NEW YORK (AP) – An NBA free agent class with a little something for everyone hits the market on July 1. This year’s group includes an array of superstars, big men, glue guys and sharp-shooters. Here’s a look at some of the best players to follow when the action begins.
Kevin Durant (player option): Has expressed his desire to remain with the Warriors. He’s in the middle of his prime as one of the game’s premier players.
Paul George (player option): He has one of the best all-around games in the league and is still fairly young at 28.
LeBron James (player option): Still the free-agent grand prize at age 33, James has shown few signs of wear and tear despite 15 stellar seasons in the league.
Chris Paul (unrestricted): Among the league’s best point guards even at 33, but he’s struggled some with injuries over the years, including a hamstring issue in last year’s playoffs.
Clint Capela (restricted): He’s emerged as one of the league’s top young big men after averaging 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game with the Rockets. Houston surely would like to keep him, but the price tag could be steep.
DeMarcus Cousins (unrestricted): He was playing very well for the Pelicans before an Achilles injury ended his season. Questions about his long-term health are real, but he’s also a guy who can score 25 points a game if he regains form.
Derrick Favors (unrestricted): He’s not flashy and doesn’t stretch the floor, but the 6-foot-10 forward has had several productive seasons with the Jazz and will likely garner some interest.
DeAndre Jordan (player option): He’ll be 30 years old next season, but was still one of the league’s dominant rebounds last season, averaging more than 15 per game.
Brook Lopez (unrestricted): He averaged just 13 points per game for the Lakers last season, which was his lowest since his rookie year, but he remains a 7-footer who could help several teams.
Julius Randle (restricted): He’s quietly turned into a promising young player with the Lakers, averaging 16.1 points and eight rebounds last season while shooting nearly 56 percent from the field.
Trevor Ariza (unrestricted): A valuable forward who can stretch the floor, he’s provided solid shooting and good defense for the Rockets over the past four seasons.
Avery Bradley (unrestricted): Struggled with injuries last season, playing just 46 games, but is still considered a solid two-way player that can help a team in many ways.
Aaron Gordon (restricted): Still just 22 years old, the 6-foot-9 Gordon turned into a productive all-around player for the Magic last season, averaging 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds. His ability to make 3-pointers last season is a big plus.
Marcus Smart (restricted): The Celtics guard is not a great shooter, but can impact the game in many different ways. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds last season while playing great defense.
Wayne Ellington (unrestricted): He’s emerged as a reliable shooter off the bench for the Heat the past few seasons. He averaged a career-high 11.2 points last years while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.
Doug McDermott (restricted): Mr. McBuckets has turned into a very good role player, staying excellent from 3-point range while improving the other parts of his game.
J.J. Redick (unrestricted): Had a solid season for the 76ers, averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game and shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. He just turned 34.
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