Well, that was wild; and it's not over yet! The major wave of the NBA free agency flashed before our eyes. A lot went down and it is exciting that the new season is right around the corner. If you need a recap of what took place before the free agency craziness, read Part One and Part Two, first.
Here is a breakdown of the winners and losers post-free agency, a full report on who signed where, post-draft trades, and initial thoughts of all the moves.
Photo: Bleacher Report
Los Angeles Lakers
The rich get richer. After coming off a title run, LeBron and company certainly wanted to “run-it-back”. This offseason would be crucial to repeat a title. They are expected to re-sign Anthony Davis very soon, but he is waiting to see how the roster is shaping and decide how many years he wants to stay in LA. Although they lost Dwight Howard (76ers), Rajon Rondo (Hawks), Avery Bradley (Heat), Danny Green (OKC, 76ers), and JaVale McGee (Cavaliers), they still improved. They traded for Dennis Schroder (OKC), and signed Wesley Matthews (Bucks), Montrezl Harrell (Clippers), and Marc Gasol (Raptors). Not to mention, the resigned key role players in Markieff Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The Heat not only improved their core but also created flexibility for next offseason, with the goal of convincing Giannis to take his talents to South Beach. They re-signed their floor general in Goran Dragic and Meyers Leonard, which was crucial. They also added valuable role players on short-term contracts in Avery Bradley and Moe Harkless.
The Suns showed the world that they aren’t a pushover team. They tore up the bubble bracket and went 9-0 in their play. They traded for CP3, creating a new exciting frontcourt, drafted Maryland’s Jalen Smith, resigned some depth players, and they brought in Jae Crowder. Add that equation with Devon Booker and Deandre Ayton, the Suns are going to be fun to watch.
Portland Trail Blazers
A lot of analysts are very high on the Trail Blazers. It is definitely warranted after their offseason moves. The team is full and deep of wings and defenders. Portland traded for Robert Covington from the Houston Rockets and Enes Kanter from the Boston Celtics. They also added wing Derrick Jones Jr. in free agency, while re-signing Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood. These moves will most likely help the Trail Blazers contend in the competitive West.
The Hawks made some surprising flashy moves to help them propel into the playoffs. They signed Rajon Rondo, Danilo Gallinari, and Kris Dunn, and also put together an offer sheet for Bogdan Bogdanovic. They drafted Onyeka Okongwu and Skylar Mays plus a strong core in Trae Young, Cam Reddish, John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Heurter, and Clint Capela. Expect to see Atlanta shine for years to come.
Too soon to tell
New York Knicks
The Knicks did very well in the draft, landing three conference players of the year in Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and Myles Powell, but their free-agent additions were lackluster. They missed out on many big names, but still kept their cap flexible into the season and prepared for 2021 where there is a much more impressive class. They signed Austin Rivers to a 3 year, $10M dollar, which was a steal. They also added Nerlens Noel, resigned Elfrid Payton and Theo Pinson, as well as offloading unneeded contracts. Their roster is raw. You have your cornerstones in Toppin, RJ Barett, and Mitchell Robinson. You have young talented players looking for their footing with Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr. Plus unproven talent in Quickley, Powell, and Ignas Brazdeikis. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Coach Thibodeau has a lot of work cut out for him, but the future is bright.
You have to give credit to their approach with new leadership. A subtle move, but a very savvy move was that in acquiring Ed Davis. The Knicks acquired Davis and future second-rounders from the Jazz for another second-round pick. He was later flipped to the Timberwolves for Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, and two-second rounder’s. Just in Davis, they acquired two young former first-round picks and three future second-round picks. What is the obsession for acquiring these picks for the 2023 draft? Well, they believe that draft will be the first without the one-and-done rule in place, allowing high-schoolers to enter. Are they playing chess while the league sees checkers?
The Celtics did everything right in locking in their cornerstones of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. This year they lost another max-contract all-star to free agency (Gordon Hayward) without getting anything in return. They also swapped Enes Kanter and Brad Wannamaker with Tristan Thomson and Jeff Green. The East got more competitive after the offseason, but the Celtics are still deep and talented. Only time will tell.
It didn’t go as planned, but the Bucks brought in some talent to help their MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo chase a title. The addition of Jrue Holiday gives them a fuller starting lineup and they added solid vets in DJ Augustin, Torrey Craig, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes. All these moves are great, but will it be enough to get over the hump?
It is hard to give an analysis of the Brooklyn Nets. The team has a star-studded lineup of coaches but with unproven success. Kevin Durant is now healthy and Kyrie, well Kyrie will be Kyrie. They resigned Joe Harris and kept their core of Allen and Dinwiddie (for now). Nothing was added in the draft and they are still chasing the idea of acquiring James Harden. Who knows if they can win it all, but they will be ready to take the East this upcoming season.
Can the 76ers change their narrative? They have been rebuilding and competing, but the “process” hasn’t fared them well in the playoffs. New president, Daryl Morey, wasted no time and got rid of awful contracts in Al Horford and Josh Richardson. They added Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Seth Curry, and Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey. Joel Embid and Ben Simmons are still in their primes are can be considered top-end talents. New Head Coach, Doc Rivers, is ready to compete in the East and make some noise, but can he do it?
Photo: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers didn’t make any major splashes, after being linked to nearly everyone. They lost Harrell but added Serge Ibaka, who played well alongside Kawhi Leonard in Toronto. The new coach, Tyronn Lue, will need to rely on his stars and prove to the league that LeBron didn’t carry him. The battle of LA and the west will be interesting, but the eye test points to the Lakers being more attractive.
The Nuggets showed in the bubble that they are a sleeper contender candidate. They are a home-grown team but failed to add any big-name talents to get them over the hump. They also lost some depth. Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee departed to the Pistons. They still have a lethal young core of Nikola Jokic – Jamal Murray – and Michael Porter Jr, plus they resigned Paul Millsap
Michael Jordan and the Hornets made some interesting moves this past week. They opted to draft LaMelo Ball, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was just intriguing. What was surprising was they landed Gordon Hayward but on a four-year, $120 million, fully guaranteed contract. Hayward is a talented player, but he isn’t the Utah Jazz Hayward the Celtics anticipated. They are also locked in with Terry Rozier on a heavy contract, but didn’t want to offer Kemba Walker that kind of money?
Class of 2017, congrats on the pay raise!
Young and uprising talent secured the bag this week. The Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz signed their superstars and cornerstones (Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell) to 5 years, $195M extensions. De’Aaron Fox also landed a major pay bump, signing a 5 year, $163M extension as well. Fred VanVleet went from undrafted free agent to NBA Champion. He was one of the top free agents on the market but ended up resigning with the Toronto Raptors on a 4-Year, $85M deal.
Photo: NBA / Getty Images
Trades, Trades, and Trades!
It was hard to keep track of all the trades that went down over the course of the week. They were constantly revisited and revised but the smoke seems to have settled. The biggest name traded (besides CP3) was probably Jrue Holiday. The deal was finalized below and involved more players and teams.
Poor Trevor Ariza, he was passed around more times than the Clippers pass to teammates not named Kawhi and PG. Ariza headed to his fourth team this week, after a three-team trade involving the Pistons, Mavs, and Thunder. Nobody knows if this will be his final stop, but the Vet deserves a little better than this.
Full List of Free Agents and where they signed
Per The Score
Cavs sign G Damyean Dotson to 2-year, $4M deal
Hawks sign G/F Solomon Hill to 1-year deal*
Lakers re-sign F Markieff Morris to 1-year deal*
Suns re-sign F Dario Saric to 3-year, $27M deal
Bucks sign G Bryn Forbes to 2-year deal
Bucks sign F Torrey Craig*
Celtics sign F Jayson Tatum to 5-year, $195M extension*
Grizzlies sign F Jontay Porter to 3-year, $6M deal
Hornets sign C Bismack Biyombo*
Jazz sign G Donovan Mitchell to 5-year, $195M extension*
Knicks sign G Austin Rivers to 3-year, $10M deal*
Knicks sign G Theo Pinson to 2-way deal*
Lakers sign C Marc Gasol to 2-year deal*
Mavericks sign C Willie Cauley-Stein to 2-year, $8.2M deal*
Nuggets sign C Isaiah Hartenstein to 2-year deal*
Pacers re-sign F JaKarr Sampson to 1-year, minimum deal
Pelicans sign C Willy Hernangomez to 1-year, minimum deal
Raptors sign C Aron Baynes to 2-year, $14.3M deal*
Raptors sign F/C Chris Boucher to 2-year, $13.5M deal
Raptors sign G/F DeAndre' Bembry to 2-year, $4M deal*
Rockets sign G Sterling Brown 1-year, $1.7M deal*
Spurs sign G Quinndary Weatherspoon to 2-way deal*
Suns sign C Damian Jones to 2-year deal*
Suns sign E'Twaun Moore to 1-year, $2.4M deal
Timberwolves sign F Juan Hernangomez to 3-year, $21M deal*
Trail Blazers sign C Harry Giles to 1-year deal, minimum deal
Warriors sign F Kent Bazemore to 1-year, $2.3M deal*
Wizards sign C Robin Lopez
Bucks sign G D.J. Augustin to 3-year, $21M deal*
Bucks sign F Bobby Portis to 2-year deal*
Bucks sign G Jaylen Adams to 2-way deal*
Bucks sign F Mamadi Diakite to 2-way deal
Bulls sign G Denzel Valentine to 1-year, $4.7M qualifying offer*
Celtics sign C Tristan Thompson to 2-year, $19M deal*
Celtics sign G Jeff Teague to 1-year deal*
Clippers sign F Serge Ibaka to 2-year, $19M deal*
Grizzlies sign G De'Anthony Melton to 4-year, $35M deal*
Grizzlies sign G John Konchar to 4-year, $9M deal*
Hawks sign G Kris Dunn to 2-year, $10M deal*
Hawks sign G Rajon Rondo to 2-year, $15M deal*
Heat sign G Avery Bradley to 2-year, $11.6M deal
Heat sign F Moe Harkless to 1-year, $3.6M deal
Hornets sign F Gordon Hayward to 4-year, $120M deal*
Knicks sign G Elfrid Payton to 1-year, $5M deal*
Knicks sign F Nerlens Noel to 1-year, $5M deal*
Lakers re-sign G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to 3-year, $40M deal
Magic re-sign G Michael Carter-Williams*
Magic re-sign F Gary Clark to 2-year, $4.1M deal*
Mavericks re-sign G J.J. Barea*
Mavericks sign F Wes Iwundu to 2-year, $3.5M deal*
Nets sign F Jeff Green to undisclosed deal*
Nuggets re-sign F Paul Millsap to 1-year, $10M deal*
Pacers sign C Amida Brimah to undisclosed deal*
Raptors re-sign G Fred VanVleet to 4-year, $85M deal*
Spurs sign SG Cam Reynolds to 1-year deal*
Suns sign F Jae Crowder to 3-year, $30M deal*
Suns re-sign PG Jevon Carter to 3-year, $11.5M deal
Trail Blazers re-sign F Carmelo Anthony to reported 1-year deal
Warriors sign G Brad Wanamaker to 1-year, $2.25M deal
Wizards sign G Raul Neto to 1-year deal*
76ers sign C Dwight Howard to 1-year, $2.6M deal
Bucks re-sign G Pat Connaughton to 3-year, $16M deal*
Bulls sign G Garrett Temple to 1-year, 5M deal*
Clippers sign F Patrick Patterson to 1-year deal*
Clippers sign F Marcus Morris to 4-year, $64M deal*
Hawks sign F Danilo Gallinari to 3-year, $61.5M deal*
Heat re-sign C Meyers Leonard to 2-year, $20M deal*
Heat re-sign G Goran Dragic to 2-year, $37.4M deal*
Jazz sign G Jordan Clarkson to 4-year, $52M deal*
Jazz sign F Derrick Favors to 3-year, $27M deal*
Kings sign G De'Aaron Fox to 5-year, $163M extension*
Knicks sign G Alec Burks to 1-year, $6M deal
Lakers sign G Wes Matthews to 1-year, $3.6M deal
Lakers sign C Montrezl Harrell to 2-year, $19M deal
Magic sign G Dwayne Bacon to 2-year deal*
Magic sign F James Ennis to 1-year deal*
Mavericks sign G Trey Burke to 3-year deal*
Nets sign F Joe Harris to 4-year, $75M deal
Nuggets sign G Facundo Campazzo to 2-year deal*
Nuggets sign F JaMychal Green to 2-year, $15M deal*
Pacers sign G Justin Holiday to 3-year, $18.1M deal
Pistons sign C Mason Plumlee to 3-year, $25M deal*
Pistons sign C Jahlil Okafor to 2-year deal*
Pistons sign F Jerami Grant to 3-year, $60M deal*
Rockets sign F Christian Wood to 3-year, $41M deal*
Spurs re-sign C Drew Eubanks to 3-year deal*
Spurs sign C Jakob Poeltl to 3-year, $27M deal*
T-Wolves sign G Malik Beasley to 4-year, $60M deal*
Trail Blazers sign G Rodney Hood to 2-year, $20M deal*
Trail Blazers sign F Derrick Jones Jr. to 2-year, $19M deal*
Wizards sign F Davis Bertans to 5-year, $80M deal
The season is tentatively scheduled to begin on December 22, 2020. Here are the future odds, who do you think will win?
Per Vegas Insider