Now that we’ve reached the end of the 2022-23 NBA season, we can already start making our NBA offseason predictions 2023. We know it’s still early, but the current state of the league gives us an indication of what may or may not go down in the next couple of months.
NBA offseason predictions 2023
With that in mind, we’ll put together our preview of the 2023 NBA offseason. Here, we’ll discuss some of the biggest talking points of the NBA summer, jumping the gun and making our boldest picks as to who’s going where and who’ll stay put.
Damian Lillard will be traded
Out list of NBA offseason predictions 2023 starts with a rather bold take. Damian Lillard, A.K.A. the most loyal guy in the NBA, will not be a part of the Portland Trail Blazers by the start of next season. That doesn’t mean the team will blow it up, as they might look to pursue a younger All-Star to build around, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; we’ll discuss that possibility in a bit.
Lillard isn’t getting any younger, and there’s only so much he can do with this core of players. The Blazers won’t be able to flip the entire roster overnight, and they’ll do right by him by trading him to a contender at a reasonable price. It’ll be the end of an era.
Jaylen Brown will sign a Supermax
With that in mind, we believe something big will go down in Boston. Jaylen Brown is eligible to sign a five-year, historically-large supermax contract worth a whopping $295 million. And as much as some have urged the Boston Celtics not to rush and commit that much money on him, he’s one of Brad Stevens’ guys, so he’ll get paid.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll play for the Celtics next season. Instead, they could look to trade him to the Portland Trail Blazers in return for Damian Lillard or find him a new home. Brown has yet to reach superstar level, and chances are he never will. But he’s still young and good enough to be worth the risk.
Scoot Henderson won’t go second overall
While there’s no doubt that the San Antonio Spurs will take Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 pick, things aren’t that simple and obvious after that. For almost a year, G-League Ignite standout PG Scoot Henderson was projected to be the second-overall pick, but we know how drastically things can change throughout the process.
Henderson obviously has superstar potential, but the Charlotte Hornets already have a franchise player at the PG position in LaMelo Ball. Also, it’s not like the Hornets have usually fared well in the NBA Draft, so we fully expect him to go in a different direction here, whether it’s taking Brandon Miller or Cam Whitmore.
Khris Middleton will be back with the Bucks
The first order of business in the Milwaukee Bucks offseason plan was to get a new coach. And now that they’ve gotten that out of the way with Adrian Griffin, they can now focus on doing right by one of their longest-tenured and most important players: Khris Middleton.
Middleton will most likely opt out of the final year of his contract. Some people feared he would test free agency waters to pursue a better deal somewhere else, and the Bucks will have to take an in-depth look at their finances. Then again, we fully expect him to run it back for at least another season.
Bulls will trade an All-Star
Arturas Karnisovas is currently walking on thin ice. The Chicago Bulls trusted him to lead them back to NBA championship contention, and that hasn’t been the case thus far. Lonzo Ball might never play again, and that promising squad they put together two years ago is a thing of the past; they need to move on.
The Bulls currently don’t have a first-round pick because of all the trades they made. This isn’t the deepest NBA Draft class by any means, but it’ll give them a chance to at least recoup some of their lost assets. Look out for either DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine — or even both — to be on the move as they enter a full-throttle rebuild.
LeBron James won’t retire
We hate to break the news to his haters, but there’s just no way in hell that LeBron James is going to retire right now; it simply won’t happen. James has $100 million reasons not to walk away from the game, and not even one of the wealthiest athletes on Earth would just give up that kind of money. It won’t happen.
James has been vocal about his desire to play with his eldest son, Bronny, once his time comes. That means he needs to stay in the league for at least an extra couple of years. Those comments were just him making yet another passive-aggressive power play as per usual.
James Harden will go back to Houston
Most free agency rumors have James Harden opting out of the second year of his contract, and rightfully so. It just makes sense. That will allow him to cash in on the last lucrative long-term deal of his career, even if it’s not with the Philadelphia 76ers.
There have been a lot of rumors about Harden and a potential reunion with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets made a big play by signing Ime Udoka as their new coach, and they seemingly want to compete now. It won’t be good for their rebuild and their youngsters, but it will sell a lot of tickets.
Kyrie Irving will get a max contract
The Dallas Mavericks wouldn’t have given up all those assets to trade for Kyrie Irving unless they were 100% certain they could keep him. And while there’s nothing 100% certain when Irving is involved, it makes sense for him as well.
No other team will be desperate enough — or in the position — to give Irving the deal he’s looking for, especially after his recent history of not being available and issues with his teams. They’ll be stuck with each other until the next drama (which may happen soon).
Russell Westbrook will be back in Los Angeles
Russell Westbrook‘s tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t get off to the best start, but he closed out the year on a high note. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard want him there, and the front office also spoke of him in high regard.
Westbrook is no longer the All-Star caliber player he was, but he’s still one of the most athletic and explosive guys in the league, and he’d be a perfect third option for them. This might be the last chance for them to win a ring with this core, so they won’t risk letting him go.
Warriors will run it back
And last but not least, our final of 10 NBA offseason predictions 2023 is perhaps the boldest of all. The Golden State Warriors just lost GM Bob Myers, which could lead to multiple players also walking away. But we believe they’re just too proud to break it up like this.
Draymond Green and Klay Thompson want to sign extensions, but they might not get the money they want. Instead, they could look to make one last dance together to prove that the dynasty is not over and then cash in on another deal.