Perhaps just as exciting as the actual season when it comes to any sport is the free agent period. Seeing where new players sign and for how much is always fascinating, as people get on Twitter or Reddit and start spamming the F5 button to refresh their pages. The NBA has had a lot of free agent drama in the past few years, and it only looks to ramp up in the summer of 2017.
This is especially true for the point guard class of free agents, as there are a lot of big names and even some bench players that have made a lot of noise. Though many predict the top players to stay where they are, there are still a ton of question marks and predictions to be made. Today, we’ll try to make some of those predictions for the 2017-18 landing spots for point guards.
The class is incredibly deep, and the 2017 NBA Draft class only looks to add to that. Ignoring the draft for now, let’s take a look at the top 15 upcoming free agents at the point guard position, and try to make some sense of where they will sign. For many, it could be their final contracts.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
15 Shelvin Mack: Minnesota Timberwolves
Former Butler Bulldog Shelvin Mack has been bouncing around the NBA, and has played for four different teams since joining the league for the 2011-12 season. Mack is currently with the Jazz, and is scheduled to become a free agent once his original three-year contract expires. Mack is only making $2.43 million during the 2016-17 season, though that number figures to go up a bit.
Through February 23, Mack is averaging 7.3 points and 2.8 assists per game in 21.4 minutes. There were talks about the Cavaliers bringing him in via trade, but that didn’t materialize. The Timberwolves have also shown interest in the low-priced Mack as a player that can come off of the bench, so it seems that he would be a good fit in Minnesota.
14 Raymond Felton: Dallas Mavericks
Like Mack, Raymond Felton has made a lot of stops in his NBA career, having played for six different teams since entering the league in 2005-06. In his career, Felton has averaged 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. The numbers have dropped over the past few years, but Felton can still bring some veteran leadership off of the bench. Felton signed a low money contract with the Clippers for the 2016-17 season, but only for one year.
Felton will only command about $1.5 million next season, so there are plenty of teams that will be looking to fill a roster spot with him. Felton is familiar with Dallas having played there for two seasons, so he would be a good fit to have a second tenure with the Mavericks. There won’t be a long line, but Felton will find a spot.
13 Michael Carter-Williams: Philadelphia 76ers
Former Syracuse standout Michael Carter-Williams is in his first season with the Bulls, but it hasn’t gone all that well. MCW is putting up a career low in scoring with 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Carter-Williams will be a restricted free agent after the season, and it’s hard to imagine that he will be retained in Chicago after losing his starting position and appears to be looking elsewhere.
Since he’s young and won’t cost a lot of money, you can see a team like Philadelphia pick him up since that fits into their process. The only thing is, Carter-Williams started his career there, so it might not be beneficial to try for a round two. If that’s the case, expect Denver to make a strong play in this offseason.
12 Ty Lawson: Sacramento Kings
For the first six seasons of his career, Ty Lawson remained with Denver, the team that drafted him. During the 2015-16 season, he played for both the Rockets and Pacers before signing a one-year deal with Sacramento for this season. The contract was for the veteran’s minimum, at just $1.3 million. Lawson has proven to have some value, collecting 9.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Lawson is only a couple of years removed from being a double-double type player, but it appears those days are gone. There aren’t a lot of teams that will be lining up, so it doesn’t seem strange that he would re-sign with Sacramento for another season. After all, the Kings don’t appear to have a plan for next season, and would appreciate having a veteran presence for cheap.
11 Shaun Livingston: Orlando Magic
It’s hard to believe that Shaun Livingston has already been in the league for more than a decade. He has played for eight different teams heading into 2014-15, when he signed a three-year contract with the Warriors. Livingston is making nearly $5.8 million this season, and becomes a free agent. It’s unlikely that the Warriors will spend the money to bring him back, especially since he has been averaging just 5.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
There aren’t many teams that are going to want to pay Livingston the type of contract that he is accustomed to, especially at his age and the fact that he’s no longer a starter. If he is willing to take a pay cut, there is a good chance he could come back to Golden State. If not, then he might land with a rebuilding team with a lot of room available like the Magic.
10 Brandon Jennings: Dallas Mavericks
Brandon Jennings is a highly interesting player that seemed to take a fast tumble. For the first six seasons of his career, Jennings never scored fewer than 15.4 points per game and was a decent passer for much of his career. That changed in the 2015-16 season when he played for both Detroit and Orlando, averaging just 6.9 points per game. Now with the Knicks for one year and $5 million, Jennings is averaging 8.7 points and 5.0 assists per game.
Jennings is still in the prime of his career, so it’s a wonder why he has taken such a big step back and lost his starting position. Still, there will be a team that’s willing to try and turn his career around. Dallas might be a good fit in this situation.
9 Darren Collison: Brooklyn Nets
Another Sacramento King that’s set to become a free agent during the team’s rebuild, Darren Collison has played the past three seasons with the team. Collison is making an average of $5 million per year, with his salary at $5.23 for his final year this season. Collison has put up some solid numbers in his contract year, averaging 13.7 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game.
For next season, he will be 30 years old and on the downswing of his career, but there will be a team that’s looking for a veteran scorer. Since Brooklyn has a lot of cap room for next season and are looking just to fill holes until they can start rebuilding more efficiently, it seems like a good landing spot for Collison.
8 Jeff Teague: Indiana Pacers
Jeff Teague got off to a disappointing start in the 2016-17 season, but has seemed to turn it around. Teague is playing in the final year of his four-year and $32 million deal that he originally signed with Atlanta. The former All Star is now averaging 15.4 points and a career high in assists (8.1) and rebounds (3.7) per game. Teague is also ranked 13th in PER for point guards as it stands, so his next contract is likely to be similar as his current one.
After getting rid of some free agent salaries, the Pacers should have plenty of room to bring back Teague on a new contract. If the Pacers aren’t able to match what Teague will be demanding, you might see him head west as the Lakers would be a desirable destination.
7 Patty Mills: San Antonio Spurs
After spending the first two seasons of his career with Portland, Patty Mills is now in his sixth season in San Antonio. Though he has started just 14 games in his career, Mills has proven to be a very valuable bench player that can reach into double-digit scoring. So far in 2016-17, Mills is averaging 9.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He is also getting 21.3 minutes, and could become a starter elsewhere.
The thing about San Antonio is that players don’t want to leave once they have gotten there. Expect that to be the case for Mills, especially as Tony Parker winds down his career. Mills would be next in line, though he might not be cheap. The Spurs will have the room to sign him, and his contract should see a bump up from his average of $4.3 million per year.
6 George Hill: New York Knicks
Former IUPUI star George Hill will be entering his 10th season in the NBA when the 2017-18 campaign rolls around, having played for the Spurs, Pacers and Jazz. Hill is in the final year of his five-year, $40 million contract that he originally signed with Indiana. Though he has started just 32 games so far in this season, Hill is setting a career high in scoring with 17.5 points per game while also adding 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
The only part is that Hill is dealing with nagging injuries and is on the wrong side of 30 years old. There will be a team out there that is willing to pay good money for a player like that, and I think you know where we’re going with this. The Knicks will have the room to pay him, and he will be a much cheaper option than what they have now.
5 Jrue Holiday: Indiana Pacers
Jrue Holiday was just a teenager when he made his debut with the 76ers back in the 2009-10 season, and it’s hard to believe that he will only be 27 years old when the 2017-18 season tips off. That’s good news for the former All Star who is looking to cash in with his next deal. In his fourth season with the Pelicans, Holiday has been averaging 16.1 points, 7.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds.
Holiday is making more than $11 million this season, and will probably be asking for more at season’s end. New Orleans would love to keep him around now that they have acquired DeMarcus Cousins, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like they will have the cap room unless they want to go over. With that said, Holiday would be a good candidate to head to Indiana.
4 Derrick Rose: Sacramento Kings
The former league MVP Derrick Rose has certainly had his ups and downs throughout his career. Once averaging more than 20 points and seven points per game, Rose is averaging 17.6 points and 4.5 assists in his first season with the Knicks. There has also been some off-the-court questions about Rose that has gone missing for a brief period and faced a serious court case.
Rose is making more than $21 million this season with the Knicks, a number that they are unlikely to pay once again. You have to wonder what team will have enough room to sign him, as well as enough desperation to offer him a deal. The Kings have a ton of room, and it would be a low pressure situation for Rose compared to Chicago or New York, so it makes sense.
3 Kyle Lowry: Toronto Raptors
It took years for Kyle Lowry to find his stride, but he finally has with Toronto, the team he came to for the 2012-13 season. Lowry has been an All Star in the past three seasons, and is having a fine 2016-17 campaign with 22.8 points, 6.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Despite his age, Lowry doesn’t have as many miles as a lot of other point guards, meaning that he is going to get a big contract.
Lowry is already making $12 million per year (and has for the past four seasons), but has a player option for 2017-18. It looks like Lowry will decline the option, though that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with Toronto. The Raptors have a good thing going, and Lowry is likely going to look at some offers before giving Toronto the chance to match, giving him his last major contract of his career.
2 Chris Paul: Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul has been in the league since way back in 2005-06, and is now in his sixth season with the Clippers. Paul has been an All Star nine times since making his debut, and has still been the third most efficient point guard in the NBA according to PER stats. Paul is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He is still incredibly valuable, and is due to make $24.3 million in 2017-18.
Paul was expected to decline that player option for next season, though, and is looking for a longer term deal. Early indications say that the Clippers are more than willing to give him that deal, as reports have surfaced that a verbal agreement has been made to keep him in Los Angeles for huge money. Don’t expect Paul to go anywhere after the season, though nothing is official yet.
1 Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors
In terms of contracts, there have been very few players that have been as valuable as Steph Curry. Curry is in the final year of his four-year deal that was only worth $44 million, though he wasn’t at MVP level when he signed that contract. Now that he’s one of the best players in the league, you can expect Curry to demand a massive contract, perhaps the biggest in NBA history.
There are some rumors (and wishful thinking) that Curry will return to his home state of North Carolina to play for the Hornets, but don’t expect that to happen. The Warriors will have the ability to sign him to a contract that is worth more than $200 million, and likely will considering how much the team has saved by having him. If Curry goes anywhere else, it would be a huge surprise, but the Hornets seem like the only other viable option. Though, this won't happen. Curry will remain a Warrior.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!