This summer is going to be one for the ages, as some of the best hoopers in the world are bound to enter free agency, which means the whole picture of the NBA can change a lot over the next couple of months.
Some marquee players are due for a change of environment to try and keep building on their legacy, while other second-tier players can be the missing piece for a Championship-caliber team.
Also, with all the money that is going to be available with several teams having a lot of cap space, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 free agents that everybody will want to sign in the summer.
10. Julius Randle
Julius Randle proved he’s the real deal this season, as he was able to carry the load in the offensive end for the New Orleans Pelicans when Anthony Davis wasn’t around or embrace a lesser role as his complement when needed to.
Randle proved Magic Johnson wrong over and over with his hustle and much improved ball-handling abilities, let alone his physicality in both ends of the floor. Throughout the season, he averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.
9. D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell finally took a step forward on his development and had the breakout year we were expecting him to have all along. He’s bound to be a restricted free agent, but there’s no way the Brooklyn Nets should let him walk away.
Russell led this team to the playoffs against all odds and even earned his first All-Star nod with his great scoring and playmaking ability. This season, he posted career-high averages of 21.1 points, 3.9, and 7.0 assists per game.
8. Tobias Harris
Even though everybody expected Tobias Harris’ production to take a major dip when he was traded away from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Philadelphia 76ers, he picked up things exactly where he left them.
He was a borderline All-Star all year long in both conferences and became one of the league’s most reliable sharpshooters in the process. Over the year, he averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
7. DeMarcus Cousins
It’s been quite a tough year for DeMarcus Cousins. Just when he was starting to get back in shape and peaking, he fell down with an injury that sidelined him just a couple of minutes into game 2 of the playoffs.
Health is going to be a huge concern going forward for whatever team that signs him, and perhaps he’s not going to earn as much money as he could’ve. So far, he’s averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists a night.
6. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker was an early-season MVP candidate, but the Charlotte Hornets incapacity of competing for a playoff spot eventually took a toll on the voting. Still, he managed to be an All-NBA and All-Star this season.
Kemba is now eligible to get a supermax contract extension, but some people claim he’s going to give up on a lot of that money in order to compete for a Championship. Over the year, he averaged 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.
5. Klay Thompson
We actually agree with Klay Thompson: we don’t think that there are that many players that are better than him in today’s NBA, and he should’ve been an All-NBA besides being selected as a part of the league’s All-Defense team.
Thompson is not eligible for a supermax contract extension after failing to make the All-NBA team, but the Warriors are still expected to offer him as much money as they can. Throughout the season, he’s averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists a game.
4. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler proved that he’s not a locker room problem when he forced a move to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he built great rapport with the rest of the team and truly helped them compete.
Butler may not be a part of the Sixers next year with the Lakers looming around, but wherever he goes, it’s been clear that he’s earned until the last penny of his contract after averaging 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.
3. Kyrie Irving
While some NBA GMs may be wary and having second thoughts about him because of his attitude and personality, Kyrie Irving is still one of the best scorers in the league, and he’s going to sign a huge contract next season.
Whether if it’s with the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Celtics, or Lakers, that’s still yet to be seen, but it’s been clear that he needs another superstar besides him to be at his best. This season, he averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard didn’t show a slight sign of rust this season and has proved his doubters wrong since day one. He’s carrying the Toronto Raptors in both ends of the floor and is now the best two-way player in the league.
He wants to be in L.A and the Clippers and Lakers are going to try and make a move at him, but he’s thrived with the Raptors and wouldn’t mind extending his stay up north after averaging 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
1. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is going to be this year’s top target in free agency, as he’s made great strides towards becoming the best player in the world, and the Nets, Knicks, Clippers, and Lakers are all going to pursue him.
Durant’s health is not expected to be an issue going forward after suffering a calf strain in the playoffs, and his season averages of 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game make him one of the best overall players ever.