Sometimes, you just have to move on. Whether they’re looking for a raise, a championship, or a coach who isn’t Rick Carlisle, here are visualizations of the better free agents most likely to have a new home come September.
The charts you’ll see in this post are set to the league by percentile (the outer ring is the best/top in the league) per 36 minutes, and adjusted by position(G/F/C). RelDefRtg is the difference between a player’s net defensive rating and that of his team’s. All statistics are for the entirety of the regular season, as per NBA.com
Goran is probably staying, but since he declined his player option (and the point guard market is rather thin), there will still be teams calling him tomorrow. He’s a combo guard who works well with Wade as a co-ballhandler, and his offense is diverse and efficient. The defense is fine, but his contract might end up two years too long. Reggie Jackson was also a midseason acquisition, and the Pistons are favored to retain him despite having Brandon Jennings already on the roster. Jackson has good athleticism and his gambling defense works well when he has a monster like Andre Drummond cleaning up his mess, but it’s on him to learn to hit more than the occasional three. Rondo was a spectacular failure in Dallas, so now he might get a max contract in LA? He’s definitely capable of controlling an offense by himself, as evidenced by his extreme assist numbers, though whether that is a positive or negative is quite a question, especially when his turnovers are as abundant as his assists. Monta is a smaller combo guard than Dragic, and he runs a ton of pick and roll, so calling him a point guard isn’t totally wrong. Wherever he ends up, expect that usage rate to hang in the upper echelon of NBA players.
Jimmy Butler can do everything except want a contract that is actually allowed by the CBA, with his offense catching up to his athleticism and defense this past season. If the Bulls have any sense they’ll match any offer, but Jerry Reinsdorf is notorious for his penny-pinching and Chicago is close to the tax line. Danny Green is a monster shooter with excellent defensive habits, especially in transition. While no one doubts the Spurs can replace him, whoever pays up will be getting maybe the best “3-and-D” player in the league. Wade is pissy with the Heat about his contract, and his ability to maintain an above average True Shooting percentage with a Usage over 34% is reason enough for him to get paid what he wants. Every other aspect of his game shows his age, especially his frustrating lack of durability. Wes had his excellent season cut short by a torn achilles, but if he comes back as strong as he was in January he’ll be the best two-guard in the class next year. His skills are similar to Danny Green’s, but he can maintain a higher usage and lower turnover ratio due to his ability to counter-drive and finish in traffic.
Khris Middleton is about to get overpaid, and it will be totally fine. His defense is active, if unrefined, as is his passing, and he’s a capable and improving shooter. Teams will want to see if he can raise his usage without damaging the rest of the package. For Tobias Harris, his offense is the package. His defensive instincts clearly have not caught up with his athleticism, but he can get buckets pretty well, and those guys tend to get paid. DeMarre is coming off a breakout playoffs, but his fit in the Hawks system was evident all year from his excellent shooting numbers. If the Hawks can’t afford to pay up, whoever does will be getting a great, versatile role player with good passing skills. Paul Pierce is still shooting like the old man at the Y, and it’s good enough for him. He even manages to play a little defense on the side.
Hey, it’s the best players likely to move! LaMarcus is an offense unto himself, though he might have to pick up the assist numbers because he’s about to face a lot of double teams. If half of Kevin Love can give good shooting numbers with a decent usage and great rebounding, imagine what a fully healthy one can accomplish (hint: it looks like 2013). This is your monthly reminder that Paul Millsap can do everything. Those steal and assist numbers are guard worthy, and even without those he’d be an All-Star forward in the East. Greg Monroe can score. Greg Monroe can pass. Greg Monroe can rebound. That is the extent of what Greg Monroe can do.
Holy shit DeAndre and Tyson are similar. I mean, Tyson passes a little more often and can make a free throw if he has to, but DeAndre more than makes up for that with his ability to force turnovers. This chart suggests Brook Lopez has never thrown a pass in his life, which is fine if he can score like that forever. His defense isn’t great, but he’s a post player who can turn a ton of possessions into a ton of points, and that’s really hard to do. Robin can pass and crash glass, though his offense is a shell compared to his twin. All four of these guys are pretty good at avoiding foul trouble (Brook being average makes him the worst), making them likely to stay on the floor as long as their poor shooting will allow.