The first round of the playoffs will be over soon, and that will leave only eight teams alive. For the other 22, the focus will be on the draft and free agency. That means it’s time to start thinking about what’s going to happen July 1. Here’s a look at the most interesting storylines heading into free agency, from the value of Dion Waiters to the possibility of Otto Porter being a max player.
Like a draft prospect with a strong NCAA Tournament, most years there is at least one free-agent-to-be who shines under the bright lights of the postseason and solidifies his standing in the league.
JaVale McGee, Warriors: One of the best stories in the NBA right now, McGee was productive in a limited role for the Warriors during the regular season and ignited runs almost every time he hit the court against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first-round sweep. Golden State signed the center to a non-guaranteed minimum contract last summer; he has obviously earned a raise and some security. There are still questions, however, about how he’ll function on a team where he’s not such a perfect fit. The Warriors might want to bring him back, but they also have to deal with the fact that big man Zaza Pachulia and David West will be free agents again, too.