NBA Rumor: DeMarre Carroll Free Agency

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Asked if a buyout is a possibility, a tricky situation given how much money remains on his contract, Carroll said he visited with his agent, Mark Bartelstein, in Chicago during All-Star Weekend. “He is handling that,” Carroll said. “Him and (Spurs general manager) Brian (Wright) and all of them. I don’t know what direction we are going to go. But at the end of the day, at 33, I don’t want to waste my talents just sitting at the end of the bench, knowing I could help a team produce.”

Regarding your future in free agency, what’s going through your mind as we’re nearing it? DeMarre Carroll: I think the biggest thing for me is to try and enjoy it. This might be one of my last big free agency deals that I get, so I’ve got to try and enjoy and let my wife enjoy it because she didn’t get to enjoy the last one. I think she’ll probably get to pick this one, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. We’re just excited to go into free agency.

What are you looking for in free agency? DeMarre Carroll: At the end of the day, I’m just looking for stability and just to make sure my family is happy. Like I said before, this is going to be my last kind of big deal, so I’ve got to make sure I set myself up financially on this deal. We’ll see what happens. How many more years do you want to play in the league? DeMarre Carroll: I really haven’t thought about it. At the end of the day, you let your body do a lot of the talking. This performance staff in Brooklyn really helped me gain more years and got a lot more out of my body and I know the things to do. I’m just excited to go into free agency. I think I’ve got a good relationship with this performance team here in Brooklyn. They really helped me put more years on my career, so I’m happy about it.

Following Carroll’s estimated annual salary on his next contract has been like tracking an internet stock you didn’t buy soon enough. Since opening night, he’s risen from a candidate for a contract in the neighborhood of the midlevel exception (which would still represent more than double his current paycheck), to someone who has a reasonable claim on an eight-figure salary. Sources say the Hawks are bracing themselves for an asking price of 4 years and $50 million — and given the postseason Carroll put together and the interest around the league, possibly even more. If the price tag is much higher than that, there’s good reason to believe the flexibility-minded Hawks could bow out, though their strong preference is to retain Carroll, who has been an essential cog in their two-way success.

“I think I have a lot more to come,” Carroll told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “I think I can be an All-Star player, like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. I see myself as one of those guys, but in order for me to get to being on the elite level, like Paul George, you have to be consistent. People got a glimpse of it this year. I still feel like there is work to be done. I still feel I can get better on the pick-and-rolls. I’m shooting the ball well, but I feel like I can shoot it even better. I can finish better. I can do the little things to help my teammates.”

“A player has few opportunities to hit the free-agent market and get a contract to take care of his family,” said Mark Bartelstein, Carroll’s agent. “However, there are a lot of elements to consider other than pure economics. The Hawks have been sensational with DeMarre’s development in so many ways. They deserve a lot of credit. At the same time, DeMarre’s work ethic and his relentless pursuit of greatness is why he continues to get better every single year, and I know it will just continue. We will weigh everything in making a great decision for DeMarre.”
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January 25, 2021 | 10:04 pm EST Update