1. DeMar DeRozan – Player Option – San Antonio Spurs:
DeRozan is enjoying another fantastic all-around season for the Spurs. He’s currently one of only three players in the NBA averaging more than 22 points, five rebounds and five assists per game while shooting over 49% from the floor. The other two are Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James. From December 21st through January 17th, DeRozan scored at least 20 points while shooting at least 50% from the floor in 13-straight games.
Per the Spurs PR department, that’s the longest such streak by a guard in league history. During that 13-game stretch, he averaged a whopping 27.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.2 steals on 63.8% shooting. DeRozan will have an interesting decision to make next June. He has a player option for 2020-21 worth $27.7 million. While he may not have to settle for a bit of a pay cut in terms of annual salary, DeRozan may choose to opt-out and sign a lucrative long-term contract, especially considering he will be one of the premier free agents in an otherwise feeble FA class.
2. Evan Fournier – Player Option – Orlando Magic:
Fournier is averaging career-highs in points (18.9 PPG), made 3-pointers (2.7) and PER (16.6) this season. He has scored in double figures a team-high 53 times, 20+ points 24 times and 30+ points four times. Fournier has led (or tied) the Magic in scoring a team-high 20 times and in assists ten times. It’s his fifth straight year averaging over 15 points per contest. Fournier has been in the league eight years but is still just 27 years old. He has a player option worth $17.2 million for the 2020-21 campaign, which means he and his agent will have a tough decision to make June.
3. Joe Harris – Unrestricted – Brooklyn Nets:
In a league that places a tremendous premium on long-range shooting, Harris will be a highly-coveted free agent this summer. In 2018-19, he led the league in 3-point FG% (.474), becoming the first player in franchise history to do so. He’s been less efficient this season, but is still shooting above 40% from behind the arc. Brooklyn expects to get back a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2020-21; thus, they will undoubtedly hope to re-sign Harris, a player who will help stretch the floor playing alongside two scoring machines. Yet, they will have plenty of competition.
4. Tim Hardaway Jr. – Player Option – Dallas Mavericks:
Coming into this season, it was assumed Hardaway would opt into his $18.9 million player option for 2020-21. However, THJ is enjoying the most efficient and effective year of his career. He’s posting a career-high True Shooting Percentage of 58.3% along with a PER of 15.1. THJ is on pace to become just the 12th player in NBA history to attempt more than 550 trifectas and shoot above 40% from 3-point territory. It remains likely he will opt into the final year of his deal, but not a certainty.
5. Malik Beasley – Restricted – Minnesota Timberwolves:
After an extremely promising 2018-19, in which he averaged 11.3 points (on 47.4% shooting) in 23 minutes a night, the Nuggets reportedly offered Beasley a three-year, $30 million extension this past offseason. Beasley and his camp rejected that offer. It seemed he might regret that decision over the first half of 2019-20, as he was buried on the bench in Denver due to the Nuggets’ remarkable depth at shooting guard and on the wing. However, a mid-season trade to Minnesota has given Beasley a new lease on life. In the eight games he’s played for the Timberwolves, he’s averaging 21.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.9 made 3-pointers. Just 23 years old, Beasley will be a hot commodity this summer. However, because he is restricted, the Wolves have the right to match any offer he receives.
Best of the Rest:
Jordan Clarkson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (player option), Avery Bradley (player option), Kent Bazemore, Alec Burks, Andre Roberson, Langston Galloway, Allonzo Trier, Bryn Forbes, E’Twaun Moore, Wesley Matthews (player option), Pat Connaughton, Courtney Lee, Allen Crabbe, Reggie Bullock, Marco Belinelli