As with everything in 2020, the NBA’s free agency is unique this year, with the usual July 1 frenzy forced to return in November. Unlike in previous years, the initial rush in the first few minutes was moderate, although a steady stream of trades continues to be reported.
What was similar to previous years was that the market was set up early, with a few large contracts indicating potential landing points for key free agents. Let’s take a look at some of the main takeaways so far.
The return of the great man?
The NBA can be a league imitator at times, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ impact on this year’s free agency should not be underestimated.
In winning the championship, the Lakers were led by a dominant defense with a size that could physically overwhelm their opposition. As the traditional big men appear to be being phased out of the game, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee flourished as rim protectors who could double as trash cans on the offensive, hitting glass and finishing lobs.
When the Lakers moved away from this duo, they simply slipped Anthony Davis to fifth, once again giving them incredible size and production at fifth.
With LeBron James and Davis set to continue their partnership in the coming seasons, some of the early deals indicate that the era of the great man could make a resurgence.
Meyers Leonard was one of the first deals to be announced, returning to Miami for a two-year deal, worth up to $ 20 million.
Meyers Leonard’s two-year deal with Miami is worth nearly $ 20 million, @caa_sports Agents Aaron Mintz and Dave Spahn speak to ESPN about it.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
In a slightly surprising move, the Detroit Pistons then followed suit by agreeing to terms with Mason Plumlee for a three-year, $ 25 million contract. Plumlee has averaged just 17.3 minutes per game with the Denver Nuggets this season, from just one of his 61 appearances, making the dollar amount slightly surprising.
Center free agent Mason Plumlee has struck a three-year, $ 25 million deal with Detroit Pistons, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports ESPN said.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
This deal with Plumlee was a first indication that the Pistons would likely not retain the services of the great free man, Christian Wood, who would eventually accept a $ 41 million three-year deal with the Houston Rockets – details of a possible signing and trade have yet to be agreed.
Among the title contenders, Serge Ibaka remains a coveted free agent, while Aron Baynes also comes across as a positive addition for any team looking for a defensive presence with a shooting range.
As for those Lakers … well, in bad news for the rest of the league, they added 2020 sixth man of the year, Montrezl Harrell, securing his services from rival Clippers.
Great men set the tone early on for free will, and you have to wonder how much the Lakers’ success has played into that.
Ask any team what they need to become a free agency and you will certainly hear the words “more shooting”.
However, there’s the shooting and then there’s the sniping, with some of the league’s top snipers taking a big hit in the evenings.
Joe Harris (Brooklyn) and Davis Bertans (Washington) entered free agency as two of the most coveted outside shooters in the free agency class. Over the past two months, reports have suggested that multiple teams are looking for their talents, which ultimately drove their market well above the mid-tier exception ($ 9.3 million).
|Duncan Robinson (MIA)||606||44.6|
|Davis Bertans (WAS)||472||42.4|
|Joe Harris (BKN)||406||42.4|
|Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA)||457||41.4|
|Terry Rozier (CHA)||423||40.7|
|Danilo Gallinari (OKC)||439||40.5|
|Jayson Tatum (BOS)||469||40.3|
|Damian Lillard (POR)||674||40.1|
|Ben McLemore (HOU)||452||40.0|
Harris has returned to Brooklyn, agreeing to a four-year, $ 75 million deal, while Bertans will remain in Washington when he signs a five-year, $ 80 million contract.
For the Nets, the opportunity to play Harris alongside Kevin Durant on the wing was an opportunity they couldn’t afford to pass up, while Bertans was a shining light in a long season for the Wizards alongside. by Bradley Beal.
There were only nine players in the league to attempt 400+ 3 points while hitting over 40 percent. Free agent Danilo Gallinari joined Bertans and Harris in that small squad, so it’s no surprise he cashed a three-year, $ 61.5 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks. Several suitors are said to have shown extreme interest in Gallinari, although the money ultimately won and the Italian will play alongside Trae Young in a rising Atlanta squad in 2020-21.
Shortly after those deals were released, Malik Beasley reportedly struck a four-year, $ 60 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, putting him in a similar pay situation to the aforementioned duo. Beasley impressed during his short stint with the franchise, knocking out 42.7% of his triples in 14 appearances after being traded from Denver.
There has never been a better time to be a capable free agent to shoot in the NBA and with limited space at a premium price, it was quickly clear that contenders were going to struggle to get the best out of their teams. current.
The Giannis decision
For a number of teams, consecutive MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is shaping the decisions they make in free agency this year.
Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign a five-year supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason, avoiding an unrestricted free agency before the 2022 season.
Miami, Toronto and Dallas, in particular, are expected to continue Antetokounmpo’s services if he doesn’t extend with the Bucks in the coming days, making their decisions all the more critical now.
For the Heat, in particular, this apparently shaped their moves, with the two-year deal previously mentioned for Leonard and a two-year contract, Goran Dragic $ 37.4 million deal reported as unsecured in the second season.
While there was a lot of money in circulation on the first day of free agency, many teams are keeping an eye on the Milwaukee star, not wanting to derail their long-term plans.
Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign the extension before the season but not during.
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.