2022 NBA Free Agency Rankings:
- Point Guard Rankings
- Shooting Guard Rankings
- Small Forward Rankings
- Power Forward Rankings
- Center Rankings
With the NBA Finals coming to an end a couple of weeks ago and the NBA Draft coming and going, all of the league’s attention now turns to “Christmas in July,” which is also known as NBA Free Agency.
Every single summer, the NBA winds up stealing the show in the sports world because of the craziness that is free agency and because of how every team scrambles to make moves in order to get a leg up on one another.
While we have seen plenty of championship teams built through the draft over the last couple of decades, free agency still plays a pivotal role in many team’s chances to contend for a title, especially if they are able to pair All-Star talents with one another!
Perhaps what stands out about every team in today’s league is the play in their backcourt, specifically at the point guard position. You have to have a great point guard in order to be considered a real threat to win it all in the NBA and while this year’s free agent class does not have a ton of point guard depth, there are still quite a few names that can make a difference.
Here is a list of the projected top available free agents in the NBA this summer with their current free agent status, previous contract and expected salary heading into the start of free agency.
Notable Names: Aaron Holiday (Phoenix Suns), Raul Neto (Washington Wizards), Jevon Carter (Milwaukee Bucks), Isaiah Thomas (Charlotte Hornets)
#10 Facundo Campazzo - Restricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $2,975,000| Last Team: Denver Nuggets | Expected: Veteran’s Minimum
Going from a key bench talent in the backcourt to being nothing more than a reserve late in the season for the Denver Nuggets, Facundo Campazzo enters free agency as a restricted free agent with little value attached to his name, especially since he is now 31-years-old. The Argentinian point guard played in 65 games for the Nuggets during the 2021-22 season, starting in just four games and averaging 5.1 points, 3.4 assists and shooting 30.1% from three-point range.
While he is a solid defender, Campazzo’s value to the Nuggets has gone down drastically in the last few months because of the emergence of Bones Hyland. Should Denver bring Facundo Campazzo back, he will likely continue to be a third or fourth option in the team’s backcourt for depth. He could possibly be a target for other teams as well for depth, but Denver will have the chance to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team.
#9 Lou Williams - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $5,000,000 | Last Team: Atlanta Hawks | Expected: Veteran’s Minimum
A three-time Sixth Man of the Year and quite possibly one of the greatest bench players of all-time, Lou Williams is now 35-years-old and may be nearing the end of the line in his career. Heading into the 2021-22 season, Williams had average double-digit scoring numbers for 14 straight seasons, but he only averaged 6.3 points per game with the Atlanta Hawks this past year.
Seeing his role decline and only averaging 14.3 minutes per game, Williams’ backup role in Atlanta was taken by Delon Wright and now, the veteran’s status for the 2022-23 season is definitely in question. Still known to be a scoring threat off-the-bench, especially in the mid-range area, a couple of championship quality teams could be interested in adding Lou Williams to their roster on a minimum contract for end-of-bench depth. His days of being a Sixth Man of the Year candidate though seem to be in the rearview mirror.
#8 Rajon Rondo - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $2,641,691 | Last Team: Cleveland Cavaliers | Expected: Veteran’s Minimum
Now 36-years-old and getting ready to head into his 17th NBA season, Rajon Rondo is still finding ways to be productive on the floor. Things didn't work out early on this past season with the Los Angeles Lakers for the future Hall-of-Famer, but after being acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rondo once again proved that he can still play in the NBA.
In 21 games with the Cavs, Rondo averaged 6.2 points, 4.9 assists and shot 39.7 from three-point range. Being a somewhat consistent perimeter threat, as well as one of the best passers in NBA history, Rajon Rondo can still be counted on to be a valuable backup ball-handler and facilitator. Expect a few contending teams to consider signing Rondo in the offseason, especially if he is willing to continue accepting a minimum contract.
#7 Goran Dragic - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $728,742 | Last Team: Brooklyn Nets | Expected: Veteran’s Minimum
Being bought out of his contract by the San Antonio Spurs and then signing with the Brooklyn Nets, Goran Dragic proved that he still has a little bit left in the tank. At 36-years-old, Dragic is no longer the former All-Star guard he once was, but his eye to score and ability to create space for others still exists. With the Nets this past season, Dragic averaged 7.3 points, 4.8 assists and shot 37.6% from the floor in 16 total games.
Much like the first few names listed above, Goran Dragic is nothing more than a minimum contract type of player in this league. However, his potential impact on the offensive end of the floor is greater than others, hence why he still remains as one of the better veteran free agents this summer.
#6 Patty Mills - Unrestricted Free Agent
2022-23 Option: $6,184,500 | Last Team: Brooklyn Nets | Expected: Mid-Level Exception to $9M per year
Update 6/29/22: Patty Mills has declined his player option and will be an unrestricted free agent when free agency begins.
Early indications point towards Patty Mills remaining with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, but rival teams are expected to pursue the veteran guard. During the 2021-22 season, Mills averaged 11.4 points, 2.3 assists and shot 40.0% from three-point range, hitting a team-high 227 three-pointers on the year.
With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons all on the floor and healthy, the Nets will have a contending roster in this league, one that Patty Mills will continue to make his presence felt on as the team’s sixth man. His ability to shoot from the perimeter and open up the floor for others makes him a very valuable piece to Brooklyn’s puzzle, which is why it is hard to imagine that he will be going elsewhere in free agency.
#5 Delon Wright - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $8,526,316 | Last Team: Atlanta Hawks | Expected: Mid-Level Exception
While his numbers may not show it, Delon Wright’s impact coming off-the-bench behind Trae Young in Atlanta this past year was perhaps the greatest on the team. Wright is by no means a starting point guard in this league at 30-years-old, but he is an above-average defender and playmaker that understands his role on the floor.
A one- or two-year deal at the mid-level exception seems like a very fair deal for Wright entering free agency and given the trust a team can put in him to run their second-unit, he will find himself on a playoff contending team next season.
#4 Ricky Rubio - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $17,800,000 | Last Team: Indiana Pacers | Expected: Mid-Level Exception to $10M per year
Suffering a torn left ACL in December, Ricky Rubio’s status for the start of the 2022-23 season is definitely in question. No timetable has been laid out for his potential return yet, but it is hard to imagine that he will be 100% ready to go for the start of the new season.
This could very much impact his expected value in free agency and the amount of money he sees. Averaging 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists with the Cavaliers before this knee injury, Rubio is viewed as a key sixth man in the backcourt that many teams could show interest in. As of right now, Cleveland remains a frontrunner to bring Rubio back in free agency and he could very much be willing to accept less money to rejoin them.
#3 Dennis Schroder - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $5,890,000 | Last Team: Houston Rockets | Expected: $5M to $10M per year
Ever since the Atlanta Hawks traded him in 2018, Dennis Schroder has not seemed to find a home even though his numbers are always very consistent. Playing for the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets this past season, Schroder averaged 13.5 points, 3.3 rebound, 4.6 assists and shot 43.1% from the floor in 64 total games during the 2021-22 season.
While he is not a max-level contract type of guard, Dennis Schroder can still be a starting caliber point guard in this league because of his scoring abilities off-the-dribble and ability to open up space on the floor for perimeter shooters. Defensively though is where Schroder can be a liability at times, which is why his value is a big unknown this summer.
Joining a contending team on a smaller, mid-level exception type of contract makes the most sense for the 28-year-old guard, but his intentions to receive a higher paying, long-term contract could wind up leaving him without a team and disappointed late in free agency once again.
#2 Tyus Jones - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $7,600,000 | Last Team: Memphis Grizzlies | Expected: $12M to $18M per year
Between his abilities to be a main facilitator and high basketball IQ, Tyus Jones has suddenly become a candidate to see a major pay raise this offseason. Playing behind Ja Morant in the Memphis Grizzlies rotation this past year, Jones proved to be an integral part of the Grizzlies’ 56-win season, giving them the second-best record in the entire NBA.
Memphis could very well look to retain Jones and offer him a higher paying contract, but with them recently acquiring Kennedy Chandler in the second-round of this year’s draft, the Grizzlies seem to be preparing themselves for Jones to walk in free agency. The New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs are two teams who could look to add the 26-year-old guard given their available cap space.
During the 2021-22 season with the Grizzlies, Tyus Jones averaged career-highs in points (8.7), rebounds (2.4), three-point shooting percentage (39.0%), and total field goals made (249). His near 7:1 assist to turnover ratio though is what has a handful of teams interested in him.
A very smart and reliable ball-handler, Tyus Jones will likely see a contract ranging from $12 million to $18 million per year in annual value and for a team like the Knicks, they could be willing to offer even more if the first guy on their point guards wish list does not join them.
#1 Jalen Brunson - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $1,802,057 | Last Team: Dallas Mavericks | Expected: $20M to $30M+
One of the top free agents in the league this summer, not just out of all of the point guards available, is Jalen Brunson. In his fourth season in the league with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2021-22 season, Brunson really took over as the second-best scoring option on the team next to Luka Doncic and proved that he can be a primary scorer and facilitator with the ball in his hands.
In 79 games, 61 of which he started in during the regular season, Brunson averaged 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and shot 50.2% from the floor, 37.3% from three-point range. In the postseason, Jalen Brunson was spectacular, helping the Mavericks win their first playoff series since 2011 and averaging 21.6 points in 18 postseason games, all of which he started in.
The question for Brunson this offseason is not whether or not he will get paid, but by which team? The Mavericks can offer him the most money with a five-year, $175 million max deal, as other teams can only offer him a max of a four-year deal worth upwards of $130 million. Perhaps the scenario Dallas is looking at right now though is the possibility of a sign-and-trade for Jalen Brunson with another team like the New York Knicks, who are said to be very interested in pursuing Brunson, especially after signing his father to be an assistant coach on Tom Thibodeau’s staff.
A four-year, $100 million deal seems like the most likely scenario for Brunson if he is to join the Knicks, whether that be outright or via a sign-and-trade this offseason. Looking to move into a bigger role and being just 25-years-old, Jalen Brunson has earned himself a lot of money with his play during the 2021-22 season.