The highly anticipated NBA free agency period begins in just under two weeks and other than Lebron James, there are 10 names that are extremely attractive to many teams.
Here are 10 names other than James that are raising GM’s eyebrows throughout the league.
10. Jabari Parker:
Team: Milwaukee Bucks.
17-18 Salary: $6.8 million.
Stats: 12.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg.
Parker’s career hasn’t gone as expected since leaving Duke due to two ACL tears but after a promising 2017-2018 season, teams may be interested in the 23-year-old.
9. Zach LaVine
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves.
17-18 Salary: $3.2 million.
Stats: 16.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg.
LaVine didn’t have an overly impressive season due to the Bulls keeping him benched while he fully recovered from his ACL injury, but when he was released to play he had four specific games where he stepped up his production. He showed plenty of potential during that period and that mixed with his skill set interests NBA GMs.
LaVine was an important piece of the Jimmy Butler trade so expect the Bulls to match anything that any other team offers. Will another team offer LaVine a max deal? That’s the question. He could be a number one option on a lottery team.
8. Aaron Gordon
Team: Orlando Magic.
17-18 Salary: $5.5 million.
Stats: 17.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.3 apg.
Gordon is young. Twenty-two years old that is. His upside and athletic ability are out of this world and there are some teams that will offer him a hefty contract this off-season. However, the Magic would be wise to match whatever offer there is.
7. DeAndre Jordan
Team: Los Angeles Clippers.
17-18 Salary: $22.6 million.
Stats: 12.0 ppg, 15.2 rpg.
Rumors have been swirling for three consecutive seasons about Jordan being traded from the Clippers and finally, this may be the year it happens. Jordan has grown fatigued with the situation and the Clippers are looking to rebuild, holding two lottery picks in the draft. Jordan is starting to age but can be a vital part of a contending team like he’s been in the past.
6. Julius Randle
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
17-18 Salary: $4.1 million.
Stats: 16.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.6 apg.
Randle’s fate lies solely on Lebron James and what he decides to do this offseason. If he does what he normally does and ‘brings a friend,’ to LA with him, Randle will have to go. The Lakers won’t be able to pay him. On the contrary, if Lebron lands somewhere else, the Lakers will probably retain Randle.
5. Clint Capella
Team: Houston Rockets.
17-18 Salary: $2.3 million.
Stats: 13.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg.
At 23, Capella has tremendous upside. He has high-level playoff experience, has a great work ethic, can operate off the pick-and-roll and is a premier rim protector. He’s transforming into something special right before our eyes. Houston may want to keep him instead of watching him do what he did this year for another team.
4. Chris Paul
Team: Houston Rockets.
17-18 Salary: $24.3 million.
Stats: 18.6 ppg, 7.9 apg, 5.4 rpg.
This one is simple. Houston should try to keep Paul. They were on their way to the NBA Finals if it weren’t for Paul’s untimely injury. I was one of the main critics last offseason about Paul and Harden not being able to mesh and they proved me wrong. However, I did mention Paul being injury prone would hurt the Rockets and that was unfortunately true. Nevertheless, Houston shouldn’t let Paul walk.
3. Boogie Cousins
Team: New Orleans Pelicans.
17-18 Salary: 18 million.
Stats: 25.2 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 5.4 apg.
Boogie Cousins is the best center in basketball and is a perfect mix of the old school big-man and the big man of today. He deserves nothing short of a max deal and the Pelicans probably can’t give that to him. The Pelicans season showed that they can do good without Cousins. They defied all odds and made it to the second round of the Western Conference Semis with just Anthony Davis leading way. Either Cousins will have to take a lesser deal or play for another team next season.
2. Paul George
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder.
17-18 Salary: $19.3 million.
Stats: 21.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.3 apg.
Paul George could help the Thunder even more so next year since he’s pretty much acclimated to his new team, but will Lebron James be the determining factor between this see-saw of a decision between OKC and LA. What’s scary is, George next to Lebron could be so incredibly lethal. Maybe more than George and Westbrook.
1. Kevin Durant
Team: Golden State Warriors.
17-18 Salary: $25 million.
Stats: 26.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5.4 apg.
This one is a long shot. KD probably isn’t leaving Golden State for any other team that hasn’t won two straight championships. This guy will likely opt-out and become a free agent but remain with the Warriors. But once again, if he does decide to take his talents somewhere else, will Lebron be the one to recruit him?