Getting paid big time is one of the things most players and their agents look up to when they’re set to face free agency, even more than having the chance to play for an NBA Championship when you know no contender is going to have enough cap space to offer them a max contract.
Aging players always crave the chance to have a huge contract as they head towards the exit door on their careers, especially if they’re coming off great seasons, at least from a statistical point of view.
This year’s free agent class features quite some interesting names, and today, we’re going to let you know about the top 6 players that are definitely going to sign a very lucrative contract. Obviously, we will exclude superstars like Paul George, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter is coming off a terrific year with the mediocre New York Knicks, proving the Oklahoma City Thunder they were wrong to part ways with him after being one of the main scorers at the Garden throughout the whole campaign.
Kanter has already proven that he can bring a lot of offense either starting or off the bench, and he’s a great rebounder although his defense is mediocre at best. Still, his averages of 14.1 points and 11 boards this season are going to grant him a huge paycheck for sure.
5. Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans was the guy everybody wanted to trade for all season long, but the Memphis Grizzlies refused to deal him unless they got a 1st round pick in return, something that wasn’t going to happen with him set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
Evans played the best basketball of his career since his standout rookie season, putting averages of 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.2 three-pointers and 1.1 steals per game, and even though this kind of numbers seem kind of unsustainable, he’s going to be way overpaid by any desperate team.
4. Aaron Gordon
The Orlando Magic are set to face a key free agency decision during the summer, as they were reportedly trying to shop Aaron Gordon prior to this year’s deadline, but now that they’ve fired coach Frank Vogel, they may want to think this through and just pay the young man what he deserves.
Gordon is one of the main candidates to win the MIP award this season and finally looked like the stud they thought they were drafting years ago, improving his overall game, defense and jump shooting, and averaging 17.6 points, 7.9 boards, 2.3 dimes, 2 three-pointers, 1 steal and 0.8 blocks.
3. Jusuf Nurkic
Well, everybody talked about how much the Portland Trail Blazers craved a true big man and rim protector in order to improve their playoff chances, and it’s pretty safe to say that after a disappointing end of the past season, Nurkic definitely paid off big time for Rip City en route to their 3rd seed in the West.
Jusuf was a very reliable third scoring option behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and he provided a much needed physical presence down low at Portland all year long, so you know they’re definitely going to offer him a max deal after averaging 14.3 points, 9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this year.
2. Clint Capela
Clint Capela has grown to be an outstanding big man in the league and he’s set to dominate the boards for a very long time, so the Houston Rockets would be more than smart to lock down their physical big man for the long-term future after he averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game on a league-leading 65% from the floor.
He’s already an elite pick and roll player and rim protector, and with James Harden and Chris Paul constantly throwing lobs at him, he’s even become an offensive factor, not to mention his huge impact in the defensive end of the floor.
1. DeAndre Jordan
The fact that the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t trade away DeAndre Jordan this season may us think that they’re very confident in their ability to keep him, and they definitely have the kind of cap space to make a huge push for him, although he’s stated over and over that he’s unsure about the team’s commitment to him.
He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent and this will be the last chance he’ll get to have a huge paycheck for his services, although he may choose a contending team rather than a rebuilding project to end his career after putting yearly averages of 12 points, 15.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game this year.