The 2023 NBA offseason is officially opened, as the teams may sign or trade players starting from July 1. They didn’t wait at all as the first two days brought a lot of movement around the league, with multiple teams signing their star players to contract extensions while others were doing trades, all in the hope that the next season would be more successful than the previous one.
In the following lines, we will look at the most significant signings from the start of NBA free agency.
1. The Lakers are the most active team in the free agency
The Lakers are coming off a very turbulent season. They barely made it to the playoffs, and when no one really expected anything of them, they made it to the Western Conference Finals. As LeBron James is not getting any younger, the Lakers GM, Rob Pelinka, was very active in the first days of the free agency.
First, the Lakers signed Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura to contract extensions. The Japanese Hachimura got the biggest deal signing a three-year, $51 million contract. Reaves was signed to a 4-year, $56 million contract, while Russell to a two-year, $37 million contract. The Lakers have locked their starting lineup for the following season by signing these three players.
When it comes to the bench, they brought in four new players. Gabe Vincent, who had a great season with the Miami Heat, is the new combo guard on the team. Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish will serve as replacements for James, while Jaxson Hayes will play behind Anthony Davis.
2. Kyrie Irving stays with the Mavericks
Kyrie Irving was traded from Brooklyn to Dallas last season, and he was the one to blame for the Mavericks’ failure to make the playoffs. However, Mark Cuban believes in him, and he signed Irving to a three-year, $126 million contract with a player option for the third year.
Besides Irving, the Mavericks brought two other guards as Seth Curry returns to Dallas from Philadelphia, while Dante Exum is back in the NBA after spending the last two seasons in Europe.
3. The Suns bring in Bradley Beal and Eric Gordon
The Bradley Beal trade from the Washington Wizards was actually confirmed before the free agency started, but the teams needed to wait before making it official. The Suns now have three excellent scorers in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Beal, and they also signed the veteran guard Eric Gordon from the Los Angeles Clippers.
4. Lamelo Ball signs a max extension with the Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets are going through a difficult period as their majority owner Michael Jordan stepped down. The Hornets have a long way to go before building a respectful roster, but at least they set the cornerstone by signing Lamelo Ball to a contract extension. The 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year has agreed in principle on a five-year designated rookie max extension that could be worth as much as $260 million.
5. The Rockets sign VanVleet and Brooks
The Rockets were one of the bottom teams in the league last season, but with the moves they made in the free agency, better days are coming in Houston. The Rockets agreed to a three-year deal worth $130 million with point guard Fred VanVleet who is coming from the Toronto Raptors. This is the largest deal in NBA history for an undrafted player.
The Rockets also signed Dillon Brooks from the Memphis Grizzlies to a four-year, $80 million contract.
6. Derrick Rose moves to Memphis
The Grizzlies had many problems last season with their star point guard Ja Morant, who is suspended for the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season. The team front office needed to do something about that, and they made an excellent move by signing Derrick Rose. The 2011 NBA MVP award winner will join the Grizzlies from the Knicks on a two-year, $6.5 million deal. The 34-year-old will serve as a backup point guard for the Grizzlies and, more importantly, as a mentor for Morant.
7. Draymond Green stays with the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors faced an early playoff exit losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. It seemed like major changes were inevitable in the roster, but the Warriors decided to keep Draymond Green to a four-year, $100 million contract with a player option for the last year.
8. Haliburton signs a max deal with the Pacers
Haliburton became a breakthrough star after he joined the Indiana Pacers last season. From being a rotation player, he became one of the best passers in the league and made his All-Star debut in 2023. The Pacers realized that he was the one who could carry this team and signed him to a five-year, designated maximum contract extension that could be worth up to $260 million.
9. Domantas Sabonis stays with the Kings
Sabonis was the player who went in the opposite direction in the Haliburton trade. The Lithuanian was one of the ley players on the Mike Brown team that brought the Sacramento Kings back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Now, the Kings signed Sabonis to a five-year contract extension worth $217 million.
10. The Bucks keep their veterans
The Bucks were the team with the best regular season record last year in the NBA but lost to the Miami Heat in the opening playoff round. Despite the early exit, the Bucks decided to keep their veteran starters. They signed shooting guard Khris Middleton to a three-year, $102 million deal and center Brook Lopez to a two-year, $48 million contract.