The deadlines have passed (most of them, anyway) and teams and players have made their calls on contract options — we know who is hitting free agency and who is staying with their respective teams.
Here are the highlights of who is staying and who is hitting the free agent market:
• Jordan Clarkson is staying with Utah Jazz. The perennial contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award is picking up his $14.3 million player option, reports Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Clarkson averaged 20.8 points per game last season for the Jazz off the bench. This move allows Utah to extend Clarkson off this current contract, and as a favorite of owner Ryan Smith don’t be surprised if that comes together before next season.
• Jazz pick up Kelly Olynyk’s option, he stays in Utah. While we’re talking Jazz, I thought this should be mentioned. It was a no-brainer for the Jazz. Olynyk started every game he was healthy for last season in Utah (68 of them) and was under contract for essentially the mid-level exception at $12.2 million. Michael Scotto of Hoopshype was first .
• Eric Gordon will be a free agent. The impacts of the new CBA and the “second apron” of the luxury tax are hitting even Steve Ballmer (this is exactly why some owners pushed for this second apron, to reign in Ballmer and other big spenders). Five months ago the Clippers traded Luke Kennard and John Wall (plus swapped picks with the Rockets in the last draft) to land Gordon. The Clippers looked hard around the draft and after for a trade to send out Marcus Morris and Norman Powell, but failing that they have not picked up Eric Gordon’s $20.9 million for next season, making him a free agent (a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN ). This move will save the Clippers $110 million in salary and tax (they were deep in the repeater tax), according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks . Clippers insider Justin Russo summed up the situation well.
• Timberwolves make Taurean Prince a free agent. Prince had a $7.4 million player option for next season and Minnesota decided not to pick it up . Prince, who averaged 9.1 points per game off the bench last season, is now a free agent.
• Celtics extend qualifying offer to Grant Williams. This was a formality, Williams is now a restricted free agent. With Kristaps Porzingis now in Green , it’s highly unlikely Williams will return to Boston, but this move gives the Celtics leverage in a potential sign-and-trade to get something back for Williams’ exit.
• Lakers pick up option, will bring back Jarred Vanderbilt. After coming over at the trade deadline last season (part of the D’Angelo Russell/Russell Westbrook trade ) Vanderbilt played quality defense and found a role for himself in Los Angeles. It was rather a no-brainer the Lakers would exercise their $4.7 million team option to keep him for next season. Starting in September the Lakers can extend Vanderbilt off this contract ( four years, $71 million would be the max).
• The Mavericks fully guaranteed Reggie Bullock. Dallas could have saved $5 million if they waived Bullock, but instead they picked up his $10.5 million contract for next season. Smart play for quality depth by Dallas. Marc Stein was first.
• Cedi Osman staying in Cleveland. This was a bit of a no-brainer for the Cavaliers, but the team is picking up Cedi Osman’s $6.7 million option for next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
• Kessler Edwards staying with the Kings. As expected, Sacramento will pick up Kessler Edwards’ $1.9 million team option.
Here are quick hitters on some of the other big-name options decided previously (and covered here before):
• Khris Middleton declined his $40.4 million player option with Bucks and is a free agent (he is expected to re-sign with Milwaukee).
• Draymond Green declined his $27.6 million player option with the Warriors and is a free agent (he is expected to re-sign with Golden State).
• James Harden declined his $35.6 million player option with the 76ers and is a free agent (he is expected to re-sign with Philadelphia).
• Fred VanVleet declined his $22.9 million player option and is a free agent (Houston is considered the front runner to sign him).
• Kristaps Porzingis opted into his $36 million player option, facilitating a trade to the Celtics (he is expected to sign an extension in Boston).
• Kyle Kuzma declined his $13 million player option with Washington and is a free agent.
• The Knicks declined the $15.6 million player option of Derrick Rose and he is a free agent.