NBA Free Agents For 2023: Top 3 Centers Available

The offseason has already begun for a number of teams, and that means that free agent target lists are being drawn up around NBA front offices.

We'll begin our early look at pending free agents with the center position. The following are all unrestricted, and free to sign with any team. 

Brook Lopez

As one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year most of the season (eventually finishing 2nd), Lopez had a career year, and is invaluable to what the Milwaukee Bucks do. He averaged 16.5 points, his best mark in six seasons, along with 6.7 rebounds and a career-high 2.5 blocks. 

Even at the age of 35, he's constantly adjusting his game as needed to the times, as he also raised his three-point shooting this season to a personal best 37.4%. Nice timing for his latest free agent jaunt. But would he actually even consider leaving Milwaukee?

“I love it here,” Lopez said recently. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Both sides are especially enamored with each other, so it's unlikely he heads elsewhere. But stranger things have happened. 

Jakob Poeltl

Poeltl has elevated himself over the past two seasons to the level of one of the elite centers in the NBA. He's averaged 13 points and 9.2 rebounds along with nearly 1.5 blocked shots over the past pair of seasons. His return to Toronto at the trade deadline lifted the Raptors to their best stretch of the campaign, as he contributed supreme skills at both ends of the floor. 

It goes without saying that after giving up a first-rounder to the San Antonio Spurs to get him back, Masai Ujiri and Co. will do everything they can to re-sign the 7-foot Austrian. But he has earned a big raise, and is set up to get it.  

Naz Reid

At the age of 23, Reid was having a breakout campaign for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In December, he rose out of nowhere to average 13.7 points, 7.3 boards and over a block per game, and really didn't let up much until suffering a wrist injury that required surgery in early April. 

Per 36 minutes, his numbers soar to 22.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 blocks.

Coming off a 4-year contract that paid him a total of $6M, he's now in line to earn more than that per year on a free agent contract this summer. 

One other player who could upend this list is Washington Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis. He has a player option for $36M. If he exercises it to become a free agent, the forward/center immediately becomes a top commodity at the four/five. 

Honorable mentions in the center category go to Mason Plumlee and Mo Wagner.

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports