NBA rosters are constantly changing, with teams looking to build up ahead for next season, either because of they’re on a position to compete already, or because they need to clear cap space for the future or just because one of their stars is frustrated and wants a way out of the team.
This year wasn’t the exception to that rule and neither would be the next year, especially with a very loaded NBA Draft taking place at the end of the season that’s definitely going to make a lot of general managers make several moves.
The upcoming summer features a very intriguing free agent class, so we’re going to let you know about the top 10 players that are definitely going to play somewhere else at the beginning of the next season.
10. Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph is heading towards the exit door of his career right now and he’d be smart to take a huge pay cut this upcoming season in order to play for a contending team and retire as an NBA Champion, something he’s failed to achieve throughout his entire career.
Randolph can still be a major factor in both ends of the floor due to his strength and a sweet touch below the rim as well as his ability to dominate the offensive glass, so he should have several offers on his desk next season.
9. Vince Carter
Just like Randolph, Vince Carter’s prime is far behind him and he’s not nearly half as explosive as he uses to be, but his veteran leadership and presence can still be extremely positive for any locker room as one of the most beloved players in the world.
Also, he can still contribute a bit on limited minutes, especially with his shooting stroke from distance and his defensive awareness. Furthermore, he’s probably the guy that deserves a ring the most among active veterans, so he should just piggyback ride his way to a title while he still has the chance.
8. Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans was on a roll all year long for the sluggish Memphis Grizzlies, showing glimpses of the player everybody thought he would become following his outstanding Rookie of the Year campaign several seasons ago.
With the Grizzlies set to full throttle their rebuilding this upcoming campaign, they’re not going to use a veteran guard/forward, especially with Luka Doncic likely on the table as their first-round draft pick. Also, considering his outstanding season, he’s likely to be way overpaid by any desperate team this summer.
7. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
If we ignore his altercations with the law, this year was actually pretty successful for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, proving to be a very reliable presence in both ends of the hardwood with his 3 and D expertise for the young Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are a lock to save as much cap space as they can in order to make a run at both Paul George and LeBron James, so we’d expect them to just let KCP walk away, while he’s going to be a very interesting asset for various team looking to add depth at the shooting guard spot.
6. Avery Bradley
Avery Bradley thrived under Brad Stevens’ system and grew to become one of the craftiest defenders in the entire league, but ever since being dealt away from the Celtics, his defensive impact has truly gone downhill and he’s never looked the same again.
Still, the skill set is there, and his ability to play and defend both guard spots as well as some small forwards make him extremely valuable. Bradley would be a huge boost for contending teams in need of a pesky defender, and he’ll be better off away from the rebuilding Clippers.
5. Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel’s Dallas Mavericks tenure was a huge failure, and even though he decided to bet on himself the prior summer, it seems like that bet’s extremely far from paying off, especially because it’s very unlikely that any team’s willing to offer him a max contract, and the Mavs are definitely through with him.
Rick Carlisle was really fed up with him following the hot dog incident and now that he’s been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, he’s definitely not going to be a part of the Mavericks’ roster for the next season.
4. Julius Randle
Julius Randle has looked like a major stud for the last couple of months and his stellar, physical, bully kind of play is definitely going to grant him a huge paycheck as he enters this summer as an unrestricted free agent, with the Lakers unlikely to match any high bids for him.
Randle seems to be a top-notch prospect and his Zach Randolph kind of skill set make him a guy worth the gamble, so Los Angeles has to be really regretting the fact that they didn’t trade him when they had the chance to get some nice value in return.
3. Jabari Parker
Some reports stated that the Milwaukee Bucks were actually pretty close to dealing Jabari Parker prior to this year’s trade deadline, and it feels like they just moved on and found ways to win games without him, obviously leaning in Giannis Antetokounmpo and his MVP caliber talents.
Parker has been on a roll ever since coming back from injury but his durability is a huge question mark. Still, several teams are going to be more than willing to take a gamble on him and offer him a lot of money, with the Bucks unlikely to match any high bids in order to pursue top-tier talents in the free agency.
2. Mario Hezonja
Entering this season, Mario Hezonja was looking as one of the biggest busts in the past 10 NBA Drafts or so, entering the league with a lot of praise but struggling to get any playing time at all or be a consistent contributor in the offensive end of the floor, his so called forte during his Barcelona stint.
Naturally, the Magic declined their option on the last year of his contract, but when coach Vogel was actually forced to play him because of the dozens of injuries his team suffered, he proved that he could light it up on the blink of an eye and score in bunches, so expect various team to offer him a lot of money this summer.
1. Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart was a key element for the Celtics defense all season long, and his pesky efforts at that end of the hardwood as well as his hustle make him a player every coach would love to have on their ranks.
Nonetheless, his off-court issues due to his hard-nosed temper have kept him in the shelf for some time now, and with Terry Rozier surging as a great backup point guard, the Celtics are definitely going to explore moving Marcus Smart and his contract in order to clear some cap space.