Top 50 NBA free agents: Warriors keeping the band together with re-signing of Andre Iguodala – Washington Post

 In Sports

The veteran forward is staying by the Bay. (Ezra Shaw/Pool Photo via AP)

Last summer’s NBA spending spree should be followed by an offseason dominated by belt-tightening.

After the salary cap jumped from $70 million to $94 million last offseason, the stage was set for a summer of massive contracts, including Kevin Durant’s stunning switch from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors.

When free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, players and their agents will look for the big paydays of a year ago, while teams will hope to spend less. That tug-of-war will dominate discussions in the coming weeks.

So who should teams sign, and how much should they pay? The Washington Post ranks this summer’s free agent class — one with the potential to provide plenty of fireworks.

1. Kevin Durant, SF, unrestricted
Golden State Warriors

Durant, coming off an NBA Finals MVP and his first championship, isn’t going anywhere. The only question is whether he’ll take enough of a financial haircut to allow Golden State to keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

2. Stephen Curry, SG, unrestricted
Golden State Warriors

Curry, as expected, signed a five-year, $201 million extension to remain with the Warriors.

3. Gordon Hayward, SF, unrestricted
Utah Jazz

Here is where things get interesting. Hayward is expected to be courted heavily by the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, and probably others; he could leave the Jazz next week.

4. Kyle Lowry, PG, unrestricted
Toronto Raptors

Lowry is the top point guard available on the market, but Lowry is 31 and few teams are looking for a floor general. Will there be interest?

5. Blake Griffin, PF, unrestricted
Los Angeles Clippers

Griffin was going to take meetings, but after being pitched by the Clippers on Saturday, he agreed to stay in Los Angeles on a five-year max deal.

6. Jrue Holiday, PG, unrestricted
New Orleans Pelicans

Holiday had as much leverage as any player in free agency, given that the Pelicans had no way to replace him and still need to convince DeMarcus Cousins to stay. New Orleans moved quickly and Holiday agreed to stay for a five-year deal worth more than $125 million.

7. Otto Porter Jr., SF, restricted
Washington Wizards

The top restricted free agent on the market, Porter could test Washington’s willingness to go into the luxury tax — something owner Ted Leonsis has never done — if he gets a big offer. The assumption should be that he’s back, but it could get uncomfortable before he is.

8. Paul Millsap, PF, unrestricted
Atlanta Hawks

New Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk made it clear he wasn’t going to give Millsap a max contract. That means the all-star forward will move on.

9. George Hill, PG, unrestricted
Utah Jazz

Hill was banged up most of this season, but when he and the rest of the starting lineup was healthy, they were quite effective. His market could be tied to what Hayward does; if he leaves it will likely decrease Hill’s leverage.

10. Danilo Gallinari, PF, unrestricted
Denver Nuggets

Talented but injury prone, Gallinari is one of the more intriguing free agents. Will a team take a chance, or will his market be tepid thanks to a constant stream of injuries and defensive issues?

11. Serge Ibaka, PF, unrestricted
Toronto Raptors

Ibaka has changed teams twice in the past year, and was expected to get big money as a free agent this summer. But given his age (27) and a glut of bigs on the market, will he get it?

12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, restricted
Detroit Pistons

One of the better wing defenders in the league, Caldwell-Pope will have suitors. And with Rich Paul as his agent, expect KCP to try to get every cent that he can.

13. Andre Iguodala, SF, unrestricted
Golden State Warriors

It wasn’t the smoothest of negotiations, with Iguodala taking virtually the entire first 24 hours of free agency holding several meetings and trying to get the Golden State Warriors to up their offer. Eventually, though, the Warriors did, with the resulting three-year, $48 million deal (fully guaranteed, to boot) convincing him to return.

14. Jeff Teague, PG, unrestricted
Left the Indiana Pacers to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves

In what should be a fascinating point guard market, Teague was the first option off the board, agreeing to a three-year, $57 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

15. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, unrestricted
Dallas Mavericks

Nowitzki won’t leave Dallas. His contract will come down to what the Mavericks spend on other players.

16. J.J. Redick, SG, unrestricted
Left the Los Angeles Clippers to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers

Redick was never going to re-sign with the Clippers and was always expected to get significant interest from Philadelphia. By signing him to a balloon-payment for a one-year deal ($23 million), the Sixers get the veteran they need and keep open their cap space for next summer, too.

17. Patty Mills, PG, unrestricted
San Antonio Spurs

Mills became the latest member of the Spurs to take a team-friendly deal to remain in San Antonio, signing a four-year deal worth $50 million to stick around — and potentially be their starter next season as Tony Parker recovers from a leg injury.

18. Nerlens Noel, C, restricted
Dallas Mavericks

After trading for him at the deadline, Dallas is motivated to keep Noel. This negotiation will come down to how hard both sides dig in, and how unrealistic the Noel camp will be about a lack of center interest on the market.

19. JaMychal Green, PF, unrestricted
Memphis Grizzlies

A late-bloomer, Green is hitting restricted free agency at 27. Still, as a power forward capable of hitting threes, he should draw interest.

20. Nikola Mirotic, PF, restricted
Chicago Bulls

The market for Mirotic, 26, will likely be similar to Green’s. A potential return to Chicago may be impacted by the drafting of Lauri Markkanen.

21. Tony Snell, SG, restricted
Milwaukee Bucks

Snell was one of the first players to come to an agreement Saturday, signing a four-year, $46 million contract with the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls via trade before last season.

22. Pau Gasol, C, unrestricted
San Antonio Spurs

When Gasol opted out of his contract for next season, the assumption was that the Spurs had something up their sleeve. We’ll find out soon enough.

23. C.J. Miles, SG, unrestricted
Indiana Pacers

Miles is a little older (30), but he is another wing player who can hit a three and play some defense. That’ll attract suitors.

24. Shaun Livingston, PG, unrestricted
Golden State Warriors

Livingston told friends he was willing to take less to remain part of the ride in Golden State, and did exactly that in agreeing to a three-year, $24 million deal with a partial guarantee in the third season.

25. Andre Roberson, SF, restricted
Oklahoma City Thunder

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