We are a few hours away from the window to being open to start discussing deals in the 2021 NBA Free Agency class. There are so many talented names that are available via free agency. Today I will be giving you my predictions on where each of the top players go. I have a few honorable mentions that I will talk about as well. With that being said here are my NBA free agency predictions for the 2021 NBA free agency class.
Jarrett Allen: Dallas Mavericks
Richaun Holmes: New Orleans Pelicans
Lauri Markkanen: Minnesota Timberwolves
Spencer Dinwiddie: New York Knicks
Top Free Agents
DeMar DeRozan has been one of the more interesting names that we have seen that is available. He was highly overrated in my opinion during his time in Toronto, but once he joined the Spurs I don’t think people were giving him enough credit. I have a strange dynamic when it comes to DeMar DeRozan as I think he can be a very good player on a championship team. He just can’t be the guy of that team.
The three teams I have him potentially going to are the Knicks, Clippers, and Lakers. We saw that he said he would take a pay cut to be a part of a championship team earlier this off season. Now will he do that and join one of the Los Angeles teams, or will he go collect a monster deal in New York.
Prediction: I think DeRozan goes to the Clippers in a sign-and-trade.
Kyle Lowry is a veteran point guard that can still be of use to championship teams. He is a tenacious defender and a fantastic play maker and can be a difference maker in some matchups still in this league. Even at the age of 35, he could still be considered a top point guard in the league by some.
I think the three teams that will have interest in Lowry will be the Heat, the Clippers, and the 76ers. All three teams are in desperate need of a playmaking point guard, and Lowry fits the build of every one of those teams needs.
Prediction: Lowry ends up in Miami via sign-and-trade.
Collins is a solid young power forward that is fantastic on offense. Defensively he needs a little bit of help, but offensively is where he shines. Collins averaged 17.6 PPG this past season and shot 56 percent from the floor while also shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. He is the type of stretch four that the league is accustomed to seeing now a days.
John Collins is a restricted free agent and I do think that there is a chance that Atlanta matches his offer sheet. However there are a couple of teams that could easily slide in and potentially take Collins away from Atlanta. The three teams that I could see Collins going to is Atlanta, Dallas, or San Antonio.
Prediction: Atlanta Matches Collins’ offer sheet.
Lonzo Ball is another one of those interesting free agents this season in the 2021 NBA free agency class. We have seen an improvement in Ball’s craft since he has entered the league in 2017. Last year Lonzo set a career high in points per game, and shot his best from the field, three point and at the free throw line as well. Ball is starting to look like a serviceable offensive threat in the NBA. If he can keep his jump shot consistent, he is going to be a solid player in this league moving forward.
I have three teams in mind that would be perfect for Lonzo Ball. Those three teams are Chicago, Boston, and Washington. For me there is one team that makes the most sense and that is where I see Ball going.
Prediction: Lonzo heads to Chicago via a sign-and-trade.
Mike Conley finally made an all-star team last season for the first time in his career. He was well over due anyways due to the success he has had in the past. Conley has been real banged up in his two seasons with the Jazz. I do think there is a quietly good market for him, but I also think that there is a strong possibility that he re-signs with Utah.
The three teams I have that could be interested in Conley are Knicks, Jazz, and Mavericks. I do think the Knicks is more of a fantasy rather than a reality. Conley is going to stay in the Western Conference in my opinion, but there is a little bit of a chance that the Knicks slide in and say hey want to come play with us.
Prediction: Conley re-signs with Utah.
The fact that Chris Paul turned down his player option was wild to me. I figured after luckily getting his way to his first ever NBA Final, he would be taking the money he had waiting for him. Now it looks like the market for him could heat up rather quickly. A lot of teams desperately need point guards, and the “Point God” can fill a hole for certain teams.
The three teams that will be in the running for Paul are Phoenix, Dallas, and Philadelphia. I do think the free agency period for Paul is to see what his market looks like at his age. Ultimately there is only one team he will play for next season.
Prediction: Paul re-signs with Phoenix for less money.
Kawhi Leonard is the gem of this year’s free agent class. Leonard opted out of his player option which we all saw coming. Now we are looking to see what is next for Kawhi? Does he stay in Los Angeles and try to help the Clippers win their first ever title, or does he look to go elsewhere. There are so many different avenues that Kawhi could go, but at the end of it all I think there are only three teams that are seriously in the running.
The three teams in the running for Kawhi are Clippers, Mavericks, and Heat. I do think the Heat acquiring Kyle Lowry takes them out of the Kawhi sweepstakes, but it is Pat Riley who knows. I do see him staying out west though during this NBA free agency period.
Prediction: Kawhi signs super max with the Clippers.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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