The 2018 NBA free agency period is off to a blazing start. LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins both made huge splashes by joining new teams. James decided it was time to go West as he chose the Lakers as his next team. Then, in the biggest shock so far, Cousins elected to sign on with the world champion Warriors on Monday night.
Beyond those big names at the top, this is an incredibly deep free-agent class. With most teams struggling to find cap room, the market could get really interesting this summer.
Now that free agency has started, keep checking back to see where the top players have signed.
Kevon Looney’s Return On A Minimum Deal Saves The Golden State Warriors Over $3m
The dream summer of the Golden State Warriors just got even better, with the news that forward Kevon Looney has agreed to return to the team on a veteran minimum deal. The team’s 2015 draft pick was a free agent after the Warriors declined his fourth year option back at the end of October. At the time it seemed like a reasonable decision as Looney had struggled in his first couple of years with injuries.
As the season went on though, it began to look like a big mistake. Looney reportedly shed 25 pounds over the summer and came into training camp noticeably more svelte and mobile. With his long arms and basketball smarts, he carved out a nice role in the Warriors rotation. His ability to not bite on pump-fakes, and shuffle his feet on defense, was huge in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. PerBasketball-Reference.com he ended up playing the sixth most minutes, and more minutes than any other non-Draymond Green center, throughout the playoffs for the Warriors.
Naturally the Warriors were keen to retain him. However that earlier decision to decline his option loomed large. Once that option was declined he became an unrestricted free agent, with the Warriors limited to what that option would have been – around $2.2m.
Again though, the tight free agent market this year has aided the Warriors. Like many other big men, Looney’s value was squeezed and he ended up signing for a minimum contract worth just over $1.5m, saving the front office $700,000. That doesn’t sound like much, but per Sportrac.com the Warriors salary number prior to Looney signing was $140,617,646.
The final numbers won’t be clear until the Warriors have rounded out their roster, but adding Looney’s contract, Patrick McCaw’s qualifying offer, and two more veteran minimums would put the Warriors somewhere in the $20-25m range above the tax line. At that point every tax dollar is multiplied by $3.75. So that $700,000 turns into a saving of over $3m for the team once you take into account the luxury tax savings as well.
Looney figures to be an important part of the rotation going forwards. While DeMarcus Cousins is the splashier move, he will miss significant portions of the season and will need to brought along slowly. So the Warriors will need solid production in the middle. Looney has proven that he can be counted on when it matters most. Along with Jordan Bell, who is busy terrifying people in the summer league by flashing a three point stroke, and the springy Damian Jones, the Warriors now possess a trio of young, cheap, versatile big men.
Looney now has the opportunity to play more minutes, while contending for a championship, and enter free agency again next summer. Only this time the Warriors will possess his full bird rights so will be able to go over the cap and re-sign him without any restrictions. If he has another year like the one he’s just had, the odds are he’ll be in a Warriors uniform for some time yet.
|RANK||PLAYER (AGE)||POS||LAST TEAM||NEW TEAM||STATUS|
|1||LeBron James (33)||F||Agreed to 4-year, $154M deal|
|2||Kevin Durant (29)||F||Reportedly agreed to one-and-one deal worth $61.5M|
|3||Paul George (28)||F||Reportedly agreed to 4-year, $137M deal|
|4||Chris Paul (33)||G||Reportedly agreed to 4-year, $160M deal|
|5||Clint Capela (24)||C||RFA|
|6||DeMarcus Cousins (27)||C||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $5.3M deal|
|7||DeAndre Jordan (29)||C||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $24.1M deal|
|8||Aaron Gordon (22)||F||Reportedly agreed to 4-year, $84M deal|
|9||Julius Randle (23)||F||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $18M deal|
|10||Marcus Smart (24)||G||RFA|
|11||JJ Redick (34)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year deal worth $12M-to-13M|
|12||Trevor Ariza (33)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $15M deal|
|13||Derrick Favors (26)||F/C||Reportedly agreed to a 2-year, $26M deal|
|14||Isaiah Thomas (29)||G||UFA|
|15||Tyreke Evans (28)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $12M deal|
|16||Jabari Parker (23)||F||RFA|
|17||Jusuf Nurkic (23)||C||RFA|
|18||Zach LaVine (23)||G||RFA|
|19||Will Barton (27)||G||Reportedly agreed to 4-year, $54M deal|
|20||Fred VanVleet (24)||G||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $18M deal|
|21||Luc Mbah a Moute (31)||F||UFA|
|22||Avery Bradley (27)||G||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $25M deal|
|23||Rajon Rondo (32)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $9M deal|
|24||Wayne Ellington (30)||G||UFA|
|25||Brook Lopez (30)||C||UFA|
|26||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (25)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $12M deal|
|27||Rudy Gay (31)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $10M deal|
|28||Rodney Hood (25)||F||RFA|
|29||Joe Harris (26)||G||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $16M deal|
|30||Montrezl Harrell (24)||F||RFA|
|31||Dante Exum (22)||G||Reportedly agreed to 3-year, $33M deal|
|32||Elfrid Payton (24)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $2.7M deal|
|33||Greg Monroe (28)||UFA|
|34||Nerlens Noel (24)||C||Reportedly agreed to 2-year deal, $3.5M deal|
|35||Kyle Anderson (24)||F||RFA|
|36||Dirk Nowitzki (40)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $5M deal|
|37||Ersan Ilyasova (31)||F||Reportedly agreed to 3-year, $21M deal|
|38||Aron Baynes (31)||C||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $11M deal|
|39||Michael Beasley (29)||F||UFA|
|40||Dwyane Wade (36)||G||UFA|
|41||Ed Davis (29)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $4.4M deal|
|42||Jeff Green (31)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $2.5M deal|
|43||Amir Johnson (31)||C||UFA|
|44||Jerami Grant (24)||F||Reportedly agreed to 3-year, $27M deal|
|45||Marco Belinelli (32)||G||Reportedly agreed to 2-year, $12M deal|
|46||Shabazz Napier (26)||G||UFA|
|47||Nemanja Bjelica (30)||F||UFA|
|48||Tony Parker (36)||G||UFA|
|49||Kyle O’Quinn (28)||C||UFA|
|50||David West (37)||F||UFA|
|51||Lance Stephenson (27)||G||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $4.4M deal|
|52||Trevor Booker (30)||F||UFA|
|53||Jamal Crawford (38)||G||UFA|
|54||Mario Hezonja (23)||F||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, $6.5M deal|
|55||Zaza Pachulia (34)||C||UFA|
|56||Joe Johnson (37)||F||UFA|
|57||Yogi Ferrell (25)||G||RFA|
|58||Seth Curry (27)||G||Reportedly agreed to two-year deal, with $2.75M guaranteed|
|59||Brandan Wright (30)||C||UFA|
|60||Doug McDermott (26)||F||Reportedly agreed to 3-year, $22M deal|
|61||Vince Carter (41)||F||UFA|
|62||Channing Frye (35)||F||UFA|
|63||Nick Young (33)||G||UFA|
|64||Jahlil Okafor (22)||C||UFA|
|65||Alex Len (25)||C||UFA|
|66||JaVale McGee (30)||C||Reportedly agreed to 1-year, minimum deal|
Dante Exum agrees to 3 year/$33 million contract extension with Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz bring back their promising lottery pick from the 2014 NBA Draft for three more years.
The Utah Jazz bring back their promising lottery pick from the 2014 NBA Draft for three more years.
Dante Exum has consistently shown flashes of his immense talent and ability. The consistent thread of Exum’s short NBA career thus far has been injuries. An ACL injury after his rookie year stole his sophomore NBA season away from him while a shoulder injury by the fall of TJ Warren took most of his fourth season away. That fourth season looked as though it would be Exum’s breakout season as he had shown out in Summer League and Preseason.
When Dante Exum returned back from injury this season he averaged 8.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in only 16.8 minutes a game. His per minute numbers have risen every single season he has been able to play. His defensive potential was on full display in the 2018 NBA Playoffs as he consistently frustrated James Harden and had a good series against the 2nd best team in the NBA.
The Utah Jazz will be looking for Exum to reach his potential on this deal. While it’s easy to point to the past and question this, the Utah Jazz have seen more of Exum than anyone else behind the scenes. They have been able to identify strong talent and be patient with their own development curves. They’ve also been aggressive to move past players who they believe have plateau’d likeRodney Hood, Trey Lyles, Trey Burke, and Enes Kanter. It’s important to remember that Dante Exum is only 22 years old. He has a lot of development still ahead of him. This deal will keep Exum with the Utah Jazz until he is 25, a year younger than Derrick Favors is now.
Dante Exum will also get to have his second consecutive offseason of being healthy and being able to work on his game and not have to focus on rehabilitation from an injury. That’s going to go a long way in improving. Dennis Lindsey would often talk how both Rudy Gobert and Dante Exum’s injuries played a big and equal role in their terrible descent before January 22nd. The Jazz front office believes Dante Exum is as big a part of Utah’s future as Rudy Gobert.
More importantly, Dennis Lindsey has decided that this Utah team deserves to have a chance to attack the entire regular season healthy and as is to see how far they can go. They earned that by fighting to be in the playoffs when they had every excuse to give up. This team is still a really young team and with their star, Donovan Mitchell, only 22 as well, the Utah Jazz are poised for a lot of internal development and upward mobility. There are only a few playoff teams that can raise their ceiling of wins solely by internal development of youngsters: Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and the Utah Jazz.
Dennis Lindsey seems to reading the free agency market wisely and banking on that internal development of his rising playoff roster and not blowing their cap space like a child with a $20 in an arcade.