The NBA free agency is almost underway which means that all General Managers must be working around the clock to get some deals done. Everybody around the league is getting better and they don't want to be caught sleeping.
At first glance, this year's free-agent class isn't exactly the richest in terms of talent or top-tier players but it has countless role players that could make a huge difference on contending teams.
That's why today, we've put together a list featuring the top 7 free agents that could make an impact on teams trying to make it to the NBA Finals. Notably, we won't include Anthony Davis because he's a lock to resign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
9. Dwight Howard
2019/20 Stats: 7.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.7 APG
Even if he's no longer the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate he once was, Dwight Howard proved that he can still be a huge contributor to a championship team. He was in the best shape of his career and provided a lot of energy on both ends of the glass.
Howard is still an elite rim runner and rim protector and he already said that he won't take a veteran minimum deal again after winning his first ring. If he stays locked in, he could be a major addition for a contending team on a one-year deal.
8. Fred VanVleet
2019/20 Stats: 17.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.6 APG
Fred VanVleet was honest about his plans for free agency. He said that he's already an NBA Champion and now just wants to cash in after enduring a tough journey on his way to the league. It's fair, and he's earned it.
'Steady Freddy' broke out as a scorer and playmaker this season after already proving that he could be a lockdown defender in the backcourt as well. He's likely going to be overpaid, though, as he's better off as a role player and there are still some doubts about his ability to be 'the man'.
7. Serge Ibaka
2019/20 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.4 APG
Serge Ibaka continues to be a reliable source of energy on both ends of the floor. He's no longer the top-notch rim protector he was during his days at OKC, but he can still play solid defense in the post and the perimeter.
Ibaka has also added the three-point shot to his repertoire which is a must nowadays for big men, and he's rumored to be on the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers' radar if the Toronto Raptors don't bring him back.
6. Montrezl Harrell
2019/20 Stats: 18.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.7 APG
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year has earned his money, that's for sure. However, it's unlikely that the Los Angeles Clippers will be willing to commit a lot of cash for Montrezl Harrell after their meltdown last year.
The Clippers are reportedly going to look for a third star in the offseason and keeping Harrell will be tricky. He's a never-ending source of energy and an outstanding offensive rebounder, but whether he's good enough to start and sign a big contract is yet to be seen.
5. Jerami Grant
2019/20 Stats: 12.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.2 APG
The Denver Nuggets would be making a huge mistake if they let Jerami Grant walk away, although they may have no choice if other teams show up with a big bag of cash, which is likely to be the case.
Grant has improved as a scorer from all three levels and his versatility as a defender could come pretty handily for teams lacking size. He can guard one through five and could even play as an undersized center from time to time.
4. Tristan Thompson
2019/20 Stats: 12.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.1 APG
LeBron James made sure that Tristan Thompson got his money in his last contract. Now, he knows that he's going to have to take a massive discount if he wants to go back to contending for a ring.
Thompson is one of the best offensive rebounders in the league and has made great strides as a defender as well, although his offense is still limited, to say the least. His skill set could be perfect for teams needing an interior presence and second-chance opportunities.
3. Joe Harris
2019/20 Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 APG
People continue to sleep on Joe Harris despite the fact that he's been one of the most efficient volume shooters in the league for the past couple of years. Now, there aren't going to be many touches for him in the Brooklyn Nets.
Harris is the best sharpshooter in this year's free agency class and he already got paid a nice bag, so perhaps he'll now pursue his first ring. There's no doubt that there will be plenty of teams waiting in line to acquire his JJ Redick-ish services.
2. Danilo Gallinari
2019/20 Stats: 18.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.9 APG
I guess that we can all agree that if it wasn't for injuries, then Danilo Gallinari would be a multiple-time All-Star and one of the best scorers in the league. That's why he keeps getting paid despite being so injury-prone.
The Italian forward has a rare combination of size, speed, and shooting skills that many contending teams could find helpful. He's likely looking to cash in the last lucrative deal of his career.
1. Carmelo Anthony
2019/20 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
And last but not least, we find Carmelo Anthony. Everybody should be waiting in line outside his house to apologize to him after dubbing him a toxic player and pointing him out as the scapegoat over and over.
Melo proved again that he's one of the greatest scorers of all time by hitting huge clutch shots for the Blazers last year. He embraced his lesser role and showed that he still has a lot left in the tank, and any contending team could use his timely and efficient scoring touch.
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