Free Agency Round-Up Part 2: Electric Boogaloo a.k.a. The Big Domino Has Fallen

All transactions shown here occurred as of July 8th 6:15 P.M. CST

 

So after writing the introductory installment of the Free Agency Round-Up I told myself that I was going to hang back and wait for some real movement to occur before I hit y’all with part deux. Needless to say it happened and in droves. There are still some intriguing names on the board but the past few days have really given us a good look at many teams’ motivations during this period. Some were expected and some have taken us aback.

This is the beauty of the NBA off-season one move can change the tenor of you whole summer. An otherwise low-key smart signing can make up for a questionable move made earlier during the period. Pinching pennies in anticipation of a possible cap reduction can really pay off dividends down the road. NBA free agency always remind me of some of my favorite television shows, it is entertaining enough if you take it at face value but if you want to fall down the rabbit hole it will consume you (in a good way).

 

Atlanta Hawks:

Mike Muscala – 2 for $10 million, Diamond Stone – Traded from Los Angeles Clippers

It’s been quite the somber summer for the A-Town Hawks. They finally dealt the last remnants of their 60 win team from three years ago and appears to be packing it in for a minute. If this isn’t the case……..yikes! It should also be noted that in part of the trade that brings Atlanta backup big Diamond Stone they also received Jamal Crawford whom they promptly waived. Stone spent most of his season floating around the D-League but he may be the type of player they may want to invest in developing if they don’t plan to be competitive for a while.

Muscala is a productive stretch 4 who’s coming off of his best shooting campaign knocking down nearly 42% of his threes. With Milsap gone and uncertainty around what they will do with Ersan Ilyasova his role will definitely expand. Smart deal for someone that may end up proving to be an impact player.

 

Boston Celtics

Gordon Hayward – 4 years for $128 million, Marcus Morris – Traded from Detroit Pistons

Hard at work to build a legitimate title contender Danny Ainge has been hard at work building a team that can bring this to fruition. The big domino of this free agency period Gordon Hayward chose Boston over his previous NBA home Utah and that signified the beginning of some real movement. Hayward gives them a second crunch time scorer and more importantly another competent ball-handler both a great help to not only the Celtics but more specifically Isaiah Thomas. I honestly can’t think about how anyone will go about stopping them on offense.

To make room for the big signing the Cs dealt Bradley to Detroit in exchange for Marcus Morris and a second round pick in 2019. Morris is a good pickup here for two reasons. His addition shaves $3 million from their sheet and gives them a body that can play the 4. This could be a move that we look back on in June and partially credit for their success.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Korver – 3 years for $22 million, Jeff Green – 1 for $2.3 million

Folks, I’m not sure what the hell the Bron’s are doing here. Korver wasn’t a bad resigning but the years is a bit of a concern for a 36 year old one-dimensional forward that disappeared in the Finals. Harsh but true. But when his one dimension is shooting and he is still arguably the best in the biz you kinda ride this until the wheels fall off. Unfortunately I see the wheels falling off before the end of this agreement.

Over the past few seasons one of the enduring storylines have been waiting to see which team is going to fall for the Jeff Green trap. Last year Green hustled the Orlando Magic for $15 million for last season only, this year no such luck. This is actually a decent pickup for the Cavs. It’s a low risk move that gets better with anything Green has left in the tank. However, although Griffin is no longer with the Cavs the trend of picking up end of the road veterans has continued and with all of the noise around the organization right now these move can look bad sooner rather than later.

 

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki – 2 years for $12 million

No surprise here, Dirk takes another one for the team. After a pretty rough season that saw him battling injury for first portion of the season and never really finding his footing once returning. Despite posting his lowest scoring average since his rookie year (14.2 PPG last season) his shooting is still poses a threat as he converted 38% of his three point attempts. As the team continues to gel and the addition of Dennis Smith Jr. proves to be everything we expect it to be Dirk may pull off a late career renaissance.

 

Detroit Pistons

Avery Bradley – Traded from Boston Celtics

A bit of a win here for Detroit although Bradley may feel like he’s the winner of a pretty sad lottery. But his fit cannot be ignored here as he will likely be their best shooter from range and fits in perfectly on an already feisty defensive team. Financially unable to sign now most coveted free agent shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope they were able to acquire a replacement who is arguably an upgrade despite having to send out another starter for it.

 

Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant – 2 years for $53 million, Nick Young – 1 year for $5.2 million, Omri Casspi – 1 year for $2.3 million, Zaza Pachulia – 1 year for 3.4 million

Well they say winning helps everything and for Golden State this has turned out to true. Fresh off of winning their second title in three year the Dubs could have been facing some money issues in attempts to keep together their championship winning squad. Enter Finals MVP Kevin Durant. KD announced that he would restructure his deal in order to help retain vital cogs in the machine and add some new pieces.

Nick Young provides them with more shooting (because they TOTALLY need it) and honestly he adds swag. Zaza re ups because goons want rings too but the pickup I want to discuss is that of Omri Casspi. Signing him for the vet minimum was nothing short of a heist. Casspi is a consistent scorer that can play enough D to stay on the floor for extended minutes. He’s a 37% three point shooter giving them another consistent second unit scorer. These are the moves smart teams make that pays off in June.

 

Houston Rockets

James Harden – 4 years for $228 million, Nene – 3 years for $11 million

Maui Wowee! Dork Elvis strikes again! So as I was writing this the Rockets give James Harden the richest extension in history. We all know what he can do on the floor so while you can argue about the sticker price you can’t argue that he deserves to be broke off. Surely they’ll get killed because of the elimination game against the Spurs and he doesn’t play D but I don’t pretend to know what Daryl Morey is doing anymore I just wait for him to give me something to write about and this is no exception.

Nene initially signed early in the free agency period but had his deal rescinded due to the over 38 rule. His $15 million over four is now $11 million over three. Nene is still a decent rotation big in spots when he is healthy and he should see an uptick in play now that Houston is short on bigs.

 

Indiana Pacers

Darren Collison – 2 years for $20 million, Bojan Bogdanovic – 2 years for $21 million

Indy addresses two needs here with acquiring Darren Collison to step in as starting point guard in the wake of Jeff Teague’s departure and Bojan Bogdanovic to provide some shooting and at 6’8″ a multi positional player. However, getting Collison and Bogdanovic to essentially replace Teague and Paul George sends a message that Indy may be going backwards stuck in fifth gear.

 

Los Angeles Clippers

Danilo Gallinari – 3 years for $65 million, Milos Teodosic – 2 years for $13 million

The Clippers remain dedicated to contending in the wild wild west and pulling off a sign and trade for Danilo Gallinari certainly sent a statement informing us as much. Gallo projects to be a great fit at the three and can play 4 effectively in smaller lineups, as long as he’s healthy that is.

There were a lot of teams giving hard looks to Milos Teodosic the Serbian point guard who played with CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague but I was sorta shocked when the Clips nabbed him. An elite passer with serious three point range he’ll be a great addition to a stacked backcourt. Jerry ain’t tanking.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

Tyreke Evans – 1 year for $3.3 million, Wayne Selden – 2 years for $4.6 million

With part of Memphis’s core departing it is vital that they work to address their shooting and depth. The McLemore pick up earlier helps this and so will this pair. Evans comes over from Sacramento where he had a very good end to the season after being dealt in DeMarcus Cousins trade. At his best he can play up to three positions and can shoot from deep. He’ll be a welcome addition to a bench that needs that sort of versatility now. Selden impressed the Grizz during his short stint with them last season and has proved to be a piece worth investing in.

 

Miami Heat

Dion Waiters – 4 years for $50 million, Kelly Olynyk – 4 years for $50 million, James Johnson – 4 years for $60 million

Anyone that follows basketball knows that they are few constants in this universe. One of those is that wherever Pat Riley is he will be competitive. Hell, look at their turn around the second half of this past season! Smart summer in South Beach has no doubt been a large part of this but they way they’ve started off this period has me scratching my head.

Dion’s deal is a bit heavy but is the best out if the three I would argue. For one he was a leader on the team that made a late tear through the Eastern conference and his shooting has gotten SO much better almost reaching 40% from three. Olynyk poses a bit more of a question mark for me. I get that with Bosh gone they need someone to stretch the floor and be compatible with Hassan Whiteside and I see both of these things from him but pairing any big with Whiteside will come with some risks. If it works we can see some very interesting play out of the bigs if not they won’t be able to stagger Kelly’s minutes in with Hassan and that takes away some of the effectiveness.

Johnson also proved big for the Heat last year and is getting awarded for it. He’ll most likely start at the 4 for them and will be the first time in his career consistently doing so. Don’t get me wrong he does a lot of things well (defends, effective scorer in the post who has gradually improved his long range shooting) but ponying up $60 million over 4 for a career backup raises some flags.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Jamal Crawford – 2 years for $8.9 million

Both the Timberwolves and the Jamal Crawford have had busy summers thus far. The Timberwolves have been hard at work building a surprise contender in the West and Crawford has been busy flying from city to city. Well Minny is his landing spot after clearing waivers from Atlanta and gives them the ultimate second unit guy.

 

New York Knicks

Tim Hardaway, Jr. – 4 years for $71 million, Ron Baker – 2 for $4.3 million

Welp, can’t blame this one on Phil. For reasons unbeknownst to anyone and probably the Knicks themselves offered Tim Hardaway, Jr. an offer sheet for the aforementioned figure. Needless to say the Hawks didn’t match. I’m really at a loss for this. Before I go any further I’ll state that I think THJ is an okay enough player. But this figure not only for a player with a career high of (14.5 PPG) but for a player that the Knicks drafted and felt just fined trading to Atlanta for essentially Jerian Grant? I don’t know about that. But he is a player that improved during his time in Atlanta and may work out well in the Big Apple a second time around given recent changes.

Baker came on strong late in the season for the Knicks and given their shooting guard situation he projects to get a lot more reps this year. Decent contract to kick the tires on him and see how he fairs long term. Decent defender that can play a little point also.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Andre Roberson – 3 years for $30 million, Patrick Patterson – 3 years for $16.4 million, Raymond Felton – 1 year for $2.3 million

In what has been a very impressive summer thus far for the Thunder they continue to build a team that can possibly make a deep run with their newly minted MVP and his new top 20 teammate. The only questionable move here is the price on Roberson. Sure he is shooting averse but he is an All-NBA Defensive Team wing in a league where they are a premium and yes his defense is worth that on its own.

Patrick Patterson is nothing short of a steal. For them to get a legit starting caliber power forward that can stretch the floor is a perfect fit to add with Stephen Adams and Enes Kanter. Ray Felton may resemble more of pulling guard than a point guard these days but his previous two stints in Dallas and with the Clippers has proved that he is still a high level backup which is EXACTLY what they need. I personally can’t wait to see this team in action.

 

Orlando Magic

Shelvin Mack – 2 years for $12 million

Mack is an ideal backup point guard on……a……team……with…….two………of……..them………already. What in the hell the Magic are doing? Maybe they move off of either CJ Watson or D.J. Augustin or both. I’m moving on the Magic exhaust me.

 

Sacramento Kings

George Hill – 3 years for $57 million, Zach Randolph – 2 years for $24 million, Vince Carter – 1 year for $8 million

Dare I say the Sacramento Kings aren’t having an awful summer this year? With such a young core the Kings have concentrated on getting veterans that can fill holes on the floor as well as serve as mentors and bring a strong veteran presence to the locker room. George Hill in spite of his nagging injury issues had a great year with Utah last year and will be a great stop gap while De’Aaron Fox develops. Z-Bo will bring some toughness to a young frontcourt trying to find their way and Vince has evolved into a solid glue guy and should fit in great with a bench that is slowly getting it together.

 

San Antonio Spurs

Rudy Gay – 2 years for $17 million

Now this is a Spursy pickup if there ever was one. After leaving $16 million on the from the Kings Rudy signs with the Spurs for a little over half of that yearly. Gay is a very interesting fit on a Spurs team that has been expected to really make some moves to close the gap between them and the Warriors. First there is the case of him coming off of an Achilles injury at 30 years of age, then there’s his style of play meshing with the Spurs (which has come under some doubt after witnessing the failure of LaMarcus Aldridge to do so). But if he can stay on the court Gay possesses an varied enough offensive skill set to help a Spurs team that found themselves looking for alternative ways to get buckets last season.

 

Washington Wizards

Mike Scott – 1 year for $1.7 million

Scott is an okay enough stretch 4 who is coming off of an injury that caused him to miss most of the season last year. If he can return to form he’ll be a great fit on a Wizards team that needs all of the bench help they can get.

 

 

 

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