NBA free agency is an exciting time in the basketball world, as franchises battle to add valuable pieces from the market onto their team, possibly turning an average NBA team into a championship contender with one good free agent signing. Free agency last summer was interesting to say the least, headlined with former Oklahoma City Thunder’s franchise player Kevin Durant, heading to the already incredible Golden State Warriors forming easily the most talented NBA team of all-time. While nothing that surprising will probably happen this summer, there are some high profile players that could definitely change the look of the league as franchises have their checkbooks ready to sign some of the league’s best players to their teams.
In this article, we will be looking at the top 20 NBA free agents, and where they might sign for the 2017-18 season. Obviously these are just predictions for where these players will sign, but there is some research and logic going into these picks, and if you see your team’s name there is reason to believe it may happen.
As always, feel free to leave any comments you have on this matter in the comment section below, as we would love to hear your thoughts.
Here are the top 20 upcoming NBA free agents and where they might sign.
20. Derrick Rose – Milwaukee Bucks
Derrick Rose’s season with the Knicks this year has been anything but good, as the team is struggling and a rebuild could be coming sooner or later, as the Knicks certainly are not on the rise. Speaking of teams on the rise, the Milwaukee Bucks are a solid basketball team in this league, and are in need of a veteran point-guard to make them more dangerous against contending teams. Rose still has some solid years left in this league, but a lot of teams may be tentative to sign him this offseason as he hasn’t had a lot of success over the last few years.
The Bucks are weak at the point guard position, as coach Jason Kidd has to have Giannis Antetokounmpo run the offense, even though he would be better suited playing off a solid guard such as Rose.
19. Nerlens Noel – Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers may be needing to fill a hole in their power forward position as you will see later down this list, and Nerlens Noel could be the guy they go with. Nerlens Noel was recently traded to the Mavericks from Philadelphia, however I don’t see Nerlens staying there long, as Noel will see what his worth is in free agency and will end up going elsewhere than Dallas. Noel is still young, and is already one of the best defenders in the league as he can rack up steals at a great rate for such a big player. He is getting better on the offensive side as well, which is the only thing holding him back from really being a two-way star in this league. Noel will be taking his talents to L.A. this summer.
18. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Detroit Pistons
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is having a breakout season in Detroit, and the Piston organization is aware they have a young stud in KCP. He’s a nice lengthy player on the wing, and can fill it up on any night and plays some solid defense. At only 24 years old, Pope still has a lot of potential to fill in Detroit, and I believe he is ready to take on a bigger role in Detroit for the next few seasons. It would be surprising to me if the Pistons don’t try to lock him up this summer for a few seasons, as a lot of NBA teams around the league would love to have the young, two-way player in Caldwell-Pope. This is a guy the Pistons have to build around.
17. Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors
There’s no way Andre Iguodala signs with anyone other than the Warriors this summer. While he may not have as big of a role that he did a few years ago with Golden State, the man won the Finals MVP two seasons ago due to his excellent defense against LeBron James, so Andre isn’t just along for the ride when it comes to his team’s success. The Warriors have already lost enough role players with the acquisition of Kevin Durant, and the team will be hell-bent on signing Iguodala this free-agency as he is a great defender and can shoot the ball nicely from downtown.
I would be very surprised if Iggy signs with anyone other than the Warriors, as the team will be contending for the championship for years and years to come.
16. Greg Monroe – Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have been a playoff team for the past few seasons, however they are missing an offensively skilled big man to take them to the next level, and that’s where Monroe could come in. Monroe hasn’t really thrived in Milwaukee like some people thought he would, and his stock have taken a hit since being a star big man in Detroit to a role player for Milwaukee. However he has some star qualities that could really come into play if he signs with a different team this summer.
Considering the Bucks tried to trade him all throughout the year, I don’t see Monroe signing back with them. The Hornets could use his scoring down low, so the signing makes sense for both parties.
15. Pau Gasol – San Antonio Spurs
Pau Gasol is one of the greatest European basketball players of all-time, as he has had a very successful career to this point. He is currently with the San Antonio Spurs, who are easily one of the most respected and successful NBA franchises of all-time. Led by coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs are a franchise NBA players would like to play for. With the Spurs being a championship contending team, Gasol has found his home probably for the rest of his career in San Antonio. Paired with Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and the rest of the excellent Spurs roster, Gasol, even though his stats and minutes have decreased, will be fighting for the championship for years to come in San Antonio, which is why he will sign back with the team.
14. George Hill – Utah Jazz
Hill has already expressed interest in re-signing with his current team the Utah Jazz. He has even stated “I’m not the type of guy that likes to move around and go from team to team, I really like it here. My family likes it here. I’ve got some friends here. The city’s been great for me so far, and it’s a nice place to raise a family, so hopefully I get an opportunity to re-sign here if they would love me to be here.” That right there shows the mindset Hill is in, however he did also say he wants a max contract, so the only way he won’t be going back to the Jazz is if Utah doesn’t pull the trigger on taking the talented veteran. Even though the Jazz are filled with young talent, Hill could be a solid player for them if they want to win championships in the next few years as he is a nice veteran presence for the young team.
13. Jeff Teague – Indiana Pacers
Jeff Teague is one of the better guards in the NBA, as he is solid on both ends of the court and can fill the stat sheet. Teague is currently playing for the Indiana Pacers in his first year with the team, and even though the Pacers are struggling, Teague is still getting his when it comes to stats. Larry Bird, the Pacers president, said “We like Teague. We like Teague very much. Re-signing him this offseason is one of our biggest goals.”
Considering Teague has only played one season in Indiana, I don’t see him signing anywhere else, however he definitely could end up playing in another jersey before his career comes to an end. The Pacers have to keep their core pieces to contend in the East and Teague is one of them.
12. Danilo Gallinari – Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari is a player a lot of NBA teams would happy to have in their uniform, as he can score from anywhere on the court due to his excellent shooting touch and big body. He can put up some serious stat lines on any given night, however Gallinari must be looking for some playoff action, as he hasn’t gotten much due to the fact he has been on the rebuilding Nuggets team for years now. The Clippers would be a nice option for Gallinari to sign with, as they would love to have him at the small-forward position. Danilo would probably love to play with Chris Paul and I think Danilo could find new life in Los Angeles with his new team. The Clippers will go after the shooting big man this offseason, as he may be the subtle piece needed for the Clippers to get over the playoff hump.
11. Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka was traded this summer from the Thunder to the Magic, which had fans scratching their head a bit as he wasn’t a good fit for the rebuilding Orlando squad. He has recently been traded to the Raptors however, which seems like a much better home for the forward, as the Raptors are a championship contending team Ibaka could thrive with. He will be a free agent this summer, but I don’t see him signing with any other team, considering the Raptors are a great fit as they will be relying on him heavily as they are short at the power-forward position.
While he probably won’t be signing any high profile max deals in Toronto, I see him sticking around for another year or two after this season ends, as he is now on a team capable of taking home the championship.
10. Otto Porter Jr. – Washington Wizards
Otto Porter Jr. is having his best season to date, as he is leading the NBA in three-point percentage as he is carving out a nice spot on the Wizards team for himself. He, John Wall, and Bradley Beal are having a very solid season in Washington, and I believe the Wizards will definitely be able to retain Porter, as he is loving life in Washington while he becomes a star in this league. He is a tall, dynamic scorer whose shot pretty much came out of nowhere this season, as he is lighting up his opponent night in and night out. He’s also teammates with John Wall, arguably the best passer in the league, so I think Porter knows his home is in Washington for years to come.
9. Dwyane Wade – Cleveland Cavaliers
Dwyane Wade can’t be happy with his current situation in Chicago. The team is trading to get younger as they continue to lose games, and it looks as though he won’t be returning to his hometown of Chicago next season. Wade is getting old, and will be joining a championship contending team this offseason. Wade has expressed interest in joining good friend LeBron James’s Cavaliers next season, which would be very interesting to see.
LeBron James can make the Cavaliers franchise pull off anything, and I would expect Wade to take a pay cut if money does become an issue. If anything’s for certain, Wade won’t be signing back with the Bulls and will go to a championship contending team such as the Cavaliers.
8. Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday is one of the more talented players in the league when healthy, however staying on the court has been a problem with him throughout his career. Holiday is now paired up with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, which is probably a point-guard’s dream so I can’t think that Holiday would want to jump ship now. The Pelicans will be ready to sign Holiday with a lot of money ready to go when free-agency rolls around, making Holiday signing somewhere else a hard thing too do.
The Pelicans are now championship contenders, as hopefully they are able to retain all three of their best players when next season comes around. Cousins is under contract through 2017-18, so retaining Holiday this summer shouldn’t be an issue.
7. Paul Millsap – Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are one of the best teams in basketball this year, due to the excellent leadership and talent of their superstar James Harden being moved to the point guard position. Hitting on all cylinders, the Rockets would be a perfect fit for the effective Millsap, as he would add to what they already have going for them. Millsap was involved with a lot of trade rumors with the Hawks this season, and this could come into play when he decides who to sign with this summer. I believe Millsap will go to the Rockets, as he and Harden could really pull off something special as the two could end up being a dominant force in the west, capable of beating any team in the league.
6. Kyle Lowry – Philadelphia 76ers
That’s right, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors will sign with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. It all adds up with Lowry being from Philly, playing for Villanova, and the Sixers needing a strong point guard. While it may not seem like the perfect fit for a young team like the Sixers, Philly will be much improved this next season with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons playing together, plus their high incoming draft picks this summer. Kyle Lowry would be able to man the team at the point, and in maybe just a year or two, the Sixers’ process would be sped up to the point Philly could be one of the most dominant teams in the league. At all-star weekend, there is even a video of Embiid saying “that’s my next point guard” as Lowry walks by.
5. Gordon Hayward – Boston Celtics
Gordon Hayward was an NBA all-star this season, as he is a tall, athletic, dynamic scorer that all franchises in this league would love to have play for their team. The Jazz are the lucky ones to be able to call Hayward their own, however this could be the last season we see Hayward in their uniform. Hayward is in the prime of his career, and will be looking to play for a championship contender as soon as possible. The Jazz are one of the better teams in basketball, but seem to still be a few years away from really contending.
On the other hand, the Boston Celtics are one of the best teams in the league right now, and will no doubt be on the hunt for Gordon this offseason, and I believe he will end up signing with them. He is very familiar with Celtics coach Brad Stevens due to their days at Butler together, and Gordon is the all-star forward the Celtics have been looking for.
4. Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul is one of the best point-guards in the league, as his scoring is proficient and his passing his excellent. Able to run any offense in the league, the Clippers are the perfect fit for Chris, as he has thrived their for the last few years. Lob City isn’t anything without Paul, and I can’t see him signing anywhere other than with the Clippers. The Clippers have stated they are ready to bring Paul back to with another big contract, and you can expect him to take it as Paul really has found his home in Los Angeles. While other teams will be looking to add him to the roster that may have Paul raising his eyebrows, Paul will be back in his Clippers jersey this time next year.
3. Blake Griffin – Oklahoma City Thunder
Blake Griffin has seemed to be the odd man out for a few seasons for the Clippers, and a change could help resurrect Griffin’s career. He’s had some off the court issues lately during his time with the Clips, and hasn’t been able to stay healthy in Los Angeles attempt to win a championship. Russell Westbrook is having one of the greatest NBA seasons of all-time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and even though they are winning some games, they are in need of another star preferably a big, to help compliment Westbrook. That’s where Griffin will come in. Blake Griffin will end up signing with Russell and the Thunder, as the two could end up forming a dominant duo capable of taking down any team in the league.
2. Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors
I really couldn’t see Kevin Durant signing with any other team than the Warriors at least for this upcoming offseason. Durant even stated he didn’t want to play for the Warriors for just a year. If the Warriors can’t win the championship this year, I couldn’t imagine Durant would just jump ship to another championship contending team. The Warriors are a nice fit for Durant and his excellent game, as he is getting opens looks all game, easily having his most effective season statistical wise.
Obviously teams from all around the league will put in a bid for signing the talented KD, however I don’t see Durant signing with any other franchise that’s not the Yellow and Blue. He has to stick with his team now and prove that he can win it all.
1. Stephen Curry – Charlotte Hornets
Stephen Curry is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time. His shooting skill is completely unmatched in today’s game, as he can put the ball in the basket from seemingly anywhere on the court. He has played on the Golden State Warriors his entire career, and the success he has had with the franchise is really something special. However with the acquisition of Kevin Durant, the Warriors have become one of the best teams to ever be assembled, on paper. Curry’s stats have dipped this season, which is reasonable considering all the talent on his team.
This offseason, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Curry re-signs with his current team the Warriors, however Charlotte is his hometown, and the Hornets will definitely make a push in trying to sign the star point-guard. The Hornets would instantly become contenders, as the Hornets could keep him and Kemba Walker in the backcourt or trade Walker for a nice big. The Hornets would be a nice landing spot for Curry.
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