There is still a handful of talent available to NBA teams in the free agency market ahead of the 2022-23 season, and we’re taking a look at the five best options who could provide valuable minutes on a contending side.
5. Avery Bradley (Unrestricted)
31-year-old Avery Bradley is still a fantastic rotation option in today’s NBA and has a lot to offer a championship team, especially on the defensive end of the floor where he hangs his hat.
Bradley is a two-time All-Defensive Team guard, and won his first ring with the Los Angeles Lakers during the bubble. The University of Texas alumnus has played for seven teams throughout his career in the league; drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2010, where he remained until 2017.
Last season for the Lakers, Bradley averaged 6.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in an underwhelming season for the 17-time champions which saw them miss the playoffs entirely for the seventh time in nine years.
On a veteran’s minimum contract, Bradley would be a fine addition to any NBA roster looking for a defensive-minded point guard that can also space the floor with consistent shooting from outside the arc.
4. Carmelo Anthony (Unrestricted)
Ten-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA member, and 2013 NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony is still available to sign as a free agent following one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game across 68 games in L.A.
The 38-year-old is still more than capable of making a significant impact on any NBA team as a sixth man, and adds elite veteran leadership as well as playoff experience. Anthony is widely regarded as one of the best players to never win a championship, however there is still time left.
Injury problems are not a concern for Anthony, who played the majority of the Lakers’ games last season and shot 38% from outside 3-point line and a respectable 44% from the field.
3. Montrezl Harrell (Unrestricted)
Montrezl Harrell has been thrown around the league since his departure from the Los Angeles Clippers in 2020, where he went on to play for the Lakers, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Hornets before finding himself as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Harrell, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award winner in 2020, has averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 458 regular season games across seven seasons in the league.
The 28-year-old has been tipped to join the Miami Heat this offseason, and is one of the league’s most effective rim protectors and is a valuable asset for teams who play switching defense.
At just 6-foot-7 in the center position, the likes of Nikola Jokic, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Joel Embiid present a mismatch for Harrell who is vulnerable to foul trouble inside the paint which could deter teams from showing concrete interest.
2. Dennis Schroder (Unrestricted)
German point-guard Dennis Schroder is still available as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and during his time with the Boston Celtics last season the 28-year-old proved he is more than capable of adding quality playmaking and scoring to an NBA team.
Schroder has cemented his name over his time in the NBA as one of the most effective sixth men at the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he averaged a league-high 18.9 points per game off the bench and shot a career high 46.9% from the field with 38.5% shooting from outside the arc.
That same year, Schroder finished as runner-up to Montrezl Harrell in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award voting and was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he spent one season alongside the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
1. Collin Sexton (Restricted)
23-year-old guard Collin Sexton is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, meaning the player is able to sign an offer sheet with any team across the league but the player’s original team, in this case the Cleveland Cavaliers, are able to match that offer and keep the player on their roster.
If the Cavaliers decide not to match another team’s offer to Sexton, which is expected to be around $80m, Sexton is free to sign with whichever NBA teams have offered him more money than Cleveland.
Sexton was selected as the 8th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft from the University of Alabama. He suffered a torn meniscus early into the 2021-22 season and was therefore sidelined for the rest of the year after playing just 11 games.
In his last full season in the NBA, Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists per game on 37% shooting from outside the 3-point line and an impressive 48% from the field – making him one of the most consistent high-usage scorers in the league.
The Cavs have extended him a qualifying offer, but he is yet to sign an offer sheet with another team – partly due to his injury history, which is seen as a red flag for some teams across the league that would not be comfortable paying upwards of $80m.
The free agency class of 2022 has been quite the rollercoaster so far, and there’s plenty of more action to follow before the 2022-23 season gets underway in October and the battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy continues.
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