The buzz around the 2021 NBA free agency has died down but that doesn’t mean we’ve run out of contracts. There are still a fair amount of quality players hanging in the balance, uncertain about their immediate future and what franchise it lies with.

So let’s explore what I consider to be the best three free agents left, taking into account their abilities, experience, availability, and cost into account.

DENNIS SCHRODER 

In an alternate universe, Dennis Schroder would be at the beginning of a four-year contract worth $84 Million as the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard.

However, he turned that deal down and demanded a nine-figure salary instead, to which the Lakers responded by signing everyone else but Dennis Schroder

How do you say “you played yourself” in German? Google says it’s “du hast dich selbst gespielt.” Sorry, Dennis.

As a result, Dennis Schroder is still unattached after two weeks into NBA free agency, which is not a fair reflection of his talent. He may have over-priced himself out of Los Angeles but Schroder is still a valuable player, capable of starting for half the league and a backup point guard for the other half.

An unrestricted free agent that averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.8 rebounds last season should not have this much trouble finding a home. He’s most likely going to take a short deal with a contending team to prop up his value either as a starter or a reliable sixth man.

Word on the streets is the Boston Celtics are in pole position to sign Schroder for a ridiculously low fee as well.

LAURI MARKKANEN 

24-year old Lauri Markkanen is still available as a free agent and he’s far from finished contrary to what his nationality suggests. Although a restricted free agent, Markkanen has made known his desire to leave Chicago and the feeling seems mutual.

The Bulls have moved with speed and precision in free agency, acquiring Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and DeMar DeRozan.

The Chicago Bulls are at liberty to match any offers for Markkanen (which at this point wouldn’t be bank-breaking) but they look like they’ll be just fine without him.

The young big is undoubtedly talented, but injuries and inconsistency have made him slightly less attractive to potential suitors. However, he’s definitely going to get signed anytime soon, he’s too good to remain unattached much longer. 

Very few players his age can shoot, pass and rebound at Lauri Markkanen‘s level… when he’s in the mood.

PAUL MILLSAP 

Paul Millsap is a 36-year old, 15-year veteran so he may already be on his way to the Lakers but he’s officially still an unrestricted free agent.

Despite being in the twilight of his career, Millsap showed that he still has a lot to offer with his performances in Denver last season.

He averaged nine points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 47.6% shooting while playing roughly 20 minutes per game for the Nuggets. Millsap’s efficient numbers along with his experience will make him a valuable part of a contending team.

An effective shooting wing who can defend, is desperate for a championship, and is available for cheap, Millsap is Laker material.

In conclusion, all three of these guys will most likely get signed before the season starts, it’s a matter of when not if. There are many other NBA-calibre free agents but I consider these three the best of the available lot in my learned opinion.

Honorable mentions to Josh Hart, DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley, J.J. Reddick, Wes Matthews, and Isaiah Thomas

 

Featured Image via Mark J. Terrill/AP Images