Free-agent NBA players are under a contract but are permitted to accept offers from other teams.
Moreover, several free agents are piquing the interest of numerous fans worldwide.
As the new season in the NBA rolls in, eyes will be on them.
Here are the top free agents making names for this 2022 NBA Season.
James Harden // Player Option
The new superstar of the Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden, was obtained by the team from Brooklyn Nets just before the deadline. His following plans as a player option are a hot topic right now, especially since his contract with the 76ers will end on April 10.
Although this All-Star player will become a sought-after free agent for many teams, he’s comfortable playing alongside fellow All-Star Joel Embiid. Still, teams can wonder if they can pry Harden off from the 76ers this offseason. Harden is averaging 10.2 assists per game and 41.4 field goals during the regular season.
Kyrie Irving // Player Option
With a four-year contract, Kyrie Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019-2020 NBA season. He also received a player option for the 2022-2023 season. Moreover, his average salary is $34,122,650. In his ten years of basketball experience, he has garnered 54.8% field goals and notable 27.5 points per game.
There were issues surrounding Kyrie Irving the league’s rules about the vaccine. Fortunately, he was finally cleared for home games and was able to play against the Grizzlies, where he yet again conquered the court. With Kyrie being able to play home games, the Brooklyn Nets’ Odds To Win NBA Finals gold is slowly becoming a reality.
Deandre Ayton // Restricted
Deandre Ayton is a Bahamian pro basketball player that caught a lot of attention with his playstyle. He has been a restricted player of the Phoenix Suns for four years. He started the year with a career-high 35 points as he and the Suns won over the Minnesota Timberwolves last March 2022.
However, there was disagreement with the rookie extension just before the season, and the Suns did not max out the contract; in the following summer, Ayton will become an in-demand center. Many teams will be eyeing him after, and fans are awaiting whether the Suns will match any offers.
Zach LaVine // Unrestricted
LaVine is an All-Star Shooting Guard for the Chicago Bulls and has been a significant part of the team’s entry to the playoffs. His contract with the team runs for four years, and he is looking for a chance to extend.
LaVine has proven his abilities with 24.4 points per game (14th in the league), 55.3 FG%, and 4.5 assists per game. Far from being a one-trick pony, Zach Lavine has proved to fans that he can soar high with flashy dunks and shoot hot from the three-point line as well.
Russell Westbrook // Player Option
This American professional player minds the score more than anything else. Russell Westbrook has renowned skills in being a point guard. This player has an incredible 7.1 assists, which ranked 12th in the whole league.
Moreover, despite being the fourth player with the highest salary during the 2021-2022 season, fans wonder if he will opt out of his $47 million contract, knowing he has shown interest in the trade this offseason. With the toxicity surrounding the Lakers and Westbrook, it’s clear for everyone that the LA native will be looking for another team next season.
Collin Sexton // Restricted
Although he was a remarkable player with an intimidating defensive playstyle, Collin Sexton’s injury during the Cleveland resurgence will significantly affect his NBA free-agent market next summer. He currently has a staggering 24.4 three-point field goals and 45.5 field goals per game.
Evidently, his stats are something to look into if not for his injury. People interested in the Cleveland Cavaliers will put any effort into matching other teams’ offers to Sexton as his contract is nearing.
Anfernee Simons // Restricted
Anfernee Simons was in his rookie deal, and this is his last year before he enters restricted free agency. However, he was met with an unfortunate patellar tendinopathy injury in his left knee. Simons was reported to be out during the remainder of the 2022 NBA regular season.
The Portland Trail Blazers might find it hard to re-sign him due to this injury. Although he’s had a serious injury, Simons is averaging good numbers, making him an attractive and affordable target for other teams.
These unstoppable players will continue to control the court during their games, and no one is stopping them.
Despite the contract’s mind, the players consistently continue to prove their worth and show how significant they can be to their teams.
So, who are you looking forward to the most this 2022 NBA Season?
Featured Image: UNSplash