Free agency is mostly wrapped up, but there are still a few potential all-stars and interesting pieces on the market. I break down the best NBA free agents remaining in the 2022 offseason.
Best NBA free agents remaining
To be honest, after the top two restricted free agents, the pickings get pretty slim. Most dominoes we’re waiting to fall are trades. The big names – Durant, Irving, Westbrook, and now Donovan Mitchell are all under contract with their current teams.
Hands down, Deandre Ayton is the best NBA free agent available. He’s about to turn 24 and is only one season removed from going toe-to-toe with the reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic, in the playoffs. Ayton’s playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth, but he’s shown the ability to shine in big moments.
A decision probably would have been made on Ayton already if it wasn’t for the KD sweepstakes. It sounds like there are never-ending conversations between the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers. Many teams seem afraid to use up the rest of their salary cap space in case they can be used as a salary dump destination for draft picks.
Colling Sexton is the next best NBA free agent available. Unfortunately, how good he actually is remains undetermined. Sexton is a microwave scorer who’s flashed stout but inconsistent defense.
He also plays the game with blinders on. If he gets the ball, he’s ending the possession with the ball. 3.3 assists per game for his career is a discouraging number if you’re expecting a lead point guard.
Carmelo Anthony was a surprisingly efficient player for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season. Last season saw the best true shooting percentage of Melo’s career.
He’s become a legit threat from three and can still rack up rebounds every once in a while. He’s never been fleet of foot, but if you need a guy who isn’t afraid to chase a bucket when everything breaks down, you could do worse than Melo.
Now our best NBA free agents remaining start to get a little thin. Eric Bledsoe is still a dog on defense, but his offense is a net-zero.
His three is nonexistent, and he’s inefficient from two. He still tacks on over four assists and a steal per game, but that’s all he offers. On the other hand, Bledsoe at least understands his role, unlike other players with scoring acumen. He doesn’t force bad shots or shoot his team out of games, but having a player that teams can completely ignore on offense is always a risk.
Are you in the market for an inefficient chucker who pulls a disappearing act on defense? If yes, Dennis Schroder is your man.
Unfortunately, Schroder’s career since turning down the Lakers contract has been hard to watch. His athleticism used to be enough to put a defense on their heels, but now the guy couldn’t finish a cup of coffee. He’s still not bad at dishing out some assists, but that’s about it.
Montrezl Harrell is one of the best free agents right now. He’s a high-energy big that can crash the rim, finish with high efficiency at the basket, and steal some offensive rebounds.
Of course, you don’t want him as the anchor of your defense, but he’s a fine bench player that has his place in the right system and role.
I like Dwight Howard coming off the bench. He still plays with a bit of fire, boxes out, and grabs rebounds. He could slide in on a center needy team like Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, or Toronto Raptors with no problem. From the outside looking in, it seems like he got his ego in check lately and hasn’t had an issue fitting in with the Lakers or 76ers on recent stints.
I promise I’m not Howard’s agent.
What if I told you, you could have a huge Hollywood actor don a jersey for your favorite basketball team? Enter Juancho Hernangomez.
Of all the players left in NBA free agency, he’s definitely one of them. He’s pretty average on limited minutes in the NBA, but he played Bo Cruz, who was amazing at basketball. He should play for the Sacramento Kings; they’re as close to Hollywood as they are to a basketball team.
Stat chasing extraordinaire. Hassan Whiteside hasn’t seen pump fake he won’t leave his feet for.
Like Dwight Howard, he wouldn’t actually be a bad pickup for a team in need of a defensive center. He is a presence around the rim and is pretty good at gobbling up rebounds.
Never forget, sometimes you just need a guy to pull you down the ball. He’s definitely one of the best NBA free agents remaining at this point.
It’s getting grim down here. I could’ve suggested DeMarcus Cousins or LaMarcus Aldridge as well. Blake Griffin? If your team picks up any of these guys, they should consider improving their development program.
Available NBA free agents
That’s it, that’s the list. Those are the best NBA free agents available. ‘Best’ is a funny word cause it can be technically true.
There’s a steep drop-off after Ayton and Sexton, some guys who can help your team in minor roles, then it gets dark, man.
Good luck and Godspeed if your team is hoping to find the right piece at this point of free agency.