Bally Sports is tracking all of the big free-agent deals and major trades and breaking them down with analysis by NBA writer Sandeep Chandok and NBA editor Joe Lago.
FREE AGENCY: JaMychal Green to Golden State Warriors
Joe Lago: The Warriors' ability to lure capable veterans on the cheap is back. The veteran-minimum signing of Otto Porter Jr. helped provide championship depth, and he cashed in with a sizable payday with the Raptors. Taking Porter's spot figures to be Green, a bigger 3-and-D option who can also play center. His experience playing the five allows Golden State to continue the gradual development of James Wiseman, who had his moments in Summer League but also showed he still has a long way to go to earn key reserve minutes.
FREE AGENCY: Deandre Ayton returns to Phoenix Suns
Joe Lago: The Nets' ongoing pursuit of a trade for Kevin Durant had put the NBA offseason on pause. The league-wide slumber ended with news of Ayton's offer sheet from the Pacers. The Suns absolutely could NOT let Ayton leave for nothing, so they did the right thing to match the $133 million max deal and retain the player who they drafted No. 1 overall in 2018 and had become an integral part of their rise as title contenders. As for the luxury tax implications, championship chasing in the NBA comes with a price. Pursuing a path without Ayton might have been cheaper, but the available options (or a commitment to small ball) carried much more uncertainty and risk.
Sandeep Chandok: It wasn't surprising to see Ayton agree to an offer sheet with the Pacers. It had been rumored for a couple of weeks that they had interest in him. What is surprising is that the Suns matched Indiana's offer after several reports indicated they didn't value Ayton as a max player. Ayton, who turns 24 on July 23, has become a more polished player over the last two seasons during the Suns' playoff runs. He may not have 3-point range in his arsenal to space the floor (yet), but he has a nice midrange shot and soft touch around the basket that many bigs in the NBA don't. The Suns were smart to retain the Bahamian big. The looming questions now are: Where does Indiana go from here? Do the Pacers look to trade Myles Turner to continue their rebuild?
FREE AGENCY: Danilo Gallinari to Boston Celtics
Joe Lago: Acquired from the Hawks for salary-matching purposes in the Dejounte Murray trade, Gallinari, as expected, was waived by the Spurs. However, the stock of the soon-to-be 34-year-old remains high with contending teams due to his ability to shoot the 3. Boston makes a sensible landing spot for the 6-10 Gallinari, who gives Ime Udoka another bench option to space the floor for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
FREE AGENCY: Frank Kaminsky to Atlanta Hawks
Joe Lago: It's a low-risk move by the Hawks, who add to their depth with an experienced big. Before a knee injury limited his 2021-22 season to only nine games, Kaminsky received meaningful minutes as the Suns' backup center. In 2020-21, he made 36.5% of his 3-pointers on 1.8 attempts per game and averaged 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes.
FREE AGENCY: Caleb Martin returns to Miami Heat
Joe Lago: Martin capitalized on his opportunity last season when the Heat were wracked with injuries, especially when Jimmy Butler got hurt. The energetic wing made hustle plays and kept contributing on offense, setting career bests in scoring (9.2 points per game) and field-goal percentage (.507). It's a pretty remarkable success story for someone who was waived last year and had to settle for a two-way deal.
FREE AGENCY: Thomas Bryant to Los Angeles Lakers
Sandeep Chandok: Bryant was weighing his options between a few teams and opted to return to the Lakers for a second stint. He will compete with Damian Jones for the starting center spot where Bryant has an upper hand given his high motor, shot-blocking and 3-point shooting abilities. Either way, the Lakers have two young, athletic and mobile centers now.
FREE AGENCY: T.J. Warren to Brooklyn Nets
Joe Lago: Before missing all but four games the last two seasons with a stress fracture in his left foot, Warren had established himself as one of the league's most underrated scorers, averaging over 18 points from 2017 to 2020 and shooting over 40 percent on 3-pointers his last two full seasons. Who knows who he'll be playing with in Brooklyn, but at least the Nets added a veteran who, if healthy, can get buckets.
FREE AGENCY: Serge Ibaka returns to Milwaukee Bucks
Joe Lago: The Bucks are running it back with their experienced bench, having re-upped with Bobby Portis, Wesley Matthews, Jevon Carter and now Ibaka, who was acquired at the trade deadline last February. The soon-to-be 33-year-old center is not the prolific shot blocker he once was but can spread the floor with his reliable 3-point shooting.
FREE AGENCY: Goran Dragic to Chicago Bulls
Joe Lago: Dragic joining Slovenian teammate Luka Doncic in Dallas would've made a great mentor/pupil storyline, but the Mavericks reportedly have a more pressing need at wing with their final roster spot. The 36-year-old Dragic, who's shown in World Cup qualifying that he has plenty of game left (when healthy), could be insurance amid an already-crowded Bulls backcourt, especially if Lonzo Ball needs more time to recover from knee surgery.
FREE AGENCY: Donte DiVincenzo to Golden State Warriors
Sandeep Chandok: This is a classic case of the rich getting richer. The Warriors are the champs and signed an excellent three-and-D wing in DiVincenzo, who's a knock-down shooter, slasher and quality defender. This is a great pickup for Golden State after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr.
Joe Lago: DiVincenzo surprisingly became available after the Kings added Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter. While he isn't the ballhawk that GP2 is, the 25-year-old should fit in well with Golden State's team defense concepts.
TRADE: Rudy Gobert to Minnesota Timberwolves
Sandeep Chandok: This is by far the biggest transaction of NBA free agency so far. With Gobert being traded to Minnesota, the Jazz seem to be blowing things up, while the Timberwolves get a generational defender. Minnesota now features a frontcourt of Gobert, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and three-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns to go with 2020 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards. Utah receives four first-round picks (three unprotected) and role players to fill out its roster.
Joe Lago: Quin Snyder resigned. Royce O'Neale got dealt to Brooklyn, and now Gobert has been shipped to Minnesota. So where does this leave Donovan Mitchell amid this Jazz teardown? Reportedly, Utah intends to rebuild around Spida with the six first-round picks they've acquired since free agency began. As for the Wolves, they're out to combat small ball with the twin towers of the 7-1 Gobert and the 6-11 Towns.
FREE AGENCY: Kevon Looney returns to Golden State Warriors
Sandeep Chandok: The Warriors' starting center paid major dividends for Golden State on its title run and in return, the Dubs paid Looney to keep him around for a few more years. They don't win a championship without Loon.
Joe Lago: If there was one free agent the Warriors were going to keep, it was Looney. The one-time injury-plagued big man worked his way into an essential role doing all the dirty work (i.e. setting screens, rebounding) and evolving into Golden State's iron man (he played every game in the regular season and playoffs).
TRADE: Malcolm Brogdon to Boston Celtics
Sandeep Chandok: The Celtics addressed their need for a facilitator in the best way by acquiring Brogdon from the Pacers for pennies. He is a big guard with defensive switchability who can run the offense and shoot the ball from outside. A great get for the Eastern Conference champs.
Joe Lago: The Celtics' need for a true point guard was underscored during the NBA Finals when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both struggled as Boston's primary ballhandlers. That burden will no longer fall on the star forwards with the addition of Brogdon, who'll get Tatum and Brown the ball in their favorite spots and also excel as a third scorer.
TRADE: Kevin Huerter to Sacramento Kings
Sandeep Chandok: The Kings are shaping their roster out nicely with the addition of Malik Monk and now Huerter as they look to compete for a postseason berth in the daunting wild, wild West. The Hawks get some defense in return with Mo Harkless and Justin Holiday.
Joe Lago: The Hawks' acquisition of All-Star guard Dejounte Murray made Huerter expendable. The Kings add another good shooter, a day after coming to terms with Monk on a two-year contract.
FREE AGENCY: Zach LaVine returns to Chicago Bulls
Sandeep Chandok: Bulls fans can let out a sigh of relief. Reports indicated LaVine wanted to stay in Chi-Town, and now he will stay for years to come. Let's see if Chicago can build off of its 2022 campaign now that it's locked down its All-Star guard.
Joe Lago: Bringing back LaVine was a no-brainer for the Bulls, who rose to the top of the Eastern Conference last season before injuries derailed that progress. LaVine's ability to stay healthy will always be the biggest question, but he is coming off a 67-game season, his most games played since 2015-16, his second year in the league.
FREE AGENCY: Otto Porter Jr. to Toronto Raptors
Sandeep Chandok: OPJ got his championship ring and now gets his bag with the Raptors, who suffered a first-round exit in the playoffs and will welcome the veteran forward's shooting and defense.
Joe Lago: Despite Dub Nation's wish to run it back with the entire championship squad, that was highly unlikely. Not with the Warriors' luxury tax bill and not with other teams looking to poach Golden State's key rotation pieces. Porter, who played for the veteran minimum, capitalized on his rejuvenated stock. The time has come for Steve Kerr to play the kids: 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
FREE AGENCY: Gary Payton II to Portland Trail Blazers
Sandeep Chandok: This one hurts for Warriors fans, but they’ll tell you they’re happy for GP2. The defensive-driven guard went from earning Golden State's final roster spot to breaking into the rotation to starting in the playoffs and becoming an NBA champion. His payday is well-deserved. What a success story.
Joe Lago: The Warriors entered free agency looking to keep Kevon Looney and Payton in the Bay Area. Payton's pay raise from $1.9 million to $9.3 million made it cost-prohibitive for Golden State, which is already deep into the luxury tax. Payton, one of the NBA's best on-ball defenders, will make life easier for Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons by happily hounding the opponent's best perimeter threat all 94 feet.
FREE AGENCY: Andre Drummond to Chicago Bulls
Sandeep Chandok: Drummond gives Chicago quality front-court depth behind starter Nikola Vucevic, who is a good offensive player but not a defender and lob threat like Drummond.
Joe Lago: The Bulls were looking for additional size, and they found it in Drummond, who remains a very effective rebounder.
FREE AGENCY: Jalen Brunson to New York Knicks
Sandeep Chandok: Well, the Knicks finally hit on a free agent after years of striking out. Brunson is a great pickup for a team with a major need for consistent point guard play and hopes of returning to the playoffs. But what's the Knicks' plan from here?
Joe Lago: Brunson deserves to get paid for the player he's become, but the weight of that contract will feel much heavier in New York City, especially when you're expected to be the Knicks' savior.
FREE AGENCY: Gary Harris returns to Orlando Magic
Sandeep Chandok: The Magic have plenty of guards and bigs, so bringing back Harris, a wing who can defend, knock down open shots and move without the ball, was a no-brainer for Orlando.
Joe Lago: Technically, the Magic brought back Harris on a two-year extension. The 27-year-old will provide veteran leadership, along with 31-year-old Terrence Ross, on a very talented but young roster featuring No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero.
FREE AGENCY: JaVale McGee to Dallas Mavericks
Sandeep Chandok: McGee continues to extend his NBA career after showing his value with the Warriors, Lakers and Suns over the last six years. He now gives Luka Doncic and the Mavs a lob threat on one end and a rim protector on the other as Dallas aims to build off last season's Western Conference finals run.
Joe Lago: The Mavericks’ reworking of their big man corps continues. They made a major upgrade with the trade for Christian Wood. McGee, who’ll be 35 in January, can still provide meaningful minutes off the bench.
FREE AGENCY: Juan Toscano-Anderson to Los Angeles Lakers
Sandeep Chandok: The former Warriors reserve became the first player of Mexican descent to win an NBA title, and the massive Hispanic community in Los Angeles will surely embrace him as one of its own with the Purple and Gold. The 29-year-old forward brings defensive versatility and hustle to a Lakers team that needs both of those qualities and more, although his lack of shooting could be an issue.
Joe Lago: The Oakland native is the underdog success story that Hollywood makes movies about. His persistence and hard work allowed him to go from a two-way deal to a regular contract last year. His mounting mistakes eventually cost him his spot in the Warriors' rotation in their march to another NBA championship. The story of "JTA" continues in L.A.
FREE AGENCY: Lonnie Walker IV to Los Angeles Lakers
Sandeep Chandok: The Lakers used their mid-level tax exception on Walker after the Spurs chose not to extend a qualifying offer to him. The 23-year-old is 6-foot-4 with a 6-10 wingspan and gives the Lakers an athletic wing who can guard multiple positions. Walker shot just 30% from distance last season, but that number should rise playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Joe Lago: If new coach Darvin Ham can’t convince Russell Westbrook to come off the bench (which he should), the Lakers now have Walker to be a willing second-unit scorer. He averaged a career-best 12.1 points last season, but it wasn’t at the highest efficiency, as he shot 40.7% from the field and 31.4% beyond the arc on 5.0 3-pointers per game.
FREE AGENCY: Patty Mills returns to Brooklyn Nets
Sandeep Chandok: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving might not be back, but Mills will. And he figures to get a ton of shots every night as the Nets will need offense however they can get it.
Joe Lago: He re-upped for two years to stay in Brooklyn. Either he knows something we don’t, or — at the age of 33 — he’s just happy to be making $7 million per season on a team that could be going nowhere.
FREE AGENCY: Marvin Bagley III returns to Detroit Pistons
Sandeep Chandok: The Pistons want Bagley to be part of their young core centered around Cade Cunningham, and the 2018 No. 2 overall pick is only 23 years old with plenty of basketball ahead of him.
Joe Lago: Another shrewd move by Pistons GM Troy Weaver? He’s definitely banking on Bagley continuing the progress he made after being acquired from the Kings at the trade deadline. In 18 games (eight starts), he averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game.
FREE AGENCY: Nicolas Batum returns to Los Angeles Clippers
Sandeep Chandok: The veteran forward was set to have several suitors but smartly chose to return to the Clippers, who will be title contenders next season with Kawhi Leonard returning from injury and point guard John Wall joining in free agency.
Joe Lago: Like Reggie Jackson, Batum rejuvenated his career with the Clippers after hitting its “lowest point." The indispensable 3-and-D wing rejoins perhaps the NBA’s deepest squad, and he clearly has a valued role under head coach Tyronn Lue.
FREE AGENCY: Lu Dort returns to Oklahoma City Thunder
Sandeep Chandok: Dort secured the bag after posting career highs in scoring and rebounding in 2021-22. The two-way wing is an athletic player whose 3-point shot has improved over the years, too. He's now OKC's second highest-paid player behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Joe Lago: For GM Sam Presti, last season was all about identifying players to move forward in his ongoing rebuild. Dort proved he’s a definite keeper after continuing to bring energy on both ends of the floor every night.
FREE AGENCY: Damian Jones to Los Angeles Lakers
Sandeep Chandok: After signing a bunch of old dudes last summer, the Lakers have prioritized getting younger, and Jones fits that mold. The 7-footer can run the floor, defend, rebound and catch lobs, which is what the Lakers need after previously employing declining centers DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard.
Joe Lago: Not all of the Warriors' first-round picks under GM Bob Myers have panned out. Jones, taken 30th overall in 2016, was the big-man project that saw little progress, but he proved he can be a serviceable rotation player in Sacramento. He's not a shot-blocker (he averages just 0.7 blocks for his career), but he fulfills the Lakers' need to get younger and more athletic.
FREE AGENCY: Tyus Jones returns to Memphis Grizzlies
Sandeep Chandok: Retaining Jones was a must for the Grizzlies after trading De'Anthony Melton to the Sixers. The former Duke Blue Devil is an improved scorer and seldom turns over the ball while getting teammates involved on offense. Jones is also a pesky on-ball defender and kept Memphis grounded when Ja Morant was injured in the regular season and playoffs. He earned this deal.
Joe Lago: The Grizzlies entered the draft needing a backup point guard in case they lost Jones in free agency. They selected Kennedy Chandler with the 38th pick, but the Tennessee product will need time. Jones resumes his role behind Morant, but he does so as a well-paid reserve.
FREE AGENCY: Bobby Portis returns to Milwaukee Bucks
Sandeep Chandok: Not only is Portis a fan favorite in Milwaukee, but he's also a major part of the Bucks' recent success. The contract extension is a reflection of that. Whether he's starting or coming off the bench, Portis' energy and play are vital to the former champs who will look to return to the NBA Finals.
Joe Lago: There was no way the Bucks weren’t bringing back Portis after his playoff heroics during the team’s title run in 2021. Now, he has four more years to further enhance his legend in Milwaukee sports lore, perhaps with another Finals run next season. A healthy Bucks squad arguably is still the best team in the East.
FREE AGENCY: Malik Monk to Sacramento Kings
Sandeep Chandok: The Lakers would've loved to use their MLE on Monk, but the Kentucky product was due for a much-earned payday and got it in Sacramento. He should have a big role with the playoff-hopeful Kings after a career-best season in L.A. put him on the map.
Joe Lago: Do the Kings have a plan? If they do, it apparently includes adding Monk, one of the few bright spots during the dark days of the worst Lakers season in franchise history.
TRADE: Royce O'Neale to Brooklyn Nets
Sandeep Chandok: O'Neale wishes he was coming to a contender, but instead, he'll be coming to a depleted Brooklyn team that could look very different in the next few days, if not sooner.
Joe Lago: Hope O'Neale likes playing with Ben Simmons.
Top Contract Extensions
|Bradley Beal||29||Wizards||5 years, $251 million|
|Devin Booker||25||Suns||4 years, $214 million|
|Nikola Jokic||27||Nuggets||5 years, $264 million|
|Anfernee Simons||23||Trail Blazers||4 years, $100 million|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||26||Timberwolves||4 years, $224 million|
|Ja Morant||22||Grizzlies||5 years, $193 million|
|Zion Williamson||21||Pelicans||5 years, $193 million|
|Darius Garland||22||Cavaliers||5 years, $193 million|