2023 Free Agency

Breaking down the 2023 free agency class by skill set

The 2023 free agency class can address plenty of needs across the league.

Ahead of the free agency frenzy, Chris Haynes discusses the buzz surrounding Damian Lillard, Draymond Green and others.

Less than three weeks have passed since the Denver Nuggets celebrated their first-ever NBA championship, marking the end of the 2022-23 NBA season. However, the league wastes no time, swiftly shifting its focus to the upcoming season.

In the past week, we witnessed several notable trades being finalized, such as Bradley Beal’s move to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Chris Paul, and Kristaps Porzingis being traded to the Boston Celtics for Marcus Smart. Another trade agreement has been reached but awaits official confirmation, with Paul potentially joining the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jordan Poole. Additionally, the NBA Draft took place, featuring standout selections like Victor Wembanyama (heading to San Antonio), Brandon Miller (going to Charlotte), and Scott Henderson (selected by Portland).

Now, teams are gearing up for the next phase of roster building as the 2023-24 season approaches. Free agency officially begins on Friday, June 30, at 6 p.m. ET, allowing teams to engage in negotiations with available free agents. Our free agent tracker encompasses a list of 203 players who will be up for grabs, either as restricted or unrestricted free agents this summer. With such a vast pool of talent to choose from, let’s explore some of the top players available categorized by skill set. Whether your team seeks a playmaker, scorer, shooter or defender, this free agent class offers a plethora of options to fulfill those specific roles.


Will the 2019 NBA champion stay in Toronto?

Fred VanVleet (Unrestricted free agent)

Following his instrumental role in helping the Raptors secure the championship in 2019, Fred VanVleet transitioned into a full-time starter and has consistently delivered impressive numbers over the past four seasons. Averaging 19.3 points, 6.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 three-pointers, and 1.8 steals per game, VanVleet has showcased his versatility and two-way abilities. At the age of 29, standing at 6 feet tall, he enters free agency in the prime of his career.

D’Angelo Russell (Unrestricted free agent)

Russell is another young player (27) that offers a combination of scoring (17.8 ppg last season split between Minnesota and Los Angeles), passing (6.2 apg) and shooting (2.7 3pg on 39.6% shooting). However, it is worth noting that his production dipped during the Lakers’ playoff run. In those games, he averaged 13.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 1.7 three-pointers, shooting just 31% from the field in under 30 minutes per game. Despite this, Russell’s overall skill set and potential remain valuable assets for teams considering him as an unrestricted free agent.

Russell Westbrook (Unrestricted free agent)

Last season, Westbrook averaged just under 16 points and over 7.5 assists during his time with both the Lakers and the Clippers. However, his shooting was much better after he made the move to the Clippers as he shot 48.9% from the field and 35.6% from 3-point range in 21 games – marks that would be career highs over a full season. Nonetheless, Westbrook’s unwavering energy and durability, evident in his participation in 91.6% of his career games, have remained consistent across all the teams he has played for.


Kyrie just joined the Mavericks this past season, but will he be continuing his career in Dallas?

Kyrie Irving (Unrestricted free agent)

Despite Kyrie Irving’s midseason transfer from Brooklyn to Dallas, the Mavericks failed to achieve the desired results, missing out on the playoffs and play-in contention

Nevertheless, Irving’s individual performance with Dallas was exceptional, averaging 27 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game while nearly posting 50/40/90 shooting splits: 51.0% from the field, 39.2% from 3-point range (on 7.4 attempts per game) and 94.7% from the free throw line (on 4.7 attempts per game). As the 31-year-old guard enters unrestricted free agency, the question arises: Will he opt to return to Dallas for another campaign alongside Luka Doncic, or will he explore the possibility of joining his fifth team in the NBA?

Kyle Kuzma (Unrestricted free agent)

Following recent trades involving Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, the Washington Wizards are expected to allow Kyle Kuzma to explore other options as they embark on a full reset. Kuzma heads into free agency on the back of a career year, where he averaged an impressive 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.5 three-pointers per game during his sixth NBA season.  Turning 28 in July, the 6-foot-9 forward is entering his prime and should garner plenty of attention from teams with cap space.

Austin Reaves (Restricted free agent)

After going undrafted just two years ago, Reaves emerged as one of the top performers for the Lakers in their run to the Western Conference Finals. After averaging 10.5 points on 49/37/87 shooting splits in 41 games prior to the All-Star break, Reaves averaged 17.6 points on 58/44/86 shooting splits in 23 games post All-Star, and followed that with a strong playoff showing at 16.9 ppg on 46/44/90 shooting. Keeping Reaves will be a priority for the Lakers, and they have the right to match any offer he gets, but ultimately, it will depend on the market demand and the value assigned to Reaves by other teams in determining whether the Lakers face a serious challenge in retaining him.

Jerami Grant (Unrestricted free agent)

Playing for his fifth team in seven seasons, Grant had a strong season for the Blazers, averaging 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.3 3-pointers on 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc. His future with the team may depend on their focus on developing young talent, including this year’s No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson.

Khris Middleton (Unrestricted free agent)

Injuries significantly impacted Middleton’s performance, resulting in a reduced number of games played (33), minutes (24.3), and overall production. His scoring average of 15.1 ppg was the lowest since the 2016-17 season. However, when fully healthy, Middleton has proven himself as a consistent 20 ppg scorer, achieving that mark in three of his previous seasons and four of the last five seasons. Middleton’s decision to opt out of the final year of his contract indicates his belief that he can regain his usual level of production, potentially leading to a lucrative new deal in the free agent market.


Coming off of a dominant postseason, will Strus stick with the Heat on their revenge tour?

Max Strus (Unrestricted free agent)

Strus finished 21st in total 3-pointers made (197) last season, the third-highest mark among free agents behind Beasley and VanVleet. Strus’ 3-point shooting was a key component of Miami’s run to the NBA Finals. During Miami’s 13 playoff wins, Strus shot 37.2% from 3-point range; in Miami’s 10 playoff losses, that percentage dropped to 24.6%.

Damion Lee (Unrestricted free agent)

Lee enters free agency coming off the best shooting season of his six-year career, hitting 44.5% of his 3-pointers, the third-best percentage in the league, in his first season in Phoenix. However, the Suns defense allowed 113.4 points per 100 possessions in Lee’s 1506 minutes on court, the worst defensive rating of any Sun that played more than 400 minutes last season.

Jevon Carter (Unrestricted free agent)

Carter finished last season ranked 12th in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 42.1% during his first full season with the Milwaukee Bucks. He showcased his versatility by transitioning between both starting and reserve roles. Defensively, Carter posted an on-court defensive rating of 107.2, second only to Brook Lopez on the squad and ranked second to Jrue Holiday in total steals with 66.

Malik Beasley (Unrestricted free agent)

Beasley emerged as a prolific 3-point shooter last season, leading all free agents with 235 made triples, which ranked seventh in the league overall. His long-range shooting prowess was evident as he trailed only Klay Thompson, Buddy Hield, Stephen Curry, Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, and Jayson Tatum in 3-pointers made. After shooting 35.9% from three on 8.6 attempts per game with the Jazz, Beasley’s numbers dipped to 35.3% on 7.2 attempts following a mid-season trade to the Lakers. In the playoffs, Beasley was limited to 8.3 minutes per game as he shot 26.9% from 3-point range.

Seth Curry (Unrestricted free agent)

What if I told you the sixth most accurate 3-point shooter in NBA history was set to enter the free agent mark this week, is that something you might be interested in? Seth Curry’s 43.5% career shooting percentage from 3-point range ranks sixth on the all-time list, trailing only Steve Kerr, Hubert Davis, Drazen Petrovic, Joe Harris and Luke Kennard. While that top six has three active players, only one will be a free agent.

Cameron Johnson (Restricted free agent)

When Cam Johnson was sent from Phoenix to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant trade, Johnson’s numbers improved. His scoring increased as his minutes jumped, but his 3-point shooting percentage dropped from a blistering 45.5% over 17 games in Phoenix to 37.2% in 25 games in Brooklyn. Johnson is a career 39.3% 3-point shooter, so the truth lies somewhere in the middle.


Draymond Green opts into becoming a free agent after declining his option with the Warriors.

Draymond Green (Unrestricted free agent)

Green’s exceptional defensive skills and basketball IQ were once again recognized as he secured a fourth-place finish in the voting for the Kia Defensive Player of the Year award. This accolade marks his eighth All-Defensive Team selection in the past nine seasons, showcasing his consistent excellence on that end of the court. Green’s defensive versatility has been a perfect fit for the Warriors’ successful dynasty. Would he be as valuable to another team using a different system than the one he’s thrived in over the past decade?

Dillon Brooks (Unrestricted free agent)

Brooks earned his first All-Defensive Team selection this season, being named to the Second Team. Brooks is a talkative and physical perimeter defender that has led to the villain label being associated with his game. He toes the line of what is and is not acceptable – he led the league in technical fouls (18), which earned him two single-game suspensions, and was ejected from a critical playoff game due to a low blow – and as a result, the Grizzlies have made it clear that they will not be re-signing the 27-year-old for the upcoming season.

Brook Lopez (Unrestricted free agent)

In the previous season, the experienced center, with 15 years of NBA experience under his belt, demonstrated his exceptional defensive prowess, finishing as the runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. He led the league in total blocked shots with a career-high 193 as well as contested shots at 17.5 per game. He did that while also averaging 15.9 points – his highest scoring average since 2016-17 – and shooting a career-best 37.4% from 3-point range on nearly five attempts per game.

Bruce Brown (Unrestricted free agent)

It’s hard to imagine Brown’s first season in Denver going any better than it turned out. Not only did he provide the Nuggets with a versatile defensive wing that could also contribute on offense, he made the putback layup with under a minute to go in Game 5 to put the Nuggets up for good as they clinched their first ever NBA title. Now the five-year veteran enters free agency and will be courted by many teams looking for such an impact player. The question remains: Will the Nuggets manage to retain him, or will Brown embark on a journey to join his third team in as many years?

Matisse Thybulle (Restricted free agent)

Thybulle’s reputation as an elite on-ball defender is well earned; he was named to the All-Defensive Second Team twice during his first three seasons in the league. He was moved from Philadelphia to Portland as part of a four-team deal at the trade deadline, and showcased more of his game in a starting role with the Blazers. In addition to his 1.7 steals on defense, Thybulle also shot 38.8% from 3-point range on nearly four attempts per game. In 245 games as a Sixer, Thybulle shot 32.5% from deep on just two attempts per game.


Will Jakob Poeltl stay with the Raptors for next season?

Jakob Poeltl (Unrestricted free agent)

With Nikola Vucevic agreeing to a three-year extension to remain in Chicago, Poeltl becomes the leading rebounder available on the free agent market. Poeltl averaged 9.1 rebounds (18th overall), including 3.3 offensive rebounds (tied for 4th) while splitting time between the Spurs and Raptors last season. However, Poeltl experienced a decline in rim protection, allowing opponents to shoot 62.6% at the basket, marking his worst performance in that category during his seven-year career. In the three previous seasons, he consistently held opponents to under 55% shooting at the rim.

Mason Plumlee (Unrestricted free agent)

Plumlee averaged 8.9 rebounds – 22nd in the NBA, and the second-highest average in his 10-year career – in just 26 minutes per game split between the Hornets and Clippers. When measuring per 36 minutes, Plumlee climbs to sixth in rebounding, putting him behind only Rudy Gobert, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Domantas Sabonis, Nikola Jokic and Ivica Zubac.