The first day of NBA Free Agency was a hell of a day. It’s pretty hard to recap in just a few paragraphs but I’ll give it my best shot. The day started with the Los Angeles Lakers dropping a bombshell around 1:30 am ET that they were offering Timofey Mozgov a 4 year, $65M contract. Not only is this ridiculous because of the dollars and years but to offer it that early in the process and have him be your number one priority is an indictment on how far the Lakers are from winning. Remember this is the same guy who couldn’t be on the floor for the champion Cavaliers in any meaningful situations throughout the playoffs. The allure of the Los Angeles Lakers is officially dead, last year Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge were the first to rebuff the Lakers advances and now no one will even answer their calls. My Lakers are a joke, a laughing-stock and MozGFOHov is just the icing on the cake for the ineptitude that is the two Buss children.
After the world stopped laughing at the Lakers, all eyes were focused on the Hamptons where Kevin Durant was holding his meetings. Each report thus far has stated the meetings “have gone well” and only recent reports with the Clippers have said that Durant was blown away with their vision. Durant’s decision won’t come today so there’s no need to go any further into that except for that it was reported that Durant refused meetings with the Nets and Knicks after Jay-Z and his agency requested them.
Hassan Whiteside became the first domino to fall reaching a max agreement with the Miami Heat. His options were narrowed down to two destinations, Dallas and Miami, he chose to stay where he is. It’s a smart move as he’ll go from making $980,000 last season to signing a near $98 million contract in a week. Miami is in a no salary tax state and the Heat are the best situation for him. He stays in a setting that is familiar and where he thrived, the fact that Riley convinced him to come back means that the Heat believe in his talents and future. Many other usual suspects re-sign with their teams: DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond and Nicolas Batum all cashing in for big, big money.
Next on the journey we have to go to Memphis where the Grizzlies handed out nearly one-quarter of a billion dollars in payroll to two players today. First it was signing Chandler Parsons to a max contract approaching 4 years, $94 million and then signing Mike Conley to the richest contract in NBA history. Conley’s deal is the true max, reported to be approx. $153 million over 5 years. It’s two moves the Grizzlies had to pull off and they got it done. Kudos to the front office for opening their wallets and spending the cash, now it’s up to this roster and new coaching staff to get back to their winning ways.
Another former All-Star was on the move with Dwight Howard getting his desired low to mid $20M salary from the Atlanta Hawks. Reports are speculating a 3 year deal in the range of $70M. Howard will play on his 4th team since 2012 (Orlando, LA, Houston, Atlanta). I think it’s a good situation for him despite the Hawks looking like they’ll be taking a step backwards with Teague gone and Horford now all but gone. It will be a homecoming for Howard who was born and raised in Georgia so maybe this fan base won’t hate him.
Other deals include the Brooklyn Nets getting Jeremy Lin for a very reasonable three-year contract and I love that fit for both sides. The Portland Trailblazers shelled out a hefty load for Evan Turner and their pitch was to guarantee him the small forward job next to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Joakim Noah is going to be a New York Knick like we all thought he would be and the deal is rumored to be 4 years and $73 million. Yikes. I love what Noah represents and if he’s healthy, which is a big if, will definitely bring a lot to the Knicks but four years is rough. Noah has a lot of mileage and heading into his mid 30’s could be sunken costs. Last but not least Matthew Dellavedova was offered $38M from the Milwaukee Bucks and while the Cavaliers have a chance to match that I can’t see a snowballs chance in hell they do. In fact LeBron James already wished him best of luck on Twitter and since James is the de-facto GM of the Cavs this means Delly is gone.