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Best 2023 NBA Free Agents

By Jeff Stinger

The 2022-23 NBA season concluded with the Denver Nuggets winning the title in five games over the Miami Heat. With that, our attention turns to off-season activity such as the NBA Draft and of course, free agency. The window opens on June 30 when teams and players can officially begin negotiations. Potential free agency could make waves in the upcoming campaign. With that, Nitrobetting lists the top 2023 NBA free agents to look out for.

Top Five 2023 NBA Free Agents

James Harden

Harden is the hottest free agent this year. The former Oklahoma City Thunder guard declined his player option in 2022 and signed a new contract with another player option for this year. If he pushes through with it, the 33-year-old is under contract for another season at $35.6 million and will be a free agent next year. However, if he decides his time is up in Philadelphia, he becomes a free agent now.

Despite falling short in several playoff appearances, Harden has been a productive piece for Doc Rivers’ Sixers crew. He led the league in assists last season and averaged 21 points per game on his best three-point shooting record since his final season in Oklahoma in 2021. Talks around the ten-time NBA All-Star revolve around him making a Rockets return. However, returning to Philly with new head coach Nick Nurse remains more likely than the latter.

Kyrie Irving

Irving’s move to the Dallas Mavericks earlier this year sent waves to the league. After an erratic few years with the Nets, the star guard finally moved on from the now-defunct trio featuring him, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. Despite a late regular-season collapse, he finished the calendar averaging 27 points, six assists, and five rebounds with the Mavs. The franchise eventually punted on a Play-In spot in the final week.

Although Dallas’ lack of success after the blockbuster trade, the team did hold a plus-four in net rating with Luka Doncic and Irving on the floor. This is one of the few reasons that led the front office to an enticing package for the 31-year-old. But, if the front office decides to go in a different direction or Irving weighs his other options, there are teams willing to look through any off-court drama to secure a player of his talent.

Khris Middleton

Middleton suffered a major injury in the 2021-22 season and slowly regained form in 2022-23. But for all that, the 31-year-old forward had to deal with a few speed bumps along the way. By the playoffs, he averaged 24 points per game on 47/41/87 shooting splits in their losing efforts against the eighth-seeded Miami Heat. It’s hard to think of him parting ways with the organization and Giannis since winning the 2020 NBA Championship. He is a crucial component of the team, but there will be plenty of teams out there he can add value to if he elects to become a free agent.

The small forward underwent knee surgery after Milwaukee was eliminated from the playoffs. He is expected to return to practice by training camp and in time for the 2023-24 NBA season. Middleton can play a critical role in any championship bid, making him a hot commodity in this year’s free agency.

Draymond Green

The Warriors dynasty might have concluded following their 2023 NBA postseason run. After winning their fourth championship in eight years, the team’s defensive stats significantly declined in 2022-23. They struggled to regain that imposing defense in the playoffs and eventually lost to the Lakers in the Conference Semifinals. Now, long-time Dubs floor general Draymond Green declined a $27.6 million Warriors contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

It’s hard to picture Green in a jersey other than Golden State’s blue and gold, but last season’s disappointment that started with him punching Jordan Poole during training camp might have disrupted the flow. A mutual parting of ways is not out of the question. Green’s value outside of Steve Kerr’s system is tricky to quantify. He helped build that same system that dominated the league for eight years, but we know there will be plenty of teams looking for a veteran presence and championship mentality.

Fred VanVleet

Toronto waited until the final seconds of the deadline and decided to hold onto their starting guard Fred VanVleet. We know he would likely decline his player option and explore other roads to become a free agent this summer. In fact, instead of moving key pieces, the Raptors added one Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs. But while they are set on keeping things competitive and playoff hopes high.

VanVleet is sure to draw interested parties this summer. The small guard who chips into multiple areas can easily complement a star wing or a big man. VanVleet is a battle-tested point guard. He has the numbers to back his value and championship pedigree. Any team looking for a stabilizer and a mentor on a rebuilding team would love to add him.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2023-24 NBA season previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online BTC sportsbook.

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