NBA Free Agency Starts Off With A Bang

In a flurry of moves, NBA free agency is underway. 

In what has arguably become a more important time on the NBA calendar than the NBA Finals, the arms race in The Association determines the future of the league every summer. 

As rosters fill, let’s take a look at some of the big free-agency news. 

Chris Paul returns to Phoenix 

The “Point God” has a few more years in the Valley of the Sun. 

Coming off a season in which the basketball community was finally forced to realize his greatness, Paul was in for another payday. He averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists. 4.5 rebounds and shot 39.5% from beyond the three-point line. More importantly, he was the key piece in the puzzle for a Suns organization that had been the laughingstock of the league under owner Robert Sarver. 

Paul declined his $44 million player option for next season before signing a new four-year deal that reportedly could be worth as much as $120 million, according to ESPN. The deal is more than likely Paul’s last contract in the NBA and gives him security moving forward. 

For Phoenix, they lock up their team leader and continue to build on last season’s success. DeAndre Ayton took a significant step forward during the playoffs — though he struggled at times in the Finals — and Devin Booker looks like he’ll be part of the next batch of superstars to rule the league. 

Some may worry about the end of the contract for a 36-year-old who has played 16-years in the league, but the risk is worth it for Phoenix. 

Kyle Lowry says goodbye to Toronto, heads to South Beach

After the interesting decision by Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri to not trade Lowry at the trade deadline, Ujiri did well to get something back for Lowry. 

On Monday, the Miami Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade, inking him to a three-year, $90 million contract while sending Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to Toronto. 

For Lowry, he gets to escape a semi-rebuild in Toronto and join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in pursuit of a championship. While Lowry is an upgrade over Dragic, he’ll be entering his 16th season and Miami won’t have much cap room to add role players around their new “Big Three.” Miami also re-signed Duncan Robinson to a five-year, $90 million contract. 

With Milwaukee coming off a championship and the Brooklyn Nets presumably being healthy by the start of the season, the East won’t be easy. Adding Lowry is certainly a headline, but it’s hard to see Miami being the favorites in the East even with his addition. 

Lonzo Ball signs in Chicago

Lonzo has had quite the resurgence. From being sent away from LA after one season with LeBron James, to being one of the most highly sought after free agents just a few short years later, the NBA has finally realized Ball’s value. 

Chicago and the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a sign-and-trade, with Ball landing with the Bulls on a four-year, $85 million deal.  New Orleans gets Tomas Satoramsky, Garrett Temple and a second-round pick. 

Ball’s shooting improved dramatically in his two seasons in New Orleans. He shot just 31.5% from beyond the arc in his first two years in LA, and 38% in New Orleans. His free throw shooting also improved in a major way, going from 41.7% in his second year to 78.1% last season. 

Ball is a fantastic playmaker and should at least put the Bulls in playoff contention next season.  

The Bulls also signed Alex Caruso away from the Lakers, in what is an underrated addition. It’s also reported that Chicago signed DeMar DeRozan to a three-year, $85 million contract.

Other notable free agent moves include: 

Mike Conley re-signs in Utah for three-years, $72.5 million.

Derrick Rose re-signs with the New York Knicks for three years, $43 million.

Andre Drummond heads to Philadelphia on a one-year deal.

Carmelo Anthony joins LeBron in LA on a one-year deal.

Kemba Walker is planning with the New York Knicks after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Oklahoma Thunder

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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