2023 NBA Free Agency: 5 underrated deals that could shift NBA landscape

Bruce Brown, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Bruce Brown, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Shake Milton (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Shake Milton (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

2023 NBA free agency is flying fast and furious! Here are five deals that aren’t getting enough shine. 

With NBA teams now operating under the complex restrictions of the new collective bargaining agreement, there were fears that free agency would be less eventful than we’re accustomed to. Not so — there have already been plenty of gobsmacking deals, both good and bad.

The focus has naturally been on the max names: Khris Middleton re-signing in Milwaukee, the Rockets stealing Fred VanVleet, the Blazers backing up the Brink’s truck for Jerami Grant and Draymond Green staying put.

Several lower-level deals, however, have the potential to shift the landscape of the NBA. A lot of smart teams have squeezed excellent value out of their limited cap space or even their mid-level exceptions.

These five deals qualify as absolute home runs and should have your attention.

No. 5 underrated NBA free agency deal: Shake Milton to Timberwolves

Contract details: 2 years, $10 million

Shake Milton was buried under the Sixers’ guard depth last season, but he shined when afforded the opportunity to spread his wings. In eight starts without either Harden or Maxey in the lineup, Milton averaged 21.3 points and 6.0 assists on 65.7 TS%. Those numbers aren’t sustainable, but he’s clearly capable of extensive production when the minutes are there.

The Wolves should hand Milton the keys to the second unit. He doesn’t shoot the highest volume of threes, but Minnesota has a wide array of shooters on the roster and can stagger the rotation to pair Milton with Karl-Anthony Towns at the five, keeping the floor spaced for Shake’s trademark middies.

Milton loves to probe the middle of the floor, working patiently to gain advantages over his defender with strength and craft. He has the tough shot-making gene in spades and he’s a good finisher around the rim due to his length and ability to absorb contact.

While not a great defender, Milton offers inherent versatility with his long 6-foot-7 frame. He’s probably better suited to guarding wings than point guards, but the Wolves can rely on the likes of Anthony Edwards, Mike Conley, and Jaden McDaniels to handle high-leverage ball-handler assignments.