NBA free agency is quickly arriving, which means several top players will be able to decide who they’ll play for next season and beyond.
James Harden headlines this year’s free agency class, as the former MVP will likely decide between the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Kyrie Irving is also the other big star available this summer, as the Dallas Mavericks try to retain him.
With free agency a little over a month away, Bleacher Report writer Greg Swartz decided to list off the most surprising landing spots for the upcoming free agency class.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were mentioned as the most surprising landing spot for Kristaps Porzingis, who has a $36 million player option he will likely decline to receive one final big payday this summer.
“It’s time for the Thunder to be buyers again, which should terrify the rest of the NBA.
While this team is loaded with guards and wings, the frontcourt is still a little thin, even with the return of Chet Holmgren. Even when last year’s No. 2 overall pick returns, asking his 7’1″, 195-pound frame to defend opposing centers is probably unfair, meaning the Thunder should look to add more muscle in the middle…
The Latvian should also be thrilled to get off a Washington Wizards team going nowhere and join a franchise with the brightest future in the NBA.”
Although Porzingis is expected to re-sign with the Washington Wizard, there’s always the possibility he will meet with other teams during free agency to see what his market is.
The 27-year-old is coming off one of his best seasons, as he averaged a career-high 23.2 points on 49.8% shooting, 8.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 65 games. He also shot 38.5% from 3 on 5.5 attempts.
The Thunder have long had interest in Porzingis as they reportedly promised to select him in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. Instead, the 7-foot-3 forward elected to stay another year and overseas and saw his draft stock quickly rise in the 2015 NBA draft, where he went No. 4 to the New York Knicks.
While his career hasn’t been all sunshine and roses as injuries have plagued the lanky big man, Porzingis has carved out a nice career and has established himself as a high-end starter in the league.
With the Thunder owning $30 million in cap space this summer, they could theoretically sign Porzingis to a long-term deal he likely is seeking. But in actuality, it likely won’t happen — Thunder GM Sam Presti made it known in his end-of-season presser that they’ll likely stay conservative with their cap space and the only outside additions to the roster will likely come from the draft.
Nonetheless, it’s a fun hypothetical to talk about. On paper, Porzingis fits nicely with the Thunder. It’s just hard to envision him finding a starting spot on this roster without demoting a more promising and younger player.
The full article can be read here.
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Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire