This free agency was one of the best ones in recent memory, with multiple teams making win-now moves in order to make their rosters more competitive. It looks as though many teams believe that they can go far next season.
Though most high-profile free agents from this year's free agency have already been signed to long-term deals, there are still routes for teams to improve during the regular season via trade. An article by Bobby Marks of ESPN relayed the opinion of one Western Conference GM who believes that there will be an active trade market during the regular season due to the marquee free agents in 2022 free agency.
Now that most of the major moves in 2021 NBA free agency are in the books, what should we expect in 2022?
A once star-studded free-agent class consisting of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler and perhaps Kawhi Leonard, is now led by Zach LaVine and perhaps Bradley Beal.
"Because next offseason is average at best in talent, I am expecting the trade market to be extremely active during the regular season," a Western Conference general manager told ESPN.
Other than internal improvement -- young players taking a step in their development, continuity and health -- the lone avenue likely to improve a team's roster will be in trades.
The best way to improve is generally to add more star power to the roster. There's no doubt that teams have been in a race to stack talent in recent years, leading to the formation of many "Big 3s" around the league. There are a lot of teams aiming for a championship next season, and we've already seen one blockbuster trade featuring Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers. Perhaps we'll see some other teams attempt blockbuster trades during the regular season, and nothing is impossible in the NBA.