Kevin Durant Free Agency

Last summer, PointAfter revealed a new metric called Free Agent Quotient (FAQ) in an attempt to measure the future value of free agents. The sports visualization site, part of the Graphiq network, has revamped the FAQ formula to better account for defensive impact.

This year, PointAfter introduced box plus-minus (BPM) and value over replacement player (VORP) into the formula, which previously featured player efficiency rating (PER), win shares and age. We also distributed some weight away from PER, which tends to favor high-efficiency big men who can score the rock and rebound but don’t add much value beyond that.

As such, FAQ now has a new scale to translate numbers into projected future roles for each player.

150 = Strong MVP candidate
125 = Borderline MVP candidate
100 = Superstar
75 = Bona fide All-Star
50 = Borderline All-Star
25 = Above average starter
0 = Average starter
-25 = Average bench player
-50 = D-League All-Star

The 2016 free agent class of 2016 is a pretty shallow crew. One might have expected a deeper crop considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that’ll be thrown around due to the rising salary cap (which the NBA projected to be $92 million). Regardless, there are still plenty of useful pieces available who will swing the fate of many teams’ playoff hopes in 2017 and beyond.

To be clear: These rankings aim to predict the future value of these players. Accordingly, some promising yet relatively unproven youngsters might be higher than you expect, while some aging veterans aren’t as highly regarded by FAQ as their reputations might suggest.

The top 10 players will be discussed in detail, with the full rankings of every 2016 free agent following the 42nd capsule.

PointAfter product managers David Berk and Daniel Soleiman contributed data research to this article.

#1. Kevin Durant

Free Agent Quotient: 151.3
2015-16 Salary: $20,158,622

From a financial standpoint, the wisest move for Durant is to re-sign with OKC for a year with a player option for 2017-18 before hitting the market again once the salary cap is above $100 million. Since the Thunder came within one game of the NBA Finals, it might be the most prudent basketball decision, too.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder

#2. LeBron James

Free Agent Quotient: 143.7
2015-16 Salary: $22,971,000

It doesn’t matter whether Cleveland exacts revenge against Golden State in the Finals or not. There’s no way LeBron leaves his hometown team again.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers

#3. Hassan Whiteside

Free Agent Quotient: 102.3
2015-16 Salary: $981,348

Whiteside, who’s earned less than $1 million in each of his first two seasons, is ready to cash in and sign a max contract this summer. If it’s going to be with Miami, the Heat will likely have to ask Dwyane Wade to take a pay cut and wave goodbye to most of their other veterans. Whiteside is worth the investment.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Miami Heat

#4. Andre Drummond

Free Agent Quotient: 69.0
2015-16 Salary: $3,272,091

Drummond is a restricted free agent, and Detroit will happily max him out after making the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Detroit Pistons

#5. Al Horford

Free Agent Quotient: 67.2
2015-16 Salary: $12,000,000

After taking a “hometown discount” on his last contract, Horford is likely in line to receive a maximum offer this summer. That would mean nearly $150 million over five years from Atlanta, or four years at $110 million deal from someone else. That’s a lot of money to commit to a 30-year-old, but it’s tough to imagine the front office breaking up the band right now, even after the Hawks were swept out of the playoffs by Cleveland for the second straight year.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Atlanta Hawks

#6. DeMar DeRozan

Free Agent Quotient: 65.7
2015-16 Salary: $9,500,000

DeRozan’s three-point stroke abandoned him in the playoffs, but that shouldn’t take away from his status as the second-best wing on the market. After all, he led the Raptors in scoring during their valiant six-game effort against Cleveland in the conference finals.

The Los Angeles native could bolt Toronto for his hometown Lakers this summer, but the likelihood of that probably decreased after the Raptors came so close to their first NBA Finals berth.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Toronto Raptors

#7. Pau Gasol

Free Agent Quotient: 48.1
2015-16 Salary: $7,448,760

Gasol’s top priority is to contend. The Spurs need a two-way forward with David West, Boris Diaw and Tim Duncan all possibly leaving San Antonio this summer. Pau’s brother, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, already pointed out that a marriage between Gasol and the Spurs would be a perfect fit.

2016-17 Team Prediction: San Antonio Spurs

#8. Dwight Howard

Free Agent Quotient: 36.5
2015-16 Salary: $22,359,364

Howard is still a difference-maker at center, but he’s more of a second banana at this stage of his career, even if his ego craves for a headlining role. The Mavericks are reportedly willing to satisfy that desire, and it’s admittedly pretty easy to picture D12 getting along with the easy-going Dirk Nowitzki in a spacious offense crafted by coach Rick Carlisle.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

#9. Mike Conley

Free Agent Quotient: 34.7
2015-16 Salary: $9,588,426

Conley, who was severely underpaid on his previous contract (five years, $40 million), is hitting the market after missing 26 games this season with a foot injury. However, he’s still the best point guard by a long shot (Rajon Rondo comes closest by FAQ at No. 23 overall). The 28-year-old could very well garner a max offer (approximately four years, $110 million) from some franchise whose management wants to contend in the near future.

2016-17 Team Prediction: New York Knicks

#10. Jared Sullinger

Free Agent Quotient: 34.1
2015-16 Salary: $2,269,260

You’re probably surprised to see “Sully” ranked this high. But FAQ loves how young (24) he is, and Sullinger can play at both the 4 and 5. He could end up being one of the summer’s biggest bargains.

Sullinger was minimized in Boston’s game plan as the Celtics’ six-game postseason loss to Atlanta went along. The 24-year-old is a restricted free agent, but it’d be surprising if he was retained due to the injury problems and weight issues that littered his tenure with the C’s. Still, Sully exhibits the defensive chops and offensive potential to entice some team into offering a contract that Boston won’t match.

2016-17 Team Prediction: Chicago Bulls

FAQ Ranking of Every 2016 NBA Free Agent

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

1. Kevin Durant (151.3 FAQ)
2. LeBron James (143.7 FAQ)
3. Hassan Whiteside (102.3 FAQ)
4. Andre Drummond (69.0 FAQ)
5. Al Horford (67.2 FAQ)
6. DeMar DeRozan (65.7 FAQ)
7. Pau Gasol (48.1 FAQ)
8. Dwight Howard (36.5 FAQ)
9. Mike Conley (34.7 FAQ)
10. Jared Sullinger (34.1 FAQ)
11. Marvin Williams (32.0 FAQ)
12. Dwyane Wade (27.8 FAQ)
13. Amir Johnson (26.8 FAQ)
14. Evan Fournier (25.9 FAQ)
15. Nicolas Batum (23.6 FAQ)
16. Bismack Biyombo (23.5 FAQ)
17. Chandler Parsons (22.0 FAQ)
18. Ian Mahinmi (20.0 FAQ)
19. Dirk Nowitzki (18.5 FAQ)
20. Dwight Powell (18.2 FAQ)
21. Bradley Beal (15.7 FAQ)
22. Luol Deng (15.3 FAQ)
23. Rajon Rondo (14.9 FAQ)
24. David West (14.6 FAQ)
25. Tim Duncan (11.2 FAQ)
26. Harrison Barnes (9.3 FAQ)
27. Festus Ezeli (9.3 FAQ)
28. Trevor Booker (9.3 FAQ)
29. Zaza Pachulia (9.0 FAQ)
30. Ryan Anderson (9.0 FAQ)
31. Jordan Hill (7.6 FAQ)
32. Mario Chalmers (7.3 FAQ)
33. Jordan Clarkson (6.2 FAQ)
34. Brandon Bass (5.4 FAQ)
35. Al Jefferson (5.3 FAQ)
36. Derrick Williams (4.8 FAQ)
37. Michael Beasley (3.2 FAQ)
38. J.R. Smith (2.7 FAQ)
39. Manu Ginobili (2.7 FAQ)
40. Moe Harkless (2.0 FAQ)
41. Tyler Johnson (1.5 FAQ)
42. Kent Bazemore (0.4 FAQ)
43. Amar’e Stoudemire (-0.1 FAQ)
44. Jon Leuer (-0.2 FAQ)
45. Miles Plumlee (-1.0 FAQ)
46. Ersan Ilyasova (-1.5 FAQ)
47. Allen Crabbe (-1.7 FAQ)
48. Deron Williams (-1.7 FAQ)
49. Jeremy Lin (-2.2 FAQ)
50. Langston Galloway (-3.4 FAQ)
51. Evan Turner (-4.5 FAQ)
52. Mirza Teletovic (-4.6 FAQ)
53. Timofey Mozgov (-5.0 FAQ)
54. Brandon Jennings (-5.9 FAQ)
55. Terrence Jones (-6.0 FAQ)
56. Jared Dudley (-8.5 FAQ)
57. Eric Gordon (-8.6 FAQ)
58. Nene Hilario (-8.9 FAQ)
59. Marreese Speights (-9.3 FAQ)
60. Joakim Noah (-10.3 FAQ)
61. Shaun Livingston (-10.5 FAQ)
62. David Lee (-10.8 FAQ)
63. Lance Stephenson (-11.5 FAQ)
64. Meyers Leonard (-12.5 FAQ)
65. Solomon Hill (-13.1 FAQ)
66. D.J. Augustin (-14.0 FAQ)
67. Marcus Thornton (-15.3 FAQ)
68. Matthew Dellavedova (-15.4 FAQ)
69. Ish Smith (-16.0 FAQ)
70. Jerryd Bayless (-16.4 FAQ)
71. Jason Thompson (-16.4 FAQ)
72. Darrell Arthur (-18.1 FAQ)
73. Jeff Green (-18.9 FAQ)
74. Boris Diaw (-19.1 FAQ)
75. Seth Curry (-19.9 FAQ)
76. Austin Rivers (-20.0 FAQ)
77. Andrew Nicholson (-20.3 FAQ)
78. Wesley Johnson (-21.0 FAQ)
79. P.J. Tucker (-21.9 FAQ)
80. Roy Hibbert (-22.2 FAQ)
81. Dion Waiters (-22.9 FAQ)
82. Jonathon Simmons (-23.0 FAQ)
83. James Johnson (-24.6 FAQ)
84. Raymond Felton (-26.2 FAQ)
85. Gerald Henderson (-27.1 FAQ)
86. Courtney Lee (-27.2 FAQ)
87. E’Twaun Moore (-29.0 FAQ)
88. Jonas Jerebko (-30.3 FAQ)
89. Chase Budinger (-30.3 FAQ)
90. Ian Clark (-30.6 FAQ)
91. Luis Scola (-31.3 FAQ)
92. Kris Humphries (-31.8 FAQ)
93. Donatas Motiejunas (-32.4 FAQ)
94. Joe Johnson (-33.9 FAQ)
95. Josh Smith (-36.2 FAQ)
96. Arron Afflalo (-36.4 FAQ)
97. Jamal Crawford (-37.1 FAQ)
98. Ty Lawson (-37.7 FAQ)
99. Anthony Morrow (-37.8 FAQ)
100. Leandro Barbosa (-37.9 FAQ)
101. Matt Barnes (-39.8 FAQ)
102. Kevin Seraphin (-41.8 FAQ)
103. Gerald Green (-42.0 FAQ)
104. Anderson Varejao (-43.4 FAQ)
105. Aaron Brooks (-43.8 FAQ)
106. Mo Williams (-43.9 FAQ)
107. Lance Thomas (-44.6 FAQ)
108. Kevin Martin (-46.8 FAQ)
109. Norris Cole (-47.5 FAQ)
110. Ryan Kelly (-48.4 FAQ)
111. O.J. Mayo (-51.8 FAQ)
112. Jason Terry (-63.4 FAQ)
113. Randy Foye (-67.4 FAQ)
114. Greivis Vasquez (-67.4 FAQ)

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