This has been one of the most active/ crazy free agency periods to happen in recent memory. From the big name free agents to crazy trades, this one has had it all and we are only a few days in. There have been some big surprises so far as well, some signings and trades that very few could have predicted. Let’s take a look at the biggest surprises of free agency so far!
D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors
D-Lo to the Warriors was the best thing that the Warriors could have hoped for when they lost Kevin Durant. Losing KD was always going to be a gigantic blow to the dynasty, but nabbing D-Lo has softened the hit. I am a huge fan of D-Lo and what he brings to the table. I am not worried about the offense, the offense should move well and score at a very high rate. What worries me is the defense. He has never been known for his defense, he is a slower guard that has trouble staying in front of faster guards. That will be the biggest hurdle this Warriors team will face, other than that, the Warriors did what they had to. This was sort of a hail mary because if KD left the Warriors with nothing, they would be completely screwed, so getting D-Lo will prove to be vital. If you told me the Warriors were going to get D-Lo last week, I would have called you a liar, so I am just happy it actually happened.
Jimmy Butler to the Heat
This was one of the oddest moves of the Summer thus far. Jimmy Butler is notoriously known for being a fierce competitor that is one of the most serious teammates one will ever have. This is the dude that took the bench warmers and smacked the starters. To be fair, the starters were the Timberwolves, but still, impressive nonetheless. But for a player that has prioritized winning in the past, he turned down a five year max deal with the 76er’s to take a four year max deal with the Miami Heat. To say the least, he has to be lying about wanting to win at this point. He has been on three teams in the last year and a half. He was on a Sixer team that was primed for greatness if Kawhi Leonard does in fact leave. So why leave for Miami? My guess is it is a great place to live, the sun, the beach and you only have to play for six months every season! You even get a huge summer vacation which is even better! Unless Miami makes some more moves, they won’t really be in contention, they might make early playoff exits, but they most likely won’t be making it much further.
Harrison Barnes Staying with the Kings
I loved Harrison Barnes when he was with the Warriors, and it was tough to see him leave. But Kevin Durant was on his way in, and Barnes was the first of the casualties that offseason. This surprise isn’t really about him staying, its how much he received. I am so happy for Barnes, because this was a huge gamble on himself by turning down that huge player option. But he successfully gambled and he got a four year $85 million contract. This surprise is bad for the Kings, a rebuilding team that really just threw the brinks truck at HB. To put this in perspective, HB scored 17.7 points per game when he was with the Mavericks in 49 games. With the Kings, he averaged 14.3 points a game. He dropped three points and still received almost max contract money. This says a lot about the Kings willingness to stay relevant and fight for playoff contention. It caught me off guard when he resigned for that much. I hope for Sacramento’s sake, he goes back to his 17-19 points per game self.
Nikola Mirotić Leaves the NBA
Mirotić is not a star free agent, but he was going to get a big contract this summer. The Utah Jazz were pretty interested in him, as well as other teams I would assume. He is a three point shooting big that could stretch the floor very well. He would be a great option off the bench for any NBA team now since he fits the coveted stretch four position that every NBA team needs on their roster. This was a huge surprise that Nikola elected to leave the NBA for Barcelona. He was supposed to get a contract around the $45-$50 million range so him leaving all this money on the table was shocking to a lot of fans. He may have been scared that he would end up on the same team as Bobby Portis again, but Nikola should be good now since he is in an entirely different league. In reality, Nikola has been on three teams in the last two seasons, so that could have something to do with it.
This is only the beginning of free agency, there is so much more to come. Where will Kawhi sign? What is Demarcus Cousins market looking like? Hopefully these two sign soon and we get to see the landscape of the NBA and how it has shifted with all of these crazy moves.
Categories: NBA News Blog