US Sports Veteran
The 2021 NBA free agency period could re-align the league. With multiple superstars possessing player options or expiring contracts, fans anxiously await the association’s next transformation. However, there are still several noteworthy players who could sign with new teams this offseason. While 2020 doesn’t boast a robust free agent pool, several All-Stars could switch teams.
This article does not include players with club options but does include pending free agents with player options. That means Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox from the Sacramento Kings won’t make appearances. I’m assuming the Kings will keep both of those young starters anyway.
Several other free agents drew my attention but failed to crack the top-15. Chicago’s Otto Porter Jr. should receive a lot of attention if he declines his player option. Malik Beasley could also attract some suitors after averaging over 20 points per game during 14 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Other honorable mentions include DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, Paul Millsap, Marcus Morris, Hassan Whiteside, and Christian Wood.
Now, let’s jump into the top-15 NBA free agents in 2020.
At 34-years-old, Dragic is no longer an All-Star caliber player. However, the Dragon is still a critical piece in Miami’s rotation. Before the NBA suspended play, Dragic put up 20.4 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per 36 minutes while shooting 37.7% from three. He’s a sneaky Sixth Man of the Year candidate who deserves more praise for his professionalism.
Harris is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. He made 47.4% of his three-point attempts in 2018 and is connecting on over 40.0% from downtown for the third year in a row. However, Harris isn’t a fantastic playmaker and lacks the versatility necessary to rank higher.
Is there any chance Hardaway opts out of his player option? Probably not, considering his hot and cold streaks. However, the Michigan product averaged 16 points per game in his first 64 games and connected on 41.0% of his three-point attempts. Hardaway scored slightly over 4,300 points during the past four years.
In his first 62 appearances this season, Fournier averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game. He also connected on 47.3% of his field goal attempts and 40.8% of his three-point shots. It’s the fifth year in a row that Fournier topped the 1,000-points mark. Fournier’s player option is for $17 million. While that’s a lot, he could get an offer worth over $20 million annually in free agency.
After a forgettable stint in Orlando, Ibaka resurrected his career with the Raptors. In his first 50 appearances with Toronto this season, Ibaka averaged a career-high 16 points per game and knocked down 39.8% of his three-point attempts. The former block artist still makes an impact on the defensive end too.
Bogdanovic averaged over 14 points per game in his past two seasons (including 2019-20). The 6-6 shooting guard is an absolute sniper who perfectly fits the flow and mold of modern NBA offenses.
Bertans opted out of the NBA restart in Orlando so he could preserve his 2020 free agency value. The 6-10 Latvian made an average of $7.25 million over the past two seasons. After shooting over 42.0% from three these past two years, Bertans believes he’s ready for a raise.
Drummond picking up his massive player option next season seems like an obvious move, unless the big man desperately wants to get out of Cleveland. Is he willing to accept less money for a chance to play on a winning team? Before the season restarted, Drummond held the league-lead with 15.2 rebounds per game.
After suffering a devastating leg injury in the 2017 season opener, Hayward never fully returned to his All-Star form. However, the 30-year-old looked much better this season. He scored over 17 points per game before the suspension while converting over 50.0% of his shot attempts and 38.5% of his threes. With his player option paying out over $34 million, it’s unlikely Hayward enters free agency.
Is this ranking overvaluing VanVleet and his role in Toronto’s success over the past two seasons? Maybe. However, the 26-year-old averaged over 17 points per game before the NBA suspended play. After making $9 million a year over the past two seasons, VanVleet should get a massive raise.
Fans continue overlooking Gallinari’s progression as a player. In four of the last five seasons, he’s averaged over 18 points per game. The 6-10 power forward also shoots over 40.0% from three, making him a versatile weapon. While Gallinari isn’t great defensively, he should receive a significant raise this fall.
Despite only being 6-7, Harrell is a beast in the paint. One of the prime candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award, Harrell scored 1,173 points before the NBA suspended the season. While his total rebounding numbers aren’t spectacular, Harrell is tremendous at crashing the offensive glass.
During his peak with the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan averaged over 27 points per game. He’s fallen back toward the 21-23 points per game range with the Spurs. While DeRozan is one of the best mid-range scorers in the game and has ten consecutive seasons with over 1,000 points, teams no longer view him as an All-NBA player. DeRozan might accept his hefty player option rather than test free agency.
Ingram finally turned the corner during his fourth season in the NBA. After several promising seasons, Ingram improved as a three-point shooter, and his free throw shooting took a leap as well. The Duke product made the first All-Star game of his career this season and is a candidate for the Most Improved Player award.
We fully expect that Davis will opt out of the final season of his current contract and sign a max contract with the Lakers. However, there’s always the outside chance a team lures him away from L.A. Davis is the only superstar from the 2020 free agency class.
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