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2015 Free Agent Power Rankings

We’re in the midst of a wild trading season so far in the NBA, with 11 deals having gone down in a five-week span, and it all sets the stage for a deep crop of players who can hit free agency this summer. The names listed under “honorable mention” below show just how much talent is poised to become available, and the top 10 in the latest Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings are a star-studded bunch. Here’s where they stand as teams cross the midpoint of their 82-game schedules:

  1. LeBron James (player option): It looks like James won’t rule out a second free agent departure from Cleveland. It’s still seems highly unlikely that the Akron native would leave, even though the possibility that he might gives him no shortage of leverage as the Cavs scramble to reassert themselves as championship contenders.  Last month: No. 1
  2. Kevin Love (player option): The Jeff Schwartz client pulled a surprise when he told Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group last week that he intends to opt in for next season. He has plenty of financial incentive to go back on that, even amid statistical declines this season. In any case, the 26-year-old’s relative youth gives him a slight edge on the next player on the list. Last month: No. 2
  3. Marc Gasol: The 7’1″ center who’s just a few days shy of his 30th birthday isn’t playing defense at the level he had last season, but his leap in offensive production and the Grizzlies’ position near the top of the Western Conference standings have cast him as a hot commodity. Still, the more the Grizzlies win, the less likely it seems that Gasol would cut his longstanding ties to Memphis. Last month: No. 3
  4. Jimmy Butler (restricted): The Bulls reportedly could have had Butler for between $12.5MM and $13MM a year if they had signed him to an extension in October, shortly before the initial Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings had him outside the top 10. Clearly, the Bulls weren’t the only ones who erred, but they’re ready to pay the price and are apparently planning a maximum-salary offer that’s projected to start at around $15.5MM a year. We, too, have amended our outlook on Butler, who continues his ascent. Last month: No. 5
  5. LaMarcus Aldridge: It’s not Aldridge’s fault that he’s slipped one spot in the rankings. The Arn Tellem client is averaging a career-high 23.5 points per game for a Trail Blazers team that’s second only to the Warriors in the Western Conference. The 29-year-old has even added a three-point threat to his attack, as he’s nailing an impressive 48.7% on 1.1 attempts per game. Last month: No. 4
  6. Kawhi Leonard (restricted): A hand injury has cost Leonard time, but when he’s played this season, he’s continued the year-over-year improvement that’s marked the career of the reigning Finals MVP. He’s averaging career highs in points, assists, rebounds and steals per game, and he won’t turn 24 until June. Last month: No. 6
  7. Greg Monroe: The subtraction of Josh Smith has done wonders for the Pistons, and Monroe has been among the beneficiaries. He averaged 16.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 10 contests this month entering today. The Lakers have reportedly called the Pistons about trading for him, but the David Falk client apparently has no interest in waiving his de facto no trade clause this season, as doing so would cost him his Bird rights.  Last month: No. 9
  8. Rajon Rondo: The point guard’s outside shot has looked better since the trade that took him to the Mavs, though his scoring average for the season remains in the single digits. He also admitted that his effort on defense slipped prior to the trade, but the Mavs appear willing to bet that he’ll remain engaged, as it doesn’t look like Rondo is going to be making another move this summer. Last month: No. 7
  9. DeAndre Jordan: Defense isn’t an issue for Jordan, and neither is rebounding, as he’s on pace to lead the league in rebounds per game for a second straight year, but the Greg Lawrence client wants to improve on offense. His 71.5% field goal percentage is the NBA’s best, but the 26-year-old has a single-digit scoring average and takes 91.2% of his shots from 3 feet and in, according to Basketball-ReferenceLast month: Unranked
  10. Goran Dragic (player option): The Rockets have been trying to trade for the point guard this season, as Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today reported, and Dragic won’t rule out signing with any team, having praised the Lakers and Knicks when given opportunities to do so this season. Still, the 28-year-old, who plans to turn down his $7.5MM player option for next season, reportedly intends to give the Suns the first crack at him. Last month: No. 10

Dropped out: Al Jefferson (Last month: No. 8)

Honorable mention: Al Jefferson (player option), Dwyane Wade (player option), Roy Hibbert (player option), Tristan Thompson (restricted), Brook Lopez (player option), Reggie Jackson (restricted), Paul Millsap, Monta Ellis (player option), Luol Deng (player option), Omer Asik.

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14 thoughts on “2015 Free Agent Power Rankings

  1. Z....

    I disagree that Kevin Love should go ahead of Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge. Also, where is Draymond Green? I also would put DeAndre Jordan over Greg Monroe, for what he does defensively, despite how skilled Monroe is offensively.

    • HoopsRumors

      Green was one of the fairly long list of guys who would be honorable mentions to the honorable mention section. This is really a deep free agent class if you count all of the restricted free agents and guys with player options as we do here. And I came close to dropping Love, but his youth gives him an edge, as I mentioned. The Monroe/Jordan conundrum may come down to fit.


      • Z....

        I just think Draymond Green would be more than an honorable mention (which he was left off of on this list), and he would be in the same vicinity as Butler and Leonard in the middle of that 10.

        • HoopsRumors

          I’ve always been high on Green, but I don’t like him quite that much!


          • Z....

            He is just so versatile on both ends of the court. I expected a big year from him this year with the way he had improved, but I didnt know he was going to be this good this year. He is a very intelligent and hard working player, and the consummate professional. That work ethic is what makes you think he can get even better, especially with his skill set. I would not be surprised to see him get close to the max

          • HoopsRumors

            I just remember thinking that some team was going to wind up with a steal when he slipped to the second round. He may wind up seeing more on his second contract than Harrison Barnes, the guy the Warriors took at No. 7 overall in the very same draft.


          • Z....

            to be fair, that was a pretty good draft, and he was picked early in that 2nd round. I remember a couple of others falling as well. I had the same sentiment back then. I’ve only watched a little bit of college basketball over the last couple of years, and otherwise wasnt much of a fan, but I had seen him at Michigan State, and he stood out to me

  2. Z....

    LeBron, Gasol, Aldridge, Leonard, Butler, Green, Love, Rondo, Jordan, Dragic, moving Monroe to one of the honorable mentions…That would be my list as of right now. If Kevin Love were to magically get better defensively, I’d move him behind Aldridge, but another thing that bothers me about him is his attitude based on the information known over the last couple of years

  3. ShadowChronicler

    How come Big Al dropped? Was it his injury or is he likely to opt in?

    • HoopsRumors

      The injury was the chief reason, yes. Plus, he hasn’t played as well as he did last year.


  4. Z....

    I just realized that Wesley Matthews didnt make honorable mentions. I think he probably deserves to be there

    • guccci7383

      i’d take him on my lakers for about 12 a yr… 48 million…

  5. jason m.

    Dragic and Monroe are the only 2 i think will end up elsewhere.

  6. rightasrain

    Why do players need agents like David Falk to steal 30% of their inflated salaries? Oh, to pay for their 30%!

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