The norm in the NBA is a state of chaos. The NBA Finals end days before the NBA Draft, which is days before the start of free agency. There's little time for reflection before teams are forced to prep for next season.
Even more, fans have little time to digest what's happened in the playoffs and draft before rumors about their teams' targets explode. With an eye on helping fans prepare, here's our annual list of the top free agents and potential free agents up for grabs. We went a bit longer this year, giving up the top 75 players potentially available, plus we listed the other 69 free agents who can be signed.
We included anyone currently in the NBA with a player option or early termination option, or whose team has an option on the contract. Even if a player has told the media he will opt in, we listed them -- players like to change their minds at the last minute, so we erred on the side of inclusiveness. We also designated restricted free agents where applicable, since they play by different rules.
Disagree with the rankings? Accept that you are wrong. These rankings are infallible. Enjoy!
1. LeBron James
Early Termination Option
You don't need me to explain why LeBron is the No. 1 free agent of the 2014 class, should he decide to opt out of his contract. He's an incomparable player with multiple rings, few flaws and more star power than anyone in the league. Even in his most underwhelming individual season in years he was basically a unanimous and righteous No. 2 in MVP voting.
Also, he's not leaving Miami, so this is a bit moot.
2. Chris Bosh
Early Termination Option
Bosh is overshadowed by his 2003 Draft classmates to this day, likely because of his position and style. But he's been an integral part of Miami's title runs, has turned into an excellent defender and would almost certainly put up bigger numbers if he didn't share a stage with LeBron and Dwyane Wade. He did turn 30 this year, but he doesn't have any chronic injury issues and plays a style that de-emphasizes contact, so there's little concern he'd fall apart by the end of a four- or five-year deal (beyond the standard concerns for 30-year-olds).
Can Bosh be had? That's a great question to which no one but Bosh knows the answer. We'll see how the Three Amigos approach their collective free agency. If Pat Riley isn't going to be able to give Bosh a max, he could reasonably flirt with other teams. You never know.
3. Carmelo Anthony
Early termination option
Here's the big fish who is actually attainable. Like, really attainable. You watched the Knicks this season, right? Ironically, this was the first time that Melo had missed the playoffs in his career. But because his teams have rarely advanced far in the postseason, and never to the Finals, he seems to be putting off an aura of anxiety. Given the Knicks' cap woes and relative lack of young prospects or assets, Melo's best chance of competing for a title in 2015 and 2016 would be on another team.
The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks are said to be the top suitors heading in. Don't sleep on the Lakers, though. And don't be surprised if the Zen Master pulls off an upset and keeps Anthony in Manhattan.
4. Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe is going to get paid a lot of money. Luckily for the Suns, he's a restricted free agent, which means that Phoenix can match any signed contract offer. The worst that can happen for the Suns? A front-loaded max. Even that's not too bad for the team, all told, though it could hurt their attempts to improve specifically for the 2015 campaign. GM Ryan McDonough is doing the whole "we're keeping him, no doubt about it" signal to scare off other teams, and it's worth noting that Bledsoe is a player he brought to the team. He's likely not bluffing.
It's pretty clear that it will cost the Suns a max deal to keep him, so we could very well see a quiet agreement reached on July 1. Is Bledsoe worth that? Probably, but that's what we'll find out over the next five years.
5. Dwyane Wade
Early termination option
The third Amigo is the oldest (32), most likely to be injured and least efficient. He also has the longest history in Miami, a tenure that goes back 11 years, all of them with Riley and most of them with Erik Spoelstra. Letting Wade leave would be almost as emotionally damaging as it would be on the court, and one imagines that if Riley played Wade tough at negotiating table the guard would feel rather insulted given that he's a big reason LeBron and Bosh are around.
Will Wade take a steep discount? If not, will Micky Arison overpay him and deal with the consequences later? Will Wade openly court other franchises? There's a lot of potential drama with No. 3. Or there could be a quick resolution and the continued reign of the Heat. We'll see.
6. Dirk Nowitzki
Speaking of steep discounts, the question for Dallas is whether Nowitzki will take one and frankly whether the Mavericks should even ask him to do so. Dallas needs to add another big piece. It's hard to do that with a pretty full roster and one player making $20 million. Nowitzki is worth that amount, but he's nearing the end of his career, he wants another title chance and it'd be a lot easier for GM Donnie Nelson to give him that if Dirk were making something closer to $10 million.
Mark Cuban has indicated over the years that he'll always pay Nowitzki whatever he wants. But now we'll see how hard Cuban and Nelson try to convince Dirk to take less for the good of the team. Will Nowitzki consider going elsewhere? It seems unlikely at this stage of his career, and Dallas had a good enough season to keep his interest. But stranger things have happened.
7. Tim Duncan
UPDATE: Duncan declined his option and will stay with the Spurs.
We are obligated to include Duncan because he is a potential free agent. He will either opt in to his contract for 2014-15, or he will opt out and sign a reasonable short-term deal with the Spurs, helping them as much as is reasonable to maintain flexibility. He's not going elsewhere. He's not demanding max money. This will be the most boring free agency since Tim Duncan's last free agency. And for once I don't think San Antonio will be annoyed by my use of the B-word.
8. Greg Monroe
Two things make Monroe's situation totally interesting. The first is that the GM who picked him -- Joe Dumars -- is gone. That always throws a few question marks into the proceedings. The second is that since drafting Monroe the Pistons have added Andre Drummond (who is on a high trajectory) and Josh Smith (who was a horrible fit and is on a bad contract). It doesn't appear that Detroit can move forward with all three of them. You're not trading Drummond. It's going to be difficult to trade Smith. So do you pay Monroe a lot and figure it out later?
Probably not. Which is why the bidding for Monroe -- a solid if unspectacular big man, someone who could be an All-Star some day, possibly -- will be really interesting to watch.
9. Kyle Lowry
If you had to pick a half dozen must-watch free agency rides, Lowry's in that group. You have a player whose made some money, but has always been a bargain. You have a general manager who damn near traded Lowry for a future draft pick a few months ago. You have a team that inexplicably rebounded to become the No. 3 seed after a December trade.
The three factors that will define Lowry's free agency: the relative dearth of top-flight point guards available, Lowry's reputation as being somewhat difficult to work with and how hard Toronto pushes to keep him. Retreating into a rebuild would be a horribly tough sell now, and the Raptors faithful believe in Masai Ujiri. Situations like this are how you end up overpaying players, and we'd expect Ujiri to be cautious as he cleans up Bryan Colangelo's mess.
10. Chandler Parsons
Parsons' contract situation is unique. The Rockets declined his option, making him a restricted free agent this summer and allowing Houston to match any signed offer sheet. I've argued that the team should have pick up the option and maintained faith in its ability to keep him in 2015 -- otherwise, you're paying a steep premium (maybe $7-8 million in 2014-15 salary) just for peace of mind. The Rockets chose to do the opposite.
Now that Parsons is restricted free agent, someone (Minnesota and Dallas are candidates) will throw heaps of money his way and force Houston to make a decision. The Rockets hope they can pursue big fish, then circle back to take care of Parsons. We'll see.
11. Lance Stephenson
Born Ready is one of those players who has excelled on a good team, but would carry huge questions if he went to a lesser team with a larger role. The problem is that his best chance at a payday will come from a lesser team that expects him to play a bigger role. It's a real conundrum! Given that the Pacers can go over the cap to re-sign Stephenson, Indiana has a strong chance of keeping him (if it wants to). But never count out the ability of a bad team with gobs of cap space to ruin Indiana's plan.
12. Marcin Gortat
The Polish Hammer made himself plenty of money in the playoffs, and one would expect the Wizards -- who under Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld have a habit of falling in love with their own players -- to pay up. But Gortat might seek a bigger payday than what Washington deems appropriate, in which case bidding could get gnarly. Gortat might be worth up to $10 million per year, but there are teams who could decide to offer more.
13. Gordon Hayward
Hayward's interesting for two reasons. The sides couldn't reach an agreement on an early extension last fall, making one think Utah is not particularly interested in keeping him at a price Hayward will accept. That makes him, like Monroe, one of those attainable restricted free agents. The other interesting thing is that Hayward has some comparable players out there who have made a lot of money: Joe Johnson and Tyreke Evans. Hayward is bigger and a better rebounder than either, but is a slightly lesser scorer. Stephenson fits this category as well.
What will be especially interesting to watch is who gets paid more between Stephenson and Hayward.
14. Isaiah Thomas
Statistically, the 25-year-old Thomas is one of the league's best point guards. He averaged 20 points and six assists per game in 2013-14 and has put up a True Shooting of .574 in each of his three seasons despite an ever-growing usage rate. But he's 5'9 and has some serious defensive deficiencies (despite being rather strong and, of course, quick). The size issue alone with limit his salary somewhat -- the league's mighty mites don't get max deals.
But the defensive issues are what might put Thomas in play despite being a restricted free agent. The Kings defended better as the year wore on, so there's a chance the front office could believe it can be a top defensive squad even with Thomas at the point. But GM Pete D'Alessandro has also made comments about needing to be a better passing team -- I.T. is a score-first point guard -- and the team is enamored with young Ray McCallum.
If Thomas does get away from the Kings, he'll be a real prize for the receiving team. He's among the hardest working guards in the league, which is saying something.
15. Rudy Gay
UPDATE: Gay declined his option and will stay in Sacramento for $19.3 million next year.
The Kings' other free agent of note may not opt out at all: he's due $19 million if he stays on his deal. But becoming a free agent in 2014 may offer the opportunity to rack up a substantial multi-year deal while Gay comes off a successful 2013-14 campaign.
After the trade to Sacramento, Gay shot really efficiently and had a PER near 20. That's not worth a max-level deal, but it's pretty darn good, and Gay is only 27. If he does opt out, he'll be a popular target for teams needing supplemental scorers. Don't rule out the Kings working out a deal with Gay in which he opts out to make room under the luxury tax threshold for Isaiah Thomas, himself and another pick-up (which may come along via trade). Gay would still make plenty of dough, but he'd trade some of that in 2014-15 for long-term security.
UPDATE: Randolph signed a two-year extension to stay in Memphis through the 2017-18 season.
Randolph is in a similar situation as Rudy Gay: He'll need to weigh a one-year payday vs. a multi-year deal. Z-Bo is due $16.5 million in 2014-15, but could opt out to secure a longer contract coming off of a rather successful season at age 32. Randolph figures to have only one large multi-year contract left in his career, so opting out and picking up a four-year deal in the high seven or low eight digits annually might be his best move.
If he does hit the market, teams will know exactly what they are getting: a burly but inefficient scorer who works best in the pivot and is a master rebounder. He's so integral to Memphis' spirit that it'd be odd to see him leave, but strange things happen at this price point, and the Grizzlies hardly seem stable right now.
The Cavaliers cost Deng a lot of money this year. If he'd remained with the Bulls and became a free agent, he might have ranked among the top-10 options on the market. But he went to Cleveland at midseason, the Cavaliers continued to struggle as the locker room combusted and the Bulls did just fine without their longtime small forward.
Deng brings defense and mid-range shooting. He's still just 29, but has a lot of NBA miles on the odometer and has a history of injuries. He'd figure to be a good pick-up for a rising team that already has strong primary scorers and needs to fill a wing hole for the next four years. But it'll probably cost that team upward of $35 million, and maybe a lot more.
Pau Gasol's next stop is all about fit. He'll be 34 before next season begins, and the All-Star seasons are gone. But he's still one of the most skilled big men in the NBA, and he did average 17 points and nine rebounds per game last season.
Gasol's best role going forward might be as a third big man or as a frontcourt co-star to a more brawny big man. The perfect fit, actually, might be next to his brother Marc Gasol in Memphis, depending on what happens with Zach Randolph. One issue worth watching is whether Pau, who has made a lot of money in his NBA career, is willing to sacrifice a big contract to contend for a third championship. If so, he could land with a contender on a cheap, short deal and make a big difference.
Avery Bradley is still a mystery after four years in the league. Well, he's not so much a mystery as an odd young player. He has the size of a point guard, but might have the worst court vision among all NBA guards. He's a decent scorer and hit 40 percent of his three-pointers last season, but certainly isn't a big-time offensive weapon.
But his defense is rather brilliant, especially against quick guards. He's like a smaller Tony Allen. Valuing defense appropriately for everyone but centers is difficult work, and pricing it is even tougher. And so there is the story of Avery Bradley's free agency. No one knows what to expect.
The Truth will be 37 before next season begins. He's officially at the point in his career where signing him to a multi-year deal is a risk, because his production has slipped. It's hard to tell what's a function of his inability to get shots off as he slows down vs. the impact of that stacked Brooklyn offense, which served to deflate everyone's usage rate.
The good news is that Pierce was still rather efficient this season, and that he's unlikely to make huge financial demands. He could be a really good pick-up for the right team if he doesn't commit to staying in Brooklyn.
He only played 20 minutes per game under Mike D'Antoni, but the stats suggest Jordan Hill is actually pretty darn good as a roleplaying center. He's an excellent rebounder, a decent shotblocker and a solid scorer who shoots efficiently so long as he stays away from the long twos. On-off data isn't kind, though, and that should make teams hesitant to give him the farm. But he's potentially a Robin Lopez type for teams looking to add depth up front.
Frye was due $6.8 million in 2014-15, but he opted out to seek a long-term deal. He's 31 years old and had a major health scare in 2012 (a heart issue that cost him a season), but he also seems to love Phoenix and the Suns organization. So whether he'll be a free agent is a toss-up, in my mind.
If he is on the market, Frye is a classic stretch-four with a history of making his team better. More than half of his shots last season were threes, and for his career he hits them at a 38-percent rate. He's not a prolific scorer (under 15 points per 36 minutes traditionally) and he's an atrocious rebounder. But Phoenix's overall numbers are much better when he's on the floor. He'll be popular among teams looking for shooting.
Contract Year Trevor Ariza is a thing. It landed Ariza a nice, fat contract back in 2009, and it will do the same in 2014. That's why I have him ranked lower than you might expect: His career shooting numbers are way different than his 2013-14 shooting numbers, and without an elite point guard like John Wall the assumption is that he'll be taking bad threes once again.
Either way, Ariza is a fine defender, so he gets plenty of credit for that. If he's not hitting his shots, he offers little else on offense, however. Last season he shot well above league average. But he was below average -- sometimes massively so -- in each of the five previous seasons. With Ariza's shooting, you can look at last season or you can look at his NBA body of work. That determines how much value you find in him.
Livingston is one of the better back-up point guards in the NBA. That's a big thing given how important lead guards have become to most NBA offenses. The Nets relied on Livingston as Deron Williams struggled with injury and consistency during the 2013-14 season, and you have to believe Brooklyn will make a major play to bring him back. He would appear to be a strong candidate for the mini mid-level otherwise, with lots of teams looking for depth at the position.
Hawes is like Ariza in that his 2013-14 shooting percentages were great ... but his history points to a less efficient gunner. Hawes is a stretch-five who took 300 threes last season, hitting 40 percent of them. He's a mediocre rebounder, decent shotblocker and pretty good passer, as well. His overall defense is dicey. He's basically a bigger, younger Frye without a much shorter track record of hitting his outside shots consistently. He'd be a nice Plan B for teams looking to add some frontcourt shooting.
Vasquez has a pretty special combination: He's big and he's an incredible passer. The problem is that he lacks lateral quickness, and is a step slower than his contemporaries overall. He's also not a totally intuitive scorer and is an inconsistent shooter. But on a team with strong finishers, he's a huge offensive asset. You'll just need to play him with a guard who can cover the league's speedsters and surround him with shooting.
Shooting has never been more important in the NBA, and there are few shooters better than Anthony Morrow. Ergo, Anthony Morrow is important! A career 42 percent from beyond the arc, Morrow has racked up triples at every stop. The problem is that's pretty much all he does. Still, he'd be a huge boon for teams needing range. The Kings should be chasing him hard.
Even at age 37, Carter remains a really solid supplemental scorer who doesn't hurt the team when he's on the court. He moves the ball well, can play a little defense and rebounds as well as most two-guards. His shooting is a bit more erratic, but he also claimed a higher than expected usage rate (23 percent) this season; lowering that by shooting less frequently could buoy his percentages as he plays out his career. He would appear to have at least two more decent seasons remaining, though there's always a chance an older player could just blow up and give you nothing.
Williams' career has never come together. He'll be 28 heading into next season, though, and his full name is Marvin Gaye Williams Jr., so ... there's a lot to like. The biggest problem with Williams is that he's remarkably passive on offense, with a supremely low usage rate (16.7 percent last season). He has the physical attributes to be an offensive force, but has never been assertive.
It may be folly, but the right coach could turn Williams into something valuable. That's odd to say about a nine-year veteran. But Williams has been pretty good as recently as three years ago, and appears to have plenty of mileage left. Here's to second third chances.
Collison is what he's been his whole career, and what he'll probably be for another six years: reliable and solid. Unlike many speed demon point guards, Collison isn't horribly erratic, a feast or famine type. He just plays his game, delivering the ball in decent spots, offering up some scoring and challenging opponents on defense. Fans may bemoan that he's not as explosive as you'd hope he would be, but reliability is an underrated attribute.
Nick Young was one of the NBA's best scorers this season. That's not an exaggeration: he averaged almost 22 points per 36 minutes at efficiency better than league average. Unfortunately, that could be a fluke -- he's never scored that frequently or efficiently in the past -- and he doesn't do much else of value on the court. He's an excellent option as a bench scorer, though; he could win a Sixth Man Award before his career ends.
At age 28, we know what Stuckey is in the NBA: a high-usage, low-efficiency scorer who can move the ball and has the physical make-up of a decent defender. Stuckey's best role going forward may be as a Jamal Crawford type, creating shots off the bench against bench defenders. Remember how maligned Crawford was earlier in his career. Volume scoring takes a different look depending on team quality and role.
A mini mid-level might be in the cards for Stuckey. Dallas seems like an appropriate destination.
UPDATE: Robinson elected to decline his player option and stay with Denver.
Nate Rob continues to do what he continues to do: score a bunch. He's been successful in every post-Knicks stop, and if he leaves Denver he'll likely be successful again. He can be hot or cold on a nightly basis, but over the course of a season you know what you are likely to get: buckets galore.
No one knows what to do with Evan Turner. But he was Philadelphia's best player before he was a disaster in Indiana. Perhaps the wild role adjustment he faced with the Pacers was too much to handle mid-stream. Perhaps he can only thrive on a team lacking talent. Perhaps he just needs time to find his place in a new situation. Regardless, the Pacers' implosion killed Turner's value at the worst possible time. The best solution might be for Turner to sign the qualifying offer if Indiana extends it. (That is actually a mystery, too.)
Player optionUPDATE: Arthur elected to decline his player option and stay with Denver.
Arthur is an undersized defense power forward who almost never scores and consistently gets limited minutes. We should just start calling him Rap Game Chuck Hayes and be done with it. He can opt in for $3.4 million.
"Sorry LeBron, we've got to deal with Mario's free agency before we offer you a contract." In all seriousness, Chalmers is perfectly serviceable on a team with multiple all-time great scorers. He can hit open shots and find the open man. But he commits a lot of turnovers. The good news is that Miami can exceed the cap to keep him and has few other options. It'll be easier for the Heat to pay to keep Chalmers than to chase another point guard.
Patterson is a stretch-four. He shot 23 percent on threes in Sacramento and 41 percent in Toronto. The uncertainty of which Patterson a team would be getting is a problem for his value. He's also a middling rebounder and doesn't have great defensive attributes. That said, he's smart and a hard worker, a good third big man off the bench in the right situation.
Despite quietly playing in Milwaukee before quietly backing up Kemba Walker in Charlotte, Ramon Sessions had a solid season. Sessions is a good scorer and a decent set-up man, and while he's not a top defender he can be decent on that end in the right situation. He's also just 28 years old, so a team signing him to a short deal shouldn't expect an age-based drop-off.
While Andrew Bogut struggled with injury (surprise!), O'Neal filled in admirably on defense. So if J.O. doesn't re-up with Golden State or sign with another team in the offseason, expect him to be a very popular name in December when contenders are looking to bolster their benches.
Okafor missed 2013-14 with a severe neck injury, and it's unclear how ready he'll be to work out for teams in July. If he's ready to go, he'll deserve to be way higher on this list: He's an elite defensive center in a league where elite defensive centers have an inordinate impact on success. But his fitness is a big question mark, which means caution is in order in any contract.
A midseason buy-out wasn't the salve Fredette's career required. In fact, he barely played at all in Chicago. He at least got occasional minutes in Sacramento. Fredette is a career 40-percent three-point shooter who has been back-burnered by three coaches on two different teams in desperate need of shooting. That isn't to say he won't land in a good spot -- watch him average 10 per night on Oklahoma City or, hell, Detroit -- but his career ledger isn't encouraging at this point.
Hump is still just 29 years old, theoretically in his athletic peak. That's important because his No. 1 asset is his ability to use his athleticism to rebound like a maniac and challenge opponents. His reputation as a man defender might be overblown thanks to one season of a full-bore Brooklyn hype machine, but he's active, agile and strong, which counts for something. His offensive contributions beyond the boards are subpar.
Coming into the NBA, Bayless projected as a Gilbert Arenas-styled slashing scorer with a passing habit. In reality, Bayless has become more of mid-rung warm body type who can handle a bench unit and occasionally put up an eye-popping night. In other words, there are far worse back-up point guards than Jerryd Bayless, but plenty of better options in the starting five. Bayless isn't a frequent enough scorer to be a one-man bucket brigade off the bench, but he is rather sure-handed for someone with a reputation for aggression.
Miles has been a surprisingly good scorer over the past two seasons in Cleveland, averaging better than 18 points per 36 minutes at above league average efficiency. Unfortunately, that's about all you're getting from Miles. His rebounding is acceptable at shooting guard and horrifying at small forward, his defense is mediocre and he's near the bottom of the league in assists among two-guards. He has shot from distance fairly well of late while taking a bunch, though -- that's an asset worth having in the rotation.
Williams' $2.7 million option at age 31 is a fringe case. He was actually rather underwhelming as one of Portland's big bench splashes this season, averaging single digits in points per game (9.7) for the first time since his rookie season. His usage rate was surprisingly low, but he didn't see any benefit in his efficiency. He remains a decent, but not great, three-point shooter, and can rack up assists in a system that requires it. His defense is pretty gross. He's high in the second tier of reserve guards, but without the upside of young potential.
Early termination option
UPDATE: Stoudemire indeed did not exercise that ETO and will stay with the Knicks.
There would be no chance of exercising that ETO if it weren't Stoudemire we're talking about. He's made tons of money in his career, has plenty of interests outside of basketball and doesn't seem like a guy to make himself miserable for a paycheck. That said, this is $23 million we're talking about -- not exactly pocket change. If he does stun the world and opt out, he's not making $23 million for the rest of his career. If he does end up available, he's still a good, efficient scorer from the midrange in whose lost a bit on the glass and plays defense about as well as Phil Jackson might these days. He's one step above the veteran's minimum.
Blatche stands to make a better wage by opting out of his $1.4 million contract, but he might value playing with Brooklyn right now as the Nets chase rings more than he'd value a bigger contract on a less comfortable roster. Blatche is a frequent but inefficient scorer, a good rebounder and a decent passer. He doesn't have much defensive discipline. He'd be an upper-tier third big option if not for his frequent off-court struggles in Washington and that abysmal lockout shortened 2011-12 campaign during which he shot 38 percent and got exiled after a summer of vowing to be a leader. Baggage galore.
Boom Boom Diaw is a nice consolation prize for whichever team loses out on Pau Gasol -- the Frenchman has incredible court vision and touch for a frontcourt player. It's impossible to forget that he almost ate himself out of the league before arriving in San Antonio, though. He'll need a strong sense of responsibility and high stakes to stay in shape; any lottery team that signs him should just burn the money up front and save the energy. Teams with volume scorers as their back-up point guards should pay special attention to Diaw.
Hamilton finally got his NBA shot in Year 3, but not in the role you'd expect. In college and through garbage time of two seasons, he looked like a microwave scorer with an itchy trigger finger from deep. The propensity to fire threes stuck, but in larger bench roles with Denver and Houston this season his usage sunk without benefitting his efficiency. The problem is that he abandoned dashing to the rim, settling instead for long jumpers almost exclusively. He has the athleticism and quick trigger to do both. If he can attack more and draw some fouls, he could end up as a poor man's Kevin Martin with legitimate small forward rebounding. He's definitely worth a flyer for teams with holes, like Philadelphia or New Orleans.
The 25-year-old Davis has the honor of almost getting Dave Joerger fired six games into his career, so that's something. Davis is a poor scorer and elite rebounder who has always projected to be a plus defender. That piece of the puzzle has never quite come around, though. He played a career-low 15 minutes per game behind Zach Randolph this season, despite the Grizzlies having consistently been better when Davis was on the floor. A fresh start on a thinner team might be in order. He could still blossom into a valuable roleplaying power forward. The tools are there. He's just never going to be a 20-10 guy.
For the next 25 free agents, we're going to limit analysis to a couple of sentences. When you see the names, you will understand.
51. Jodie Meeks
A decent bench scorer whose numbers look nice because he started 70 games for a dilapidated Lakers squad. Offers nothing but scoring.
52. Patrick Mills
He might end up a better pick-up than guys 20 places higher on this list, or he might end up playing 250 minutes when his efficiency dives off a cliff without Spurs around him. Or better yet, he might remain a Spur and stay solid.
53. Jordan Farmar
A good scorer who can pick up assists at a strong rate in the right system, but who also is usually inefficient and turns the ball over way too much for a back-up point guard. No, that is not an invitation to make him a starting point guard.
54. Andrei Kirilenko
No player in the NBA had a more bizarre season. The option is for $3.3 million. He could be a fringe All-Star candidate or on the International Space Station in February. No one can accurately predict his fate with any certainty.
55. P.J. Tucker
He's a 29-year-old enforcer who got a Defensive Player of the Year vote. (From Phoenix's radio broadcaster, that is.) He's much more valuable to the Suns than he'd likely be for any other team. Of very little offensive use.
56. Chris Andersen
He'll turn 36 in July, with a $1.4 million option there for the taking. He isn't expected to join the retirement brigade in Miami, but he's also not terribly predictable. A brilliant rebounder and shotblocker whose usefulness is going to nosedive the second he begins to lose his fast-twitch fibers.
57. Glen Davis
A strong postseason saved him from being ranked in the 70s. Outside of those 158 minutes of Heaven, he's been a drain on his team for three years running. A horribly inefficient scorer, mediocre rebounder and overrated defender.
58. DeJuan Blair
He had a decent bounceback season, but still played fewer than 16 minutes per game. A solid fourth big man who scores a bit and can rebound like the devil.
59. Jason Smith
One of the worst 7-foot rebounders in the NBA, and he doesn't take threes. But he's one of the best long two-pointer shooters in the NBA. That's something. Another fourth big who shouldn't be playing more than 15 minutes in most circumstances.
60. Josh McRoberts
He was 2013-14's most inexplicable starting power forward. He doesn't score, he rebounds like a large shooting guard and he's not particularly noteworthy for his defense. But he passes the hell out of the ball and is good for a poster dunk every couple of weeks. He's like a Boris Diaw-Spencer Hawes mating experiment gone horribly wrong. He opted out of $2.8 million to hit the open market, and I have no idea what to make of it or him as a free agent.
61. Beno Udrih
You could do worse if you're looking for a back-up point guard if you're making an effort to do worse. Probably.
62. Steve Blake
He was horrifyingly bad in Golden State. Veteran's minimum candidate. Please look at his numbers and his teams' performance with him on the court before you get excited about your team picking him up as the No. 2 point guard.
63. Al-Farouq Aminu
One of the best rebounding small forwards in the league, and he has defensive tools. (His defensive numbers are inconclusive.) That's ... that's about it. Still just 23.
64. Caron Butler
He hit the hell out of his open threes with the Thunder. But he rebounds like a two-guard, passes like a center and defends like a Summer League participant. He is a master of big shot celebration and a good locker room presence, though.
65. Lavoy Allen
He's a good rebounder for a power forward and decent for a center, so he'd be an acceptable fourth big in most situations. No scoring or notable defense to speak of. Unlike Andrew Bynum and Evan Turner, he was not blame for Indiana's sudden midseason woes.
66. Mike Miller
The best thing you can say about Mike Miller at this point is that the Heat really seemed to miss a shooter extraordinaire who ended up playing 20 minutes per game for a team in desperate need of shooting. At this point, you're really signing him for the postseason.
67. Thabo Sefolosha
The Swiss Guard has been Oklahoma City's 3-and-D guy for years, but the first part of that equation abandoned him this season. After two straight seasons shooting better than 40 percent on three-pointers, Sefolosha hit just 31 percent this season. Also, Caron Butler eclipsed him in the rotation, so. Yeah.
68. Shawn Marion
He might get a mini mid-level based on reputation and the fact that he made $9.3 million this season. But he's a veteran's minimum player at this point. He fights valiantly, but his body has abandoned him. Maximum effort for 44,000 NBA minutes will do that to you.
69. Danny Granger
He scores points, but only inefficiently at this point due to the ravages of injury. Rebounds like a two-guard, passes like a power forward. Good locker room presence. Veteran's minimum or slightly higher.
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70. Greg Oden
I'll put him on my free agent rankings until one of us -- he or I -- dies.
71. Jordan Crawford
Easily the worst player ever publicly mentioned as a member of a Big Three by his owner. One of the least efficient volume scorers in the NBA.
72. Xavier Henry
Mike D'Antoni helped keep Henry in the league. I'm not sure there's much more upside left to discover, though. Worth a flyer for the right squad, but a guaranteed contract is a dicey bet.
73. Devin Harris
He might yet bounce back and be a useful NBA back-up point guard -- he's only 31, for Heaven's sake! -- or he might never play a meaningful minute again. He completely whiffed on a good opportunity in Dallas, and only averaged 20 minutes per game.
74. Trevor Booker
He beat Kevin Seraphin onto this list by not losing his pet snake in the middle of a city. DON'T LOSE YOUR PET SNAKES, PLEASE.
75. Elton Brand
Thirty-five going on 60. Still rumored to be the best freestyle rapper in the league. Still a surprisingly spry rebounder and shotblocker. May not score a combined 20 points in all of next season.
Unranked Free Agents
There are 69 additional free agents, not counting players who will go undrafted in the draft, players not currently in the NBA or players who will be waived under the amnesty or stretch provisions. We consider these free agents and potential free agents less valuable than the 75 listed above for reasons including but not limited to: production, age, injury risk, attitude and facial hair.
They are presented in alphabetical order with any relevant options or restricted status noted after their names.
Alan Anderson (Player Option)
Andrea Bargnani (Didn't use ETO)
Aron Baynes (Restricted)
Bernard James (Restricted)
Byron Mullens (Player Option)
Chauncey Billups (Team Option)
Darius Miller (Restricted)
E'Twaun Moore (Restricted)
Ekpe Udoh (Restricted)
Eric Maynor (Player Option)
Francisco Garcia (Player Option)
Greg Smith (Restricted)
Gustavo Ayon (Restricted)
Jason Richardson (Player Option)
Jeremy Tyler (Restricted)
Joel Anthony (Did not opt out)
Jonas Jerebko (Player Option)
Kent Bazemore (Restricted)
Kevin Seraphin (Restricted)
Mike Scott (Restricted)
Nando de Colo (Restricted)
Robbie Hummel (Restricted)
Ryan Kelly (Restricted)
Shane Battier (Likely to retire)
Shelvin Mack (Restricted)
Tornike Shengelia (Restricted)
Toure' Murry (Restricted)
Tyshawn Taylor (Restricted)