NBA Free Agency Roundup: Day 1

It wasn’t crazy and truckloads of money have yet to be dumped, but the first night of NBA free agency has come and gone.

One or two things went as expected (Bradley Beal) and one or two signings were jaw-dropping (Timofey Mozgov).

An important thing to watch as the rest of free agency unfolds: money won’t be as much of a problem as the number of years. Salaries are going to shoot through the roof in this new market. Everyone is going to get paid. The bad contracts will be ones that extend past next summer and into a flattening salary cap in 2018.

Here are all the deals we’ve seen so far and some rumors as well.

Bradley Beal signs 5-year $128 million extension with Wizards

This deal was the most likely to be the first one done and that’s the way it played out. The Wizards didn’t have a great way to replace Beal and, given his youth and potential, he would have gotten this elsewhere. Hopefully he can still healthy and prove he’s worth it.

Beal will wait to sign this deal so the Wizards can keep his low cap hold on the books. They’ll still have around $30 million in cap space.

Timofey Mozgov signs 4-year, $65 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers

I mean, wow. I guess we can applaud the Lakers for being aggressive, and this might be starting center money in the new NBA, but woof. That’s a long time to be paying a guy who clearly struggled to recover from injuries last season and will be into 30’s by the time the contract is up. Mozgov was admittedly very good two years ago for the Cavaliers, but that is a small sample size compared to the rest of his mediocre career and you’d have to think he’ll struggle without LeBron and Kyrie.

DeMar DeRozan re-signs with the Toronto Raptors for five years, $139 million

Biggest takeaway here? That is not DeRozan’s max. That contract, given his limitations as a shooter and defender, will be probably be bad near its end. But it won’t be as bad as it could be. The Raptors needed to bring DeRozan back and should be applauded for doing so.

Andre Drummond re-signs for five years, $130 million with Pistons
Nicolas Batum  re-signs for five  years, $120 million with Hornets
Jordan Clarkson re-signs for four years, $50 million with Lakers

None of these are huge surprises. I thought the Lakers might wait and see if a team would offer the Arenas-limited Clarkson an offer sheet and then just match it. Clearly they were worried it’d be too much. Still, that’s a very reasonable contract for Clarkson.

Hassan Whiteside re-signs with Miami Heat for four years, $98 million

This was a weird saga. First it seemed like the Dallas Mavericks had pulled ahead of the Heat. Then, all of a sudden, the Heat were back in front. That’s just free agency, I guess.

This may prove to be a bad contract if Whiteside continues his antics, but it was probably a necessary one. Whiteside was assured the max this summer. The Heat getting him to agree early is a win.

Re-signing Whiteside, while it was definitely important, is only the Heat’s first step. They have a ton of balls in the air this summer. They’re one of the teams chasing Kevin Durant and are in danger of running out of cap space for Dwyane Wade. They’ll be fascinating to watch.

Ish Smith signs 3-year $18 million deal with Detroit Pistons
D.J. Augustin signs four-year deal with Orlando Magic

Both of these are good deals that fill a need for both teams. Augustin will help the Magic score off the bench and the Pistons desperately needed a backup point guard.

I think the Smith deal is a steal. Smith was one of the better backup point guards available and he will be great running Stan Van Gundy’s offense that is so reliant on pick-and-roll. Getting him for just $6 million is huge.

Rumors

Wow. That is a terrible deal for the Knicks. Joakim Noah, at this point, is not an upgrade over Robin Lopez and paying him more than Lopez would be such a Knicks-like mistake.

I love Bazemore. He’s probably the best wing on the market. But that is a TON of money.

Parsons wants a max contract and he’s going to play the market t0 get it. I like the way he fits in Memphis, but I love the idea of him in Portland. That’s a big upgrade at the forward spot and he provides much-needed shooting.

The Nets have been linked to both Jared Dudley and Allen Crabbe. I love it! Give me young wings and cagey, professional veterans like Dudley all day long.

I mean, yep. It’s the Summer of Durant.

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