In this article, I will be breaking down the top thirty free agents on the NBA market this summer. I will be predicting the possible destination for each free agent. I will also give you a brief description on why I think they will choose that franchise and how they will fit in with the team.
Top 30 NBA Free Agent Destinations
1: SF Kevin Durant: Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors 2 years ago after a game 7 defeat in the Western Conference Finals. Kevin Durant joined the Warriors creating one of the greatest teams in league history. Kevin Durant and the Warriors won the championship in back to back seasons and Durant was named Finals MVP in both years. Durant has aleady stated that he will be resigning with the Warriors in the offseason.
2: SF LeBron James: San Antonio Spurs
LeBron James is going to be the biggest free agent on the market this offseason. LeBron James has the ability to go wherever he wants this summer but he will have one thing on his mind and that would be a championship. LeBron has been to the NBA Finals 8 consecutive seasons which is remarkable. While everyone thinks LeBron will stay in the Eastern Conference because of the weakness top to bottom. San Antonio will go hard after James this offseason and landing LeBron could make San Antonio the favorites to dethrone the Warriors. Pairing LeBron with Murray, Leonard, and Aldridge could be a tandem in the league.
3: SF Paul George: Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George got traded to the Thunder last offseason when the Pacers and George decide on going in a different direction. Paul George teamed up with Russell Westbook and Carmelo Anthony as the next big 3 in the NBA. The Thunder finished 4th in the Western Conference before heading into the playoffs. The Thunder lost their top defensive player in Andre Roberson which hurt them in the playoffs causing them to have an early exit in the first round. Paul George has said he loves it in Oklahoma City and he thinks that this team can make some noise so look for George to stay in OKC.
4: PG Chris Paul: Houston Rockets
Chris Paul was aqcuired by the Houston Rockets last offseason from the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets wanted another superstar player to pair with James Harden in efforts to make a run at a championship. The Rockets had a remarkable season finishing with the best record in the NBA and making it to the Western Conference Finals. Houston was up 3 – 2 on the Warriors before Paul suffered a non-contact injury forcing him to miss the final 2 games. Chris Paul should resign with the Rockets and make another run at the finals while adding a couple more pieces.
5: C DeMarcus Cousins: Los Angeles Lakers
DeMarcus Cousins has been paired with Anthony Davis the past year and a half forming a dynamic duo. Although Cousins is coming off a torn achilles he is still going to try to pursue a long term deal with close to max money. The Pelicans may not be able to match any of the offers that are going to be out there. The Los Angeles Lakers could be an option with the young talent and having enough money to possibly go after 2 superstars. Cousins would fit in nicely in Los Angeles with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randle if they decide to keep him.
6: C Clint Capela/7: C DeAndre Jordan:
The Clippers and Rockets starting centers are both free agents this offseason. There has been rumors floating around about Jordan possibly joining the Rockets and a sign and trade would be the most realistic option. The Clippers and Rockets could work out a trade involving Clint Capela and DeAndre Jordan which could be a win win situation for both sides. The Clippers get a young up and coming center to build around with their young roster and the Rockets get one of the best defensive centers in the game to pair with his old teammate Chris Paul.
8: SF/PF Aaron Gordon: Orlando Magic
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Aaron Gordon hasn’t reached his potential yet in Orlando but he’s still young and has the work ethic. The Orlando Magic should match any offer that is given to Aaron Gordon so that they can keep him and look to build around him for the future. Aaron Gordon is a versitale player in the aspect that he can play 1 – 5 in todays NBA and be affect at each position. Under Steve Clifford and a new coaching staff could have Aaron Gordon on the track to become an elite player in the NBA.
9: PF Julius Randle: New York Knicks
Julius Randle have a breakout season last year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Randle was putting up remarkable numbers and becoming a game changer in the league. The New York Knicks should go after Randle to pair him with Kristaps Porzingis to form a dymanic duo. The Lakers could bring back Randle but if they choose to go after LeBron and another superstar then they will have to let him walk due to cap space. New York would be a perfect option for Julius and he could thrive in the bright lights.
10: SF Jabari Parker: Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have bird rights on Parker as well as him being a restricted free agent meaning that they can go over the cap space to resign him. The Bucks with new head coach Mike Budanholzer should resign Parker and bring back their core. The Bucks were one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and having Parker back for a full season and a full offseason could be a blessing in disguise for the Bucks. If Parker doesn’t work out for the Bucks they could look to deal him at the deadline or sooner.
11: PG Isaiah Thomas: San Antonio Spurs/New York Knicks
Isaiah Thomas was the talk of the league 2 years ago when he errupted on the Boston Celtics leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas then had hip issues and got traded and then traded again winding up on the Lakers. Isaiah probaly won’t get paid max money or anything this offseason but if he is willing to take less money as a prove himself deal then he could wind up in New York as the starter while sharing minutes with Burke and Mudiay or in San Antonio as the backup point guard and scoring threat off the bench behind up and coming point guard Dejounte Murray.
12: SG Tyreke Evans: Memphis Grizzlies
Tyreke Evans had a bounce back season last year in Memphis where he was putting up big numbers. The Grizzlies had a down year due to injuires but should look to bounce back this season with everyone back and healthy. Tyreke was a target for multiple teams at the trade deadline but Memphis didn’t find an offer they liked and ended up keeping him. I would look for Memphis to retain Evans this offseason to pair him with Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, and their 4th overall pick in efforts to make the playoffs.
13: SG Zach Lavine: Chicago Bulls
Zach Lavine was involved in the Jimmy Butler trade last offseason. Zach Lavine missed most of the year recovering from a torn ACL. Zach Lavine is a restricted free agent meaning that the Chicago Bulls can match any offer that he signs. The Chicago Bulls will match any offer that Lavine is given. This is their young franchise building block that they plan to have around for a while.
14: SF Carmelo Anthony: Oklahoma City Thunder
Carmelo Anthony has a player option for next season which is 27.9 million dollars. I would expect Carmelo to accept his player option. Carmelo wasn’t a horrible fit in Oklahoma last season, he was just used in situations that weren’t his strengths. If Carmelo decides to opt out of his player option then he could end up taking less money to go to a contender or Oklahoma City could look to unload Carmelo and his contract.
15: PF Derrick Favors: Utah Jazz
After the Utah Jazz had a remarkable season after losing star player Gordon Hayward in the offseason. Derrick Favors was a huge piece to their success in playing the 4 and the 5. When the Jazz lost Rudy Gobert to injury during the middle of the season. Favors was asked to play the 5 where he dominate on both ends of the floor keeping the Jazz in the thick of things in the Western Conference.The Jazz should look to resign Favors as well as going after a star at the wing position.
16: SF Trevor Ariza: New York Knicks
Trevor Ariza is one of the most underrated wings in the league. Last season Ariza was the heart and soul of the Houston Rockets with his ability to space the floor and guard the best player on the opposing team. With the Rockets going hard this summer after Paul George and LeBron James. Trevor Ariza may be the odd man out and i could see the Knicks going after Ariza. The Knicks are in need of a wing for can space the floor, create for himself, and is an above average defender. The Knicks are towards the end of their rebuild so they could possibly compete for the playoffs and if the Knicks decide to draft a wing in the upcoming draft then having Ariza start at the SF position and being a mentor to the younger players could be huge for the franchise.
17: C Enes Kanter: New York Knicks
Enes Kanter has a player option this summer but he is rumored to be looking for a multi year deal. Kanter has made it clear that he wants to be part of the Knicks organization. If Kanter decides to opt out then the Knicks could still offer him a multi year deal. Kanter was a pleasent surprise for the Knicks last season and Porzingis and Kanter made one of the more dynamic duos in the league.
18: SG Will Barton: Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers had an amazing season last year after trading away Paul George. Victor Oladipo had an outstanding season putting himself on the MVP list. The Pacers took the Cavaliers to a game 7 in the first round before being defeated. Will Barton was one of the more efficent sixth men in the league last season. He has made it clear that he wants to be a starter and the Nuggets already have their backcourt of the future. Barton could come in and possibly be the starter on the Pacers next season giving them more defense and scoring at that position.
19: C Jusuf Nurkic: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers have themselves a big 3 when healthy in Damion Lillard, CJ McCullom, and Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic is a restricted free agent so if the asking price isn’t to steep then expect Portland to match any offer to bring him back. He has been a blessing in disguise for Portland when healthy with his numbers. Portland is one of the top teams in the Western Conference so also look for them to add another piece at a veteran minimum.
20: SG Avery Bradley: Oklahoma City Thunder
Avery Bradley’s name was popping up in trades last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Thunder can keep Paul George and depending on what happens with the Carmelo Anthony sitution. Avery Bradley would be a perfect fit next to Westbrook with his defensive ability and his offensive ability. Avery Bradley paired with Westbrook, George, Adams, and Roberson would be a deadly combination.
21: SG JJ Redick: Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers and JJ Redick agreed to a one year 23 million dollar deal last offseason. JJ was a huge part in the remarkable season that Philadelphia had with his veteran presence and his ability to space the floor. Redick will be back with the 76ers as they look to build upon their season last year and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals and possibly the NBA Finals.
22: PG Elfrid Payton: Phoniex Suns
The Suns acquired Elfrid Payton at the trade deadline last season from the Orlando Magic. Payton came in and made his presences felt immediatly with his numbers and chemistry with his teammates. The Suns are on the verge of becoming a threat in the Western Conference with Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, TJ Warren, the number 1 pick in this years draft, and Elfrid Payton if they decide to resign him. Payton is the perfect point guard for this team a guy who can score when needed, looks for his teammates, plays above average defense, and his chemistry with his teammates.
23: SG Dwayne Wade: Miami Heat
Dwayne Wade has been thinking about retiring but if he decides to come back for another season it will be in Miami. Miami is home for Wade and he tried to leave when he went to Chicago for a season and Cleveland for half a season but he ended up back in Miami. Dwayne Wade would have a role off the bench on limited minutes where he could be most successful.
24: SG Marcus Smart: Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics and the Celtics don’t need to make any moves this offseason just bringing back their free agents. The Celtics will be fully healthy next season with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back from injuries. The Celtics will be the favorite in the Eastern Conference next season. Marcus Smart is a key player for them off the bench with his energy, effort, hustle, and intensity that he brings to the floor night in and night out.
25: C Brook Lopez: Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez is a proven scorer in this league and with his developed outside shot he is a weapon on the offensive end. With the loss of Greg Monroe last season, the Bucks struggled to score on the offensive end at the center position. John Henson and Thon Maker are both young but they lack an offensive game which hurts the Bucks. Signing Lopez to a low money short deal would be wonderful for the Bucks as it gives them someone to come off the bench at the center position who can score.
26: SG Rodney Hood: New York Knicks
If the New York Knicks miss out on Trevor Ariza or don’t go after him at all then Rodney Hood could be another option. Rodney Hood can play either wing position and is a proven player on both ends of the court. Hood would help the Knicks with his scoring ability and his ability to create for himself and his teammates. His defense is where he can make himself some more money in this league with his ability to guard either guard position or forward position in todays game.
27: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Memphis Grizzlies
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the perfect player for the Memphis Grizzlies. He is a 3-and-D player who could play next to Mike Conley and form one of the best defensive backcourts in the league. Memphis struggled to shot the 3 ball last season and Caldwell-Pope had a career high 3 point percentage last season. If the Grizzlies are looking to make it back to the playoffs next season they should look into Kentavious as a potential suitor.
28: PG Rajon Rondo: New Orleans Pelicans
Rajon Rondo has had a couple of odd seasons since he left the Boston Celtics. Rondo is still one of the more elite point guards in this league with his ability to find teammates, his vision, his basketball IQ, and his savy defense. Rondo is also a different player in the playoffs as he showed last season with the Pelicans. The Pelicans will bring back Rondo to pair with Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.
29: SF Kyle Anderson: San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs don’t usually look to let free agents walk who fit their scheme. Kyle Anderson had a nice season filling in for Leonard last year. Anderson is a team player who likes to move the ball and plays great defense. Anderson played point guard in college so he has the ability to be a point forward and can be a key role player for any team in the league. Anderson is also the perfect Spur and the way the Popovich runs his team on both ends of the floor.
30: SG Wayne Ellington: Contenders/Miami Heat
Wayne Ellington could be one of the most intruging options this summer. Ellington set a Miami Heat record last season for 3 pointers in a season and he came off the bench. Wayne is a game changer on the offensive end with his ability to stretch the floor. There are many teams that are going to go after Wayne this summer and he isn’t looking for a ton of money just a good situatuon. Look out for the contending teams and the Miami Heat to resign him if they can figure out their salary cap issues.
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