Free agency starts at 12:01 Sunday. Barring any significant trades that allow them to shed salaries, the Miami Heat lack cap space to become a major player this summer.
More than 125 players are free to sign with any team, although several are restricted. Here is our list of the top players at this time at each position.
Chris Paul, Houston: The Rockets will try to find a way to bring back Paul – he can sign for $205 million over five years – and add LeBron James or Paul George.
Isaiah Thomas, Lakers: Thomas’ timing could not have been worse. He insists he is a max player but he won’t get close to that after a season in which his production fell and questions still persist about his hip.
Rajon Rondo, New Orleans: Rondo is no longer the player he was in Boston but he has rehabilitated his image in Chicago and New Orleans and continues to be a solid floor general.
Elfrid Payton, Phoenix: The Suns acquired Payton from Orlando at the trade deadline hoping he would be their point guard of the future. Not so and they are moving on from Payton.
Fred Van Vleet, Toronto (R): Van Vleet had a breakout year last season, his third in the league and will receive a nice pay raise from the $1.3 million he made in 2017-18.
Zach LaVine, Bulls (R): LaVine returned from ACL surgery and looked good in his half season in Chicago. If teams are not scared off by the injury he could get close to the max.
Tyreke Evans, Memphis: Evans had a solid year averaging 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists. At 28 he is looking at his last big contract.
Will Barton, Denver: An underrated player who has steadily improved the last four seasons had his best season heading into free agency. Mostly a reserve but proved last season he can be productive starting.
JJ Redick, Philadelphia: Redick made the most of his one-year, $23 million deal with the 76ers, averaging 17.1 points. Now, he is on the market again.
Marcus Smart, Boston: Smart has been a valuable reserve for the Celtics the last two years and helped his cause in the playoffs. One of the top defensive guards in the league.
LeBron James, Cleveland: Everything is on hold until James decides where he is headed – he first must decline his player option for $35.6 million. The Lakers appear to be in the lead but the Cavaliers are holding out hope he returns.
Kevin Durant, Golden State: Durant is expected to decline his player option for $26.2 million after signing a two-year deal last summer and re-signing with the Warriors. Durant said he’s ready to ink a long-term deal.
Paul George, Oklahoma City: The Thunder were hoping to retain George after the gamble it took last summer to trade for him and put together a team that could compete for a title. George opted out and will field offers, which doesn’t look good for OKC.
Trevor Ariza, Houston: The Rockets will make an attempt to somehow land James but that will take creativity and certainly would mean losing Ariza. Otherwise, the Rockets are in play.
Rudy Gay, San Antonio: Gay declined his player option for $8.8 million to test free agency for a second consecutive season. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in his one year in San Antonio.
Aaron Gordon, Orlando (R): Gordon is going to get paid – he is seeking a max deal – and the Magic have a big decision as to whether they match an offer to keep him, let him go or try to work out a sign-and-trade.
Julius Randle, Lakers (R): Randle’s future is as murky as anybody’s on the market depending on what happens in L.A. The Lakers are trying to land some combination of LeBron, Leonard and Paul George – or even all three – and how it unfolds will determine whether Randle returns.
Derrick Favors, Utah: Favors is an under-the-radar free agent who will be a nice pickup for somebody if he leaves Utah. The Jazz want him back but his future will have everything to do with how much money is left after the big names move.
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee (R): Parker struggled this season playing just 31 games after returning from a torn ACL. Not sure the Bucks are eager to give him a large contract which could limit his offer on the open market.
Montrezl Harrell, Clippers: Another underrated player who played an important role on the Clippers after being acquired last summer in the Chris Paul trade. An explosive player with great energy who is a tough matchup at 6-8. Can also play center.
DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans: Cousins’ torn Achilles came at a bad time. He would have been a max player but likely will have to take less after suffering the injury in late January. The big question is if the Pelicans really want him back?
Clint Capela, Houston (R): The Rockets love Capela and matching an offer would be a no-brainer if it weren’t for their pursuit of LeBron. Ideally, Houston retains Chris Paul and Capela and somehow lands LeBron, but that will be difficult.
DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: Jordan could exercise his player option and be traded to Dallas before free agency kicks off. He is a capable scorer, one of the best rebounders in the league and a huge asset defensively.
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland (R): Nurkic improved during his first full season in Portland but he remains an inconsistent player. The Trail Blazers will have a decision to make when he receives an offer.
Brook Lopez, Lakers: Lopez has expanded his game, making 246 threes on 34.5 percent shooting the last two years. He made just three threes in his first eight seasons. A return to L.A. is unlikely.
2018 Heat Offseason Preview