Kathy Willens / Associated Press
Who are they: Limited free players who have played well enough to attract the attention of the rest of the league and will benefit the most from their limited availability. The teams in place have the right to match all the offers they receive, and it usually takes aggressive bidding to make their return a topic of debate.
Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks
Rival teams will see a chance to steal Malcolm Brogdon if the Bucks are resigned to paying what's needed for Khris Middleton. Their room for maneuver under the taxes imposed by the external taxes is extremely heavy, but a maximum for Middleton leaves them more than 50 million dollars committed to him and Eric Bledsoe next year.
Matching an offer of monsters to Brogdon could become untenable. Something in the approximate range of $ 15 to $ 17 million a year is achievable, but what if it costs almost $ 20 million? Or more?
Laugh, but Brogdon turns enough heads to make things look weird. It has the scale to defend small attackers and is the ideal offensive complement for a team led by ball masters.
It should be noted that more than half of Brogdon's baskets have been removed and he has drained nearly 50% of his firing. Stephen Curry is the only other player to accumulate as many points, assists and three points per 36 minutes, while respecting Brogdon's actual percentage of shooting.
The outside interest might not matter. The Bucks may be willing to pay the tax or bring back Brogdon and Middleton and pick up the rest later. Adopting this position will not scare anyone. Some teams will not hesitate to temporarily block their maximum space in Brogdon if it spoils Milwaukee's books.
Teams to watch: Milwaukee, Chicago, Utah
Kelly Oubre Jr., Phoenix Suns
Kelly Oubre Jr. would not have managed this cut a few weeks ago. He played in the conversation.
Since he has failed to score twice the last three games in early January, he has averaged 18.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks. His three-point divisions are still bumpy during this stretch, but he scores more than 54% of his two attempts and qualifies for the best performance of his career. The Phoenix defense even spends a good time when he plays alongside Mikal Bridges and De & Anthony Melton.
Happier times, which include a recent basketball push of over .500, left Oubre hit. He wants to stay with the suns.
"I'm here, No. 3, little striker for the Phoenix Suns," he said. Arizona RepublicDuane Rankin. "Try to keep it that way for the rest of my career."
The return of Oubre is anything but a given. Dealing with huge offers for him is difficult when they have a few other wings on the list – Bridges, Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren – and a hole at the guardhouse.
Unloading another amount of money is helpful, as is establishing a general floor in the project, but the Suns need to be aware of what they spend to preserve a core of less than 25%. They have already paid Warren and the maximum extension of Booker will begin next season.
All this invites the court to the enemy. The interchangeable wings are among the most coveted assets of the NBA, and the offensive rise of Oubre will dominate more than a few teams. The fact that he's just 23 years old only increases the likelihood that he will get a higher bid than the market.
Teams to watch: Atlanta, Phoenix, Sacramento Kings
Dr. Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
Dr. Angelo Russell is the most risky inclusion of this exercise. On one side, it's hard to find 23-year-old All-Star gaming leaders. On the other hand, this summer's market is not teeming with cloak-rich suitors seeking to mortgage their buying power for one.
Orlando took over Markelle Fultz at the trading deadline. Phoenix must give up Oubre and pledge additional funds to scare Brooklyn. Indiana does not meddle with the poaching of restricted free agents.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, De Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield played the kings against Zach LaVine, another guard. The Knicks risk becoming stupid if they miss all the A-listers, but they have Dennis Smith Jr. Do the Bulls dare to try to associate Russell and LaVine in the background?
This bodes well for the nets. Russell's career year will cost them dearly, but it will probably not have the power to take them for near-peak pay. Again, he grew up in almost every facet of the game. His finishes on the edges are uneven and he does not arrive fast enough to the line, but he raised his setting and his creation.
At this rate, Russell will join Stephen Curry and James Harden as the third player in league history with an average of more than 20 points, eight assists and three triples every 36 minutes. His leadership also deserves a crush. The way he handled the crisis position earlier this year was more than professional.
It only takes one team to inflate the sum of his next contract. Its ceiling will be close to $ 21 million in free admission. He will find a higher offer sheet each year if it is considered essential. It's too much to play on a single year of escape.
Teams to watch: Brooklyn, Chicago, Utah