LeBron James
Cavaliers' LeBron James: Opts out of player option
LeBron James, SF, CLE
6/28/2016
News: James will opt out of his $24 million player option for the 2016-17 season and become an unrestricted free agent, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports.

James already announced after the NBA Finals that he'll return to the Cavaliers, but with the salary cap expected to increase at the start of the new league year, the two sides will first need to come to an agreement on a new deal that will pay James an even higher salary. There shouldn't be much to worry about here and once the deal does get done, the team can get back to preparing for another title run in the 2016-17 season.

Analysis: 

Tim Duncan
Spurs' Tim Duncan: Exercises player option, unsure about returning
Tim Duncan, PF, SA
6/28/2016
News: Duncan exercised his player option worth $5.6 million for next season Monday, but remains unsure whether he will return for 20th season, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports.

According to Wojnarowski's report, Duncan is giving serious consideration to playing despite being 40 years old. Duncan's averages took a dip last season, as he posted just 8.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and it's likely they'd dip even more next season along with his minutes. However, if healthy, Duncan still can serve as a great interior defender and capable offensive talent around the rim.

Analysis: 

Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh: Hopes to return to NBA
Ekpe Udoh, PF, LAC
6/28/2016
News: Udoh is hopeful to return to the NBA during the 2016-17 season, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports.

After spending the 2014-15 campaign with the Clippers, Udoh decided to head overseas this past summer, inking a contract with Turkish power Fenerbahce Istanbul. He ended up leading Fenerbahce to a league championship and averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game while setting the Euroleague single-season record for blocks. Now 29, Udoh believes that during the year abroad, he's molded himself into a more modern NBA forward, stating that he's more mobile than before after trimming his weight to 240 weights and now able to guard any position. It's uncertain whether NBA clubs agree with Udoh's assessment, but the big man said that he's set a deadline of early July to decide whether he'll accept an offer to return to the league or remain overseas.

Analysis: 

Trey Lyles
Jazz's Trey Lyles: Will play for summer league squad
Trey Lyles, PF, UTA
6/28/2016
News: Lyles will play for the Jazz's summer league team, Aaron Falk and Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Lyles will be one of the more accomplished players taking part in summer league, as he was a rotation player and occasional starter throughout his rookie season with the Jazz, averaging 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game over 80 appearances. With Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert back in the fold for 2016-17, Lyles will likely be asked to serve as the Jazz's first big man off the bench.

Analysis: 

Ersan Ilyasova
Thunder's Ersan Ilyasova: Team option likely to be picked up
Ersan Ilyasova, SF, OKC
6/28/2016
News: The Thunder are expected to pick up Ilyasova's $8.4 million team option for the 2016-17 season, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman reports. "We traded for [Ilyasova] because we think he's a good, complementary player to our core players," GM Sam Presti said.

Though Victor Oladipo and No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis were the main prizes in last Thursday's four-player trade that sent Serge Ibaka to the Magic, Ilyasova isn't being viewed as a mere throw-in to the deal. It appears the Thunder believe that Ilyasova's ability to stretch the floor and contribute on the boards will make him a viable rotation option, especially if Sabonis is unable to crack the rotation as a rookie. With Ibaka out of town, Ilyasova currently tops the depth chart at power forward, but the Thunder could very well sign a free agent this offseason who would bump Ilyasova to a reserve gig.

Analysis: 

Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson: Reportedly looking to play 2-3 more years
Richard Jefferson, SF, CLE
6/28/2016
News: Jefferson is apparently looking to play 2-to-3 more seasons in the NBA, Chris Mannix of The Vertical reports.

Following the Cavaliers' Game 7 win over the Warriors, Jefferson announced his intent to retire, but he's since softened his stance considerably. The veteran turned in a strong season for the Cavaliers and certainly appeared to have plenty left in the tank, and as a result he figures to garner considerable interest as a free agent this summer. Cleveland will likely attempt to retain his services, but with the cap set to rise, Jefferson may receive offers the Cavs aren't able to match.

Analysis: 

Damjan Rudez
Timberwolves' Damjan Rudez: Team option declined by Timberwolves
Damjan Rudez, SF, MIN
6/27/2016
News: Rudez will become an unrestricted free agent, as the Timberwolves declined his $1.2 million team option for the 2016-17 season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.

Rudez saw action in just 33 games for the Timberwolves this past season, posting averages of 2.3 points and 0.6 rebounds over eight minutes per game. At 6-foot-9, Rudez can still stretch the floor and hit from deep, as he's a career 39 percent shooter from beyond the arc, but at age 30, it's tough to see him improve drastically moving forward. He'll look to catch on with a team during training camp in an attempt to make a final roster.

Analysis: 

Lance Stephenson
Grizzlies' Lance Stephenson: Team option declined
Lance Stephenson, SF, MEM
6/27/2016
News: Stephenson is set to become an unrestricted free agent, as the Grizzlies opted to decline his $9.4 million team option for the 2016-17 season, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports.

After averaging just 16 minutes with the Clippers for the first half of the 2015-16 season, Stephenson saw a vastly increased role in his final 25 games after being traded to the Grizzlies, posting averages of 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists over 27 minutes. Despite seeing improvements while playing with the Grizzlies, they've opted to let him go, but there's still interest between the two sides to reach a mutually beneficial deal once unrestricted free agency begins. However, if Stephenson sees a higher contract offer elsewhere, he very well could bolt for the better deal.

Analysis: 

Serge Ibaka
Magic's Serge Ibaka: Opts out of Olympic games
Serge Ibaka, PF, ORL
6/27/2016
News: Ibaka will not play for the Spanish national team during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Kurt Helin of NBCSports reports.

While a specific reason wasn't given, Ibaka is likely trying to focus on getting acclimated to his new team after being traded to the Magic in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis during the 2016 NBA draft earlier this week. While overshadowed in Oklahoma City due to the presence of stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Ibaka won't have that problem in Orlando and he's expected to see a vastly increased role. The 27-year-old could play some power forward and center during the upcoming season, meaning he'll play alongside both Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic at times.

Analysis: 

Pau Gasol
Bulls' Pau Gasol: Opts out of player option
Pau Gasol, PF, CHI
6/27/2016
News: Gasol officially declined his $7.8 million player option for the 2016-17 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports.

This move was expected all along, so Gasol's decision to decline on Monday was only a formality. He's expected to sign with a contender in need of a frontcourt presence, which very well could mean the end of his three-year run with the Bulls. Gasol recently announced he'll play for the Spanish national team during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but with free agency opening up on Jul. 1, he'll likely provide a decision on where he'll play next season before leaving for Rio.

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