First Day NBA Free Agency: Five Key Takeaways

NBA free agency kicked off on Sunday with some notable moves.

Veteran players are getting shorter contracts this year. James Harden, 34, secured $35M per year from the LA Clippers for just two years. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 31, got a three-year deal worth $66M from the Orlando Magic. Jonas Valanciunas, 32, signed for three years and $30M with the Washington Wizards. Paul George and Klay Thompson left their teams partly because they weren’t offered long-term deals — Thompson even turned down a two-year extension last summer.

Teams might be cautious about older players due to their declining performance or potential risks. Instead of rewarding past achievements, they’re focusing on future potential by offering more money but fewer years.

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey has been strategic with the team’s cap space this summer. By filling the roster with players on expiring contracts, he created room to add quality veterans like Andre Drummond and Eric Gordon. The Sixers might be one of the few teams that can still offer George a max contract after other teams used up their cap space.

Fans might think this strategy is smart as it keeps options open for big signings.

The LA Clippers couldn’t move George before he opted out of his contract for next season. This limits his market to teams with enough cap space to sign him. With fewer teams able to afford him now, Philadelphia may be his best option if he wants a max deal. Morey deserves praise for holding onto James Harden until he could get two first-round picks and a pick swap from the Clippers while also shedding P.J. Tucker’s salary.

The Clippers’ Controversial Moves

Last year, the Clippers signed Joshua Primo despite his troubling history with misconduct at San Antonio Spurs; he played only two games for them. Now they’ve signed Kevin Porter Jr., another player with a problematic past.

Porter was arrested in September after an altercation with his girlfriend Kysre Gondrezick and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and harassment charges.

Golden State Warriors‘ Struggles

The Warriors finished 10th in the Western Conference last season and lost badly in a play-in game when they still had Chris Paul and Thompson on their roster. Now Paul’s gone to San Antonio Spurs while Thompson is leaving after 15 years with Golden State; they’ve lost key tools for adding veteran talent.

Paul’s non-guaranteed contract was supposed to help them trade Jordan Poole along with draft picks but no deal materialized before he left—leaving Golden State only access mid-level exception which isn’t very useful given shrinking free-agent marketspace out there right now! Their biggest win might just be getting under luxury tax threshold instead…

Derrick Jones Jr.’s Agency Switch

When offseason began Mavericks GM Nico Harrison said re-signing Derrick Jones Jr., starting small forward was top priority but things changed Wednesday when Jones switched agents signing Rich Paul Klutch Sports leading Mavericks pivot towards signing Naji Marshall instead—a defensive-minded wing whose three-point shooting improved recently making it harder add rumored target Thompson without dropping salary sending player like Josh Green back Golden State via sign-and-trade agreement!

Maybe Clippers were so annoyed by Jones dunking them during first-round playoff loss decided needed guarantee playing against him only practice next three seasons!

What do you think about these moves?

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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