NBA free agency is a tricky time teams as they often overpay for available players, which ends up hurting their franchise long-term. Max contracts are thrown around like their nothing these days, but few rarely deserve. Here are the only four free agents that do deserve a max deal this offseason:
This one is pretty obvious. LeBron is the best player in the game, and he deserves to get paid like it. He has a player option for next season, and while he will be back in Cleveland, he's expected to opt-out so he can re-sign with the Cavs for around $1.5 million more next season.
C Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Gasol is much more than just a force in the low post. The 7-foot-1, 265-pounder also has the shooting touch and passing skills necessary to function as the versatile franchise big man for years to come. He’s averaging a career-best 17.7 points per game with Memphis this season and it’s going to take an epic recruiting pitch to get him to leave the Grizzlies. However, every team is going to offer him max money, and once he sees life in a bigger market, he could be on his way out.
Aldridge doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be short on suitors. He’s averaging over 23 points and 10 rebounds per game while playing through a thumb injury that will need surgery in the offseason. Aldridge will get max offers from every team – the Spurs, in particular, are very interested in him – but all signs point to him remaining in Portland.
Leonard is a restricted free agent, meaning the Spurs will be able to match any offer he gets on the open market, but when he wanted to work out an extension with San Antonio before the season started, the Spurs were unwilling to offer him a max contract. Leonard will undoubtedly get that in free agency from several teams - and he deserves it. He's one of the best (if not the best) two-way players in the league, and his versatility is extremely valuable.Back to the NBA Newsfeed