Top 15 NBA Free Agent Signings So Far This Offseason
Top 15 NBA Free Agent Signings This Offseason
The NBA season is a couple months away, and teams have been gearing up and getting their rosters all set. This year had a pretty nice crop of free agents with a couple superstars possibly looking to change teams. Now almost all of the big name free agents have signed a new contract. Teams are now just looking at adding lower value players to round out their remaining roster spots.
Some players have re-signed with their original teams while others are looking for a fresh start in a new uniform. The NBA encourages player movement, especially with the last Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) limiting the maximum length of contracts. Players re-signing with their own teams can sign up to a maximum of five years and players signing with new teams can sign up to a maximum of four years.
All these different moves will change the landscape of the NBA. The offseason is where we get a firsthand look at which teams will be successful in the upcoming season. Some teams will become contenders, while other teams will get worse and are possibly looking to tank. Either way it’s time to take a look back and analyze the best signings of the NBA offseason and rank them one through fifteen.
The method for determining the value of a free agent signing is based off of three different determining factors. The first one is the player's overall skill level and their potential as an NBA player. Second is the player's fit on the team that they have signed with and lastly are the terms of the contract. All three determinants will be considered when ranking each player’s new contract.
15. Brandon Jennings
Four years and $40 million is what Brandon Jennings was looking for when he began his free agency. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to get close to that and with good reason. Jennings has averaged 17 points and 5.7 assists over his four year career. Those are good numbers for a young point guard, but the issue is his efficiency. During his time in the NBA he has shot a poor 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from three point range.
With teams unwilling to pay him that kind of contract, Jennings agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Detroit Pistons for about $24 million over three years. Despite his problems, Jennings is only 23 years-old and has lots of room for growth. Detroit got good value out of this contract.
14. Andrew Bynum
The Philadelphia 76ers experienced the worst possible scenario with Andrew Bynum last season. Due to many issues in both knees he missed the entire 2012-2013 NBA season. If healthy, Bynum is one of the best centers in the NBA. He has a very effective post game and is an elite rebounder, but health is a huge issue.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were smart when giving Bynum his contract. In a nearly $24 million deal only $6 million of the first year is guaranteed and the second year is a team option. If he performs it's great, but if he doesn’t it’s not a big loss.
13. Chris Copeland
In the Eastern Conference finals the Indiana Pacers pushed the Miami Heat to seven games. The already great team got better by addressing their biggest issues of last season. The Pacers lacked depth and shooting.
Chris Copeland has a very particular skill set and struggles defensively. He will be able to provide shooting off the bench and will be covered defensively by one of the best defensive teams in the league. Copeland isn’t the greatest player, but he fits perfectly with these Pacers and his cheap price makes him a great pickup.
12. Jarrett Jack
One of the keys to The Golden State Warriors' successful season was their backup veteran point guard Jarrett Jack. He was a huge spark off the bench and allowed Stephen Curry to play off the ball when they shared the court. He should be able to bring that exact same thing to the Cavaliers. His contract is on the high side as he is set to make around $24 million over four years. Nonetheless, he will be a great addition to Cleveland’s up and coming team.
11. Tyreke Evans
Former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans has joined the New Orleans Pelicans. Evans had a fantastic rookie year but struggled mightily the next three years. He had trouble with Plantar Fasciitis, which really limited his ability to get to the rim. Also with a very inconsistent jump shot he was unable to perform nearly as well as he did his first season.
The Pelicans have taken a huge risk in giving Evans nearly $44 million over the next four years. They must believe that he will be healthy and that he may not have been in the best situation in Sacramento. There are too many questions surrounding him to throw that kind of money his way, but if they are right Evans will be a very effective and productive player.
10. Mike Dunleavy
The Chicago Bulls were able to sign three point specialist Mike Dunleavy for the low price of just over $3 million a year for two years. Dunleavy instantly improves the Bulls' wing depth and allows for a little more versatility. He is also an underrated defender, as he does use his size very effectively. For that price he is a great addition for the Bulls.
9. Josh Smith
Josh Smith is quite the enigma. He is a fantastic defender and is very versatile on offense, but he just can’t stop taking those horrible jumpers. Atlanta Hawks fans would scream at him as he prepared to take a jump shot, begging him not to. Even though he might be the worst shooter that shoots as much as he does in the league, he is a great player. $13.5 million a year for four years is a pretty good deal for the Pistons.
Unfortunately, the fit in Detroit is probably not the best situation. They already have two great bigs in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Smith will have to play primarily at the small forward spot even though the power forward position is where he has proven to be most effective.
8. Andrei Kirilenko
The league was quite surprised when the announcement came of Andrei Kirilenko's decision to join the star studded Brooklyn Nets. Kirilenko took a huge pay cut by accepting the mini mid-level Brooklyn could offer, which is $3 million a year for two years.
He must have been very intrigued to play with Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, because he could have pulled about $10 million a year if he signed elsewhere. Kirilenko is an incredibly versatile player and will help the team by doing a little of everything. The Nets got an absolute steal with his contract.
7. J.J. Redick
The Los Angeles Clippers have really improved at the wing position this offseason after their three team sign-and-trade deal nabbing them sharpshooter J.J. Redick. Redick will benefit greatly by being the backcourt partner of Chris Paul. As one of the best three point shooters in the league, Redick will see the most open looks he has ever had as an NBA player with Paul controlling the offense.
Around $27 million over four years is pretty pricy, but it’s the kind of move teams make when they are looking to contend. With Redick added to their already deep and talented team they will do just that.
6. Jeff Teague
When the Milwaukee Bucks signed point guard Jeff Teague to a four year, $32 million offer sheet, the Atlanta Hawks would have been stupid to not match. Teague is a pretty underrated point guard. He understands at a young age how to attack a defense and make the right play.
With Josh Smith gone Teague will have the ball in his hands more often, which is a very good thing. For a team with a clear direction this contract has great value. The Hawks have made the correct and easy decision in matching the Bucks offer, keeping Teague in a Hawk uniform for the next four years.
5. David West
The number one priority of the Indiana Pacers' offseason was re-signing David West. They were able to accomplish this early into the offseason and at a pretty fair price. $12 million a year for the next three years is an overpay for the 32 year old power forward, but it's worth it.
West is probably the fourth best player on the team, but he is one of the most important. He is the leader of this team and provides an incredible amount of toughness. The Pacers are going to be an elite team again this next season and the West signing is a big part of that.
4. Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap is one of the more solid power forwards in the NBA and he would have made an All-Star team in the last few years if the Western Conference wasn’t so loaded with great forwards. Not only is he a great player, but the Atlanta Hawks got an incredible bargain signing him to just $19 million over the next two years. The Al Horford and Millsap pairing should be a very effective duo.
3. Andre Iguodala
The Golden State Warriors got a lot better this offseason with the addition of Andre Iguodala. He will provide playmaking, athleticism, and elite defense. He took less money to join a good playoff team. $48 million over four years is fantastic value for a player of Iguodala’s caliber. Because of his versatility he would fit well on almost any team but is an exceptionally good fit with the Warriors. His playmaking and ability to get to the paint will be made easier from all the space Golden State will provide.
2. Dwight Howard
Howard is set to join the young core and budding star James Harden for nearly $88 million over the next four years. That is a lot of money, but Howard is worth every penny. When healthy he is a top five player in this league and can transform a defense all by himself. He had a pretty rough year in L.A., but now that he is where he wants to be and is healthier he should be the dominant force he once was.
1. Chris Paul
The best move of the NBA offseason was re-signing Chris Paul to a five-year, $107 million deal. The Clippers had a disappointing playoffs last year being knocked out in the 1st round by the Memphis Grizzlies. Now they have improved their roster and added a proven coach in Doc Rivers. Paul is the best point guard in the NBA and will continue to be for a while.