2024 NBA free agency

2024 NBA Free Agency: Top 10 Players Available

Now that the season is over and a champion has been crowned, it’s time to look at what’s next up on the offseason calendar. The Draft is next up on the slate and then it’s time for the most anticipated date of the league year, NBA free agency. There’s been a few moves announced already whether it’s the signings (or intended signings) of guys like Pascal Siakam and Malik Monk by their current teams, a big extension to Scottie Barnes in Toronto, or a trade between Chicago and Oklahoma City. If this is a sign of things to come, we’re in for a treat when 2024 NBA Free Agency opens on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. (Contracts become official on July 6th at 12:01 p.m. ET)

*Siakam and Monk left off lost due to intent of signing with their respective teams
*Free agents as of 7/3

Top 10 NBA Free Agents Available in 2024

 

1. LeBron James (Player Option)

It’s no surprise that one of the best (in some eyes THE best) to ever dribble a basketball is at the top of this list. At the age of 39, LeBron James is still getting it done and playing at a high level. In 71 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, he averaged 25.7 points per game on 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists and earned yet another All-Star accolade. Throughout the season leading up to now, it was believed that LeBron would leave the Lakers to play with his son Bronny James next season if drafted to another team but that might no longer be the case. LeBron will be turning 40 in December and shows no signs of giving up. He will likely get another max contract this offseason and it’ll be hard to imagine it would be from anyone else but the Lakers.

Update: Signs a two-year, $104M deal to return to Lakers

Apr 20, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets in game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

2. Tyrese Maxey (Restricted)

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Philadelphia 76ers will pay the most they can to keep Tyrese Maxey around for years to come. He’ll be entering his fifth year in the league and has averaged 20 or more in each of his last two seasons. Last year he earned the Most Improved Player Award by averaging 25.9 points per game and made the All-Star team. He just missed out on being an All-NBA player last year but with his potential at just 23 years old (24 in November) and already one of the best young guards in the game, he is bound to make plenty of noise for years to come. Everyone would be shocked if that happened anywhere else but Philadelphia.

Update: Agreed in principle on a five-year, $204M contract with the 76ers

May 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) shoots the ball against the New York Knicks during the second half of game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

3. Paul George (Player Option)

Plenty of talk surrounded Paul George this offseason. For a while, the 76ers looked to be the team to snag the nine-time All-Star in free agency but now it is reported that their pursuit has “significantly waned” and will look elsewhere to spend their cap. That opens the door back up for the Los Angeles Clippers (not that it was ever closed) to offer him a realistic multi-year deal to stay paired with Kawhi Leonard and make another run at a title. There are some wild cards out there that could be in play for George but with the 76ers’ recent stance, it’s more likely that he could stay with the Clippers unless he’s involved in a sign-and-trade, like reports suggest is a possibility. He can still do it on both ends of the floor as PG13 averaged 22.6 points last season with 1.5 steals per game, which was the sixth-most in the league.

Update: Agreed on a four-year, $212M deal with 76ers

Apr 28, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) reacts after scoring during the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks during game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4. James Harden (Unrestricted)

James Harden isn’t the player he once used to be in his prime, but he is still a scorer and playmaker. In 72 games he posted 16.6 points per game with 8.5 assists. The Clippers have to make yet another decision for one of their top players but the money for Harden won’t be nearly as high as he’s turning 35 in August and not nearly as potent a player as in years past. With his usage being his lowest since his early days and the Clippers still fighting to keep their window open, a return to LA for Harden is on the table.

Update: Signs a two-year, $70M deal to return to the Clippers

Mar 27, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) dribbles the ball Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

5. OG Anunoby (Player Option)

Injuries have cost OG Anunoby games over the last several seasons, but when he’s healthy he is tough to stop. Evidence of that was clear last season with the New York Knicks. After he was traded to them from Toronto during the season, the Knicks’ play as a whole on both sides of the ball improved greatly when he was on the floor. Although he’s expected to return to the Knicks, possibly opting out into a new deal with them, it’s tough to envision getting top money like he would if he was healthy. If the team plays hardball, just because of his injury history, there’ll be plenty of interest out there for him if he hits the open market but not many expect it to get that far.

Update: Intends to sign a five-year, $212.5M deal to return to Knicks

May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) reacts after a basket during the second quarter of game one of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

6. DeMar DeRozan (Unrestricted)

The Chicago Bulls acquired DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs for a pretty good package. There were some questions as to how that would turn out but Chicago got the best stretch of his career. Over three years (2021-2023), he averaged 25.5 points per game, including finishing top ten in MVP voting while averaging a career-high 27.9 points per game in 2021-22. Over the last two years, he’s finished top three in Clutch Player of the Year voting. DeRozan will be 35 in August but he is still one of the best mid-range scorers in the league and still has a lot left in the tank. There’s a possibility that the Bulls re-sign him but there could be plenty of suitors out there if he looks elsewhere.

Update: Agreed to a three-year, $70M deal with Kings via sign-and-trade

Apr 1, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) brings the ball up court against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

7. Miles Bridges (Unrestricted)

If we just look at the basketball aspect, Miles Bridges is one of the top free agents on the board this offseason. In 2021-22, he put up 20.2 points per game and 7.0 rebounds. Bridges didn’t play the entire 2022-23 season due to his off-court problems but he came back the next year not missing a beat. He averaged 21.0 points per game with 7.3 rebounds last season for a Charlotte Hornets team that only collected just 21 wins. As mentioned, he’s had some off-court issues that would make any team hesitant to pay him for the long term. It’s unclear whether he’ll be back in Charlotte, but he would be a nice pickup for anyone with his on-court performance.

Update: Agreed to a three-year, $75M deal to return to the Hornets

Apr 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) looks on during the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports

8. Immanuel Quickley (Restricted)

Between the Knicks and Raptors last season, Immanuel Quickley averaged 17.0 points per game, which was a career-high. He upped his game when traded to Toronto in-season as he averaged 18.6 points with 4.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists compared to 15.0/2.6/2.5 with New York. Before this, he was runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year in 2022-23. His great performance after the trade is promising news for both Toronto and Quickley as they try and discuss a new deal before/when free agency opens.

Update: Intends to sign five-year, $175M deal to return to the Raptors

Apr 10, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Immanuel Quickley (5) handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

9. Klay Thompson (Unrestricted)

Just off of name value, Klay Thompson is one of the top free agents in 2024 but injuries have derailed his momentum. He suffered an ACL injury in 2019-20 and then tore his Achilles the next season. That has caused him to lose a step in his game, both on offense and defense. While that’s the case, he averaged 20.4 points in 2021-22 (32 games), 21.9 in 2022-23 (69 games), and 17.9 in 2023-24 (77 games). In each of those three years, his three-point percentage never dipped below 38.5, which is better than most. Despite a decrease in play, he can still shoot and give you all he’s got and teams looking for a shooter will be knocking at his door. It’ll be hard to imagine Thompson in anything else than a Golden State Warriors jersey but that’s a good possibility.

Update: Agreed on a 3-year, $50M deal with the Mavericks 

Apr 9, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates after a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

10. Nic Claxton (Unrestricted)

Nic Claxton is the top free-agent center in the 2024 class. He’s really come alive the past two seasons. In 2022-23, Claxton averaged a career-high 12.6 points with 9.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. That earned him a top-ten finish in Defensive Player of the Year and a top-five finish as the Most Improved Player. Last season he nearly averaged a double-double as he had 11.8 points per game with 9.9 rebounds. He also averaged 2.1 blocks. It’s easy to see a DPOY Award in his future so combine that with him being a good finisher around the rim and being just 25 years old, the Brooklyn Nets see him as a top priority to sign back.

Update: Intends to sign four-year, $100M deal to return to Nets

Apr 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Main Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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