Free agency in the NBA technically begins on July 1, though preparation for this summer began in earnest years ago. Teams have carefully analyzed their finances and scouted personnel throughout the league with specific goals in mind—all while knowing their best-laid plans could be detonated with a single, market-shaking deal. All it takes is one bloated Timofey Mozgov contract for projections to rock completely off their expected values. This is why there is no greater show in sports than what happens away from the court and away from the camera. Before the NBA’s teams ever have a chance to test one another, they’re each tested by the unpredictability of the market.To set the stage, we’ve ranked the top 50 free agents available and will be tracking the deals all summer. Considerations include: Recent performance, projected performance, age, developmental trajectory, variety of potential fits, versatility, chemistry with previous teammates, relationships with coaches, place in a changing NBA, and more.Don’t get too excited. Durant seems to already have an understanding with the Warriors on how his taking a shorter, smaller deal would help keep a championship team intact, and declined his player option with that inevitability in mind. Expect a one-year deal,… Read full this story
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