Predicting where the NBA's top 20 free agents will play in 2024–25

ESPN released a ranking of the top 20 names in the 2024 NBA free agency pool, and here is where they may all play in 2024–25.
Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
16 of 20

5. James Harden - LA Clippers

The LA Clippers have two players in the top five of ESPN's list, so they obviously have big decisions to make this off-season. James Harden came aboard via trade last season and played well enough, playing a big role with the team dealing with injuries all season. It seems fair to say that bringing him back is on their off-season to-do list.

Yet, these negotiations will not be open and shut. Harden, 34, will likely be hunting for that big payday to maximize his earnings while he can. The Clippers knew this when they traded for him, but they still may be hesistant to offer him the lucrative deal he may seek. These two could be at a standstill for a while, but ultimately, it feels like Harden will be sticking around in Los Angeles.

For one, Harden might not have too many suitors outside of Los Angeles. A younger team with a bit of money to spend could ponder writing him a huge check, but one would have to think that Harden also wants to contend right now. There are not too many teams outside of Los Angeles who will offer him a chance to contend and be willing to spend something near top-of-the-line money on him.

The Clippers, who will almost certainly want to contend next season, also have to consider the reality that they could lose one of their other key stars this off-season - more on that later. If they lose two, it could set them back mightily. The Clippers and Harden will likely find a way to get a deal done.