A premium crop of top-notch talent, after all, will be available in the market as teams will once again break the bank in hopes of signing their next franchise star.
With the league’s cap at an all-time high, we can expect yet another bloody bidding war from all 30 squads looking to improve their chances for a title.
There will be plenty of veterans and role players available for the taking, but no doubt these ten players will be sought after the most.
Let’s rank the 10 best NBA players available in the 2020 free agency.
10. Davis Bertans (unrestricted)
In a league where big men who can shoot thrive, Bertans is indeed a hot commodity to have. Once considered as the Spurs best-kept secret, the Latvian deadshot has been a revelation for the Wizards this season.
Bertans is notching 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 54 games in Washington while knocking down a ridiculously high percentage of his shots (43.4 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from downtown). The 27-year-old’s fine play across the board should be enough to net him his first big NBA contract.
9. Danilo Gallinari (unrestricted)
Gallinari picked the right time to play his heart out for OKC. The 32-year-old Italian forward’s NBA stock has shot through the roof after being a vital component to the Thunder’s shocking ascent this season. Gallo put up 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40.9 from three in 55 appearances.
No doubt he’ll receive multiple offers from contenders once this season concludes.
8. Bogdan Bogdanovic (restricted)
Shooting is indeed premium in today’s NBA, and the Serbian sniper is currently one of the best in that regard. Bogdanovic hasn’t taken that expected big leap this year, considering the Kings went all-in on Buddy Hield — signaling the end of his days in SacTown.
However, there will be no shortage of teams willing to take him on, especially since he drained 43.3 percent of his field goals and 36.1 percent of his threes in 53 games this year. Bogdanovic will likely ink a large contract soon, as an underachieving team might even overpay to acquire his services.
7. Fred VanVleet (unrestricted)
The once unheralded player will certainly be a wanted man after his coming out party in last year’s NBA Finals. VanVleet is enjoying career-highs across the board this year, averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.9 steals in 48 games for Toronto.
The Raptors would love to keep him, but they likely won’t have the money to match what other NBA teams will be willing to shell out for the combo guard. Toronto already shelled the big bucks for Pascal Siakam and are reportedly focusing on keeping another free agent in Serge Ibaka this year.
6. Gordon Hayward (player option)
Hayward’s situation is a tricky one considering he has a $32 million player option to stay with the C’s. Staying put seems to be the logical choice for him, since opting out would likely mean taking less money elsewhere in the NBA.
However, he might be looking for long-term NBA security considering the amount of injuries he dealt with in recent seasons. Despite being in and out of the lineup for the Celtics this season, the one-time All-Star had a good comeback year with averages of 17.3 points on 50.2 percent shooting from the field and 39.2 percent from deep. A lot of teams would still love to have his multi-dimensional skillset.
5. Montrezl Harrell (unrestricted)
Harrell is another player bound for a big NBA payday after playing phenomenally in his contract year. The 6-foot-7 workhorse will likely be too expensive for the Clips to keep, evidenced by their willingness to try and trade him last deadline.
Harrell will no doubt be seeking superstar money. Young NBA teams looking for immediate production will likely latch on to that opportunity. The Louisville product is a frontrunner for the Sixth Man of the Year award this season, tallying 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Clips.
4. DeMar DeRozan (player option)
DeRozan’s NBA stock has dipped in recent years ever since his superstar days in Toronto. The Spurs appear to have no inclinations of re-signing him in 2021, and DeMar has a $28 million player option at the moment.
Although his playing style is considered to be out of date in today’s NBA game, DeRozan is still a proven scorer and would be a godsend for teams looking for that go-to guy on offense. The 30-year-old swingman, however, will likely delay his free agency for a year for a chance to get a bigger deal in 2021.
3. Andre Drummond (player option)
Drummond has led the NBA in rebounds in three seasons, making him the second-most coveted big man in this free agency period. Sure, the 6-foot-10 behemoth has his limitations on offense, but is still pretty much a walking double-double on every given night.
He is still relatively young at just 26 years old and still hasn’t even reached his prime just yet. Some pundits expect his detour with the Cavs to be just a short pit stop this season. The U-Conn alum will have no shortage of suitors, with the Celtics emerging as his likely destination.
However, Drummond can also just as easily opt into his $25 million NBA contract and try to up his value even more by racking up huge numbers in Cleveland.
2. Brandon Ingram (restricted)
Ingram finally took that leap to NBA superstardom this season and is set to receive a huge max contract for his troubles. Indeed, the rest of the league would love to have him on their roster, but NOLA seems ready to match any offer sheet coming his way.
The Pelicans hold all the cards on his rights at the moment and they have no intention of breaking up the Ingram-Williamson duo. Ingram became an NBA All-Star for the first time this season with averages of 24.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.0 steal.
1. Anthony Davis (player option)
AD is no doubt the golden goose of this free agency period. All signs point to him staying in Hollywood, but Laker fans are still on the edge up until he officially signs the dotted line.
Davis recently turned down the Lakers’ four-year deal worth $146 million— which was more of a formality. The 7-time All-Star will be aiming for the 5-year deal worth more than $200 million that the Lakers can offer him in July. The Brow is indeed worth every penny of that money, considering he is the best big in the league today.
Some pundits, however, believe that the Lakers fortunes this year will play a big role in his decision.