Who Is Actually Invincible On Each NBA Team in the 2023 Offseason
While NBA general managers often claim that many of their players are off-limits in trade talks, the reality is quite different. In fact, there are likely only one or two players that every front office would refuse to even consider trading. These players could be superstars, franchise cornerstones, promising young talents, or players with exceptionally favorable contracts. As the 2023 offseason approaches, it's worth examining which players are almost certainly going to stay put, regardless of any potential trade offers, around the league.
Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum
Tatum is a sure pick for the list of top NBA players, as he's already a four-time All-Star and has the potential to become the league's best player soon. He is also under contract for several more seasons and could even win the Finals MVP this year, as he just turned 25.
While Tatum is an obvious choice, what about his teammate Jaylen Brown? Although it's unlikely that Brown will be traded, he was offered in a deal last summer, along with Derrick White and a draft pick, for Kevin Durant. However, the Nets did not accept the offer and was expecting for Brown, Marcus Smart, and some draft picks. It is expected that Tatum and Brown both will play from the Celtics next season.
Brooklyn Nets: Mikal Bridges
The Nets clearly love Mikal Bridges and do not want to lose him as they turned down the reported offer of four first-round picks from the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire the star forward. Since being acquired as part of the Kevin Durant trade, Bridges has emerged as a standout player for the Nets. Mikal Bridges has the average of 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He was also one of the league's best wing defenders.
Bridges is also incredibly durable, having played in 83 games. This is the most played games by any NBA player in the last 18 years. As the Nets had traded away Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving over the past year and a half, they need some stability on the roster. And Bridges provides that stability to the team. He signed the $90 million contract for four years, which still has three seasons left, looks like one of the best deals in all of basketball. While the future of the rest of the Nets' roster is uncertain, Bridges is a player that the team can rely on. He is sure to be back and continue making significant contributions to the team.
Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball
Last season was a disaster for the Charlotte Hornets, particularly for their star point guard, Ball. Due to his ankle injury, he could only participate in 36 games out of 82. Even during his play, the team only won 13 out of 23 matches. Despite his setback, Ball is still recognized as an exceptional All-Star point guard who significantly improved the team's offense by 5.7 points per 100 possessions.
While the team has some promising players like rookie center Mark Williams and P.J. Washington, who had a career-high average of 15.7 points per game. There is not much else to hope for in terms of growth in Charlotte. Ball is the only player deemed untouchable on the team. The Hornets have one of the weakest rosters in the NBA and will need to make significant changes to become competitive.
Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard?
Kawhi Leonard had such an impressive start to the postseason. But it is hard for the fans to see him going through another injury during the playoffs. His average was 34.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting an incredible 60.0 percent from three-point range in the first two games. Unfortunately, Leonard's knee injury has once again forced him to sit out of the court. Adding to the Clippers' bad luck, Paul George is also dealing with knee issues. With both of their star players struggling to stay healthy, it's unclear if they'll be back with the team next season.
Despite experimenting for four years with this star duo, the Clippers have yet to achieve any significant playoff success together. If Clippers have to let go anyone, it will most likely be George. As Leonard is still considered an elite player when he's able to play. In fact, Leonard ranked fifth in the league in estimated plus-minus rating, with a score of plus-6.5.
If the Clippers are eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round, it will once again be a frustrating offseason of unanswered questions for the team and their fans in Los Angeles.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley and Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley are the star player of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is unlikely that either player will leave the team this summer.
Although the team may re-evaluate Mitchell's status next summer before he becomes a free agent in 2026. Donovan Mitchell, the 26-year-old has just started his Cleveland career. He had an outstanding season, with a career-high 28.3 points per game and a 61.4 true shooting mark, which was the best in his six years in the league.
Mobley 21 years old, is still developing his skills and has already shown great potential on defense. He finished third as Defensive Player of the Year voting as a sophomore. He also led the league in defensive win shares. However, he still needs to improve his offense, especially as a three-point shooter.
While Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen are likely to stay with the team. Mitchell and Mobley are the most valuable and irreplaceable players on the Cleveland roster.