2016 NBA Free Agents

2016 NBA Free Agency: The unrestricted NBA free agents for 2016. Age listing as of Oct. 31, 2016.

By Mike Elworth.

Follow Mike @MikeElworth24. For site updates follow @walterfootball.

  1. Kevin Durant, Thunder, SF. Age: 28.
    Signed with Warriors (2 seasons, $54 million)

    Durant is best offensive player in the NBA after MVP Stephen Curry, and at just 27, his age makes him the best free agent on the market, as LeBron James is now in his 30s. Durant’s had a historic scoring season and continues to improve as a distributor and defender, while rebounding like a big man. James is the stronger player today, but for a free agent contract, I would much rather pay Kevin Durant $150 million. I expect him to re-sign with the Thunder for five seasons and $150 million.

  2. LeBron James, Cavaliers, SG. Age: 31. Player Option.

    James is still the best and most versatile player in the NBA, but he is aging and commands just too much power for the team he plays for – in my opinion. Regardless, James is one of the best offensive and defensive players in the NBA, can play four positions and will be an MVP candidate for the next three to five seasons. Despite rumors saying he won’t re-sign, he will still likely be a Cavalier next season.

  3. Andre Drummond, Pistons, C. Age: 23.
    Re-signed with Pistons for (5 seasons, $134 million)

    Andre Drummond to me is the best center in the NBA, yet he keeps improving and is still just 22. He is arguably the best rebounder in the league, is improving as a scorer and is an athletic beast who could make the Pistons one of the best teams defensively. As he Drummond their franchise player and a restricted free agent, there is almost no chance he isn’t with the club for the next three to five years – depending on the contract.

  4. DeMar DeRozan, Raptors, SG. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Raptors (5 seasons, $132 million)

    There are few players who have improved as much as DeMar DeRozan season-to-season in this league. He started as a raw teenager, but is now one of the best offensive players in the NBA and half of the foundation of the Toronto Raptors. It is well-known that he loves his team and its city, but at least half the league is willing to give him a max contract, and saying no to being the man on his hometown Lakers – the most rumored suitor – may be too hard to say no to.

  5. Dwyane Wade, Heat, SG. Age: 34.
    Signed with Bulls (2 seasons, $47 million)

    People seem to forget it, but Dwyane Wade is still one of the best guards in the NBA. He’s in his 30s, yes, and misses 10-20 games a season, but he is still an excellent scorer and play-maker. He shouldn’t be making $20 million per season anymore, but the Heat will pay him what it takes to re-sign their biggest star.

  6. Mike Conley, Grizzlies, PG. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Grizzlies (5 seasons, $154 million)

    Some may disagree with Mike Conley’s ranking, but it’s no secret that NBA teams adore Conley. He’s a team-first player who does what it takes to win, and somebody is going to give him $100 million. The only question is if the Grizzlies are that team.

  7. Bradley Beal, Wizards, SG. Age: 23.
    Re-signed with Wizards (5 seasons, $132 million)

    Bradley Beal has injury concerns, but there is no doubting that he is one of the best two-guards in the league and with John Wall, gives the Wizards one of the NBA’s best guard duos. Beal is an elite shooter and scorer, and a solid play-maker, but he needs to remain healthy. Since Beal is restricted, the Wizards are going to re-sign him.

  8. Al Horford, Hawks, C. Age: 30.
    Signed with Celtics (4 seasons, $104 million)

    Al Horford isn’t given the credit for being one of the NBA’s best players much, but few centers have his excellence in terms of shooting, offense and defense, along with being a team-first player who will sacrifice stats for wins. I expect him to remain in Atlanta.

  9. Joakim Noah, Bulls, C. Age: 31.
    Signed with Knicks (4 seasons, $72 million)

    Joakim Noah tore his shoulder, but seeing Chicago’s defense go from excellent to pathetic with him injured shows just how important the former Defensive Player of the Year is to the Bulls, who are expected to re-sign him. No big man is a stronger distributor and few are the rebounder or defender.

  10. Dwight Howard, Rockets, C. Age: 30.
    Signed with the Hawks (3 seasons, $71 million)

    Dwight Howard isn’t much of an offensive player anymore, but he is still one of the NBA’s best rebounders and shot-blockers. Although his numbers still say his value is at $20 million a season, with his personality and reputation, and the fact he is now 30, I wouldn’t sign him. Regardless, some team will still give Howard a fortune and likely regret it.

  11. Pau Gasol, Bulls, C. Age: 36.
    Signed with Spurs (2 seasons, $30 million)

    Gasol seems to be moving this summer, as word has it that the Bulls won’t be re-signing him. Considering his age and with so many talented young big men in Chicago, it makes sense. On the other hand, Gasol is still one of the best scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking big men in the NBA, and is aging very well. He would be an excellent fit with the Clippers.

  12. Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, PF. Age: 38.
    Re-signed with Mavericks (2 seasons, $40 million)

    Dirk Nowitzki has already said he will play on his option, so the best foreign player in history will be a Maverick next season. He is still excellent and easily the club’s best player, but he’s not a franchise player anymore.

  13. Hassan Whiteside, Heat, C. Age: 26.

    Re-signed with Heat (4 seasons, $98 million)

    Hassan Whiteside is one of the best rebounders and shot-blockers in the league, plus can also score 20 points some games. So yes, he will get a ridiculous contract – about $100 million. But Whiteside’s also had issues in the league, taking years to become an NBA player, and is playing off the bench right now for the Heat. I wouldn’t sign him.

  14. Rajon Rondo, Kings, PG. Age: 30.
    Signed with Bulls (2 seasons, $28 million)

    I like Rondo more than most, as he is the best distributor in the NBA and can get a triple-double any game he plays since he is one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA. Rondo’s had an excellent season for George Karl, but as Karl is likely going to be fired, will Rondo stay with the Kings? I think so, but there are Knick rumors.

  15. Nicolas Batum, Hornets, SF. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Hornets for 5 seasons, $120 million

    Batum quietly had an excellent season for the Hornets, who have made the playoffs for just the third time. He is also one of just a couple of NBA players averaging 15-5-5, and with shooting and defense, he is one of the best periemter talents on the market. The Hornets have to keep him.

  16. Ryan Anderson, Pelicans, PF. Age: 27.
    Signed with Rockets (4 seasons, $80 million)

    Ryan Anderson won’t be re-signing with the Pelicans, but somebody will get arguably the NBA’s best shooting power forward. He has been one of the elite sixth men for almost a half decade now, and he plays a position that is very big in this league – shooting four. He will get at least $15 million a season, which is basically double his current salary.

  17. Tim Duncan, Spurs, C. Age: 39. Player Option.

    Although Duncan isn’t the franchise player of the Spurs anymore, he is the soul of the team and one of the keys to its ridiculous defense. If the Spurs win a title, I see him retiring and leaving the team to Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, so there are really just two options; playing on his option or retiring.

  18. Bismack Biyombo, Raptors, C. Age: 24.
    Signed with Magic (4 seasons, $70 million)

    Bismack Biyombo isn’t, and won’t be, an offensive player in this league, but he is an elite rebounder and shot-blocker who is one of the NBA’s best role players. He was touted as the next Ben Wallace when drafted, and if he keeps improving, can be something a lot like him. Biyombo deserves about $10 million a season and will say no to his $3 million player option if his agent is smart. Somebody is going to sign one hell of a young big man this offseason, and it should be the Raptors.

  19. Chandler Parsons, Mavericks, SF. Age: 28.
    Signed with Grizzlies (4 seasons, $94 million)

    Chandler Parsons had an excellent season, but will miss the playoffs because of injury. As he is coming off knee surgery, he is likely to play on his big option. Parsons is an efficient, play-making scorer, shoots 40 percent from three and is a team-first player, but he won’t make more than $15 million – his option – as a free agent.

  20. Harrison Barnes, Warriors, SF. Age: 24.
    Signed with Mavericks (4 seasons, $94 million)

    With an elite young roster featuing multiple large contracts and with Stephen Curry on track to make $150 million in a year, Harrison Barnes could be the first piece of the Warriors’ core they lose because of finances. The team tried giving him more than $70 million in the offseason, but he said no -which I didn’t expect – so one has to think he wants a bigger role than fourth option. Barnes is a role player with star potential and can play the three and four, so he is going to get paid by some team.

  21. Al Jefferson, Hornets, C. Age: 31.
    Signed with Pacers (3 seasons, $30 million)

    Al Jefferson made a mistake not becoming a free agent a year ago because he was injured, suspended and lost his starting job this season to Cody Zeller. Jefferson won’t be with the Hornets next season, but per-minute, he is still having a strong season and will get paid by some team to be its starting center.

  22. David West, Spurs, PF/C. Age: 36.
    Signed with Warriors (1 season, minimum)

    David West said no to a $12 million option to play for the Spurs and make $1.5 million, so the guy wants to win. I see him playing on his option or taking another smallish contract from the Spurs. The man literally doesn’t care about making money – what the hell?.

  23. Jordan Clarkson, Lakers, G. Age: 24.
    Re-signed with Lakers (4 seasons, $50 million)

    Jordan Clarkson is a free agent after two excellent seasons with the Lakers, and although he is restricted, his free agency is one of the most interesting to me. Why? He may be the starting shooting guard for the Lakers, but he is more of a point guard and they have D’Angelo Russell as their franchise point guard. Those two can work as a duo, but Clarkson is best as a sixth man as he is a truly gifted NBA scorer and needs the ball in his hands. I can see a team paying big money for Clarkson to be a starter, but the Lakers should match, as they need to keep their core of Russell, Clarkson and Julius Randle.

  24. Eric Gordon, Pelicans, SG. Age: 27.
    Signed with Rockets (4 seasons, $52 million)

    Eric Gordon was one of the big pieces in the Chris Paul trade to the Clippers, and although injuries have made his tenure with the team disappointing for the most part – including playing only 45 games -, when he plays he is excellent and is still young. Gordon’s a scorer, shooter and play-maker, who when healthy is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. He isn’t getting a second max contract, but if I am a team with money, I would strongly consider a 2-3-year contract to see if he can become the elite player who was expected when he was in L.A.

  25. Kevin Martin, Spurs, SG. Age: 33. UFA.

    Kevin Martin is just a role player right now for the Spurs, but as a free agent, there should be a number of teams looking at him. Why? He is one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. Martin cannot defend, but he can still give you 18 points a game and he knows his role. He is having a poor season, but he’s scored countless NBA points, and that won’t change next season or soon, as he will age well.

  26. Luis Scola, Raptors, PF. Age: 36. UFA.

    As Scola is now an excellent three-point shooter, he is one of the most skilled big men in the NBA. I can see a number of contenders trying to sign him as their third big man, but I think the Raptors keep him.

  27. Luol Deng, Heat, SF. Age: 31.
    Signed with Lakers (4 seasons, $72 million)

    Luol Deng went from a star with Chicago to a role player with the Heat, but he is still an excellent three-and-D small forward who can score 20 points in any game. I don’t see him with the Heat next season, so a number of playoff teams should be calling him.

  28. Manu Ginobili, Spurs, G. Age: 39.
    Playing on option

    This is the same as Duncan; Manu Ginobili, arguably the best sixth man in history, will stay with the Spurs on his option or retire. Per-minute his numbers are still elite.

  29. Zaza Pachulia, Mavericks, C. Age: 32.
    Signed with Warriors (1 season, $2.9 million)

    Zaza Pachulia had a randomly excellent season for the Mavericks, averaging nearly 10 points and 10 rebounds for them after being traded from Milwaukee in the offseason. He is going to double his $5 million salary after his best season, and although he’s not a franchise center, he is a strong starter.

  30. Festus Ezeli, Warriors, C. Age: 27.
    Signed with Trail Blazers (2 seasons, $15 million)

    Festus Ezeli has had injury problems for two seasons now, but when healthy this season, he was one of the best centers – per minute – in the league. With his size, he is an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker who can score and just keeps improving. He hasn’t played more than 17 minutes per game in any of his three seasons, but he is a candidate for a big contract.

  31. Brandon Jennings, Magic, PG. Age: 27.
    Signed with Knicks (1 season, $5 million)

    Yes, Brandon Jennings is an excellent scorer and can run an offense, but he is best as a sixth man and not a starting point guard, which some team is going to pay him to be. His potential is elite, but after so many years in the league, he won’t get there. He deserves sixth man money.

  32. Timofey Mozgov, Cavaliers, C. Age: 30.
    Signed with Lakers (4 seasons, $64 million)

    Timofey Mozgov wasn’t as important to the Cavaliers this season as expected and is very likely to sign with another team in the offseason, but a smaller role doesn’t mean he isn’t helping. Mozgov is a rock-solid starting center, who has scoring abilty, and he is also a strong rebounder and shot-blocker. Somebody will pay him.

  33. Ian Mahinmi, Pacers, C. Age: 29.
    Signed with Wizards (4 seasons, $64 million)

    After multiple seasons as a reserve for the Pacers, Ian Mahinmi had a big season as their starting center. He can score the ball, is a strong defender and rebounder, and the Pacers would be foolish to let him go. Expect his salary to at least double this offseason.

  34. Jared Sullinger, Celtics, C. Age: 24. UFA.

    You still want to see Sullinger become a more efficient scorer, but in his first season as a true center, he had arguably his best year. Sullinger is a talented scorer, one of the league’s best rebounders and an excellent play-maker for a big man. His injury history, offensive efficiency, and lack of size and athleticism hurts his value somewhat, but there is no doubt that he is a starting big man for the NBA. The Celtics have so many assets and are building something, but with so many big men, I think he can be a rare excellent restricted free agent who could be taken from a team with a non-ridiculous contract.

  35. Nene, Wizards, C. Age: 33.
    Signed with Rockets (1 season, $2.9 million)

    The man formerly known as Nene Hilario got ancient in seemingly an offseason, and although his role was smaller this season, per minute, he was still excellent. He is a third big man at best now after 14 years in the NBA and with so much international play for Brazil; however, he can still help any team, but don’t expect it to be the Wizards, who have a lot of money to spend, but want to find another elite talent.

  36. Roy Hibbert, Lakers, C. Age: 29.
    Signed with Hornets (1 seasons, $5 million)

    Roy Hibbert has had a pathetic season by his standards. It seems that he won’t be the elite center he once was, but he can defend and score, and I think he can still be a strong starting center.

  37. Derrick Williams, Knicks, F. Age: 24.
    Signed with Heat (1 season, $5 million)

    Derrick Williams had a big season on the bench for the Knicks, showing why he was once considered an elite prosepct and why he was the second pick in his draft. Averaging about 18 points and right rebounds per 36 minutes, he has shown that he is an excellent reserve forward and that his freak athleticism makes him a big threat on offense. He would be smart to say no to his player option, but stay in NYC.

  38. Jeremy Lin, Hornets, PG. Age: 28.
    Signed with Nets (3 seasons, $36 million)

    Jeremy Lin had an excellent season as the sixth man for one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. He is one of the best reserve guards in the NBA, able to give his team big scoring and another play-maker. Lin deserves at least double his player option, so he would be smart to become a free agent, but re-sign with the Hornets.

  39. Deron Williams, Mavericks, PG. Age: 32.
    Re-signed with Mavericks (1 seasons, $10 million)

    Deron Williams isn’t, and won’t be, the player he was in Utah, but he had a big season for the Mavericks, although he still had his normal injury issues. Regardless, Williams is still a strong starting point guard who needs to stay with the Mavericks, whether on his $5 million player option or on another multi-season contract.

  40. Marvin Williams, Hornets, F. Age: 30.
    Re-signed with Hornets (4 seasons, $54.5 million)

    A starter for a playoff team and one of the best shooting forwards in the NBA, the Hornets would be wise to re-sign Marvin Williams. He shoots 40 percent from three, is an excellent rebounder and fits this team.

  41. Jordan Hill, Pacers, C. Age: 28. UFA.

    Yes, Jordan Hill will be a trivia question as for who was drafted after Stephen Curry, as the Knicks cried when Curry was drafted seventh by Golden State and took Hill eighth, but he’s made something of himself in this league. He is one of the best third big men in the NBA, and although if a choice has to be made, the Pacers have to pick Mahinmi to re-sign; however, they should re-sign Hill if they can, as he is an excellent per-minute scorer and rebounder. He has played well for the Pacers as a starter and a third big.

  42. Marreese Speights, Warriors, PF. Age: 27.
    Signed with Clippers (1 season, minimum)

    There arguably isn’t a more productive big man on any bench in the league than Marreese Speights, who per 36 minutes is averaging 22 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks while shooting 40 percent from three. He is a key player on the best team in the NBA, and he should be re-signed, but can the Warriors afford him? That’s really the only question.

  43. Dwight Powell, Mavericks, PF. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Mavericks (4 seasons, $37 million)

    The second-year big man has had a very nice season on the bench for the Mavericks, averaging almost 15 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes. They need to re-sign him. He should be an elite third big man in this league.

  44. Meyers Leonard, Trail Blazers, C. Age: 24.
    Re-signed with Trail Blazers (4 seasons, $41 million)

    To me, Meyers Leonard had the most random solid season of any player in the NBA this year. Becoming an elite shooting big man and an excellent scorer, he found a role in this league. and the Trail Blazers have to re-sign him, as he is arguably their best offensive big man and will likely continue to improve like he did this season.

  45. Evan Fournier, Magic, G/F. Age: 24.
    Re-signed with Magic (5 seasons, $85 million)

    The big-time scoring guard/forward just had a strong season and as their best perimeter scorer and an elite shooter, he is likely to remain with the Magic. He is one of their best pieces of their franchise.

  46. Kent Bazemore, Hawks, SG. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Hawks (4 seasons, $70 million)

    Kent Bazemore had an excellent season as a starter for really the first time, and with a playoff team. He showed he can shoot and score as needed, and he was already known as a defender. I expect somebody to give him at least four times his current $2 million contract, likely Atlanta.

  47. Jamal Crawford, Clippers, SG. Age: 36.
    Re-signed wih Clippers (3 seasons, $42 million)

    Although 36, Jamal Crawford is still a gifted scorer and could win his third Sixth Man of the Year Award this season, but he won’t be going strong for more than another year or two and he has actually had a mediocre season. Still, the Clippers should re-sign him.

  48. Evan Turner, Celtics, SF. Age: 27.
    Signed with Trail Blazers (4 seasons, $70 million)

    Evan Turner has become an elite sixth man. With his strong scoring, rebounding and excellent play-making ability as a small forward, he can run any second unit, and the Celtics should re-sign him. I have heard they like him a lot, so this is very likely.

  49. Arron Afflalo, Knicks, SG. Age: 31.
    Signed with Kings (2 seasons, $22 million)

    Arron Afflalo was one of the best shooting guards in the NBA when with the Magic, but he’s had some trouble for two seasons now. No, he isn’t the player he was at 30 and won’t likely be again, but he is still an efficient scorer and an excellent shooter who could start for half the teams in this league. I don’t think he will get more than the $8 million per year, which is his player option, but he is likely to become a free agent this offseason. The Knicks should keep him.

  50. Gerald Henderson, Trail Blazers, SG. Age: 28.
    Signed with 76ers (2 seasons, $18 million)

    Gerald Henderson is a solid starting two-guard, although he acted as a sixth man in Portland this season, giving the team some offense in the second unit. He is likely looking for a starting job in the offseason – I would.

Go to Mike Elworth’s NBA Free Agent Rankings 51-100.

Go to Mike Elworth’s NBA Free Agent Rankings 101-150.

Go to Mike Elworth’s NBA Free Agent Rankings 151-175.

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