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!
Building a reliable backcourt goes a long way for teams come time for the postseason and the shooting guard position has started to evolve into a more “positionless” spot on the floor in recent years. Getting offensive productivity from this position is key and this year, there are quite a few impactful names that could wind up in new places.
Notable Names: Jeremy Lamb (Sacramento Kings), Bryn Forbes (Denver Nuggets), Wesley Matthewes (Milwaukee Bucks), Damion Lee (Golden State Warriors)
#10 Gary Harris - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $20,482,143 | Last Team: Orlando Magic | Expected: Mid-Level Exception to $12M per year
While he has had some injury concerns over the last couple of years, Gary Harris still remains a viable two-way option out on the perimeter. Just recently finishing up his eighth season in the league, Harris is now 27-years-old and can still be an impactful bench option for virtually any team in this league.
With the Orlando Magic this past season, Harris played in a total of 61 games, averaging 11.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and shooting 38.4% from three-point range. It will be interesting to see what kind of money Gary Harris gets on his next contract, especially since he is still relatively young and proved that he can still be a two-way factor on the perimeter this past year.
#9 Lonnie Walker IV - Restricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $4,447,896 | Last Team: San Antonio Spurs | Expected: Mid-Level Exception to $12M per year
Drafted 18th overall in 2018, the San Antonio Spurs had high hopes that Lonnie Walker’s athleticism would convert to him being a factor for them offensively. While his production has not been bad, Walker has yet to turn himself into a key, core talent for the Spurs, which had led to question marks about whether or not they will look to bring him back.
In 70 games with San Antonio during the 2021-22 season, Lonnie Walker IV averaged 12.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and shot 40.7% from the floor. Still looking to find a perimeter game, as well as become a better ball-handler, it is hard to see a team offering Walker more than the mid-level exception or his qualifying offer of $6.3 million.
#8 Victor Oladipo - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $2,389,641 | Last Team: Miami Heat | Expected: Mid-Level Exception to $12M per year
Victor Oladipo’s story coming back from some major leg injuries is quite remarkable and the fact that he is able to even play in the NBA still is a miracle. This past season, Oladipo did not just come back from yet another massive quad surgery, but he proved that he can still contribute at a somewhat high-level.
In 8 regular season games with the Heat, Oladipo averaged 12.4 points, 3.5 assists and shot 41.7% from three-point range. In the playoffs, the former All-Star and All-Defensive performer continued to find his old self, averaging 10.6 points and shooting 36.8% from the floor while also proving he can still hold his own defensively.
While his injury history is still a major concern for teams looking to sign him, Victor Oladipo proved to be a factor when on the floor for the Miami Heat. It is hard to see him taking another minimum-like deal for the 2022-23 season, but the days of him being an All-Star, game-changing talent are well behind him due to injuries.
#7 Donte DiVincenzo - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $4,675,830 | Last Team: Sacramento Kings | Expected:$8M to $15M per year
Updated 6/29/22: Kings did not extend qualifying offer to DiVincenzo, making him an unrestricted free agent when free agency begins.
Being traded to the Sacramento Kings near the trade deadline this past season, Donte DiVincenzo now enters free agency as a restricted free agent. At 25-years-old and being a two-way factor on the wing, DiVincenzo definitely has a future in this league, however, the Kings may be hesitant to pay him what he is looking for.
The former 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has yet to really cement himself as a core option for any team he has been on and while his production is certainly a plus, he is nothing more than a rotational player at this point in his career. Still having room for growth though, there are likely a handful of teams that would be willing to offer DiVincenzo a deal in the ballpark of three-years at $30 million in total.
#6 Malik Monk - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $1,789,256 | Last Team: Los Angeles Lakers | Expected: $6M to $12M per year
Taking a minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2021-22 season was a very surprising move for Malik Monk, one that will likely not happen again. Monk proved his value as an offensive weapon with the Lakers this past season, averaging 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and shooting 39.1% from three-point range.
Being just 24-years-old and already growing into an offensive perimeter threat, Monk’s future is suddenly looking very bright in this league. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers are able to re-sign the young shooting guard or if another team will swoop in and offer him a deal worth upwards of $10 million per season.
#5 Collin Sexton - Restricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $6,349,671 | Last Team: Cleveland Cavaliers | Expected: $15M to $20M per year
Suffering a torn meniscus in November, Collin Sexton should be ready for the start of the 2022-23 season or close to it, possibly missing the first few weeks of action. Prior to this injury, Sexton was well on his way to a big rookie extension, one that could have very well paid him nine-figures over its duration.
While this type of contract is still very much in play for Collin Sexton this offseason, it is much more likely that he will see a two- or three-year deal worth upwards of $15 million to $18 million per year. Darius Garland’s emergence in the backcourt for the Cleveland Cavaliers have obviously lessened Sexton’s overall role, as has the acquisition of Caris LeVert, but the team still needs Sexton in order to grow into a playoff contender threat.
The Eastern Conference is stacked with talented teams right now and with the Cavaliers having a young core, it makes sense for them to want to bring Sexton back on any type of contract.
#4 Anfernee Simons - Restricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $3,938,818 | Last Team: Portland Trail Blazers | Expected: $10M to $20M per year
Taking a massive leap in his fourth season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Anfernee Simons has quite possibly cemented his status as Damian Lillard’s “right hand man” with the Portland Trail Blazers. This past season was a monumental year for Simons, as he averaged 17.3 points, 3.9 assists and shot 40.5% from three-point range, really stepping up in the absence of Lillard.
Simons is a proven scoring weapon out on the perimeter and as a combo guard, he is the perfect pure scorer for Portland to pair with Lillard long-term. Now that they went out and got Jerami Grant as well, the Trail Blazers are going to be looking to do everything they can to build a contending team right now. Anfernee Simons is going to be a big part of this team for a long-time to come.
#3 Zach LaVine - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $19,500,000 | Last Team: Chicago Bulls | Expected: Max Contract, five-year, $212M
All indications right now point towards Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls reaching an agreement on a max contract extension that would pay him roughly $212 million over the next five seasons. However, LaVine is still an unrestricted free agent and has said multiple times that he wants the “full experience” of being a free agent.
Making the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season, LaVine continued to prove his worth to Chicago this past season, averaging 24.4 points and shooting 47.6% from the floor, 38.9% from three-point range.
Alongside DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vicevic and Lonzo Ball, the Bulls truly believe that Zach LaVine can help propel the Bulls late in the season and in the postseason, possibly making them one of the best teams in the entire league. Expectations heading into free agency should be that Chicago and LaVine agree to a max-level deal.
#2 James Harden - Unrestricted Free Agent
2022-23 Option: $47,366,760 | Last Team: Philadelphia 76ers | Expected: Unknown Opt In/Out
Updated 6/29/22: Harden elected to opt out of player option; all indications point towards him re-signing with the 76ers.
Much like Zach LaVine’s situation in Chicago, it is hard to see James Harden go elsewhere in free agency, even if he opts out of his player option with the Philadelphia 76ers. While it is still a possibility that Harden opts out and becomes an unrestricted free agent, no other teams in the league appear to be showing any interest whatsoever in trying to pry Harden away from the Sixers.
Alongside Joel Embiid, James Harden did not look like his old All-Star, MVP-self after the trade deadline with Philadelphia, but with a full offseason to recover and build chemistry with his new team, the 76ers could very well end up being the best team in the league during the 2022-23 season.
Embiid and Harden are two MVP-caliber players and with the emergence of Tyrese Maxey in the backcourt, the 76ers have everything they need to be a title contender. Opting out of his deal and taking a little bit less money in order to bring in more talent is something we could see James Harden do for the Philadelphia 76ers.
#1 Bradley Beal - Unrestricted Free Agent
2021-22 Salary: $33,724,200 | Last Team: Washington Wizards | Expected: Max Contract, five-year, $248M
Opting out of his player option for the 2022-23 season, Bradley Beal is now an unrestricted free agent and is the best player available in free agency this summer. However, while many teams would like to execute a sign-and-trade deal with Beal and the Washington Wizards, this does not seem like a possibility right now.
All indications are pointing towards Beal re-upping with the Wizards on a supermax contract worth upwards of $245 million over the next five seasons. One of the best scorers in the league, Beal has remained loyal to Washington over the years and once again seems committed to seeing their “re-tooling” process through.
Seeing his 2021-22 season cut short due to wrist surgery, Beal still managed to average 23.2 points per game, marking the sixth consecutive season in which he has averaged at least 20.0 points per game.
A true superstar and No. 1 option for any team, Bradley Beal will likely re-sign with the Washington Wizards in free agency and break the bank in the process!