Ranking The Top 15 NBA Free Agents (And Where They’ll Go)

15. DeMarcus Cousins (Golden State): After coming off a serious injury, Cousins showed promise in a reduced role in Golden St. He averaged 16, 8, and 4 in 30 games this year. While Cousins may never be the same player he was with the Kings; he’s still a defensive nightmare. A team on the rise that could use a center like him is the Mavs. Under the guidance of Rick Carlisle, Cousins should fit well with players like Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Dallas: 3 Years/$66 Million

14. Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee): The Bucks took a big step forward this year and Malcolm Brogdon was a big reason why. Not only is Brogdon a good defender, but he joined the elusive 50-40-90 club this year. The Bucks have a good core right now around Giannis Antetokounmpo and the goal will be to keep it intact. Milwaukee: 5 Years/$80 Million

13. Julius Randle (New Orleans): Julius Randle bet on himself when the Lakers let him go and boy did it pay off. His points per game jumped from 16 points to 21 and now Randle looks like an All-Star. At 24, Randle would be a great building block for a team. The Celtics are about to go through a major rebuild and Randle would be a great piece to the puzzle with room to grow along with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Boston: 4 Years/$74 Million

12. Tobias Harris (Philadelphia): Harris has bounced around his entire career but will now have the ability to choose his team. Brooklyn has $67 million in cap space and is going all in on free agency. Harris isn’t a number one option but he’s be a damn good number 2. At age 26, Harris is a great building block for a team like Brooklyn on the rise next to Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. Brooklyn: 4 Years/$88 Million

11. D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn): Brooklyn is going to be at the center of free agency in more ways then one. With the Brooklyn planning to go after Kyrie Irving, D’Angelo Russell is going to be expendable. At age 23, Russell is a rising star and a team desperate for a point guard is Phoenix. The Suns have great talents in Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton but no one to get them the ball. Russell could be the missing piece to a team that has been horrible over the last few seasons. Plus it helps that Russell and Booker are best friends. Phoenix: 4 Years/$100 Million

10. Al Horford (Boston): Unlike a lot of players on this list, Al Horford is on the back end of his career. Which may mean he has different motives than the typical free agent. Horford is 33 years old and will be likely earning his last real payday this off-season. A young team on the rise that could use someone like Horford is the Clippers. Horford would fit great in Doc RIvers’ system as the Clippers look to keep up with the Lakers. LA Clippers: 4 Years/$88 Million

9. Khris Middleton (Milwaukee): Khris Middleton is coming off the best years of his career and made his 1st All-Star team this past year. At 27, Middleton is entering his prime and has become the perfect Robin to Giannis’ Batman. Like I said with Brogdon, the Bucks want to keep this core around Giannis and Middleton is a big part of that. Expect him back with the team. Milwaukee: 5 Years/$130 Million

8. Nikola Vucivic (Orlando): Like Middleton, Nikola Vucivic is coming off a career year and his 1st All-Star appearance. Vucivic had career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks and led Orlando to the playoffs. Vucivic will have a lot of suitors but I think he ends up back with the Magic. Orlando has not been known to attract free agents so they have to keep their own guys. Orlando: 5 Years/$140 Million

7. Kristaps Porzingis (Dallas): This is the 1st of 3 tricky situations teams will have to face in free agency. The Mavs shocked everyone by trading for Porzingis and plan to build something special between him and Luka Doncic. But KP is coming off of a torn ACL and missed all of last year. KP has gone on record that he intends to sign his qualifying offer and enter next year as an unrestricted free agency. Porzingis intends to sign with Dallas but is willing to wait a year and cash in on a bigger payday. Dallas: 1 Year/$4.5 Million

6. Kemba Walker (Charlotte): Kemba Walker may be the most intriguing free agent on the market this year. Kemba has become one of the best point guards in the league but has been rotting away in Charlotte. He’s said he’s willing to stay with the Hornets but does he want to stay on a non-contender? There have been rumors the Lakers will go hard after him but I don’t Kemba wants to be part of that circus.

But there is a team on the rise and has a max spot open. The team that no one is talking about is the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers need an upgrade at point guard and have $45 million in cap space. Kemba and a fully healthy Victor Oladipo could make the Pacers a top 3 team in the East and a dark horse title contender. A much better situation than Charlotte could offer him. Indiana: 4 Years/$130 Million

5. Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia): The 76ers went all in last season by trading not only for Jimmy Butler but Tobias Harris as well. Both are free agents and I would be surprised if they sign both to max deals. So they’ll have to pick one and I ultimately they’ll go with Butler. Butler is more of a closer than Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are and that’s something this young team needs. Butler appeared to get along a lot better with Simmons and Embiid than he did with Wiggins and Towns so if Philly offers him the max, I’d say he stays. Philadelphia: 4 years/$140 Million

4. Klay Thompson (Golden State): The Warriors are facing extremely tough decisions going into this off-season. Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles and Klay Thompson tore his ACL. Pretty devastating to say the least. I can’t see the Warriors committing $400 million dollars. That being said, keeping Klay makes more sense than Durant. Thompson is younger, will be cheaper, has a less serious injury, and is a life time Warrior. When you come down to it, Klay Thompson is a better pick for the Warriors. Golden State: 5 Years/$180 Million

3. Kyrie Irving (Boston): This seems to be the most obvious case to predict in free agency. Kyrie and the Celtics have had a major falling out after a disappointing season. Then just this last week, Irving fired his long time agent and signed with Rock Nation. That’s Jay-Z’s agency that has serious ties to Brooklyn. Considering Irving is from the area, it appears to be a match made in heaven. He and Harris could elevate the Nets to a legit contender in the East. Brooklyn: 4 Years/$150 Million

2. Kevin Durant (Golden State): This one is tough to predict. Durant was going to be the number one free agent on the market, but then his Achilles ruptured. Despite being out all of next year, it is reported that teams may still be willing to give Durant the max. Like I said before, the Warriors are going to have to pick between Kevin and Klay because you simply cannot commit $400 million dollars to 2 players with major injuries. The team most desperate for star power (no matter the risks) is the Knicks. Durant has been linked to the team for months now and it seems like his injury gives the Warriors an out. The Knicks may have to wait a year but they’ll still get their man. New York: 4 Years/$150 Million

1 Kawhi Leonard (Toronto): In my opinion, Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the world right now. He won is 2nd ring and 2nd Finals MVP. He has no real weakness and is in the prime of his career. Everything we’ve heard about Kawhi’s free agency is that it’s going to come down between the Raptors and the LA Clippers. Kawhi is from LA and the Clippers have cap room with a young core surrounding it. But if I were put money on it, I think Kawhi stays.

The more we learn about the Kawhi/Spurs divorce, the more we realize it truly was a matter of trust. Kawhi didn’t trust the Spurs’ medical staff and Toronto went above and beyond to make Kawhi trust them with his rehab. I also believe Toronto is the perfect market for Leonard because he doesn’t want to deal with the circus of LA, even with the Clippers being more stable. The Raptors did everything right and they’ll be rewarded by keeping the best player in basketball. Toronto: 5 Years/$180 Million

Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)

Steven Santoro

I love sports and movies. Be on the lookout for articles about both. I also made a video that got 24,000 Retweets. (The views expressed on this website are mine alone and are not intended in any way to reflect the views of my employer)

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