NBA free agency 2024: Latest signings, news, buzz and reports

ByESPN ESPN logo
Thursday, June 13, 2024 4:21PM

With the 2024 NBA Finals set, most NBA decision-makers have their eyes set on the draft and free agency.

The free agency window will open June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, but teams and players are already hinting at what could be an impactful summer of moves and contract extensions.

The free agency pool this summer could be loaded with big names such asLeBron JamesandPaul George, who both could decline the final year of their respective deals and test the waters. Other stars such asKlay Thompson and James Hardenwill enter the summer as unrestricted free agents.

Our NBA insiders will be tracking all of the latest signings, buzz, news and reports throughout the summer and into free agency, so stay tuned as we report on the biggest moves that will shape the league.

June 12

5:15 p.m. ET:Speaking on the "Pat McAfee Show," ESPN insider Brian Windhorst said Paul George's looming decision will affect the rest of the NBA's free agency market.

Windhorst detailed that the LA Clippers star swingman could opt out of the final year of his current deal to become an unrestricted free agent. The two teams that have an interest in George are the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic. Both were eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, have the salary cap space and the need for an additional playmaker like George.

Windhorst said George could also opt into his contract and get traded to a team of his choice so that the Clippers don't lose him without getting something in return.

Lastly, George could also simply sign an extension with the Clippers, but Windhorst said the two sides are currently "not on the same page."

9:45 a.m. ET: Speaking to ESPN Cleveland on Tuesday, ESPN insider Brian Windhorst explained that Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman's recent remarks that he isn't interested in trading Darius Garland has made an impact around the league.

Garland has been linked with a move from Cleveland this summer but Windhorst said that could hinge on two factors: who the team hires as its next head coach and whether Donovan Mitchell commits his future with the franchise beyond next season.

The team fired J.B. Bickerstaff last month after four seasons despite a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals this postseason.

Mitchell, meanwhile, is eligible to sign an extension this summer but the five-time All-Star guard has not openly stated whether he'll do so.

Garland and Mitchell are among the league's most effective backcourt duos, but questions remain on if their similar player profiles could work in the long term.

June 7

5:45 p.m. ET:The Phoenix Suns are in the middle of a franchise renovation from the front office to the roster. What does it mean for former MVP Kevin Durant?

NBA Insider Brian Windhorst said on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption that the rest of the league is "keeping a side-eye" on Durant's situation in Phoenix after the Suns were swept in the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Still, Durant is expected to be a Sun at the start of next season, according to Windhorst.

Durant averaged 27.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5 rebounds per game this season but the Suns finished sixth in the Western Conference.

June 4

3:20 p.m. ET: With two top 10 picks in the draft, what can the San Antonio Spurs do ahead of Year 2 of the Victor Wembanyama era?

Speaking with ESPN insider Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony said the Spurs are looking to accerelate their timeline in hopes of making a playoff run next year.

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With the fourth and eighth selection in the draft, the Spurs have several options as they bolster their point guard depth. Depending on where they go in the draft, among the top-10 prospects the Spurs would consider include Reed Shepphard, Nikola Topic, or Stephon Castle.

The Spurs could package one or both picks to bring in a proven backcourt playmaker such as Cleveland Cavaliers star Darius Garland. The 24-year-old point guard has been linked with a move, especially if Donovan Mitchell decides to sign an extension with Cleveland.

June 3

10:00 a.m. ET:The Phoenix Suns will re-sign forward Royce O'Neale according to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, as he discussed the future of the Suns and their new head coach Mike Budenholzer on the Hoop Collective.

The Suns acquired O'Neale from the Brooklyn Nets and David Roddy from the Memphis Grizzlies for a trio of second-round picks at the February trade deadline.

In 30 regular season games with the Suns O'Neale averaged 8.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

May 15

10:43 a.m. ET:NBA insider Brian Windhorst broke down why the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets could be the top teams in pursuit of the Cavaliers' Donovan Mitchell in the offseason if the All-Star guard doesn't sign an extension in Cleveland.

On "Get Up," Windhorst said, "The Lakers know they need to improve their roster. They're going to be hunting for a star."

Another team on the hunt for a star? The Heat. "They've been star-hunting for a year now," Windhorst said.

Windhorst added that the Nets could be an attractive option too, given that Mitchell is from the New York area, Brooklyn controls the Phoenix Suns' draft assets after the Kevin Durant trade, and the Nets have the promising, young players to make a trade work.

May 14

9:07 a.m. ET:On ESPN's "Get Up," NBA insider Brian Windhorst outlined possible reasons why LeBron James attended Game 4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers' second-round series against the Boston Celtics.

"I have been told the reason LeBron was in Cleveland was because he and [his wife] Savannah were there for Mother's Day," Windhorst said. "And Rich Paul, who was also at the game and represents several Cavaliers, called the Lakers and said, 'Just so you know, LeBron's going to be coming to the game tonight,' so they weren't surprised.

"Having said that, obviously since the end of the season, LeBron has sent several interesting messages -- the non-comment on the Lakers going forward, the comments on podcasts and social media about how he doesn't know what to do, and now he comes to this game, which he knows is going to be on this show. No matter what he says, he knows it's going to be on 'First Take.' He knows."

James wasn't happy with the Lakers' quiet trade deadline, Windhorst noted, adding that the Lakers could trade three first-round picks on draft night.

"So this little maneuver, to just put a little bit of doubt, I think, is mostly a bit of a thing for the Lakers, to remind the Lakers, 'By the way, I'm still out here.'"

May 6

4 p.m. ET:Miami Heat president Pat Riley stated Monday that All-Star forward Jimmy Butler's contract will depend on his availability. This came in a news conference in which Riley was also critical of Butler's comments after the Heat were defeated by theBoston Celtics.

"If you're not on the court playing against Boston or on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut on the criticism of those teams," Riley said.

Butler had previously said, "If I was playing, Boston would be at home, New York damn sure would ... be at home."

The six-time All-Star is up for a possible two-year extension this summer.

3:30 p.m. ET:The LA Clippers hope to re-sign Paul George and James Harden as the team moves into its new $2 billion arena.

Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations, said the Clippers hope to retain both stars to continue playing alongside Kawhi Leonard at the Intuit Dome.

George has a player option on the $48.8 million due next season and can become a free agent if he and the Clippers are unable to come to an agreement on an extension before June 30. Harden will be an unrestricted free agent.

April 29

11:45 p.m. ET: LeBron James said he is undecided on his NBA future after the Los Angeles Lakerswere eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Denver Nuggets.

James, 39, said his immediate focus will be on his family and that his sights then will shift to training camp for USA Basketball ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer.

Asked how he would approach his decision about Year 22, James replied, "I don't have an answer ... to be honest. I haven't given it much thought."

James has until June 29 to either opt into the final year of his contract with the Lakers for $51.4 million or become an unrestricted free agent.

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