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2022 NBA free agency: 45 players who could be available, including Zach LaVine, Jalen Brunson, Miles Bridges

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For all but two teams, the 2021-2022 NBA season is over, which means two of the most important dates on the calendar are approaching. The NBA draft is scheduled for June 23rd, and a week later – June 30th at 6:00 pm ET, to be exact – marks the official start of free agency.

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Cap space has fallen out of fashion recently as more stars have changed teams through trades rather than the open market. However, there will still be some signings (or signings and trades) that could qualify as game-changing. Here are the 45 players that may be available:

The Biggest Names in Free Agency

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Zach LaVine

WHO • SG • 8
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Eight years into his career, 27-year-old LaVine made his first playoff appearance. To achieve this, the Bulls made several win-win moves: a trade for Nikola Vucevic at the 2021 deadline, then the acquisition of Demar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso a few months later. They had the best record in the Eastern Conference in the middle of the regular season, and their subsequent decline can be attributed to injuries. If he stays in Chicago, he could sign a maximum five-deal deal worth $212 million. He will really leave currently? The answer is loud may be! — he was evasive at his press conference at the end of the season, and NBC Sports Chicago Mentioned the Lakers, Blazers, Mavericks, and Hawks as possible destinations, according to gossip attending the draft.

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Kyrie Irving

BKN • PG • 11

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Irving said he wasn’t going anywhere. However, it’s unclear how attached the Nets are to him. Irving has a $36.5 million option for next season; if he declines, he can re-sign a five-year contract worth up to $246 million. Such a deal would allow Irving to be on the Brooklyn rolls for a year longer than Kevin Durant, who signed a four-year extension last summer. The Nets may prefer a shorter-term investment.

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Miles Bridges

NA • PF • 0

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Bridges said he enjoys being at Charlotte, while general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team intends to keep him long term. He’s at the end of a career year and could sign a much better contract than the $60 million four-year extension that was on the table ahead of the 2021-22 season. However, are the Hornets ready to get the most out of him and pay him a starting salary of $30.5 million? This could be overkill, and if both sides can’t come to an agreement, Bridges could sign a bid sheet with another team. The versatile 23-year-old forward is exactly the type of restricted free agent that several teams with limited cap space would try to poach.

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Deandre Ayton

FOS • S • 22

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Ayton turns 24 in July and is in the same position as Bridges, and it’s no secret that last offseason he wanted a maximum extension. If the Suns list it now, it will cost them $177 million over five years. If they don’t, and he won’t accept anything less, then he’ll have to play a game of offer sheets or try to figure out what “sign and trade” is. He’s come a long way in the last couple of seasons as a defender and as a short shot player, but his development has taken place in an environment specifically designed for his specific skills. Ayton is neither a favorite nor a dominant rim defender. He’s an interesting free agent because it’s hard to understand how much he means to Phoenix and how much Phoenix means to him.

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Jalen Brunson

DAL • PG • 13

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Brunson was selected 32 picks behind Ayton in the 2018 draft, but they could end up signing for the same money. In 61 regular season games as a starter, Brunson averaged 17.5 points on 58.7% shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 33.3 minutes. That shows he can thrive with both more minutes and more usage, and the playoffs proved it – without Luka Doncic by his side, he led the Mavs to two wins over the Utah Jazz, scoring in total 72 points in 27 matches due to 47 shooting. Dallas no doubt would have liked him to offer Brunson a four-year, $55.5 million extension that he was eligible to sign prior to his breakthrough.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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