We have already gone over our list of the top-10 Unrestricted 2013 NBA Free Agents. Here are the best restricted free agents who are scheduled to hit the market next summer. Don't forget: A team has the right to match any offer sheet a restricted free agent signs, so it is difficult to sign away a player.
James Harden, Thunder.
Oklahoma City enters next offseason as one of the more intriguing teams to watch. The Thunder has already given well-deserved monster extensions to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but the team still has both Harden and Serge Ibaka coming up as restricted free agents.
It will be interesting to see if Harden chooses to stay with in Oklahoma City - assuming it is willing to pay him in the ballpark of $13 million per year (the max contract for a restricted free agent), or if he desires to go elsewhere. Perhaps somewhere where he can maybe be the go-to option. My guess is the Thunder extend his deal during the season.
Serge Ibaka, Thunder.
Ibaka has developed into a well-rounded player as his offensive game gets more polished. He can be a force on the glass and as a shot-blocker, and at 22 years old, will only get better with time.
Ibaka will cost at least $10 million per year, which would certainly put Oklahoma Curt in a tough salary-cap situation moving forward. I would not at all be surprised to see the Thunder get rid of Kendrick Perkins and try to keep both Harden and Ibaka.
Stephen Curry, Warriors.
Injuries really held Curry back last season and as a result, Golden State has been in no hurry to extend his deal. We all know Curry can stroke it from deep, but he still has not fully grasped what it takes to be a true NBA point guard. This upcoming season will be a huge measuring stick to see what types of offers Curry might generate next summer.
Tyreke Evans, Kings.
After an insane rookie campaign, Evans' production has dipped in each of the past two seasons. He still doesn't have a true NBA position, but his versatility and size does allow him to play the one, the two, or even the three.
Still, there are question marks about Evans' ability to be a teammate, which might turn teams off from throwing a monster deal his way. He will need to have a solid bounce-back season to get his market value higher.
Brandon Jennings, Bucks.
There were already rumblings last season that Jennings wanted to test the market once his rookie contract expired. He certainly runs the show and it would be a huge loss for Milwaukee to just let him walk without getting anything in return.
However, I am not sure the Bucks would be willing to cough up anywhere near max money to extend Jennings. I would not at all be shocked if he accepted his qualifying offer, played out his contract, and became an unrestricted free agent in 2014. It also wouldn't surprise me if Milwaukee dealt him at some point during the season.
Ty Lawson, Nuggets.
The former Tar Heel is the sparkplug of Denver's offensive attack and has consistently improved every season. He is massively underpaid as he is only slated to make $2.5 million in 2012-13, so look for the Nuggets to extend him sooner rather than later.
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors.
Having just signed Landry Fields and drafted Terrence Ross eighth overall, DeRozan might actually become expendable in Toronto. For the right price, I think some team could actually pry him away from the Raptors. I can't see any team overpaying for a shooting guard who is a career 21% three-point shooter though.
Taj Gibson, Bulls.
Seeing that Omer Asik just received a 3-year, $25 million contract from the Rockets, Gibson could follow suit next summer. He has become extremely valuable off the Bulls' bench and was one of the steals of the 2009 NBA Draft as the 26th overall pick.
Asik's contract was too rich for Chicago to match, and a similar type offer sheet could yield the same result for Gibson. Another possibility that wouldn't shock me is if the Bulls amnestied Carlos Boozer in an attempt to keep Gibson and maybe add another piece.
Jrue Holiday, 76ers.
I am nowhere close to being sold on Holiday as a franchise NBA point guard. He is just 22 years old, but this upcoming season will be a huge determining factor into what his worth will be next summer. As you can see, there are several point guards ahead of him on this list, so Holiday might not be too highly coveted unless he has a breakout fourth season.
Darren Collison, Mavericks.
More than likely, Collison will not be extended a qualifying offer from Dallas as the team looks to clear as much cap space as possible for next offseason in hopes of making a run at Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Unless Collison really shines with the Mavericks, he could be available for a very affordable price next summer to a team looking for a cheap starting point guard or a very talented young reserve.
Other restricted free agents of note: Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Henderson, Wayne Ellington, Roddy Beaubois and Jeff Teague.
so funny about Starbucks and so true. I especially like the part if kucking a snowflake when they are down. I will say this - One of the Starbucks shops in my town is open at 4:30 a.m., which is a Godsend for those infrequent really early work days.