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Ranking the 10 best players hitting NBA free agency after the 2022-23 season

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The offseason is always an opportune time for NBA teams to shore up their rosters. Along with the chance to select up-and-coming talents in the draft (eyes on the new French stifle tower), teams can also evaluate the free agency market. If they have enough NBA salary cap space to sign the free agent they want, then it becomes a pitching game that they need to win. These 10 upcoming NBA free agents in 2023 will be in demand this summer.

Upcoming NBA free agents 2023

10. Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors

2022-23: 12.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.2 blocks

Jakob Poeltl isn’t a star by any means, but he can get the job done. There are only a handful of big men who you can trust on both ends of the floor, and Poeltl is one of them. He has adept touch inside, as evidenced by his excellent 63.5% True Shooting.

Moreover, Poeltl can hold his own on the defensive end. He knows how to position himself in his team’s defensive schemes, and his average of 2.1 stocks is a testament to his work on that side of the floor.

Poeltl will enter the 2023 market as an unrestricted free agent. It won’t be a surprise if teams will offer him more than the three-year, $26 million contract he previously signed with the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors brought him back via a mid-season trade this year, so look for this team to re-sign Poeltl for next year and beyond.


9. Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards (player option)

2022-23: 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks

Kyle Kuzma was the Wizards’ third-option scorer this season, but it seemed that his role was much more than that. He produced career-high averages in both points and assists, while also taking more field goal attempts than any season in his current six-year career.

At 27 years of age, Kuzma is still on an upward trend. His three-point shooting (33.3% on 7.5 attempts) is still a concern, but that may be an effect of the increased shot volume he took this season. He’s shown enough propensity on defense, so teams are not viewing him as a big liability on that end.

8. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks

2022-23: 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.5 blocks

One of the frontrunners for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award, the 35-year-old Brook Lopez was a force to reckon with. Along with his defensive acumen, his offensive versatility at the center position makes him very valuable. He can shoot the three-ball with the best of them, and he can also dominate from the inside, as he showed in Game 2 of the Bucks’ first-round playoff match against the Miami Heat.


Re-signing with the Bucks is the most feasible option for Lopez, but there’s still a little cloud of uncertainty hovering. The Bucks just fired head coach Mike Budenholzer, so it remains to be seen how the team will approach their foreseeable future.

7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (player option)

2022-23: 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks

As of writing, the Warriors are still battling the Los Angeles Lakers for the right to advance to the 2023 Western Conference Finals. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are still pouring in the points for the Dubs, but their system undoubtedly hinges on Green’s skill set on offense and defense.

Draymond Green’s unique combination of high basketball IQ and sheer competitiveness make him the driving force of this team. He still has a $27 million player option after this season, so let’s see if he picks that up or if he opts out. If he does opt out, he’ll be one of the most coveted upcoming NBA free agents 2023.

6. Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers

2022-23: 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks

Will the Blazers try their hand at rebuilding the team? If that is the case, expect Jerami Grant to sign a contract elsewhere. When he was traded from Detroit to Portland last summer, the expectation was the Blazers are trying to improve on defense to bolster their playoff chances.

However, the Blazers missed the playoffs. With superstar Damian Lillard getting on with age, it won’t be a surprise if the Blazers brass pull the plug on this one.

5. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks (player option)

2022-23: 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks

An injury-riddled season that ended in a wildly disappointing first-round exit in the playoffs. Khris Middleton couldn’t get anything going this season, posting his lowest numbers since the 2016-17 season. Still, the former All-Star wing should garner tons of attention from contending teams should he opt not to pick up his player option.

It is a complex situation for the Bucks after firing Budenholzer. Their hands are tied if they don’t re-sign Middleton, meaning there’s a good chance he remains in Wisconsin.

4. Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards (player option)

2022-23: 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.5 blocks

Despite all his disappointments in the past, Kristaps Porzingis is still one of the best players in 2023 NBA free agency. He shot an exellent 38.5% clip from three-point territory this season, en route to a career-best scoring year. There are reports that Porzingis and the Wizards are discussing a new deal, so expect the 7-foot-3 big man to opt out of his current contract.

Washington remains in NBA no man’s land, but Porzingis still seems to be a part of their future.

3. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (player option)

2022-23: 21.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks

James Harden is in another situation similar to where he was last summer, when he chose to opt out of his current contract and sign a short-term deal with the Sixers. Should the Sixers fail to at least get to the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, chances are Harden will not pick up his player option.

A return to the Rockets has already been heavily rumored. Others will be wary of Harden’s decline this offseason, and even the Sixers might think twice about a deal longer than two seasons.

2. Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors (player option)

2022-23: 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks

There is no doubt that Fred VanVleet is one of the best players hitting free agency this season. He’s just one year removed from notching an All-Star appearance, and his shot-making and playmaking will surely be coveted by any team.

VanVleet is an excellent two-way guard. Perhaps over-tasked as the number two on the Raptors, the Illinois seems the perfect complementary guard on a contender. His shooting and defense would make him an asset alongside a ball-dominant wing or big man.

1. Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks

2022-23: 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks

Will the Mavericks continue testing the Kyrie Irving experiment or should they move on from this disappointment? The Mavericks may be better off not pursuing Kyrie’s services this summer, as they have more issues to solve on defense and wing depth.

Irving is bound to be suggested as a target for the Lakers and others this summer. Things are never-straight-forward with Kyrie involved, though, so this could roll on for a while.

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