The NBA’s silly season is upon us, where ridiculous rumors and speculation are running wild. With the league’s free agent frenzy set to kick off this weekend, here’s a look at the top free agents available this offseason.
1. Kevin Durant, Forward, Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant has said he’s going to opt-out of his contract and re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, but he’ll still be a free agent, so he still goes here. The 2017 NBA Finals MVP averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 62 games during his first season in the Bay Area. Oh and he won an NBA title as well.
Durant is still just 28 and finished second in the league in PER (27.68) and first in win shares per 48 minutes. So, yeah, he’ll deserve whatever contract the Dubs give him.
2. Stephen Curry, Guard, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry just turned 29 and has led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in three consecutive seasons. While his 2016-17 season wasn’t on the level of his last two (during which he won the MVP each year), he’s still one of the best players in the world.
Curry averaged 25.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game this season, and finished 15th in PER (24.74). He’s headed back to Golden State as well, but as a free agent he makes the list.
3. Gordon Hayward, Forward, Utah Jazz
Gordon Hayward jumps a few others here because he’s still just 27 year old and is continuing to improve. While he could return to the Utah Jazz, it looks like Hayward is going to look around. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, while posting a career-high PER of 22.23 (27th in the NBA). Hayward also ranked 15th in win shares at 10.4 and 17th in win shares per 48 minutes.
4. Kyle Lowry, Guard, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry had another really good season for the Toronto Raptors, posting 22.4 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He also finished with a career-high PER of 22.92, while also finishing 17th in win shares (10.1) and 13th in win shares per 48 minutes. The 31-year-old isn’t a guy you automatically think of as one of the more valuable players in the league, but he certainly is.
Lowry has reportedly said he’d like to return to Toronto, but other teams will certainly try to lure him South.
5. Blake Griffin, Forward, Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Griffin is a polarizing player who was difficult to spot on this list because of his frequent injury issues. He’s shockingly still only 28 and despite surgery on his foot in May, is expected to be ready to start the 2017-18 season. Griffin finished the year averaging 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists, while finishing 25th in the NBA in PER (22.71). On the downside, he posted a career-worst shooting percentage of 49.3 and has averaged just 54 games the last three seasons.
The Los Angeles Clippers just watched Chris Paul walk away, so they’ll do everything in their power to keep Griffin around. Expect the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder to also contact him.