NBA free agency: Best available players and predicted salaries


Which players are available in the 2021 NBA free-agent class, and how much money are they expected to command?

It's easy to project a max contract for Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, the best player in free agency. But what about the other starters and rotation players waiting to sign new deals?

Here are the complete lists, broken down by position, of the salary ranges for each free agent along with their likely roles.

One important note: These projections are for starting salaries if a player signs a long-term deal. Players certainly could sign one-year deals for significantly more money than projected.

We've also included a breakdown of the general ranges for max salaries and cap exceptions.

Projected max and exception values

Max (10-plus years of service)

  • Starting salary: $39.3 million

  • Five-year max (incumbent team): $228.2 million

  • Four-year max (cap space team): $169.2 million

  • Projected players: Kawhi Leonard (cap space team)

Max (7-9 years of service)

  • Starting salary: $33.7 million

  • Five-year max (incumbent team): $195.7 million

  • Four-year max (cap space team): $145.1 million

  • Projected players: None

Max (0-6 years of service)

  • Starting salary: $28.1 million

  • Five-year max (incumbent team): $163.0 million

  • Four-year max (cap space team): $120.8 million

  • Projected players: None

Full midlevel exception

  • Starting salary: $9.5 million

  • Four-year max: $41.0 million

  • Applies to teams over the cap but under the tax

Taxpayer midlevel exception

  • Starting salary: $5.9 million

  • Three-year max: $25.3 million

  • Applies to teams over the tax or teams that do not want to trigger the hard cap

Room exception

  • Starting salary: $4.9 million

  • Two-year max (cap space team): $10.1 million

Bi-annual exception

  • Starting salary: $3.7 million

  • Two-year max (cap space team): $7.7 million