It’s true — LeBron James is going to be a free agent next year, and he’s not leaving the Heat. In all likelihood, neither are Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade, even though they could each opt out of the final year on their individual contracts. They’re not going on this list, as it’s highly unlikely that they land anywhere other than Miami — not with the streaks they’re having. We’re also going to leave off Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan, two other free agents, since they’re staying with the Mavericks and the Spurs, respectively.
This list, though, is for players who might end up seeing greener pastures. The really interesting prospects that, for one reason or another, are gearing up to start paying rent in a different area code. No, we’re not including Kevin Love in this list — he’s got one more year on his contract before he becomes a free agent, even if he does get traded this year.
So, looking at the restricted and the unrestricted free agents for 2014, here’s what we’ve got. It’s an intriguing list, full of players who could shift the fortunes of all the teams that’re outside looking in as the Conference Finals play out this week. So without further delay, here are the seven best free agents in the upcoming free agency period.