Kevin Durant at long last is an NBA champion, after joining the Golden State Warriors and beating the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in a Finals rematch.
Durant wasn't the only veteran player on the Warriors to finally get a ring. David West, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee also were rewarded for joining the Warriors last summer.
So who will be the top ring chasers this summer? Which players would take less money to join the Warriors, or another contender that hopes to dethrone their dynasty? Which superstars will make the next power move?
Here are our top five players to watch.
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Paul Millsap, PF
Millsap, an All-Star the past four seasons, has become more than just a guy who gets rebounds and points in the paint. He's developed a decent three-point shot (33.5%) since arriving in Atlanta and shoots almost 75 percent from the line. Most important, he averages 76 games a season, making him a coveted unrestricted free agent.
Millsap declined his $21.5M option for next season and is eligible for a max deal worth $35M a year — which may force the Hawks to let their best player walk for the second straight year. They've reached the playoffs each of the past 10 seasons but have made the conference finals just once, and mortgaging the future to keep the 32-year-old Millsap doesn't make sense. The Hawks just traded Dwight Howard after one year, signalling that they're rebuilding, and they reportedly are exploring a sign-and-trade with Millsap.
The temptation to sign a deal worth more than he's made in his 11-year career may be too much for Millsap, but there's still a chance he takes less money to join an elite team.
Thabo Sefolosha, another Atlanta free agent, could be an affordable addition to a contending team's bench and a valuable veteran.
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Rudy Gay, SF
Gay might be the best player in the NBA who hasn't made an All-Star team. He's played 11 seasons, averaging 18.4 points on 45.2 percent shooting (34.5% on threes). He's played seven seasons with either Memphis or Toronto but made the playoffs only once. After spending the past three and half seasons in Sacramento, Gay has opted out to become a free agent, walking away from $14 million. Gutsy move by a guy coming off a torn Achilles — and possibly an indication that he wants to win more than make money.
Kings point guard Darren Collison also is an unrestricted free agent, as is guard Arron Afflalo after Sacramento waived him Friday. Collison's a career 47/38/85 shooter. Last time he was a free agent he left a contending Clippers team, where he backed up Chris Paul, for more money and more starts with the Kings. What does he do now?
Afflalo signed with the Knicks and Kings the past two years, so no indication there that he wants to play for a winner.
Vince Carter, SF
Carter, 40 and an unrestricted free agent, said this week he wants to do "somewhat of what Kevin Durant did" and would be open to taking less money to play for a contender like the Warriors.
VC has played for a very good Memphis team for the past three seasons, and while his shooting has slipped, it's picked up in the playoffs pretty regularly. So while he may be too grizzled for the Grizz, the league knows VC still can play.
Zach Randolph (soon to be 36) and Tony Allen (35) also are unrestricted free agents. Both have been mainstays in Memphis' lineup for the past seven or eight years, so we'll see whether the Grizz go for a youth movement or the vets leave the Grindhouse for a better shot at getting past the Warriors.
Carmelo Anthony, SF
Melo is 14 years into a potential Hall of Fame career and still in search of a ring. He's not getting any closer to one with the Knicks, and Phil Jackson has said that the 33-year-old would be better off elsewhere.
All that should convince Anthony to waive his no-trade clause this summer and allow the Knicks to try to ship him and the $54 million-plus he's due over the next two years to a contender. Maybe they'd even package him with Kristaps Porzingis, who's being shopped.
Point guard Derrick Rose is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but may not be in high demand due to his history of injuries and other issues, plus the fact that most contenders already have a starting point guard.
Then again, last year Rose called the Knicks a superteam, so maybe he'll want to join an actual one this time.
Wait a minute. How would PG-13 joining a 26-56 Lakers team be considered ring chasing?
Well, the Lakers are famous for winning rings. The new man in charge, Magic Johnson, has five of them. Larry Legend is out in Indiana. George would just be following the rings to L.A.
The Lakers have No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball, max-contract cap space for 2018, a coveted coach with young talent, and all those pesky rumors about Russell Westbrook and even LeBron James coming to play in L.A.
Sure, George as the centerpiece of a rebuilding team isn't the same as Durant to the Warriors. But if he's sold on the idea that Magic can make the Lakers the next superteam, then this could be considered ring chasing with a long-term view. And if he ends up on the Cavs, Celtics or another elite team, then his power move definitely is ring chasing.