Ranking Top 10 Best NBA Free Agents In 2017

With the end of the NBA Finals comes the immediate transition into discussing any and all offseason happenings that could vastly alter a teams chances of success or failure. Considering the elevated salary cap, NBA franchises will have every opportunity to emulate the Golden State Warriors tenacity in acquiring and building a super team. With the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry hitting the open market, the make up of the NBA as we know it could look vastly different in less than a month. With that in mind, here are the top free agents that could potentially alter the fortunes of several competitive NBA franchises.

10. Dion Waiters, Shooting Guard

Current Team: Miami Heat
Possible Destinations: Miami, Houston, New York, Indiana, Atlanta

While Waiters may be a bit underwhelming for a shooting guard in terms of his accuracy from the field (42.4 FG%), his capabilities from the perimeter drastically improved this year (39.5 3P% this year, compared to 35.8 3P% last year). His girth allows him to finish inside effectively and he’s a great defensive rebounder as well (135 defensive rebounds in 46 games played). Given that the Atlanta Hawks have a efficient inside offensive weapon in Tim Hardaway Jr., Waiters could come in and beef up a Atlanta Hawks team as both a defensive asset and as outside offensive threat.

9. George Hill, Point Guard

Current Team: Utah Jazz
Possible Destinations: Utah, San Antonio, Dallas, Milwaukee, Detroit

Although George Hill may not be a long term solution at point guard at 31, Hill can still effectively run an offense and can shoot the ball with superb accuracy (47.7 FG%). The fact that Hill has never had any major injuries over his career makes him a intriguing choice for any NBA franchise that is looking to methodically transition to a younger ball handler sometime in the near future. While the Spurs could pursue Chris Paul in free agency, Tony Parker still has at least one or two years left of being effective (when healthy) and Dejounte Murray looks to be the Spurs next long term option at the position. In this regard, Hill could come in and provide depth as a reliable ball facilitator until Murray is ready to take over.

8. Kyle Lowry, Point Guard

Watched you grow from a young ROOK , to a young vet!! Keep growing T!! Love you man!! #toughbusiness

A post shared by Kyle Lowry (@kyle_lowry7) on

Current Team: Toronto Raptors
Possible Destinations: Toronto, Philadelphia, San Antonio

Given Lowry’s abilities as both a shooter and defender, his ranking here may seem a bit low. However, Lowry’s issues in the postseason are a cause for concern for any team looking to take a decisive step in winning a championship. Still, Lowry is immensely dynamic offensively (22.4 PPG) and has been a solid defensive rebounder throughout his career. While San Antonio is a possibility here, if the Spurs are going to dish out a lucrative contract to any point guard it will most likely be to Chris Paul. Outside of Toronto, Philadelphia is a intriguing possibility as they need help on defense and could use a veteran presence to help them get back on track to being a respectable NBA franchise.

7. Serge Ibaka, Power Forward

Mood… #Gameday #playoffs #blessedπŸ™

A post shared by Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka7) on

Current Team: Toronto Raptors
Possible Destinations: Toronto, Boston, Portland, Denver, Chicago

As a pure defensive talent, Ibaka has the size and instincts to help any franchise become much more formidable. Between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors, Ibaka had 409 total defensive rebounds and 41 steals on the season (career high in steals). While Ibaka’s accuracy from the field dipped slightly (47.3 FG% this year compared to 47.9 FG% last year), he still averaged 14.2 PPG and improved his overall scoring efficiency from 1.131 to 1.195. Although there are several possible destinations that could utilize Ibaka’s defensive abilities, Boston would be the ideal fit as they were one of the worst rebounding teams last year and their points allowed per game was average at best.

6. Otto Porter Jr., Small Forward

Caption this… 😭😭

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Current Team: Washington Wizards
Possible Destinations: Washington, Miami, Brooklyn, Sacramento, Indiana

Out of all of the enticing free agents on the market, Otto Porter Jr. improved the most on defense and offense this season. His perimeter shooting effectiveness improved drastically (43.4 3P% this year compared to 36.7 3P% from last year) and he snagged over 100 more defensive rebounds compared to last season. His development into a intriguing two way player will make him a coveted target come free agency and Washington will have to lock him up quickly to prevent him from being lured away. Unless the Pacers trade Paul George before or during the NBA Draft and need a worthy replacement, Porter will most likely stay with the Wizards for the long haul.

5. Paul Millsap, Power Forward

Current Team: Atlanta Hawks
Possible Destinations: Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Toronto, Portland

The only knock against Paul Millsap is his age at 32 years old. Inevitably, time will ultimately work against Millsap as his production will begin to slip in the next few years. As of right now though, Millsap is one of the most dynamic power forwards in the league and has a skill set that exceeds what Blake Griffin can offer when healthy. From his cerebral presence on the defensive end to his overall production as a reliable scorer (18.1 PPG, career high), Millsap is a winner that has the instincts to make any team significantly better. As far as future destinations are concerned, Millsap would be a great fit with Toronto if Ibaka departs in free agency and would also make the Boston Celtics one of the most well balanced teams in the NBA.

4. Chris Paul, Point Guard

A post shared by Chris Paul (@cp3) on

Current Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Possible Destinations: Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio, Cleveland, New Orleans, Milwaukee

An elite talent on both offense and defense, Paul has been a prolific NBA superstar ever since his rookie year with New Orleans. While Paul has always been a lights out shooter, his capabilities as a perimeter threat became a serious part of his game this year. (career high 41.1 3P% this year compared to 37.1 3P% last year). Combine that with his top notch production on the defensive end and you’re looking at one of the best point guards in the NBA…when healthy. Given Paul’s injury history, his now versatile skill set could taper off at any moment and his price tag will make his unpredictable longevity a bit of a gamble. Nevertheless, Paul has been consistently great throughout his career and will likely get a max contract from the Clippers unless he wants a change of scenery.

3. Gordon Hayward, Small Forward

Can't wait for tonight! #TakeNote

A post shared by @gdhayward on

Current Team: Utah Jazz
Possible Destinations: Utah, Boston, Miami, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers

If there was ever a time for a competitive NBA franchise to acquire a well-developed talent it’s now and Gordon Hayward is the man for the job. He’s improved every year as a confident all-around shooter and has been a tenacious defensive rebounder since the 2013-2014 season. On top of that, Hayward has the work ethic and personality to fit in with any NBA team and is always looking to improve his game to help his team succeed. While the Utah Jazz would love to keep Hayward for the foreseeable future, the Boston Celtics will do everything in their power to add him to their already talented roster.

2. Stephen Curry

Nice W for breakfast this morning! #DubNation was out in full force. Keep it rolling

A post shared by Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on

Current Team: Golden State Warriors
Possible Destinations: Golden State>

A two-time NBA champion. A back to back MVP winner (the last of which was by unanimous decision). The best shooter in NBA history. Yea…Stephen Curry is not going anywhere. Aside from Curry’s individual accolades, he is a fantastic team player that can quickly galvanize his teammates to play at the highest level possible in critical moments. While not the biggest or most physical, his unprecedented shooting range and creativity as a passer gives Curry a unique skill set that no one else can touch consistently. Simply put, he’s the franchise player that any NBA organization wishes they could have.

1. Kevin Durant

New chapter. #teamkd #dubnation

A post shared by Kevin Durant (@trey5) on

Current Team: Golden State Warriors
Possible Destinations: Golden State, Oklahoma City

Like Stephen Curry, the possibility of Kevin Durant leaving Golden State is slim to none. Yet, if there is even the slightest inclination that Durant is open to leaving the Warriors, every NBA team will be knocking down his door to convince him to jump ship. Given his height, clutch shooting abilities, developed defensive skill set and commendable intangibles, Durant is a player and person that gives you everything he has both on and off the court. Assuming Durant’s comments about taking less money to stay with the Warriors are true, it seems clear that the dominant super team will be practically unstoppable for years to come.

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    Tyler GambillCOED Writer
    Avid sports fan and writer. Huge fan of the Orioles, Ravens, Capitals and Lakers.
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