Plenty of money has been splashed around in NBA free agency so far. Teams have made unexpected moves, new playoff contenders have emerged, new “tankers” have emerged, and so on. When looking at the top moves, however, every single move must be considered – not just the biggest “splashy” ones. Take a look at the top five moves of the first two days that benefit teams the most.
Top Five NBA Free Agency Moves of the First Two Days
5. Golden State Warriors Stay Quiet in NBA Free Agency but Make a Shrewd Move
One of the most under-the-radar moves so far has been the Otto Porter Jr. signing by the Golden State Warriors. Once the recipient of millions on millions of dollars, Porter Jr. signed with the Warriors for the veteran minimum.
No, Porter Jr. isn’t going to produce All-Star level numbers. What he’ll do, however, if he stays healthy, is spark the bench and continuously drain open threes in the Golden State offense. Many have forgotten that Porter Jr. was once one of the best shooters in the entire league. The last two seasons have slipped from his grasp, but he’s a perfect reclamation project here. The Warriors can very well be contenders this season due to Klay Thompson‘s return and the addition of two exciting lottery picks, and Porter Jr. only adds to the cause.
4. Sacramento Keeps Their Stud Center
The Sacramento Kings have a tendency to mess up, but so far they’ve been solid. Richaun Holmes is one of the most underrated players in the league, and it was a belief that he’d leave the Kings in order to be on a “better” team. Sacramento, however, retained him for a bargain at four years, $55 million.
Last season, in less than 30 minutes per game, Holmes averaged 14 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks per game. He’s also 27 years old, so he’s entering the prime years of his career. Holmes’ athletic, high-flying, and rim-running style of play complements Sacramento’s talented hoard of guards very well.
3. Chicago Completes Their Backcourt
The Chicago Bulls may have slightly overpaid Lonzo Ball, but they got their starting point guard for the foreseeable future. Last season he averaged about 15 points, six assists, and five boards per game. He also greatly improved his shot from deep. Ball’s numbers will surely go up in a better role in Chicago.
The Bulls were desperate to find the ideal complement to star Zach LaVine, and now they have him. Ball will bring in extreme defensive tenacity, a half-court game that meshes well with that of LaVine, and playmaking. In addition, when LaVine is driving and holding attention, Ball is now a reliable open shooter.
2. Miami’s Two NBA Free Agency $90 Million Men
The Miami Heat were disappointing last season after their 2020 Finals appearance, and Pat Riley vowed to fix that. First, he brought in a veteran and champion in Kyle Lowry. The spotlight left Lowry after the Toronto Raptors’ championship, but he’s still above and beyond one of the best point guards in the league. His grit, talent, and leadership are a perfect fit for a Jimmy Butler-led team.
The Heat also had to retain Duncan Robinson, one of the NBA’s best shooters, and they did just that. Shooting is a premium in today’s league, and virtually nobody (besides the Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard types) does it better than Robinson. His movement off the ball is elite as is his catch-and-shoot ability, and he’s also been improving his strength and ability to create his own shot.
1. Phoenix Keeps the Band Together
Keeping Chris Paul was crucial for the Phoenix Suns, and they did just that. Sure, they overpaid an aging guard, but their championship window is clearly wide open so nothing was more important than keeping the band together. Paul will still be elite, and barring injury, will once again guide the Suns into a deep postseason run. Pair in the inevitable improvements from Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, and this move was a no-brainer.
Re-signing Cameron Payne was also important. He burst onto the scene as a very reliable backup point guard, and the Suns brought him back for a fair price. His play is going to be important as age creeps up on Paul, so once again Phoenix knew exactly what they had to do.
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