NBA News

NBA Free Agency Opens With Plenty of Jaw Dropping Signings

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Jan 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) controls the ball as Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum (5) tries to defend during the second quarter in a game at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) controls the ball as Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum (5) tries to defend during the second quarter in a game at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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With 2016 NBA Free Agency in full swing here’s the recap on the first 13 hours of action.

Free Agent Signings

It didn’t take long for some key free agents to sign contracts with core contributors leading the way via re-signing with their existing teams:

DeMar DeRozan:

As per The Veritcal DeMar #DeRozan has AGREED to a 5-year deal with #Raptors #NBAFreeAgency Every1 who told me he was gone .HELLO!

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Though the above was the first report, since then Marc Stein has reported DeRozan deal closer to $145M while Michael Grange stated it was $137.5M. In all cases however it is not the max DeRozan could have earned $152M.

With DeRozan and backcourt mate Kyle Lowry together as they had been practicing with Team USA, Lowry stole the show with his instagram message and hilarious hashtags:

LOVE #Lowry hashtags 2 #DeRozan #NBAFreeAgency #DinnerIsNeverEverOnMeAgain #ialreadyChargedAllMyBillsToYourCard #WowCongrats #EARNEDNOTGIVEN

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

And the accompanying picture:

New: Kyle Lowry is never buying DeMar DeRozan dinner again – https://t.co/krfKVHVSMV pic.twitter.com/eE817AogDK

— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) July 1, 2016

Bradley Beal:

Next up Beal locked in with the Wizards, but he did take the maximum contract:

Bradley #Beal looks to sign 5-year $133M max deal (meanwhile Wiz have NINE Free Agents to address Typical Beal "me first" #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Andre Drummond:

ESPN sources say Andre Drummond's five-year, $130 million max deal with Detroit, meanwhile, is done. Player option for Drummond after Year 4

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016

Hassan Whiteside:

Initially Whiteside was reportedly leaning toward the Mavericks, but a second meeting with Pat Riley ended with him returning to Miami. At least this time Dallas didn’t lose their center after believing they had a done deal.

Hassan #Whiteside initial leaning toward Mavs gets thwarted by #PatRileyMist who gets C to sign 4year $98M MAX deal #NBAFreeAgency #Heat

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Nicolas Batum:

Michael Jordan made it well known Batum was his number one priority and wasted no time in nailing him down. Notably several teams were interested in the versatile wing so this was a coup for MJ.

Nic #Batum & #Hornets reach 5yr/$120M deal. This is BIG as Batum was some1 highly touted by many other teams #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Jordan Clarkson:

Clarkson became the first restricted free agent to sign.

Jordan #Clarkson & #Lakers agree to $50M deal #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Other signings:

Perhaps the most surprising signing occurred with the Lakers jumped on signing Timofey Mozgov quickly and for a somewhat surprising amount:

The #Lakers deal with #Mozgov is said to be 4years $65M #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Jeremy Lin signing with the Nets was also somewhat surprising as many thought he was most likely headed to Houston.

Take Jeremy #Lin off list surprisingly inks deal with NETS 3 years $36M as per Woj Kind of shocked #Rockets weren't in play#NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Another shocker was DJ Augustin inking a contact so quickly with other higher caliber point guards still unsigned:

Sources: D.J. Augustin agrees to four-year deal with Magic. @WojVerticalNBA report on @TheVertical. https://t.co/r5fmy0kmU9

— The Vertical (@TheVertical) July 1, 2016

D.J. Augustin's deal with Orlando is for 4 years, $29 million, sources say

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016

While Jordan did ink Batum he has 8 free agents to contend with and with Lin and Al Jefferson signing contracts quickly he is said to be scrambling to lock down Marvin Williams now.

Al Jefferson and the Indiana Pacers are close to verbally agreeing on a three-year, $30 million deal, according to league sources

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016

Free Agent Meetings:

The prize of free agency and most highly sought after free agent Kevin Durant has his meetings set for the weekend:

#Durant meeing schedule: Today: OKC Fri GSW/LAC, Sat: SAS/Celts & Sun: Heat/& again with OCK (to sign a contract lol) #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Prior to above signing  Woj tweeted this out, but the notable in it is how Centers are moving quickly in free agency.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reached out on Mozgov at 12:01 AM, league sources tell @TheVertical. Centers could move on the market quickly.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 1, 2016

Joakim Noah will meet with the Knicks Friday in Orlando. Sides nearing agreement on a 4-year deal worth $72 million, sources said

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016

With the money and speed with which centers are signing you have to wonder what Dwight Howard will draw. He’s lined up 4 meetings with 2 teams un-specified you have to wonder if Houston is one of them. Given the show they trotted out for Kent Bazemore it seems unlikely or they would have prioritized him first.

Dwight Howard meeting w/4 teams, 2 being Atl & Boston. He will hold meetings in Atl July 1, then in Las Vegas July 2, says a league source

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016

Chandler  Parsons is getting a ton of interest and has already been offered a max deal from the Blazers. Next he’ll meet with the Grizzlies and one tweet confirms he has no intention of returning to Dallas. Is anyone else wondering how Parsons moved from head recruiter last summer for the Mavericks to being so disenchanted this year?

Chandler #Parsons said to be in meeting RIGHT NOW with Blazers #NBAFreeAgency Offer said to be 4yr max offer

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Source on possibility of Chandler Parsons returning to Dallas: "No chance."

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 30, 2016

E’Twaun Moore:

With many teams in pursuit, including incumbent Chicago, E'Twaun Moore starts hearing pitches later Friday and may move quickly, sources say

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016

Courtney Lee:

One of my under radar FA favs Courtney #Lee receiving interest from Knicks & Kings #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Kris Humphries:

Sources: Hawks, Nets, T'Wolves, Spurs and Hornets among 8-10 teams to contact free agent Kris Humphries. He'll decide once market clears.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2016

Brandon Jennings worked out for the Nets, but the signing of Lin may mean either the Nets aren’t interested or potentially could pair the duo in the backcourt. This option may be more likely given the Nets also released Jarrett Jack.

Free agent point guard Brandon Jennings will work out for the Brooklyn Nets Friday morning at UCLA, according to a league source.

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016

No doubt Austin Rivers performance in his final playoff game garnered him extra looks beyond his Clippers.

Austin Rivers met with Clippers Thursday (Daddy) & will meet with Knicks & possibly Blazers #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Jared Dudley:

Brooklyn, Utah and Phoenix (again), sources say, are among the teams after vet swingman Jared Dudley, with Washington also still in the mix

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016

With the addition of Victor Oladipo to the Thunder the writing is on the wall for Dion Waiters as he may head to a team who seems like it might be ready made for him (at least from a discontented locker room perspective)

Vertical reports Kings super interested in OKC's Dion #Waiters. Well that sure sounds like a logical fit! Boogie & Dion YIKES #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Something to keep an eye on is Restricted Free Agents whose current teams have the right to match offers. The notable here is players like Harrison Barnes who could get extended a max offer, but while Warriors await Durant’s decision can’t match in case they’ll need the salary cap.

Also, by teams offering max contracts to RFA’s it forces the hands of their existing clubs who may not want to match especially if they intend to contend. For example the Heat are already in a situation where they’ve locked down Whiteside, but haven’t dealt with Wade. So, Tyler Johnson getting max offer could play major havoc with Riley’s plans as he also tries to lure Durant to Miami.

Heat Tyler #Johnson said to be meeting w/ Bulls, Pelicans & others though RFA it could make Miami have to pay more! #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Eric Gordon

Sources: Free agent guard Eric Gordon has emerged as Knicks' top perimeter target. Sides starting to discuss parameters of a possible deal.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 1, 2016

Musings:

Centers are taking (no pun intended center stage).

So much 4NBA being small ball & position-less as Mozgove 1st FA signee w/ Noah, Howard & Whiteside all actively interviewing #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

SCS will update as more news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely consider checking out my Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams:

Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

Along with articles covering the draft:

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

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