Paul George (player option): He has one of the best all-around games in the league and is still fairly young at 28.
The Warriors nearly used this very strategy last season, but opted to sign JaVale McGee to the last available roster spot - signing him to the veteran's minimum, but paying more than three times his contract's worth, already in the repeater luxury tax.
But if James is going to be the next superstar to follow in the legacy that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson built for the Lakers, it's already fairly evident that not everyone in the National Basketball Association will be thrilled. CP3 and the Rockets have reached agreement on a four-year, $160 million maximum contract.
Trevor Ariza (unrestricted): A valuable forward who can stretch the floor, he's provided solid shooting and good defense for the Rockets over the past four seasons. A person close to the situation also adds that it comes with a player option for 2019-20, meaning that Durant could quite possibly flirt with free agency once again next summer.
Crawford, an 18-year veteran, has won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award three times in his career.
Kawhi Leonard reaches out to LeBron James, expresses interest in playing together
Because the Spurs risk losing Leonard for nothing, they do not have to take the best trade proposal, just a good one for Leonard. Prior to the injury woes this season, he was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time first-team All Defense.
Chris Paul is staying with the Houston Rockets. That trio would have made Houston's excellent defensive performance in last year's conference finals look quaint by comparison. The Warriors did not re-sign center JaVale McGee, who announced Sunday night he will join James with the Lakers on a one-year deal. This time, it won't happen. He averaged 12 PPG and 15.2 RPG last season with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 2011 NBA MVP has agreed to a one-year deal worth almost $2.4 million to stay with Minnesota, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said.
Marcus Smart (restricted): The Celtics guard is not a great shooter, but he can affect the game in many different ways.
Harris is expected to get a two-year, $16 million contract while Davis reportedly agreed to a one-year, $4.4 million contract. He averaged a career-best 17.6 points per game previous year for Orlando, but was limited to 58 games. Gay is 31 years old and he will need to play another big role for the Spurs especially if Kawhi Leonard doesn't come back.
In his second season with Toronto, VanVleet, a restricted free agent, averaged 8.6 points and was a valuable backup to Kyle Lowry. If he's really playing the long game here then he's setting himself up to one day make over $200 million through his early 30s.
The Warriors, meanwhile, were quiet in the opening day-and-a-half of free agency.