Everything You Need To Know About The Busiest Free Agency In NBA History

Things have to be done a bit differently during this COVID19 pandemic as it pertains to life in general. Sports is no different. The effects of the pandemic have thrown off the usual schedule for major sports leagues, forcing them to adjust on the fly and end the season later, which pushed back the free agency and drafts as in the NBA.
The NBA finished its bubble restart in October. Then immediately began its free agency period on Friday, November 20th, two days after The NBA Draft was held virtually on November 18th. The new season is scheduled to begin on December 22nd.
This 2020 free agency was one of the most active of all time for the NBA and teams won’t have to wait long to see the impact that their new free-agent additions will have.
Here are some key additions to some teams I view as definite playoff contenders.
1.      Gordon Hayward to the Hornets for 4YRs/$120M.
Strange that MJ didn’t see fit to give that to Kemba Walker. But the Hayward move coupled with the drafting of LaMelo Ball gives “Buzz City” some real buzz in the “Queen City.” Can he revert back to the GH20 in Salt Lake City?

2.      Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers was a real stunner.

But it reveals the dysfunction that really plagued the Clippers and their bubble meltdown against the Nuggets. 2YRs/$19M was actually below market value for the reigning 6th man of the year so he must’ve wanted out.

3.      Danilo Gallinari to the Hawks.

They paid him 3YRs/$61M although they have John Collins who’s nine years younger and a better all-round player. The one area Gallinari excels at and can really help the spry and young Hawks is his efficient range shooting as they wait on Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish to take the next step in that area.

4.      Christian Wood to the Rockets is a rags-to-riches story.

He got the bag 3YRs/$41M by leaving “MOTOWN” for a more prominent role. He really could be a nice compliment to James Harden and Russell Westbrook assuming they stick around. New head coach Stephen Silas was gung-ho on adding someone like him after the team inexplicably traded Clint Capela last season.

5.      Serge “IBLAKA” Ibaka to the Clippers.

He signed a 2YR/19M deal to rejoin his teammate in Toronto( mister “FunGuy” himself as he calls him Kawhi Leonard). He’s more versatile and brings much purer shooting as a pick and pop guy than Harrell did for the Clips. At age 31, his defensive decline is the only concern.

6.      Fred Vanvleet stays with the Raptors to the tune of 4YRs/$85M.

He fits Toronto very well but one still has to wonder how he would’ve fit in Dallas next to Luka or in Atlanta with Trae Young instead of the next guy on my list.

7.      Rajon Rondo to the Hawks for 2YRs/$15M.

It’s a very sensible move for the young Hawks who need veteran leadership on an Uber talented roster. He can be a mentor for their star player Trae Young. The two-time NBA Champion has also adapted more to playing off the ball as evidenced by his bubble title run with the Lakers. He adjusted well to Bron controlling the ball a ton.

8.      Davis Bertans is staying with the Wizards.

The team rewarded the sharpshooter with a 5YR/$80M deal. Hell a few years ago they gave Ian Manhimi a 4YR/$64M deal and he never performed as Bertans did. Now Bertans does one thing well and that’s stretch the floor with unlimited range. He shot (43.0 % on 8.7 3-point attempts per game). Should help keep the floor spread for Bradley Beal and John Wall assuming his trade request isn’t approved.

9.      Joe Harris stays in Brooklyn.

He received a 4YR/$75M deal for the same thing I mentioned about (Bertans), he can shoot. Playing with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving he’ll get more wide-open looks than he’s ever seen in his basketball life.

10.     Jerami Grant to the Pistons. He gets a 3YR/$60M deal after his sparkling play in the bubble. He’s a true 3 and D guy who’s also a solid rebounder.

11.     Rookie Max Deals – DeAaron Fox (5YRs/$163M) to stay with the Kings, great deal for a budding soon to be All-Star. Jayson Tatum gets (5YRs/$163M) and Donovan Mitchell also (5YRs/163M) to stay in Salt Lake City. All three deals have escalation to ($196M).

12.     Wesley Matthews to the Lakers.  Matthews cashed in mightily four years ago when the Mavericks severely overpaid for the undersized but gritty 3 and D player from Marquette. He wasn’t looking for a huge payday as evidenced by him taking a 1YR/$3.6M deal (Bi-Annual Exception). He values winning over money at this stage of his career.

13.     Tristan Thompson to the Celtics. For 2YRs/$19M is a good move for the Celtics. This especially after the sign and trade of Gordon Hayward for Myles Turner from the Pacers fell apart. TT13 will bring toughness and grit to a finesse team. Also a solid rim protector and relentless offensive rebounder.

14.     Kentavious Caldwell-Pope aka “KCP” stays with the Lakers after his bubble showing where at times he looked like the team’s third-best player. Let’s just face it the Lakers, Klutch Sports and LeBron have been huge additions to his bank account repeatedly. (3YRs/$40M) LOL

15.     Jae Crowder to the Suns. Crowder was looking for multiple years which the Heat wasn’t offering as they look to make a splash in the possible Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes next summer. So he opted for the “Land Of The Sun” for 3YRs/$30M. He’s a solid 3 and D guy for sure. Interesting he signs with Phoenix and their star player Devin Booker who scored 70 points in a loss to a Celtics team that Crowder was a member of in 2017. Crowder said this following that game “Never Seen So Guys So Happy About A Loss”.

16.     Kris Dunn to the Hawks. He signs a 2YR/$10M deal and he may be the best defensive point guard in the NBA. Joining Trae Young and now Rajon Rondo, the Hawks have options at the lead guard position. Imagine Trae Young’s offensive ability with Dunn’s defensive prowess and the savvy of a Rondo, you just created an MVP candidate for sure.

17.     Marcus Morris stays with the Clippers. He inks a 4YR/$64M deal. Clippers surrendered a #1 pick to the Knicks for him last spring. That move alone caused any negotiations to backfire as they had to re-sign him to justify the trade. He did play well in the bubble after a very slow start with the team.

18.     Jordan Clarkson to the Jazz. Huge keeping him in the fold. He cashed in for 4YRs/$52M after a strong showing as the team’s second-best player in the bubble restart. Showed up big with the team minus Bogdanovic. His career was hanging by a thread until the rebirth in Salt Lake City.

19.     Goran Dragic stays with the Heat. “The Dragon” or “Drago”’as they call him was so good in the bubble restart helping lead the boys from South Beach to the NBA Finals. He tore his plantar fasciitis in Game 1 and it as a huge blow to the Heat. He receives a well deserved 2YRs/$37.5M deal.

20.     Derrick Jones Jr to the Blazers.

“Rip City” lands the reigning slam dunk champion who has the ability to guard multiple positions. A young athletic wing, who’s a ferocious finisher at the rim. He’s part of a reloading project in the Pacific Northwest that’s bringing the Blazers much-needed depth. Team also re-signed Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood while trading for Robert Covington and Enes Kanter.

21.     Marc Gasol to the Lakers.

Remember he was once a Laker who was traded for his brother Pau Gasol in 2008. He brings vet leadership and just solid all-around play on both ends.

22.     Dwight Howard to the Sixers.

Brings physicality and hopefully work ethic that he can help star big man Joel Embiid with.  Ferocious rebounder and rim protector.

23.     Avery Bradley to the Heat.

Is a very good and sneaky move for a team on the rise. A great on-ball defender who can shoot the three (37%) and provide quality depth at the guard position with Dragic, Nunn, Herro and Robinson.

Some other key moves include the Thunder trading Chris Paul to the Suns. Giving them a floor general and vocal leader to mentor Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. OKC, which has accumulated a trailer load also drafts Jaylen “STIXX” Smith from UMD at #10 overall.

Thunder also traded Dennis Schroder to the Lakers giving them the top in the 2019-20 NBA 6th Man Award voting (Harrell).

Pelicans traded Jrue Holiday to the Bucks for a plethora of draft picks. As “Cream City” hopes to convince reigning 2 time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign the SuperMax deal he’s eligible for by December 21st.

Finally, the saga surrounding Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic is interesting as he was slated to joins the Bucks in a sign and trade but that deal was rescinded as he claims he didn’t wanna go there. He’s now signed an offer sheet with the Hawks for 4YRs/$72M and the Kings have 48 hours to match the deal.

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