The NBA free agency has slowed down, but there are still talented players out there that can help out the right team. Here are the top five free agents left in free agency.
1.) Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton is an exceptionally talented center. At 23-years-old, Ayton still has room to grow. And that makes him scary. A true center is hard to come by in today’s game (with the exception of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic), and Ayton is cut from that cloth.
Ayton was the first pick of the 2018 draft. The Suns selected him after their rough 21-61 season. Ayton was another piece to add to their young core alongside star guard Devin Booker. And it started off well.
In his rookie season, Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. Obstacles such as a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy (due to a diuretic) and injuries cut into his sophomore season. But he averaged 18.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in that time.
Ayton’s time in Phoenix could be coming to an end. He and the Suns could not reach an agreement on an extension last season, and as the Suns pursue Durant, Ayton could be involved. However, there are reports that Ayton could join the Indiana Pacers through a sign-and-trade. So regardless of where he lands, there is a strong chance he won’t be in a Suns uniform.
2.) Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton is a natural scorer. In his 2020-21 season, Sexton averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals.
Sexton was the eighth pick of the 2018 draft. He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers during the summer where LeBron James’ future with the team was in question. James went on to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sexton is a talented guard whose main objective is to score. He can help out any team, but as it stands, he has received little to no offers. The Cleveland Cavaliers extended a qualifying offer to Sexton and are discussing a deal to bring him back. But there is no deal in place.
While a lack of interest in Sexton (from other teams) is surprising, he did suffer a season-ending injury last year. He suffered a torn left meniscus, and played only 11 games in 2021-22. A healthy Cleveland Cavaliers roster could be dangerous, and if Sexton returns, we could see them in the playoffs.
3.) Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder is a veteran point guard that can help out any team. He last played for the Houston Rockets. He signed with the Boston Celtics that season, but Boston traded him to Houston for Daniel Theis. Schroder sat out the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, but if he is healthy, he could be a valuable point guard. Whether it is a contending team that needs a backup point guard or a young team that can use veteran leadership, he fills a void. So, while Schroder remains a free agent, he may not be one for long.
4.) Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is one of the greatest players to play the game. His knack for scoring helped him become No. 9 on the NBA’s All-time scoring list. Anthony has his share of accolades, but there is still one thing missing. He does not have a championship. At 38-years-old, Anthony’s playing days could be coming to an end. And that poses an interesting question. Should Anthony join a contender and pursue another championship run?
Anthony joined the Lakers last season, and despite him averaging 13.3 points, the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs. He could rejoin the Lakers or he could join a team like Golden State and possibly get his championship. Anthony has a big decision ahead of him and it will be interesting to see what he does.
5.) Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe is another veteran point guard that can help the right team. Bledsoe was recently part of a deal that sent him from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers waived him and he will seek a home elsewhere.
Bledsoe remains a tough defender and an option as a backup. And it is possible that a contending team will go after him.
There are still solid free agents out there and they will find a home soon enough.