NBA free agency 2023: Latest news, reports and analysis from around the league

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Fred VanVleet warms up before a Toronto Raptors game.
Point guard Fred VanVleet has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $130-millon deal with the Houston Rockets.
(Scott Audette / Associated Press)

NBA free agency for the summer of 2023 opened at 6 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. PDT Friday, June 30. Here’s the latest news of agreements, developments and reports.

NBA free agency for the summer of 2023 opened at 6 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. PDT Friday, June 30. The Times’ team of NBA reporters — Broderick Turner, Dan Woike and Andrew Greif — analyze what they are hearing and react to leaguewide news throughout the day

Clippers make some moves, just not big ones

Clippers guard Jason Preston brings the ball up court.
The Clippers and guard Jason Preston agreed to move the date his contract for next season with become guaranteed to July 18.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Clippers have made a deal.

OK, not the one you were perhaps anticipating.

About four hours after free agency opened, the team traded cash to Detroit for the draft rights to 7-foot-1 big man Balsa Koprivica, the 57th overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Times. Does he have a future with the team? Is he ballast for a future trade? All good questions that, for now, don’t have an answer.

There was one more piece of business, per my source: The Clippers and point guard Jason Preston agreed to push back the date his contract would guarantee next season until July 18.

Preston was hurt nearly his entire rookie season because of a foot injury suffered before training camp, and played mostly in the G League last season. The team still needs to see what he can offer, and by pushing back his guarantee date, he can have another Summer League audition.

— Andrew Greif

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Lakers reach agreement on deals for Cam Reddish, Rui Hachimura

Lakers forward Rui Hachimura passes the ball around Nuggets center Nikola Jokic on a drive to the basket.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Brad Turner breaks some news — the Lakers are adding forward Cam Reddish and fittingly it comes at the same time the team agrees to re-sign forward Rui Hachimura to a three-year, $51-million deal.

Hachimura is sort of the blueprint for success with the Lakers — a lottery draft pick who hadn’t quite figured things out before he got to L.A.

Reddish will have more ground to cover. He’s on his fourth team without figuring out his place in the league. But he has the right size and skills to be a valuable wing should he figure it out.

— Dan Woike

The Lakers keep doing good work, having Klutch Sports chief executive Rich Paul and agent Josh Hairston getting Reddish to agree to a multiyear deal. Reddish gives the Lakers good size at 6-foot-7 and he’s 23. Reddish also gives the team depth and athleticism. He averaged 10.9 points in 20 games for the Trail Blazers after being traded to Portland from New York.

— Broderick Turner

Getting Rui Hachimura to agree to a three-year, $51-million deal that’s fully guaranteed was another bonus for the Lakers. Hachimura will earn $17 million per season. In 33 games with the Lakers, he averaged 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds. In 16 playoff games this spring, he averaged 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 55.7% from the field and 48.7% from three-point range. He had a playoff career-high 29 points in Game 1 of the Lakers’ first-round series against Memphis, including a nasty dunk over Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA’s defensive player of the year.

— Broderick Turner

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Lakers agree to three-year deal with guard Gabe Vincent

Heat guard Gabe Vincent catches his breath as he waits for play to resume during a playoff game.
Guard Gabe Vincent, who helped the Miami Heat reach the NBA Finals last season, will be joining the Lakers.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

The Lakers are adding guard Gabe Vincent on a three-year, $33-million deal, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Times. The team still has its eye on re-signing D’Angelo Russell as well, putting into focus the plan for its roster.

Vincent, one of the playoff heroes for the the runner-up Miami Heat, averaged 9.4 points last season. In the playoffs, Vincent started all 22 games for the Heat, shooting 37.8% on three-pointers on more than six attempts per game. Vincent, 27, is from Modesto.

— Dan Woike

The Lakers landing Miami’s Gabe Vincent is not just a great outcome for the Modesto native who played high school ball in Stockton before going undrafted player, but I think it makes the Lakers instantly better. He’s a tough-minded player who shot 37.8% on six three-point attempts per game in the postseason.

— Andrew Greif

Another big move by the Lakers by getting guard Gabe Vincent to agree to a three-year, $33-million deal. Vincent comes from a big-time program in Miami and fit right in playing for Lakers coach Darvin Ham. Vincent shot 37.8% from three in the playoffs for the Heat and was a very good defender.

— Broderick Turner

This move would seem to leave point guard Dennis Schroder looking for a new home. And what about the next destination former Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who landed in Chicago after the trade deadline but just saw the Bulls sign a player matching his archetype in Jevon Carter?

— Andrew Greif

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Kyrie Irving will re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, and Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving battle for rebounding position.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

It’s not a surprise the Dallas Mavericks landed Kyrie Irving, agreeing to a three-year deal worth more than $145 million, though he received a player option in his third year that surprised some people around the NBA.

He has long been off the Lakers’ radar for a variety of reasons — especially in a league where reliability is becoming more and more of a desired skill.

— Dan Woike

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Several players reportedly re-signing with their teams

Several players reportedly will be re-signing with their teams, including Dallas’ Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton and Golden State’s Draymond Green.

A couple of other coveted forwards agreeing to re-sign: former Laker Kyle Kuzma with the Washington Wizards and Jerami Grant will be back with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Also re-signing with their teams will be Toronto center Jakob Poeltl, Brooklyn forward Cam Johnson, Chicago guard Coby White, Cleveland guard Caris Levert and Phoenix guard Damion Lee.

Among other top free-agent agreements: Forward Herbert Jones to New Orleans, forward Joe Ingles to Orlando, forward Georges Niang to Cleveland, guard Jevon Carter to Chicago, and forward Troy Brown Jr. and guard Shake Milton to Minnesota.

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Bruce Brown to sign with Indiana Pacers

Bruce Brown reportedly agrees to two-year deal worth $45 million with the Indiana Pacers, which means any chatter of him signing for the mid-level exception of roughly $12 million got blown completely out of the water.

As I tweeted this morning, that was the sense — he was going to get PAID.

— Dan Woike

Denver lost Brown and that hurts their title defense, but the Nuggets have also kept some continuity. They’ve already agreed to re-sign role players in center DeAndre Jordan and point guard Reggie Jackson, both former Clippers. A person with knowledge of Jackson’s agreement confirmed the deal is for two years and $10.25 million, with a player option on the second year. Brown’s departure gives Jackson an opportunity to play real minutes next season. As he told me in June during an interview, he loved playing in Denver. This gives him the opportunity to play even more.

— Andrew Greif

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Lakers agree to terms with forward Taurean Prince

Lakers forward LeBron James has the ball knocked away by Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers opened free agency by agreeing to sign veteran Taurean Prince, who somewhat surprisingly became available when Minnesota declined to guarantee his $7.4-million deal earlier this week.

He’s a 6-foot-7 forward who shot 38.1% from three-point range last season with the Timberwolves. The sides are still working on the details, but it’s not expected the Lakers used any of their midlevel exception in the deal.

— Dan Woike

The Lakers agreeing to a deal with Prince was good for them. He’s a three-and-D player who is tough and hard-nosed. He not only shot 38% from three-point range last season but he defended the toughest wing players.

— Broderick Turner

An early reaction to the numbers we’re seeing:

  • Brook Lopez will be too expensive for the Lakers.

— Dan Woike

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Lakers set to offer Austin Reaves a four-year deal worth $52 million

Lakers guard Austin Reaves, left, leans to his left to attempt a shot after he's fouled by Nuggets forward Jeff Green.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Austin Reaves is expecting the Lakers to offer a full four-year maximum contract to him when free agency starts. That number is around $52 million, though as a restricted free agent, he can get more on the market.

The latest buzz is that San Antonio might be the team to put the Lakers to the test when it comes to their pledge to match any offer he gets. You’d have to think any team that sought Reaves in free agency would be willing to put together a big enough offer to at least force the Lakers into thinking about it.

All indications, though, remain that Reaves will eventually land back with the Lakers.

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Can the Lakers land an impact player for midlevel exception?

Nuggets forward Bruce Brown scores easily past Lakers guard Dennis Schroder.
Nuggets forward Bruce Brown scores against Lakers guard Dennis Schroder during the playoffs in May.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The most interesting thing with the Lakers will be how they decide to use the midlevel exception — whether or not they earmark it for one player or if they best decide it’d be better to split it between two. I’m told the interest in Dennis Schroder is very real for the Lakers, the team more than pleased with the way he performed last year for them. If the Lakers do use the full midlevel, the question would be on whom?

As of Friday morning, rumors moved around the league that Bruce Brown was set to make more than the MLE. Donte DiVincenzo has been linked strongly to the New York Knicks, where former fellow Villanova stars Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson play.

The Lakers would undoubtedly like some of the other potential options for the MLE — including Brook Lopez, Dillon Brooks (strong rumors tie him to the Rockets), Grant Williams or any of the other people that league insiders peg to sign around or above that $12-million figure.

The Lakers have said they want to find tough-minded defensive players. If they use their full midlevel exception, my guess is that it would be for that kind of player.

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James Harden joining the Clippers? It’s a possibility.

Boston's Jayson Tatum, right, tries to steal the ball from a driving James Harden.
Philadelphia guard James Harden drives down the lane for a layup against Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during a game last season.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Remember the NBA Finals? It was a little more than two weeks ago that Denver celebrated its first championship, and yet it feels like ancient history with how quickly news moves in the NBA. And nothing moves faster than transaction news at the opening of free agency.

The transaction logs will tell you this week the Clippers have only waived Eric Gordon’s $21-million salary for next season and made Moussa Diabate a restricted free agent by extending a two-way qualifying offer. Brandon Boston Jr.’s contract for next season becomes guaranteed Friday, a move that’s seen as a procedural formality. Of course, they’ve been involved in so much more. I will say that what Yahoo Sports reported Friday morning, that the Clippers continued to have talks with Boston around guard Malcolm Brogdon, after a deal for him fell apart last week, is the same information I’ve heard as well. As of Wednesday night, league sources were discussing that the Clippers, still looking for ways to shore up their backcourt, were talking with Boston in a bid to see whether Brogdon could be acquired for less than the original cost, given the concerns with Brogdon’s health that might have dampened the market for him. At that time, however, no deal was considered imminent at all. General disclaimer that applies at this time of year: Teams talk to every other team about virtually every player. Still, the possibility of landing Philadelphia’s James Harden would understandably shift the team’s backcourt focus a bit.

On the Harden front, this could all result in a lot of hurry-up-and-wait if 76ers executive Daryl Morey is as patient finding a deal for Harden as he has been waiting out past trades. Harden, I was told, is most interested in still competing for championships. He’s also from Southern California. It’s not hard to connect the dots as to why the Clippers would appeal, then. I haven’t talked to a single source yet who believes Harden joining the Clippers would be a seamless fit. The pessimists among them note he’d come into a situation where he would not be the No. 1 option. Yet he would have teammates highly invested in making the partnership work. Paul George, certainly, is very excited about adding a big, skilled point guard like Harden; The Athletic’s Sam Amick has also written that Kawhi Leonard is “on board” as well. Other optimists have told me Harden does represent the best of perhaps limited options to upgrade in a meaningful way, much the same as how Bradley Beal’s fit in Phoenix doesn’t answer all areas of their concern, either, yet at the cost was hard to say no to. One more thing: Harden, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024, will have plenty of incentive to make it work, as well, as he hunts for a future long-term deal. Sources have relayed so many permutations of a potential deal — would Tobias Harris be included to help at power forward, a position the Clippers certainly want to upgrade this summer? PJ Tucker? That it makes clear there doesn’t seem to be much consensus. Remember, Philadelphia is seemingly under a mandate to maximize the prime of reigning most valuable player Joel Embiid, so what do the Clippers have that can make Philadelphia interested?

The Clippers have signaled they think very highly of two players who might possess the most external appeal in guards Terance Mann and Bones Hyland. Waiving a guard like Eric Gordon, whom the Clippers valued, was one of those signs, an indication they want to give their young wings more opportunities for extended playing time next season. Of course, NBA history will tell you even the best-intentioned plans to keep a team’s core together can change in trade talks.

For what it’s worth, betting markets heavily favor the Clippers to get Harden.

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James Harden among players no longer on the market

Philadelphia guard James Harden, center, tries to score against the Lakers' Wenyen Gabriel, left, and Russell Westbrook.
Guard James Harden, trying to score against Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel, left, and guard Russell Westbrook during a game last season. Harden is on the trade market while Gabriel and Westbrook are free agents.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

James Harden exercised his contract option for $35.6 million next season to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers, who plan to work with Harden on a trade. He’s one of a handful of players in the last two days to come off the free-agent market.

Also opting into contracts next season are New York Knicks guard Josh Hart, Utah Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker, Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo and Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond.

Players who are no longer on the market because teams exercised club options or negotiated a contract extension include Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Xavier Tillman.

Here is a look at some of the top players on the market, according to

Unrestricted free agents

Russell Westbrook, PG, Clippers

Khris Middleton, SF, Bucks*

Kyrie Irving, G, Mavericks

D’Angelo Russell, PG, Lakers*

Kevin Love, PF-C, Heat

Draymond Green, PF, Warriors*

Fred VanVleet, PG, Raptors*

Jerami Grant, PF, Trail Blazers*

Caris LaVert, G-F, Cavaliers*

Derrick Rose, PG, Knicks*

Eric Gordon, G, Clippers

Christian Wood, C, Mavericks*

Brook Lopez, C, Bucks*

Kyle Kuzma, SF, Wizards*

Will Barton, SG, Raptors

Kelly Oubre Jr., SG, Hornets*

Dillon Brooks, SF, Grizzlies*

Dwight Powell, F-C, Mavericks*

Malik Beasley, G, Lakers

Mo Bamba, C, Lakers

Dario Saric, PF, Thunder*

Jakob Poeltl, C, Raptors*

Seth Curry, SG, Nets*

Bruce Brown, SG, Nuggets

Joe Ingles, SF, Bucks

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Lakers

Kendrick Nunn, SG, Wizards*

Torrey Craig, SF, Suns*

Mason Plumlee, C, Clippers*

Dennis Schroder, PG, Lakers*

T.J. Warren, SF, Suns

JaMychal Green, PF, Warriors

Thomas Bryant, C, Nuggets

Danny Green, SG, Cavaliers

Troy Brown Jr., SF, Lakers

Gabe Vincent, PG, Heat*

Jeff Green, PF, Nuggets*

Cory Joseph, PG, Pistons*

Restricted free agents

Rui Hachimura, PF, Lakers*

Austin Reaves, SG, Lakers*

Coby White, PG, Bulls*

Jaxson Hayes, C, Pelicans*

Cam Reddick, SF, Trail Blazers*

Cameron Johnson, SF, Nets*

P.J. Washington, PF, Hornets*

*-Bird rights

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Here’s the latest about Lakers’ free-agency plans

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, left, moves the ball past Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo.
Can the Lakers get another bargain on the free-agent market as they did last season when they added guard Dennis Schroder, shown driving past Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The clock eventually will hit 3 p.m. PT Friday and all the back-channel conversations, the prediction models and speculation will converge into action.

Teams will change. Players will move. Money will be spent. Dream rosters will get built. Hope will sprout.

It’s hard to know exactly how matters will play out. Separating rumor from fact this time of year is almost as difficult as building a championship team. And things can change in a blink (i.e. James Harden). But we have an informed idea as to how it could end up looking for the Lakers as they try to build on their appearance in the Western Conference finals.

Here are the big questions:

Will the Lakers use the full midlevel exception?

This idea started to pick up steam over the last week or so as the team examined options following the draft. When the Lakers couldn’t find a deal they liked with Malik Beasley and/or Mo Bamba’s contracts on draft night, they were operating as a team with access to the full non-taxpayer midlevel exception. That plan solidified Thursday when the team waived Bamba before his $10.3 million contract became guaranteed and declined the team option on Beasley for next season. Those moves sent the clearest signal that the Lakers probably will use the MLE and put themselves under a hard cap at $172 million.


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Clippers’ free agency puzzle: Surround Paul George-Kawhi Leonard with ...

Clippers stars Paul George, left, and Kawhi Leonard watch a game from the bench.
What pieces can the Clippers place around Paul George (13) and Kawhi Leonard to finally bring the franchise a championship?
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Last fall, three years into a tenure with the Clippers that is yet to produce a championship, All-Star wing Paul George candidly assessed the pressure on his upcoming seasons when he said his “window is shrinking to be a champion.”

Then another season passed without the title the Clippers have yearned for.

Now, two months after their season ended in Phoenix in the postseason’s first round, free agency opens across the NBA on Friday.

The Clippers task? Keep that title window open as long as possible while also remaining relevant with the opening of their new Inglewood arena — funded by team owner Steve Ballmer — just one year away.

Given how openly the Clippers have discussed their ambitions to claim the franchise’s first championship, many are watching to see how they will retool for the fifth season of the Kawhi Leonard-George era to make good on those title goals.


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