2022 NBA Free-Agent Rankings: Harden, Beal, Lavine Among Top-10 Guards

VNumerous marquee players who were predicted by almost every sportsbook to be in the open market during 2022 signed extensions. The free-agent pool for next summer isn’t as strong as we expected. However, there could still be a shortage of top-quality players, so who are the free agents for next summer’s NBA season?

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What should I know about NBA Free Agents

NBA free agents refer to players who are eligible to sign up for a new team in the following season. There are two types of free agents: unrestricted or restricted.

The majority of free agents will be unrestricted and can sign up for any team they wish without restrictions. A few restricted free agents in the National Basketball Association are young players coming to the end their first contract.

Unrestricted agents are allowed to negotiate with other teams and sign up with the team they choose, but restricted free agents cannot. They can only negotiate, but they cannot sign a contract. The offer sheet can be matched by the player’s original team. The player will remain with their original team, but the terms of the offer must match those of the other team. However, the predetermined salary for the one-year period is based on the factors the team offered to the player. The player becomes an unrestricted, free agent if the team withdraws the qualifying offer. The offer will be signed by the player and they will become unrestricted agents after the next season.

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What are the 11 best NBA free agents for 2022?

BetZillion lists the 10 top NBA free agents in 2022. These are some of the most prominent names according to BetZillion. These are:

1. James Harden – Brooklyn Nets

The top-tier NBA scorer and passer has a remarkable driving ability due to his strong right shoulder. He is a vital member of all teams’ team.

2. Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal has become an outstanding 2-guard over the years. He is a skilled scorer and can jump even the most challenging jumpers. This puts him in a strong position for next season.

3. Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets

This skilled ball-handler is able to hit many types of jumpers, including hard-to-contest fadeaways and quick pull-ups.

4. Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls

This athlete is a master of leaping and has spent the last few years improving his game to match this amazing ability.

5. Russell Westbrook – Los Angeles Lakers

Although Westbrook’s 20-point triple doubles may not be as efficient, he is still a great player and puts in a lot of effort every game.

6. Dennis Schroder – Boston Celtics

Schroder, who turned down the Lakers extension offer and was battling COVID before accepting a lucrative deal to recover his wages, is now ready to make a claim on his lost wages.

7. Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers

Sexton is a truly controversial player. Sexton is an offensive powerhouse, but the Cavs have not seen significant improvement in their stats since Sexton signed.

8. John Wall – Houston Rockets

Wall has a $47.4million player option for 2022/23, but his free-agent appeal is severely limited due to his horrific injury history.

9. Victor Oladipo – Miami Heat

Victor was the MIP (Most Improved player) of the league only three years ago. Oladipo’s career has been hampered by injuries such as a quad tendon tear and surgery. He could even be out of the game for a while.

10. Gary Harris – Orlando Magic

At the March deadline, he had reached an agreement with Orlando. Harris still has one year remaining on his 2018 4-year contract, which he signed for $84million. Harris is a versatile, solid and 2-way player. He has had issues with his health in recent years and will need some significant numbers this season.

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11. DeAndre Ayton – Phoenix Suns

DeAndre Ayton, a new contender, has entered the ranks for 2022 Free Agents. The Center for the Phoenix Suns wanted to extend his contract, hoping to secure a maximum salary agreement. Robert Sarver, team owner, refused to offer one. This means that there was no agreement by the rookie scale extension deadline. Ayton will be a restricted free agent in 2022, with this in mind.

Ayton and Suns’ owners reported a stalemate a few weeks ago. Representatives for Ayton, a 23-year old player, believed that their client should be given a similar commitment as Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous Alexander, and Luka Docic received from their teams. The group believed that Ayton wasn’t at the same level as the young stars, and offered him only a qualifying offer.

The qualifying offer is not to be taken lightly – it’s worth $16,4MM, making it the largest QO in NBA history. It’s highly unlikely that Ayton will accept this offer. He will therefore almost certainly be free of charge to look at other free agency options.

A constantly-evolving list

As any NBA fan knows, the list of potential free agents in 2022 is always changing and evolving. Who knows who might disappear or appear on the list within the next few months? We only need to look at last year’s disappointments, when several highly regarded players signed extensions unannouncedly, to see how fast things can change in the world top-level basketball.

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Basketball bookmakers and bettors alike will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the next weeks and months. You may not find a better time to bet on the outcome you believe is most likely. So why not place a bet now?