With four teams remaining in the NBA playoffs, 26 clubs are looking toward improving this summer and enhancing their chances of playing in late May next season or beyond. So we'll begin looking at the top 100 free agents and expand this list over the next few weeks before the July 1 opening of NBA free agency.

This list accounts for skill, athleticism, role, versatility, age, experience, attitude and projected value. For instance, you can get Marvin Williams for a much better price than some players ranked behind him (Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters, etc.), so his value on this list is slightly greater.

Obviously, the big name is Kevin Durant. He's not only a top-five player for the entire league, but he's actually available this summer, or he may be. The win over the Spurs in the conference semifinals may have sealed his return to OKC, at least on a two-year deal with an opt-out for next summer. The biggest threats to the Thunder are perceived to be the Heat, Spurs and Warriors. The Heat have a precarious cap situation and can offer less than the Thunder, the Spurs just fell to the Thunder, and the Warriors are battling the Thunder, with OKC winning Game 1 on Monday night.

While Durant's odds of leaving are longer, he remains on the market and anything can happen. Here are the top 20 players in free agency this summer in the NBA.

CRITERIA: Each player is ranked on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being "not an NBA rotation player," and 5 being "GMs would surrender multiple children just to meet with them." Then I ranked all the 5's 1-5, all the 4's 1-5 and so forth, through three rankings. So this list actually has 22 names on it, but they occupy 20 spots.

Kevin Durant
BKN • SF • 7
Age27
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Franchise-changing player. Unstoppable offensive force, premier top-three player in the league. High-level defender when healthy and engaged. Underrated as a passer and willing to make the extra pass. Impossible to find a size matchup for him defensively. Has great character and integrity, a strong leader and ready to deliver when called upon but won't hijack the offense because of his pride. Everything you want in the best player on your team. The alpha, beta and omega of this free agency class.

LeBron James
LAL • SF • 6
Age31
StatusPlayer option
View Profile

Analysis: The only reasons he's behind Durant are A) Mileage and age, and B) Availability. He's almost certainly returning to Cleveland, likely on another one-and-one year deal to secure his ability to re-sign for a max when the cap again rises in 2017. If he were available, he would be equal to Durant.

Andre Drummond
PHI • C • 1
Age22
StatusRestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: A dominant pick-and-roll finisher who can dominate inside with blocks, rebounds and finishes. Not a great passer, not a good post-up player yet. If you believe you can mold him into that, his value increases. Incredibly valuable for the Pistons' pick-and-roll action, which is why they're a virtual lock to re-sign him. Questionable mental focus and a liability at the free-throw line. If you're going to win a title with Andre Drummond as your best player, you had better have an incredible team around him. The Pistons are almost certain to re-sign him using restricted free agency to a max deal.

Al Horford
BOS • C • 42
Age29
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: First the, bad. Horford turns 30 this summer. He's had shoulder problems and other maladies and that figure to increase as he gets older. He can't anchor a team as its best player. Horford doesn't have unstoppable moves, though his efficiency is always great but not other-worldly. Not a dominant rebounder, passer, defender or scorer, which is why his value often is misconstrued by causal fans. Now the good: He's a versatile, smart defender who can switch on guards, body bigger centers, contain stretch 4s and contest without fouling. Fundamentally brilliant player who always makes the right pass, takes the right shot and works for the right move. Good finisher and shooter who has extended his range to the 3-point line in recent years. He fits into nearly any scheme. Horford should be the most sought-after available free agent after Durant.

Mike Conley
UTA • PG • 11
Age28
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: "Game manager" most often is construed as a negative, but Mike Conley embodies its very best definition. A smart, athletic player who knows how to make sure everyone's involved and where to get them the ball. Can set the offense and make quick passes to capture the defense exposed. A quality shooter from the arc, able to catch and shoot with a quick release. Good finisher at the rim and has to be included in any conversation about the league's best defensive point guard. Not an alpha dog, won't take the game over. Not a dominant one-on-one scorer. Foot injuries have mounted and have impacted him the past four years. A player worth the max, but unlikely to leave Memphis, though there's been a great deal of noise in the past two months about that possibility. They are certain he's re-signing, but never say never.

DeMar DeRozan
CHI • SG • 11
Age26
StatusPlayer option
View Profile

Analysis: The second-best player on a 50-win team. He can get to the rim, draw contact and make tough, clutch shots. Can put up 40 on a given night, but rarely when teams decide to take him out. Underrated as a playmaker. Has slid defensively in recent seasons and needs to re-establish himself as a top-flight guy on that end. His 3-point shooting is his biggest liability. If you can't shoot 3s a 2-guard, your value is limited. He has struggled in the playoffs because of his dependency on free-throw rate, lofting terrible shots over double-teams. Can't be the best player or second-best player on a championship team, but definitely a guy who helps. Toronto is likely to max him. He's probably the greatest inefficiency on the market. To get him, you have to max him, but he needs the ball more than Conley and his limitations are greater. Tough call. He's really good but in a way that complicates his value.

Bradley Beal
WAS • SG • 3
Age22
StatusRestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Has higher offensive upside than has been realized. Still coming off his rookie deal. Special player who can finish inside, hit from anywhere and has potential as a perimeter defender. Could wind up a top-five shooting guard in his career. Undeniable injury concerns that should give any team pause. Unlikely to go anywhere as a restricted free agent with the Wizards a lock to match any offer, unless a strong sign-and-trade deal could be constructed.

Nicolas Batum
LAC • SF • 33
Age27
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Dynamic and versatile offensive player who can score, pass, run pick and roll and shoot off dribble hand-offs. Plus defender with perimeter versatility. Makes everyone better. Smart player who has been a staple on his national team (France) for years. Has had injury troubles the past three seasons. At age 27, just entering his prime. Career 36 percent 3-point shooter. Batum may garner the max from the Hornets, but also could take a discount to play for a contender. Comes from a small village in France and has spent his career in Portland and Charlotte. Batum likely will be more worth his contract value than DeRozan.

Hassan Whiteside
UTA • C • 21
Age26
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Ooooh, boy. The most polarizing figure in free agency. On the one hand, a game-changing force who piles up triple-doubles with blocks and renders an offense inept. Incredible pick-and-roll finisher who can drop hammers off lobs like he's in Mario Bros. 3. On the other, had long stretches of immaturity and stat-chasing which had teammates at their wits' end. His actual defensive impact was poor for much of the season, as Miami's defensive numbers were significantly better with him on the bench. But in time, he started to grasp team concepts, played with more maturity and earned his teammates' trust and affection. Whiteside will be 27 when free agency hits, so if you're signing him, you're getting him on the deal that will likely includes his prime, but it also means there's not much growth left. Needs to be in a locker room with good culture and structure.

Dwyane Wade
SG •
Age34
StatusUnrestricted free agent

Analysis: Wade showed he can still be a top-tier No.1 option. Posted a career-low in True Shooting percentages and his lowest points and assists figures since his rookie season but still delivered big time in leading the Heat to the second round. At 34, you're not getting the best of Wade and his drop-off should be considered imminent. He's also looking for as much money as he can make after taking payouts during his career to help the Heat make space to add players. However, if he were to take a lesser deal to join a championship contender, his value shoots through the roof. His likelihood in pursuing a multiyear, high-money deal is why he's so low.

Dwight Howard
LAL • C • 39
Age30
StatusPlayer option
View Profile

Analysis: OK, yes, he's a clown sometimes. And yes, he's emotional. And yes, injuries have taken away much of his strength and athleticism. And yes, he's awful in any post-up situation. But Howard remains a force. He's a smart defender who can mask a team's defensive deficiencies, just not if all your players are defensive weaknesses, like the Rockets. If he can get healthy, can still be lethal in pick-and-roll situations. Hard worker who keeps himself in incredible shape and doesn't get enough credit for it. Has taken responsibility for his shortcomings and still wants to compete. Has to be in the right situation. Has plans to try and play until he's 40 but at age 30 is slowing down. Much of his value depends on his price. If he's willing to take a cut, he may be preferable to Whiteside. If he's pursuing a max deal, he winds up somewhere in the 30s. Howard can still be a good NBA player in the right situation.

Tim Duncan
PF •
Age40
StatusPlayer option

Analysis: The greatest power forward of all time. Despite significant slippage, he still makes a team better by his presence and can be had for the cheap. He's here on this list out of respect. He is likely to retire, but if he doesn't, will use his option for the last season of his NBA career. If things went completely insane and he were available, though, he would start on roughly 25 NBA teams, and would likely be cheap at his age.

Dirk Nowitzki
PF •
Age37
StatusPlayer option

Analysis: Still Dirk, and he's not going anywhere, but he is technically a free agent. Still a top-level scorer on good nights, and still able to lead a playoff team as he did this season. You could slot him on nearly any top team and he'd still cook. The greatest European player in league history.

J.R. Smith
SG •
Age30
StatusPlayer option

Analysis: Lights-out shooter who has learned to stay within his role. Has gone from decent-but-inconsistent defender to a major deterrent. Not going to lock up Steph Curry or Russell Westbrook, but attacks dribble, contains and closes out hard. His effort issues have vanished on good teams. Able to completely turn a game with offensive outbursts. Has not had a playoff off-court incident since 2013. Will recklessly pursue heat checks. Beloved by teammates. Smith signed with Klutch Sports this year and is likely to re-sign with the Cavs because of it, likely on a big-money deal.

Pau Gasol
PF •
Age35
StatusPlayer option

Analysis: All-Star caliber player with a very narrow list for availability. He's only going to want to join a championship team (heavy rumor in NBA circles is San Antonio). He's still a tremendous low-post and mid-range scorer, and his height and length make him a bother defensively, even as his value on that end has never been lower because today's playing style. At 35, a drop-off is imminent and managing minutes will be a priority. A player on the cusp of "too old to make a difference" and "veteran who can bring the help a team needs." Revered teammate, beloved by media, but clashes with coaches who do not play him in comfort zones. Cannot adapt easily.

Chandler Parsons
SF •
Age27
StatusPlayer option

Analysis: Two major knee injuries should be considered first and foremost. Will be 28 next season, so you're not signing a spring chicken. And yet he shot a career-high from the field and 3-point range, and his per 100 possession numbers were right in line or better than his career figures. Athletic and versatile, able to run an offense on his own as well as operate as tip of the spear. Will act as a free-agent recruiter. Great cutter, great spot-up shooter, able to pump-fake and drive, manages to be aggressive without hijacking the offense. Solid defensively. There are no clear weaknesses. If you're ready to win now and in need of a small forward, he's likely the market's best value.

Ryan Anderson
PF •
Age28
StatusUnrestricted free agent

Analysis: Anderson's value has taken a pretty big hit the past two years because of his defense. He went from one of the league's most-coveted players to a huge question mark. Has had injury problems. Terrible lateral movement and lacks post-defense strength. Must be paired with dominant shot blocker. Will likely come with a high price tag. Why? He's a terrific shooter. An absolutely, flat-out, lights-out shooter not only as a spot-up guy, but in the post, off the cut, off the dribble ... everywhere. Anderson instantly boosts your perimeter offense in huge ways. Was a dominant rebounder in other stops but struggled in that regard in New Orleans; could recover that which would help a lot. Smart player, no red flags outside of defense and injury. Won't dog it and in a good defensive scheme his problems could be mitigated.

Kent Bazemore
LAL • SF • 9
Age26
StatusUnrestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Maybe the market's best value. Bazemore is 27 and a 44 percent shooter who shoots 34 percent from beyond the arc. Can guard multiple positions and is crafty, athletic and fast. Bazemore isn't going to create on his own, but you can slot him into any team with a star and he'll make the defense pay for a double team. Adds something new to his game each season. His toolkit may be smaller than some other wings on this list, but that also means he stays within his role.

Festus Ezeli
POR • C • 31
Age26
StatusRestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: Strong and athletic with a soft touch. Opportunistic on lobs and makes the most of his minutes. Plays with energy and passion and worked hard to go from bench fringe player to major rotation contributor. Can provide excellent rim protection and rebounding. Will make mental mistakes defensively but makes up for it with his size. Good enough to start at center for a good defensive team, like, say, the 73-win Warriors in a pinch.

Jordan Clarkson
UTA • PG • 00
Age24
StatusRestricted free agent
View Profile

Analysis: As a restricted free agent, the Lakers are unlikely to let him go, but if they get enamored with a big fish, a team might be able to apply pressure with a big-money deal. Clarkson is a versatile scorer and combo guard. He can run the offense or create his own shot, and is only 24. The only problem is trying to peel away how much of the Lakers struggles he contributed to and how many impacted him.

Evan Turner
SG •
Age27
StatusUnrestricted free agent

Analysis: The Villain! Turner became a Sixth Man of the Year candidate last season and has developed a real home in Boston, who may re-sign him at a discount. Turner can play three positions, is a pesky defender, knows how to create and slip to the rim. His overall inefficiency is helped by how he can fill out a stat sheet, and his versatility is crucial in today's game. You can do worse than Turner, but the idea of a team that isn't Boston giving him big money may be far-fetched; it's the only place he's been successful.

Marvin Williams
PF •
Age29
StatusUnrestricted free agent

Analysis: He's the model value stretch-four. He turns 30 this summer, but posted career numbers in 3-point shooting (40 percent) and rebounding (6.4 per game). He's become a smart, physical defender. A player who seemed so out of place in Atlanta ironically is now the kind of player that fits nearly anywhere in the modern NBA. He's likely to ink a deal that is more value-oriented than some of the bigger names behind him, and he comes with none of the drawbacks. Williams just shows up, does his job and goes home. He's a pro.