The NBA season is still in its early stages and yet so many teams are already looking forward to the next free agency class - and it is understandable when you look at the expiring contracts. Some franchises are hoping to land a star to turn their fortunes around, while other teams are simply looking to reinforce their current roster in hopes of becoming a contender next season. The class of 2019 has been anticipated since last year due to the amount of highly talented players who are set to be available on the open market.
In fact, a number of teams constructed this season's roster in a way that allows them to be flexible with their options come summer 2019. All fans would ideally prefer for their favorite teams to lock up their players as soon as possible, but that's never the way things play out in the NBA. The offseason is always filled with excitement and surprising moves that create even more buzz for the upcoming year, and this summer will certainly fall along the same lines.
With the remainder of the regular season left, as well as the 2019 Playoffs, it is still too early for players to decide their next chapter. While some may be convinced of re-signing with their team at the moment, plenty could change in the upcoming months to have them explore other options - which has been a common trend throughout the history of NBA. Today, we look at the biggest potential signing of every NBA team's 2019 offseason.
30 Atlanta Hawks: Tyreke Evans
It will be some time for the Atlanta Hawks before they return to competitive basketball again. With many prospects on the roster, the rebuild is set to continue past the 2019-20 season. They remain one of the worst teams in the NBA and are now more concerned with developing young players over winning games. But a team like the Hawks could also use a player who is productive enough to be a positive influence without turning them into a treadmill team, and Tyreke Evans would make sense for the Hawks.
29 Boston Celtics: Marc Gasol
With LeBron James away from the Eastern Conference, a new team is set to advance to the Finals this year. At the moment, it appears that the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks are the main contenders to make it. But if the Celtics fall short of competing in the Finals, then it's very likely that Danny Ainge will be making some moves in the offseason. The Celtics have been previously interested in Marc Gasol and a deal could do wonders for both sides.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Kemba Walker
Hailing from New York, Kemba Walker has been often linked with the Nets and Knicks. The guard has previously stated that he loves Brooklyn, and while that may not mean much in the big picture, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Nets recruit him in free agency. He would make the team competitive for the first time since 2013-14, while also getting an opportunity to play for a bigger market. Given that the Charlotte Hornets have failed to surround him with a great supporting cast, Kemba may very well be on his way out.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Paul Millsap
If the Charlotte Hornets can retain Kemba Walker beyond this season, then it is important that they make some additional moves. While they have some decent talent on the roster, they could certainly use a veteran presence on the court and the locker room. Paul Millsap would give them just that as he has been very consistent during his NBA career, regardless of which team he played for. And while he may not be enough to push them to the next level, it would definitely be a great start.
26 Chicago Bulls: Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie has been one of the few bright spots for the struggling Brooklyn Nets, so you can bet that the team will be doing whatever it takes to retain him come free agency. But given his impressive showings for the Nets, there will surely be a number of suitors in the summer. The Chicago Bulls could be one of them as Dinwiddie would be a great fit next to their young core, while also being more affordable than other guards.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeff Teague
When the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Jeff Teague, they believed that he could be the answer to their PG woes. And while he has put up solid numbers, it is unlikely that they retain him beyond this season as he isn't the most suitable fit for the young Wolves. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that could use him for the new few years as they continue their rebuild, and Teague brings some character as well as guidance to their younger players.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic is having a breakout year in the NBA. He has always been known for filling up the stat sheet, but his impact is now felt beyond the box score as he has led the Orlando Magic to many victories. Given his versatility as a player, Vucevic will surely attract multiple teams including the Dallas Mavericks. He would be a great fit next to Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr, and possibly good enough to finally return to the postseason.
23 Denver Nuggets: J.J. Redick
Denver Nuggets have an impressive team that could turn out to be the next contender in the Western Conference. They are already battling for the top seed, but it will be quite the challenge in the Playoffs when they take on veteran teams. The Nuggets could use a player like J.J. Redick off the bench to provide them with consistent three-point shooting, while also helping their spacing on the court. He would also come at a reasonable deal, allowing the Nuggets to keep their core intact.
22 Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Thomas
With the hiring of Dwane Casey and reemergence of Blake Griffin, things are starting to finally look bright for the Detroit Pistons. But they could still use more talent on the roster, and Isaiah Thomas could bounce back on the team just as Griffin did. While he may never be an All-Star again, he could still return to his days as a scoring punch off the bench once he returns to full health. It would be a low risk, high-reward for the Pistons who certainly need more reinforcements.
21 Golden State Warriors: Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard has been desperate to find a home since leaving the Orlando Magic. He has had stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and now the Washington Wizards. Next summer, he will once again be a free agent likely on a new team as well. At this point of his career, Howard is better off being on a stacked team like the Golden State Warriors where expectations are realistic for him. GSW could certainly benefit from Howard's defensive presence and rebounding ability.
20 Houston Rockets: Trevor Ariza
The Houston Rockets needed Trevor Ariza much more than they thought, and it is already evident given how much they have missed his presence on defense early into the season. Luckily for them, he only signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, making him a free agent next summer. It's a perfect marriage that has worked well for both sides in past years, so it would make sense for the Rockets to reach out to him again in the upcoming free agency.
19 Indiana Pacers: Al Horford
The Indiana Pacers aren't too far away from contending in the Eastern Conference. They already have an All-Star player in Victor Oladipo, as well as rising talents such as Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. With the Boston Celtics reportedly targeting Anthony Davis in the next two years, that leaves Al Horford out of the equation. As he hits the open market next summer, Horford will likely settle in a situation that allows him to remain a starter, and the Pacers could certainly do with his experience.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard
Los Angeles Clippers have built a great all-around team that is already on route to make the Playoffs. With Kawhi Leonard eyeing a move to Los Angeles according to many reports, the Clippers could offer him the chance to be the star of the team unlike the Lakers, where he would be playing second fiddle to LeBron James. And with the number of great talents surrounding him, the Clippers may very well end up being a contender if they are able to recruit Leonard.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: Kevin Durant
It's no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have structured their roster in a way that allows them to sign a top free agent in the summer. And while they would be thrilled to have the likes of Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler, their top target is set to be Kevin Durant. Over the summer, there had been reports claiming that LeBron James and Durant had discussed teaming up for the Lakers. With Durant being linked in a move away from GSW, the rumors may come to fruition in July.
16 Memphis Grizzlies: Hassan Whiteside
Depending on how Marc Gasol's situation plays out, the Memphis Grizzlies may have to start shopping if their All-Star big man leaves the team. With past rumors regarding Gasol being unsettled in Memphis, it is possible that he may decided to go elsewhere. As for Hassan Whiteside, a change of scenery may be beneficial for him especially since he always finds himself attached to trade speculation. Playing next to Mike Conley and Jaren Jackson Jr. may be appealing enough for him to leave South Beach for a new journey.
15 Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler
Prior to the Jimmy Butler trade to Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat had been the most active team in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The negotiations dragged for many weeks before the Heat gave up on finding a deal for Butler, deciding to chase him in free agency instead. Based on the fact that the Heat were among the teams on Butler's list of preferred destinations, there is a possibility that he ends up joining them in the postseason.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay may not be a flashy name as a free agent but he would certainly make a good addition to the Milwaukee Bucks. They already have a good team in tact and an impressive starting lineup, but the Bucks could use some help off the bench. There was a time when Gay was viewed as a negative influence on the court, but he has turned it around in recent years. He would significantly improve the bench's production for the Bucks.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Eric Bledsoe
From Ricky Rubio to Jeff Teague, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been unable to find the long-term solution at PG. Since the Jimmy Butler trade, the team has improved on both ends of the floor thanks to a number of players finding their role on the team, while the new additions have been a plus as well. Eric Bledsoe would be a great fit next to the Wolves' core as he is talented enough to get the best out of their younger stars.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: DeMarcus Cousins
Anthony Davis has reinforced his wish for DeMarcus Cousins to be brought back to the New Orleans Pelicans. After receiving what Cousins deemed to be a disappointing offer from the team, he opted to take a one year contract with the Golden State Warriors. And while he is likely to be a rental for the Warriors, Cousins will be in hot demand if he proves to be healthy for the remainder of the year. And the Pelicans would certainly have to give him another look in order to keep Davis with the team.
11 New York Knicks: Kyrie Irving
During pre-season, Kyrie Irving stated that he intends to re-sign with the Boston Celtics in the upcoming offseason. And while some fans are now feeling highly optimistic about Irving extending his contract, there were strong rumors linking him with a move to the New York Knicks. Irving may have felt that way prior to the season but there is still so much that could change by July 2019, so the Knicks will certainly attempt to chase him in free agency.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: Thaddeus Young
Next summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be limited with their free agency options due to cap space, so they are likely out of contention for the biggest names on the market. They already have two stars in Russell Westbrook and Paul George, so it's important that they improve the team in other areas. Thaddeus Young has been very consistent throughout his career and would be a suitable addition to a team that is looking to contend as soon as possible.
9 Orlando Magic: Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose is having a remarkable year after struggling to find a home in the NBA for the past few seasons. But his comeback season may prove to be too costly for the Minnesota Timberwolves as Rose will surely generate plenty of interest on the market. The Orlando Magic have been aiming to return to being competitive for the first time in years, so a deal would suit both sides as Rose would get a hefty payday and plenty of minutes, while the Magic get a potentially All-Star caliber player at PG.
8 Philadelphia 76ers: Klay Thompson
All signs indicate that Klay Thompson will be extending his contract with the Golden State Warriors in the summer. Stranger things have happened in the NBA, and while both sides may wish to find an agreement, rumors claim that Thompson won't be giving them a discount. If Jimmy Butler bolts in the summer, then the Philadelphia 76ers will have to find a replacement and Thompson would be very complimentary next to Joel Embiid, as well as Ben Simmons. Prior to the season, the 76ers were considered among the teams most likely to chase Thompson in the summer.
7 Phoenix Suns: Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio may not be a dream signing these days, but he is still a solid all-around PG who could be the answer for the Phoenix Suns' woes at the position. The team has a very young core that needs to learn how to win and Rubio could prove to be a positive addition in changing the culture of the Suns. Players like Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker would benefit the most from having Rubio running the show, while the latter gets a nice contract and a chance to remain a starter in the league.
6 Portland Trail Blazers: Nikola Mirotic
The Portland Trail Blazers have shown interested in acquiring Nikola Mirotic over the years, although they always fell short of their target. The upcoming offseason presents them another chance to land a highly talented player who could push the Blazers towards the next big step. With 22 games underway, Mirotic is having his best season to date with 18.9 PPG and 10 RPG, making him a strong candidate for Most Improved Player of the year. He would be a great fit next to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum - although the Blazers would have to shuffle some pieces around to afford him.
5 Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes
For the past year, the Sacramento Kings have been attempted to acquire a wing player with the potential to be an All-Star. Their offer for Zach LaVine was matched by the Chicago Bulls last summer, but they will likely be back at it this upcoming offseason. And while many options will be on board, Harrison Barnes is perhaps the most realistic for the much-improved Kings as he may be willing to leave the Dallas Mavericks if he receives a better offer elsewhere, and also fills a need for Sacramento at small forward.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Goran Dragic
The San Antonio Spurs will likely be in the market for a PG unless they happen to find one through a trade. Many point guards will be hitting free agency in the summer, among them is Goran Dragic who would be the perfect fit for the team. Not only does he bring consistency to the table, but the Spurs could also use Dragic's three-point shooting and ability to make plays for himself and others. If Dragic opts to leave the Miami Heat, then the Spurs may very well be his next destination.
3 Toronto Raptors: Khris Middleton
If the Toronto Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency, they may opt to give it another run by bringing in a substitute for his services. Khris Middleton would be a great fit on paper, allowing the Raptors to continue running the very system that they have in place right now. And as long as their younger prospects continue improving, then the Raptors are likely to remain one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference with the addition of Middleton.
2 Utah Jazz: Tobias Harris
The Utah Jazz would love to land a top 5 player like Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard, but they are better off targeting more realistic options such as Tobias Harris. That's no dig towards Harris who has been absolutely brilliant this season and may be named as an All-Star for the first time in his career. Last summer, reports suggested that the Utah Jazz and Harris had mutual interest so the team could make a strong pitch in the offseason.
1 Washington Wizards: DeAndre Jordan
While rumors have suggested that the Washington Wizards have placed everyone on the market, it is easier said than done to trade some of their contracts. John Wall is likely to remain a Wizard next season, so it would be pointless to give away Bradley Beal since he is on a great contract. They have struggled to find a suitable center for the team, but DeAndre Jordan could finally push the Wizards towards the right path if he were to join them.