing business in the NBA if you want to keep an All-NBA player on your roster.

What else to watch:

Finding stability at point guard.

The group of extensions: Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis and Rui Hachimura.

Available exceptions: $10.5 million midlevel, $4.1 million biannual and veterans minimum

Below the luxury tax: $16 million

Note: Includes a new contract for Beal.

Key dates:

June 28: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $14 million contract becomes guaranteed.

July 1: Ish Smith‘s $4.7 million contract becomes guaranteed if he is not waived.

Oct. 17: The deadline to extend Rui Hachimura‘s contract.

Oct. 31: The last day to exercise the third-year option of Corey Kispert and fourth-year option of Deni Avdija.

Washington Wizards Projected Depth Chart

PG SG SF PF C
I. SmithNG B. BealP D. Avdija K. Kuzma K. Porzingis
K. Caldwell-PopePG C. Kispert R. Hachimura D. Gafford
J. Davis I. Todd V. Carey
Other: Yannick Nzosa (C/PF)
NG: Non-guaranteed
PG: Partial guarantee
P: Player option

Players under contract: 12

Wing to complement Bradley Beal

Extension eligible: Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Kristaps Porzingis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Vernon Carey Jr. and Kyle Kuzma (as of Sept. 30)

Free-agent status:

Bradley Beal | Player | Bird

This content was originally published here.

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