NBA free agency outlook: Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, John Collins, Lou Williams with Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan

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On the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast, host Michael Scotto is joined by HoopsHype’s salary cap expert Yossi Gozlan. The duo previewed the offseason for the Los Angeles Clippers, including Kawhi Leonard’s free agency options, extension possibilities for Terance Mann and Patrick Beverley, and Nicolas Batum’s market in free agency. The pair also discussed the offseason checklist for the Atlanta Hawks, including free agency markets for John Collins and Lou Williams, Kris Dunn’s player option, and extension possibilities for Kevin Huerter and Clint Capela.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

:30 Kawhi Leonard’s free agency options

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers

Gozlan: I don’t think he’s going to leave, but I’ll just touch on what could be. If he were to walk, Dallas and New York are the only playoff teams that could get to max cap space for him… There’s Miami, but they’re not able to get to max cap space. Their route to getting Kawhi would have to be through a trade… My guess is that he’ll end up staying with the Clippers. I think the bigger question is what kind of contractual pathway will he take to stay with them? He can opt out and sign a four-year, $176 million contract with them. He could only do four years because he has Early Bird Rights. If he wants, he could also do another short-term deal and do a one-plus-one (with a player option) and re-sign with them next year on a five-year, $235 million max. One other pathway that Bobby Marks suggested was that he could opt into $36 million and then sign an extension with the Clippers for an additional four years, $181 million. Scotto: We polled five executives around the league to get a barometer of what they think Kawhi is going to do, and they all felt he was ultimately going to stay with the Clippers.

5:30 Will Terance Mann and the Clippers agree to an extension?

Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers
Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers

Scotto: To my knowledge, Mann and the Clippers haven’t had those conversations yet. It’s a little too soon to discuss it. That said, my sense is the only way it makes sense for Mann to consider signing an extension with the Clippers at this point is if they offered a max of four years, $56 million to get ahead of potentially his future market going forward. He’s under contract for a few more years. Gozlan: If he doesn’t sign the extension, he could become a restricted free agent in 2022. He’s got a team option for 2023, but I don’t think the Clippers would want to exercise that even though he’d be making less than $2 million. If they exercise it, then he becomes unrestricted in 2023.

9:50 Patrick Beverley open to an extension with Clippers

Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers
Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers

Scotto: Patrick Beverley is open to a contract extension discussion with the Clippers, a league source told HoopsHype. I’m told Beverley loves playing in LA with the Clippers. He’s a big fan of Steve Ballmer as an owner, and that Lawrence Frank has been great to Pat and his family… Heading into next season, Beverley is owed $14.3 million in the final year of his contract… Within the next couple of months, he’s going to be heading down to Houston with one of his trainers, Aaron Miller, and they’re going to get to work. We’ll see if he gets to work on his game as well as a new contract with the Clippers.

13:45 Nicolas Batum’s free agency

Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum

Gozlan: He’s owed $18 million for the next two seasons from Charlotte still. The taxpayer mid-level is roughly $2.5 million more than the ($3.2 million) non-Bird raise that the Clippers can give Batum. If you’re Batum, you’re already owed a lot of money from Charlotte, and you had a good year with the Clippers. Unless he gets a ridiculous offer like the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception for multiple years, maybe he considers helping out the Clippers for another year and takes the minimum or non-bird maximum.

15:45 John Collins’ free agent market

Scotto: Collins talked about free agency in his exit interview. He said, “It’s something that I feel like I’ve voiced my opinion about a lot saying, that I want to be here and I’ve tried to be the best professional I can and let the business side be the business side and do what I can do on the court and let that speak for itself. Obviously, we’re going to have to come to a decision very soon, but hopefully, the best one for me is the one that keeps me here.” Travis Schlenk, Atlanta’s GM, praised him for being a guy that wasn’t out there playing for his numbers and was playing out there for the team to win. He mentioned how it spoke highly of his character… I think any team that wants to get John Collins outside of Atlanta in restricted free agency is probably going to have to offer a max to make it a conversation for Atlanta. A lot of teams in restricted free agency have to overpay to make it a tough decision for a team to let a guy walk. Ultimately, I see Collins in Atlanta, whether that’s matching an offer sheet or they get a deal done on their own. You can’t let Collins walk right now if you’re Atlanta the way this season transpired.

20:35 Lou Williams' free agency

Scotto: My understanding is Lou Williams is seeking a two-year deal, maybe three for the right fit, a league source told HoopsHype. He ended a recent Instagram post with #ThinkImComingBack. I certainly can confirm there’s interest for Lou to come back to Atlanta, and that feeling seemed to be mutual with Hawks GM Travis Schlenk. During his end of the season media availability, when asked about bringing Williams back, he said, “We’d be extremely open to talking to him and his camp about moving forward. I thought he added a lot to our team.”

24:54 Kris Dunn’s player option and extension possibilities for Kevin Huerter and Clint Capela

Gozlan: Capela is eligible this offseason to have three years and almost $71 (on an extension)... This extension would pay him $22-23 million annually and keep him under contract until 2026. It’s pretty far out. The extension wouldn’t even kick in for another two years… The more pressing one is Huerter. He has one year left on his deal. MORE: NBA free agency: Predicting all team and player options MORE: HoopsHype’s 2021 free agent rankings You can follow Michael Scotto on Twitter: @MikeAScotto

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