In the race for free agent Jalen Brunson, a “dark horse” could still cause tension, although a move to the New York Knicks recently seemed almost certain. James Harden and Bradley Beal have officially rejected their player options, the Spurs and Hawks are causing a stir with a trade.
A day before free agency officially started, things were already getting wild in the NBA. Shortly after midnight German time, Chris Haynes (Yahoo Sports) from a “dark horse” in Brunson poker.
In addition to the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, the point guard apparently also wants to meet the Miami Heat at the start of free agency at midnight on Friday. Dallas hasn’t given up hope for Brunson either, but would have to raise his offer to five years and $125 million to outperform the Knicks. Ultimately, however, it could only be an alibi meeting to avoid the tampering allegation.
James Harden, on the other hand, will apparently forgo salary to give the Sixers more financial flexibility to improve the squad. The 32-year-old has turned down his $47.4 million player option and could sign a new deal in the $35-38 million annual salary range, according to media reports.
That would allow the Sixers to attract additional reinforcements in free agency with both the Midlevel Exception ($10.5M) and the Biannual Exception ($4.1M). A trade by Tobias Harris is also still an option, in which case, according to information from Matt Moore (Action Network) showing interest in the Sacramento Kings.
NBA Free Agency: Isaiah Hartenstein to Florida?
As expected, Bradley Beal also turned down his player option with the Wizards ($36.4 million). However, it is likely that he will sign a new contract in Washington that could bring him $ 251 million over five years. The Wizards previously strengthened their backcourt with a trade in the nuggets for Monte Morris and Will Barton.
In the person of Patty Mills, another prominent name gave up his player option (6.2 million), the Australian can, according to Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) but imagine a return to the Brooklyn Nets. It’s likely to attract some interest in the open market, though. Brooklyn is also said to be considering a sign-and-trade for Deandre Ayton.
Before Ayton made a decision, however, the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs caused a tremor. Dejounte Murray will play alongside Trae Young in Atlanta in the future, the Spurs will receive Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks, thus initiating a rebuild.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Hartenstein’s future could lie in Florida. Like Marc Stein (Substack) reports, the Orlando Magic are a hot contender for the German center. However, the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are also said to be interested in the unrestricted free agent.