Predicting landing spots for every NBA free agent and trade target

Jan 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) and guard James Harden (13) stand for the National Anthem before playing against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) and guard James Harden (13) stand for the National Anthem before playing against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Today on The Whiteboard, we’re making a prediction for every NBA free agent and trade target, digging into NBA Draft prospects and more.

As the playoffs wore on, the rumor mill drew more and more players into the offseason picture as possible trades emerged. Between actual free agents, expected free agents, disgruntled stars and players who could be dangled in trade discussions and we now have a huge list of players who could be on the move.

So, I tried to guess where they all will land.

On the list below, I tried to include every possible impact free agent — restricted, unrestricted and player or team options that could be declined — as well as any player mentioned in plausible trade rumors. I haven’t actually run the numbers on each of these predictions and they’re based on a blend of gut reactions, rumors and my read of the larger NBA landscape. That is to say, I believe they are all mutually compatible and they should all be taken with a giant pile of salt.

NBA free agent and trade target predictions:

Anfernee Simons: Traded to the Pelicans with the No. 3 pick for Brandon Ingram

Austin Reaves: Re-signed by the Lakers

Bradley Beal: Retained by the Wizards, not traded

Brandon Ingram: Traded to the Trail Blazers

Brook Lopez: Re-signed by the Bucks

Bruce Brown Jr.: Opts out, re-signed by the Nuggets

Cam Johnson: Signs offer sheet with the Pistons, offer matched by the Nets

Caris LeVert: Re-signs by the Cavs

Chris Paul: Waived and stretched by the Suns, signed by the Lakers

Christian Wood: Signed by the Bulls

D’Angelo Russell: Signed by the 76ers

Deandre Ayton: Traded to the Toronto Raptors

Derrick Rose: Team option declined by Knicks, signs with Bulls

Draymond Green: Player option declined, re-signs with Warriors

Dejounte Murray: Retained by the Hawks, not traded

Dennis Schroder: Re-signed by the Lakers

Dillon Brooks: Signed by the Heat

Fred VanVleet: Signed-and-traded to the Phoenix Suns, for Deandre Ayton

Gabe Vincent: Re-signed by the Heat

Gary Trent Jr.: Player option declined, signs with Magic

Grant Williams: Signs offer sheet with the Pistons, offer not matched by the Celtics

Harrison Barnes: Re-signed by the Kings

Jakob Poeltl: Signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder

James Harden: Player option exercised, signed by the Rockets

Jaylen Brown: Retained by the Celtics, not traded, extension signed

Jerami Grant: Re-signed by the Trail Blazers

Jevon Carter: Re-signed by the Bucks

Josh Hart: Player option exercised, re-signed by the Knicks

Karl-Anthony Towns: Traded to the Knicks

Kelly Oubre Jr.: Player option exercised, signed by the Rockets

Kevin Love: Signed by the Lakers

Khris Middleton: Player option exercised, re-signed by the Bucks

Kristaps Porzingis: Player option exercised, re-signed by the Wizards

Kyle Kuzma: Player option exercised, re-signed by the Knicks

Kyrie Irving: Re-signed by the Mavs

Lonnie Walker: Signed by the Mavs

Malik Beasley: Team option declined by the Lakers, signed by the Magic

Matisse Thybulle: Re-signed by the Trail Blazers

Max Strus: Re-signed by the Heat

Nikola Vucevic: Re-signed by the Bulls

Pascal Siakam: Retained by the Raptors, not traded

P.J. Washington: Signs offer sheet with the Pacers, offer matched by the Hornets

Rui Hachimura: Re-signed by the Lakers

Russell Westbrook: Re-signed by the Clippers

Seth Curry: Signed by the Trail Blazers

Trae Young: Retained by the Hawks, not traded

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Better know an NBA Draft prospect:

We’re less than two weeks away from the NBA Draft and as the top few picks begin to come together, it’s worth shifting some focus to prospects who could be selected later in the lottery or first-round. Over the next few days, we’ll share some brief capsules on several of these prospects. But don’t forget to check out Chris Kline’s excellent scouting reports for more details.

Nick Smith Jr. 

  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
  • Offensive Role: Lead or secondary ball-handler
  • Defensive Role: Point of attack perimeter defender
  • Projected Draft Range: 5-20
  • Team with rumored interest: Wizards, Heat, Raptors, Lakers
  • Scouting report summary: “Smith’s draft range is particularly hard to nail down right now because of the injury. Even in his very limited exposure for the Razorbacks, Smith’s talent leaped off the screen. And that’s a loaded roster. But if he doesn’t play as much as his lottery-bound counterparts, it’s only natural for doubt to creep into the equation. A lot of people will keep Smith nailed to the front end of the lottery. Some will question the knee and drop him back. Others will sidestep the upside conversation to paint a more pessimistic picture of him as a prospect: a score-first, pass-later guard with efficiency problems. There’s a real chance Smith becomes one of the more hotly debated prospects in the class.” — READ MORE

Keyonte George

  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: Shooting guard
  • Offensive Role: Spacer/secondary creator
  • Defensive Role: P.O.A. guard stopper
  • Projected Draft Range: 10-20
  • Team with rumored interest: Pelicans, Hawks, Lakers, Jazz
  • Scouting report summary: “There’s a lot of good and a lot of bad on George’s profile. The shooting percentages aren’t great and his assist-to-turnover ratio is a genuine red flag. Even so, it’s hard not to buy George’s pace and shiftiness handling the rock. His pull-up jumper is pure and he has a deep bag of tricks in the paint. Projecting forward, it’s not hard to envision the results improving, even in the face of greater competition.” — READ MORE

NBA news and content from around the FanSided network

How the Pistons finally landed Monty Williams

The Pistons landed Monty Williams as their next head coach but the hiring came after Williams reportedly rebuffed the team’s initial overtures. Yesterday, Williams was introduced and the press conference and subsequent coverage at ESPN and Detroit Free Press helped explain how the Pistons were able to eventually convince Williams. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Why Monty Williams initially hesitated: Williams’ wife was diagnosed with breast cancer during the Suns’ playoff run and he was considering taking time away from coaching after the Suns let him go. However, they eventually received positive news about her diagnosis which changed things.
  • The deal: The contract the Pistons signed Williams to — six years, $78.5 million is the largest in NBA history.
  • The talent: Williams acknowledged that the Pistons’ talented young roster was a big selling point, saying, “You can see the talent of this group and you see the size, but what I’m really impressed by is the people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a press conference for a head coach and all the players show up. That’s what I see: a hunger, a desire. They all want it.”
  • The perks: Williams’ deal also includes top-notch healthcare for his wife and private jet travel to help facilitate treatment at different facilities.

NBA Draft green room invites revealed

There are no guarantees when it comes to NBA Draft projections but the NBA’s green room invites are often as close as you can get to a first-round guarantee for a player (as the league presumably does some subtle scouting with teams to make sure they won’t have someone sitting there deep into the second round). Announced yesterday, here are the 19 players who have been invited by the NBA.

  • Victor Wembanyama
  • Brandon Miller
  • Scoot Henderson
  • Amen Thompson
  • Ausar Thompson
  • Cam Whitmore
  • Jarace Walker
  • Anthony Black
  • Taylor Hendricks
  • Gradey Dick
  • Bilal Coulibaly
  • Cason Wallace
  • Nick Smith Jr.
  • Dereck Lively II
  • Kobe Bufkin
  • Jalen Hood-Schifino
  • Jett Howard
  • Jordan Hawkins
  • Keyone George

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