The reality of the much-hyped NBA free agent class of 2018, which received ample attention over All-Star weekend, is that beyond the first handful of guys, things get dicey quickly. There’s one guy not going anywhere — Warriors forward Kevin Durant — and three guys who are marginal candidates to leave their current teams (Chris Paul, LeBron James, Paul George). There’s a big guy who’s hurt (DeMarcus Cousins) and a big guy who’s offensively limited (DeAndre Jordan). That pretty much does it for the big-money, unrestricted crop. From there, the best bet teams with cap space have is a bustling group of restricted free agents. These are the castoff members of the draft Class of 2014, which saw only four first-rounders receive extensions last offseason, and provide the best opportunities for teams struggling to attract free agents to unearth some gems. These players are all young, but each also comes with some asterisk or another — a lingering injury, a front office seeking to rebuild, a team with luxury tax concerns. If there were no such asterisk, the player would have an extended contract already. "It was not a great draft class, and it has not been a group that has had a lot of luck," one general manager told Sporting News. "So restricted free agency, you know, there’s going to be a lot there to pick from. If you put a team into the right position, you can sign some good young players.
Magic's Aaron Gordon could dictate market for flawed class of restricted free agents
Sporting News | Feb 22