The NBA’s free agency period is nearly upon us, and with all the insane plot twists we’ve already seen this summer, there’s no question that we’re still in for quite the rollercoaster ride over the next couple of months.
Naturally, every fan is excited at the prospect of adding a new player to their favorite team and scared to death at the prospect of losing one. The following is list of free agency tiers that give fans a sense of what types of players will be available this summer. The real game-changers are few and far between, but there are a lot of good players on the market this summer. Here’s a look at how they stack up:
Tier 1 – The Max Players – Even though these guys may take less money to have an opportunity to compete for championships, they could get paid the max by any team in the league if they really wanted to push for it.
Tier 2 – The Near-Max Guys – Ironically enough, there are players in this group that may end up getting paid more than the guys in Tier 1 (if James, Anthony or Bosh choose to take a strategic pay cut), but generally speaking they are players who have done enough (and are still young enough) to at least be in the conversation for max deals.
Greg Monroe (restricted)
Eric Bledsoe (restricted)
Gordon Hayward (restricted)
Tier 3 – The Upstarts – These players won’t be in the conversation for max contracts, but eight-figure annual salaries are certainly possible. Their combination of relative youth and proven ability means they still have at least a full four- or five-year contract in them during their prime years.
Chandler Parsons (restricted)
Tier 4 – All-Star Resumes – There’s no telling what players in this group will end up making, but they have impressive resumes that mean any team in the league would love to have them for the right price. Some will get big paydays, and others will settle for less, but everybody in this group is a proven enough commodity to make them worth the investment.
Tier 5 – Starters – Once most of the guys in Tiers 1-4 have agreed to new deals, this is the group of players who likely will get the rest of the big dollars teams have to spend. They’re all probable starters, or high-functioning sixth men at worst.
Isaiah Thomas (restricted)
Avery Bradley (restricted)
Evan Turner (restricted)
Tier 6 – Important Role Players – These are the types of players who get good-sized chunks of mid-level and mini mid-level exceptions. All have proven their value as role players on their respective teams, and they’ll get paid appropriately.
Greivis Vasquez (restricted)
P.J. Tucker (restricted)
Ed Davis (restricted)
Tier 7 – Aging Vets – Nobody is giving these guys lucrative or long-term contracts any more, but on one- or two-year deals at reasonable money, they’ll find homes as reserves for good teams.
Tier 8 – Slightly Less Important Role Players – We’re not to minimum money yet, but these are the types of players who will start getting calls once a lot of teams’ cap space has mostly dried up. They’re more than good enough to end up on an NBA team, they just won’t get the money they and their agents probably hope they’ll get.
Patrick Patterson (restricted)
Tier 9 – Vets Who Might Be Worth A Gamble – Every player in this group used to be a real impact player once upon a time, but through either injuries or inactivity they’ve lost a step and are no longer the significant contributor that they once were. For the veteran’s minimum, any of them could get another shot. Slightly more money is possible, but not much more.
Tier 10 – Eighth Man Off the Bench – Good enough to make rosters, but not quite good enough to command big money or long-term deals, these are guys that come off the bench as eighth, ninth or 10th men. They dress, but they’re not essential. The money’s not going to be great for these guys, but most of them should have jobs next season.
Kent Bazemore (restricted)
Mike Scott (restricted)
Gustavo Ayon (restricted)
LaVoy Allen (restricted)
Tier 11 – Running on Fumes – Retirement will be a consideration for each of these players. How much money can teams really spend on players with so little left to give?
Tier 12 – Fighting for Roster Spots – These are the minimum guys. A good number of them will either be in Europe or at home next season, but several can still contribute in the NBA.
E’Twaun Moore (restricted)
Metta World Peace
Kevin Seraphin (restricted)
Ryan Kelley (restricted)
Shelvin Mack (restricted)
Nando De Colo (restricted)
Darius Miler (restricted)
Aron Baynes (restricted)
Trevor Booker (restricted)
Ekpe Udoh (restricted)
The free agency firestorm will be here in no time, so it won’t be long before these guys start flying off the board. It might not be in exactly this order, but it will be close.
Which of these players look like good fits for your favorite team? How many can they afford? Click here for a complete list of 2014 NBA free agents. Click here for a breakdown of every team’s salary cap situation. Click here for some free agency notes so you can better understand the process.
Soon, we’ll see who ends up where.
- Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (right foot) questionable vs. Cavaliers
- Rudy Gobert on playing for Timberwolves: ‘I’m really happy here”
- Andrew Wiggins To Miss At Least Two More Game With Adductor Strain
- Detroit and Dallas Engaged In Trade Talks About Nerlens Noel
- Warriors guard Klay Thompson ‘fell asleep’ prior to Malik Beasley’s clutch 3-pointer
Main Page 2 weeks ago
Stephen Curry leads NBA in 3-pointers for the 8th time of his career
Main Page 2 weeks ago
Warriors’ Klay Thompson on Jordan Poole’s struggles: ‘He really cares, he wants to be great’
Main Page 4 days ago
Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie praises Dwight Powell
NBA 7 days ago
Could Tom Thibodeau’s Time With The Knicks Be Ending Soon?