5 best remaining NBA free agents on the market in 2021

Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dante Exum
Australia small forward Dante Exum. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA free agency has calmed down from the whirlwind start of the summer but there are still some quality free agents out there.

All the big fish in 2021 NBA free agency have gone. That doesn’t mean the key piece to an NBA title run isn’t still on the board.

The best remaining free agents could still make all the difference for teams out there, whether they’re pursuing the playoffs or trying to position themselves atop the ladder.

Here’s a look at the biggest impact players available.

5. Dante Exum

Teams that need a tough defender at guard should look no further than Dante Exum, whose performance in the Olympics for Australia proved he deserves to be in the NBA.

The trouble over the years for the 25-year-old has really been availability. He tore his ACL in 2015, had a shoulder problem in 2017 and dealt with ankle problems in 2019 before tearing his patellar tendon. In 2021, any hope of him making waves for the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Houston Rockets, who picked him up in a trade, were dashed by a calf injury.

The market hasn’t developed for Exum given his lack of production leading into free agency, but he had the chance to impress in Tokyo and he did just that. He shot 56.7 percent from the field while averaging 9.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.