The NBA Free Agency is about to get underway. This is always an exciting time of the year for hoop fans.
Free Agent: A player can go to any team he chooses.
Restricted Free Agent: A player can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the original team can retain that player by matching the terms of that offer.
Player Option: Grants the player the option to stay with his current team for one more year or become an unrestricted free agent.
Top 10 NBA Free Agents, Summer 2018:
1) LeBron James, Unrestricted Free Agent,Salary… $33 Million: In his 15th season in the NBA, LeBron had one of his best years as a professional. He played in all 82 games, averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game.
If the man they call “King James” stays in Cleveland they have to make wholesale changes. Going into the NBA Finals, the other starting 4 on the Cavs (Kevin Love, JR Smith,Tristan Thompson and George Hill) averaged a combined 36 points per game. In order for LeBron to stay in Ohio these changes need to be made.
- Fire Tyronn Lue
- Trade the entire starting lineup
- Re-sign Rodney Hood, make him your starting 2 guard
- Recruit the hell out of Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins.
2) Kevin Durant, Player Option,Salary…$25 Million: The two time Finals MVP averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. I will not spend a lot of time on KD because he will return to Golden State. You don’t leave a team that has been to 4 straight finals, won three titles, including back-to-back championships.
3)DeMarcus Cousins, Unrestricted Free Agent,Salary…$18 Million: Cousins is coming off an injury, but, before he got sidelined, he was having an MVP-like season. He was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 rebounds per game. No disrespect to Anthony Davis, but Cousins is the most complete big-man in the NBA. The question here is does Cousins want to be one of the highest paid players in the NBA or will he settle for about $20 mil per year to go somewhere and win.
4) Chris Paul,Unrestricted Free Agent, Salary…$24 Million: Chris Paul had one of his most productive seasons, averaging 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. The Rockets had the best record in the NBA in 2018. They had a great season but still couldn’t make it to the NBA Finals. The Warriors held them to under 100 points five straight times in the 7 game series. As long as Mike D’Antoni is the head coach, they will never win a title. Chris Paul should leave Houston.
5) Paul George, Player Option, Salary…$19 million: For the first time since his early days in Indiana, George became the 2nd option on a basketball team. His numbers were down playing in OKC. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2 steals per game..I don’t know who would pay George, who is on the “Back-9” of his career more than 20 million year. I would not be surprised if George plays for the Lakers next year.
6) DeAndre Jordan, Player Option, Salary…$22 million: Jordan averaged 12 points and 15.2 rebounds per game last season. The problem with Jordan is that he shoots 58% from the free throw line. Teams will continue to implement “Hack a Jordan.” Most coaches won’t play him in the 4th quarter because of his lack of shooting and free throw consistency. I would be shocked if a team offers him more than he is making right now.
7) Clint Capela, Restricted Free Agent, Salary…$2 Million. Teams are going to offer Capela anywhere from $12-15 Million per year. He was one of the most consistent players for the Houston Rockets all year long. He averaged 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds. He is going to have a high pay increase. I would not be surprised if we see him end up on a team that didn’t make the playoffs last season. Lakers or Knicks?
8) JJ Reddick , Unrestricted Free Agent, Salary….$23 million:
The former Duke star averaged 17 points per game last year. I don’t think anyone will pay JJ $23 Million per season. But look for him to land a 3 year contract worth about 45 million. The Lakers, Knicks could pay him a lot of money. I wouldn’t be suprised if the Milwaukee Bucks go after him. He would be a perfect fit for a team that loves to drive the ball with players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middelton.
9) Jabari Parker, Restricted Free Agent, Salary...$6 million: Parker only averaged 12 points per game last season because of injuries. But when healthy he can be a double double machine. He has all the skills to be a number 1 or number 2 option. The Knicks, Nets, Orlando, Dallas and Chicago will probably pursue the 23-year old.
10) Julius Randle, Restricted Free Agent, Salary…$4 million. The former Kentucky Wildcat continues to impress on the court. Last season he averaged 16.1 points and 8 rebounds per game. The Lakers should have enough money to match any offer Randle receives. Unless a team severely overpays him,look for the Lakers to offer a 5 -year $60 million contract.
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