The Best Fits For the Top 2021 NBA Free Agents

NBA free agency doesn't tip off for another few weeks, but it's never too early to speculate where guys like Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard will land.

Kawhi Leonard Ty Lue NBA Playoffs 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14: Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers hi-fives Kawhi Leonard #2 during Round 2, Game 4 of 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 14, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.

Kawhi Leonard Ty Lue NBA Playoffs 2021

Free agency is simultaneously the most chaotic and fun time on the NBA calendar. But as we noted last week, the trade market might end up being way more intriguing and newsworthy during this summer’s NBA offseason since the free agent class isn’t shaping up to be as star-studded as previously expected.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, and a few other stars were once upon a time on track to headline this summer’s available free agents. But thanks to max extensions and teams handing out fewer 1-and-1 contracts, the 2021 free agent class is considerably less sexy than previous offseasons. That being said, it’s of course still full of excellent players and difference makers among the roughly top 20 or so available to sign anywhere. So we might as well do our best to project where the most notable names will wind up when players are eligible to sign new deals starting Friday, Aug. 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.

As you’ll notice, we ignored guys with player options like Montrezl Harrell, Bobby Portis, Norman Powell, Will Barton, Serge Ibaka, JaMychal Green, and others because we need them to figure out what they want to do before re-assessing their situation. However, we couldn’t resist projecting the two most prominent ballers with player options because its Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard. Ignoring them would’ve been criminal.  

You’ll see the Knicks mentioned a ton below—you’ll also hear them come up a ton in trade talks as well. That’s because New York owns the most cap room heading into free agency. The Knicks are projected to have a practical cap space of approximately $51 million for next season, according to Spotrac. Let’s see if the front office really knows what it’s doing and continues to spend its money judiciously rather than ridiculously as had been the Knickerbockers wont this century.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul Handshake 2021 Playoffs

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard Clippers Bench Playoffs 2021

Mike Conley Jr.

Mike Conley Jr Jazz Clippers NBA Playoffs 2021

Kyle Lowry

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DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan Madison Square Garden 2021

John Collins

John Collins Atlanta Milwaukee 2021

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball Pelicans Hornets 2021

Dennis Schröder

Dennnis Schroder Lakers Interview Playoffs 2021

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond LeBron James Lakers Suns Playoffs 2021

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson Clippers NBA Playoffs 2021

Spencer Dinwiddie

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Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo Heat Dunk 2021

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr Mavericks Clippers 2021

Jarrett Allen

Jarrett Allen Cavaliers Wizards 2021

Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen Bulls Pistons 2021

Duncan Robinson

Duncan Robinson Heat Hornets 2021

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso Lakers Suns Playoffs 2021

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Knicks Hawks 2021

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Blazers Three 2021

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin Free Throw nets 2021

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