Key Free Agents that took an early exit in the playoffs

Photo by: Keith Allison

The Free Agent class of 2017 is set to have a few players that could shake up things for a few teams in either conference. The preferred goal is to win a championship as Kyle Lowry echoed this week stating, “I just want a ring”. The chase is on for Larry O’Brien trophy and the Eastern Conference is ran by Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. The Western Conference seems all too star-studded and specifically for one team in the Golden State Warriors.

This summer’s class will have a few players who reached a prime in their career and looking to capitalize on a lucrative deal but also stroll around their city with new hardware and a ring other than for martial purposes. The impact of losing early in the playoffs for these few players could have all the matter in their decisions to sign to another team and prioritize winning.

Chris Paul

Paul has an early termination option this summer and can opt out of his current 5-year, $107 million dollar contract. Since joining the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011 he has led the franchise to the playoffs six straight times. The furthest the Clippers would get is the second round as injuries plagued a team hopeful of contending for a championship. Paul will have an important impact on his decision pending Blake Griffin’s decision to remain with the Clippers as well. LA can offer the most lucrative deal as the projected salary cap is expected to increase slightly. For a player under CP3’s tenure he could received another 5-year deal worth over $200 million.

Blake Griffin

The Clippers management will have their hands full this off-season and Blake Griffin adds to the pressure of retaining All-Star talent. Likewise his teammate Paul, Blake will also have a player-option this summer in which he can opt-out of his current 5-year, $94 million dollar contract. As expected with the salary increase Griffin will seek his last lucrative deal in his prime. The Clippers will also have a decision to make on retaining their All-Star Forward. An injury-prone Griffin could cause the five-time All-Star to fall second in priority behind Chris Paul as the Clippers priority.

Kyle Lowry

A day after the Toronto Raptors were swept out of the playoffs Lowry explained they he will indeed test free agency. The Raptors All-Star missed the final two games in their Semifinals match-up against the Cavaliers with an ankle injury. As announced a day after the Raptors were swept out of the playoffs, the All-Star guard advised he will be searching for a ring. Latest reports rumored that the Philadelphia native is expected to have a lucrative offer from the 76ers.

Gordon Hayward

The young rising All-Star will have a decision to make this summer. The Utah Jazz forward can opt out of his 4-year, $62 million dollar this summer in order to seek a higher paying contract as well. Hayward will have potential suitors rumored to the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The decision will weigh in heavy as Gordon has grown together with Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert. The Jazz have steadily improved under Quin Synder, returning to the playoffs after a four-year drought. The Jazz went 51-31 this season which is their first 50-win season in seven years. Boston will be intriguing as they currently have one of the league’s best scorer’s in Isaiah Thomas and coached by Hayward’s former college coach in Brad Stevens.