The first three days of NBA free agency was absolutely spectacular and over $1 billion was given to players. Although many of the deals seem outrageous, in the future, these deals will seem less onerous. This season, the NBA salary cap is $67 million, but it will likely rise to $89 million next season and $108 million during the following season. If one analyzes Brook Lopez’s 3 yr/ $60 million deal, it actually is worth $78.7 million. The first year of the deal, $20 million, is 29.8% of the salary. The following season, 29.8% of the salary cap will be $26.5 million and the following season it will be $32.2 million.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are the biggest winners in free agency and it is not even close. Besides for scoring the best player in free agency, LaMarcus Aldridge, they were able to keep Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tim Duncan while signing David West to the veteran minimum. Although the Cavs and Warriors are incredible teams, the Spurs may have become the favorite to return the Larry O’Brien trophy back to San Antonio.
Although the Cavs had multiple high priced and important free agents, they have deals in place to re-sign all of their players, Love, James, Shumpert, Thompson, and Mozgov. The Cavs will have to pay a lot of money in luxury tax dollars, but Dan Gilbert wants to bring a title to Cleveland. However, the Cavs are not done spending and are looking to add another established scorer via trade.
Los Angeles Clippers
Less than a week ago, the Clippers were set to become the biggest losers of free agency. However, they were able to convince DeAndre Jordan to leave Dallas and rejoin the Clip. In addition to Jordan, they were able to sign Paul Pierce to the Mid Level Exception, which gives them an added scoring weapon off of the bench. The move for Pierce will allow them to trade Jamal Crawford in order to bolster their front court.
Los Angeles Lakers
At the beginning of the free agency period, it looked like the Lakers would land one of the highly touted big men, Cousins, Gasol, or Aldridge. However, they were forced to trade for Hibbert and it leaves them with a major hole. Without another star alongside Kobe, the Lakers are going to miss the playoffs for another season. Although the Lakers should be better with the addition of Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and D’Angelo Russell, they will be awful once again.
New York Knicks
The Knicks were planning for this offseason for the past few months, but yet again they were unable to sign a major free agent. Due to their lack of talent, other stars refused to accept the Knicks money and play for a losing team. Although they spent millions of dollars on Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, and Aaron Afflalo, none of those players are no better than role players. The Knicks traded away their first round pick for the 2016 draft and these moves will probably force them to deal away a lottery pick.
Over the past two seasons, the Trailblazers were one of the most successful and consecutive teams in the West. However, this offseason was an absolute disaster for Portland. Besides for the fact that they lost their best player, they lost two defensive wizards and a competent center. The Blazers will have 4 new starters next season, but none of them will be better than the previous starters. The Blazers will likely return to the lottery until they can find another star to play alongside Damian Lilliard.