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2018 NBA Free Agency: Potential fits and needs in the offseason for all 30 teams

Posted by On June 30, 2018

2018 NBA Free Agency: Potential fits and needs in the offseason for all 30 teams

2018 NBA Free Agency: Potential fits and needs in the offseason for all 30 teams

The NBA free agency period officially begins Sunday, and here's what each team will be looking for to get better

  • @jackmaloneycbs
  • • 10 min read

The NBA free agency period is nearly upon us. It offici ally begins at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. What is your team looking for?

Each franchise will be going after different players depending on their needs, and sometimes they'll need to dig deep into the free agent well to find the guy they want.

It's an important time every offseason, but this summer's edition will be especially interesting as stars like LeBron James, Paul George, Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins are hitting the market.

Ahead of the free-agency period here's a look at what every team needs to address this summer, and potential targets who could fill those needs.

Needs and potential fits for each NBA team

team logo   Hawks

Needs: Everything except point guards

Players who fit: Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine

With both Trae Young and Dennis Schroder, the Hawks are pretty much set at point guard -- though Schroder could be moved. Other than that, however, the Hawks need plenty of help. But given their situation, they seem more likely to take on bad contracts in exchange for future assets than sign big name free agents.


team logo Celtics

Needs: Center, Guard depth

Players who fit: Aron Baynes, Marcus Smart

The Celtics made their way to the Eastern Conference finals without both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, so it's safe to say they're in pretty good shape heading into this offseason. A couple areas they could use reinforcements are in the frontcourt and at point guard. The most sensible moves would be for them to just bring back Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart to fill those needs.


team logo Nets

Needs: Wings, frontcourt depth

Players who fit: Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, Nerlens Noel

Spencer Dinwiddie emerged with a breakout season, and looks to have solidified the point guard position, while Jarrett Allen showed out in his rookie season and could be their center of the future. Now, the Nets will be most eager to find some better wings. But which team isn't? The Nets project to be bigger players in free agency next summer.


team logo Hornets

Needs: Backcourt and frontcourt depth

Players who fit: Shabazz Napier, Ed Davis

The Hornets will be one of the most interesting teams to watch this offseason. They're super capped out, but could look to swing some trades in order to shed salary. In fact they've already traded Dwight Howard. As for the free agent market, however, they don't figure to be too busy.


team logo Bulls

Needs: Wings, backcourt depth

Players who fit: Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker

Chicago is a big market, this front office would always prefer to make the playoffs and they have cap space, so perhaps the Bulls will try to be big players in free agency, but this doesn't feel like the summer for them. Their big decision will be whether or not to bring back restricted free agent Zach LaVine, who was a centerpiece of the Jimmy Butler trade last year.


team logo Cavaliers

Needs: LeBron James

Players who fit: LeBron James

This summer in Cleveland is all about bringing back LeBron James. Really nothing else will matter much. If they re-sign LeBron, they'll once again be contenders; if "The King" takes his talents elsewhere, they won't be.


team logo Mavericks

Needs: Center, wing depth

Player s who fit: DeMarcus Cousins, Jusuf Nurkic, Zach LaVine

Swinging the draft-night trade to acquire Luka Doncic was better than anything the Mavericks were going to do in free agency this season. That being said, they could still be in play for some bigger names -- perhaps DeAndre Jordan? They have all sorts of cap space and Jordan could be on his way out after the Clippers dealt for Marcin Gortat.


team logo Nuggets

Needs: Wing depth, defense

Players who fit: Will Barton, Rodney Hood

The Nuggets will reportedly decline Nikola Jokic's option for next season, clearing the way to offer him a max contract. Nothing else they do this offseason will be as important. Aside from the Jokic deal, they'll be working on the margins, looking for some depth on the wing and in the backcourt.


team logo Pistons

Needs: Versatile wings, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: Joe Harris, Wayne Ellington

The Pistons have over 96 million dollars committed to Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer, Ish Smith and Langston Galloway. On a somewhat related note, did you know they're paying Josh Smith $4.5 million per year until 2020? Anyway, good luck to them this offseason.


team logo Warriors

Needs: Kevin Durant, wing and backcourt depth

Players who fit: Kevin Durant, Seth Curry, Michael Beasley

The first order of busine ss for the Warriors is bringing back Kevin Durant. That doesn't seem like it will be a problem, but they still have to make sure it happens. Other than that, they'll be looking for help in the backcourt and on the wing, where they were noticeably thin last season, especially in the event of injuries.


team logo Rockets

Needs: Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza

Players who fit: Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza

The Rockets are likely out o n LeBron James, so they should shift their focus to retaining three of their most important players in Paul, Capela and Ariza. It's going to take plenty of money to do so, but the Rockets were a game away from going to the Finals. It wouldn't make sense to cheap out now.


team logo Pacers

Needs: Secondary scorer, backcourt depth

Players who fit: Marcus Smart, Will Barton, Tyreke Evans

The Pacers surprised a lot of people last season by not only ma king the playoffs, but nearly eliminating LeBron James and the Cavs in the first round. But as that series showed, they often relied too much on Victor Oladipo. To solve that problem they could look to find a secondary scorer in free agency to help carry that load.


team logo Clippers

Needs: Backcourt and frontcourt depth

Players who fit: Tyreke Evans, Ersan Ilyasova

The Clippers have already made one interesting move, shipping Austin Rivers to the Wizards in exchange for Marcin Gortat. Is that a signal that DeAndre Jordan is on his way out? Regardless, they'll need some depth in the frontcourt, and could use some in the backcourt as well with Rivers gone and Milos Teodosic reportedly unlikely to return.


team logo Lakers

Needs: LeBron James, Paul George

Players who fit: LeBron James, Paul George

The Lakers have more cap space than anyone this summer, and Plan A is to use it to bring in both LeBron James and Paul George . If either of those options fall through, they likely won't go crazy in terms of spending, as Kawhi Leonard will be a big target next summer.


team logo Grizzlies

Needs: Versatile wings, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: Tyreke Evans, Joe Harris, Mario Hezonja

It seems the Grizzlies are literally always looking to improve on the wings, and that's once again the case this season. Given their cap situation, however, they aren't going to be in the market for any stars. In the end, running it back with Tyreke Evans might be their best option if they're eager to fight for a playoff spot.


team logo Heat

Needs: 3-point shooting, frontcourt depth

Players who fit: Wayne Ellington, Seth Curry, Ersan Ilyasova

What the Heat really need is a true star to elevate their roster full of top-tier role players. It's hard to see how that happens, however, unless by some miracle LeBron James wants a re union. Barring that unlikely circumstance, what the Heat will really be looking for this summer is 3-point shooting -- especially if they end up losing Wayne Ellington.


team logo Bucks

Needs: Trevor Booker, JaVale McGee, Marco Belinelli

Players who fit: 3-point shooting, rim protection

Some bad decisions a few summers ago have left the Bucks in a tough position in terms of roster flexibility. Their biggest question this summer will be whether or not they w ant to match whatever contract Jabari Parker receives in restricted free agency. Other than that they'll be left looking at low-cost veterans.


team logo Timberwolves

Needs: Backcourt and wing depth

Players who fit: Nemanja Bjelica, Seth Curry

Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2004, the Wolves are pretty much set in terms of their top six or seven guys. After that, however, things get a little shaky. With Jamal Crawford on his way out, an d Nemana Bjelica a restricted free agent, they're going to need to find some help off the bench.


team logo Pelicans

Needs: 3-point shooting, backcourt depth

Players who fit: Rajon Rondo, Wayne Ellington, Nemanja Bjelica

The Pelicans are another team who will be extremely interesting to watch during free agency. Will they give DeMarcus Cousins the contract he's looking for after coming off an Achilles tendon tear? Could they perhaps sign him for th e purpose of a sign-and-trade? Or, given their success without him last season, will they let him walk and use the money elsewhere?


team logo Knicks

Needs: Wings, potentially frontcourt help

Players who fit: Kyle O'Quinn, Joe Harris

Depending on what happens with Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn, each of whom have player options for next season, the Knicks could be incredibly thin in the frontcourt -- especially with Kristaps Porzingis expected to be o ut for at least the first few months of the season. But with KP on the way back from an ACL tear, this might not be a big summer for the Knicks. They should probably have higher hopes for 2019.


team logo Thunder

Needs: Paul George, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: Paul George, Wayne Ellington

The Thunder's grand experiment with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony didn't work out so well last season, but they'll still be eager to bring George back, as he's currently their only realistic route to getting a secondary star to play with Westbrook.


team logo Magic

Needs: Primary scorer, point guard

Players who fit: Aaron Gordon, Dante Exum, Isaiah Thomas

With Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac and the recently drafted Mo Bamba, the Magic would hope to be set in the frontcourt. Everywhere else, however, is a question mark. Cap space isn't an issue for them, but it's hard t o see why any impact free agents would want to join up. The big question here is if they keep Aaron Gordon.


team logo 76ers

Needs: Wings, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: LeBron James, Paul George, JJ Redick

With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid leading the way, the Sixers are clearly on the right path. But the second round of the playoffs last season showed they need a few more pieces. Could LeBron James be the answer? They're in the running, but don 9;t appear to be the favorites right now.


team logo Suns

Needs: Point guard, power forward

Players who fit: Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart

One of the few teams with meaningful cap space this summer, the Suns could be a sneaky team to watch. They aren't going to be in on the LeBron or Paul George sweepstakes, but it wouldn't be shocking to see them throw a ton of money at someone in the second tier like Aaron Gordon or Clint Capela.


team logo Trail Blazers

Needs: Backcourt depth, center if Nurkic leaves

Players who fit: Shabazz Napier, Jusuf Nurkic

The Blazers are another team who are now hamstrung do to some bad decisions a few summers ago. Due to their cap situation, they don't have many avenues to get markedly better. The biggest decision in Portland this summer will be whether or not they bring back restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic.


team logo Kings

Needs: N/A, young superteam

Players who fit: N/A, young superteam

According to Vlade Divac the Kings are already a young superteam, so they're all set.


tea   m logo Spurs

Needs: Versatile wings, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: Kyle Anderson, Wayne Ellington, Jeff Green

Hoo boy, talk about interesting teams to watch this summer. The Kawhi Leonard saga will have a big impact on the Spurs' free agency plans. Depending on if, or even how they move Leonard, they could suddenly be in rebuilding mode, or remain as playoff stalwarts. And that, obviously, will affect their approach with free agent targets.


team l   ogo Raptors

Needs: Backcourt depth, 3-point shooting

Players who fit: Fred Van Vleet, Nemanja Bjelica

The Raptors are capped out, and might be more active in the trade market than free agency, as they probably don't want to pay the luxury tax. They'll have to decide if they want to bring back restricted free agent Fred Van Vleet, who might become too expensive. Otherwise they'll be left mulling over options for the mid-level exception.


team    logo Jazz

Needs: Backcourt and frontcourt depth

Players who fit: Dante Exum, Derrick Favors

The Jazz have some interesting decisions to make in regards to their own free agents this summer, namely Derrick Favors and Dante Exum. Are they willing to just re-sign both of them and essentially run it back? Or do they look outside the organization for help as they try to improve on last season's impressive run to the second round?


team logo Wizards

Needs: Center, wing depth

Players who fit: Nerlens Noel, Montrezl Harrell, Mario Hezonja

With Marcin Gortat now off to the Clippers, the Wizards are in desperate need of some frontcourt help. (A Boogie Cousins sign and trade, perhaps?) In addition, they could really use some help on the wing, as last season showed. Acquiring Austin Rivers in the Gortat trade will help in that regard, but he alone won't be enough.


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Jack Maloney NBA Writer follow

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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