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Counting Down the Top 50 NBA Free Agents 10-1: Will Bradley Beal Stay in Washington After Opting Out?

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 16: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball during the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 16, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jon Metler breaks down the Top NBA 50 Free Agents this offseason. You can see 50-41 here40-31 here30-21 here, and 20-11 here.

As the NBA Draft has concluded, and the Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick, all eyes are now focused on the NBA Free Agency period which begins on June 30th. Several high-profile names may be available, including Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, and James Harden.

With several NBA teams preparing to open their checkbooks and manipulate the salary cap, we’ve compiled a list of the top 50 NBA free agents for this summer, finishing with 10-1.

10. John Wall, G, Houston Rockets (15.4 PER) *Has reported deal with Clippers

Following a buyout agreement, Wall will now enter free agency after sitting out the entire 2021-2022 season with the Rockets. Early reports indicate that Wall will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers when free agency opens on Thursday. The last time Wall played in 2020-2021, he averaged 20.6 points per game and 6.9 assists per game.

9. Luguentz Dort, F, Oklahoma City Thunder (12.3 Player Efficiency Rating, Team Option)

At the age of 22, Dort is an excellent defender who is coming off a career year. Dort averaged 17.2 PPG and 4.2 rebounds per game, both of which were career highs. Even though his scoring average was higher, he was not necessarily efficient in earning those points. Dort’s defensive ability and age make him a top-10 free agent.

8. Jusuf Nurkic, C, Portland Trail Blazers (20.0 PER)

Nurkic is perhaps one of the most underappreciated players in the NBA today. For years, he has posted solid statistics with the Trail Blazers, but his greatest challenge has been remaining healthy. I anticipate Nurkic to re-sign with the Trail Blazers, and it should be for a higher amount than the $12 million he received last season.

7. Anfernee Simons, G, Portland Trail Blazers (15.3 PER, Restricted Free Agent)

When Simons burst onto the scene in 2022, I closely followed his progress since I thought he had a good chance of winning the NBA Most Improved Player award. In the absence of Damian Lillard, Simons averaged 23.4 PPG for the Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers were definitely motivated to trade C.J. McCollum at the deadline to free up cap space to pay Simons.

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6. Jalen Brunson, G, Dallas Mavericks (17.1 PER)

Brunson had a career year in which he averaged 16.3 PPG for a Mavericks team that reached the Western Conference Finals. It appears that the New York Knicks are closing in on Brunson and are preparing to leave a Brinks truck in his driveway.

5. James Harden, G, Philadelphia 76ers (20.9 PER)

Harden averaged 22 PPG this season, his lowest total since his third year with the Oklahoma City Thunder over ten years ago. Harden declined his $47.4M player option with the 76ers.

4. Miles Bridges, F, Charlotte Hornets (17.9 PER, RFA)

This is Bridges’ best season in the NBA by far, as he averaged 20.2 PPG for the Charlotte Hornets. During the NBA Draft, the Hornets were unable to move Gordon Hayward’s contract, which may result in difficulties in retaining Bridges if someone offers him a massive offer sheet. 

3. Deandre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns (21.9 PER, RFA)

Ayton will be offered a max contract this offseason; there are too many teams in the NBA who are willing to offer max contracts to anyone who will accept them. Over the course of his four years in Phoenix, Ayton averaged 16.3 PPG and 10.5 rebounds per game. As a 23-year-old, he provides a great deal of upside for any franchise willing to pay him. 

2. Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls (20.0 PER)

If you are planning on signing LaVine this offseason, you will have to go to the big check bank. In his last four seasons with the Bulls, LaVine has averaged over 23.7 PPG and has appeared in back-to-back NBA All-Star games. 

1. Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards (17.5 PER, PO)

The NBA is a league dominated by superstars, and that is exactly what Beal is. Beal has averaged over 30 points per game twice in his career and he is still only 28 years old. In addition to his scoring, Beal has improved his playmaking capabilities, averaging 6.6 assists per game last season. Beal opted out of his $36.4M player option Wednesday and officially became a free agent.

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