Top 10 NBA free agents
With the free agent signing period set to kick off on July 1, a number of teams could drastically alter their future with a prudent signing or two. There will no doubt be under-the-radar signings, which will comprise the bulk of the activity.
However, the following players could shift the balance of power if they choose to play in new markets. The list excludes players like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Chris Paul, who are all slated to re-sign with their current teams. In the case of Paul, he will remain with his newest team.
1. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Hayward is the prized fish in this pond. He has the ability to shoot from anywhere and he is a good defender. His all-around game makes him suited to be the second-best player on a really good team. The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Utah Jazz are the favorites for his services.
2. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
Millsap is as underrated as they come, since his production on both ends of the floor equates him to a star player. The only downside is his age. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and will command a max contract. Denver and Toronto could be big players here.
3. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Lowry has a decision to make. He can continue leading the Raptors or hunt a ring with a team like the San Antonio Spurs. With Chris Paul landing in Houston, Lowry seems like the perfect fit for the Spurs. He could also receive a call from the Los Angeles Clippers, who are now without a point guard.
4. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
The loss of Chris Paul could mean Griffin returns to the Clippers on a max deal. The Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Denver Nuggets will likely have interest, as well as the Toronto Raptors should they lose Kyle Lowry. Even though he’s not much of a threat from three, Griffin is still a dominant athletic presence–when healthy.
5. George Hill, Utah Jazz
Hill is another player who would fit in with the Spurs. Ironically, Hill was the player traded for Kawhi Leonard. A combo guard who can shoot, Hill was always a prized player with the Spurs. Injuries are the only thing potentially holding him back.
6. Otto Porter, Washington Wizards
Porter is a restricted free agent, and the Washington Wizards are likely to match an offer sheet. That said, the Wizards will need to decide if they can use the money allotted for Porter to improve the team in other areas. Could the team start Kelly Oubre and acquire a player like Paul Millsap–following trades of Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris?
7. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
Iguodala has as many as seven teams on record to be interested in his services. Most likely, they will all be used as leverage so the former Finals MVP can re-sign with the Golden State Warriors. A winner of two NBA titles, Iguodala could make one last cash grab before his career is over, though. Would he sign with a team like the Magic for 3-years, $60 million?
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons
Like Otto Porter, Caldwell-Pope is a restricted free agent. While the Pistons have said they’d match all offers, one has to wonder when Stan Van Gundy stops throwing good money after bad. Caldwell-Pope is probably the Pistons’ most important player, but will ownership pony up the money when Van Gundy can’t find suitors for his other “stars” and their bloated contracts? See Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond.
9. Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Waiters was awesome for the Miami Heat in 2016-17. After bouncing around the league, he made a name for himself playing under Erik Spoelstra. He will, however, have to deal with questions about consistency, and whether his performance was due to his free agent status. A max contract here based on one year is a risky proposition.
10. Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors
Ibaka is a really good role player who can excel as a shot blocker. He’s added a corner three to his game, as well. He’s really suited to be the third or fourth best player on a good team, yet he’ll command a max deal. That’s risky business, but he is a good power forward.
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