NBA Free Agency: Who’s Staying and Who’s Going?

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The list of summer free agents will remain unclear until the end of June, when teams and players have decide on any contract options before the July free agency period.

Players with player or early termination options cannot be traded in June unless they opt into their deals.  Teams can trade away a player if their 2014-15 salary is non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed — but a team option must be taken to deal a player in June.

Most of the players with small deals will opt out to explore the market.  Why would Chris Andersen of the Miami HEAT stay for $1.4 million, when he can sign with any team (including Miami) for the same minimum of $1.4 million?

Similarly, teams are likely to keep cheap players when they have the option — like the Dallas Mavericks with Jae Crowder, or the Houston Rockets with Troy Daniels.

One exception to the rule would be Chandler Parsons.  The Rockets appear willing to let him out of his contract early, only to give him a bigger deal this summer as a restricted free agent, rather than pay him under $1 million for a year only to risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

Big-money players who may struggle to find new contracts at such great heights are also likely to opt in, like Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings), Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks) and Andrea Bargnani (Knicks).

Zach Randolph can opt out of his final year with the Memphis Grizzlies, and will likely do so if he and the team can’t find an agreeable contract extension before July.

Knicks president Phil Jackson would reportedly like Carmelo Anthony to opt in for another year before hitting free agency, but that doesn’t appear likely.

Finally, the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have to decide if they want to stick together for another year in Miami.  Given all three will make over $20 million this season, with player options for 2015-16 (at about $22 million) — look for the HEAT to have one more run in them before it’s time to renegotiate.

Player Options
Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings — $19.3 million — best guess: opt-in
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies — $17.0 million — out, if no extension agreed to
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs — $10.4 million — in
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns — $6.8 million — in
Jason Richardson, Philadelphia 76ers — $6.6 million — in
Udonis Haslem, Miami HEAT — $4.6 million — in
Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons — $4.5 million — in
Joel Anthony, Boston Celtics — $3.8 million — in
Darrell Arthur, Denver Nuggets — $3.5 million — in
Andrei Kirilenko, Brooklyn Nets — $3.3 million — out
Josh McRoberts, Charlotte Hornets — $2.8 million — out
Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers — $2.8 million — out
Nate Robinson, Denver Nuggets — $2.1 million — in
Darren Collison, Los Angeles Clippers — $2.0 million — out
Chris Andersen, Miami HEAT — $1.4 million — out
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets — $1.4 million — out
Francisco Garcia, Houston Rockets — $1.3 million — out
Danny Granger, Los Angeles Clippers — $1.3 million — out
Glen Davis, Los Angeles Clippers — $1.2 million — out
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers — $1.2 million — out
Alan Anderson, Brooklyn Nets — $1.1 million — out
Anthony Morrow, New Orleans Pelicans — $1.1 million — out
Byron Mullens, Philadelphia 76ers — $1.1 million — out

Early Termination Options
Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks — $23.4 million — best guess: opt-in
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks — $23.3 million — out
Chris Bosh, Miami HEAT — $20.6 million — in
LeBron James, Miami HEAT — $20.6 million — in
Dwyane Wade, Miami HEAT — $20.2 million — in
Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks — $11.5 million — in

Team Options
Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons — $2.5 million — best guess: opt-out
Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets — $965k — out
Jae Crowder, Dallas Mavericks — $915k — in
Troy Daniels, Houston Rockets — $816k — in
Grant Jerrett, Oklahoma City Thunder — $816k — out