2024 NBA free agency rumors: D’Angelo Russell exercises player option

The 2024 NBA season is officially over, and the offseason is in full swing.

The league’s new collective bargaining agreement allows teams to negotiate with their own players right after the final game of the season. That said, players aren’t allowed to negotiate with teams other than their own until June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, and contracts can’t be signed until July 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.

Some of the biggest unrestricted free agents to keep an eye on are LeBron James, Paul George, James Harden and Klay Thompson, to name a few. 

Here’s the latest off-court buzz from around the league.

June 28

D’Angelo Russell picks up player option

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has exercised his $18.6 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Russell averaged 18 points per game on 41.5% shooting from 3-point range, in addition to 6.2 assists per game, in 76 appearances with the Lakers last season.

Hawks trade Dejounte Murray to Pelicans

The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to trade Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Larry Nance Jr., Dyson Daniels, a 2025 first-round pick via the Los Angeles Lakers and a 2027 first-round pick, according to ESPN. Murray will join a core of CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson in New Orleans. The Pelicans finished eighth in the Western Conference last season with a record of 49-33.

Warriors, Chris Paul agree to push back deadline date on guaranteed money

The Warriors are buying some time to figure out their situation with Paul. Both sides have agreed to push back the date for Paul’s 2024-25 salary to become fully guaranteed until Sunday, ESPN reported. The Warriors initially had until Friday to decide whether to fully guarantee his $30 million salary for the upcoming season.

Golden State’s decision to push back Paul’s guarantee date allows it time to find a possible trade. The team has been linked to pending free agent Paul George and would likely need to trade Paul in order to make it work.

Paul, 39, averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 assists per game in his first year with the Warriors last season. He mostly played off the bench, starting in just 18 of the 58 games he played in.

Warriors, Nuggets, 76ers, Magic in hunt for Paul George

As free agency nears, a line of suitors for George is starting to form. The Warriors, Nuggets, 76ers and Magic are among the teams expressing interest in the star wing if he leaves the LA Clippers, The Athletic reported Friday. 

Each team’s chances of adding George seem to hinge on whether he accepts or declines his player option for next season ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Golden State and Denver would need George to pick up his option if they wanted to add him because they don’t have the cap space. However, both the Warriors and Nuggets are interested in offering George an extension if he were to opt in and get traded, The Athletic reported. Golden State’s package in such a deal would likely include Paul while Denver’s package would likely include Michael Porter Jr., though the Nuggets are reluctant to give up additional draft capital, according to The Athletic.

Meanwhile, the 76ers and Magic are considered “the most logical suitors” for George if he opts out, according to The Athletic. Philadelphia is projected to have around $60 million in cap space, while Orlando can create nearly $55 million in cap space. The Clippers also remain in the hunt for George, according to The Athletic. President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank recently told reporters that the Clippers “very much want to retain Paul.”

GSW haven’t made an offer to Klay Thompson ahead of free agency

The end of the “Splash Brothers” era in the Bay Area might be near.

Thompson and the Warriors haven’t had much contact, and he hasn’t been offered a new deal ahead of the start of free agency, The Athletic reported. The 34-year-old shooting guard averaged 17.9 points per game this past season, his fewest since his second season in the league. The Warriors are still reportedly looking to possibly keep Thompson, but it’s becoming “increasingly conceivable” that he will seek a fresh start somewhere else, The Athletic reported.

If Thompson were to leave, the 76ers, Magic and Nuggets are among the potential suitors, according to The Athletic.

Mavericks trade Tim Hardaway Jr. to Pistons for Quentin Grimes

The Mavericks are shedding some salary ahead of free agency, sending veteran shooting guard Hardaway and three second-round picks to the Pistons for Grimes, ESPN reported. Hardaway is due to make $16.2 million next season in the final year of a four-year deal. The move allows Dallas more cap space to possibly re-sign its own free agents, such as Derrick Jones Jr. 

Hardaway averaged 14.4 points per game during the regular season, but found himself out of Jason Kidd’s rotation by the end of the Mavericks’ run to the NBA Finals. Grimes averaged seven points per game last year.

June 27

Clippers president: Team ‘very much’ wants to keep Paul George

The LA Clippers are still discussing a potential contract extension with superstar wing Paul George and his agent and want him back in Los Angeles longterm, team president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank told reporters Thursday.

“We love Paul,” Frank said, via ESPN. “We very much want to retain Paul, but we also very much understand and respect the fact this is a business. … “We hope Paul’s decision is to be here. He’s been awesome. He’s been an All-Star. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league. He’s a terrific person. He’s got great family, so we hope he’s here but also respect the fact that if he chooses to opt out, that’s his choice. He’s earned it and we’ll see how things play out.”

The Clippers have until Saturday to sign George to an extension. After that, George can opt out of his current contract or opt into its final year and attempt to force a trade. George can sign extension worth as much as four years and $221 million with the Clippers. Frank said the team has also had ongoing discussions with pending free agent James Harden, whom they picked up in a trade last season.

Hornets acquire Reggie Jackson from Nuggets

The Charlotte Hornets have acquired guard Reggie Jackson and three future second-round draft picks from Denver in a move that will open up salary cap space for the Nuggets, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. According to the report, the Nuggets were up against the luxury cap and the Hornets proved a willing partner to absorb Jackson’s contract. The 34-year-old played in all 82 games last season for Denver and averaged 10.2 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 36% from 3-point range. He has one year left on his $10.2 million contract.

June 26

Jimmy Butler will not sign extension with Heat this offseason

The Miami Heat star will not lock in his long-term future with the team, The Athletic reported Wednesday. Butler has an opt-out in his contract that he can exercise next summer. The report comes amid rumors linking Butler to a potential departure from Miami via trade, including to one of his former teams, the Philadelphia 76ers. While the 76ers reportedly would offer Butler a maximum contract extension if they re-acquire him, the Heat have no intention of trading their best player this summer, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Trail Blazers, Wizards swap Malcolm Brogdon, Deni Avdija

The Washington Wizards, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, added the 14th pick from the Portland Trail Blazers by trading forward Deni Avdija with guard Malcolm Brogdon coming back to Washington with the pick, per ESPN. Portland is also reportedly sending the second most favorable of their 2029 first-round picks and two second-round picks to Washington.

June 25

Knicks add Mikal Bridges 

The Knicks acquired Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets for four unprotected first-round picks, a 2028 first-round pick swap, a 2025 protected Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick and Bojan Bogdanovic. New York also received a 2026 second-round pick from Brooklyn.

[More: Knicks reportedly acquire Mikal Bridges from Nets in blockbuster trade]

Nets get picks back from Rockets

Shortly after the Nets’ decision to trade Bridges was reported, news emerged that they had also agreed to a deal with the Rockets to get their own first-round picks that they gave up in the James Harden trade. The Nets acquired full control of their 2025 first-round pick and their 2026 first-round pick from the Rockets for a 2025 first-round pick swap (Houston/Thunder for Suns), the Suns’ 2027 first-round pick and the rights to the two most favorable of the Mavericks’, Suns’ and Rockets’ first-round picks in 2029. Brooklyn retains the least favorable of Dallas, Houston and Phoenix’s first-round draft picks in 2029. 

For more on the two trades, FOX Sports’ Yaron Weitzman broke down the deals and what they mean moving forward for each franchise.

Lakers interested in Jonas Valančiūnas 

Valančiūnas is set to enter unrestricted free agency this summer, and will be near the top of L.A.’s list of potential targets according to Bleacher Report. L.A. was in dire need of frontcourt depth, and Valančiūnas’ acquisition could provide that, while allowing Anthony Davis to slide to the four position. Valančiūnas averaged 12.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season with New Orleans.

June 24

Rockets in mix for stars like Kevin Durant, Paul George, Jimmy Butler 

Houston is in “win-now mode” following a strong end to the 2023-24 season for the young, rebuilding team and is reportedly looking to add “star power” in the form of Durant, Butler, Mikal Bridges and Brandon Ingram, per ESPN. The Rockets are also eying George, per Hoopshype, as the ESPN reported Monday that the Clippers star is expected to decide about his future in L.A. within the next several days.

Lakers eyeing Collin Sexton

Sexton has been named as a veteran that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka could attempt to trade for in efforts to give LeBron James and Anthony Davis some more help at the point guard spot. Hawks guard Dejounte Murray is also a possible trade target for L.A. according to ESPN.

Hawks willing to draft Alex Sarr

Atlanta hasn’t held pre-draft interviews with Sarr, who many consider to be worthy of a number one overall selection. Sarr has already met with the Washington Wizards, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, and is reportedly wary of joining an already loaded frontcourt in Atlanta. But per ESPN, Atlanta has expressed a willingness to draft Sarr, but it could be a smokescreen to force Washington to trade up to acquire him.

Spurs are considering pairing Donovan Clingan with Victor Wembanyama

San Antonio, who holds both the fourth and eighth picks in this year’s draft, has interviewed Clingan according to ESPN. The Spurs could potentially have an all-7-footer frontcourt if they take Clingan and pair him with Wembanyama, last year’s No. 1 overall pick and the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year. There are some, though, who believe the Spurs’ interest in the two-time college basketball national champion with UConn is a ploy to coax other teams into trading up to the fourth selection.

James Borrego to be considered in Pistons coaching search

Borrego was a top candidate in Cleveland’s eyes, but the Cavaliers instead reportedly hired Golden State Warriors assistant and former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on Monday. Borrego now projects to be a top candidate for Detroit, who recently fired Monty Williams a year after making him the highest-paid head coach in NBA history.

Paul George wants to be “playing the right style of basketball”

George, a six-time All-NBA honoree, is one of the biggest names poised to hit the open market this summer. He explained what he’s looking for, whether it’s with the Clippers or a new team. “For sure, contributing to winning basketball, but, at this point, it’s not even about,” said George, who has a player option for the 2024-25 season. “People say, ‘Chasing a championship’. It’s not that. … Playing the right style of basketball is what I’m chasing.”

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