It’s now time to look at the top NBA free agents of 2022 with the market now opn. Multiple future star players have hit the open market, which could alter the basketball landscape around the league.
Bookmark. Save. Do your thing. Here’s our ever-evolving NBA free agent list for the summer of 2022 with things having started, including updated signings with analysis.
NBA free agents: Future Hall of Famers, young All-Stars
1. Bradley Beal, guard, Washington Wizards — 5 year deal worth $251 million w/ Wizards
Beal opted out of his contract and opted to re-sign with the Wizards on a five-year, $251 million contract. This had been bandied about for some time given that he’d have left north of $65 million on the table to sign with another team. Beal, 29, is averaging 27.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists since the start of the 2018-19 season. He’s a legit franchise cornerstone.
- Grading Washington Wizards signing Bradley Beal: A+
2. Zach LaVine, guard, Chicago Bulls
Chicago is obviously in win-now mode after adding the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vučević and Alex Caruso to pair with this high-scoring wing. It’s paid off big time with LaVine now looking to cash in this summer. This past regular season saw LaVine average 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 48% shooting en route to leading Chicago to the playoffs.
He’s morphed into a tremendous all-around player and is a huge reason why the Bulls were playoff team. It’s now being noted that LaVine will re-sign with the Bulls on a max contract once NBA free agency opens up.
3. Deandre Ayton, center, Phoenix Suns (restricted)
Many figured Ayton would be in line for a max-level rookie extension ahead of the Oct. 18 deadline. That did not come to fruition. Instead, the 23-year-old star center will hit the restricted free-agent market. This will make Ayton the most sought-after restricted free agent on the market. Ayton continued to play at a high level this past regular season, averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds on 63% shooting.
He’s an integral part of the Suns’ success, but other NBA teams are already going to make a run at him this summer. Meanwhile, it’s looking more and more like Ayton has played his final game in Phoenix.
4. James Harden, guard, Philadelphia 76ers
There was an expectation that Harden promised Philadelphia he’d pick up his player option of $47.37 million for next season when it acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets for Ben Simmons. That’s no longer the case. He decided to opt out and will now re-sign with Philadelphia on a short-term deal to help with financial flexibility.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this given Harden’s regression this past season. What we do know is that Harden is expected to take a huge pay cut in order to help the 76ers build a contending roster.
5. Miles Bridges, forward, Charlotte Hornets (restricted)
Bridges, 24, might not have a ton of name recognition. But the former Michigan State star has proven himself to be a solid two-way forward. He’s took that to a whole new level this past regular season, breaking out in a big way. Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists on 49% shooting.
NBA free agents: Rising stars, veteran presences
6. Jalen Brunson, guard, Dallas Mavericks — 4-year deal worth $104 million w/ New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have a new lead guard in that of Mr. Brunson. He’ll head to the Big Apple on a four-year, $104 million deal after a breakout campaign with the Dallas Mavericks last season. The 25-year-old Brunson averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 47% shooting in the playoffs. He’ll presumably team up with R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle in New York.
- Grading New York Knicks signing Jalen Brunson: C+
7. Collin Sexton, guard, Cleveland Cavaliers (restricted)
Having missed all but 11 games this past season to a torn meniscus in his knee, Sexton’s value on the NBA free agent market this summer would normally be impacted big time. With that said, the 23-year-old guard is coming off a 2020-21 campaign that saw him average an eye-opening 24.3 points on 48% shooting.
Considering there are teams that wanted to acquire Sexton during February’s NBA trade deadline just to obtain his Bird Rights, it’s a safe bet that he’ll land a lucrative contract this summer. It’s in this that a potential sign-and-trade could be in the cards with Sexton receiving a huge deal.
8. Anfernee Simons, guard, Portland Trail Blazers (restricted) — 4-year deal worth $100 million w/ Blazers
Injuries opened the door for Anfernee Simons this past season before he went down to injury himself. After averaging under 18 minutes per game a year prior, Simons took on a featured role in Portland’s rotation.
Having turned 24 earlier in June, the former 24th overall pick blossomed into one of the NBA’s breakout players this year. While a left knee issue ended things prematurely, Simons finished averaging 17.3 points per contest. Portland retains a potential franchise cornerstone here.
- Grading Portland Trail Blazers signing Anfernee Simons: A
9. Jusuf Nurkic, center, Portland Trail Blazers
Nurkic’s value as an NBA free agent this summer will be dicated by his injury history. The big man has played in a grand total of 101 games since the start of the 2019-20 season. When on the court, he’s proven to be a starter-caliber center. The dude is averaging 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds on 50% shooting during his seven-year career. He’s almost guaranteed to re-sign in Portland.
10. Marvin Bagley III, forward, Detroit Pistons — 3-year deal worth $37 million w/ Pistons
Enigmatic. Unhappy. Whatever term we want to use to describe Bagley’s three-year tenure in California’s capital city, it came to an end during the NBA trade deadline. He turned things around in Detroit after the deadline, averaging 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds on 56% shooting. Detroit then locked up the former lottery pick on a fully-guaranteed three-year deal. It’s a really nice move for this ascending team.
- Grading Detroit Pistons signing Marvin Bagley: A-
11. John Wall, guard, Houston Rockets
It’s all about health for John Wall when he makes his return to the basketball court. He’s shown an ability to be one of the best point guards in basketball but it’s been over five years since we’ve seen him make it through a full season. Still, expect a contender to dream of adding the former No. 1 pick to their core, with the hope he can be the missing piece. Right now, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be that team.
NBA free agents: Those underrated
12. Gary Harris, guard, Orlando Magic — re-signed w/ the Magic
The 27-year-old shooting guard can be a nice complementary piece. He’s shooting 36% from distance throughout his career and averaged a career-high 17.5 points back in 2017-18. In surprising fashion, Harris opted to resign with the young Magic in free agency.
- Grading Orlando Magic signing Gary Harris: C+
13. Tyus Jones, guard, Memphis Grizzlies — 2-year deal worth $30 million w/ Grizzlies
At 26 years old, it took some time for Jones to get a footing in the NBA. He struggled in his first four seasons with the Timberwolves after being a first-round pick in 2015. However, the point guard has turned it around in Memphis. He’s done well in Ja Morant’ stead when the guard has been injured. This past regular season saw Jones average 8.7 points and 4.4 assists on 39% shooting from distance. Memphis retains its backup point guard on a huge deal.
- Grading Memphis Grizzlies signing of Tyus Jones: C+
14. Gary Payton II, guard, Golden State Warriors
It’s rather interesting to look at. GPII was placed on waivers ahead of the season because the Warriors didn’t have a roster spot. No team claimed him before he returned to Golden State. All the former undrafted free agent did prior to suffering an elbow injury in the playoffs was act as one of the best perimeter defenders in the game. He returned to help Golden State to its fourth NBA title in eight years.
The 29-year-old guard also averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 62% from the field in a reserve role. He might have priced himself out of the Warriors’ range, and will be one of the most-intriguing NBA free agents of the cycle.
15. Victor Oladipo, guard, Miami Heat — 1-year deal worth $11 million w/ Heat
Injuries on top of injuries. That’s defined Oladipo’s career since he earned consecutive All-Star appearances with the Indiana Pacers back in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He’s played a total of 60 games over the past three seasons. With that said, we saw signs of Oladipo returning to pre-injury form during Miami’s playoff run. It led to a return to South Beach. This is a nice depth move for Miami.
- Grading Miami Heat signing of Victor Oladipo: A
16. Malik Monk, guard, Los Angeles Lakers — 2-year deal worth $19 million w/ the Kings
Monk, 24, signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles last summer. It was a way to prove himself. Despite the team’s overall struggles, he did just that. The former Kentucky star averaged 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists on 39% shooting from distance. He’ll now reunite with his former teammae with the Wildcats, De’Aaron Fox. Sacramento adds another outside shooting presence to the mix.
- Grading Sacramento Kings signing of Malik Monk: B
17. Mitchell Robinson, center, New York Knicks
A second-round pick back in 2018, injuries have obviously had an impact on Robinson. He’s played all of 230 games in four seasons. With that said, the big man is coming off a career-best 2021-22 campaign that saw him averaged 8.5 points and 8.6 rebounds on 76% shooting in 72 games. As for free agency, recent reports suggest Robinson is set to return to the Knicks.
18. Mo Bamba, center, Orlando Magic — 2-year deal worth $21 million w/ Magic
Previously seen as a bust after the Magic made him the No. 6 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bamba was great this past season — averaging 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds on 48% shooting. He also expanded his game to the three-point line (38%) and played well down the stretch. Still only 24, he’ll now return to a young Magic squad — teaming up with Wendell Carter Jr., Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner in the frontcourt.
- Grading Orland Magic signing of Mo Bamba: C
19. Thomas Bryant, center, Washington Wizards
Yet another center to make our list of the top-20 NBA free agents of 2022, Bryant offers some nice upside for teams interested in a young big man. He’s just 24 years old and averaged 11.6 points to go with 6.7 rebounds from 2018-20. Unfotunately, injuries have impacted Bryant over the past two seasons (37 combined games). That will certainly impact his market.
20. Patty Mills, guard, Brooklyn Nets — 2-year deal worth $14.5 million w/ Nets
In his first season with the Nets Mills averaged 11.4 points on 40% three-point shooting. He opted out of his contract, only to return to a Nets team that now has a ton of question marks folowing Kevin Durant’s trade request.
- Grading Brooklyn Nets signing of Patty Mills: C
2022 NBA free agents by position
- Delon Wright, Atlanta Hawks — signed with Washington Wizards
- Goran Dragic, Houston Rockets
- Ricky Rubio, Indiana Pacers
- Aaron Holiday, Phoenix Suns
- Kemba Walker, Detroit Pistons
- Austin Rivers, Denver Nuggets
- Dennis Schroder, Houston Rockets
- Jevon Carter, Milwaukee Bucks — re-signed with Bucks
- Frank Ntilikina, Dallas Mavericks
- Rajon Rondo, Atlanta Hawks
- Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando Magic
- Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets
- Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings
- Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets
- Bryn Forbes, Denver Nuggets
- Tony Snell, New Orleans Pelicans
- Lonnie Walker, San Antonio Spurs — signed with the Los Angeles Lakers
- Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors
- Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers
- Wesley Matthews, Milwaukee Bucks — re-signed with Bucks
- Rodney Hood, Los Angeles Clippers
- Jeremy Lamb, Sacramento Kings
- Lou Williams, Atlanta Hawks
- Trevor Ariza, Los Angeles Lakers
- Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets — re-signed with the Rockets
- Otto Porter Jr., Golden State Warriors
- Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies — signed with Minnesota Timberwolves
- Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
- Joe Ingles, Portland Trail Blazers — signed with Milwaukee Bucks
- Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets (restricted)
- Kevin Knox, Atlanta Hawks — signed with Detroit Pistons
- T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
- Danilo Gallinari, San Antonio Spurs
- Danuel House, Utah Jazz — signed with Philadelphia 76ers
- Caleb Martin, Miami Heat (restricted)
- Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz
- Amir Coffey, Los Angeles Clippers — re-signed with Clippers
- Troy Brown, Chicago Bulls — signed with the Los Angeles Lakers
- Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls
- Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State Warriors — signed with the Los Angeles Lakers
- Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves (restricted)
- Kent Bazemore, Los Angeles Lakers
- Thaddeus Young, Toronto Raptors — re-signed with the Raptors
- Nemanja Bjelica, Golden State Warriors
- Paul Millsap, Philadelphia 76ers
- Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets
- Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks — re-signed with Bucks
- Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors — re-signed with the Raptors
- Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers — re-signed with the Clippers
- P.J. Tucker, Miami Heat — signed with Philadelphia 76ers
- Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Lakers
- Markieff Morris, Miami Heat
- Taj Gibson, New York Knicks
- James Johnson, Brooklyn Nets
- Cody Zeller, Portland Trail Blazers
- Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
- Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors
- JaVale McGee, Phoenix Suns — signed with the Dallas Mavericks
- Gorgui Dieng, Atlanta Hawks
- DeAndre Jordan, Philadelphia 76ers — signed with Denver Nuggets
- Montrezl Harrell, Charlotte Hornets
- Dewayne Dedmon, Miami Heat — re-signed with the Heat
- Isaiah Hartenstein, Los Angeles Clippers — signed with New York Knicks
- Robin Lopez, Orlando Magic
- DeMarcus Cousins, Denver Nuggets — signed with Denver Nuggets
- Serge Ibaka, Milwaukee Bucks
- Aron Baynes, Toronto Raptors
- Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets — re-signed with the Nets
- Andre Drummond, Brooklyn Nets – signed with Chicago Bulls
- Hassan Whiteside, Utah Jazz
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.