Now that most of the major moves in 2021 NBA free agency are in the books, what should we expect in 2022?
"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 LA Clippers got a jump on that Monday when they acquired Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Instead of going into next offseason with two expiring contracts (Rajon Rondo and Patrick Beverley) and no money available to sign a replacement, the Clippers took on the $19.4 million owed to Bledsoe in 2022-23 (of which just $3.9 million is guaranteed).
Let's take a look at the superstars to watch, X-factor teams, potential surprises and big questions in a preview of what could be a league-altering transaction period.