It’s half past five in Italy, on a Monday afternoon.
The 2017 NBA Free Agency has started two and a half days ago, but we’ve already been dealt our fair share of surprises.
Steph Curry finally upgraded from his meager 4yr/$44m contract with the Golden State Warriors to the first supermax in NBA history (worth an astonishing $201m spread through 5 seasons). Makes you wonder how Blake Griffin will be able to sustain himself on his brand new 5yr/$173m contract with the Clippers. Joining these two fellas on two new contracts worth $100m+ are Jrue Holiday (5yr/$126m with the Pelicans) and 31-year-old guard Kyle Lowry (3yr/$100m with the Raptors).
But so far the free agency hasn’t been really about renewals, but trades – and quality ones!
Before the draft on June 22nd, the Celtics and the 76ers agreed to swap their top three picks for the year: Philadelphia ended up drafting consensus number one Markelle Fultz (Guard) with the first pick, while Boston landed Jayson Tatum (Small Forward) with the third pick and also received a 2018 or 2019 conditional first round pick.
The Lakers managed to dump Mozgov’s contract to the Nets alongside D’Angelo Russell, receiving Brook Lopez and the 2017 27th pick in return. On the same day, the Hornets landed center Dwight Howard in exchange for Belinelli, Plumlee and the 41st pick going Atlanta’s way.
The biggest trade occurred during the draft was between the Bulls and the Timberwolves: Jimmy Butler and the 17th pick moved to Minnesota while Chicago landed Zach Lavine, Chris Dunn and the 7th pick. Later in the night the Warriors acquired the 38th pick for $3.5m from the Bulls, which the Bay Area team used to draft 22-year-old Jordan Bell (Power Forward).
On Friday 28th June, the Houston Rockets went on a shopping spree. The most important acquisition was, of course, Chris Paul from the Clippers. The 32-year-old guard opted-in his contract option with the Los Angeles team to be traded to Houston in exchange for Beverly, Dekker, Williams, Harrell, a bunch of non-guaranteed contracts (sorry guys), the Rocket’s 2018 1st round pick (Top 3 protected) and cash considerations.
On the same day the Texas-based team moved for other three players, all in exchange of cash: they landed Quarterman from Portland, Kelly from Atlanta and Hilliard from Detroit.
A couple of days later Ricky Rubio moved to Utah, while the Timberwolves received Oklahoma’s 2018 1st round pick. And it was the Thunder who would steal the spotlight with the biggest acquisition of the day, snatching Paul George from Indiana while giving up Oladipo and Sabonis.