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Best NBA Free Agents


A best NBA free agents list is always subjective. Taken into account is not just the skill level of top NBA free agents but also their age, health and more.

Below is our best still-available NBA free agents rankings list for the summer of 2018. Free agency kicks off at the start of July.

Also see the general NBA Free Agency overview page.

And definitely see the NBA Free Agents team-by-team player list page.

Updated August 8

Most of the best NBA free agents have already signed contracts. The majority of 2018 NBA free agent talent has found a home. But, plenty of solid players remain unsigned. Mostly bench players. But certainly some that are rotation-worthy. Here is a list of best-remaining free agents as of July 28:

This isn't in exact order.

Best NBA free agents Rodney Hood: Sometimes he looks like a starter, other times he's best off a bench, but Hood certainly deserves a contract, and soon. He's proven worthy of being in a rotation. But if he's looking for a huge contract, he may have to do big things on some single-season deals in 2018-19 and maybe beyond that.

Dwyane Wade: It's been presumed for a while that Dwyane Wade would sign with the Heat, but August is almost upon us and so far, nothing.

Joe Johnson: Iso Joe recently turned 37. He could call it quits soon, but also could latch on with a team who could use quick buckets in limited minutes.

Best NBA free agents Jamal Crawford: Crawford still looks 20-something, but he's now 38. He has also shot under 42% from the field for five straight seasons. And his career FG% is 41%. Excellent free throw shooter, though. If he drives and gets himself to the line, he can help a team.

David West: He's intense. He is a competitor. He's probably crashing into something right now. A door, a wall, anything.

Best NBA free agents Nick Young: He likes to shoot. He's probably shooting the basketball right now. He may not even be on a basketball court right now, but he's taking whatever is near him right now that looks like a basketball and he's shooting it at whatever looks like a hoop.

Jason Terry: Old, but still small and quick. He can dart around here and there and scamper all over the place.

Mario Chalmers: Got yelled at a lot on the Heat. Can handle being yelled at.

Arron Afflalo: The spelling of his name confuses people. Takes forced shots.

Cole Aldrich: He's tall. Can reach things that shorter people cannot.

Corey Brewer: We like him on the fast break. A team that likes to run should sign him.

Best NBA free agents Trevor Booker: Worth signing. But he's headed overseas.

Marshall Plumlee: People have lost track as to which Plumlee is which. Unsure if that helps add clarity here.

Jack Cooley: Another player with a good last name.


Prior to the start of 2018 free agency

These are some of the top 2018 NBA free agents, loosely ranked:

Best NBA free agents LeBron James, forward, Cavaliers. He's exercised his option to become a free agent. He still could re-sign with the Cavs on a new contract. Or might go to the Lakers. Or elsewhere. He will probably only join a championship contender. Or a non-contender but bring a star free agent or two with him to immediately make the team a contender on paper.

Kevin Durant, forward, Warriors. Strongly expected to stay with the NBA champion Warriors.

Paul George, forward, Thunder. Anything is possible. The longtime rumor is that George wants to sign with the Lakers.

Best NBA free agents Nikola Jokic, center, Nuggets. Jokic is one of the NBA's best young center, and the Nuggets absolutely aim to keep him. Expect him to re-sign with Denver.

DeMarcus Cousins, center, Pelicans. Could go anywhere but would be smart to stick with Anthony Davis and the the Pelicans. He's still recovering from a major injury and might be out for a few months at the start of the season and perhaps be rusty for a while.

Clint Capela (R), center, Rockets: The glue of the Rockets defense. A great fit in Houston. He should want to stay. The Rockets absolutely want to keep him.

Best NBA free agents Chris Paul, guard, Rockets. He has a great thing going in Houston and should want to stay. The Rockets want to keep him. The only question is how long the contract is. CP3 is up there in age, and injuries are a concern. If only ranking NBA free agents with next season in mind then Paul would be higher on this list. If ranking with several seasons in mind, then he's down here.

DeAndre Jordan, center, Clippers. The Clippers should really just rebuild at this point, and should consider sign-and-trading Jordan away for some youth. The latest rumor has the Mavs interested in signing Jordan, even though he once spurned them in dramatic fashion. Jordan provides rebounding, defense, and an offense limited to dunks and lobs.

Aaron Gordon (R), forward, Magic. Gordon is super athletic and has developed into a solid player who should continue to improve. He and the Magic have lost a lot of games together. Whether the Magic should pay big money to keep him or not probably depends on who else they can line up in free agency.

Julius Randle (R), forward, Lakers. It's impossible to say what the Lakers will do. It depends entirely on if they're going to trade for Kawhi Leonard, and/or clear as much salary cap space as possible to try to sign LeBron James, Paul George and/or somebody else.

Zach LaVine (R), guard, Bulls. A super athlete who is still developing his overall basketball skills on both ends of the floor. The Bulls are building, so it's tough to say if they'll want to spend huge money to keep LaVine.

Best NBA free agents Jabari Parker (R), forward, Bucks. Milwaukee should want to keep him, but the dollar amount could be an issue. If he aims for a huge deal, his future could be elsewhere.

JJ Redick, guard, Sixers. Redick is a great shooter, especially from outside, but recently turned 34 years old.

Dirk Nowitzki, forward, Mavericks, Team Option. Expected to stay with Dallas, possibly forever. Like, literally forever. Every year, forever. A stack of players not mentioned yet ont his list are actually better than Dirk is right now, but come on, he's Dirk Nowitzki, and therefore deserves a mention here.

Dwyane Wade, guard, Heat, Unrestricted Free Agent. Career is winding down. Will likely either stick with the Heat, or leap to a championship contender. Also not as good at this point as a bunch of the guys not mentioned yet, but come on, he's D-Wade. He has so many cool stories.


Jahlil Okafor: Not really one of the best-remaining NBA free agents. We're only mentioning here to say that it's shocking how steadily his NBA stock has fallen. It really shouldn't be this bad, though. In his career he's averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks on 51.5% shooting in just 23.5 minutes per game. The issue is quickness, especially on the defensive end. And finding a team offense he fits in with. Okafor could wind up overseas.

Greg Moroe: He can score. But his subpar defense erases those points that he scores.

Trevor Ariza
Avery Bradley
Derrick Favors
Jusuf Nurkic (R)
Marcus Smart (R)
Isaiah Thomas
Tyreke Evans
Brook Lopez
Will Barton