Every summer in the NBA there are big moves to be made, whether it’s a free agent signing or a blockbuster trade. There was a chance from some major trades this summer but, at this point, it appears that potential Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant trades have stalled, which will only serve to make next summer more interesting.
One of the many reasons that complicated a Kyrie Irving trade is that he will be a free agent next summer, so he and LeBron James could potentially be free agents if they are not signed to extensions before then.
Here are five players (plus some honorable mentions) that could be among the top unrestricted free agents, including those with player options, in the NBA next summer.
Kevin Durant, LeBron James situations remind us that in NBA, anticipation is often more thrilling than reality
A lot could change before next summer. Players could sign extensions with their current teams, and the 2022-2023 season could bring injuries, poor performance or great performance, all of which could affect a player’s value on the free agent market.
Here is a very early look at the Top 5 potential NBA unrestricted free agents, including those with player options, for the summer of 2023.
LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
The 37-year-old superstar just scored 30.3 points per game last season, his highest scoring rate since 2005-2006, but the Lakers were nowhere near the postseason. While LeBron appears inclined to remain a Laker, if the 2022-2023 season goes south again, maybe that would open the door to another potential decision regarding his future. It also appears that LeBron is looking forward to having the opportunity to play with his sons in the NBA, so that could complicate the terms of any contract extension. Of note, James is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Lakers starting today, Thursday, Aug. 4. The contract can be of the one-year, $47 million variety or a two-year extension for $97 million.
Time will tell.