Free agency is about to start, with 45% of the NBA ready to move teams. We all know about the Los Angeles and New York teams as top-tier destinations for free agents, but there are a lot of exciting and compelling teams that could pry away some of the free agents. Here is a list of the five best darkhorse free agency destinations that players should take seriously in making their decisions.
1. Indiana Pacers
Coming off a surprisingly good season and $32 million in cap space this summer, the Pacer should be a compelling team for free agents. Oladpio is expected back at the start of the season, and they have young talent at almost every position. With a wide-open Eastern Conference, this team could make a deep playoff run if healthy. Getting a max player like Tobias Harris, Kemba Walker, or Jimmy Butler would round an impressive and deep lineup in Indiana that can contend for the Conference.
2. Sacramento Kings
Speaking of young talent, the Kings may have the highest amount of young and productive skill in the NBA. With an average age of 25 years old, the Kings have a roster full of potential prolific players headed by dynamic backcourt of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. On top of that, the Kings have young players Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley III who are capable offensive players in this league already. Placing a proven forward or center on this team like Tobias Harris, Kris Middleton or even Nikola Vucevic would be perfect for the Kings' development and success down the road.
Jazz has the smallest amount of cap space on this list, but they most definitely have the most alluring amount of talent. After securing a point guard to lead the team in Mike Conley Jr., the Jazz are a few pieces away from being the arguably best team in the west. Utah has the defensive intensity, offensive talent, and a proven superstar in Donovan Mitchell to make a deep playoff run. They have some pieces that they can move around and make space for quality depth players and is a perfect place for players that are looking for a winning environment.
With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, who is presumably staying put, Dallas will soon be competing in the West and have a great young core that should be compelling to a lot of free agents. They still have some holes, especially at the center position, but if they reel in someone like Al Horford, Willie Cauley-Stein, or even Nikola Vucevic this team would be on the rise and quickly.
Lastly, the "big market" Chicago Bulls who are not in play for any big name free agents. It could be because of their horrible organization management and coaching frenzy last year, but since the end of last season their roster has rounded out, and they seem to be a sane organization...at least for now. Also, they are still a considerable market. They are the third most valued NBA franchise and have sold out almost every game for last decade. With an average of 24 and $25 million in cap space, they have space to get productive bench players behind their young starting lineup, and they could progress quickly and make a playoff run that this city desperately needs.