Free Agency began with a Bang when Paul George announced on the stroke of midnight that he was breaking Laker fans hearts and staying with Russell Westbrook in OKC. After a year of speculation and publicly committing his desire to become a Laker combined with a below average season for George and the Thunder the announcement was a shock. The Thunder have 3 all stars that to be fair didn’t gel together and failed to clinch solid results. Chris Paul got his payday at the Rockets although at the expense of Trevor Ariza, Houston has now weakened there rotation and will need to add some depth. Chris Paul is a dangerous contract for the Rockets, he ultimately cost them a championship this season with his injury in game 6 & 7 of the Conference finals which has been the story of his career. As a small ageing Point Guard it’s hard to see him stay healthy for 4 years. The Lebron saga continues, with bookmakers installing him favorite to land in Los Angeles and become a Laker. Philly, Houston & Cleveland are next in order.
Breaking – Lebron James signs with Lakers 4 year $154 million! Wow!
Free Agency 2018 began at a rapid rate! In the opening three hours Nineteen players agreed to deals with teams from the major (a four-year commitment from Paul George to stay in Oklahoma City) to the minor (a one-year deal for Derrick Rose to stay in Minnesota).
What did the fire sale of early activity mean?
Players wanted to lock in on money before it dries up because that’s what is going to happen this summer. Money is tight this offseason. Not many teams have the kind of salary cap space to give out big contracts. Oh, there’s a few teams (Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas) with money to spend, but this isn’t like the summer of 2016 when the salary cap jumped from $70 million in 2015-16 to $94.1 million in 2016-17.
Also, next summer is shaping up to be another big free-agent year with players such as Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Al Horford, Kevin Love, Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton, Ricky Rubio, Kemba Walker, Jeff Teague available and maybe even Kevin Durant or James in unrestricted free agency. There will also be a high-end class of restricted free agents starting with Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis.
FREE AGENT TRACKER
Lebron James: Agrees to sign with Lakers 4 years $154 million
Paul George: Agrees to re-sign with Oklahoma City.
Kevin Durant: Agrees to re-sign with Golden State.
Chris Paul: Agrees to re-sign with Houston.
Jerami Grant: Reportedly agrees to re-sign with Oklahoma City
Derrick Rose: Agrees to re-sign with Minnesota.
Aron Baynes: Agrees to re-sign with Boston
Fred VanVleet: Agrees to re-sign with Toronto.
Trevor Ariza: Agrees to sign with Phoenix
Joe Harris: Agrees to re-sign with Brooklyn.
Will Barton: Reportedly agrees to re-sign with Denver
Ed Davis: Reportedly agrees to sign with Brooklyn
DeAndre Jordan: Reportedly agrees to sign with Dallas.
Nikola Jokic: Reportedly agrees to re-sign with Denver.
Ersan Ilyasova: Agrees to sign with Milwaukee.
Doug McDermott: Agrees to sign with Indiana
Rudy Gay: Reportedly agrees to re-sign with San Antonio.
Marco Belinelli: Agrees to sign with San Antonio.