One of the most anticipated free-agent classes in recent memory kicked off last night and has already brought plenty of news. We’ve already seen a number of changes across the league in such a short period of time, with plenty more moves to come.
With the cap rising to a record $94 million next season, teams have a ton of money to spend. Let’s check in and recap how some of that money has been spent, and what could be coming up in the next few days:
Timofey Mozgov Agrees to Four-Year, $64 Million Deal with the Lakers
Instead of Kevin Durant stealing headlines once free agency kicked off at 12:01 a.m. EST, it was big man Timofey Mozgov who was one of the first free agents to agree to a new deal.
On the surface, this looks to be a questionable move for the Lakers to pay Mozgov an average annual salary of $16 million. After all, Mozgov played in less than 80 minutes in this year’s playoffs and wasn’t a big part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rotation.
However, the deal for the Lakers does make some sense, as our own Lang Greene outlined this morning. The Lakers pick up a proven veteran player that they can add next to their young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram.
Although Mozgov didn’t average huge numbers last season for the Cavaliers, he has put up solid numbers when given minutes. Mozgov averaged 10.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25 minutes per game two seasons ago upon arriving in Cleveland. It was clear Mozgov was high on the Lakers’ wish list, and should be a nice piece as the Lakers continue to rebuild.
Hassan Whiteside Staying with Miami HEAT
After reportedly meeting with the Dallas Mavericks once free agency kicked off, Hassan Whiteside announced that he’ll be staying with the HEAT. He announced the decision on his SnapChat account and later on the Players’ Tribune website.
“I’ve played on eight teams since college — I am not ready for there to be a ninth,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside opting to re-sign with the HEAT figures to be a sigh of relief for the team. It seemed as though there was a real chance that Whiteside could have left for a bigger deal elsewhere. The agreement in place with Miami is reportedly a max-deal worth $98 million over four years.
Now, the HEAT will likely turn their attention to guard Dwyane Wade. It’s been said in recent days that Wade is open to the idea of leaving if he is unable to get a deal he is looking for with Miami.
Kent Bazemore Met with the Houston Rockets Last Night
Initial reports around Kent Bazemore had the small forward looking to wait until after the July 4 holiday to meet with potential teams. But it was reported last night that Bazemore met with the Houston Rockets once free agency began.
The Rockets pulled out all of the stops as it’s been reported that Bazemore met with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, president Thad Brown, head coach Mike D’Antoni, All-Star James Harden and Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
Bazemore has apparently already received multiple offers so far and is expected to reach a decision by next week. Teams like the Timberwolves, Nets, Magic and Pelicans are also said to be interested in Bazemore as well.
After earning just $2 million last season with the Hawks, Bazemore is in line for a significant pay raise. He’s established himself as an excellent perimeter defender and can do a number of different things on the floor. His averages of 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season were all career-highs.
Chandler Parsons Joins Memphis Grizzlies
After reports surfaced in recent days stating there was no chance that Chandler Parsons would return to the Dallas Mavericks, Parsons was busy meeting with various teams.
Parsons first met with the Portland Trail Blazers once free agency began, and then with the Memphis Grizzlies. Parsons decided to agree to terms with Memphis on a maximum contract.
Parsons is coming off of two consecutive season-ending knee surgeries, with the most recent injury said to be less significant than the first.
Once fully healthy last season, Parsons proved to be a great option at small forward for the Mavericks after averaging 18.8 points, five rebounds and 2.7 assists during the month of February.
Pacers, Al Jefferson Agree to Three-Year Pact
Unrestricted free agent Al Jefferson will reportedly move on from the Charlotte Hornets as it’s been reported that he’s agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Indiana Pacers.
Jefferson averaged 12 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 47 games last season for Hornets after battling various injuries. He turned in one of his most successful seasons during his first year in Charlotte, averaging 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game two seasons ago.
The Pacers have been busy reshaping their roster over the past week. In addition to Jefferson, they have also added Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young via trades. They appear to have added some legitimate scoring options behind Paul George.
Nets, Jeremy Lin Agree to Deal
After looking to secure a veteran point guard, the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Jeremy Lin that will be worth $36 million. Lin confirmed the agreement in a post on Twitter.
Lin’s deal carries a player option for the third year, a trade kicker and various bonuses. He became a valuable option for the Hornets last season off of the bench. He played a big role in the team’s playoff series against the Miami HEAT, averaging 12.4 points, 2.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.
The Nets were also said to be interested in free agents Rajon Rondo and Brandon Jennings. It remains to be seen if the addition of Lin impacts the team going after Rondo or Jennings. The Nets will be looking at roughly $40 million in cap space left after the Lin addition.
They’re also said to be interested in free agents Kent Bazemore, Courtney Lee, Jared Dudley, Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson.
Durant to Meet Today with Warriors and Clippers
After a five-hour meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant has met with the Golden State Warriors today and will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers later.
Durant is expected to meet with the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics on Saturday and the Miami HEAT on Sunday. The Warriors’ meeting was said to include Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, head coach Steve Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob.
ESPN is reporting that Durant’s meeting with the Thunder went well and that he’s expected to return to the Thunder. A longtime friend of Durant’s said “his decision is 90 percent made.”
Today will continue to be a very busy day in free agency as more players and teams reach deals. Once some of the bigger players like Durant, Howard, Parsons and Al Horford reach agreements, other players will begin to fall in line as well.
Be sure to check in with our Free Agency Diary for all of the latest news and rumors as they are reported.
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