UPDATED on Monday, 7/1/19, at 12:55 p.m. Eastern.
The Brookly Nets are the big winners in free agency for the summer of 2019. Before the official 6:00 p.m. Eastern start of free agency on Sunday (6/30), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Nets would sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan tonight.
Durant chose Brooklyn over Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks. He inked a four-year, $164 million deal with the Nets, who got Irving for four years on a $141 million contract.
Brooklyn also signed Garrett Temple to a two-year contract worth $10 million. Although Durant will likely miss all of next season due to the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Nets still have a lot of quality players like Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Temple, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen.
Nevertheless, without Durant in 2019-20, Brooklyn’s odds to win the NBA championship weren’t impacted, according to the Westgate SuperBook’s Jeff Sherman.
The Nets’ front-office duo of Sean Marks and Trajan Langdon deserves props galore for pulling off this coup. Not only does it make Brooklyn one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams for at least the next four years, but it’s a haymaker punch to the face of the Big Apple’s most storied hoops franchise, the New York Knicks, who were dreaming of a roster with Zion Williamson, Irving and Durant in May.
Instead, Knicks fans are left furious reading tweets like this one from Ramona Shelburne:
Another winner here in the early going of free agency is the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans GM David Griffin is on fire! He was able to sign one of the NBA’s best pure shooters in J.J. Redick to a two-year, $26.5 million deal.
Griffin also inked 6-foot-9 power forward/center Nicolo Melli, who signed for two years and $8 million. The 28-year-old Melli was the top scorer for Fenerbahce in Turkey during the EuroLeague Finals.
New Orleans is also closing in on a trade with Utah to acquire 27-year-old power forward/center Derrick Favors. The Jazz will reportedly get back multiple draft assets in return.
Favors, a 6-foot-10, 265-pound big man, has averaged 11.6 points and 7.2 rpg during his nine-year career. He shot a career-best 58.6 percent from the field this past season.
Indiana signed Malcolm Brogdon to a four-year contract worth $85 million, in addition to inking Jeremy Lamb for three years on a $31.5 million deal. The Pacers had to surrender three draft choices to Milwaukee, however, in a sign and trade to get Brogdon.
The Bucks signed Khris Middleton to a max extension worth $178 million over five years. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Middleton’s contract was the third largest in NBA history behind only the current deals for Golden State’s Steph Curry and Oklahoma City’s Russell Wilson. But Middleton’s deal was surpassed less than an hour later when Philadelphia kept Tobias Harris for five years and $180 million.
Milwaukee also kept Brook Lopez on a four-year contract worth $52 million. In addition, the Bucks inked Brook’s brother, Robin Lopez, to a two-year deal worth $10 million.
Many reports in recent days had linked Utah’s Ricky Rubio to the Pacers, but the veteran point guard signed a $51 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. Indiana lost Bojan Bogdanovic, who signed with the Jazz for $73 million over four years. Remember, Utah also acquired Mike Conley before the draft to bolster its talent base.
Derrick Rose enjoyed a career renaissance in Minnesota this past year when he averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per in 51 games for the Timberwolves. However, he decided to sign a two-year contract worth $15M with the Detroit Pistons.
Orlando made several solid moves that flew under the radar. First, the Magic were able to retain All-Star center Nikola Vucevic with a four-year contract worth $100M.
Next, they signed Al-Farouq Aminu to a three-year deal for $29M. Also, Terrence Ross remained in Orlando for four years and $54M, and the Magic kept Michael Carter-Williams on a one-year contract.
Sacramento agreed to a four-year, $85M contract to keep forward Harrison Barnes. The Kings also added a quality veteran in Trevor Ariza, who can defend multiple positions, rebound and shoot well from three-point range. Ariza signed for $25M on a two-year deal. General Manager Vlade Divac also inked Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon to a three-year contract for $41M.
Kemba Walker signed a four-year contract with Boston for $141M. The Hornets replaced Walker with Boston’s Terry Rozier on a fully guaranteed three-year deal for $58M.
There were all sorts of conflicting reports about the future of veteran center Al Horford. Most of the chatter on Saturday and early Sunday indicated interest from New Orleans, Sacramento, Dallas and perhaps a “mystery team.” Then late Sunday afternoon, there was a report that the Celtics were trying to work a series of sign-and-trade deals in hopes of creating cap room to re-sign Horford. Shortly afterward, however, the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett shot down that notion.
And then shortly after 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night, Horford’s mystery team was revealed. The 76ers signed the five-time All-Star to a four-year contract worth $109M.
What’s Philadelphia getting in Horford? He is one of 10 players in the past 40 years who has made five All-Star games while helping his team to the postseason for 12 consecutive seasons. The other nine include Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Clyde Drexler, Kevin McHale, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Larry Bird.
Before he was drafted third overall by Atlanta in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Hawks had missed the playoffs eight straight times. With Horford, they went to the postseason nine years in a row.
Horford will finally get to play his natural position, power forward, next to center Joel Embiid. He won’t clog the lane on Embiid, as Horford can stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting. He made 36.0 percent of his 3’s for the Celtics this past season.
Jimmy Butler is headed to Miami to replace Dwyane Wade as the Heat’s alpha. In order to create the cap space for Butler to sign a max deal, Pat Riley and Co. shipped Hassan Whiteside to Portland for Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard. The 76ers are also scored Josh Richardson from the Heat in the sign-and-trade deal.
With Golden State striking out on Durant, it was left with some cap space to make things happen. According to WOJ early Monday afternoon, the Warriors and Nets were “on course” to complete a sign and trade that will send D’Angelo Russell to Golden State on a four-year max contract.
The Warriors have to send Brooklyn a protected future first-round pick. They also had to ship Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, to Memphis along with a first-round pick that’s protected 1-4 in 2024, protected #1 only in 2025 or completely unprotected in 2026.
All the Grizzlies had to do was take on Iguodala’s contract that pays him $17.5M next season.
Sherman tweeted out the Westgate’s future numbers late Monday morning (in the Eastern time zone):
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
- As of early Monday afternoon, multiple reports indicated that Kawhi Leonard will meet with the Lakers and Clippers early this week. Then Toronto will make its pitch to keep him with the last meeting before he makes his decision. Danny Green is reportedly in talks with the Dallas Mavericks and L.A. Clippers, but many believe he’s going to wait on Leonard’s decision before deciding to bolt on Toronto.
- Houston kept Austin Rivers on a two-year deal.
- The Clippers re-signed defensive stalwart Patrick Beverley when he agreed to a three-year, $40M deal.
- Dallas signed Kristaps Porzingis to a five-year contract worth $158M. The Mavericks also inked Seth Curry to a four-year deal worth $32M.
- Mike Scott is staying with the 76ers on a two-year, $9.8M deal.
- Julius Randle signed a three-year deal with the Knicks worth $63M. They also signed Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington to two-year contracts.
- Oklahoma City re-signed center Nerlens Noel, according to Wojnarowski. Terms weren’t disclosed yet.
- Portland kept Rodney Hood on a $16M contract over two years. The Trail Blazers are also working on a super max deal with star Damian Lillard, who could get $194M in a four-year contract.
- Memphis kept Jonas Valanciunas by signing him to a three-year, $45M deal.
- San Antonio is bringing back Rudy Gay on a two-year deal and added DeMarre Carroll, who signed for $13M over two years.