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NBA AM: 2015 Bargain Free Agency Deals

These free agency deals have flown below the radar, but could return the most for the dollar investment.

Lang Greene profile picture
Updated 10 months ago on
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The major free agency deals routinely dominate the headlines and generate the most buzz around the league, but each year there are more than a few instances where players leave free agency with a new deal far below their perceived market value. These are the bargains and where the most successful front office executives earn their chops – getting the most bang for the buck against a tight salary cap.

For the player, sometimes an injury reduces their value in the short term, opening them up for a lower deal. Sometimes it’s a veteran looking to join a contending franchise. Other times player just hits free agency at a time where there’s a glut at the position.

In either case, these agreements between team and player often work out for both sides.

Let’s take a look at some of this year’s deals that are in line to drive a high return on investment:

Patrick Beverley, Point Guard, Houston Rockets
New Deal:
Four years, $23 million

The reality is that second-round picks rarely make the cut in the league. Beverley, the No. 42 pick in the 2009 draft, has had to work for everything he’s received as a pro, starting 110 out of the 153 games he’s played. Beverley’s new deal, just under $6 million per season, for a starting-caliber guard should be considered a bargain when other starters at his position walked away with $80-90 million deals this summer.

David West, Power Forward, San Antonio Spurs
New Deal:
One year, $947k

Veterans eyeing the end of the line rarely leave already secured money on the table. But West did just that by opting out of the final year of his deal in Indiana worth $12 million. The Spurs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, but were able to land All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency earlier this month. The addition of West at this price point is definitely one of the steals of the offseason – on paper.

Jeremy Lin, Point Guard, Charlotte Hornets
New Deal:
Two years, $4.4 million

Evaluating the value of Lin is tough. The guard’s talent clearly isn’t to the level that captured national attention back in 2012 with the New York Knicks that birthed Linsanity and a massive new contract. But the guard is undoubtedly a solid NBA player and at a price tag of $2 million per year, should be considered a good investment – especially when you consider Hornets starter Kemba Walker has missed a total of 29 games the past two seasons.

Bismack Biyombo, Center, Toronto Raptors
New Deal:
Two years, $5.8 million

When you consider the Raptors invested $90 million this summer to Cory Joseph and DeMarre Carroll, the addition of Biyombo at less than $6 million over the next two seasons is easy to stomach. Biyombo has clear offensive limitations, but he also sports a career average of 1.6 blocks per games (2.7, Per 36 minutes). With the team often benching starter Jonas Valanciunas for defensive purposes late game, Biyombo has a niche role he can continue carving out in Toronto. Rim protection comes at a premium around the league and getting a still developing guy at less than $3 million per season could pay immediate dividends.

Deron Williams, Point Guard, Dallas Mavericks
New Deal:
Two years, $10 million

Williams, a former All-Star, was once considered one of the best point guards in the league. But a combination of age, injury and some would add losing a bit of passion has led to his declining status. Brooklyn waived Williams earlier this month after coming to terms on a buyout. At $20 million per season, Williams wouldn’t be worth the investment at his current productivity. But at $5 million per season, a potentially energized and motivated Williams could become one of the steals of the summer.

Mo Williams, Point Guard, Cleveland Cavaliers
New Deal:
Two years, $4.2 million

If you watched the Cleveland Cavaliers labor for offense in the NBA Finals, then you know why the addition of Williams gives the franchise more firepower. Williams is a former All-Star who is a proven scorer with good range on his jumper and still has thread left on his aging wheels (as evident by his 50-point scoring barrage last season). With Cavaliers starter Kyrie Irving continuing to rack of DNPs due to injury, Williams will serve as solid insurance next season.

Amar’e Stoudemire, Power Forward, Miami HEAT
New Deal:
One year, $947k

It’s easy to forget how dominant a force offensively Stoudemire was in his prime, but injuries have taken their toll on the former All-Star. So if you’re expecting him to play heavy minutes, then your expectations are too high. But if utilized in the correct way, Stoudemire has some fuel left in the tank to give Miami. Last season, Stoudemire played in 59 contests, with New York and Dallas, and posted averages of 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds on 58 percent shooting. For a HEAT frontcourt that already features All-Star Chris Bosh and the emerging Hassan Whiteside, Stoudemire figures to fit in perfectly on the team’s second unit.

Lang Greene is a senior NBA writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 10 seasons

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