Top NBA free agents (30-21): Can Toronto find enough money for VanVleet?
theScore

Welcome to theScore's list of the top 50 NBA free agents for the summer of 2018.

Rankings
50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

30. PF/C Nerlens Noel, 24 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
4.4 5.6 0.7 15.7

Noel had one of the worst qualifying offer seasons in recent memory. What was supposed to be a year of showcasing his skills ended with the big man playing just 30 games, grabbing a hot dog from the media room in the middle of a December contest, the circulation of multiple stories criticizing his work ethic, and finally, Noel being suspended for violating the league's anti-drug program.

29. SG Wayne Ellington, 30 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
11.2 2.8 1.0 26.5

Ellington set the NBA single-season record for total 3-pointers made off the bench this year, but the story goes deeper. He's put together the best two-year run of his career since joining the Heat in 2016, crediting the organization's hardcore conditioning standards as the impetus. The Heat were also 3.9 points per 100 possessions better with Ellington on the floor this season.

28. PG Rajon Rondo, 32 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
8.3 4.0 8.2 26.2

Rondo is many things, and even if he doesn't like the moniker, "Playoff Rondo" is one of them. And after leading all players in assists per game this postseason, the mercurial 32-year-old has earned himself a pay raise. Rondo signed a bargain one-year, $3.3-million contract with the Pelicans last summer and GM Dell Demps has said he'd like him back.

27. SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 25 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
13.4 5.2 2.2 33.2

Caldwell-Pope bet on himself with a one-year deal from the Lakers after the Pistons pulled his qualifying offer last summer, and it should pay off for him. While he's not a star, KCP did make incremental improvements as a player in 2017-18, including becoming a better facilitator and shooting a career-high 38.3 percent from deep.

26. PG Isaiah Thomas, 29 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
15.2 2.1 4.8 26.9

Last summer, Thomas publicly opined he was "a max (contract) guy." Statistically, that may have been the case after his second-team All-NBA 2016-17 season, but it's a tough sell now after an injury-plagued campaign with two teams he didn't fit well in. Thomas shot a career-low 37.3 percent (and 29.3 percent from deep) between the Cavs and the Lakers, and with the expected financial correction in the free-agent marketplace, it may be a case of bad timing.

25. SG Dwyane Wade, 36 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
11.4 3.8 3.4 22.9

Wade's return to South Beach was a lot of fun and it's hard to imagine he ends up anywhere else. Although there's a chance he calls it quits, the former perennial All-Star still has a little left in the tank. Wade immediately became Miami's go-to guy during clutch moments, providing some vintage highlights. If he chooses to return, it could very well be his last contract.

24. C Brook Lopez, 30 - UFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
13.0 4.0 1.7 23.4

Lopez used to score 20 points in his sleep, but the game has moved beyond his plodding post-ups. However, he can still be an effective scorer in a decent system, as he still has incredible touch around the basket and a 3-point stroke that ranks among the best in the league for his position.

23. SF/PF Rudy Gay, 31 - Player Option ($9 million)

PPG RPG APG MPG
11.5 5.1 1.3 21.6

Gay took a discount to join the Spurs, so odds are good he chooses to opt in, but he could easily earn more elsewhere. Gay didn't get major minutes this year, but he shed his label for being an inefficient scorer as he was happy to transition into a bench role while recovering from an Achilles injury.

22. PG Fred VanVleet, 24 - RFA

PPG RPG APG MPG
8.6 2.4 3.2 20.0

VanVleet was the glue for the best bench unit in the league, and will likely be retained by the Raptors. Although there isn't anything particularly flashy about his game, nor anything imposing about his 6-foot stature and average athleticism, VanVleet bridges the gap with his toughness and creativity. He's a strong 3-point shooter (41 percent) and can get to the rim, although he's best as a distributor in an up-tempo lineup like Toronto's bench.

21. PF Thaddeus Young, 29 - PO ($14 million)

PPG RPG APG MPG
11.8 6.3 1.9 32.2

Young raised his stock with a brilliant defensive performance that saw the Pacers almost upset LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the first round. His versatility was on full display, as his unique brand of physicality and mobility allowed him to toggle between James and Kevin Love, while also punishing them on the other end by being a tenacious rebounder and a tricky left-handed driver.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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Top NBA free agents (30-21): Can Toronto find enough money for VanVleet?
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