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Top NBA free agents still available in the market

After the first three days in the NBA free agency, many players came off the board as the free agents pool became dryer. After Day 1 madness in the NBA free agency, and with many top-level players signing extensions, the 2022 free-agent class still has something to offer with various veterans.

James Harden- Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden is the biggest name remaining in the free agent pool. However, the Sixers are expected to bring him back soon, signing a multiyear deal. He averaged 22.0 points, 10.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.

When Harden declined his $47.4 million player option, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that he would sign a new free-agent deal with the Sixers. The Sixers star was expected to opt out of his current in order to help his team add more players.

Deandre Ayton- Phoenix Suns

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The 2018 No. 1 pick has averaged a double-double in his career and was an integral part of an NBA Finals team in 2021. Throughout his four seasons, he’s made plenty of strides on defense, as well.

As the free agent market getting dryer, it will be difficult for the center to find his the max deal he wants. Ayton could also be used as a trade piece with Phoenix being reportedly one of Kevin Durant’s desired destinations.

Collin Sexton- Cleveland Cavaliers

Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers has yet to find common ground in the negotiations. With Jalen Brunson setting the price high for free agent guards, Sexton will likely wait to see if a team will force the Cavs’ hand.

The Cavaliers are already hard-capped with Jarrett Allen’s contract and Darius Garland signing a five-year max deal. Sexton tore his meniscus after just 11 appearances this season but should be able to regain the scoring prowess he had before his injury.

Dennis Schroeder- Houston Rockets

Dennis Schroder could definitely be an option for a team searching for a veteran back-up guard. He can score and assist decently well and can really defend when focused. Schroder will have to decide which role will likely making him successful.

He averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 assists per game shooting 43.1 percent from the field playing for the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets. Schroder also played for the Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder the past three seasons.

TJ Warren- Indiana Pacers

Hasn’t played a game since late December 2020. When healthy, he can be a smooth scoring wing who specializes in the midrange. He had his best stretch of his career during the Orlando bubble.

He scored a career-high 53 points vs the Philadelphia 76ers and ended up averaging 26.6 points on 54/47.92 shooting splits. Coming off a serious injury, TJ Warren might need to sign on a discount to prove he’s ready to compete again in a high level.

Thomas Bryant- Washington Wizards

Another player coming off a season ending injury, Thomas Bryant played some games before the 2022 season ends, but didn’t look like himself. However, with a full preseason on his back, he might return to his previous standards.

Reportedly, the Lakers are interested in signing free agent big man. Bryant, 24, actually started his NBA career with the Lakers when they traded for him and Josh Hart by sending Tony Bradley to the Utah Jazz on draft day 2017.

Hassan Whiteside- Utah Jazz

Hassan Whiteside accepted a role off the bench for the Utah Jazz and played it well. In his age-32 season, Whiteside and posted a career-high 66.2 true shooting percentage. He  remains a top-level rebounder and shot-blocker.

Utah Jazz are not expected to re-sign him as of now, despite trading away Rudy Gobert. The Utah franchise might be heading to a fully fledged rebuilding and a veteran like Whiteside might look to join another contending team as a back-up.

Goran Dragic- Brooklyn Nets

Goran Dragic is not the athlete he once was, but he can provide scoring and playmaking to an extent. Recently, he played for the Slovenia NT- in his farewell game- and scored 19 points helping his team to decimate Croatia.

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly considered a potential suitor. However, the Mavs will need a player for their wing. As a result, Dragic could be an afterthought for the Mavs, who are waiting to see “if an unexpected option to address that surface,” per Marc Stein.

Carmelo Anthony – Los Angeles Lakers

Carmelo Anhtony has extended his career by been willing to accept a more secondary role off the bench. He had the best shooting averages from deep in his career last season, and the Knicks are reportedly an option if he decides to end his career next summer.

Anthony has played 19 NBA seasons. He’s a 10-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA team honoree and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team.  He averaged 13.3 points on 44.1 percent shooting and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Lakers last year.

Honorable mentions:

Facundo Campazzo, G, Nuggets

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Nuggets

LaMarcus Aldridge, F/C, Nets

Blake Griffin, F/C, Nets

Caleb Martin, F, Heat (RFA)

Montrezl Harrell, C, Hornets

Jordan Nwora, F, Bucks (RFA)

Serge Ibaka, F/C, Bucks

 

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