As the Orlando bubble concluded with the Lakers earning their 17th championship, an uncertain NBA offseason began. The league, owners and players association are still trying to determine when the season starts and ends, the cap situation and more.
Much is still to be determined, but that doesn’t mean the 2020 NBA offseason won’t be intriguing. Summer 2021 will be more exciting in terms of marquee free agents, but this offseason should have no shortage of trades, draft moves and free agent signings.
Plenty of teams have the assets to make big changes before the start of next season. These three teams are the most interesting to watch as trade season is about to kick off.
The Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, a streak the team will be desperately trying to break next season. Management will likely have to make some tough choices this offseason.
Shooting guard Buddy Hield‘s $90 million extension kicks-in next season, although there have been reports he has soured on head coach Luke Walton. Bogdan Bogdanovic, the team’s sixth man, will be a free agent this summer, likely meaning if the Kings want to shake things up, they will have to choose between the two.
The return in a deal for Hield would be bigger, but only if the franchise decides Bogdanovic is a better fit alongside De’Aaron Fox, who will be up for an extension next year. Another asset Sacramento has is veteran wing Harrison Barnes, who could be packaged in a deal with other assets like Rachuan Holmes and Nemanja Bjelica for a star given his sizeable contract.
The Kings can go in many different directions this offseason and have the assets to pull off a move or two that would potentially end their playoff drought.
Indiana has been a disappointment the last two years, posting strong records in the regular season, only to get swept in the first round twice in a row. The team needs some changes, and they have the assets to do just that this offseason.
All eyes are on what the team will do with Victor Oladipo, who will be heading into the last year of his deal, earning $21 million. Reports have came out that Oladipo may seek to play elsewhere and that he will want a max deal from his next destination. The Pacers will certainly see what’s available, though his value is hard to gauge since he hasn’t shown a return to All-Star form since his injury in 2019.
The other big trade possibility for Indiana is breaking up their two big men, likely with Myles Turner being dealt while Domantas Sabonis remains a Pacer. At an $18 million salary for the next three seasons, Turner could fill the need at center for many teams.
A solid return for Turner or Oladipo, or both, could add more weapons to a team looking to get out of the first round. Ideally, Indiana would be looking to land a star wing to play between Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdan.
Last season served as a gap year for the new-look Nets, as Kevin Durant sat out rehabbing his achilles injury, and Kyrie Irving played just 20 games before undergoing shoulder surgery. Heading into the 2020 offseason, Brooklyn has several assets they can use to round out their team before making a run at the 2021 title.
Outside of Durant and Irving, the Nets likely have all options on the table for potential trades in pursuit of a third star. Spencer Dinwiddie, a reliable veteran point guard, could fill the backcourt need for several teams. With one year and a player option remaining on his contract at $22 million total, he is an easy player to move.
Caris LeVert should garner a lot of attention from other teams as well. Despite his injury history, LeVert has shown flashes of being an excellent scorer. Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince can be trade pieces as well for Brooklyn.
The Nets’ window for winning a title is now, with Irving and Durant still in their primes despite coming off of injuries. Heading into the offseason, Brooklyn can get creative with the assets they have and transform the team into a contender, if they aren’t one already.
Featured image credited to Sacbee.com.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.