Free agency opened over a week ago, but a number of notable players remain unsigned.
The list of players still available is headlined by a pair of recent lottery picks in Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton. It also includes a number of veterans who could help teams looking to add to their depth, such as Dennis Schroder and Carmelo Anthony.
Here’s where they each rank among the best players still looking for a contract.
(Note: This list does not include James Harden, who reportedly plans to take a paycut and sign a two-year deal with the 76ers, and Miles Bridges, who was recently arrested on domestic violence charges.)
The best players still available in free agency
1. Deandre Ayton, Suns
The No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Ayton is averaging 16.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game through four seasons. Kevin Durant trade talks have reportedly slowed up some of the marketplace for Ayton, who’s a restricted free agent.
MORE: Why hasn’t Deandre Ayton signed a new contract?
2. Collin Sexton, Cavaliers
Sexton appeared in only 11 games last season because of a torn meniscus. He averaged 20.8 points per game in 2019-20 and a career-best 24.3 points per game on 47.5/37.1/81.5 shooting splits (field goals/3-pointers/free throws) in 2020-21.
Like Ayton, Sexton is a restricted free agent.
3. Montrezl Harrell, Hornets
A former Sixth Man of the Year, Harrell is one of the best reserve big men in the league. He has split the 2021-22 season with the Wizards and Hornets, posting 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
harrell is facing a felony drug charge after authorities said they found vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.
4. Dennis Schroder, Rockets
Schroder has played for four different teams over the last three seasons, splitting his time as a starter and reserve. He’s still a blur with the ball in his hands and brings scoring and playmaking at the guard position.
5. Eric Bledsoe, Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers have waived Bledsoe, making him an unrestricted free agent. He’s not the player he once was, but Bledsoe remains an impact defender who can break teams down with his dribble penetration.
6. Hassan Whiteside, Jazz
Whiteside has led the league in blocks twice in his career and was among the league leaders again this season. In addition to shot-blocking, he brings size and rebounding at the center position.
7. Carmelo Anthony, Lakers
Anthony can still get buckets. In his age 37 season, he averaged 13.3 points while shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
A 10-time All-Star and member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, Anthony brings plenty of experience.
8. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nets
Aldridge came out of retirement in 2021 to sign a one-year deal with the Nets. He started in 12 of the 47 games in which he appeared and averaged 12.9 points, shooting a scorching 55.8% from midrange.
Also available: DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Austin Rivers, Isaiah Thomas, Tristan Thompson