2015 NBA Free Agents

NBA Free Agent Frenzy Starts Tonight. Review of Top 20 Available

The NBA free agent free-for-all starts at midnight eastern time on July 1st and there are quite a few attractive players that will have their phones ringing off the hook, or to use a more current reference, vibrating vigorously like your 15 year old washer in desperate need of replacement.

Who are the most coveted free agents out there that are likely to leave their current situation for a fresh start elsewhere? We take a look at the top free agents that have a chance to move and excluded those that we do not believe are leaving, such as Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leanard and Lebron James. 

Top 2015 Free Agents Likely to Move

 

1. LaMarcus Aldridge – Power Forward – Age 29

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Portland Trailblazers

2014/15 Salary: 15.2 million

Likelihood of leaving: Very Strong

  • The prize of the 2015 NBA free agent class is sweet shooting big man LaMarcus Aldridge. He is entering his prime so teams looking to win now will covet his services. It was reported early that Aldridge’s preference is San Antonio but recent news is that the Lakers have moved up on his list to a close second which is a great position to be in when the wooing period begins at midnight.

2. Kevin Love – Power Forward – Age 26

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Cleveland Cavs

2014/15 Salary: 15.7 million

Likelihood of leaving: 50/50

  • Kevin Love to the Los Angeles Lakers has been a rumor that’s been going around for years now and we have finally gotten to a point where it can become a reality with him opting out and becoming unrestricted. Recent reports are that Love is committed to returning to Cleveland but it is hard to see how he would want to return to a very bad situation for him where he is the 3rd fiddle, not embraced by Lebron James who openly stated he would not re-recruit him to return and have to endure freezing cold climate for years to come when the warm and sunny west coast is up for grabs. It’ll be interesting what Love decides to do but a case can be made for going in either direction.

3. Jimmy Butler – Shooting Guard – Age 25

Type: Restricted

Team: Chicago Bulls

2014/15 Salary: 2.1 million

Likelihood of leaving: Less than likely

  • The Bulls will have a chance to match any offer that Butler receives but there is word that the higher ups are not that high on Bulter and if given the right lucrative offer they might balk on matching. Reports are that Bulter’s preferred destination is the Los Angeles Lakers but is looking to sign a short term deal in order to cash in on the expected massive increase to the salary cap in 2016 and 2017, but a short term contract would surely be matched by Chicago. Butler will be highly sought as he is one of the best young two-way guards in the NBA who made his first All-Star game appearance last season.

4. DeAndre Jordan – Center – Age 26

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

2014/15 Salary: 11.4 million

Likelihood of leaving: 50/50

  • Reports are that the Dallas Mavericks have the inside track on signing Jordan away from the Clippers but he does have a good situation in Los Angeles playing alongside Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Clippers will offer the full max contract which no other team can offer but returning home to Texas might be too strong of a pull for Jordan.

5. Goran Dragic – Point Guard – Age 29

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Miami Heat

2014/15 Salary: 7.5 million

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • All indications are that Dragic will stay in Miami but he will probably look around. If things do not get settled with Dwayne Wade the situation in Miami might not be as attractive to Dragic as it did and that could be what prompts him to sign elsewhere; however, this scenario is unlikely to play out.

6. Marc Gasol – Center – Age 30

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Memphis Grizzlies

2014/15 Salary: 15.8 million

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • Marc Gasol loves Memphis and his teammates so it would be a surprise if he leave but there will be plenty of suitors come July 1st. Marc was close to being left off our list since all indicators point toward him staying and not even exploring other options, but there will be enough interest out there that we do see some scenarios where he would leave, albeit highly unlikely. A team that Gasol is definitely not going to if he does decide to leave Memphis is the Los Angeles Lakers; reportedly, Marc was not happy how his brother Pau was treated by the organization in his final years with the franchise.

7. Greg Monroe – Power Forward/Center – Age 25

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Detroit Pistons

2014/15 Salary: 5.4 million

Likelihood of leaving: Strong

  • Monroe was one of the first players to take the qualifying offer under his rookie contract and not sign a lucrative extension in order to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Monroe will have suitors as he is a skilled big man that can pass, score and rebound. Reports are that he is seeking a max deal and while he might be not quite be at that level to warrant a max deal, once the big names start coming off the board he might very well get that max deal from a team like the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers.

8. Tobias Harris – Small/Power Forward – Age 22

Type: Restricted

Team: Orlando Magic

2014/15 Salary: 2.5 million

Likelihood of leaving: Strong

  • The Orlando Magic would like to keep Tobias but it is unlikely that they will do so if the price is a max deal which is what he might command in the open market. Add to the fact that the Magic drafted Mario Hezonja with their 5th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft it is evern more unlikely that they match a max deal for Harris.
  • Harris averaged 17.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg and shot 34.6 percent from 3 in his 4th year in the pros. What makes Harris so attractive is that he is only 22 years old and has so much room to grow as a player. Harris is a little bit of a tweener, somewhere between a power and small forward, but with the league going smaller this attribute is a positive.

9. Tyson Chandler – Center – Age 32

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Dallas Mavs

2014/15 Salary: 14.5 million

Likelihood of leaving: Strong

  • Chandler will be the Mavs plan B as they put forth their efforts in signing DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers and that might not sit well with him which could prompt him to sign elsewhere. There are quite a few teams that can use Chandler’s defensive and rebounding prowess, including the Clippers if they lose Jordan. Chandler is from Los Angeles so a move to the Clippers would make sense; however, the Clippers will be tapped out salarywise even if they do lose Jordan so unless he is willing to take a mid-level deal a sign and trade deal will need to be worked out between both teams.

10. Monta Ellis – Point/Shooting Guard – Age 29

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Dallas Mavs

2014/15 Salary: 8.7

Likelihood of leaving: Very Strong

  • The Mavs will be busy trying to hit a home run in free agency so like Chandler, Monta Ellis is on the back burner. Ellis will be in that 2nd group of free agents that will have to wait for the top tier group to come to terms with teams before Ellis begins getting offers. Ellis is still a superb scorer and disruptive on the defensive end so there will be a  number of suitors for his services.

11. Paul Millsap – Power Forward – Age 30

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Atlanta Hawks

2014/15 Salary: 9.5 million

Likelihood of leaving: 50/50

  • The Atlanta Hawks are interested in re-signing but that would be dependent on the going rate for his services which Millsap will attempt to inflate by testing the free agent market. Millsap is a solid player who fits in perfectly in the Hawks system but he is far from a max player and if the price approaches close to that level they could look elsewhere.

12. Khris Middleton – Power/Small Forward – Age: 23

Type: Restricted

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

2014/15 Salary: 915K

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • Khris Middleton blossomed into a a valuable and diverse role player that helped the Bucks surprising push to the playoffs. Middle is a Draymond Green type player that can play multiple positions, hit the 3 point shot and defend. Middleton will get offers but unlikely that they will be at the level that Milwaukee will not match.

13. DeMarre Carroll – Small Forward – Age: 28

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Atlanta Hawks

2014/15 Salary: 2.5 million

Likelihood of leaving: 50/50

  • Carroll is a late bloomer that had his stock skyrocket after his defensive performance on Lebron James in in the playoffs before succumbing to injury. Carroll will be sought after by any team looking for a high motor 3 and D guy which is just about every team in the NBA with openings at the small forward position.

 

14. Omer Asik – Center – Age: 28

Type: Unrestricted

Team: New Orleans Hornets

2014/15 Salary: 14.8 million

Likelihood of leaving: Very Strong

  • Hornets are reportedly interested in bringing Omer Asik back but at nowhere near the 14.8 million dollar salary he received last season. Asik is a good rebounding and defensive center that is limited offensively which might limit is demand in the open market, especially now with movement towards utilizing stretch 4 and 5s. Asik will have interest and should command in the 6 to 10 million dollar per year range, but not until the bigger names are off the board.

15. Danny Green – Shooting Guard – Age: 28

Type: Unrestricted

Team: San Antonio Spurs

2014/15 Salary: 4.0 million

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • The Spurs will be all-in on wooing LaMarcus Aldridge and if they are not careful could end up losing Danny Green if he gets the right offer. Green will be an attractive free agent with his combination of 3-point shooting ability, smarts and defense . The the Spurs do have a history of not overpaying any of their players an offer outside of their comfort level which could lead to Green moving on; however, we do not see that happening as Spurs players have been very loyal to the franchise, even to the point of signing for less than market value to do so.

16. Ed Davis – Power Forward – Age: 26

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

2014/15 Salary: 981K

Likelihood of leaving: Very Strong

  • Davis took the next step in his development as a player but it went unnoticed playing limited minutes and for a bad Lakers team. Davis is a solid defender, decent rim protector and high percentage low post scorer. On a per 36 minute basis Davis averaged 12.8 ppg, 11.7 rpg and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 60.1 percent from the field. It has been reported that the David camp is looking for a 3 to 4 year deal in the 7 to 8 million per area or a 1 year deal at 9 to 10 million which will be too rich for the Lakers who are carving out cap space to offer to the bigger names such as Aldridge.  Davis should be able to get the money he is looking for but will have to wait towards the tail end of the free agency period which could still come from the Lakers but only if they strike out with the bigger names.

17. Enes Kanter – Center – Age: 23

Type: Restricted

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

2014/15 Salary: 6.0 million

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • There are very few big men in the NBA that can score and rebound at the level of Kanter while also being under 24 years of age. Kanter averaged 18.7 points and 11 rebounds in the 26 games with the Thunder this past season. Kanter is also a great free throw shooter for a big man, shooting 75 percent for his career. What keeps Kanter from being that max player is as good as he is offensively he is equally bad defensively and turns the ball over at high rate. Thunder are interested in retaining him and should be able to do so by paying in the 8 to 12 million dollar per year area.

18. Dwayne Wade – Shooting Guard – Age: 33

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Miami Heat

2014/15 Salary: 15.0 million

Likelihood of leaving: Unlikely

  • Early reports were that Wade was open to moving on from the Heat and playing with a team like the Lakers if his contract demands could not be met. Wade is looking to get a substantial contract that is well above his level of production to make up for taking less to fit the contracts of the previous big 3 and it seems like there is some hesitance to do so from the Heat front office. If the Heat and Wade cannot come to terms Wade will have no problem finding a team looking for his scoring, playmaking, leadership and championship experience.

19. Rajon Rondo – Point Guard – Age: 29

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Dallas Mavs

2014/15 Salary: 12.9 million

Likelihood of leaving: Definite

  • Rondo’s time with the Dallas Mavs was a complete disaster where his production was pedestrian and had problems with coach Rick Carlisle. The situation was so bad that the Mavs sent Rondo home for good midway through the first round of their playoff series against the Houston Rockets. Rondo no longer remotely resembling the 4 time All-Star of a few years ago and history of being a malcontent has seen his stock fall dramatically. That being said, there will still be teams out there that will take a chance on Rondo, but on a short term and reasonable price. The Sacramento Kings are rumored to have interest in Rondo filling their need at the point, but whatever team pursues Rondo it will be at a huge reduction from the 12.9 million dollars he was paid last season.

20: (Tied) Brook and Robin Lopez – Center(s) – Age: 27

Type: Unrestricted

Team: Brooklyn Nets (Brook), Portland Trailblazers (Robin)

2014/15 Salary: 15.7 million (Brook), 5.3 million (Robin)

Likelihood of leaving: 50/50 (Brook), Very strong (Robin)

  • While Brook and Robin are twins, their games are totally different. Brook is more likely to stay with Brooklyn who are interested in bringing back the potent low post scorer back. It was surprising that Brook decided to opt out of his final year which would have paid him 16.7 million which is above what he would command on a yearly basis in the open market, but is likely looking for a longer term deal even if at a lower rate. There will be suitors for Brook but his recent injury problems and sub-par rebounding and defensive ability could keep him from getting a max deal.
  • Robin will likely be the more sought after of the Lopez twins, mainly because he is a more affordable big man with defensive ability and a strong motor which is always in need off the bench or possibly as a starter with the right line-up. Robin will command a salary in the same area as his mid-level deal he received last season which will make him available to a number of teams.
Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom