The Top 20 Restricted Free Agents for the Summer of 2022

June 29th, 2022

By Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to write about the top restricted free agents (RFA) that will be available for NBA teams to sign in the upcoming offseason.  For NBA teams that want to sign restricted free agents, they may have to be prepared to get their checkbooks out, because their offers can be matched by the teams that currently own the free agent rights to these players.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the top 20 restricted free agents that are available for NBA teams to sign in this offseason for the 2022-23 NBA season and beyond.

DeAndre Ayton was refused an extension by the Suns, and he could sign elsewhere as a restricted free agent in July.
(Photo:
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images, via Forbes)

1. DeAndre Ayton, center (last played for the Phoenix Suns)

2021-22 (PHO): 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 63 FG%, 37 3PT%, 75 FT%, 66 TS%, 21.9 PER, 7.3 WS
2022 Playoffs: 17.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.7 APG, 64 FG%, 50 3PT%, 64 FT%, 65 TS%, 23.5 PER, 1.4 WS

He is a strong, athletic center that has thrived as an interior player for the Suns this year.  Ayton helped lead his team to get to the 2021 NBA Finals, and he has also taken steps to work on his outside shot. 

He and his team seemingly had a falling out, as he was benched in his team’s lopsided Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round, as he seemed to be scapegoated, perhaps unfairly so.  But the boiling tension had seemed to be simmering all year long, when the Suns refused to extend him

It looks like Ayton has reached his boiling point with the Suns and will likely sign elsewhere.  Regardless, he is a very talented center that has shown he can be a very good player and the anchor of an NBA team’s defense, and whomever decides to make him an offer will have to pay up to give him a large contract for him to sign with them for next season.

DeAndre Ayton’s Projected 2023 Rating:

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Miles Bridges played very well this past season, and he could be due for a big payday soon.
(Photo:
Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports, via Lonzo Wire – USA Today)

2. Miles Bridges, forward (last played for the Charlotte Hornets)

2021-22 (CHO): 20.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.8 RPG, 49 FG%, 33 3PT%, 80 FT%, 59 TS%, 17.9 PER, 7.2 WS

Miles Bridges is a strong, skilled forward that played very well for the Hornets this past season.  He was able to go from being a very efficient role player to being a versatile forward that can provide consistent scoring on a near-playoff caliber team this year.  He is a versatile player that can shoot, score, and guard a variety of positions, and he could earn a near max contract from an NBA team in this offseason.

UPDATE: Miles Bridges was arrested on domestic violence charges on June 29th, and this article was written before knowledge of that incident had happened. Therefore, he will drop in the restricted free agent rankings from 1 to 2 on this list, and this could cause him to lose a significant amount of money in the offseason.

Miles Bridges’ Projected 2023 Rating:

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Luguentz Dort has played terrific defense for the Thunder, and he will be a restricted free agent in July.
(Photo:
Kim Klement/USA Today Sports, via NBA Analysis Network)

3. Lu Dort, guard-forward (last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder)

2021-22 (OKC): 17.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.7 APG, 40 FG%, 33 3PT%, 84 FT%, 54 TS%, 12.3 PER, 1.4 WS

Lu Dort is an athletic, physical swingman that really excelled as a defensive specialist for Oklahoma City. He can score and move the basketball, and he is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Even more, he currently plans to re-sign with them, and he could be due for a big payday in the offseason.

Lu Dort’s Projected 2023 Rating:

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Collin Sexton is a speedy, score-first combo guard who is very skilled, but also very injury prone, and he will be a restricted free agent in July.
(Photo:
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press, via Akron Beacon Journal)

4. Collin Sexton, guard (last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers)

2020-21 (CLE): 60 GP, 24.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 48 FG%, 37 3PT%, 81 FT%, 18 PER, 57 TS%, 3.5 WS, .080 WS48

He is a very athletic, skilled combo guard that was injured for most of this past season.  He can shoot and score the basketball when healthy, but doesn’t have natural court vision and will need to improve his defense.  Still, his ability to go get buckets should enable him to get a hefty payday in the offseason.

Collin Sexton’s Projected 2023 Rating:

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Anfernee Simons had his best year yet for the Blazers this past season, and he will be a restricted free agent in July.
(Photo:
Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images, via Fansided’s Rip City Project)

5. Anfernee Simons, guard (last played for the Portland Trail Blazers)

2021-22 (POR): 17.3 PPG, 3.9 APG, 2.6 RPG, 44 FG%, 40 3PT%, 89 FT%, 58 TS%, 15.3 PER, 1.9 WS

Simons is an athletic, skilled combo guard that thrived in extended playing time for the Blazers this year.  He did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and the former dunk champ had his best year yet.  He will still need to improve his defense, but he had a solid year, and he will likely get a hefty payday in the offseason.

Anfernee Simons’ Projected 2023 Rating:

6. Nic Claxton, forward-center (last played for the Brooklyn Nets)

2021-22 (BRK): 8.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 67 FG%, 58 FT%, 67 TS%, 18.6 PER, 3.5 WS
2022 Playoffs: 10.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 79 FG%, 18 FT%, 62 TS%, 24.1 PER, 0.3 WS

He is an athletic, energetic big man that excelled as an interior player for the Brooklyn Nets this year.  He is a strong finisher around the basket, and he also became one of their most reliable rim protectors and big men on the team.  While he hasn’t expanded upon his offensive skill set, his interior play should net him a sizable contract from an NBA team in the offseason.

Nic Claxton’s Projected 2023 Rating:

7. Caleb Martin, guard-forward (last played for the Miami Heat)

2021-22 (MIA): 9.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 51 FG%, 41 3PT%, 76 FT%, 61 TS%, 14.8 PER, 4.0 WS
2022 Playoffs: 4.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 40 FG%, 30 3PT%, 33 FT%, 46 TS%, 9.3 PER, 0.1 WS

He is a skilled swingman that excelled as a 3 and D player for the Miami Heat this year.  He played very well in his role for them, but he didn’t play nearly as much in the Eastern Conference Finals this year.  Still, he’s proved himself to be a vital and valuable role player in this league, and he will likely continue to be a solid role player in the NBA next season.

Caleb Martin’s Projected 2023 Rating:

8. Lonnie Walker IV, guard (last played for the San Antonio Spurs)

2020-21 (SAS): 60 GP, 11.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 42 FG%, 35 3PT%, 81 FT%, 9.8 PER, 52 TS%, 0.4 WS       

Walker is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He had a relatively disappointing season in which he struggled to knock down jump shots consistently, and he will also need to improve his defense.  Still, his ability to make shots could enable him to get a sizable contract from an NBA team later this year.

Lonnie Walker IV’s Projected 2023 Rating:

9. Amir Coffey, forward (last played for the Los Angeles Clippers)

2021-22 (LAC): 9.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 45 FG%, 38 3PT%, 86 FT%, 60 TS%, 13.0 PER, 3.8 WS, 2.8:1 Assist to Turnover Ratio

Coffey had a breakout season this year, and he showed off his versatility by making plays to help his team on both sides of the ball.  He perhaps benefitted the most in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s absence by being able to get the much extended playing time that was afforded to him this year, and Coffey is a young, versatile forward that could be a solid role player for the NBA team he decides to go to in the offseason.

Amir Coffey’s Projected 2023 Rating:

10. Jae’Sean Tate, guard-forward (last played for the Houston Rockets)

2021-22 (HOU): 11.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 50 FG%, 31 3PT%, 71 FT%, 57 TS%, 14.3 PER, 3.0 WS

Jae’Sean Tate is a strong, physical swingman that will make hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. He is an undersized forward that moves the ball well and can play above average defense, but he will need to improve his outside shot, and he didn’t quite defend as well this past season.

Jae’Sean Tate’s Projected 2023 Rating:

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Kessler Edwards had a surprisingly solid rookie season for the Nets, and he could be due for a multi-year deal with either the Nets or another team as he will be a restricted free agent in July.
(Photo:
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post)

11. Kessler Edwards, forward (last played for the Brooklyn Nets)

2021-22 (BRK): 5.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 41 FG%, 35 3PT%, 84 FT%, 52 TS%, 8.3 PER, 0.6 WS

Kessler Edwards is a tall, athletic forward that had a solid rookie year with the Nets, and he was a pleasant surprise in their relatively tumultuous season. He is a skilled forward that has shown that he can play a 3 and D role in this league, and he could be ready to have a solid second season in the NBA next year.

Kessler Edwards’s Projected 2023 Rating:

12. Eric Paschall, forward (last played for the Utah Jazz)

2021-22 (UTA): 5.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 49 FG%, 37 3PT%, 77 FT%, 61 TS%, 13.9 PER, 2.0 WS
2022 Playoffs: 2.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 50 FG%, 50 3PT%, 100 FT%, 62 TS%, 14.1 PER, 0.1 WS

He is a skilled, versatile big man that shot the ball well off the bench this year.  Paschall is a versatile player that has shown point forward skills, but he’s been streaky with his jump shot over the years and needs to improve his defense.  Still, his playmaking and ability to score could enable him to earn a multi-year deal in the offseason, and Paschall is talented enough to be a regular rotation player next season.

Eric Paschall’s Projected 2023 Rating:

13. Troy Brown Jr., guard-forward (last played for the Chicago Bulls)

2021-22 (CHI): 4.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 42 FG%, 35 3PT%, 77 FT%, 53 TS%, 10.1 PER, 1.4 WS, 2.5:1 Assist to Turnover Ratio

Brown is a skilled, versatile swingman that has point forward skills, and he has an array of skills that has enabled him to contribute for various teams in the NBA.  He arguably had his best season two years ago with the Wizards.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter and defender, but Brown is a tall facilitator whose playmaking skills could enable him to compete for a rotation spot on the NBA team that he will sign with next year.

Troy Brown Jr.’s Projected 2023 Rating:

14. Facundo Campazzo, guard (last played for the Denver Nuggets)

2020-21 (DEN): 65 GP, 6.1 PPG, 3.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 38 FG%, 35 3PT%, 88 FT%, 11.6 PER, 56 TS%, 3.1 WS

He is a tough, tenacious pesky defender that can reliably run the team at the point.  He’s struggled to make shots consistently and isn’t an elite scorer, but his solid playmaking and defensive skills could enable him to be a reliable backup point guard once again next year.

Facundo Campazzo’s Projected 2023 Rating:

15. Aaron Holiday, guard (last played for the Phoenix Suns)

2021-22 (WAS/PHO): 6.3 PPG, 2.4 APG, 1.9 RPG, 45 FG%, 38 3PT%, 87 FT%, 54 TS%, 12.6 PER, 1.5 WS
2022 Playoffs: 3.5 PPG, 1.5 APG, 57 FG%, 71 3PT%, 0 FT%, 73 TS%, 63.8 PER, 0.3 WS

He is an athletic, energetic playmaker that excelled as a shooter and defender this year.  He didn’t play nearly as much in the playoffs, but he was very effective in limited minutes, and he could project to be a solid backup point guard for the NBA team he signs with.

Aaron Holiday’s Projected Rating

16. Jordan Nwora, guard-forward (last played for the Milwaukee Bucks)

2021-22 (MIL): 7.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40 FG%, 35 3PT%, 84 FT%, 51 TS%, 9.9 PER, 0.6 WS

He is an athletic, skilled swingman that played an extended role on the Milwaukee Bucks this past season.  Nwora provided some quick scoring for his team off the bench, and he showed that he can fill a role as a 3 and D player at this level.  He didn’t quite shoot nearly as well as last year, but he is a young, skilled swingman that could be a solid rotation player that an NBA team can have at a relative bargain.

Jordan Nwora’s Projected 2023 Rating:

17. Sam Hauser, forward (last played for the Boston Celtics)

2021-22 (BOS): 2.5 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 46 FG%, 43 3PT%, 65 TS%, 14.8 PER, 0.6 WS

Sam Hauser is a tall, floor spacing forward that can shoot and score the basketball. He played very well in limited minutes, and he could be due for a breakout second season in the NBA, as he could be ready to be a rotation regular in the league next year.

Sam Hauser’s Projected 2023 Rating:

18. Moses Brown, center (last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers)

2021-22 (DAL/CLE): 4.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 59 FG%%, 60 FT%, 61 TS%, 18.5 PER, 1.2 WS

He is a young, athletic rim protector that has played well in limited minutes, and he arguably had his best season last year with Oklahoma City.  Brown has played for four teams in the past three seasons, but if he can get substantial playing time next year, the young, journeyman center could prove to be a solid backup center for the next NBA team he signs with.

Moses Brown’s Projected 2023 Rating:

19. Marvin Bagley III, forward-center (last played for the Detroit Pistons)

2021-22 (SAC/DET): 11.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50 FG%, 24 3PT%, 66 FT%, 55 TS%, 15.7 PER, 2.0 WS

Marvin Bagley III was the former second overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, but after having a promising start to his NBA career, he’s struggled since. He’s really struggled on the defensive end, which posed as major concerns heading into the draft, but he’s also struggled with his outside shot and hasn’t been able to get consistent playing time or production over the years.

He may be a skilled enough player to warrant an NBA contract and he may have enough skills and upside to warrant a flier from an NBA team in this offseason. However, Bagley will also need his outside shot to come around and get his defense to at least a passable level to increase his odds to be a regular rotation player in the NBA for the foreseeable future.

Marvin Bagley III’s Projected 2023 Rating:

20. Davon Reed, guard-forward (last played for the Denver Nuggets)

2021-22 (DEN): 4.4 PPG, 2.3 PPG, 1.1 APG, 50 FG%, 43 3PT%, 67 FT%, 62 TS%, 12.2 PER, 1.6 WS, 3.3:1 Assist to Turnover Ratio

The Denver Nuggets signed Reed during the middle of the season, and he provided them with shooting and defense off the bench to help their team.  This was easily Reed’s best season in the NBA, and although he did not play in the playoffs, he has played well enough to be a potential rotation player for the NBA team that signs him in the offseason.

Davon Reed’s Projected 2023 Rating:

Anthony Slater tweeted that Juan Toscano-Anderson was not offered a qualifying offer by the Golden State Warriors, so he (JTA) is now an unrestricted free agent instead of a restricted free agent, so he drops off this list because of that.

Grading Key:

Just in case if you were wondering, here is my grading and rating scale that I used to rate players:

5 Star Player (Legend):
4.5 Star Player (MVP):
4 Star Player (Perennial All-Star):
3.5 Star Player (Very good player/All-Star):
3 Star Player (Good player/Borderline All-Star):
2.5 Star Player (Above average player/Solid Role Player):
2 Star Player (Average NBA Player/Rotation Player):
1.5 Star Player (Fringe Rotation Player/Very Good G-League Player):
1 Star Player (Fringe Roster Player/Average G-League Player):
0.5 Star Player (Fringe Roster Player/Below Average G-League Player):

I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes. Thank you for reading my thoughts and opinions on the top restricted free agents that will be available in the 2022 offseason.  Hope you enjoyed reading this, and found it to be informative.  Thanks for reading.

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