We’ve reached the slow portion of 2022 NBA free agency.
So, naturally, it makes at least some sense to take a peek into what’s in store for summer 2023, when several of the league’s heavy hitters hit free agency, including four NBA champions in Andrew Wiggins, Khris Middleton, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James.
Here’s a quick look at 10 players, listed alphabetically, available to hit free agency in 2023:
Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 18.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Often described as the heart and soul of the Memphis Grizzlies, Brooks, 26, played in just 32 games in 2021-22, but his scoring average has increased in each of the last three seasons. Brooks is easily Memphis’ best perimeter defender and one of the leaders that helped establish the Grizzlies’ culture. Memphis will try to bring back Brooks, but he’ll have plenty of suitors next summer.
Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 19.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Detroit traded Grant and Ismael Kamagate to Portland for Gabriele Procida and three draft picks, as the Blazers look to pair the talented young wing with All-NBA guard Damian Lillard to boost the team’s rebuilding efforts. Going into the last year of his contract, the 28-year-old can sign a four-year extension starting in December.
Al Horford, Boston Celtics (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 10.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
It’s unknown how much longer he wants to play, but Horford was one of the NBA’s best redemption stories last season. The 36-year-old big is the type of player that franchises lean on as a culture-setter and as an example of professionalism for younger players. If Horford wants to play after next summer, he’ll have suitors.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 27.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.8 apg
The Kyrie and KD watch continues in Brooklyn, and there’s a chance the superstar point guard could wind up with another team before the start of the 2022-23 season. Irving exercised his $36.5 million player option for this season, and if the extension-eligible 30-year-old reaches free agency next summer he’ll likely be one of the most sought-after players of the class.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 30.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 6.2 apg
If King James is on your roster, you’d better be in the business of trying to consistently compete to win championships. That’s why this upcoming Lakers season looms so large for the franchise: James, 37, is set to hit the market next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension by August.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks (Unrestricted — player option)
2021-22 stats: 20.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.4 apg
Middleton’s postseason injury proved devastating to Milwaukee’s bid to defend its 2021 title, but if he stays healthy next season and performs the way to which we’re accustomed, there’s a chance he’ll decline his $40.4 million player option to hit free agency. Either way, it’s unlikely the Bucks let Middleton walk because the 30-year-old is the perfect complement to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 12.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 apg
Somehow, Turner always seems to be a mainstay in Indiana trade speculation, and this offseason hasn’t been any different; he’s been mentioned as a potential piece in theoretical permutations of a Durant trade. The 26-year-old Turner twice has led the NBA in blocked shots, also averaging more than two blocks per game in five of seven pro seasons.
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 17.6 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.2 apg
It appears the four-time All-Star has found a home playing alongside stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2016-17, with a full offseason to rest and recover, the Bulls are poised to push deeper into the postseason. Vucevic should play a major role in that, which is why Chicago likely brings him back next summer.
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 18.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 7.1 apg
Opted in to a $47 million option for the upcoming season, but he needs a resurgent 2022-23 campaign to take another big bite out of the free agency apple next summer. Don’t count out the point guard. New Lakers coach Darvin Ham recently expressed confidence in Westbrook putting together a bounce-back season.
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors (Unrestricted)
2021-22 stats: 17.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Wiggins is set to enter the last season of a $147 million rookie extension signed in 2017 with Minnesota. He and teammate Jordan Poole (whose rookie contract is ending as well) should expect a major payday — Golden State wants to extend both as soon as it can.
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