Loyalty is one of the hardest things to find in the NBA nowadays, either because teams just view their players as expendable assets, or because players rather chase Championships or a bigger paycheck elsewhere.
The regular season is quickly coming to an end, so teams and players are already trying to figure out what’s going to be best for them and their future, especially those ones who are set to become free agents during the summer.
A lot of players are definitely going to get a move, while others are going to try and pursue their ring dreams or the last lucrative deal of their careers wearing a new jersey. Still, there are 10 players that are a lock to stay right where they are right now, and we’re going to let you know who they are right now.
10. Lance Stephenson – Team Option
“Born Ready” has never been a good player out of the Pacers, and he finally found his groove back when he returned to the team he should never had left on the first time as their first man off the bench.
Stephenson is nowhere near the walking triple-double threat he once was, but he’s still found a lot of ways to deliver for the young Pacers. He’s not the greatest of leaders or mentors, but he’s pretty much a lock to stay at Indy for the long run, and the Pacers will likely accept the team option this summer.
9. Patrick Beverley – Team Option
Patrick Beverley was playing terrific basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers before going through a season-ending injury and considering he’s still quite young and Los Angeles is going through a rebuilding process, the safest bet for both parties would be to stay tied for at least a couple of extra years.
Beverley is one of the best backcourt defenders in the league, something that could come extremely handy for the Clippers going forward, so we would expect Los Angeles to accept the team option for the next season.
8. Nikola Jokic – Team Option
Nikola Jokic has been playing through his rookie contract and he’s been a major bargain for the Denver Nuggets, so there’s absolutely no reason to think the franchise isn’t going to bring him back after all he’s provided for them in the offensive end of the court.
Jokic is one of the league’s rising stars and Denver has finally made another push to get to the playoffs this season, so him being a major part of their young core alongside Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, he’s a lock to stay right where he is. Denver Nuggets will accept a team option for Nikola Jokic and probably offer him a max contract in the next few months.
7. Tony Parker – A Spur For Life
It has finally happened: Tony Parker has been demoted to the San Antonio Spurs’ second unit, but he’s clearly embraced the role and hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue or discomfort throughout the campaign.
Parker’s health is always going to be a concern but now that Dejounte Murray has stepped up as the team’s starting point guard, it would be safe to expect that Gregg Popovich is going to be able to keep his minutes at a minimum, offering him a 3 season deal with a player option on the third year.
6. Dirk Nowitzki – A Maverick For Life
Dirk Nowitzki’s no teenager but he’s still one of the greatest shooters in the history of this game, and the shot is the last thing to fade for professional ballers, so he’s still got a couple of extra seasons left in the tank, barring injury.
So, just like Tony Parker, we could expect the Dallas Mavericks to offer Nowitzki a 3 season deal with a player option on the last year, keeping his veteran leadership on the roster en route to more milestones.
5. Dwyane Wade – Retire In Miami Heat Jersey
After a failed tenure with the Chicago Bulls and a regrettable move to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwyane Wade is finally back home with the Miami Heat, the team where he’s definitely going to retire when the time comes.
Wade has stated that he’s still unsure about playing beyond this season, but if the Heat manages to make a successful playoffs run this year, he might as well try and play for at least one more season.
4. DeAndre Jordan – Max Contract
DeAndre Jordan was one of the biggest names in trade rumors since the beginning of the offseason, but up to this date, he’s still a member of the Los Angeles Clippers and he’s quietly leading them to another postseason run.
So, with Los Angeles trying to rebuild but not wanting to overhaul their roster, and considering they didn’t move him throughout the whole season, it’s pretty safe to assume they’re quite confident on their leverage and ability to keep him on board with a max contract offer.
3. DeMarcus Cousins – Max Contract
DeMarcus Cousins was making a case for MVP this season before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury that will keep him sidelined for a very long time, including the first couple of months of next year’s regular season.
Nonetheless, the Pelicans have thrived with their twin towers experiment, and they’re a lock to be very aggressive on their pursuit to keep Boogie alongside Anthony Davis, offering him a max contract to try and show their support and willingness to trust him after this major injury.
2. Chris Paul – 3-Year Deal
Up to this date, the Houston Rockets are 33 and 1 when Chris Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela all play together, and Mike D’Antoni’s team is currently the team to beat and the favorite to win the NBA Championship this season.
So, if Houston is finally able to take Paul to the NBA Finals and considering they’re also reportedly going to try to get LeBron James in the offseason, CP3 would be smart to extend his stay playing alongside James Harden.
1. Kevin Durant – He’ll Sign With Whoever Wins The Next NBA Championship
Kevin Durant has already opened up about his future and has joked saying that he’s going to sign with whatever team wins the Championship this season, trying to burn all of his haters while showing his confidence in his current team and desire to stay beyond this season.
Durant has made the Warriors better and the team has also brought the best out of his game, and he’s not going to jeopardize his credibility and hurt his fan base anymore by making another snakey move to sign with a better team.