We are now in the home stretch of the regular season, meaning the campaigns of various impending 2021 free agents are about to be over.
For some players, that’s just fine, as their impressive play in 2020-21 has them positioned to earn a nice payday this upcoming offseason. For others, poor recent play could leave a bad taste in potentially interested teams’ mouths and cost them money in free agency.
For some of the lucky ones in the latter predicament, however, the playoffs will serve as a great opportunity for them to improve their stock ahead of free agency.
Below, check out the latest edition of our free agency stock watch, where we determine whose stock is up and whose is down ahead of a very important offseason.
Stock up: Tim Hardaway Jr (Dallas)
Dallas Mavericks 2-guard Tim Hardaway Jr has been in outstanding form recently, averaging 29.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.5 three-pointers over his last four games while shooting nearly 54 percent from beyond the arc, his area of specialty.
Hardaway’s fine play has been a big reason for the Mavericks’ recent solid run which has seen the club come out victorious in five of their last six outings.
Their lone loss in that stretch?
Coincidentally – or not so much – that came in a game Hardaway Jr had to sit out due to ankle soreness.
Hardway is posting a solid campaign overall, averaging 16.4 points and shooting 39.0 percent from deep, but if he’s able to carry his most recent form over into the playoffs, he could be headed for an enormous payday in what’s now looking like a relatively weak free-agent class.
Either way, for now, the veteran guard’s stock is definitely way up.
For the latest Tim Hardaway Jr rumors, click here.
Stock down: Justise Winslow (Memphis)
It’s been a disastrous contract year for Justise Winslow… and things have only gotten worse for the Duke product recently, with Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins removing the struggling 25-year-old from the team’s rotation entirely over their last three contests.
Prior to that, Winslow, relegated to a bench role for the team’s prior eight games, had been putting up shocking numbers: 4.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 33.3 percent from the floor and hitting just one of his seven three-point attempts.
In 24 games this season, Winslow has scored double-digit points just twice, and more than 10 points merely once. And for those thinking Well, he’s not a scorer, his value is on the other end of the floor, we have bad news for you: Memphis has been 8.5 points per 100 possessions worse with Winslow in the game this season, which speaks to how negative his two-way impact has been on the year.
It’s unfortunate, especially ahead of free agency, for Winslow to be performing this poorly, but who knows? Maybe this is injury-related and some team takes a flyer on him this offseason anyway.
Right now, though, things are looking bleak for Winslow’s future in the NBA.
For the latest Justise Winslow rumors, click here.
Stock up: Hamidou Diallo (Detroit)
Despite being in and out of the lineup with injury, young Detroit Pistons 2-guard Hamidou Diallo has been performing well recently, putting up 18.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over his last four games while hitting 50.0 percent of his 14 three-point attempts.
Diallo has always been renowned for his athleticism, defensive tenacity and slashing ability, but if he continues to prove his three-point stroke is for real (he’s at a respectable 36.5 percent for the season), he’ll garner a long look from a lot of teams in free agency.
Still just 22, Diallo’s upside appears to be legitimately high, and if he can continue on this fine run of form as the season ends, teams will have a very positive final impression on him ahead of free agency.
For what it’s worth, however, Diallo will be a restricted free agent this offseason, so the Pistons will have final dibs on whether they want to keep him, which could depend on the price tag he lands in free agency.
Also noteworthy: Diallo recently signed with a new agent, Adam Pensack, who also represents… Christian Wood. And we all remember how Wood’s tenure with Detroit ended.
Just something to keep an eye on.
For the latest Hamidou Diallo rumors, click here.
Stock down: Montrezl Harrell (LA Lakers)
The addition of Andre Drummond has greatly affected the Los Angeles Lakers’ frontcourt rotation, and, thus far, the results haven’t been totally positive.
From purely an individual perspective, it’s arguable whether Montrezl Harrell or Marc Gasol has been more affected by the Lakers’ big pickup, but there’s no doubt Harrell’s play has tapered off recently.
After playing roughly 24.0 minutes nightly over his first 60 games of the campaign, Harrell is down to merely 15.5 over L.A.’s last five outings, a stretch of playing time in which the big man is averaging an -4.4 plus/minus and putting up just 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Not good, especially for a player who’s about to hit free agency for the second team in two offseasons.
Will Harrell regret not taking a longer, more lucrative deal last offseason, when he was coming off the best campaign of his career, one that earned him Sixth Man of the Year honors?
Time will tell, but Harrell is going to need to pick things up come playoff time if he wants a large payday come free agency.
For the latest Montrezl Harrell rumors, click here.
Stock up: Doug McDermott (Indiana)
Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott has been on a bit of a tear recently, posting averages of 16.0 points and 1.5 triples over his last eight games while shooting 62.2 percent from the floor and nearly 43 percent from deep.
Overall, this has arguably been one of the two best seasons of McDermott’s career – the raw stats would say the best, the advanced metrics would say second-best – and ahead of unrestricted free agency, McDermott is heating up even more at just the right time.
And with all of the turmoil surrounding the Pacers right now, Indiana could be headed for a quick postseason exit, perhaps as soon as the play-in tournament.
Competitive will aside, that might not be the worst thing for McDermott, who’s in line for a solid payday, one that could only improve if his season ends soon while his form remains at this level.
For the latest Doug McDermott rumors, click here.
Stock down: JJ Redick (Dallas)
Although his shooting numbers have been overall solid since joining the Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has been in a huge funk recently, one that could be caused by the right heel injury that’s been bothering him all season long.
Over his last four appearances with Dallas, Redick has made just two of his 11 three-point looks, a fact made even more unfortunate when you further consider the fact he had been shooting 52.4 percent from three over his first seven games with the club.
It’s got to be the heel bothering him that’s caused this major dip in form for Redick, and the veteran 2-guard is going to have to get healthy again ahead of the playoffs if he wants to land a good deal come free agency this offseason.
If not, teams are going to hesitate to sign a 37-year-old coming off an injury-plagued campaign to anything more than a veteran minimum deal.
For the latest JJ Redick rumors, click here.