2015 NBA Free Agency: Day One Tracker With Analysis
The 2015 NBA Free Agency period is here. With the 2015 NBA Draft already in the books, this is now officially the most important thing going on in sports this summer, as some really big names are either securing serious cash with their current teams or shaking up the league by jetting off to a new city.
LaMarcus Aldridge headlines a jam-packed free agency that begins today and could have multiple big names signing on the dotted line with new teams. We’re tracking all of the big moves and analyzing the moves for all sides involved. Let’s get to it:
Draymond Green Not Leaving
The Dubs wisely finished a deal with versatile forward Draymond Green, who had many suitors as a restricted free agent but was never going to leave. Even if Green wanted out, he was going to see his deal matched, but he ultimately chose to stick with the team he just won a title with. It’s a great re-signing for the Warriors, who continue to look like the best team in the league. Green will make a staggering $85 million on his five-year deal.
Millsap Not Leaving Hawks
After losing small forward DeMarre Carroll, the Hawks did well to keep big man Paul Millsap in town. The versatile forward has agreed to a three-year, $59 million deal that should solidify Atlanta’s post play and keep them in contention for a deep playoff run. The team will still have to replace Carroll and hope Kyle Korver comes back healthy, of course.
Celtics Keep Jae Crowder
Boston paid up to keep Jae Crowder, who can man two forward spots and has the upside of a DeMarre Carroll. It’s a solid move considering Boston is choosing to build from within, but it’s arguable Crowder wasn’t worth a deal this big. Crowder will make $35 million over the next five years with his new deal.
Kevin Love Stays With Cavs
Kevin Love said he’d be staying in Cleveland and he meant it. Per reports, Love has agreed to a huge five-year, $110 million deal to stick with the team that traded for him last summer. Love clearly wants to win and after watching the Cavs narrowly miss out on a title without him, he’ll return to help them finish the job next year.
Anthony Davis Breaks Bank
The Brow wasn’t going anywhere this summer, but with his rookie deal set to expire after this season, the Pelicans weren’t ready to risk their future. They locked up one of the best young players in the entire league with a massive five-year, $145 million deal. Already a playoff team this past season, the Pellies could begin a steady rise this year.
Spurs Keep Kawhi Leonard
This isn’t a surprise, as the Spurs had total control in their ability to keep their best player. They did so by handing Leonard a huge five-year, $90 million deal. One of the strongest defenders in the league, Leonard’s presence helps the Spurs remain title contenders for years to come.
Bulls Hold on to Jimmy Butler
Butler was said to be wanting a smaller deal so he could crush it in two years, but he is said to instead be ready to accept a massive long-term deal from the Bulls. It’s a big deal for Chicago, who look to hand the rising star a five-year, $95 max contract. Butler should team with Derrick Rose to give the Bulls one of the best tandems in the league.
Raptors Land DeMarre Carroll
Toronto makes a big move here by locking up the 28-year old Carroll, who is both a top shelf defender and a solid knockdown shooter from outside. He even still has a little bit of upside, so the Raptors get a minor steal on a four-year, $60 million deal.
There has been some chatter about the Raptors moving on from DeMarr DeRozan and this move makes that a real possibility – especially if Toronto can also land Wesley Matthews. A move like that could give the Raptors one of the best three-packs in the league on the wing in terms of scoring and defending. That would also free them up to trade away DeRozan and try to get an upgrade at power forward in the process.
Heat Keep Dragic
The Miami Heat took care of one more issue by retaining star point guard Goran Dragic, who has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal. Dragic is a solid franchise point guard and his signing leaves just Dwyane Wade as the final piece to the Heat’s offseason puzzle.
Nets Keep Bigs
Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young both opted out of their deals with the Brooklyn Nets but numerous reports had them staying in town. That’s what’s happening, as both have agreed to big contracts to stick in Brooklyn. Lopez will get $60 million over three years and Young gets $50 million over four years.
The Nets aren’t really title contenders as currently constructed, but both of these guys are solid building blocks to help the Nets remain a playoff contender and keep building towards a championship. Now Brooklyn can focus on trading Deron Williams and/or Joe Johnson to try to repair the rest of their roster.
Suns Land Tyson Chandler, Retain Brandon Knight
Two very different moves here, as the Suns bolster their interior defense with a veteran shot-blocker and rebounder with the Chandler signing, and then they hand out yet another huge contract for a point guard. The idea must be to play Knight along with Eric Bledsoe at the one and two and Chandler (four years, $52 million) is clearly being brought in to be the starter at center. On the flip side, Chandler leaves the Dallas Mavericks with a huge hole at center. It’s now DeAndre Jordan or bust for Dirk and co.
It’s an interesting development considering they already had Alex Len, but at the worst it makes them extremely deep at center. Knight’s deal is hefty (five years for $70 million) but there is potential for Phoenix to field one of the best guard tandems in the league if all goes well.
Danny Green Stays With Spurs
The sharpshooter and strong defender was in rumors to leave Texas for the likes of Toronto, New York or Detroit, but it was all talk. The Spurs kept one of their more underrated talents, instead, by handing the versatile Green a four-year, $45 million contract. It’s a strong re-signing for the Spurs, who stay strong on defense and keep a solid shooter, as well.
Spurs Trade Splitter to Hawks
Atlanta lost DeMarre Carroll today but they got a lot stronger on their front-line by acquiring underrated center Tiago Splitter from the San Antonio Spurs. While it’s a solid move for the Hawks’ depth, it’s an even bigger move for the Spurs. San Antonio officially dips their foot in the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes by unloading Splitter and things are about to get very interesting whether they land Ridge or not.
Amir Johnson Headed For Boston
Johnson departs Toronto to sign with the Celtics on a two-year deal worth $24 million. It’s a moderate loss for the Raptors and solid gain for Boston, as Johnson scores well around the basket and is a stiff defender. Boston continues to add talent to it’s roster and for a team that already snuck into the playoffs a year ago, this is a pretty good signing. Toronto loses size and defense down low and they better work to replace Johnson if they want to sustain what they had in the paint. That, or they could just promote Patrick Patterson to the starting lineup, full-time.
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