2015 Free Agent Power Rankings

Most among the top tier of soon-to-be free agents have faltered since we last checked on them in late January, though there have been a few exceptions, most notably at the top, where LeBron James is back to dominance. The general sluggish play through the season’s dog days has resulted in little movement in the latest edition Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings, but a few names have nonetheless risen and fallen. The trade deadline is weeks in the past and free agency is becoming a greater focus around the league, so here’s how the top of the market stands:

  1. LeBron James (player option): James is reportedly headed for another two-year max deal with a player option on the second season, giving him the greatest possible income and leverage once more. There have been hints that it’s not a 100% certainty he’ll sign that deal with the Cavs, but it’s still probably a 99.9% chance. Last ranking: No. 1
  2. Kevin Love (player option): Love is also likely to remain with Cleveland and has said he plans to opt in. The Celtics are nonetheless seemingly making it their top priority to test his resolve about that. Love’s numbers continue to drop, as he averaged only 15.9 points and 9.7 rebounds in February, but the Cavs are winning and he’s still only 26. Last ranking: No. 2
  3. Marc Gasol: He’s notched just 16.0 PPG since a 20.2 PPG December, but Big Spain’s greatest contributions have long been on the defensive end, and he remains the fulcrum of a Grizzlies team that’s second in the Western Conference. Were he not already 30 years old he’d probably be a rung higher than Love. Last ranking: No. 3
  4. LaMarcus Aldridge: Executives surely admire Aldridge’s willingness to play through a torn thumb ligament, assuming they don’t fear that there will be long-term damage. Speaking of fear, the Blazers are reportedly “very, very scared” he’ll leave, but despite his willingness to play along with New York media asking him about the Knicks at the All-Star Game, Aldridge pledged last summer to remain in Portland. Last ranking: No. 5
  5. Jimmy Butler (restricted): There will be no playing through a left elbow injury that’s liable to cost the emerging star as much as six weeks, but even before that, there were signs the league’s leader in minutes per game was breaking down. He averaged 21.7 PPG before New Year’s Day and 18.3 since, knocking him back a peg in our rankings. Still, it seems likely he’ll still receive that max offer the Bulls have apparently been planning. Last ranking: No. 4
  6. Greg Monroe: The big man has bucked the trend of marquee soon-to-be free agents tailing off, having averaged 16.6 PPG and 11.9 RPG a game since the Pistons let go of Josh Smith, compared to just 14.7 and 8.8 RPG prior. Agent David Falk downplays the idea that Monroe’s thinking in regard to free agency has changed much during the season, but the big man will “absolutely” consider re-signing with the Pistons, Falk contends, a prospect that’s long seemed remote. Stan Van Gundy hopes it’ll happen, but the Celtics and Sixers appear to be among the teams who’ll try to ensure it doesn’t. Last ranking: No. 7
  7. Kawhi Leonard (restricted): February was Leonard’s worst month for PPG and RPG as he put up 13.5 PPG and 6.1 RPG, not exactly intriguing numbers, perhaps in part because of a torn ligament in his right hand, and there appears a decent chance it’ll require surgery at season’s end. Meanwhile, the Spurs have languished in seventh place in the Western Conference. Still, San Antonio probably won’t be dissuaded from paying him the max or a comparable salary. Last ranking: No. 6
  8. Goran Dragic (player option): The past month and change has been a whirlwind for the Third Team All-NBA guard from last season, as he had a contentious parting with the Suns and is reportedly still high on the Lakers even though he’s expressed fondness for his new home in Miami. It looks like Miami is the front-runner to re-sign him on a five-year max offer, but the situation remains fluid. Last ranking: No. 10
  9. DeAndre Jordan: The Clippers have sorely needed Jordan as a top-flight inside presence since Blake Griffin went out with a staph infection in his elbow a month ago, and he’s responded with a whopping 18.8 RPG in the time that Griffn has missed. Perhaps most importantly for his value, he’s averaged 14.2 PPG, which would be a career-high, on just 7.3 field goal attempts per contest in Griffin’s absence. Last ranking: No. 9
  10. Rajon Rondo: Perhaps no other marquee free agent’s stock has taken as much of a hit as Rondo’s has in the past month or so as he’s continued to struggle to fit in with the Mavs. Doubt is creeping in about his worthiness as a maximum-salary player, and while he downplayed his public tiff with coach Rick Carlisle and remains open to re-signing in Dallas, the market for him seems tough to predict. Last ranking: No. 7

Al Jefferson continues to top the honorable mentions whom I ran down last time, but Draymond Green‘s rise continues, and he’ll certainly be among the top 20, if not top 15, most sought-after free agents this summer. Check out how the rankings have ebbed and flowed since the beginning of the season right here.

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3 thoughts on “2015 Free Agent Power Rankings

    • HoopsRumors

      He’s in that next tier of free agent I linked to. Definitely a top-20 guy.


      • jacobjackson

        I don’t know how you are still under the spell of Rajon Rondo. He’s going to receive half the guaranteed money that Draymond Green gets this offseason.


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