Last Word On Basketball

Top Five NBA Free Agents this Off-season

The NBA will have its fill of free agents this offseason. Among the candidates for free agency, the top five NBA free agents this off-season drew attention. Though more free agents are on the list, the top five sows more intrigue among others.

Top Five NBA Free Agents this Offseason

Talent and improvement can attract interest among free agents. For instance, a franchise would want them because of how they played for a team the past season. Some franchises would want them (or not) with the effect of their going or staying on teams. Here are the top five free agents of interest this off-season.

James Harden (Player Option), Philadelphia 76ers: Top NBA Free Agent this Off-Season

Point Guard James Harden can exercise his player option for next season. The option grants Harden the power if he wants to stay for another year or become an unrestricted free agent. If he does exercise it, his contract season for another year is $47.4 million, thereby allowing him to be a free agent next year. Harden could have done this when traded from the Brooklyn Nets, but he did not make it in time.

Deandre Ayton (Restricted), Phoenix Suns

Center Deandre Ayton is one of the most talented big men of the Phoenix Suns. It is a disappointment to NBA fans to see such a skillful player go off into free agency. The Bahamian Center and Phoenix management are at odds where Ayton aired his disappointment.

The 23-year-old Center was one of the pillars in the team’s topping the Western Conference in the regular season. The playoffs did not bode well with Phoenix. The Suns suffered a huge loss in Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks down by 33 points. Ayton played for 17 minutes only. He is now among the top 5 intriguing free agents this offseason. Ayton did his job well as a former top draft pick and was not a disappointment to the Suns.

As a restricted free agent (RFA), Ayton can sign an offer sheet with any team. But the player’s original team can keep him by matching the terms and conditions of that offer. The original team has the “right of first refusal.”

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

Guard Zach LaVine finally reached the playoffs in his eighth season in the NBA. Due to his knee injury, the Chicago Bulls did not get the expected quality competition of the season. The 27-year-old could have another run with the Bulls and is therefore worth a high-dollar contract. But will Chicago risk a maximum contract that will pay LaVine over $40 million per year for three more years?

LaVine is one of the four players who averaged at least 20 points per game (minimum 50 games played) with a true shooting percentage of 55% or better in each of the last four seasons.

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks

Point Guard Jalen Brunson seemed like an ordinary unrestricted free agent in the early phase of the regular season. Dallas hovered below the .500 mark and was struggling on both sides of the court. It was then that head coach Jason Kidd decided to field Brunson with the starting five of the team resulting in an improved offense for the Mavericks.

The move propelled the Mavericks to greater offensive prowess with Brunson scoring 1.06 points per possession. The point guard from Villanova is a pick-and-roll ball-handler in the regular season. He owns the best mark among 99 players with over 150 ball-handler possessions, according to Synergy tracking.

Miles Bridges (Restricted), Charlotte Hornets

The Spartan from Michigan State depicted renewed energy and strength playing for the Charlotte Hornets this season. He earned his prominence by playing more minutes, rate of usage, and improved statistics. Power Forward Miles Bridges became an all-around playmaker but has to work on his defense against opponents.

From his 12.7 points per game in the 2020-20221 season, Bridges delivered 20.2 points per game this year. The jump was the fifth-biggest placement among 257 players who played in over 40 matches in each of the last two seasons. In short, Bridges deserves to be in the top five NBA free agents this offseason.

There are more free agents in the NBA this offseason and these top five will make huge changes with the team that signs or retains them.

Main Image: Embed from Getty Images

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