2018 Free Agent Market Heating up as Rumour Mill Starts to Turn
The NBA Finals are still a thing and the NBA Draft is just a couple of weeks away, yet the free agency rumour mill has already started to turn.
The Golden State Warriors specifically may only be hours away from winning their third championship in the last four years, yet they have their sights set on free agency already. Houston Rockets wing Trevor Ariza has been linked to the Warriors as he is set to enter free agency this summer. The defending NBA champions have attempted to bolster their wing depth off the bench last season when they brought in Nick Young and Omri Casspi, both of whom didn’t seem to workout.
“That’s a name I’m hearing that could be intriguing,” said ESPN’s Chris Haynes in reference to Ariza.
While of course Ariza would need to take a substantial pay-cut, the move would provide the Warriors with a legit option off the bench to go along with Andre Iguodala.
Speaking of the Warriors, it doesn’t seem like they will be losing much in the near future. Durant admitted that in the NBA “anything can happen”, but the belief is that he will look to re-sign with the Warriors over the summer.
“I just sat down with him about half an hour ago and he said he’s re-signing with Golden State,” said Rachel Nichols of The Jump.
Durant will be eligible to sign to a max contract valued at around $158-million for four years. He will also be able to sign to short term deals with player options after the first or second year of his contract.
“I’m planning on staying with the Warriors, and we’ll figure the rest out,” Durant said, before adding that only the “small details” are yet to be dealt with.
Adrian Wojnarowski followed these reports by stating that Durant is happy in the Bay Area and looks to have found a home with his new team.
“He’s found a home with the Warriors,” said Wojnarowski. “I think the partnership he’s had with Steph Curry and Klay (Thompson) has been what he had hoped it would be. I don’t think Kevin is of the mindset, and it’s what drew him to Golden State, and that he wants to go somewhere and have a greater focus on him. I think he loves the dynamic he has here. I think (Durant and Curry) set a precedent in Golden State of taking less money.”
In an attempt to keep up with the Warriors, the Rockets will be looking to make moves as well, especially if Ariza chooses to move on from the team. While the main focus is re-signing Chris Paul, who has asserted that he is not willing to take any contract under the max, and rising big man Clint Capela, the Rockets have also been linked to pending free agents Paul George and LeBron James.
Another interesting name that has come up in Rockets rumours is DeAndre Jordan. While the Rockets are more likely to retain Capela, Jordan has reportedly expressed the interest of going to his hometown team next season. The Los Angeles Clippers big man has a $24.1-million player option for next season which he remains undecided on.
It is very uncertain how the offseason will play out, but one thing is for sure – the Rockets and Warriors are still eying to be the top of the NBA food chain.