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Best 2019 NBA Free Agents

InsideHoops.com
Updated August 10, 2019

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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 2019. Free agent negotiations officially began at 6 p.m. ET on June 30, 2019.

Also see the general NBA Free Agency overview page.

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

BEST-REMAINING NBA FREE AGENTS
Updated August 10, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Kenneth Faried: Faried deserves a deal. He looked good on the Rockets when filling in for an injured Clint Capela. The flashes he showed in the past may have just been flashes, but at the very least he should be in a team's frontcourt rotation.

Jeremy Lin: Linsanity is a thing of the distant past, but Lin should still be a functional backup guard.

Jamal Crawford: Crawford is now 39 but can still provide buckets off the bench, in very limited minutes.

Carmelo Anthony:Melo has had an amazing college, Team USA and NBA career. But he needs to adjust his game to suit what teams would need him for: instant scoring off the bench, and tough defense on the other end. Or else he may remain unsigned.

Lance Stephenson: He's headed to China. (Wonder if he has an NBA-out clause.) Although his decision-making will always be questioned, Lance can contribute to almost any team's rotation. Best used as versatile impact off the bench.

Iman Shumpert: Shumpert defends well, but shooting is a problem: 39.3% FG for his career. He can certainly help a team's rotation, but the question is whether it's as one of the first guys off the bench or a deep-reserve situation.

Corey Brewer: We like him on the fast break. Not as much in the halfcourt.

Sam Dekker: He unfollowed @InsideHoops on Twitter a few years ago and his career has been in a tailspin ever since.

Joakim Noah: It's unclear how much Joah has left.

Shaun Livingston: Shaun turns 34 in September. Time really does fly. His NBA career appears close to over. Any season now. Maybe right now.

J.R. Smith: JR turns 33 in September. He shot 35% FG in 2016-17, 40% FG in 2017-18, and 34% FG in 11 games played in 2018-19. It's tough to say what will come next.

Luol Deng: At this point, if a team signs Deng it should be non-guaranteed and for the veteran's minimum.

Devin Harris: See Deng.



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SOME TOP 2019 NBA FREE AGENTS

Updated May 26, 2019

The following players aren't all 2019 NBA free agents. Some are. Others have the option to be. And still others may become NBA free agents should their team decide to make it so. It depends on the contract. We'll obviously get specific on each player who matters as the free agent period approaches.

We aren't ranking these players yet. Soon, we will. And we'll also post team-by-team NBA free agent lists. Basically, everything you'd possibly want.

Kevin Durant, F, Warriors (Player Option to be Unrestricted Free Agent): One of the very best players in the entire NBA. Nobody knows if he'll stay with the Warriors or not.

Kawhi Leonard, F, Raptors (Player Option to be Unrestricted Free Agent): Kawhi was traded to the Raptors and immediately in one season helped take them straight to their first-ever NBA Finals. We at InsideHoops.com really hope he sticks with the Raptors, because there's a lovefest there right now as we await the Finals to begin.

Kyrie Irving, G, Celtics (Player Option to be Unrestricted Free Agent): We at InsideHoops.com still think he'd be best used as an Allen Iverson-like undersized scoring guard, rather than a point guard. It's unclear how much effort the Celtics should put into keeping him. When playing smart, he's certainly an All-Star level force.

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Warriors (Unrestricted Free Agent): If he wants to earn serious money again, he'll leave the Warriors. Nobody knows where he may wind up.

Kristaps Porzingis, F/C, Mavericks (Restricted Free Agent): Kristaps played 48 games for the Knicks in 2017-18, suffered a serious injury, was traded to the Mavericks, and hasn't actually played for his new squad yet. The Mavs will certainly not let him walk away. Also, we're calling him a F/C but believe his best position is at big forward, while ideally playing alongside a rugged, defensive-minded, rebound-grabbing center.

Kemba Walker, G, Hornets (Unrestricted Free Agent): A very talented guard who can score and pass with the best of them. But the Hornets have failed to put serious difference-making talent around him. Is it time to move on?

Klay Thompson, G, Warriors (Unrestricted Free Agent): Klay gets less attention than several of his Warriors teammates, but he's a star in his own right. Does he want to keep winning championships alongside Steph and Dray? If so, he'll stick around. Most teams that can pay him serious money won't be anything close to championship contenders. This will be one of the most anticipated decisions of any 2019 free agent.

Derrick Rose, G, Timberwolves (Unrestricted Free Agent): Had a very nice comeback year with the Wolves last season, but he's on the wrong side of 30 now, so how long the re-emergence of D-Rose will last is anyone's guess. Maybe a few seasons? For now, consider him a scoring guard. He'd make a great 6th man for a contender.

Isaiah Thomas, G, Nuggets (Unrestricted Free Agent): What happened? Denver decided they had no use for him. But can he still play? Has he recovered from serious injury? No one is sure right now.

Rudy Gay, F, Spurs (Unrestricted Free Agent): Rudy's career is winding down. He has a few good seasons left. It's anyone's guess where he may wind up. On a bad team he could probably start at forward. On a good team he'd make a great 6th or 7th man.

Dwight Howard, C, Wizards (Player Option to be Unrestricted Free Agent): Not sure what to say about Dwight anymore. For years, earlier in his career, he was one of the best players in the entire league. A serious force. Right now, it's unclear what his impact going forward will be.



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BEST 2018 NBA FREE AGENTS LIST
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.



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ORIGINAL BEST 2018 NBA FREE AGENTS LIST
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.

OTHER TOP NBA FREE AGENT NAMES TO WATCH:

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