Every NBA Team’s Best Free Agent: Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, PG

Teague has made the playoffs almost every year he’s been in the league. He is a veteran presence who simply makes the right play and knows how to win. Several contenders would love to have Teague, either off the bench or as a starting point guard.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Boston Celtics: Gordon Hayward (Player Option), SF

Hayward was a perennial all-star before his injuries with the Celtics. He had a nice bounce back season this year, but he isn’t consistent or healthy enough to opt-out. Look for Hayward to opt-in and be a key contributor for a Celtics team looking for their 18th championship.

Prediction: Opt-in

Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris, SG

Harris has cemented himself as one of the best shooters in the league. The Nets and everyone else are going to want him, so he won’t be cheap. Unfortunately for Brooklyn, they don’t have a lot of cap space to work with. Re-signing Harris is very possible, but there are many contenders willing to spend.

Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Hornets: Bismack Biyombo, C

The Hornets are trying to create cap space, and letting Biyombo walk will be a good first step. He was at his best when he was coming off the bench for the Raptors, so the same role on a contender makes a lot of sense for all parties.

Prediction: Houston Rockets

Chicago Bulls: Kris Dunn (restricted), PG

Dunn has quietly been one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, though he sometimes struggles offensively. Chicago knows his defensive worth more than anyone, so it’s hard to see the Bulls not matching a team’s offer sheet.

Prediction: Chicago matches offer sheet

Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson, C

With Andre Drummond opting into his contract, the Cavs’ frontcourt is very crowded. Though Thompson has said that he would like to remain in Cleveland, that feeling may not be reciprocated from the team.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors

Detroit Pistons: Christain Wood, PF

Wood is legit. After spending some time in the G-League, the young big man is considered a future all-star and is in the running for most underrated, not-talked-about-enough player in the game. It’s hard to tell if the Pistons actually know what they’re doing though. Wood is going to get a sizable contract wherever he ends up.

Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves

Indiana Pacers: Justin Holiday, G

Holiday is a very good bench player who can score and play defense. Every team wants someone like that, so he will have suitors. The Pacers’ backcourt is a mess right now with Holiday, his brother Aaron Holiday, Malcolm Brogdon, TJ McConell and Victor Oladipo all deserving minutes. Indiana might have to let Justin Holiday walk to clear up their guard situation a little bit.

Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers

Miami Heat: Goran Dragic, G

Dragic has been excellent in his tenure with the Heat, making an all-star appearance in 2018 and playing a huge role for the team in their most recent playoff run. Miami would love to have him back but there will be a big market for him. It might come down to how much the Heat organization trusts their young guards to be consistent during the regular season and playoffs like Dragic was.

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Mathews, SG

The Bucks have already added guards Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic, so there isn’t much room left for Mathews. He is one of the league’s better 3 and D players, so most teams will be interested. Mathews will likely sign with a contender other than Milwaukee.

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

New York Knicks: Damyean Dotson, SG

Dotson is a young 3 and D player, so he’ll have enough interest. For a rebuilding Knicks team, young pieces like Dotson are important to keep around as trade bait or in hopes that they might break out. He was much better in the 2018-19 season than last, but the Knicks will likely keep him around a bit longer.

Prediction: New York Knicks

Orlando Magic: DJ Augustin, PG

Augustin is a solid starting point guard, but he may be even more valuable if he came off the bench. His great shooting and decision making has drawn interest from teams in the past, and this offseason will be no different. The Magic don’t have a very clear direction nor a lot of money to spend, so Augustin will probably find a new home.

Prediction: Toronto Raptors

Philadelphia 76ers: Alec Burks, SG

The 76ers traded for Burks last season to strengthen their previously weak bench, and they got what they needed from him. He did what he does best, score off the bench, which will garner interest from a lot of teams. It’s a tossup where he lands at this point, but Philly might want to keep him around.

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet, SG

VanVleet’s emergence has been spectacular to watch. The role he has played with Toronto has grown each season to the point where he was arguably the team’s best player last season when the team had the second best record in the league. The Raptors will do anything in their power to keep VanVleet around, but they’ll have plenty of competition, particularly from the Knicks.

Prediction: Toronto Raptors

Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans, PF

Bertans has solidified himself as one of the best shooters in the league. He’s going to have a ton of interest in free agency from just about everyone. The Wizards probably want to keep him around too, but the East is becoming extremely competitive and it’s unknown if John Wall or Bradley Beal will play another game for Washington. Bertans doesn’t seem reasonable for them.

Prediction: Phoenix Suns

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