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Bold predictions for 2024 NBA offseason, including big Knicks moves

June 1st, 2024

NBA teams can begin negotiations with their own free agents one day after the end of the NBA Finals.

So if the Celtics or Mavericks win the 2024 Finals in a sweep, the Knicks can start negotiating with OG Anunoby, Isaiah Hartenstein, and their other free agents on June 15.

With that in mind, we put together some bold predictions about how this summer will unfold in New York and around the league:

Tom Thibodeau extension

Saying Thibodeau will get an extension is an easy prediction. The Knicks head coach is entering the final season of his contract, and he’s coming off of the franchise’s most successful four-year run since the turn of the century. Under Thibodeau, the Knicks have reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign.

If you listen to the players, Thibodeau’s approach resonates in the Knicks’ locker room. For all of those reasons, Thibodeau has earned a contract extension, and he’s hitting the market at a good time. Ty Lue reportedly agreed to a five-year, $70 million extension with the Clippers. Mike Brown reportedly turned down an offer from Sacramento that started at three years and $21 million dollars. Clearly, he’s looking for more years or more money than the $7 million annual salary in that offer.

My prediction for Thibodeau is that he gets two guaranteed years on his extension. Any year beyond two will be at the team option, I think. This would extend Thibodeau through the 2026-27 season. I’m not sure where the money will end up, but it’s reasonable to expect it to land above Brown’s reported offer.

OG Anunoby

The Sixers have interest in Anunoby, and I’m sure he has plenty of other suitors. But I’ll predict here that Anunoby re-signs with New York on a contract that contains some incentives for games played.

It would be stunning if the Knicks allowed Anunoby to go to another team after they moved RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto to acquire him.

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) celebrates his three point shot against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks were excellent with Anunoby on the floor. He missed significant time with an elbow injury (which he played through before he and the team decided surgery was the best option) and a hamstring strain (which he returned from prematurely to play in Game 7 of the Knicks-Pacers series).

So it’s logical for the Knicks to include some incentives based on games played. But Anunoby’s impact on winning was obvious. So I don’t think they will let him sign elsewhere this summer.

Brunson is under contract through 2024-25. He has a player option for 2025-26. If Brunson declines the player option in 2025-26, he can sign a maximum contract of roughly $270 million over five years. The contract would run through 2029-30.

On July 13, Brunson will be eligible for a contract extension. It can be as long as four seasons and worth as much as $156 million. If he signed an extension, it would obviously be a huge help to the Knicks financially. It could allow them to operate under the second apron for longer than they would if Brunson signed as an unrestricted free agent. This would allow them more freedom to pursue players via trade and give them access to different exceptions for free agency.

Again, a Brunson extension would be a huge win for the Knicks. It would be another example of his leadership and sacrifice for the greater good of the franchise. The All NBA guard would be playing on a contract well below his market value. The first year of his extension ($34.9 million) would rank 29th in annual player salary for 2023-24.

Brunson has already given the Knicks a financial edge. The four-year, $104 million contract he signed in the summer of 2022 was descending in value. So it gave New York more financial flexibility over the life of the contract. It also sets the number for Brunson’s next contract (an extension or free agent deal) at lower than it would be if Brunson had an ascending contract.

So this was a win for the Knicks.

My prediction here is that the Knicks will have a good chance to come to terms with Brunson on an extension starting July 13. I don’t want to predict whether a deal will ultimately get done. But I feel comfortable predicting that the Knicks will have a strong opportunity to consummate a deal.

I think Randle will bounce back well from his shoulder surgery and have another strong season in 2024-25. He is eligible for an extension in early August. My prediction on that is that he and the Knicks will be unable to come to an agreement on an extension in August.

Donovan MitchellDonovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell will sign his extension with the Cavaliers, and the Cavs will make a significant acquisition via trade to put themselves in strong position in the Eastern Conference.

After getting a hard push from the Sixers and others, George inks a deal to return to the Clippers and run it back with Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Tyronn Lue.

The Suns and Warriors will have at least exploratory talks on a trade that would land Durant back in Golden State. Everything the Suns have said publicly suggests that they will run it back with their big three of Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. But something is amiss there. So I predict that Phoenix will at least talk casually with teams about a potential Durant trade.

Redick will be the next head coach of the Lakers and LeBron James will remain in Los Angeles next season.

Harris will impact winning on his next team. The New York native turned into the face of Sixers fan frustrations in recent seasons. But he remains a highly skilled, versatile player. Several teams who convened at the Chicago NBA Draft combine commended Harris for his professionalism and leadership during the rocky stretch with the Sixers. “He never lost his cool,” one front office member remarked.

I admittedly have a soft spot for players from the Tri-state area, but I truly believe that Harris will help his next team improve its year-over-year win total in 2024-25, and he will show the league again how skilled he is on both ends of the floor.

…. For transparency, here are our previous predictions columns from 2023-24 and 2022-23.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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