NBA free agency is just hours away from officially opening at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. Decisions on player options were made Wednesday, so now it’s up to players and teams to negotiate on contract extensions, trades and other signings. The top free agents include James Harden, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Deandre Ayton and Jalen Brunson. Follow along for live updates on signings, trades, contract extensions and all NBA happenings.
Before the free agent negotiations could even start, Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world by requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Durant’s preferred landing spot is the Phoenix Suns, Haynes reported. The Brooklyn experiment with Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden and now Ben Simmons has been wholly disappointing.
Who are the top 2022 NBA free agents?
Harden reportedly declined his $47.4 million option Wednesday, and the expectation is that he will re-sign with the team on a new contract. He is eligible for a max contract worth $270 million over five years, but the Philadelphia 76ers are expected to offer him a two-year extension.
Beal also reportedly declined his option $36.4 million option and is expected to re-sign with the Washington Wizards. He is eligible for a five-year, $250 million max contract with the Wizards. Other teams can offer him a four-year, $180-plus million deal.
LaVine is an unrestricted when free agency begins, but the Chicago Bulls are expected to offer him a five-year, $212 million maximum contract offer and LaVine is expected to stay in Chicago.
This is where things could get shaken up. Ayton did not receive a max extension last summer from the Phoenix Suns. He has four options this summer: 1) re-sign with the Suns; 2) sign an offer sheet elsewhere, which Phoenix can (and should) match; 3) seek a sign-and-trade deal to another team; or 4) play the final season of his rookie contract on a $16.4 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Brunson will meet with the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and Miami Heat when free agency opens, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported. The Knicks have been considered frontrunners for weeks and reportedly cleared cap space in order to sign Brunson.
Wall agreed to a buyout of the final year of his contract with the Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Wall did not play in Houston last season but has publicly said he wants to play on a contending team. He is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears waivers, Haynes reported.