But there are still a lot of high-quality free agents on the board – a lot of players who can help teams.
As of Saturday at 4 Eastern, here’s our list of the Top 10 Free Agents Still Available (with comments).
1) James Harden
Although it is technically still available, Harden is set to re-sign with the 76ers to a three-year deal, and the parties will meet this weekend to work out the details. There are no other teams targeting him.
if Kevin Durant is on its way to the Sunsthen Ayton is almost certainly headed to Brooklyn on a sign-and-trade (and the Nets can build around Ayton and Ben Simmons) who ensures that the former No. 1 gets the money he wants. If Durant ends up elsewhere, though, the maximum contract – or even nearly maximum – offers from outside of Phoenix for Ayton may have dried up. On the other hand, if Durant isn’t a Sun, it might be time for the Suns and Ayton to resolve their differences and agree to a short-term deal that keeps Phoenix as contenders.
He has been arrested for domestic violence in Los Angeles for what, based on his wife’s comments, is a very disturbing case. While he is technically a restricted free agent, no teams are making offers for his services. There are rumors that the Hornets are withdrawing his qualifying offer and letting him run for nothing as an unrestricted free agent. Until his lawsuit is settled, no team comes close to him.
Sexton only played in 11 games last season due to a torn meniscus requiring surgery, resulting in fewer offers coming in. Sexton can get buckets – two seasons ago he averaged 24.3 points per game for the Cavaliers – but his ball-dominant style frustrated teammates and some saw him more as a sixth man. There are rumors that Dallas is interested, but so far there is nothing official on the table that he likes. Most teams see him in the $10 million per season range.
5) TJ Warren
If he’s healthy, Warren could be a bargain. The last time we saw him play, in the bubble, he averaged 26.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Over the course of that entire season, he averaged 19.8 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 40.3% of 3. However, in the past two seasons, he only played four games due to stress fractures and other foot problems. There is a risk, but a relatively small risk below the mid-level exception, and the reward can be very high.
6) Caleb Martin
The Miami Heat wing is a restricted free agent who stepped up in every aspect of his game last season and was a quality part of the Heat rotation, averaging 9.3 points per game in just under 23 minutes per night. He shot 41.3% of 3 for the Heat and finished well around the edge. There had been buzz about interest from the Timberwolves, but with all their recent moves, it’s unclear if that interest is still there. Caleb’s twin brother Corey just got locked up by the Hornets on a $32 million four-year deal, Caleb may not have that much money, but he brings value.
A team in search of some backup point guard depth will take Schroder, who averaged 13.5 points per game split between Boston and Houston last season. Teams noticed when the Celtics downsized and gave up Schroder’s role Marcus Smart more point guard responsibilities, the team improved, Schroder is not moving the needle for a contender. However, he is an NBA-level rotation point guard who can pass, shoot the three well enough (34.4% last season), and give a team a decent 20 minutes a night. He will play somewhere in the Bond next season.
The former sixth man of the year will bring energy, make good choices, roll hard to the brink and give a team a solid 20 minutes a night off the couch. He averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season from the bench in Washington and Charlotte. Harrell is an innings eater, a big man who can help out during the regular season and which fans will appreciate for his crowds, but his lack of defense means he will be out of rotation in the playoffs. There is a team with a role for him.
He showed last season in Denver that he can be a solid backup centerhe then stabilized the second units of the Nuggets Nikola Joki sat on the couch. For at or just above the veteran minimum, Cousins can take that to another team and help with their frontline rotation. The Nuggets may re-sign him, but cousins should have options as teams look at their font line rotations and find out they need another center.
He gave the Pistons 10.6 points in 22 minutes per game when he was healthy last season, but with Detroit focusing on its senior young guards, Jackson is out with the Pistons. If a team can help him find his 3-point shot again – that was over 40% two seasons ago and dropped to 30.8% last season – then there is value in him as the third guard to go on or off the ball to play. He’s a good locker room boy, works hard on defense and has an NBA role to play.
Who will stay? The 10 Best NBA Free Agents Still Available originally appeared on NBCSports.com