Image for Christian Jope Christian Jope - October 14, 2022

Top 5 Upcoming NBA Free Agents

Who knows what the status of NBA players’ contracts will be, come to the end of this NBA season. Players are expected to be paid for matches that have been suspended, so does that mean that this free-agent class stays as it is?

There is nothing that we can do to change the thought otherwise, so sportsbooks and oddsmakers are going about their business as if free agency will stand pat.

With those assumptions in play, 2020 looks to be an impactful free agency period.

Let’s take a look at the top five most impactful free agents of the 2020 offseason!

5. Montrezl Harrell, C, LA Clippers (Unrestricted)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 26 LAC 63 27.8 18.6 7.1 1.7 .580 .000

Montrezl Harrell has truly made a name for himself at this point in his career. Does he have a particular technique that he holds over anyone else? Not really. But what Harrell does is outwork everyone else on the court.

Harrell will have a massive line of suitors come free agency. His skill set isn’t unique, but he is the best at it in the league. Harrell isn’t a prime option though, so it will be up to him and his agent to discover what he is worth.

The Clippers’ backup center is coming up on the expiry of his two-year, $12 million contract with LA.

LA has shown that they are interested in re-signing him, but where he fits will be based on the salary he demands.

4. Demar Derozan, SG, San Antonio Spurs (Player Option)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 30 SAS 61 34.3 22.2 5.6 5.6 .526 .267

DeMar DeRozan, after what seemed like a lifetime of a career with the Toronto Raptors, has his contract coming up with the San Antonio Spurs.

While there have been rumors that the perennial All-Star would decline his player option if he can’t come to an agreement with the Spurs, DeRozan has stated otherwise.

Despite regular criticism of his game, regarding his shooting and defense, DeRozan is a top-tier scorer and a bonafide star in the NBA. Where he lands will purely be based on fit. But which team has need of a ball-dominant, mid-range guard, is the question.

DeMar DeRozan is on the last year of a five-year, $145 million, contract. At 30 years old, it is likely that this will be the last big extension of his career. Will he choose security or winning? DeRozan has a big decision on his hands.

3. Gordon Hayward, SF, Boston Celtics (Player Option)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 29 BOS 45 33.4 17.3 6.5 4.1 .502 .392

The NBA world will never forget the gruesome injury that Gordon Hayward suffered during his first game as a Boston Celtic. He’s made his way back though, averaging 17.3 points per game on 56.3% effective field-goal percentage this year.

The difference today is that Gordon Hayward signed his contract extension on the back of being considered one of the rising stars in the NBA. Instead, his position has been usurped by star prospects Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Gordon Hayward is coming up on the expiry of a four-year, $128 million contract with the Boston Celtics. He owns a player option, but will likely look for a longer, more secure contract due to his age and injury history. Don’t underestimate his relationship with Brad Stevens concerning his future though.

2. Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons (Player Option)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB BLK FG% 3P%
19-20 26 DET-CLE 57 33.0 17.7 15.2 1.6 .533 .143

Drummond will be entering this free agency period in the most precarious situation of his career. Coming into this season he was expected to help Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose lead his Pistons back to the playoffs. Instead, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for change.

Andre Drummond, despite his shocking mid-season trade, is still a player of incredible value. He is one of the best, if not the best, rebounders in the entire NBA. His ability to protect the rim is also fantastic. If he can take a jump in his offensive development, he’ll have another massive extension in his future.

The Cavaliers center is coming off of a five-year max extension worth about $130 million. He has a player option available for 2020-2021. There will always be a market for a player like Drummond, but the question lies in how much a team wants to pay for his services.

1. Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers (Player Option)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB BLK FG% 3P%
19-20 26 DET-CLE 57 33.0 17.7 15.2 1.6 .533 .143

Anthony Davis had all eyes on him during his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Far exceeding the quality and desire of his former New Orleans Pelicans team, Davis made a career choice by joining the Lakers. It’s been a success so far, leading his Lakers to the top seed in the West.

One of the best players in the league, Anthony Davis has barely any flaws in his game. Despite some injury concerns, Davis is looked at as one of the truest stars of the NBA. His offensive game is almost unstoppable, on top of his defensive ability being one of the most transcendent this NBA has seen. The Brow dominates every part of the court.

Anthony Davis is coming up on the expiry of a five-year $127 million extension. One of the NBA’s brightest, and only 26, Davis will be fighting off suitors from every corner. He’s made it known that his legacy is most important to him, which includes championships.

Will he leave the Lakers without one?

Or will he relegate himself to be James’ sidekick for the prime of his career?

NBA Free Agency FAQs

When does NBA Free Agency begin?

Free Agency begins during the last day of the last month that the NBA plays scheduled playoff games. Last year, it began at 6:00 PM EST on June 30.

What is the moratorium period?

The moratorium period is a five-day span before players can actually legally sign contracts with teams. Negotiations are made and finalized between them and an organization upon the official opening of free agency.

What does it mean to be an unrestricted free agent?

An unrestricted free agent is one that has no contractual obligation to consider the offers of their last associated team. Stipulations are built into contracts to encourage players to stay with a franchise. Unrestricted free agency allows a player to negotiate with as much freedom as possible.


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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

819 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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