NBA's Top Ten Free Agency Moments of 2023
On June 30th, the NBA free agency window finally opened for business. All 30 NBA teams can now negotiate and trade with available players. There have been some interesting signings and trades during the 2023 off season so far as a result. Fans have been nonstop discussing the transactions taking place over the course of a few days. Let's take a look at the top ten free agency moves and moments that have recently occurred, along with a brief analysis of how and why they happened.
1. Damian Lillard requests a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers: After playing for the Trail Blazers for 11 years, Lillard has finally asked to be traded to a new team. The All-Star intends to join a contender now that Portland is looking to rebuild.
2. Kyrie Irving re-signs with the Dallas Mavericks to team up with Luka Dončić: Irving expressed his desire for the team he signs with next to be his last. It appears he is aiming to win a championship alongside Luka Dončić.
3. James Harden exercises $35 million player option with Sixers, seeks trade: Former NBA MVP James Harden is looking for a new team after exercising his player option with the 76ers. It will be interesting to see where he lands if he is indeed traded.
4. Kristaps Porzingis traded to Celtics as Marcus Smart is traded to the Grizzlies: The Celtics now have what they believe to be a luxury power forward/center hybrid in Porzingis, but they arguably let go of their heart and soul in Smart, who joined the Grizzlies.
5. Chris Paul traded to the Warriors as Jordan Poole is traded to the Wizards: The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer, Chris Paul, joins Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green with the Warriors. Jordan Poole is traded to the Wizards with hopes of finally becoming a star player.
6. Fred VanVleet signs a $130 million max contract with the Rockets: It's safe to say that the Houston Rockets highly value VanVleet as their point guard of the future. He should bring a more prominent presence and veteran leadership to a young Rockets team.
7. Derrick Rose finds a new team with the Memphis Grizzlies: Isn't it kind of weird that when Ja Morant gets suspended, the player he is often compared to, Derrick Rose, is signed to fill the void and become teammates? Maybe this can be a career revival for all of them.
8. Russell Westbrook re-signs with the Clippers: After hopping from team to team, former NBA MVP Westbrook stays with the Clippers in his quest to win his first ring.
9. Lakers re-sign Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, among other additions: LeBron James and Anthony Davis seem to be finding continuity and fresh help for the upcoming season. Will the Lakers finally have enough tools to overcome their obstacles?
10. Bucks re-sign Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez: Milwaukee wants to ensure they retain their cornerstone player in Middleton and one of the league's best centers in Lopez. Only time will tell if the Bucks can reach the championship again.