NBA Free Agency: Evaluating Every Major Signing From Day 1

The first day of NBA free agency has come and gone. Who’s staying with their current team, and who’s on the move?

Every year, a week after the draft, the NBA free agency period begins. This is always an exciting time for NBA fans, as it provides some excitement during the dull period that is the off-season. While this free agent class isn’t as exciting as some from years prior, there still have been a couple of big names receiving some large deals. Let’s take a look at some of the big transactions from the first day of free agency.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (5 years, $264 million)

This one is a no-brainer. The now two-time and reigning MVP got a nice payday today, receiving a supermax deal from the Denver Nuggets. Jokic would have been a free agent after the 2023 season, but after this extension he’ll be a Nugget for the foreseeable future. After willing his team to the playoffs this season, Jokic deserves every penny of the deal that makes him the highest paid player in NBA history.

Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings (2 years, $19 million)

The 24-year old shooting guard will now join the third team in his young career. Monk spent four years with the Hornets before joining the Lakers last year. Malik averaged 13 points per game and now joins a backcourt featuring his former college teammate De’Aaron Fox.

Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat (1 year, $11 million)

Oladipo has had a bit of an up-and-down career, but he seems to have found a home in South Beach. Oladipo was a former All-Star, and there was lots of hype around him at the time he joined Miami. Victor struggled to stay on the court in 2021, but he’ll get a chance to run it back with one of the top teams in the East.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (5 years, $251 million)

Here, we have another star player getting extended with his current team. Beal has been the center of trade rumors in the past week, and those grew louder after he turned down his player option recently. Today, we learned why, as Beal gets a massive extension, one that makes him among the highest players in the league.

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks (4 years, $104 million)

The Knicks got their guy. After unloading a ton of cap space in the past week, all signs pointed to the New York choosing Brunson as their point guard of the future. The 25-year old had a breakout season last year, and played very well in the playoffs. Was he worth $104 million? Only time will tell.

Lu Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder (5 years, $87.5 million)

If there’s one guy who just had the best day of his career, it’s Lu Dort. Dort was one of the most underrated players in the league last season, averaging over 17 points and four rebounds. He’s an absolute force on the defensive end, and it will be exciting to watch him grow as a player in Oklahoma.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (4 years, $214 million)

Early Thursday morning, it was reported that the Nets would want Devin Booker in return for any trade involving Kevin Durant. It’s clear now that won’t be happening. Booker, one of the elite scorers in the league will now be locked up in Arizona for a long time.

Overall, this was a pretty eventful first day of NBA free agency. For a group that didn’t feature a ton of big names, Thursday was still a whirlwind in the NBA world. There are still some big names remaining on the market, and the next few days should be interesting to watch.

Could the Celtics make a Blockbuster Trade?

The Boston Celtics were close to making a true run into the NBA finals but ended up falling short to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. The Boston Celtics have a very good foundation to build off of, but are they missing a certain piece to help round-out their team? Absolutely. The Celtics have done very good in the draft throughout the past couple seasons, but are still lacking a player to help push them over the top. The Celtics could’ve rounded out their team but without a first round pick this year, could they be looking into making a big trade?

So if the Celtics are to make a blockbuster move this off-season, what assets would they be looking to give up, and what type of player would they be looking to go after? They just traded away point guard Kemba Walker, and a first-round pick, for former Celtics center Al Horford. That was one move made, but rumors have it as that is just the start of a big offseason for Brad Stevens. However, there are a few names that have been mentioned in trade talks for the Celtics: Myles Turner, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal.

Damian Lillard

It was reported prior to Damian Lillard’s press conference, that the Boston Celtics had made an official offer to the Portland Trail Blazers for the superstar guard, but was rejected. The Portland Trail Blazers have two very solid guards with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum but are lacking the depth in the front court. On top of their their personnel problems they have struggled to find a head coach that can help make a winning team. Although the Trail Blazers have proclaimed that Lillard isn’t on the trade block, the Celtics seem determined to make a big move or two before the offseason is over.

Damian Lillard has officially received the recognition that was quite frankly, long overdue. He has been a top tier player in the league for years, and given the fact he has finally received the recognition he deserves, his trade value is going to be high, but would be worth it. The Celtics as I stated above have done well for themselves the past couple seasons as far as building a team that can compete, but have had some moves that have fallen through. With Kemba Walker not there anymore, they could be in the market for a new guard, and Lillard could definitely be an option.

Looking at the team they’d have on the court right now, and predicting who they’d have start, they’d have Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Tristan Thompson. If you find a way to solidify a true point guard who has the ability to take over a game with his elite talent you have to pull the trigger. Obviously looking at the potential starters you notice how weak the PF, C positions are, but if you find a way to obtain Lillard from Portland you could get away with having those guys at those positions.

Myles Turner

The Boston Celtics have been linked to the Indiana Pacers C/PF before, but nothing came about it. Looking at the position the Celtics are currently in, and how their roster has been complied over the course of the year, they could be in a much better spot to make a offer the Pacers can’t refuse.

Myles Turner has battled injuries, but when he played this past season, was a dominant player. Turner was able to play in 47 games while putting up 12.6 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, and 1 assist. Turner is a terrific defender which you can tell by his block numbers, as a force to be reckoned with in the paint, he has the ability to make a huge impact on the Celtics front-court. With Turner having missed multiple games and battled injuries, the price of him may be cheaper to which would benefit the Celtics greatly after trading away their first round pick.

Looking ahead to what he’d offer the Celtics going forward into next season is what excites me the most. Turner has the ability to be a very good player on a Celtics team that has a lot of depth pieces and talent on the court. Looking at the fact that the Celtics could come away from the trade having Smart, Brown, Tatum, Turner, and Thompson as the starting five is considerably better than their current five. Given the Celtics style of play with the ball revolving around Tatum and Brown would allow Turner to be a defensive minded player and Thompson to play the rebounding role in the paint.

Bradley Beal

This move here would possibly be the greatest move in basketball if they can find a way to pull this off. Bradley Beal is coming off, perhaps, the best season he’s had since coming into the league in 2012. Beal was the hope for the Washington Wizards, but at the end of the day was unhappy with his situation in Washington that had left him wanting out. Their has been a lot of interest in him including the Warriors who hold more value, but Beal being able to reunite with St. Louis native, Jayson Tatum, could sway him to the Celtics.

Bradley Beal this season averaged 31.3 points per game, 4.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Beal did miss a couple games this season due to injury, but It’s not something I feel teams will read into a whole lot. Looking at the current situation of the Celtics, it’ll be quite difficult to obtain the star from Washington simply looking at assets, but could look to compile some of their young players in the deal. The idea behind acquiring Beal would be to team up him, Tatum, and Brown which would create an incredible three going into next season that could make them one of the best teams in the NBA.