NBA

NBA 21/22: Who are the best free agents this year?

The NBA 2021-2022 free agents class: information on the best free agents this season, where they signed, and which players are still available.

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NBA 21/22: Who are the best free agents this year?
KEVORK DJANSEZIAN AFP

NBA free agency for the 2021-22 season began on August 2nd where teams officially negotiated deals with players. Some of the biggest stars in this year's class, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul, may already be signed-up, but there are still some solid players looking for new deals.

Who are the best NBA free agents this 21-22 season?

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

Without a doubt, the first free agent on the NBA 21-22 list is Kawhi Leonard. The 30-year-old re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers a reported four-year contract of $176 million in August, 2021. In Leonard’s first two seasons with his hometown team, he averaged 26 points, 6.8 rebounds and five assists.

He is certainly one of the top all-around players in the NBA league.

Chris Paul, Suns

Second on the list is Chris Paul, also known as CP3. Paul has worked wonders with the Phoenix Suns in his first season with them, leading them to the NBA Finals for the first time in over two decades. Paul, 36, averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists with Phoenix, and will be looking to push them further this season, after he re-signed a four-year deal with them of around $120 million. Paul could potentially hit 40 with his Phoenix family.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors

The 35-year-old was a vital part of the Toronto Raptors’ championship win in 2019. He led the Raptors’ (4,277) assists, (873) steals, three-pointers (1,518) and triple-doubles (16). Lowry has been sent to the Miami Heat in exchange for Goran Dragic for the Raptors.

John Collins, Hawks

John Collins and the Hawks also signed a five-year deal that includes a player option, worth $125 million. Collins has been a great pillar for the Hawks’ success; he averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds for them last season.

In the 2021 playoffs, he made a statement with his performance in Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 15.3 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the well-deserved Hawks’ comeback win. 

Which best NBA free agents are still available?

The NBA 2021 class has diluted with the signing of a few long-term extensions with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert and Paul George, but it still features a few solid players on the market. Here are some of the best NBA free agents still available: 

Point guards Wesley Matthews and J J Redick

Matthews is still available on the free-agent market after his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 34-year-old has played 58 games for the Lakers, where he averaged 4.8 points in 19.5 minutes per game. It might just be a matter of time before he signs again with them for the 21-22 season.

J J Redick:

Redick is in “no rush” to be signed away this season. He had a somewhat down year between the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks last season, where he only played 13 games with the Mavericks, due to injury. He is still as explosive as a 37-year-old shooting guard can be, and for now he is enjoying being a spectator. 

Small forward James Ennis

James Ennis, 31, has been working out with the Lakers all offseason, hoping to land a roster spot with them in 21-22. The Lakers have not yet indicated that they’re taking Ennis, however it is still possible that they do once they decide on the 15th roster spot. Ennis is a strong NBA rotation player at a position of need on the wing.

The NBA certainly raises an interest topic around free agency, trades and salary cap. That’s why we put together an article explaining in-detail how certain trades take place in the NBA, and how much teams have to spend on their players in the 21-22 season.