The NBA offseason has always been guaranteed to bring excitement to the game as players tend to switch teams and pull some of the most surprising moves. In the past decade, we saw landscape changing signings such as LeBron James to the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors, and this summer may bring more of the same. There are a number of All-Stars as well as great young players who will be available on the market, so teams will be aiming to shake up their roster in hopes of signing their target.
With the season still being at its early stages, there is so much that could change by the team it concludes from trades to postseason success - all of which will surely affect the decisions of these players. The approach towards free agency has undergone major changes in recent years with players more willingly open to switching teams when given the chance. This summer won't be any different as there will certainly be some names playing in a different uniform come October 2019.
On the other hand, some players may find it tough to earn a better contract elsewhere, especially if they already happen to be in a suitable situation. It's always difficult to turn your back on a contending team if you are a free agent, as many of the upcoming class happen to be playing for the top tier franchises today. Here are 10 NBA players who will leave their teams when their contracts run out and 10 who will re-sign!
20 Will Leave: DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is serving as a one year rental for the Dallas Mavericks as they transition from rebuilding to a playoff team. It remains to be seen whether the Mavs are consistent enough to make it this year, especially since the battle for a postseason berth is very heated this season. Jordan is likely using his one year stint with the Mavs to earn one last big contract in the NBA, while the Mavs are getting the most out of him. Given the early issues into the season in the locker room, Jordan is likely to find a new team next season.
19 Will Re-Sign: Jimmy Butler
The Jimmy Butler drama finally came to an end upon his trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers. So far, so good for both sides as Butler has already made his presence felt on the team, while also teasing a possible extension in the offseason. Seeing as Butler wants to win, and has shown his interest in sticking around, it's a situation that makes sense for all sides involved. He is a great fit next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, bringing much-needed balance and experience to a team that is aiming to take the next big step.
18 Will Leave: Kemba Walker
During the summer, most fans believed that Kemba Walker would be playing his final season for the Charlotte Hornets. But an incredible start to the season has some wondering whether it would be a wise move as Kemba has been performing like a star for them, and may not be quite the same fit elsewhere. But rumors haven't stopped from connecting him to various teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, who may chase him in free agency this summer. It is also possible that either team may trade for him during the season although that will cost them a hefty price at this moment.
17 Will Re-Sign: Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson has been a vital piece for the Golden State Warriors since their sudden rise into champions. Given his chemistry with Stephen Curry, among many other teammates, as well as his contributions in the past, it is likely that the two sides will land a deal in the summer. Thompson has already expressed his wish to remain with the Warriors with no supposed plans to explore options elsewhere. It makes sense considering that he has already won three rings with the team, and they will surely remain a contender for many years to come even if one of the All-Stars were to leave.
16 Will Leave: Dwight Howard
As the latest addition to the Washington Wizards core, Dwight Howard was expected to provide much-needed frontcourt presence on both ends of the floor. But he began his stint with the team sidelined with an injury that will now require surgery that will put him out of action for two to three months. The Wizards' shaky start to the season has increased the possibility of splitting up the main core at least, with all players reportedly being made available for trade. Given the ongoing mess in the locker, Howard will once again find himself looking for a new team in the upcoming summer, with the Golden State Warriors being one of the possibilities.
15 Will Re-Sign: Tobias Harris
Sitting at top of the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers had a brilliant start to the season, thanks to many of their players, including Tobias Harris, who is playing at an All-Star level. If his form carries until January, then it may be difficult to leave him outside of the All-Star selection. After having struggled to find a long-term home in the NBA, Harris is now in the perfect situation to succeed, so an extension with the Clippers is very realistic at this point. Harris is set to generate plenty of interest on the open market, although the odds of him leaving the Clippers are looking slim.
14 Will Leave: Goran Dragic
It's hard to see Goran Dragic remaining with the Miami Heat beyond this season given that he has remained in trade rumors for the past two seasons. With the Heat currently out of the Playoffs, it is also possible that the team might trade him before he hits the open market. Dragic's name is currently being thrown around trade scenarios with the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards, both of which would be great situations for him. But we also wouldn't be surprised to see him rejoin his old team the Phoenix Suns in the offseason, as he will lock up the starting PG spot.
13 Will Re-Sign: Derrick Rose
The resurgence of Derrick Rose has been remarkable, to say the least. Just a year ago, rumors were floating around that he was considering retirement due to on-court struggles and nagging injuries. But a stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves has done wonders for his career with Rose having his best season since he was last fully healthy with the Chicago Bulls. After having bounced around between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, Rose has found the perfect situation for him today. And since he has been an integral part of the Timberwolves' success, an extension is looking more likely by the day.
12 Will Leave: Kyrie Irving
When Kyrie Irving left a contending team behind, it became apparent that he wanted to run the show. He has played well for the Boston Celtics thus far, but team is currently struggling to live up to the hype with Irving claiming that they are on the brink of hitting rock bottom. Not exactly the words Danny Ainge want to hear from his franchise player, and while both sides have expressed interest in reaching a deal this summer - there have also been plenty of rumors that Irving is open to exploring his options. There are a number of teams who would be willing to offer him a large contract, so Irving won't be short of suitors.
11 Will Re-Sign: Hassan Whiteside
Prior to his tenure with the Miami Heat, Hassan Whiteside bounced from one team to another through different leagues around the world. Given his tough journey back to the NBA, he will likely want to settle where he has shown to be comfortable as a member of the Miami Heat. While some fans have questioned his overall impact, as well as lack of improvements in his game, Whiteside is still averaging an impressive double-double this year. A deal will likely be reached in the offseason since the Heat have shown no interest in going for a full rebuild in the near future.
10 Will Leave: Anthony Davis
Unlike the remaining names on this list, Anthony Davis won't be a free agent until 2020 when he will test the market once again. The New Orleans Pelicans got off to a disappointing start this season as they find themselves outside of the Playoffs at the moment. With rumors persisting that Davis will be the next major star to leave his team, he has been heavily linked with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers. If Davis shows no interest in returning to the Pelicans as a free agent, then he will be likely shipped out of town before he leaves for nothing in return.
9 Will Re-Sign: Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes has a player option in his contract that he may opt into to remain with the Dallas Mavericks for one more season. And while it is unknown whether he will be a free agent this summer or the next one - depending on his decision coming June - Barnes is finally finding the most suitable role for him in the league. With the Dallas Mavericks returning to relevancy, thanks to a number of great pieces, including the brilliant rookie Luka Doncic, Harrison may find it tough to turn his back on the team. An extension would make sense for both sides as they look to continue growing overall.
8 Will Leave: Nikola Vucevic
For many years, Nikola Vucevic put up impressive numbers on the Orlando Magic, but he has taken a major step this season to become an improved all-around player. He may very well earn an All-Star nomination given his current level of play that has the Magic around the eighth spot in the conference. But considering the team's past attempts to trade him, even as recent as this summer when they reportedly placed him on the market, Vucevic will likely explore a different situation. He would be a great fit on many teams looking for a big man with his skill set, including the Dallas Mavericks.
7 Will Re-Sign: Al Horford
At 32-years-old, Al Horford is now exiting his prime years and his current level of production proves that statement. He has been one of the better yet most underappreciated big men for a number of years, going back into his tenure with the Atlanta Hawks. Since moving to the Boston Celtics, he has been an immense presence in assisting the team win games in the regular season and playoffs. Given the mutual interest between the two sides, as well as Horford's preference to remain with the Celtics, they will most likely strike up an extension in the 2019 offseason.
6 Will Leave: DeMarcus Cousins
When DeMarcus Cousins landed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors, it was seen as a short reunion for both sides. The Warriors are likely guaranteed another championship with the addition of the All-Star player, while Cousins gets the opportunity to play for a winning team as he looks to show his worth to teams around the league. Last season's injury severely hurt his stock as a player, costing him a potential maximum contract on the open market. But if he proves to be healthy and great as ever, then Cousins will be playing for a different franchise to start the 2019-20 season.
5 Will Re-Sign: Eric Bledsoe
A year since Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks and he couldn't be more thrilled at his new home. He had grown tired of playing for the struggling Phoenix Suns and requested a trade, which turned out to be a fitting situation for Bledsoe. He has been important to the team's overall success, as they currently sit at second in the Eastern Conference. Unless he ends up receiving a bigger contract away from the team, Bledsoe is most likely going to stick around as he gets a chance to potentially contend with one of the better young teams in the NBA.
4 Will Leave: Marc Gasol
Prior to the start of the season, it looked as if the Memphis Grizzlies and Marc Gasol may be splitting apart during the season due to their differences last year. But a strong start to the year with a winning record, and things are looking good for the team. But rumors persist that Gasol may be on his way out given some differences between him and management. He was nearly traded last season, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him go for a new venture with a different team as it will be his last big contract in the league.
3 Will Re-Sign: Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton has it good with the Milwaukee Bucks. During the summer, there had been rumors regarding a potential exit come 2019 offseason, but seeing how the Bucks have finally got it together - it would be wise for Middleton to stick around and potentially contend with the rising franchise. He is a great fit next to the Bucks' star Giannis Antetokounmpo and the two mesh well on the court. Middleton remains underrated around the league despite his consistency for the Buck - and while he will likely have many suitors in the summer. The chances of him re-signing are very high at the moment.
2 Will Leave: Kevin Durant
With two rings won, and a third likely on the way, Kevin Durant has accomplished his goals as a member of the Golden State Warriors. Given the criticism he has received for joining the team, there are rumors that he may be looking for a way out in the summer. The rumors have only piled up following the incident with Draymond Green, who reportedly dared Durant to leave free agency since the Warriors don't need him to win. The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and New York Knicks have been linked to Durant should he leave in the offseason, which has become very likely with the latest drama in the locker room.
1 Will Re-Sign: Kawhi Leonard
When the Toronto Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard, there was plenty of speculation that he would be leaving in the offseason regardless of how the season played out. But as we all know, winning cures all and the Toronto Raptors currently hold the best record in the league. Not only are they able to offer Leonard more money than any other team, but he would also be the star of the team. With the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly targeting Leonard, he may not want to be the second option to LeBron. And while the Clippers may be an appealing destination, the Raptors certainly have it easier in the Eastern Conference.