Phoenix Suns big man DeAndre Ayton’s rookie contract is up this summer, and max money could be coming. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
PLAYER CONTRACTS PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

Upcoming NBA Free Agents to Watch in 2021-22

From young guns like DeAndre Ayton coming off rookie deals to vets like Zach LaVine gunning for supermax riches, let’s go through all the big names.

Yes, basketball is back — but did you see the summer we just had??? Over $1.5 billion in contracts were awarded within barely 12 hours of the opening of the 2021 NBA offseason period, including a Stephen Curry extension worth over $50 million per year and the official welcoming of Joel Embiid to the supermax club.

As an annual tradition, watching bag after record-setting bag fall out of the sky is an absolute thrill. And now that real, live games are happening again, it’s absolutely not too early to look ahead to the riches that will be coming to a select group of players headed to both restricted and unrestricted free agency after the 2021-22 NBA season wraps.

All salary figures are courtesy of Spotrac.

Top NBA Restricted Free Agents for Summer 2022

Phoenix Suns C DeAndre Ayton
  • Age: 23
  • Agent: Bill Duffy (BDA Sports Management)
  • 2021-22 salary: $12,632,950
  • 2022-23 qualifying offer: $16,422,835

The Suns and DeAndre Ayton had discussions on a contract extension, but had not reached a deal when the Oct. 18 deadline passed for 2018 draft picks to agree to new deals. Ayton had sought a five-year deal, but Phoenix reportedly opted not to put one on the table.

Cleveland Cavaliers SG Collin Sexton
  • Age: 22
  • Agent: Austin Brown (CAA Sports)
  • 2021-22 salary: $6,349,671
  • 2022-23 qualifying offer: $8,559,357

Collin Sexton averaged 24.3 points per game last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 18th-best mark in the league. He also set career bests in shooting percentage (47.5) and assists (4.4).

Charlotte Hornets SF Miles Bridges
  • Age: 23
  • Agent: Rich Paul (Klutch Sports)
  • 2021-22 salary: $5,421,493
  • 2022-23 qualifying offer: $7,459,974

After displaying streaky shooting in his first two years in the league, forward Miles Bridges knocked down 40% of his triples in 2020-21 for a seriously fun Charlotte Hornets team.

Milwaukee Bucks SG Donte DiVincenzo
  • Age: 24
  • Agents: Chris Emens & John Noonan (Octagon)
  • 2021-22 salary: $4,675,830
  • 2022-23 qualifying offer: $6,602,272

The only reigning NBA champion to make our list? Donte DiVincenzo, who played 23.3 minutes per game in the postseason for the victorious Milwaukee Bucks.

Denver Nuggets C Bol Bol
  • Age: 21
  • Agent: Andrew Morrison (CAA Sports)
  • 2021-22 salary: $2,151,220
  • 2022-23 qualifying offer: $2,689,025

Originally a second-round pick by the Denver Nuggets, Bol Bol appeared in 32 NBA games in 2020-21 after spending most of his rookie year with the G League’s Windy City Bulls.

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Notable NBA Unrestricted Free Agents

Chicago Bulls PG/SG Zach LaVine
  • Age: 26
  • Agent: Rich Paul & Lucas Newton (Klutch Sports)
  • 2021-22 salary: $19,500,000

LaVine will be eligible for a supermax contract if he wins MVP or Defensive Player of the Year or makes an All-NBA team this season.

Toronto Raptors PG/SG Goran Dragic
  • Age: 35
  • Agent: Bill Duffy & Rade Filipovich (BDA Sports Management)
  • 2021-22 salary: $19,440,000

Goran Dragic is of just 39 active NBA players with over $150,000,000 in career earnings.

Cleveland Cavaliers PG Ricky Rubio
  • Age: 30
  • Agent: Sean Kennedy & Jeff Schwartz (Excel Sports Management)
  • 2021-22 salary: $17,800,000

Despite changing teams four times, Ricky Rubio’s annual salary has increased across all 11 of his NBA seasons.

Utah Jazz SF Joe Ingles
  • Age: 34
  • Agent: Mark Bartelstein (Priority Sports & Entertainment)
  • 2021-22 salary: $12,436,364

After shooting a career-best 45.1% percent from 3-point range in 2020-21, Jazz wing Joe Ingles finished runner-up to teammate Jordan Clarkson for NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Los Angeles Clippers PF/C Serge Ibaka
  • Age: 32
  • Agent: Pere Gallego (You First Sports)
  • 2021-22 salary: $9,720,900

A 2019 NBA champion with the Raptors, Ibaka has earned $137,338,730 in his career through the 2020-21 season.

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