With NBA Free agency now in full swing, teams will be looking to add what’s left in the pool of talented players.
The Big names that have signed:
LeBron has signed with Los Angeles Lakers on 4 yr 154 million dollar deal. There is a player option for his 4th year. James was the focal point of this free agency. He’s been the player in this past decade filled with players wanting to go where they want to play, versus a GM making those decisions. The off-season really intensifies when James decides where he’ll play because he’s the big domino that affects other players decisions and contracts. Now that James and Lakers are putting pieces around him, was this move for basketball purposes or life after basketball?
Paul came into free agency not exactly on his own terms. If you remember last off-season, Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets and he was promised by the Rockets that he would be taken care of. The Rockets took care of Paul giving him the max over 4 years. However, can they re-sign Clint Capela and compete for a title after losing Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns?
I was shocked at how much buzz he wasn’t getting. After teams worried about his attitude and recently ruptured Achilles, Cousins was looking for a place to thrive and win. The Golden State Warriors surprisingly enough used their Mid-Level Exception offering Cousins a one year $5.3 million deal.
Cousins has career averages of 21.5 PPG, 11 RPG, 3.2 assists and over a steal and a block per game. He will be 28 when the 2018-19 season starts. This is a monstrous signing for a team coming off back-to-back championships. As they say, the rich get richer. The biggest issue here is what kind of player will the Warriors be getting from a big guy coming back from an Achilles injury? The situation couldn’t have worked out better for both sides. Now, Cousins doesn’t have to rush coming back and the Warriors get a big name they can use as leverage just in case Draymond Green and Klay Thompson don’t come back.
The Thunder pulled all stops to convince Paul George to stay in Oklahoma City. After opting out, you wondered if George was going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. George averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 assists and a career-best two steals per game with the Thunder this past season. Fortunately for Russell Westbrook and Thunder brass, George resigned with them on a four year, 137 million dollar deal. Although the Thunder will be paying some extremely high taxes, this was money well spent.
The situation between San Antonio and Kawhi Leonard has been a boxing fight, to say the least. It’s clear that Leonard and his camp want out of SA while the organization is doing everything it can to convince him to stay. Although he’s not a free agent there’s a great possibility he’s a game changer should the Spurs decide to move him this summer.
The Best of the Rest:
There are several players still in the market for good help. Due to 80 percent of NBA teams being over the salary cap, according to RealGM, you will only see a handful of teams being aggressive. Below are players that could help teams and they may even come at a discount due to the market.
After a year with the Spurs, he’s somewhat rehabbed his value. Gay averaged 11.5 PPG, 5.1 boards per game. He’s best suited for teams that would need some scoring punch. He’s always been a scoring threat but could a defensively liability.
Evans has always been a versatile player. He can guard very well on the perimeter and multiple positions, which is important in a league that does plenty of switching. Evans dealt with some injuries and was held out of games but in 52 games average 19.4 PPG, 5 boards and 5 assists per game.
How have the mighty fallen? Two years ago, we were talking about Lopez and him being a very effective player for the Brooklyn Nets. Lopez’s skill set of knocking down three’s for his size can give any team great energy. He’d be a great consolation prize on the cheap for any team looking for big guys. Teams that could sign him are the Wizards and Pacers.
There was speculation that Warriors players wanted Crawford. Crawford has won multiple sixth man of the year awards and is one of the most well-liked guys in the NBA. He averaged 17.9 points per 36 minutes last year.
A team looking to contend is always looking for guys who space the floor; Ellington is one of these guys. A perfect 3-and-D player, he averaged a career-best 11.2 points and 2.9 3-pointers in 2017-18. Ellington also now holds the most made 3-pointers by an NBA reserve in history.