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While much of the focus this year is on the NBA playoffs, 14 teams have already begun their offseason.

With rosters set for shakeups, star players hitting free agency and others looking for contract extensions or exits, summer buzz is already heating up as the temperature outside rises.

It’s time to sift through the latest rumors from the club to see which ones are worth buying and which ones to sell ahead of a busy season.

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After securing the fifth seed in the East last season, the Raptors dropped to ninth this year and were eliminated by the Chicago Bulls in this year’s playoff race.

There’s no way a Toronto team with this much talent should miss the playoffs, especially since they picked up a deal at the deadline to add Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Scotty Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the shakeup is already brewing.

“I think everybody in the league knows that Toronto is going to break even,” league executive Steve Bulpett told on Friday. Both VanVleet and Trent Jr. can decline player options this summer and become unrestricted free agents, joining Poelt. Anunoby’s name was thrown around a bit at the trade deadline, though Toronto declined three first-round picks from the Memphis Grizzlies, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

There may not be a single untouched player on the roster, not even the 21-year-old Barnes. In the year The 2021-22 rookie didn’t make the expected jump in Year 2, averaging the same amount of points (15.3) on a much worse efficiency (49.2 percent shooting overall as a rookie vs. 45.6 percent as a sophomore).

Assuming this team sticks around, it needs more shooters and a true backup point guard for VanVleet.

After such a sad season, a breakup feels inevitable.

Buy or sell: buy now

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As the Warriors revisit Draymond Green’s contract situation this summer, there is also pressure to offer Klay Thompson more time with the veteran shooting guard heading into the final year of his contract.

Thompson He signed a $189 million contract through the final season of 2023-24 and is owed $43.2 million in 2019.

“Thompson, I’m told, is hoping to be rewarded with a new contract extension this offseason,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said. NBA countdown Saturday.

While Thompson can expect as high a deal as he wants, there’s no way Golden State wants (or needs) to give him one.

Averages of 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 41.2 percent shooting from three are good but not great. According to, Thompson’s real-time contract this season is valued at $27.5 million and is set to drop to $19 million next year when he turns 34 in February.

Golden State is already in a world of financial hurt, with a roster and luxury tax bill that could rise north of $500 million next season, Wojnarowski said.

The good news for the Warriors is that no other team will pay more than $40-million for Thompson at this stage of his career. With the two sides likely to enter unrestricted free agency in 2024, there’s no need to extend the veteran guard instead of giving him a big contract with plenty of other salary cap space on the books.

Buy or sell: Buy as Thompson expects a big deal, sell as he gets one.

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Despite winning the first game against the Toronto Raptors, a loss to the Miami Heat in the second round ended the Bulls’ season without an official playoff appearance.

Chicago looks stuck in the dreaded NBA pack and will almost certainly lose its 2023 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic (top-4 protected). Starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who missed the entire 2022-23 season after knee surgery, recently underwent a third surgery and could miss the 2023-24 campaign as well.

Starting center Nikola Vucevic is an unrestricted free agent, while reserve guard Coby White will also become a restricted free agent.

Although everything is stacked against them, CEO of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is not interested in rebuilding.

“That’s been thrown around this whole season,” Karnisovas said Sunday. “Blow down, rebuild, that’s not in our minds.”

Although Karnisovas initially ruled out rebuilding, he stated that all options for improvement are on the table.

“At the end of the day, being a .500 team isn’t good enough for this organization, it’s not good enough for the fans, they deserve better,” he said. “So I have to look at everything. How can I help this team do better? We have to move forward. I’m open to anything.”

If the Bulls decide to trade veterans like Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and others and rebuild, Chicago could trade its first-round pick and the Portland Trail Blazers’ top-14-protected first-round pick in 2024 from the top-10 first-round pick in 2024. He is owed to the San Antonio Spurs in 2025.

Ball’s energy issues have delayed what could be one of the better teams in the East. With DeRozan turning 34 in August and entering the final year of his contract, the Bulls should seriously consider pulling the plug on this roster.

Buy or sell: Sell ​​that Chicago has yet to rebuild.

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The Portland Trail Blazers have been arguably the most disappointing team in the NBA this season.

After trading for Jeremy Grant, re-signing Anferni Simmons and Jusuf Nurkic and selecting Shaydon Sharp with the seventh overall pick, the Blazers still finished 13th in the 15-team Western Conference.

Of course, this leads to more speculation about the future of star guard Damian Lillard.

Lillard told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday. NBA by Stephen A. World“I think this is our most important season since I’ve been here.”

Portland will have another top pick in the draft, with a 10.5 percent chance of landing at No. 1 overall, per However, the team should re-sign Grant as the 29-year-old forward will be one of the most sought-after free agents.He shot a career-high 40.1 percent from three and averaged 20.5 points.

Divorce may be in everyone’s best interest, even if neither party seems interested yet.

“I’m not going to put them on the clock. If we can’t do these things – if we can’t do something significant like this – then we don’t have a chance to do it. Not only do I compete at this level, but I think the organization does as well,” Lillard said. he said..

Much will depend on the May 16 draft lottery and where Portland ultimately lands. While Lillard may prefer to be surrounded by veterans, having a talent like Victor Wembanyama would go a long way in convincing him to want to stay.

Lillard is right. In the year This is the most important offseason for the Blazers since they arrived in 2012.

Portland hopes it’s not his last.

Buy or sell: buy now. All options appear to be on the table for Lillard and the Blazers.

AP Photo/Hakim Wright C.

Kyrie Irving’s free agency will be one of the most interesting storylines of the NBA offseason.

Even Irving’s strong play (27.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 51.0 percent shooting) following the trade with the Dallas Mavericks wasn’t enough to keep the Mavs from reaching the 11th seed in the West.

After playing for four teams in the past seven years, Irving will now be an unrestricted free agent this summer and can choose his next destination.

Mavericks GM Nico Harrison hopes and believes he will stay in Dallas.

“I think those are the things he said on the trip about how he feels here, how he feels appreciated, how he’s been accepted and allowed to be himself,” Harrison said after meeting with Irving on Tuesday. That’s what gives me the optimism that he wants to be here.

Dallas has no choice but to re-sign Irving after they have to give up to get him. However, he should be hesitant about the number of years and the final dollar amount given the way the last few seasons have gone. According to, Irving’s real-time contract this season is valued at $38.2 million, compared to an actual figure of $36.6 million.

If Irving wants to play at a high or near-high deal, the Mavs seem like his best bet. The teams with the most projected cap space (Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs) are all years away from becoming title or playoff contenders.

Irving and the Mavericks seem destined to run it back for at least next year.

Buy or sell: buy now. If Irving wants to get paid and win, there’s no better option.



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