I think it’s important to note that a player’s free agent period, which runs from the first day of the NBA season until the first game of the next season, is the longest in sports.
Players typically sign a deal with their team the first week of free agency, and players are allowed to spend the entire season in their new teams’ uniform.
The free agency season ends on Jan. 31, and if the player is still unsigned by the time the league’s calendar turns to March, he or she is released and must start the next NBA season.
The following list is a brief list of the 10 best free agents of all-time.
There are many more to choose from, but this is the best free agent class ever assembled.
Players in bold were released by their current teams during the 2015-16 season.
Players not in bold received a contract extension.
Bryce Harper, Toronto Blue JaysThe 29-year-old slugger signed a three-year, $56 million extension in the summer of 2016 that included $24 million in guaranteed money.
Harper was the highest-paid American League player last season, and was named the National League’s Player of the Month for April after hitting .364/.406/.682 with 12 home runs, 20 doubles, 19 home runs and 22 RBIs in April.
Harper, who was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to Toronto in March, is a former two-time All-Star who is playing the last two years at age 36.
Harper’s free-agent market value is likely to be in the neighborhood of $100 million.
Bryan LaHair, Los Angeles AngelsOf all the players to come out of the Blue Jays’ free-agency class, LaHaire was the most controversial.
The 26-year old outfielder was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for reliever Matt Chapman and outfielder David Freese in 2015.
The deal didn’t pay off as the Dodgers were in a free-fall during the 2016 season and missed the playoffs.
LaHane had an excellent season in 2017 with a .296/.364/.470 batting line and 16 home runs in 151 games.
La Haire is a career .265/.340/.500 hitter with 29 home runs over 1,500 plate appearances in his career.
The Angels have some major issues on defense and should look to bring in another veteran outfielder in a trade.
Brent Seabrook, Toronto MarliesBrent was the third free agent to sign a contract in the Marlies’ first three seasons.
The 27-year olds most memorable season came in 2010-11, when he batted .287/.355/.481 with 27 home runs.
Seabrock was one of the best defensive outfielders in the league, recording a league-high 11 defensive runs saved.
The Blue Jays also re-signed left-handed reliever Eric Hinske to a four-year contract in 2020.
The two players will likely play on different teams next season.
Kasey Green, Toronto Maple LeafsThe 28-year of age veteran out of Kentucky signed a two-year extension in March that includes $23 million in salary and $10 million in performance bonuses.
Green had a career year with Toronto, batting .283/.359/.478 with 25 home runs for the Maple Leafs.
He also stole 40 bases in 2018.
Green is a three time All-star, and has a .302/.340/485 batting line over 1.8 million plate appearances.
Green will have plenty of competition for playing time in 2018, and the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Group may want to consider trading for a veteran to play alongside Green.
Joc Pederson, New York RangersThis free-agents top prospect has made a name for himself in his first two years in the NHL, hitting .300/.376/.513 with 25 homers in a career that also includes two seasons in the World Baseball Classic.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound forward also made the playoffs in 2017 and made his first All-Rookie team in 2019.
Pederson is an aggressive player with a cannon arm, and he can play center field or the outfield.
The Rangers may be looking to move him before next season as they have yet to make a serious run at free agency.
If they do, Pederson will be a prime candidate to land a deal.