We all braced for what the market would be like this July when the reports began surfacing of players asking for higher salaries this year to make up the difference for next summer and beyond.
When the clock struck midnight and the day turned to July 2, there were 25 players who agreed to brand new contracts totaling approximately 1.4 BILLION dollars. Pure insanity.
Let’s evaluate a few of these free agent signings.
DeMarre Carroll – 4 years, $60 million with the Toronto Raptors
I think the price tag may have surprised a few people, $15 million per year for Carroll seemed high, and it is to some degree, but I don’t think Carroll deserved to get much less. I feel like most still have in their minds the player he was before he got to Atlanta – 4.2 points, 13.3 minutes over five NBA seasons. Carroll found a place on his fifth NBA team and turned himself into a viable offensive threat averaging 11.8 points while shooting 37.9 percent from downtown and I think we really saw his value in this year’s playoffs when he jumped up to 14.6 points and 40.3 percent. There were games in which Carroll was the best Hawk player on the floor. In his prime now at age 28 and the Raptors filling a glaring shooting need, this is a contract that should work throughout the duration and look significantly better two years from now.
Greg Monroe – 3 years, $50 million (opt-out in year 3) with the Milwaukee Bucks
Most of the world thought Monroe to the New York Knicks was essentially a done deal. And while he was a good fit for the Knicks and both sides would have benefited had they joined forces, choosing an excellent young up-and-coming team in the Bucks was without question the smarter move from a basketball perspective.
Monroe met with 4 teams: Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, Blazers. All offered the max, I’m told. Chose Bucks because they’re the most playoff ready.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 2, 2015
Although Monroe has his defensive deficiencies, he joins one of the league’s better defensive teams and brings an inside scoring presence they desperately needed. Big win for Milwaukee.
Kevin Love – 5 years, $110 million with the Cleveland Cavaliers
I think this was almost as big a shocker as anyone. Not because Love returned to Cleveland, I always thought he would, but because he locked himself in for five years rather than the shorter term deals a lot of players have chosen to sign. Love was worth $110 million with the salary cap what it is now, in two or three years this contract is going to be an absolute bargain, regardless of how Cleveland uses Love. Big win for Cleveland.
Goran Dragic – 5 years, $90 million with the Miami Heat
I’ve always been a fan of Dragic but this contract is a flat-out awful. $18 million per season for a guy that’s never even made an all-star team and can’t play any defense is a gross overpay. I’m not even completely sure he’s better than Brandon Knight and he’s making twenty-million more over the same time frame! There’s been a lot of rave about the Miami Heat starting lineup and what they could do next season in the eastern conference assuming they bring back Dwyane Wade. Their starting-five may look good on paper but if they’re going to achieve the levels some have been predicting then Hassan Whiteside better be Bill Russell.
After the Heat presumably lock up Wade they will have three absolutely dreadful contracts with Wade, Chris Bosh and now Dragic, and while everyone is stacking their teams over the next two off-seasons with the cap raising Miami will do nothing but watch as they sink in the eastern conference.
Tyson Chandler – 4 years, $52 million with the Phoenix Suns
If this deal was for two years with an option for a third then I wouldn’t dislike it nearly as much. Signing a player who will be 33 years old when the season begins when you’re not a Tyson Chandler away from making the playoffs, let alone winning anything significant, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If they could somehow land a LaMarcus Aldridge then we’re talking a completely different ballgame here, but I don’t see that happening and I don’t see this as a smart move by Phoenix.
Omer Asik – 5 years, $60 million (5th year not guaranteed) with the New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans compounded one poor decision with another giving Asik this contract. Last summer they traded their first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Omer Asik and one year later opted to give a backup caliber center $11 million over the first four years of this contract. A wiser move would have been giving a similar deal to Robin Lopez who’s a little bit more of a complete player and also played with new head coach Alvin Gentry during his Phoenix days. Lopez is a much better compliment to Anthony Davis than Asik in my view.
Sacramento dumps salary and assets to Philadelphia for $25 million in cap space
The Kings traded Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and a protected future first-round pick for the rights to overseas players and a future second-round pick. This could go down as one of the worst trades in the last ten years. Stauskas was the eighth overall pick in last year’s draft and Sacramento basically gave him up for the chance to overpay for a free agent and one of their targets, Monta Ellis, opted to take less money with Indiana rather than join that mess of an organization.
Sacramento can clear cap space, but Kings are starting to understand: They’ll have to overpay to bring players into that chaotic situation.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Philadelphia and Sam Hinkie hit a home run with this one. Stauskas was the best shooter in the draft a year ago and they got him for virtually nothing. The Kings just don’t get it.
That was just a handful of the action that happened yesterday, here’s the full list courtesy Mike Prada of SB Nation:
After seeing what happened yesterday, I don’t think anyone should be surprised anymore with what goes down the rest of the week. It’s all hands on deck now during the madness of summer 2015.
Featured image: dailyknicks.com