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Last offseason, the 2019 NBA free-agent class was stacked at pretty much every position, including point guard. Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving were both on the market, and each ended up switching teams, signing with the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, respectively.
This year, there won’t be any star point guards available during free agency. But there will still be some solid players on the market—a group headlined by Fred VanVleet.
Here are predictions for where several of the top point guards set to hit the free-agent market will head this offseason.
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Could Fred VanVleet return to Toronto next season after spending the first four years of his career with the Raptors? There’s certainly a chance. He’s improved each season, and after playing a key role in helping them win the NBA title in 2019, he’s returned with his best season in 2019-20.
However, Toronto will also have Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol heading to free agency. With Kyle Lowry under contract for one more season (and set to make $30.5 million), perhaps the Raptors won’t want to spend big to keep VanVleet, who has played his way to likely getting a solid payday this offseason.
In 48 games this season, VanVleet has averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest, all of which are career highs. Of all the point guards set to be on the free-agent market this offseason, VanVleet could be the only one who ends up being a starter in 2020-21.
One potential fit for VanVleet would be the Knicks, who need a starting point guard and could opt to sign the 26-year-old even if it addresses the position in the draft. VanVleet could provide strong leadership to a backcourt that already includes rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett. As New York continues to rebuild, VanVleet could be a valuable addition to help it move forward.
Prediction: VanVleet signs with Knicks
Goran Dragic has been a solid player for much of his 12-year NBA career, and he can still be a valuable role player for a successful team.
After primarily starting for the previous seven seasons, Dragic has come off the bench for the Miami Heat this season but has continued to put up similar numbers. He’s averaged 16.1 points and 5.1 assists in 54 games while shooting 43.7 percent from the field. Each of those numbers have been an improvement from the 2018-19 season, when he was limited to a career-low 36 games due to right knee surgery.
While it’s unlikely teams would be looking to add Dragic as a potential starter at this point in his career, he should continue to be a strong bench player, which could have teams interested in signing him to a short-term deal. And it wouldn’t be surprising if one of those teams is the Heat.
Dragic has been in Miami since February 2015 after being traded by the Phoenix Suns. With the Heat being a competitive team in the Eastern Conference, both sides should have interest in a reunion.
Prediction: Dragic re-signs with Heat
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Another solid veteran point guard who will be on the free-agent market this offseason is Jeff Teague. Although he’s still only 31, Teague is probably best suited to come off the bench at this point in his career, and he can do so effectively.
At the start of the 2019-20 season, Teague averaged 13.2 points and 6.1 assists in 34 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was then traded to the Atlanta Hawks (who he previously played for from 2009-16), but he played seven minutes fewer a night and only averaged 7.7 points and 4.0 assists in 25 games.
Despite an uncharacteristic showing from Teague upon his return to Atlanta, there’s reason to believe he’s still capable of being a productive player, as evidenced by his time in Minnesota to open the season.
Teague should get another opportunity to be a solid backup point guard to Trae Young in Atlanta. Don’t be surprised if the Hawks have interest in bringing him back on a short-term deal to fill that role, hoping he can play at the level he showed during the first half of this season.
Prediction: Teague re-signs with Hawks