With a bulk of the big names in Free Agency signed onto NBA teams, it’s time to go over the Top 5 best and worst Free Agent signings during this offseason.
Top 5 Best:
- Lonzo Ball to the Chicago Bulls
Deal: 4 years, $85 Million
After a rough start to his career, Ball really began to tap into his potential over the last 2 years. He has shot almost 38% in the past 2 seasons and has now cashed in with the Bulls at $21.25M AAV. He is a perfect fit next to a guy like Zach LaVine and will work well as a facilitator for guys like DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Patrick Williams. For a team that struggled mightily on defense last year, adding a player like Lonzo who is a great defender is a huge addition.
- Malik Monk to the Los Angeles Lakers
Deal: 1 year, $1.79 Million minimum
One of the bigger surprises during free agency, the Lakers were able to add Malik Monk to their team on a minimum contract after a career year last year. He averaged 40% from 3 with 11 PPG while coming off the bench for the Hornets. Monk likely will be L.A’s sixth-man this year and it’s something the Lakers desperately need. They lacked a guy who can come off the bench when AD or LeBron sits and can be a 2nd bucket-getter and provide a spark for the team.
- Patty Mills to the Brooklyn Nets
Deal: 2 years, $12 Million
The Basketball Gods did no favors for other teams in the league when they allowed the Nets to add one of the better available Point Guards on the market to be their backup this season. Mills is a nice player who fits on any team and can provide quick sparks for teams off the bench when needed. He can play some great defense and shoot the lights out and gives the Nets a reliable guy behind Kyrie who can facilitate the offense.
- DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls
Deal: 3 years, $85 Million
Chicago was the clear winner this offseason and it was capped off by signing DeRozan to a 3-year, $85 Million deal. A great veteran player who can run an offense and play off the ball while providing great defense is a win for a team like the Bulls, who are fairly young overall. As stated above, Chicago really struggled on defense last year and getting guys like DeRozan, Ball, and Caruso greatly improve that right away.
- Kelly Olynyk to the Detroit Pistons
Deal: 3 years, $37 Million
I know. You’re probably thinking you are out of your mind, but Olynyk is one of the more underrated players in the league. He is best known to be a relatively dirty player as he pulled Kevin Love’s shoulder out of socket in the Playoffs some years back. Putting all that aside, the Pistons went out and got a player in Olynyk who can play D, stretch the floor and knock down 3’s, and pass the ball well. With players like Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes, the pick and roll will work wonders in Detroit and not to mention Year 3 is reportedly a Team Option.
Top 5 Worst:
- Nerlens Noel re-signs with the Knicks
Deal: 3-years, $32 Million
If you can get the same player in Javale McGee for $5 Million over One year, then paying a guy almost $11 Million over 3 years makes ZERO sense. Noel is nice defensively but he brings nothing else to the table. No offense to Noel as I am glad he was able to take advantage of the Knicks and get paid, but this does nothing for a team who had an excellent season in 2020-2021 and looks to continue that momentum.
- Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat
Deal: 3-years, $90 Million
I am not against paying Kyle Lowry $30 Million AAV. I am against the Heat giving so much money to just 4 players (Butler, Adebayo, Lowry, Robinson) when that makes them the 3rd? 4th best team in the East? Not to mention having to fill out the rest of their roster with 7 minimum salary players and just having a lack of depth on their squad. I will say, if any coach or GM can make this work out well, it is Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley.
- Derrick Rose re-signs with the Knicks
Deal: 3-years, $43 Million
I respect the hell out of Derrick Rose. He has been through hell and back in his career and has come around to being a solid Point Guard. Unfortunately, this move does nothing for the Knicks. They had a ton of cap space and proceeded to give Noel and Rose $75 Million while likely having to be in the play-in game after being the 4th seed last year. Rose isn’t getting younger and he is not the player who can change life for a franchise. Just a confusing signing for that amount of money.
- Andre Drummond to the 76ers
Deal: 1-year, $2.4 Million minimum
After the debacle that was Drummond with the Lakers, he now goes to Philly to back up Joel Embiid. Not only is Drummond a bad player, but him and Embiid have been feuding for years dating back to Drummond’s days in Detroit. As if this team didn’t have enough problems with Ben Simmons and years of playoff disappointments, they now add a bad player who doesn’t mesh well with the player in front of him.
- Norman Powell re-signs with the Blazers
Deal: 5-years, $90 Million
The Blazers are in a very odd situation right now. They hired a coach with a checkered past, might have a disgruntled superstar in Dame Lillard, and could have another star on their team teetering on the edge of requesting a trade in C.J. McCollum. Now you add in a player like Powell, who I actually like as he can shoot and play good defense, making $18 Million a year. This move doesn’t move the needle whatsoever for the Blazers and it just adds more headaches to their team and salary cap.