With 2020 being a whirlwind for everyone in general, it only makes sense that the NBA Free Agency period would be as well. With seemingly a new update every minute, this truncated offseason has had no shortage of surprises.
Some players were overpaid, a few moves were predictable, but they were all interesting. Here are the 15 biggest splashes during the NBA Free Agency so far:
15. Derrick Jones Jr heads to Portland – many expected the Miami Heat to find a way to retain the explosive and talented wing. Instead he is heading to the Portland Trail Blazers on a two-year $19 million dollar deal in a move gives Portland some much needed depth. The former G-League forward will likely prove to be a key cog for the Trail Blazers.
14. Kris Dunn signs with the Atlanta Hawks – not exactly known for his offensive firepower, Dunn is a defensive-minded point guard that will play back-up to Trae, bringing the defensive acumen that the young guard lacks. Dunn is set to make $10 million over two years with the Hawks after the Chicago Bulls did not extend him a qualifying offer.
13. Jae Crowder to the Phoenix Suns – the Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes are already being played. The Miami Heat are positioning themselves for his potential free agency in 2021. As such Crowder ended up being collateral damage in that chase, as they only were willing to offer a one year deal to maintain cap flexibility. He will be compensated $30 million over the life of his three-year deal to join Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the Valley.
12. Tristan Thompson rebounds to the Celtics – After nine seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thompson signed a two-year deal worth $19 million with the Boston Celtics. The gritty rebounding specialist adds depth and defense to an offensively loaded Boston team.
11. Wesley Matthews to fly in the city of Angels – After declining his player option with the Milwaukee Bucks, veteran wing Wesley Matthews signed a one-year $3.6 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Though not the exactly a big name signing, Matthews will fill the crucial “three and D” role left vacant by Danny Green.
10. Joe Harris re-ups with the Nets – As the Nets eagerly anticipate the return of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s debut, it was important to secure their other existing pieces to ensure they were not just a top-heavy team. As such Joe Harris was offered and subsequently agreed to a four-year, $75 million deal to return to the Brooklyn Nets. The move makes sure that the Nets will likely be relevant in the championship hunt in 2021.
9. Jerami Grant heads to MoTown – Grant’s play for the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs all but guaranteed that he would be able to cash in this offseason. Though viewed by some as an over-payment for his services, Grant landed a three-year $60 million contract with the Detroit Pistons in a sign and trade deal with the Nuggets.
8. De’Aaron Fox maxes out with the Kings – in what can be viewed as an early investment in their young star, the Kings offered a five-year, $163 million contract to Fox. Fox is young and improving rapidly but is not yet an All-Star or All-NBA player.
7. Rajon Rondo eyeing the Hawks – After maintaining his reputation as “playoff Rondo” with the Lakers, Rondo proved that he can still be a valuable contributor to a contending team. As a result, Rondo was able to cash in with a two-year, $15 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks. The wily veteran brings high basketball IQ and consistent play-making. The move helps the Hawks improve in a meaningfully around the edges.
6. Davis Bertans doubles down in Washington – The Latvian Laser officially secured the bag in Washington. With some uncertainty around John Wall’s future status with the franchise, what is certain is that the Washington Wizards financially secured his future with a five-year $80 million contract.
5. Marc Gasol heads to the Lakers – though at age 35, and clearly past his prime, this is not to be confused with an insignificant move. The shrewd defensive-minded veteran brings grit and playoff experience to the changing Lakers roster on a two-year veteran’s minimum contract.
4. Serge Ibaka signs with the Clippers – as the cross-town Los Angeles continue to definitely not try to one-up each other, the Los Angeles Clippers were able to wrest yet another former Raptor after signing Ibaka to a two-year $19 million contract. After having a sensational year with the Raptors last season, he will likely prove a crucial factor for the Clippers this season.
3. Danilo Gallinari connects with Atlanta – probably one of the more confusing signings, the 6’10” forward signed a three-year, $61.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks. Gallinari is 32 and plays the same position as John Collins.
2. Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers – while Harrell is certainly a good pick-up for almost any team on paper, his fit with the Lakers is questionable. On a squad that features Anthony Davis his talents are largely redundant, and he is not much of a shooter. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year will definitely provide some offense off the bench. For $19 million over two years, he may be worth the gamble.
1. Gordon Hayward stings the Hornets – Inexplicably, the Charlotte Hornets have seen it fit to offer Gordon Hayward a four-year, $120 million deal. Though still a productive player, Hayward is an aging wing that has yet to fully regain form since returning from injury. The move is as puzzling as it is bold.