Top 20 NBA Free Agents Heading into the 2013-2014 Season
Who Are the Top 20 NBA Free Agents Going Into the 2013-14 Season?
An offseason in the NBA is never boring, especially when you have top-notch free agents looking to sign new deals. This year's free agency really has a great mix of talent and a lot of interesting storylines to follow.
Every team in the league will look to reshape their rosters in order to become more competitive or speed up a rebuilding process. This summer every team will have an opportunity to cater to their own needs. Looking for a superstar? Well, then it's time to get Dwight Howard and Chris Paul on the phone. Need a scoring machine off the bench? Look no further than J.R. Smith or J.J. Redick. Hope to improve a shaky perimeter defense? Tony Allen's services are available.
While there are all kinds of players who are hoping to be signed, undoubtedly the two biggest free agency stories are both in Los Angeles.
Both Howard and Paul were ejected in their final games of the playoffs. Ironically, the two superstars both hit unrestricted free agency this summer, and their fans in L.A. are already wondering whether they have seen the last of them.
The Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, and Paul is obviously not happy about that. Howard's debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers was also a year-long struggle, which ended in a first round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.
Other than these two players, the free agency will offer a lot of other interesting names. Here are the top 20.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist at RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis
20. Manu Ginobili
Ginobili is now 35 and it is unclear what his plans will be after this season. At this point in his career, he would only sign one-year or two-year contracts to see how much longer his body can cope, as he has struggled with a myriad of injuries lately.
19. Jose Calderon
Calderon was traded this season and will hit free agency in the offseason. Even though he is in his thirties, Calderon is still a solid point guard who can either start or come off the bench. He would fit just about any team in the NBA, as he could be a backup point guard on a contending team or start on a team full of young players who are in need of a veteran's guidance.
18. Kevin Martin
Martin has showed that he willing to come off the bench and provide scoring this year. His big contract will be coming to an end this summer and scorers of his caliber never have to look for a team for too long.
17. Nikola Pekovic
Pekovic is coming off the best NBA season of his career, in which he averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds. He is a huge guy and a prototypical center. You can bet that he will get more than one or two calls this summer.
16. O.J. Mayo
Mayo has a player option this summer, but after a rather successful season behind him, he will most likely enter unrestricted free agency and look for a pay raise. The former No. 3 overall pick averaged 15.3 points this season and can score in a variety of ways.
15. Brandon Jennings
Jennings is approaching his qualifying offer year, and he could end up becoming a free agent. While he has only shot over 40 percent from the field in one of his four seasons, he would have no trouble finding a starting point guard job somewhere in the league.
14. Greg Oden
Oden has suffered with chronic knee problems ever since he entered the league, but he will be looking to return to the NBA for next season. If he could ever manage to stay healthy, the former No. 1 overall pick personifies a rare breed of defensive centers.
13. Tony Allen
Allen is a defensive ace, and many consider him to be the best perimeter defender in the game. While he is 31, you can bet that quite a few teams will look to recruit him. Any team without a superstar at the shooting guard spot would benefit from having a defensive stopper playing big minutes, and Allen fits the bill.
12. Monta Ellis
Ellis has an $11M player option for next season, and it will be interesting to see if he opts out and looks for a long-term contract. While he is rarely efficient, he can still create looks for himself and his teammates and is a solid scorer.
11. Jarrett Jack
Jack has had a very productive season, shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. He is a terrific backup point guard, and any team looking for back court depth will consider him. While he would rather dominate the ball, he can also be effective off the ball.
10. J.J. Redick
Redick was traded at this year's trade deadline, but he will be a free agent this summer. His 3-point shooting ability and overall versatility in scoring the ball make him a perfect sixth man so many teams will look to acquire his services.
9. Paul Millsap
The 2012-13 season was not Millsap's best, but he is still quite a versatile power forward. While Paul is an undersized power forward, he is strong enough to bang with most big men in the post and would fit on most NBA teams.
8. J.R. Smith
Smith took down the Sixth Man Of The Year award and will naturally be coveted this summer. He has a player option for just under $3M and there is no doubt that he will look for more money than that after a successful year.
7. David West
West has been great ever since he came back from his ACL injury. Even at the age of 32, he is a capable offensive weapon and a physical defender.
6. Andre Iguodala
Iguodala has a one-year, $15.9M player option remaining in his contract, but he will most likely opt out and look for a long-term commitment. He is a terrific athlete and one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
5. Al Jefferson
Jefferson is still one of the better centers in the league and averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds this season. He is not quite the franchise-changing type of a player, but he can be a very solid secondary go-to-guy on a team with a legit superstar.
4. Andrew Bynum
Bynum didn’t play a single game in 2012-13, but he will still most likely find close to max money somewhere in the league. If healthy (and that’s a big if) Bynum is one of the best offensive centers in the league and a legitimate piece to build around.
3. Josh Smith
Most expected Smith to be traded at this year’s trade deadline, but he ultimately finished the season in Atlanta. He has said that he considers himself to be worthy of a max contract, and it will be interesting to which teams try to acquire his services.
2. Dwight Howard
When healthy, Howard is the best center in the league. His supreme athleticism and commitment to defense make him a unique specimen in the NBA. Kobe Bryant has a torn Achilles and could miss a decent chunk of next season, which could force Howard to look for another team this summer.
1. Chris Paul
Paul and Howard are really the only two franchise-changing players in this year’s free agency. Most consider Paul to be the best point guard in the league, as he is the ultimate playmaker. After an early postseason exit, he could be looking for a new team this summer.