The 2021 restricted free agent market in the NBA expects to be busier than in the past. It isn't often that a restricted free agent receives an offer that their team doesn't match. Historically, the franchise almost always prefers to keep the player and trade him down the line.
In 2020, there was only one significant restricted free agent who left his original team. Bogdan Bogdanovic departed the Sacramento Kings to join the Atlanta Hawks. The Kings refused to match the Hawks' four-year, $72 million offer sheet. Aside from a few who rarely saw minutes, every player remained with the team that drafted them. However, this year may be a different story.
According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, one front-office executive expects "more sign and trade deals than ever in a single offseason." Players receiving large offer sheets could lead to a fair amount of player movement.
Big men on the move
Big man John Collins could be one notable name that's on the move. With superstar Trae Young up for extension, it will be difficult for the Hawks to keep this core together. Forwards DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish will soon be eligible for an extension. Bogdan Bogdanovic is on record stating that.
"it's going to be hard to keep all of these guys here." Bogdan Bogdanovic
Collins might be the odd man out with Atlanta struggling to find the money for all these players. Collins put up nearly twenty-two points per game two seasons ago. Therefore, he will have no shortage of suitors.
Jarrett Allen is another exciting name that may be on the move. With rumors of the Cleveland Cavaliers drafting Evan Mobley, they may be reluctant to extend Allen. The Toronto Raptors are one team that looks to pursue the twenty-three-year-old.
Lonzo Ball could be on his way out of New Orleans. Specifically, the Chicago Bulls are interested in acquiring Lonzo's playmaking skills. The Bulls have nearly $24 million available to spend. They could offer Lonzo a contract that is well out of the Pelicans' price range.
Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson may say goodbye to the Miami Heat. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Robinson could be looking at a deal in the avenue of $20 million per year. One of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, Robinson is sure to draw up interest from around the league.
Lauri Markkanen, Malik Monk, Devonte Graham, Josh Hart, and Talen Horton-Tucker round up the free agents that could find themselves on a new team to start the season.