2021/22 NBA Free Agents

Top 50 NBA Free Agents Of 2021

The NBA’s free agent period will tip off on Monday evening at 5:00 pm central time, with deals permitted to be officially consummated as of Friday at 11:01 am CT.

Listed below are our top 50 free agents for the 2021/22 NBA season. The players on this list are on track to become free agents tonight.

Our rankings take into account both a player’s short-term and long-term value. If we were to consider solely a player’s worth for the 2021/22 season, veterans like Danny Green and P.J. Tucker would likely place higher, while younger free agents with upside, such as Talen Horton-Tucker or Josh Hart, might be ranked a little lower.

In addition to the players listed below, there are plenty of other notable free agents available this summer. You can check out our breakdowns of free agents by position/type and by team for the full picture.

Here are our top 50 free agents of 2021:


1. Kawhi Leonard, F, Clippers
Leonard’s free agency is reminiscent of Kevin Durant hitting the market in 2019 after suffering a torn Achilles. An injured Durant earned a four-year, maximum-salary deal two years ago, and Leonard could do the same this offseason, despite an expectation that he’ll miss much of next season while he recovers from ACL surgery. A reunion with the Clippers appears likely for Kawhi, who chose Los Angeles in 2019 despite having just won a title in Toronto.

2. John Collins, F, Hawks (RFA)
Collins bet on himself when he turned down Atlanta’s reported extension offer of $90MM+ over four years last offseason. He should do better than that as a restricted free agent, and he might not even have to go shopping for an offer sheet — recent reports have indicated rival suitors aren’t optimistic about their odds of prying him away from the Hawks.

3. Chris Paul, G, Suns
Two years ago, suggesting that Paul might turn down the $44MM+ option on his contract for 2021/22 would’ve gotten you laughed out of the room. But after earning All-NBA Second Team honors and leading Phoenix to its first NBA Finals in nearly three decades, Paul is poised for one last big payday after opting out of his previous deal. Rumors are circulating that he and the Suns will work out a new three-year contract worth at least $90MM.

4. Kyle Lowry, G, Raptors
Lowry isn’t in the conversation alongside Paul as one of the all-time best point guards, but there are plenty of similarities between the two veterans, who both have a major impact on winning that goes beyond the box score. Count the Heat, Mavericks, and Pelicans among the many teams that recognize Lowry’s value — they all reportedly made him their top free agent target, with Miami currently considered the frontrunner to land him.

5. Mike Conley, G, Jazz
There’s no shortage of All-Star veteran point guards on this year’s free agent market, and you could make a case that Conley is a safer long-term bet than Paul or Lowry, given their respective ages. It sounds like the Jazz are prepared to make that bet on Conley to the tune of a three-year offer worth upwards of $25MM annually.

6. Jarrett Allen, C, Cavaliers (RFA)
The Cavaliers surrendered a first-round pick for Allen earlier this year and are unlikely to let him get away, even after using the No. 3 overall pick to draft Evan Mobley, whose best long-term fit may be at center. Allen appears to be in line for a long-term deal in the range of at least $15-20MM per year, and that number could creep even higher if a suitor with cap space emerges to put some pressure on the Cavs.

7. Lonzo Ball, G, Pelicans (RFA)
Although Ball has taken positive steps forward – shooting a career-best 37.8% on three-pointers in 2020/21 – and has earned praise from star teammates Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans seem lukewarm on the idea of bringing him back, having been linked to a handful of other free agent point guards in recent weeks. If New Orleans misses out on its top targets, perhaps its relationship with Ball will continue. Otherwise, the Bulls look like the top suitor to watch.

8. DeMar DeRozan, G/F, Spurs
DeRozan’s lack of a three-point shot (he has made 35 in the last three seasons) is an oddity for a wing in the modern NBA, but his mid-range game is deadly and he has become a legitimately dangerous play-maker, averaging a career-best 6.9 assists per game in 2020/21. DeRozan probably won’t make $27.5MM per year on his next deal like he did on his last one, but he’s one of the most talented offensive players available this summer and shouldn’t be overlooked.

9. Norman Powell, G, Trail Blazers
Powell picked a good time to have a career year, racking up 18.6 PPG on .477/.411/.871 shooting in 69 games for Toronto and Portland. He’s a versatile contributor on both offense – where he can comfortably score at the rim or knock down a corner three – and on defense, where he’s capable of guarding multiple positions. He’s a lock to get a raise on last year’s $10.9MM salary.

10. Dennis Schröder, G, Lakers
Schröder reportedly turned down a four-year extension offer worth more than $80MM during the season, perhaps believing that he could squeeze the Lakers for a more lucrative deal in the offseason. Now that Los Angeles has agreed to trade for Russell Westbrook though, a reunion with Schröder seems like a long shot, meaning he may have to seek out a team with cap space or try to figure out a sign-and-trade deal that gets him in the ballpark of his asking price.

11. Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Nets
Dinwiddie missed nearly the entire 2020/21 season due to a partial ACL tear, but has apparently been generating plenty of interest leading up to free agency, having been linked to the Wizards, Pelicans, Heat, and Knicks, among several other teams. I initially projected Dinwiddie’s contract to be a step down from the ones signed by Ball and Schröder, but now I’m not so sure.

12. Duncan Robinson, F, Heat (RFA)
A career 42.3% shooter from three-point range, Robinson will hit the market a year after sharpshooters Joe Harris and Davis Bertans got long-term deals worth $16-18MM per year. There’s no reason for Robinson not to pursue a similar payday with the Heat, who should make a strong effort to keep him.

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2021 NBA Free Agent Power Rankings

A year ago, the 2021 NBA free agent class looked absolutely loaded. But since then, several of the players who were on track to reach free agency this offseason have signed contract extensions with their respective teams, taking them off the market.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Rudy Gobert, Paul George, and Jrue Holiday were among the veteran stars who went this route since last fall. Several up-and-coming stars who would have been restricted free agents in 2021 also inked long-term extensions ahead of time, including Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo.

That doesn’t mean there’s no talent left on the free agent market this summer, but the list is lacking the star power it once had. Most teams should be fine with that though, since only a small handful of clubs project to have anything close to maximum-salary cap room.

Below, we’ve taken a crack at ranking the top free agents for 2021. This list attempts to capture each player’s expected value on the 2021 free agent market, rather than simply ranking them based on their present-day on-court contributions. As such, younger players who figure to sign long-term contracts sometimes rank higher than a veteran who may not receive that same sort of commitment.

If you need a refresher on which players will be free agents this fall, be sure to check out our FA lists sorted by position/type and by team.

With all that in mind, here’s the first installment of our 2021 free agent power rankings:

  1. Kawhi Leonard, F, Clippers (player option): As a flurry of stars signed extensions last offseason, Kawhi was essentially the one who didn’t. While that has left Leonard as the clear-cut top free agent of ’21, it’s not worth reading much into — he was also the only one of those stars who simply wasn’t extension-eligible. There has long been an expectation that Leonard will simply re-up with the Clippers this offseason, but another early playoff exit could certainly affect the length of that next deal, even if he doesn’t want to jump ship.
  2. John Collins, F, Hawks (RFA): When the Hawks and Collins discussed a possible extension last fall, the team was offering more than $90MM+ over four years, but the big man was said to be seeking the max. A year later, it’ll be fascinating to see if Atlanta is more willing to meet Collins’ asking price or if the team will let him go out and get an offer sheet.
  3. Chris Paul, G, Suns (player option): At one point, Paul looked like a lock to pick up his $44MM player option for 2021/22. After an All-NBA caliber season in Phoenix though, he now appears more likely to take the Gordon Hayward route, turning down that option in favor of a multiyear deal worth more overall money, even if it pays him a little less next season. His shoulder contusion is ill-timed though, as it’s a stark reminder to the Suns and other potential suitors about the downside of investing heavily in a 36-year-old point guard with an injury history.
  4. Mike Conley, G, Jazz: While Conley doesn’t have as decorated a résumé as Paul or Kyle Lowry, he has one key advantage over his fellow All-Star free agent point guards — he’ll be just 33 years old when he reaches free agency, not 35 or 36. That should make him a safer bet for a lucrative three- or four-year commitment.
  5. Jarrett Allen, C, Cavaliers (RFA): The Cavaliers surrendered a first-round pick to acquire Allen earlier this year, so they clearly don’t plan to let him walk. A commitment of at least $20MM per year seems likely — that number could go higher if Cleveland faces any serious competition for Allen’s services.
  6. Lonzo Ball, G, Pelicans (RFA): Ball reportedly drew interest from the Knicks and Bulls at the trade deadline, and it’s safe to assume both teams will renew that interest this summer — New York and Chicago will have cap room available and are still seeking a long-term answer at point guard. If either team is convinced Ball is that answer, it will put a lot of pressure on the Pelicans, who have some cap issues to figure out.
  7. Kyle Lowry, G, Raptors: Of all the players on this list, Lowry’s value in free agency may be the most difficult to assess. He’s a top-five player among this year’s FAs, but he’s 35 years old, and teams with cap room and a hole at point guard may prefer a younger option. I won’t be shocked if Lowry gets a $25MM-per-year commitment, but I’m not sure any team will give him more than two guaranteed years.
  8. DeMar DeRozan, G/F, Spurs: DeRozan is 31 and should have more prime years left than Lowry, his old Raptors teammate. DeRozan is as talented a scorer from inside the arc as any wing in the NBA and has developed into a genuinely talented play-maker, but he’s also never developed a three-point shot and isn’t a strong defender, making him a tricky fit on certain rosters.
  9. Dennis Schröder, G, Lakers: Although a crowded free agent market for point guards won’t do Schröder any favors, he’s in a better position than several others due to the Lakers’ cap situation. Letting Schröder walk for nothing won’t create any extra spending power for L.A., since the team would still be over the cap. So Rob Pelinka‘s front office will be under pressure to either re-sign Schröder or get some value for him in a sign-and-trade. That could mean the Lakers end up paying a little for him than they’d like to.
  10. Norman Powell, G, Trail Blazers (player option): Powell picked a good time to have a career year. Even though his numbers dipped a little following his trade from Toronto to Portland, he finished the season with a career-best 18.6 PPG on .477/.411/.871 shooting. As a capable, versatile defender who just turned 28, Powell is in line for a nice raise on this year’s $10.9MM salary.
  11. Duncan Robinson, F, Heat (RFA): A career 42.3% shooter from three-point range, Robinson will hit the market a year after sharpshooters Joe Harris and Davis Bertans got long-term deals worth $16-18MM per year. There’s no reason for Robinson not to pursue a similar payday, though his restricted status will reduce his leverage.
  12. Richaun Holmes, C, Kings: With no star centers set to hit the market this summer, a reliable, ascendant player like Holmes could receive plenty of interest from teams looking for a solution up front. Holmes doesn’t stretch the floor at all, but he’s a talented rim runner, rebounder, and rim protector who is coming off a career year at age 27.
  13. Tim Hardaway Jr., G/F, Mavericks: Hardaway has substantially increased his stock over the last two seasons in Dallas by hitting 39.4% of 7.4 threes per game, well above his career mark. As long as there’s a belief that mark is sustainable, he should be one of the most popular wings on the market.
  14. Kelly Oubre, F, Warriors: Oubre is nearly four full years younger than Hardaway, but hasn’t shown the same consistency from beyond the arc, making just 31.6% of his attempts in 2020/21. His 69.5% mark from the free-throw line was also his worst since his rookie season. Those shooting rates and his unflattering on/off-court numbers may give suitors pause this summer.
  15. Lauri Markkanen, F, Bulls (RFA): Markkanen never really hit his stride in Chicago, as he dealt with a constant barrage of injuries and played for three different head coaches during his four years as a Bull. Still, he’s only 24 years old and there should be plenty of teams willing to roll the dice on a power forward who knocked down over 40% of his threes last season.
  16. Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Nets (player option): Dinwiddie’s health makes him a bit of a wild card. While he’s expected to decline his $12.3MM option, it’s unclear whether there will be much of a bidding war over a player who missed nearly the entire 2020/21 season due to a partial ACL tear and wasn’t an especially efficient scorer in ’19/20. He’s a tier below the point guards who are higher on this list.
  17. Evan Fournier, G, Celtics: Fournier was miscast as a go-to option in Orlando, but is a solid complementary scorer who can make outside shots and function as a secondary play-maker. His stint with Boston hasn’t increased his stock, but probably hasn’t hurt it either.
  18. Gary Trent Jr., G, Raptors (RFA): When the Raptors dealt Powell for Trent at the trade deadline, Powell’s looming payday was believed to be a primary factor. But Trent seems in line for a payday of his own, albeit perhaps a slightly more modest one. At age 22, he’s the youngest player on this list, and he averaged a career-high 15.3 PPG with a .385 3PT% in 2020/21 for Portland and Toronto.
  19. Devonte’ Graham, G, Hornets (RFA): LaMelo Ball‘s emergence in Charlotte could make Graham expendable. Still, the Hornets likely won’t want to let him get away for nothing. The 26-year-old can make his threes (37.4% over the last two seasons) and set up teammates for baskets (6.5 APG).
  20. Montrezl Harrell, C, Lakers (player option): After considering about 15 different players for this spot, I ultimately settled on Harrell, who remained extremely productive on offense and a force on the glass with his new team, but hasn’t always been an ideal fit for what the Lakers needed in the middle. If he opts out, a team like Charlotte would probably offer him a raise.

I started with a list of about 50 or 60 candidates for this list. Here are 15 of the players who were among the final cuts and would be strong contenders for the top 35 if we kept going:

Mitchell Robinson (Knicks), Jalen Brunson (Mavericks), and Goran Dragic (Heat) are among the players who have team options for 2021/22 and would be candidates for this list if those options are declined. Since those decisions are out of their hands, they weren’t included here.


Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 NBA Free Agents By Team

Hoops Rumors’ up-to-date list of 2021 free agents by team is below. These are players who were eligible for restricted or unrestricted free agency after the 2020/21 season. Restricted free agents are marked with (RFA).

This list will continue to be updated throughout the 2021 offseason, so be sure to use it and our list of 2021 free agents by position/type as points of reference.

Both lists can be found anytime under “Hoops Rumors Features” on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site, or in the “Free Agent Lists” section of our mobile menu. If you have any corrections or omissions, please contact us.

Updated 10-16-21 (6:42am CT)


Atlanta Hawks

  1. Brandon Goodwin

Boston Celtics

  • None

Brooklyn Nets

  1. Tyler Johnson

Charlotte Hornets

  1. Bismack Biyombo
  2. Nate Darling (two-way UFA)

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2021 NBA Free Agents

Hoops Rumors’ up-to-date list of 2021 free agents is below. The player’s 2021 age is in parentheses.

These are players who are eligible for restricted or unrestricted free agency after the 2020/21 season. They either finished the ’20/21 season on an NBA roster or were unsigned at season’s end (but appeared in at least 10 games). A small handful of other notable free agents are also listed.

You’ll be able to access this list anytime under the “Hoops Rumors Features” menu on the right sidebar on our desktop site, or in the “Free Agent Lists” section of our mobile menu. If you have any corrections or omissions, please contact us.

Updated 11-26-21 (7:42am CT)


Unrestricted Free Agents

Point Guards

Shooting Guards

Small Forwards

Power Forwards

Centers


Restricted Free Agents

All of this year’s standard restricted free agents have signed new contracts. They can be found here.


Player Options

All player option decisions have now been made. They can be found here.


Team Options

All team option decisions have now been made. They can be found here.


Non-Guaranteed Contracts

All players on non-guaranteed contracts for 2021/22 can now be found here.


Contract information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.