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Ranking the NBA free agent tiers

by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 29, 2014

LeBron James

2013-14 stats: 27.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.6 spg.

Comment: All eyes will be on LeBron. Most don’t think he’ll leave Miami. But most didn’t think he’d leave Cleveland.

Carmelo Anthony

2013-14 stats: 27.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.2 spg.

Comment: The second biggest fish in free agency. It seems he’ll either stay in New York or join Derrick Rose in Chicago.

Dwyane Wade

2013-14 stats: 19 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.5 spg.

Comment: At 32 and with an achy knee, Wade wouldn’t have terminated his contract if he wasn’t certain he’d be taken care of. No chance he leaves Miami.

Chris Bosh

2013-14 stats: 16.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 bpg.

Comment: Of Miami’s big three, Bosh is the wild card who’s most likely to move on. But the Heat say they want to keep him.

Dirk Nowitzki

2013-14 stats: 21.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.9 spg.

Comment: The longtime Mavrerick already has said he’s re-signing with Dallas for two or three years.

Luol Deng

2013-14 stats: 16 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg.

Comment: Forget it, Thunder fans. Deng reportedly rejected a three-year, $30 million extension with the Bulls before Chicago traded him to Cleveland.

TIER 2

Paul Pierce

2013-14 stats: 13.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg.

Comment: Not nearly the player he used to be. But he’s a great get for a championship-ready team. Don’t be surprised if he ends up with the Clippers.

Pau Gasol

2013-14 stats: 17.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.5 bpg.

Comment: Earned $19.2 million this season but might take a pay cut to play for a winner.

Greg Monroe (R)

2013-14 stats: 15.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg.

Comment: Smooth big man who can score on the block and rebound. He’s probably played his way into a near max if not max contract.

Chandler Parsons (R)

2013-14 stats: 16.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.2 spg.

Comment: The Rockets are rolling the dice a bit by declining Parsons’ option and giving the free market a chance to determine his price. Most think it’s a calculated risk, though, and Parsons isn’t going anywhere.

Eric Bledsoe (R)

2013-14 stats: 17.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.6 spg.

Comment: Explosive scoring guard that will command big money. Phoenix likely will match whatever offer he receives.

Kyle Lowry

2013-14 stats: 17.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.4 apg, 1.5 spg.

Comment: Best season just came with the Raptors, but there’s rampant talk of Lowry taking a pay cut to join the stars in Miami.

TIER 3

Gordon Hayward (R)

2013-14 stats: 16.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.4 spg.

Comment: He’s a building block for Utah. It’d be a surprise if the Jazz let him walk.

Trevor Ariza

2013-14 stats: 14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.6 spg.

Comment: Prototypical player to provide defense and 3-point shooting. But he’s 29 and could be looking for one last big payday above all else.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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