No big signings yet after the first night of free agency in the NBA, only re-signings. The New Orleans Pelicans might make Anthony Davis the highest paid player in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs re-sign Kawhi Leonard for a max deal, the Portland Trail Blazers make the first interesting move by signing Al-Farouq Aminu while the Brooklyn Nets surprise some by re-signing both Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young.
Davis, who averaged 24.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season, helping the Pelicans make the postseason for the first time in the post-Chris Paul era, signed a five-year, $145 million extension, allowed thanks to the Derrick Rose rule which gives teams and mostly the players a chance to sign a so-called franchise player for 30% of the salary cap.
The San Antonio Spurs couldn’t agree with Kawhi Leonard on an extension last season, and their small forward and the 24 NBA Finals MVP knew what he was doing. A year later, as a restricted free agent, he manages to get a max deal worth $90 million over the next five seasons. The final terms won’t be finalized until everyone knows what the cap space actually is, affecting the amount of money allowed on max deals.
Leonard, who missed 18 games last season, averaged 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while leading the NBA in steals per game with 2.3. By signing Leonard the Spurs turn their attention to LaMarcus Aldridge, a signing that might make it difficult for them to keep Danny Green and also Marco Belinelli.
The Brooklyn Nets were also busy making expensive re-signings, although some are surprised by this move, thinking the Nets were going to start dumping their more expensive deals or at least trying not to commit to new ones until they get rid of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. Lopez signs a three-year, $60 million deal that will include protections should he again have foot issues, but Lopez will have a player option for the second season.
Young knew what he was doing by opting out of a $10.2 million player option, and signing a four-year, $50 million deal.
A player joining a new team will be Al-Farouq Aminu, who leaves the Dallas Mavericks and joins the Portland Trail Blazers on a $30 million, four-year deal, basically coming in for Nicolas Batum who was traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Aminu doesn’t give the Blazers any problems of re-signing Aldridge, but they seem to be busy making moves in preparation of their best player possibly leaving.