Free Agency Round-Up Part 3: The “Best” of the Rest

 

All transactions occurred as of July 24th at 3:00 P.M. CST

 

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope round up to nerd to. Yup, a little over two weeks have passed since the previous installment but I REALLY wanted to wait until doing this one so we could have a clear idea how these teams are taking form. So with most teams finished spending (or not able to spend any further) I think we’re at a good stopping point. To take a look of this crazy summer from the beginning don’t forget part one. So here are the moves that served as at least a soft close to most organizations this summer.

 

Atlanta Hawks

Ersan Ilyasova – 1 year for $6 million, Dewayne Dedmon – 2 years for $14 million

Illy has had quite the last 12 months. After starting the season in OKC he was dealt to Philly just weeks into the season before ending the season in Atlanta as the result of a deadline trade. But one thing he brought to all spots was stretch 4 or 5 ability and ATL clearly like what they saw. The deal is very team friendly especially giving that he should see his role expand this year. Dedmon was very solid for the Spurs last year up until they got deep into the playoffs when he was rendered unplayable. However, moving East should be a great look for him as he projects to play starter-ish minutes. At $7 mil a year Atlanta quietly makes another smart late summer move.

 

Boston Celtics

Aron Baynes – 2 years for $8.9 million

Noticing their new found attrition in the middle with the departures of Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson and now Jonas Jerebko the Cs made a smart move towards addressing this with nabbing Baynes from Detroit. Baynes is a big body that can provide some 2nd team rim protection.

 

Brooklyn Nets

DaMarre Carroll – Traded from Toronto

For Toronto this was just a great salary dump opportunity but for Brooklyn this could be much more than asset collection. In Carroll they have a guy that has been bitten by the injury bug over the past two seasons. But if he can consistently stay on the court the Nets may have stumbled upon the 3 and D killer Carroll was supposed to be when playing for the Drakes. His relationship with head coach Kenny Atkinson helps also. Carroll is in the twilight of his playing days but if he can finish strong he’ll be the perfect mentor for up and coming 3 and D’er Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

 

Detroit Pistons

Anthony Tolliver – 1 year for $3.3 million, Reggie Bullock – 2 years for $5 million

Tolliver returns to the Motor City after two years in Sacramento. During his first stint in Detroit he was one of their top bench producers and projects to do so again. His stretch 4 ability should help generate offense on a reserve unit that needs it badly. The Pistons are big on Bullock. He’s been injury prone for most of his professional career but has shown flashes of being a decent player when on the court. Although the deal isn’t huge it’s hard to shake the feeling that since the Pistons are now hard capped that even this is a high risk high reward proposition.

 

Houston Rockets

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – 1 year for $2.1 million, Tarik Black – 2 years for $8.2 million, Troy Williams – 3 year – $?

That damn Dork Elvis! I told y’all he was done! After wheeling and dealing his way to getting Chris Paul and locking in James Harden the thinking man’s GM Daryl Morey has been hard at work filling out their roster. With almost all the firepower they can handle the focus shifts to defense specifically on the second unit. Which makes both of the moves for Mbah a Moute and Black very smart. Mbah a Moute is a stout forward that can defend up to three positions and I still can’t figure out what possessed the Lakers to let Black walk but he provides good rim protection. Extending Williams after his productive late season play after coming over from Memphis gives the Rockets some reserve level shooting.

 

Indiana Pacers

Cory Joseph – Traded from Toronto

Not really sure what in the hell the Pacers are doing here. Barely a week after signing Darren Collison to presumably take the reigns at the point Indy trades for Cory Joseph. And even more shocking giving up a starter in C.J. Miles to do it. Joseph being one of the best reserve guards in the league definitely raises questions of a potential point guard controversy. But for why though? I’m not sure if they are trying to tank or soft reboot. whatever they’re trying to do they’re doing it badly.

 

Los Angeles Lakers

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – 1 year for $18 million

Great moves by the Lakers as they bring in one of the more coveted guards in this year’s class on a great deal that works for both sides. If it goes well, LA can offer him a long term deal for around $21.6 million per year next summer. If it goes tits up, he can hit the market next summer and LA can use that $18 million to net a superstar. On the court KCP provides strong defense and a maturity level that can help make the learning curve a bit easier for his younger, offensive minded back court mates. These are the moves that emerging teams make. I see you Magic.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

Mario Chalmers – 1 year for $?

The Grizz are bringing Chalmers back. When he’s healthy he’s a good reserve point. However, he hasn’t been healthy enough as of late for me to discuss this any further.

 

Miami Heat

Udonis Haslem – 1 year for $2.3 million

*snores loudly*

 

New Orleans Pelicans

Rajon Rondo – 1 year for $3.3 million

Sorry folks, not a fan of this one. And yes, I’ve heard the whole Boogie and Rondo didn’t get along in Sac because of the situation. And yes, I DID see late season Rondo last year in Chicago. But I’ll say this, Boogie had guys he got along with in Sac so I wonder why him and Rondo didn’t hit it off. Hmm………. And while Rondo was good late for the Bulls including in the playoffs as a Bulls fan I also saw his first 70 games. Also, if the Pels are in the business of making Boogie comfortable enough to entertain re-signing (and they damn well better be) shouldn’t they steer away from adding personnel (personalities) that he’s already had negative chemistry with? On the floor Rondo can’t shoot and hasn’t played defense since he wore green but still sees the court better than most bad gets into his spots at ease. The prospect of him playing with Holiday is one that is very polarizing especially as many of those reps will involve Boogie. I just don’t see how this helps.

 

Orlando Magic

Jonathan Simmons – 3 years for $18 million

Is this Bizarro World NBA? The Magic smartly nabbed Simmons after the Spurs renounced his rights effectively making him an unrestricted free agency. While a surprise to many, there was talk of Simmons being unhappy with his role and the Spurs having concerns about offering years to a 27 year old. Either way Simmons was nails for San Antonio off the bench last season including in the playoffs and should immediately bolster a Magic starting lineup that lack defensive intensity and energy. Also, Frank Vogel finally gets his hands on a defense first guy for the first time in Orlando. This will be interesting.

 

San Antonio Spurs

Joffery Lauvergne – 2 years – $?, Pau Gasol – 3 years – $?, Manu Ginobili – 1 year – $?

First thing, GOOD LORD THE SPURS ARE SQUIRRLY ABOUT THEIR MONEY! But, I get it. Cats are taking cuts for the culture (word to the RantGawd). But on the court Lauvergne is more of a stretch 5 than a straight up rim protector but he’s the type of guy the Spurs can slap 15 lbs. of muscle on and have averaging a double double by March. Pau’s gonna Pau (which is still a good thing really) and Manu’s will hang around giving 15 strong minutes a night and pulling rabbits out of hats when needed. As usual, the Spurs’ off-season wasn’t sexy (and actually kinda concerning in spots) but they wrap up doing what they always do. Taking care of home.

 

Toronto Raptors

CJ Miles – Traded from Indy

Masai Ujiri isn’t done working either apparently. By swapping Joseph for Miles the Raps now have a functional line up of Lowry – DeRozan – Miles – Ibaka – Valanciunas. Not half bad huh? Even with sending out a top reserve the Raps spent this summer throwing their hat into the bag of this suddenly new look Eastern Conference. Miles has the reputation for being a streaky shooter but with Lowry and DeRozan working he should get a LOT of good looks.

 

Utah Jazz

Jonas Jerebko – 2 years for $8.2 million, Thabo Sefolosha – 2 years for $10.5 million

Kudos to the Jazz for soldiering on in the wake of such a great loss. Smartly realizing that they won’t be able to fill the departure of Hayward with one guy they have moved to piece it together. Jerebko will bolster the offense on a second unit in need of a second option outside of Joe Johnson. The addition of Sefolosha to a squad that now includes Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors and rookie Donovan Mitchell may make the Jazz the best defense we’ve seen in years. This is going to be one hell of a team to watch.

 

Washington Wizards

John Wall – 4 years for $170 million, Otto Porter – 4 years for $106 million

One of these I’m happy about and one of these I’m not. Guess which is which. Great for Wall, great for Washington. But with this move the Wiz have zero flexibility here meaning they are more or less married to this roster this year. Which is where I turn my attention of Porter. Look, I like Porter but if you look at the numbers what makes this so much more of a better deal than a universally panned transaction from this summer? The fact that they matched? Porter very well may breakthrough next year and render this rant moot but right now all I have to say is Go Nets.

 

 

 

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