Articles Free Agency 2019

Christmas in July: Free Agency Day 1

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, we here in Australia lie awake in our beds listening to our phones vibrate and hum with Bleacher Report notifications and so many Woj bombs you’d think WW3 had started. In the interest of making what has already been a frenetic start to free agency easier to digest, here is a list of transactions made on the first day of the Moratorium period.

  • Harrison Barnes will remain at the Sacramento Kings on a 4 Year, $85 million deal.
  • Dewayne Dedmon has signed a 3 year, $40 million deal with the Sacramento Kings.
  • JJ Redick has signed a 2 year, $26.5 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.
  • Thaddeus Young has signed with the Chicago Bulls (3 years/$41 million).
  • The Mavericks have signed both Kristaps Porzingis (5 Years/$158 million) and Dwight Powell (3 Years/$33 million) to extensions.
  • Derrick Rose has signed with the Detroit Pistons (2 Years/$15 million).
  • Gerald Green has re-signed with the Houston Rockets for a one-year minimum.
  • Nikola Vucevic is reportedly returning to the Orlando Magic (4 Years/$100 million).
  • The New Orleans Pelicans have signed EuroLeague player Nicolo Melli.
  • Jonas Valanciunas is expected to re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies (3 Years/$45 million).
  • Brook Lopez has re-signed with the Milwaulkee Bucks (4 Years/$52 million).
  • Kevin Durant (4 years/$142 million) and Kyrie Irving (4 years/$142 million with a 4th year player option) and DeAndre Jordan (4 years/$40 million) have all signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
  • Kemba Walker hase signed with the Boston Celtics (4 years/$140 million).
  • Terry Rozier will be moving to the Charlotte Hornets in a sign and trade (3 years/$58 million).
  • Rudy Gay is returning to San Antonio (2 years/$32 million).
  • Khris Middleton will be staying in Milwaulkee (5 years/$172 million).
  • The Orlando Magic have retained Terrance Ross (4 years/$54 million).
  • Garrett Temple has signed with the Brooklyn Nets (2 years/$10 million).
  • Trevor Ariza has signed with the Sacramento Kings (2 years/$25 million).
  • Al Farouq Aminu has signed with the Orlando Magic (3 years/$29 million).
  • Houston have retained Danuel House (3 years/$11.1 million).
  • Ricky Rubio has signed with the Phoenix Suns (3 years/$51 million).
  • Jeremy Lamb has signed with the Indiana Pacers (3 years/$31.5 million).
  • The Indiana Pacers have completed a sign and trade for Milwaulkee Guard Malcolm Brogdon (4 years/$85 million) for a first round pick and 2 second round picks.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic has signed with the Utah Jazz (4 years/$73 million).
  • Thomas Bryant is remaining with the Washington Wizards (3 years/$25 million).
  • The Portland Trailblazers have signed Damian Lillard to a 4 year. $194 million extension.
  • Portland has re-signed Rodney Hood (2 years/$16 million).
  • Tobias Harris has re-signed with the Philadelphia 76ers (4 years/$180 million).
  • Mike Scott is remaining with the 76ers (2 years/$9.8 million).
  • Demarre Carrol has signed with the San Antonio Spurs (2 years/$13 million).
  • Nerlens Noel is remaining in OKC (contract details TBA)
    • It has now been reported that Noel has backed out of his commitment and is “re-evaluating” his options, Per Woj.
  • Julius Randle has signed with the New York Knicks (3 years/$63 million).
  • George Hill will return to Milwaulkee (3 years/$29 million).
  • Taj Gibson has signed with the New York Knicks (2 years/$20 million).
  • Jimmy Butler has been traded to the Miami heat in a sign and trade (4 years/$142 million). The Miami Heat will be sending a package including Josh Richardson to Philadelphia and Goran Dragic will be heading to the Dallas Mavericks.
    • Edit: It is now being reported that Dragic was not unloaded, instead the Mav’s receive Derrick Jones Jr and Kelly Olynyk.
  • Al Horford has signed with the 76ers (4 years/$109 million).
  • Ed Davis has signed with the Utah Jazz (2 years/$10 million).
  • Klay Thompson has signed with the Golden State Warriors (5 years/$190 million).
  • Mario Hezonja has signed with the Portland Trailblazers (1 year/minimum).
  • Derrick Favors has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans (for “assets and picks”).
  • The Golden State Warriors have completed a sign and trade for Nets RFA D’Angelo Russel (4 years/$117 million).
  • Andre Igoudala has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Jamal Murray agrees to an extension with the Denver Nuggets (5 years/$170 million).

God that hurts my brain just to look at, without digging into the relevance of every single signing, heres what day 1 of free agency has done to the league.

Brooklyn are cooking up something nice.

With the additions of superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant the Nets catapulted themselves to the upper echelon of the eastern Conference where they can be mentioned in the same breath as the Raptors, Bucks and 76ers.

This signing for Brooklyn signifies just how far they’ve come as an organization since the fateful Pierce/Garnett trade, not only have they built through the draft and established quality young pieces in Joe Harris, Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen, they’ve proven themselves to be a more stable destination with the faith placed in head coach Kenny Atkinson. With KD healthy this team has all the makings of a champion; Star Power, Depth, a standout coaching team and the voice of a city behind them.

Philly shake things up, but I kinda like it.

Re-signing Tobias Harris and adding Al Horford makes up in spades for the loss of Jimmy Butler. Whilst Butler is maybe the best player out of these 3, his locker room presence and on-court fit was much less than desirable. Losing the shooting and mentorship of JJ Redick really stings, particularly when you factor in his consistency and superb fit alongside Simmons and Embiid, but now Philly can roll out a line up of versatile athletes with a sufficient level of shooting to allow Ben Simmons to operate.

A starting lineup of:

PG: Ben Simmons

SG: Josh Richardson

SF: Tobias Harris

PF: Al Horford

C: Joel Embiid

Is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams, these lineups might struggle to score the ball but in a world where everybody is going small, the 76ers have flipped the script, and it just might work out.

From the Heat’s side of things, yes you get Jimmy Butler, but at what cost?

Giving up Richardson will hurt the Heat. He’s younger and cheaper than Butler and with his mix of 3 point shooting and elite defense he excels in areas that Butler doesn’t anymore. Jimmy’s 3 point shooting has always been suspect and his defensive impact has most certainly taken a step backwards. It will be tough to know what to make of this trade until we know all the details of what the Heat gave up, but for now I’m not too sure what to make of it.

Many teams like the Kings, Pacers and Jazz have retained core pieces while adding significant talent to the peripheries.

The Kings managed to hold on to Harrison Barnes by overpaying, but were able to snag Trevor Ariza to be their starting SF this season. Ariza brings a steady hand and reliable skill set of shooting and versatile defensive ability to a young and exciting Kings team.

The Pacers lost Bojan Bogdanovic which will sting, but signed the younger and more athletic Jeremy Lamb, and revamped their guard spots with the addition of former ROY, Malcolm Brogdon.

The Jazz have added rebounding machine and defensive energizer Ed Davis, a solid addition to their center rotation behind/with Gobert and Favors. They’ve also managed to snag Bogdanovic from the afore mentioned Pacers to add another playmaker, shooter and defender to an already impressive mix including the recently acquired Mike Conley.

Ahhh the Knicks, woe is me.

The New York Knickerbockers, in typical Knickerbocker fashion, struck out on every major free agent thus far. Instead they’ve signed Julius Randle and Taj Gibson to balloon contracts. It goes without saying that this free agency was pivotal to the Knicks success going forward, their young “core” of Smith Jr, Barrett, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson look to be standing on their own for the next couple of years as the premier players on this team. Randle is a nice addition but he doesn’t scream star potential and with his temperament and extreme limitations to his game will likely get chewed up and spat out by this NYC media circus.

The New Orleans Pelicans have shaped this roster out a little more. The additions of JJ Redick and Derick Favors make this New Orleans team a lot more functional; look for them to slide Lonzo to the bench and run Jrue Holiday and Redick at the guard spots. This projects as a much more functional starting unit around the gravity of Zion. Favors isn’t a perfect fit next to Williamson in the middle but with a little bit of expansion on his jumpshot it could prove to be a good mix of size, strength and touch in New Orleans.

With big names such as D’Angelo Russel and Kawhi Leonard still available along with a plethora of second and third tier talent, the remainder of this free agency period could prove to be just as exciting as the opening 24 hours.

For all those who expected the Warriors to stand pat…

With the Warriors addition of DLo they’ve revamped their roster, adding youth, shooting and superstar upside. Russell isn’t as good as Klay, but with Thompson out for the foreseeable future Russell gives them a different look at shooting guard next to Steph Curry, something a bit more similar to what Portland run with Lillard and McCollum. He’s a more dynamic on ball threat than Thompson and has shown the proficiency to thrive off the ball. Depending on who the Warriors had to give up to get Russell, this move could spark another Warriors championship run once Thompson returns. Losing Igoudala truly signifies a new era in the Warriors storied history, it no doubt pained Bob Myers to make this move but it now means that the Warriors are competitive and relevant despite losing Klay to injury and KD to the Nets.

My predictions:

  • Look for the Timberwolves to try and move Andrew Wiggins’ contract to a team with cap space.
  • After seeing all the stars already sign, Kawhi Leonard could be looking outside of Toronto to stay competitive. The Lakers look like as good a destination as any when consider the conglomeration of star talent.
  • But with that being said if the Lakers miss on Kawhi, look for them to try and fill their roster out with elite role players, specifically a starting caliber point guard (Pat Bev?) and wings/a backup centre.
  • Boston needs a center, look for them to offer a deal to Willie Cauley-Stein or trade for a more established piece like Steven Adams.
  • With all the big stars moving, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards could be moved as they look to embrace their younger players. Teams like OKC, Boston and Denver could all be looking to acquire the star shooting guard.

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