The 31 best NBA free agents of 2016

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The 31 best NBA free agents of 2016 (BI)
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The 31 best NBA free agents of 2016 (BI)

LeBron James, F

2015-16 team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Possible landing spots: Cavaliers

One thing to know: Surprise! LeBron is opting out again as part of his brilliant ploy to keep getting more money. Don't worry, though — he's not going anywhere.

Photo: Getty

 Kevin Durant,F

2015-16 team: Oklahoma City Thunder

Possible landing spots: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Clippers

One thing to know: Durant is taking meetings with six teams, but the prevailing logic is that he'll return to Oklahoma City for at least one more year. Can he really walk away from Russell Westbrook and the Thunder after coming within one win of the NBA championship?

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Al Horford,F/C 

2015-16 team: Atlanta Hawks

Possible landing spots: Hawks, Celtics, Wizards, Nets

One thing to know: Horford's blend of scoring, defense, and unselfishness would make him a good fit on any team, whether as a traditional power forward or a small center.

 (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

 Mike Conley, PG

 

2015-16 team: Memphis Grizzlies

Possible landing spots: Grizzlies, Mavericks, Spurs

One thing to know: The frequently overlooked Conley is far and away the best point guard on the free agency market, but few teams have openings at point guard.

 (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Hassan Whiteside, C

2015-16 team: Miami Heat

Possible landing spots: Heat, Lakers, Mavericks, Trail Blazers

One thing to know: Whiteside has become one of the NBA's best shot-blockers and rebounders, and he still has areas to improve upon.

 (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

 Dwight Howard, C

 2015-16 team: Houston Rockets

Possible landing spots: Celtics, Hawks, Knicks

One thing to know: Two unsuccessful stops in Houston and Los Angeles, combined with declining athleticism, have soured Howard's market. However, if healthy and happy, Howard is still an elite rim defender and pick-and-roll big man.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Andre Drummond C*

2015-16 team: Detroit Pistons

Possible landing spots: Pistons

One thing to know: Drummond is one of the most promising young big men in the NBA, and the Pistons aren't going to let him go anywhere.

(Photo by B. Sevald/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nicolas Batum G/F

2015-16 team: Charlotte Hornets

Possible landing spots: Hornets, Warriors, Wizards

One thing to know: Batum is set for a max payday this offseason as a versatile wing who can handle the ball and spread the floor.

(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

DeMar DeRozan G/F

 2015-16 team: Toronto Raptors

Possible landing spots: Raptors, Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Heat, Knicks

One thing to know: DeRozan has steadily improved as a scorer each year in the league, and despite another poor postseason showing, he should still be in line for a max. contract.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

 Dwyane Wade, G

2015-16 team: Miami Heat

Possible landing spots: Heat

One thing to know: Wade's representatives reportedly let other teams know he's on the market this offseason, but it's tough to envision the longtime Miami star actually leaving the team.

(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Bradley Beal, G*

 2015-16 team: Washington Wizards

Possible landing spots: Wizards

One thing to know: Beal has struggled with injuries his whole career, but the 23-year-old has promise, and the Wizards won't let him go.

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chandler Parsons, F

 2015-16 team: Dallas Mavericks

Possible landing spots: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Magic, 76ers

One thing to know: Parsons is one of the better two-way wings in the NBA, but he's struggled to stay healthy in recent years.

 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Joakim Noah, C

 2015-16 team: Chicago Bulls

Possible landing spots: Knicks, Warriors, Wizards, Wolves

One thing to know: Noah was once one of the premier centers in the NBA, but age and injuries may make teams hesitant to commit too much money to him. He played just 29 games last season.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 Pau Gasol, F/C

2015-16 team: Chicago Bulls

Possible landing spots: Spurs, Warriors, Knicks

One thing to know: Gasol revived his career with the Bulls the last two years, averaging a double-double and making the All-Star team twice. He'd be an excellent complementary piece on a contender.

(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Dirk Nowitzki, F

 2015-16 team: Dallas Mavericks

Possible landing spots: Mavericks

One thing to know: There are rumors circulating that Nowitzki may consider looking at other teams, but ESPN's Marc Stein said on Zach Lowe's podcast that there's "no chance" he leaves Dallas.

 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

 Kent Bazemore, G/F

 2015-16 team: Atlanta Hawks

Possible landing spots: Hawks, Knicks, 76ers

One thing to know: Bazemore had a career year in 2015-16, with averages of 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and 35% shooting from three, making him one of the most coveted wings of the summer.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Harrison Barnes, F*

 2015-16 team: Golden State Warriors

Possible landing spots: Warriors, 76ers, Trail Blazers

One thing to know: Barnes is one of the most puzzling free agents this summer — a young, athletic forward who can stretch the floor, play defense, and rebound that many people also feel was carried by the immensely talented Warriors.

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Ryan Anderson, F

2015-16 team: New Orleans Pelicans

Possible landing spots: Wizards, Kings, Lakers, Grizzlies

One thing to know: Anderson's one elite skill — three-point shooting — will make him a lot of money at a time when sweet-shooting big men are in demand.

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Evan Fournier, G*

 2015-16 team: Orlando Magic

Possible landing spots: Magic

One thing to know: Fournier had a breakout season in 2015-16 with the Magic, and they're expected to match offers to keep the skilled, 23-year-old combo guard.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Marvin Williams, F

2015-16 team: Charlotte Hornets

Possible landing spots: Hornets, Pacers, Mavericks, Rockets

One thing to know: 11 years into his career, Williams finally found his fit in the NBA as a stretch four. A solid year in Charlotte could earn him a lot of money at the NBA's most-valued position.

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dion Waiters, G*

2015-16 team: Oklahoma City Thunder

Possible landing spots: Thunder, 76ers, Kings

One thing to know: Waiters' game has slowly matured into a "three-and-D" role, and the Thunder can match any offer he receives, but it seems they will only go so high to keep him.

 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 Bismack Biyombo, C

2015-16 team: Toronto Raptors

Possible landing spots: Raptors

One thing to know: Biyombo had a breakout postseason with the Raptors, and reports say the athletic, shot-blocking big man is willing to be patient so he can re-sign in Toronto.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Courtney Lee, G

2015-16 team: Charlotte Hornets

Possible landing spots: Hornets, Kings, Knicks

One thing to know: Lee's numbers won't blow anyone away, but every team could use a solid defender and career 38% shooter from three.

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Luol Deng, F

2015-16 team: Miami Heat

Possible landing spots: Heat, Jazz, Clippers

One thing to know: Deng had a small revival in Miami as a stretch four and should get some attention to fill that role for a playoff team this summer.

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Jeremy Lin, PG

2015-16 team: Charlotte Hornets

Possible landing spots: Hornets, Knicks, Nets, Pacers

One thing to know: Lin had a nice year off the bench for the Hornets and has said he'd like to sign a long-term deal somewhere this summer.

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Allen Crabbe, G*

2015-16 team: Portland Trail Blazers

Possible landing spots: Blazers, 76ers, Nets, Kings, Kings

One thing to know: The 24-year-old Crabbe quietly had a nice year off the bench, and with the Blazers having three restricted free agents, might be available for the right price.

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Eric Gordon, G

2015-16 team: New Orleans Pelicans

Possible landing spots: Pelicans, Knicks, Rockets, Grizzlies, Pacers

One thing to know: Gordon is still a solid offensive shooting guard, but he hasn't played over 70 games since his rookie year in 2009.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

 J.R. Smith, G/F

 2015-16 team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Possible landing spots: Cavaliers

One thing to know: After maturing on the court, locking in on defense, and helping the Cavs win a title, it seems unlikely that the Cavs (LeBron) will let another team steal J.R.

(Photo credit should read JAY LAPRETE/AFP/Getty Images)

 Ian Mahinmi, C

2015-16 team: Indiana Pacers

Possible landing spots: Pacers, Mavericks, Bulls, Celtics

One thing to know: The 29-year-old center had a nice 2015-16 season, earned some votes for Most Improved Player, and could be a nice signing for a team looking for a defense-first center.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

 Festus Ezeli, C*

2015-16 team: Golden State Warriors

Possible landing spots: Warriors

One thing to know: Ezeli's solid season was tarnished by a poor postseason. The Warriors can match any offer he gets, but he could be the odd-man out if they pursue bigger free agents.

(Photo by Kyle Terada/Pool/Getty Images)

Rajon Rondo, PG

 2015-16 team: Sacramento Kings

Possible landing spots: Kings, Nets

One thing to know: Rondo showed flashes of his old self in his one-year deal with the Kings, but in general, the market for his style of play seems to have diminished.

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Note: * denotes a restricted free agent, meaning the player's team can match any outside offers.

NBA free agency kicks off July 1 in what promises to be a wild summer.

Though some feel that this year's free agent class is lacking in star power, what will make this offseason interesting is the exploding salary cap, which will raise salaries and give nearly every team money to spend.

This will lead to some giant contracts for in-demand players, and when teams strike out on the few big names, it could lead to some knee-jerk signings or trades.

Here is our list of the 31 best NBA free agents this summer.

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