Top 50 NBA free agents Wash­ing­ton Post

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MOTOR SPORTS/NBA -

Last sum­mer’s NBA spend­ing spree should be fol­lowed by an off­sea­son dom­i­nated by belt-tight­en­ing.

The salary cap jumped from $70 mil­lion to $94 mil­lion last off­sea­son, and the stage was set for a sum­mer of mas­sive con­tracts, in­clud­ing Kevin Du­rant’s stun­ning switch from the Oklahoma City Thun­der to the Golden State War­riors.

When free agency be­gan at 12:01 a.m. on Satur­day, play­ers and their agents will look for the big pay­days of a year ago, while teams will hope to spend less. That tug-of-war will dom­i­nate dis­cus­sions in the com­ing weeks.

The Wash­ing­ton Post ranks the free-agent class, one with the po­ten­tial to pro­vide plenty of fire­works. Sev­eral of the free agents have agreed to deals.

1. KEVIN DU­RANT, SF, un­re­stricted Golden State War­riors

Du­rant, com­ing off an NBA Fi­nals MVP and his first cham­pi­onship, isn’t go­ing any­where. The only ques­tion is whether he’ll take enough of a fi­nan­cial hair­cut to al­low Golden State to keep An­dre Iguo­dala and Shaun Liv­ingston.

2. STEPHEN CURRY, SG, un­re­stricted Golden State War­riors

Agreed to 5-year, $201 mil­lion deal to stay with the NBA cham­pion War­riors.

3. GOR­DON HAY­WARD, SF, un­re­stricted Utah Jazz

Hay­ward is ex­pected to be courted heav­ily by the Bos­ton Celtics and Mi­ami Heat, and prob­a­bly oth­ers; he could leave the Jazz next week.

4. KYLE LOWRY, PG, un­re­stricted Toronto Rap­tors

Lowry, 31, is the top point guard avail­able on the mar­ket, but he is 31 and few teams are look­ing for a floor gen­eral. Will there be in­ter­est?

5. BLAKE GRIF­FIN, PF, un­re­stricted Los An­ge­les Clip­pers

Grif­fin has agreed to a deal to stay with Clip­pers.

6. JRUE HOL­I­DAY, PG, un­re­stricted New Or­leans Pel­i­cans

Holo­day has agreed to a deal to stay with the Pel­i­cans.

7. OTTO PORTER, SF, re­stricted Wash­ing­ton Wizards

The top re­stricted free agent on the mar­ket, Porter could test Wash­ing­ton’s will­ing­ness to go into the lux­ury tax. The as­sump­tion should be that he’s back, but it could get un­com­fort­able be­fore he is.

8. PAUL MILL­SAP, PF, un­re­stricted At­lanta Hawks

New At­lanta Hawks Gen­eral Man­ager Travis Sch­lenk made it clear he wasn’t go­ing to give Mill­sap a max con­tract. That means the all-star for­ward will move on.

9. Ge­orge Hill, PG, un­re­stricted Utah Jazz

Hill was banged up most of this sea­son, but when he and the rest of the start­ing lineup was healthy, they were quite ef­fec­tive. His mar­ket could be tied to what Hay­ward does; if he leaves it will likely de­crease Hill’s lever­age.

10.DANILO GAL­LI­NARI, PF, un­re­stricted Den­ver Nuggets

Tal­ented but in­jury prone, Gal­li­nari is one of the more in­trigu­ing free agents. Will a team take a chance, or will his mar­ket be tepid thanks to a con­stant stream of in­juries and de­fen­sive is­sues?

11. SERGE IBAKA, PF, un­re­stricted Toronto Rap­tors

Ibaka has changed teams twice in the past year, and was ex­pected to get big money as a free agent this sum­mer. But given his age (27) and a glut of big men on the mar­ket, will he get it?

12. KEN­TAVI­OUS CALDWELL-POPE, SG, re­stricted Detroit Pis­tons

One of the bet­ter wing de­fend­ers in the league, Caldwell-Pope will have suit­ors.

13. AN­DRE IGUO­DALA, SF, un­re­stricted Golden State War­riors

Iguo­dala has been an in­te­gral part of three con­sec­u­tive Fi­nals trips and two ti­tles. But when he hits the open mar­ket, his price could get out of Golden State’s range.

14. JEFF TEAGUE, PG, un­re­stricted In­di­ana Pac­ers

Teague has agreed to a deal with the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves.

15. Dirk Now­itzki, PF, un­re­stricted Dal­las Mav­er­icks

Now­itzki won’t leave Dal­las. His con­tract will come down to what the Mav­er­icks spend on other play­ers.

16. J.J. REDICK, SG, un­re­stricted Los An­ge­les Clip­pers

Redick is go­ing to sign with the Phi­lal­phia 76ers.

17. PATTY MILLS, PG, un­re­stricted San An­to­nio Spurs

Mills has agreed to a deal to stay with the Spurs.

18. NER­LENS NOEL, C, re­stricted Dal­las Mav­er­icks

Af­ter trad­ing for him at the dead­line, Dal­las is mo­ti­vated to keep Noel. This ne­go­ti­a­tion will come down to how hard both sides dig in, and how un­re­al­is­tic the Noel camp will be about a lack of cen­ter in­ter­est on the mar­ket.

19.JAMYCHAL GREEN, PF, re­stricted Mem­phis Griz­zlies

Green, 27, is a power for­ward ca­pa­ble of hit­ting threes, he should draw in­ter­est.

20. NIKOLA MIROTIC, PF, re­stricted Chicago Bulls

The mar­ket for Mirotic, 26, will likely be sim­i­lar to Green’s.

21. TONY SNELL, SG, re­stricted Mil­wau­kee Bucks

Snell has agreed to re­turn to Bucks.

22.PAU GASOL, C, un­re­stricted San An­to­nio Spurs

When Gasol opted out of his con­tract for next sea­son, the as­sump­tion was that the Spurs had some­thing up their sleeve. We’ll find out soon enough.

23. C.J. MILES, SG, un­re­stricted In­di­ana Pac­ers

Miles is a lit­tle older (30), but he is an­other wing player who can hit a three and play some de­fense. That’ll at­tract suit­ors.

24. SHAUN LIV­INGSTON, PG, un­re­stricted Golden State War­riors

Liv­ingston has agreed to re­main with the War­riors.

25. AN­DRE ROBER­SON, SF, re­stricted Oklahoma City Thun­der

Rober­son is one of the best wing de­fend­ers, but shoot­ing is a prob­lem.

26. KELLY OLYNYK, C, re­stricted Bos­ton Celtics

Olynyk likely will soon be an un­re­stricted free agent; Bos­ton will have to re­nounce his rights to make its planned big splash in free agency.

27. TAJ GIB­SON, PF, un­re­stricted Oklahoma City Thun­der

Gib­son has talked about want­ing to re-sign, but will Oklahoma City dip into the lux­ury tax to keep him? Un­likely.

28. ER­SAN ILYASOVA, PF, un­re­stricted At­lanta Hawks

Ilyasova is an un­der­rated free agent. He could be a cheap stretch four op­tion.

29. PA­TRICK PAT­TER­SON, PF, un­re­stricted Toronto Rap­tors

Pat­ter­son is the 10th power for­ward on this list, show­ing the depth in this free agent class.

30. JOE IN­GLES, SF, re­stricted Utah Jazz

In­gles, 30, agreed to a 4-year deal to re­main with the Jazz.

31. P.J. TUCKER, SF, un­re­stricted Toronto Rap­tors

Tucker was ac­quired at the trade dead­line, but is likely to go else­where.

32.JAMES JOHN­SON, PF, un­re­stricted Mi­ami Heat

John­son had a ca­reer sea­son, but did that con­vince teams he’s no longer the in­con­sis­tent player of the past?

33. DION WAIT­ERS, SG, un­re­stricted Mi­ami Heat

Wait­ers falls into a sim­i­lar camp as John­son: an in­con­sis­tent player who had his best sea­son a year ago. His mar­ket will be one of the more in­trigu­ing ones.

34. DAR­REN COL­LI­SON, PG, un­re­stricted Sacramento Kings

Col­li­son might be the best op­tion for teams look­ing for a backup point guard.

35. MA­SON PLUM­LEE, C, re­stricted Den­ver Nuggets

Plum­lee was ac­quired at the trade dead­line for Jusuf Nur­kic and a first-round pick, mak­ing it seem as though Den­ver needs to pay up to keep him.

36. BO­JAN BOGDANOVIC, SG, re­stricted Wash­ing­ton Wizards

Bogdanovic’s camp ex­pects to get some­where in the mid­teens per year, but it’s hard to see that kind of of­fer ma­te­ri­al­iz­ing.

37. TIM HAR­D­AWAY, SG, re­stricted At­lanta Hawks

Har­d­away took a step for­ward last sea­son in his fi­nal year of his rookie deal. Now teams will have to de­cide whether he can con­tinue to make strides.

38. TONY ALLEN, SG, un­re­stricted Mem­phis Griz­zlies

Allen may wind up else­where, but it would be fun to see him find a way to stay in Mem­phis.

39. VINCE CARTER, SF, un­re­stricted Mem­phis Griz­zlies

Carter con­tin­ues to defy age (40) and wants to keep play­ing. He’s been linked with the War­riors, and seems like ex­actly the kind of player Steve Kerr would want.

40. MANU GINOBILI, SG, un­re­stricted San An­to­nio Spurs

If Ginobili de­cides to come back, he’ll stay put.

41. KYLE KORVER, SG, un­re­stricted Cleve­land Cava­liers

Will Korver re­turn to the Cavs, and given their tax con­cerns, will they want him?

42. ZACH RAN­DOLPH, PF, un­re­stricted Mem­phis Griz­zlies

Ran­dolph, 35, could leave the team with which he’s grown syn­ony­mous, but it’s hard to pic­ture him play­ing else­where.

43. SHABAZZ MUHAM­MAD, SF, re­stricted Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves

Muham­mad, like Olynyk, could quickly be­come un­re­stricted if Min­nesota needs the cap space. He may need that to hap­pen to free up some suit­ors.

44. JUSTIN HOL­I­DAY, SG, un­re­stricted New York Knicks

Hol­i­day may want to play with his brother, Jrue, who has agreed to stay in New Or­leans.

45. JONATHON SIM­MONS, SG, re­stricted San An­to­nio Spurs

Sim­mons could draw a lot of in­ter­est af­ter a strong post­sea­son.

46. NICK YOUNG, SG, un­re­stricted Los An­ge­les Lak­ers

Young bought into what Lak­ers Coach Luke Wal­ton tried to sell him on this sea­son. Will that earn him an­other con­tract?

47. DER­RICK ROSE, PG, un­re­stricted New York Knicks

Rose had an up-and-down sea­son in New York, his first out­side of his home­town of Chicago. He seems best suited to be a change-of-pace off the bench, but it’s un­clear whether he gets that.

48. RUDY GAY, SF, un­re­stricted Sacramento Kings

Gay, com­ing off a torn Achilles ten­don, seems like a prime can­di­date to take a one-year deal and test the mar­ket again next sum­mer.

49. DE­WAYNE DED­MON, C, un­re­stricted San An­to­nio Spurs

Ded­mon should be a sought-af­ter free agent, given his po­ten­tial to be a rim run­ner of­fen­sively and an ath­letic pres­ence de­fen­sively.

50. CRIS­TIANO FE­LI­CIO, C, re­stricted Chicago Bulls

Fe­li­cio, who put up mod­est num­bers last sea­son, has agreed to deal to stay with the Bulls.

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