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It's the end of NBA free agency as we know it, but do we feel fine? Since the advent of supermax contracts, we've seen an interesting phenomenon develop where players eschew free agency in order to extend or re-sign with their current team. After all, that's the only way to truly maximize earning potential given the structure of the collective bargaining agreement.

That was supposed to mean more superstar players staying with their original franchises, but instead, it's led to superstars signing the massive contract to secure the bag, if you will, and then requesting a trade within a couple of years. Recently we've seen the tactic from Anthony Davis, James Harden and Ben Simmons, who all forced their way out of town despite having multiple years left on their contracts.

That means that this year's free-agent crop could be incredibly thin on star talent, particularly if Harden, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and Kyrie Irving all re-up with their current teams. Further down the list, we find restricted free agents Deandre Ayton and Miles Bridges, who may not change teams either due to their franchises' right to match any offer.

If that's the case, we're looking at an incredibly underwhelming free-agency period this summer, filled with good players, but certainly not game-changers. Ranking free agents is an incredibly subjective practice because every team needs something different, but we tried our best to come up with a reasonable list as a primer for this coming offseason.

Here is a look at the top 20 potential NBA free agents for 2022.

Top 20 Potential 2022 NBA Free Agents
James Harden Philadelphia 76ers PG
Player option
From everything we've heard, Harden will re-up with the 76ers, either with an extension, by opting into his current contract, or on a new deal. Should the mercurial superstar have another change of heart, however, he'll be the most sought-after free agent in the class.
Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls SG
One of the most versatile scorers in the league, LaVine has proven he can carry a team on his own or coexist with another star. At 26 years old, he's a franchise cornerstone for years to come.
Bradley Beal Washington Wizards SG
Player option
Plenty of teams around the league will be keeping an eye on Beal's decision whether or not to extend with the Wizards. If he elects to test the free-agent waters, he'll have no shortage of suitors as a combo guard who can fit into virtually any offensive scheme.
Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets PG
Player option
Anyone claiming to have any idea about Kyrie Irving's future is most likely a liar, as everything from opting in to free agency to retirement are on the table. With vaccine mandates hopefully being phased out by next season, Irving is one of the most dynamic players on the potential free-agency board.
Deandre Ayton Phoenix Suns C
Much was made of Phoenix refusing to max out Ayton last offseason, but it hasn't seemed to affect his play. He's in line for a monster offer, and the Suns have the ability to match whatever comes his way.
Miles Bridges Charlotte Hornets PF
Bridges earned himself a lot of money this season as a big, super-athletic wing who can also space to the 3-point line. The Hornets will have the right to match whatever offers he gets.
Anfernee Simons Portland Trail Blazers SG
Judging by the Blazers' roster and Simons' breakout performance this season, he's probably not going anywhere. If for some reason Portland elects to go in a different direction, he'll likely get some massive offers.
Jalen Brunson Dallas Mavericks PG
Brunson has earned himself a huge contract with his play over the last few seasons, whether it's with the Mavericks or elsewhere. His ability to play both guard positions, starting or off the bench, makes him a fit on pretty much any team.
Collin Sexton Cleveland Cavaliers SG
Somewhat forgotten because of his injury during Cleveland's resurgence, Sexton averaged 24 points on excellent efficiency just last season. The Cavs have a right to match any offer, but we'll see if they're willing to.
Bobby Portis Milwaukee Bucks C
Player option
Portis took a significant discount to re-sign with the Bucks last offseason and has put up a great year, so he may decline his modest $4.6 million player option in search of a bigger payday, either from Milwaukee or someone else.
Jusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers C
Traditional centers haven't garnered huge free-agent offers recently, but Nurkic is a walking double-double with playmaking skills and an emerging 3-point stroke. It will be interesting to see what the market is like for him.
Robert Covington Los Angeles Clippers PF
Now best utilized as a small-ball four, Covington should get some decent offers due to his 3-and-D reputation, even though he hasn't done either of those things particularly well this season.
Montrezl Harrell Charlotte Hornets C
Harrell has proven to be a legitimate bucket-getter and burst of energy as a backup center, but his lack of defensive versatility will limit his salary ceiling.
Dennis Schroder Houston Rockets PG
Schroder has bounced around quite a bit, but he's been an effective backup combo guard for the past few seasons.
Mitchell Robinson New York Knicks C
Robinson hasn't quite lived up to the promise of his first couple of NBA seasons, but he's still young and athletic enough for a team to take a chance on with a decent contract.
Russell Westbrook Los Angeles Lakers PG
Player option
If Westbrook opts out of his $47 million contract for next season, it will be the most surprising financial move in NBA history. Needless to say that if he does, he'll receive nowhere near that on the open market.
Patty Mills Brooklyn Nets PG
Player option
Mills has been excellent this season for Brooklyn, and has the option to seek a bigger contract than the $6.2 million he's owed next year. Everyone is looking for 3-point shooting, so Mills could get a lot of looks from contenders.
Malik Monk Los Angeles Lakers SG
Monk played for the minimum with the Lakers this season, and he probably earned himself more than that with a productive year.
John Wall Houston Rockets PG
Player option
The only thing more certain than Westbrook picking up his option is Wall exercising his. The veteran point guard won't see free agency this summer.
Victor Oladipo Miami Heat SG
Oladipo will have to prove that he's capable of staying on the court, and if he does then he could have some excellent options this summer.