Leading up to July, there has been a lot of talk about the 2016 NBA free agency class. This is understandable since the salary cap is set to skyrocket to approximately $90 million due to the NBA’s new television rights deal and there are a number of star players who will be on the market.
The following players are just some of the individuals who can become unrestricted free agents in July: Kevin Durant, LeBron James (although he’s almost certainly staying put in Cleveland), Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Hassan Whiteside, DeMar DeRozan, Dwyane Wade, Nicolas Batum, Ryan Anderson, Rajon Rondo, Pau Gasol, Jamal Crawford, Al Jefferson, Chandler Parsons, Jeff Green and Luol Deng. (Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan can opt out to become unrestricted free agents as well, but it seems like a lock that both players will remain with their respective teams.)
In addition to the unrestricted free agents, there’s a talented pool of restricted free agents as well including Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Jordan Clarkson, Evan Fournier, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Festus Ezeli and Jared Sullinger among others.
While that group should make for an interesting summer of 2016 (especially since we should also see a number of trades to make up for what was an anti-climactic trade deadline), the 2017 free agency period could be even crazier for a number of reasons.
The summer of 2017 is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated free agency periods of all-time, as there will be a number of unrestricted superstars on the market and an unprecedented salary cap.
The list of players who can be unrestricted free agents in 2017 includes Stephen Curry, LeBron James (if he signs another one-year deal this summer), Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Derrick Rose, Rudy Gay, Andrew Bogut, Jrue Holiday, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala, J.J. Redick, Taj Gibson and George Hill among many others. Durant could also be unrestricted if he opts to sign a one-year deal this summer, as some have suggested.
Not to mention, the restricted free agents aren’t too shabby either. Barring extensions, that group could include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, C.J. McCollum, Nerlens Noel, Dennis Schroder, Victor Oladipo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Nikola Mirotic, Otto Porter, Steven Adams, Michael Carter-Williams, Alex Len and Kelly Olynyk among others.
Throw in the fact that the 2017 salary cap has been projected to be in the ballpark of $107 million (which would be up from $70 million this season), and it’s clear that some huge contracts are going to be handed out, teams will have the ability to sign multiple max free agents (potentially forming a new super-team or two) and a ton of player movement could be in store.
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