Top 5 NBA free agents: Power Forwards
There isn’t always a lot of player movement in the NBA free agency, but there is usually a good amount of talent. Here’s a look at the top 5 power forwards.
The NBA Draft has come and we’ll soon head into the free agency period. Though deals won’t be official until July 6, teams and players can agree to contracts beginning this Thursday, June 30 at 6 p.m. Here’s a look at the top five power forwards in free agency for the 2022-23 season, including restricted free agents and player options.
Miles Bridges - RFA - Charlotte Hornets
Considering Miles Bridges is a restricted free agent, it could be that the Hornets want to keep him, especially considering he was a Most Improved Player candidate and had a breakout year. I would say it’s likely that the Hornets match any offer Bridges gets in the open market. Then again, they may not want to match a max offer sheet if that’s what it comes down to. The Detroit Pistons, on the other hand, could be willing to take that risk with Bridges, having the cap space and perfect hole to fill at power forward.
P.J. Tucker - PO - Miami Heat
P.J. Tucker opted out of his $7.4 million player option with the Miami Heat for the upcoming season and rumor has it he may sign a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. If that’s the case, the Sixers will gain a consistent three-point shooter and the Heat will need to rush to find another option at power forward. Sixers superstar Joel Embiid made his opinions known on playing alongside Tucker back in May. “[Tucker] believes that no one can beat him. He’s just physical and he’s tough. And they have a few of those guys. And since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said that we’ve had those types of guys. Nothing against what we have, it’s just the truth. We never had P.J. Tucker. That’s really what I’m trying to say. So, I think physicality – especially once you get to the playoffs or the later rounds – you need that. You need those guys that are really tough.” The Heat have made it clear they do not want to give up Tucker, and they could do that if they offer him a salary of up to $8.5 million. It’s a question of whether or not they’ll have the cap space.
Chris Boucher - UFA - Toronto Raptors
Chris Boucher didn’t end the 2021-22 season with the best stats. He averaged just 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game. However, when the Raptors were eliminated from the playoffs by the 76ers, Boucher put up 25 points and a 10-rebound double-double. Boucher has potential and though his stats don’t show much for him, he’s impactful, leading the Raptors in net rating the past two seasons in a row. He can defend the rim and his length, instincts, and athleticism allow him to get down to the three-point line. He blocked 38 threes last season, the third highest in the NBA. He could appeal to teams who play aggressive defense.
Otto Porter Jr. - RFA - Golden State Warriors
After dealing with injuries for the majority of three seasons from 2018-2021, Otto Porter Jr. made a comeback in the 2021-22 season playing as a reserve for the champion Golden State Warriors. He put up his best shooting percentage since the 2017-18 season and had a huge impact on the team, pushing Curry’s net rating to 13.8 from 8.8 without Porter. The Warriors should know Porter’s value but may have a difficult time giving him a raise. Other teams probably noticed his worth as well, and could jump at the chance to get him.
Nicolas Batum - PO - Los Angeles Clippers
According to ESPN, Nicolas Batum is declining his $3.3 million player option. But the Clippers can re-sign him on a salary starting at $10.9 million for two years minimum. He is a versatile player, averaging 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 threes, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks over the last two seasons. As a reliable floor-spacer combined with his recent improvement in three-point efficiency, he’s a hot target amongst the available forwards. If the Clippers don’t re-sign him, there will be plenty of other interested parties.
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