Big Men, Big Contracts

Frontcourt players dominate the NBA's free-agent list this summer. Where they sign will have a big impact on the league
June 29, 2015

MARC GASOL, C, Grizzlies

The crown jewel of this free-agent crop, Gasol, 30, is a dominant defender who scored a career-high 17.4 points per game last season. He's also a polished passer. It will take a lot to extract him from Memphis, his home since 2001.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, PF, Trail Blazers

The 29-year-old has been a consistent 20-point, 10-rebound player over the last five years. In 2014--15 he extended his range beyond the three-point line (35.2%) for the first time in his career.

KEVIN LOVE, PF, Cavaliers (Early Termination Option)

GM David Griffin says he expects Love to opt out. That most likely means re-signing him to a five-year contract worth more than $120 million. But does Love want to stay in Cleveland?

JIMMY BUTLER, SG, Bulls (Restricted Free Agent)

He passed on a four-year, $44 million extension last summer and put up numbers (20.0 points per game, 5.8 rebounds) that, when paired with his elite defense, make him a max-level player. At 25, Butler is reportedly seeking a short-term deal that will position him to cash in on the higher salary cap in 2016.

GORAN DRAGIC, SG, Heat

A midseason acquisition, Dragic, 29, averaged 16.6 points and 5.3 assists (up from 16.2 and 4.1 with the Suns). As Miami transitions from the Dwyane Wade era, re-signing Dragic is critical.

DEANDRE JORDAN, C, Clippers

He led the league in rebounding (15.0) and shooting (71.0%) and was All-Defensive first team. Though limited offensively—and putrid from the line—Jordan is a lock for a max contract, and the capped-out Clippers will give him one.

DRAYMOND GREEN, PF, Warriors (RFA)

A versatile defender, Green can bang in the post (ask Zach Randolph) and extend to the perimeter (ditto, Josh Smith). Last season he emerged as a reliable scorer (11.7 points) and playmaker (3.7 assists), pushing his price into max territory.

GREG MONROE, PF, Pistons

Andre Drummond's presence in Detroit makes Monroe, 25, the likeliest high-profile player to relocate. A 15-point, 10-rebound player over the last four seasons, he improved his foul shooting to a career-best 75.0% in '14--15.

PAUL MILLSAP, PF, Hawks

The two-year, $19 million deal he signed in '13 was a bargain for Atlanta—Millsap earned back-to-back All-Star nods. Though undersized (6'8"), he is a strong rebounder and capable defender.

BROOK LOPEZ, C, Nets (ETO)

He bounced back from a right-foot injury in '13--14 with 17.2 points and 7.4 boards in 72 games, but he will never be a bruiser down low. Is Lopez's foot—surgically repaired four times—no longer a concern?

RAJON RONDO, PG, Mavericks

His stock plummeted when a rough four-month stint in Dallas ended with his banishment from the team. Many execs wonder if Rondo, two years removed from right-ACL surgery, can ever be the player he was in Boston.

Almost Perfect

Four times this century a pitcher has lost his bid for a perfect game with one out to go. Here they are, in order of most to least heartbreaking.

Armando Galarraga

Tigers

June 2, 2010

Ump Jim Joyce calls Indians' Jason Donald safe at first base after a ground ball. Joyce later admits he blew the call.

Mike Mussina

Yankees

Sept. 2, 2001

One strike away, Mussina gives up a single to the Red Sox' Carl Everett on a 1-and-2 pitch, settles for a one-hit shutout.

Max Scherzer

Nationals

June 20, 2015

Pirates' Jose Tabata leans in to a 2-and-2 pitch and gets hit. Scherzer recovers to complete the no-hitter.

Yu Darvish

Rangers

April 2, 2013

Astros' Marwin Gonzalez lines a clean, first-pitch single, knocking Darvish from the game.

PHOTOBARRY GOSSAGE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (ALDRIDGE) PHOTOPAUL SANCYA/AP (GALARRAGA) PHOTOAL TIELEMANS FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MUSSINA) PHOTOMIKE MCGINNIS/GETTY IMAGES (SCHERZER) PHOTOJIM COWSERT/AP (DARVISH)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)