NBA

Kevin Durant leads Top 10 unrestricted free agents in the 2016 NBA offseason

By on

The summer of 2016 is expected to be one of the most interesting offseasons in the history of the NBA owing to the availability of one (or two) of the league’s best players in Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Add the skyrocketing salary cap for all teams because of the league’s new TV deals, and it’s the summer of not only chasing the top free agents but also a time for players to get those hefty and record-breaking deals.

Superstar forward Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder tops the list of the available free agents in the 2016 offseason and he could be joined in the market by another superstar forward in James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, James is not yet assured of hitting free agency as he has a “player option” in his contract for the 2016-2017 season. James’ choice is either to pick up that option and stay with his current team (Cavaliers) or explore agency and join Durant in the market and possibly sign with another squad.

In this list, we’ll take a look at the top available unrestricted free agents (UFA) like Durant– sans James, who is expected to stay in Cleveland unless he wants to risk the burning of his jerseys in his hometown again.

UFA players are free to sign with any other NBA squad (or resign with their current teams). If signed to an offer sheet by another team, that player’s current team has no choice but to let that player go and lose him for nothing via free agency.

Counting down the Top 10 best free agents available in the NBA summer of 2016 with their statistics and salaries in the on-going 2015-2016 NBA Season:

10. Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls, center)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (31 games): 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists in 21.9 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $13,400,000
NBA experience: 9 years

9. Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks, center)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (39 games): 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $5,200,000
NBA experience: 13 years

8. Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat, shooting guard)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (38 games): 18.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.2 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $20,000,000
NBA experience: 13 years

7. Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans, small forward/power forward)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (37 games): 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $8,500,000
NBA experience: 8 years

6. Rajon Rondo (Sacramento Kings, point guard)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (38 games): 11.7 points, 11.6 assists and 1.9 steals in 35.0 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $9,500,000
NBA experience: 10 years

5. Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies, point guard)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (32 games): 15.1 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 32.0 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $9,588,426
NBA experience: 9 years

4. Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets, small forward/power forward)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (35 games): 15.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 34.8 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $13,125,307
NBA experience: 8 years

3. Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat, center)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (38 games): 12.3 points (60.0% FGs), 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots in 29.1 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $981,348
NBA experience: 4 years

2. Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks, center/power forward)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (41 games): 15.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocked shots in 31.2 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $12,000,000
NBA experience:

1. Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder, small forward)
2015-2016 NBA Season stats (34 games): 26.5 points, 7.7 rebounds. 4.4 assists and 1.2 blocked shots in 35.7 minutes per game
2015-2016 NBA Season salary: $20,158,622
NBA experience: 9 years

There are other serviceable players who barely made the cut for the Top 10 free agents list owing various issues like injuries and their ability to play consistent basketball. However, if and when healthy and playing to their potential, these players can also be key guys for their new (or old) teams.

Other unrestricted free agents include; Al Jefferson (Charlotte Hornets, center), Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks, center), Evan Turner (Boston Celtics, shooting guard), Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons, point guard), Luol Deng (Miami Heat, small forward), Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies, small forward/power forward), Roy Hibbert (Los Angeles Lakers, center), Marvin Williams (Charlotte Hornets, small forward/power forward), Courtney Lee (Memphis Grizzlies, shooting guard), Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers, shooting guard), Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets, shooting guard/small forward), Mario Chalmers (Memphis Grizzlies, point guard), Timofey Mozgov (Cleveland Cavaliers, center), and Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers, center), among others.

Which stars will move teams in the 2016 offseason? Which ones will stay with their current teams? Which players will get those hefty contracts?

Photo courtesy: thefranchiseok.com

To Top