Mavericks re-sign Nerlens Noel (1 year, $4.1 million): A- Grade
Nerlens Noel was reportedly seeking a contract worth about $17 million, but he ended up taking less than a quarter of that. The Mavericks would've been foolish to give Noel that sort of money, so they did well to wait him out and get him on a much cheaper deal.
Noel has talent, but hasn't been able to stay healthy. In four seasons, Noel has missed 135 games, which comes out to 33.75 per year. That's a horrible rate, so Noel needs to prove that he can remain healthy for a change. Perhaps this short-term "prove it" deal will provide the motivation for him to take better care of his body.
This is a nice move by the Mavericks, who deserve a high grade for retaining Noel so cheaply.
Cavaliers sign Derrick Rose (1 year, $2.1 million): A+ Grade
It's a shame how Derrick Rose's career has gone. Just 28, Rose should be playing for max contracts, but his inability to stay healthy has ruined his earning opportunity. Rose, however, is coming off a solid year in which he averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists in 64 games for the Knicks. If he can maintain that level of play and only miss 18 games or so, Cleveland will be thrilled.
The major take-away with Rose signing with the Cavaliers is that it allows Kyrie Irving to be traded without a severe downgrade at point guard. Granted, there will be major problems at the position if Rose gets hurt again, but there will be great potential, especially if Cleveland gets something lucrative for Irving.
The Cavaliers deserve an A+ for this signing. Bringing in Rose to a huge contract would've been a nightmare, but there's no risk with this deal. This is all upside, and Rose's presence will allow Cleveland to continue to be the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if Irving is dealt. Looking further, however, LeBron James and Rose could both move to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers after this season, as both players have been rumored to be headed for that franchise.
Bullets re-sign John Wall (4 years, $170 million): A Grade
This is the same type of grade the Warriors have gotten for Steph Curry and the Rockets obtained for James Harden. I have no choice but to give the Bullets an "A" for re-signing John Wall.
Is this an obscene amount of money? Yes. But the Bullets had to pay Wall, one of the best point guards in the NBA, whatever he wanted. Unlike the NFL, the NBA is a star-driven league, and the Bullets will be a contender for the NBA Finals with Wall once LeBron James moves to Los Angeles. If the Bullets allowed Wall to leave, they'd be irrelevant for a very long time.
Clippers sign Willie Reed (1 year, $1.5 million): B+ Grade
I don't understand the NBA sometimes. There are instances where teams pay backups - especially big men - lots of money. Some make $8 million per year or so. Yet, here the Clippers are, signing a viable No. 2 center for just $1.5 million. Why aren't there more contracts like this for reserves?
Reed won't have a huge impact for the Clippers, barring an injury to DeAndre Jordan. However, this is a quality signing, as Reed can rebound well for 15 minutes or so per night.
Pelicans sign Rajon Rondo (1 year): B+ Grade
It's crazy how far Rajon Rondo has fallen. He was once considered one of the better point guards in the NBA, but now, at just 31, he's taking 1-year deals with sub-par NBA teams.
This signing is a curious one, as the Pelicans already have a starting point guard in Jrue Holiday on the roster. I assume they'll play both Holiday and Rondo together, which could be awkward. At the same time, however, the Pelicans are swinging for the fences by hoping Rondo can revert to pre-Dallas form, and there's not much of a risk because this contract is just for one year.
Magic sign Jonathon Simmons (3 years, $20 million): C Grade
Orlando isn't the most competent organization in the NBA, as its front office tends to make perplexing moves at times. This is a prime example of that, as the Magic just signed a bench player who can't shoot or score to a contract worth nearly $7 million per year.
Jonathon Simmons played well in the postseason, but this seems like an example of where a sub-par player from a winning organization goes to a poor team and predictably struggles. Simmons is a quality defender, but he's not worth this sort of money.
Hawks re-sign Ersan Ilyasova (1 year, $6 million): A Grade
The Hawks have made some very strange decisions this offseason, but this isn't one of them. They managed to make a solid signing (rather, re-signing), though it's curious as to why Ersan Ilyasova would even want to return to Atlanta.
Ilyasova averaged 13 points for the Hawks in 2016-17. He just hit 30, but should continue to play well. It's nice that Atlanta was able to retain him, but Ilyasova was expected to latch on with a contender, so it's curious why he would waste his time with such a horrible team.
Jazz sign Jonas Jerebko (2 years, $8.2 million): B Grade
Jonas Jerebko played about 15 minutes per game for the Celtics the past three years, and he served as a decent bench player. Getting someone like Jerebko for about $4 million per year seems like a somewhat decent deal. It's obviously not a game-changer or anything, but it gives the Jazz some better depth.
Jazz sign Thabo Sefolosha (2 years, $10.5 million): B Grade
Atlanta cut ties with Thabo Sefolosha, who said that he wanted to have a prominent role on a team in 2017-18. He'll have a chance to compete for a starting job in Utah, which isn't saying much, but at least it's something.
Sefolosha isn't much of a scorer - he's never averaged more than 7.6 points - but he's a stout defender. He turned 33 this offseason, so there will be regression soon, but the Jazz are getting a decent role player for a good price. It's nothing to be excited about, but it's a solid move.
Hawks sign Dewayne Dedmon (2 years, $14 million): C- Grade
The Hawks traded Dwight Howard, but it's OK because they replaced him with... uhh... Dewayne Dedmon? Oh, no.
Dedmon walking over from San Antonio to Atlanta for $7 million per year is kind of ridiculous. Dedmon averaged 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds this past season, so I don't understand why the Hawks think he's worth this price. He's a solid rebounder off the bench, but that's about it.
Lakers re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1 year, $18 million): B Grade
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was reportedly seeking a $100 million contract this offseason even though he averaged just 13 points per game this past year. I'm not sure why he thought teams would offer him a nine-figure deal, as this sort of contract was more realistic.
There's no issue with the Lakers signing Caldwell-Pope, as he won't hurt their future finances. He'll likely start along with Lonzo Ball in the backcourt, and his signing allows the Lakers to hit minimum financial requirements. However, I'm not sure what the purpose of this acquisition is. Caldwell-Pope will help Los Angeles win some games, but the team won't get anywhere near the playoffs, so what's the point of bringing in Caldwell-Pope, exactly?
Knicks re-sign Tim Hardaway (4 years, $71 million): C- Grade
This reminds me a lot of the Otto Porter contract. Tim Hardaway Jr. is set to earn a bit less than Porter, but he's also slightly worse than Porter. However, both are equally overpaid at an obscene level.
Hardaway Jr., like Porter, is young (25). He has upside - he averaged 14.5 points last year and finished the season on a strong note - but giving him nearly $18 million per year is absolutely ridiculous. It's contracts like this that are preventing the Knicks from becoming relevant.
Bullets re-sign Otto Porter (4 years, $106 million): C- Grade
I can understand why the Nets would offer Otto Porter this sort of a contract. They're completely irrelevant, and Otto Porter might sell some tickets. Maybe like 50, or even 75. It would be great, and Jay-Z would finally have someone to go to games with.
The Bullets re-signing Porter by matching Brooklyn's deal is asinine. Porter is a solid player - he averaged 13-and-6 last year - and he's excellent at shooting from deep and playing good defense. However, there's no way he's worth a max contract. I can't give the Bullets an "F" for this because Porter will at least help the team get back to the second round of the playoffs, but a C- makes sense to me.
Pistons re-sign Reggie Bullock (2 years, $5 million): B+ Grade
Reggie Bullock is a decent bench player, so re-signing him for $2.5 million per season seems like a pretty good deal. Bullock doesn't score much, but he has shot 41 and 38 percent from three the past two seasons, and he's only 26. Bullock will see more time this year with Marcus Morris gone, so I like this contract.
Rockets re-sign James Harden (6 years, $228 million): A Grade
Wow. James Harden just signed the largest contract in NBA history. He'll be making $57 million per year over four seasons via this mega deal.
Considering that the Warriors just gave Steph Curry $201 million over five years, this is an overpay. However, the Rockets almost certainly won't regret giving Harden this contract. Despite his tendency to choke in the playoffs, Harden is one of the top players in the NBA. He almost won MVP, and he's in his prime; he turns 28 in August. Harden is a superstar, and given that this is a superstar-driven league, the Rockets would've been foolish not to retain him.
I can't issue an "A" because that's what I gave to the Warriors for giving Curry a more reasonable deal than this, so I'll stick to a B+, which is still a good grade.
Update: It was initially reported that this deal was for four years, $228 million. It's actually six years, as the four season were tacked on to the remaining two on Harden's previous contract. With that in mind, this contract is way more reasonable, so I'm bumping this grade up from a B+ to an "A."
Suns re-sign Alan Williams (3 years, $17 million): B+ Grade
Alan Williams has played just 57 career games, but he showed some potential at the end of this past season. He was given more minutes, and he was able to record some double-doubles, including a 16-and-17 performance against Golden State. Williams is just 24, so he has some potential despite being an undersized center (6-foot-8).
This seems like a pretty decent deal to me. Williams could improve in the next year or two, and if he does, this contract will seem like a steal.
Celtics sign Aron Baynes (1 year, $4.3 million): B Grade
Aron Baynes' career-high points-per-game average is 6.6, but he has a chance to break that in Boston this year. Baynes hit that with the Spurs a few years ago, but he'll be asked to play more minutes with the Celtics with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk gone.
Baynes is a backup-caliber player, but he is a big man, and those are generally paid more than what they're worth. This contract, conversely, is quite reasonable, and it's a decent signing for Boston.
Magic sign Shelvin Mack (2 years, $12 million): C Grade
The Magic hadn't done anything this offseason, but they finally made a move. They signed Shelvin Mack. Hooray!
Mack is a mediocre backup guard. He has never averaged more than 8.6 points per game, and he's not a very good shooter. He's not a bad second-unit player, but Orlando is overpaying by giving him $6 million per season. Granted, this deal is only for two years, so it's not the end of the world, but the Magic needs to start doing better.
Cavaliers sign Jeff Green (1 year, $2.3 million): B+ Grade
Jeff Green averaged nearly 17 points back in 2013-14, but the wheels have fallen off for him in recent years. He couldn't even hit double figures this past season, as his shooting was horrible. He couldn't defend well either.
That said, Green isn't a bad player to have off the bench, and getting him for just $2.3 million is a fine move. This won't do anything to help the Cavaliers close the gap with the Warriors, but it's a decent pick-up, as Green will provide quality depth at a cheap price.
Warriors re-sign Zaza Pachulia (1 year, $3.5 million): A Grade
The Warriors are having a ridiculously amazing offseason, and it continues to get better. They somehow maintained their starting center for just $3.5 million for 2017-18.
Granted, Zaza Pachulia is not a great player or anything, but he does start for Golden State, and there are far worse big men who make a ton more money than Pachulia will this upcoming season. The Warriors are getting quite the bargain once again, and they deserve a great grade as a result.
Pacers sign Bojan Bogdanovic (2 years, $21 million): C Grade
The Pacers don't really seem to have any sort of firm plan right now. They lost Paul George and won't be good at all as a result, so one would think that they'd emulate the 76ers and go into tank mode. Unfortunately for Indiana fans, they don't have a brilliant general manager like Sam Hinkie running the show. As a consequence, weird moves like this happen.
Bojan Bogdanovic is a decent offensive player. He'd be a solid role player on a winning club, but Indiana signing him is strange, as it makes the Pacers slightly better, but not good enough to contend for anything. Thus, Indiana is basically ensuring that it'll be mediocre or sub par for the next couple of years, which is where you don't want to be in the NBA.
Grizzlies sign Tyreke Evans (1 year, $3.3 million): A Grade
Tyreke Evans averaged 20 points per game in a season once upon a time. Those days are long gone, but Evans will be just 28 prior to the start of the 2017-18 NBA campaign, so it's not like he's going to completely fall off.
Evans, however, dealt with way too many injuries, which have sapped him of his talent. He can still score double figures routinely though, and at just one year for $3.3 million, Memphis isn't taking any sort of risk. This is a solid signing.
Hawks re-sign Mike Muscala (2 years, $10 million): C+ Grade
It's a sad state of affairs in Atlanta. The Hawks were a playoff team this past season, but they've regressed so much that Mike Muscala could be an opening-night starter for them at power forward.
This seems like a bit too much for a player who averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds last year. However, it's not an egregious amount, and if Muscala starts, his numbers will go up by default. So, I wouldn't say this is a bad move, but Atlanta fans can't feel too happy about it either.
Kings sign Vince Carter (1 year, $8 million): VLADE Grade
That's it. I'm done issuing Kahn grades. The new "F" will be for Vlade Divac, who, as my dad repeatedly states, is the dumbest person in the NBA.
I don't understand this signing. I'm not sure Vince Carter is worth $8 at this point; let alone $8 million. Carter is a 40-year-old who hasn't averaged more than eight points per game since 2013-14. He really shouldn't be in the NBA anymore, but if he wanted to take a contract for the minimum, I'd be fine with it. But $8 million? Vlade, what the hell are you doing?
Heat sign Kelly Olynyk (4 years, $50 million): D Grade
Most big men are criminally overpaid in the NBA, and this is yet another example. Kelly Olynyk is set to earn $12.5 million per season, which seems absolutely crazy.
Olynyk has never played more than 22 minutes per game in any of his four seasons. He's a solid backup who can score nine or 10 points per game, so he should get between $6-$8 million per season. But $12.5 million? That seems ridiculous, and this is a major overpay. I'm not going to issue an "F" but this is pretty bad, and a "D" seems right.
Spurs sign Rudy Gay (2 years, $17 million): A- Grade
Forgive me for the positive grades today, but none of these moves are bad. And there certainly isn't anything wrong with the Spurs signing Rudy Gay to a 2-year deal.
Gay is coming off an Achilles tear and may not be ready to start the season. That's exactly why San Antonio is getting the 19-and-6 player at a great discount. It's a nice, high-upside move without much risk, as the 2-year contract won't bankrupt the Spurs if Gay doesn't pan out.
Clippers sign Milos Teodosic (2 years, $12.3 million): B+ Grade
The Clippers are understandably desperate for guards in the wake of Chris Paul's defection for Houston, so that would explain this signing. Milos Teodosic has never played in the NBA, yet Los Angeles gave him a 2-year deal to come stateside.
Teodosic is considered the top point guard in Europe. He's 30, but there have been other European players who have entered the league at his age and have performed well. Teodosic could eventually start for the Clippers, making this deal a bargain. If he fails, the contract won't harm the Clippers over the long haul, so the risk is worth the reward.
Mavericks re-sign Dirk Nowitzki (2 years, $10 million): B+ Grade
This is actually a 1-year deal, as the second season on this contract happens to be a team option.
Is Nowitzki worth $5 million per year now, given that he's a fading 39-year-old who is way past his prime? Definitwly not. However, I don't have an issue with the Mavericks overpaying Nowitzki a bit. This isn't anything like the utterly awful contract the Lakers gave Kobe Bryant at the end of his career; this "gift" is just for one season, so it won't hurt Dallas' cap situation moving forward.
Thunder re-sign Andre Roberson (3 years, $30 million): C Grade
Andre Roberson is a solid role player. He's a terrific defender, but it's a shame that he shoots so poorly. Roberson has a horrific offensive game outside of the paint, and he's a major liability on offense. Still, it's ideal if Roberson can play 20-25 minutes per game to lock someone down.
It's nice that the Thunder re-signed Roberson, but for $10 million per year? That seems a bit egregious. I don't hate this deal, but it's definitely an overpay.
Heat sign Dion Waiters (4 years, $52 million): A- Grade
Dion Waiters has been on three teams in his career thus far despite being just 25, but he's really coming into his own. Waiters averaged 15.8 points, thriving as an important player for the Heat this past season.
Waiters will be earning $13 million per year, which actually seems reasonable for a talented player entering his prime. He probably could've earned more elsewhere, so Miami deserves a nice grade.
Warriors sign Nick Young (1 year, $5.2 million): B+ Grade
And the Warriors continue to get better. It's a shame that the NBA isn't some video game, where you can simulate the season and move on to the next one because, barring injuries, Golden State is guaranteed to win the championship.
Nick Young is a dumb player, but he is talented. He's averaged 13 points per game in two of the past three seasons. He does stupid things on the court, but he'll be on his best behavior in Golden State. I look at this like the Patriots signing some trouble-maker. It almost always works out for them, and I think the Warriors will have similar success.
Clippers sign Danilo Gallinari (3 years, $65 million): C Grade
The Clippers have gotten a lot worse very quickly, but they're trying to salvage their poor offseason by signing Danilo Gallinari. Unfortunately for them, they may have just made things worse.
Danilo Gallinari is a very talented player, but has never panned out because of countless injuries. He has missed 19 games or more every single season but one since 2009-10. He's extremely unreliable, and the Clippers will soon discover how frustrating he is. Gallinari will help Los Angeles win when he's on the court, but he's going to miss at least a quarter of the year. Giving him a contract worth about $22 million per season seems like a mistake, but there is upside in this move, so I won't grade it worse than a "C."
Thunder sign Patrick Patterson (3 years, $16.4 million): B+ Grade
The Thunder had to replace the Minnesota-bound Taj Gibson, and they were able to do so by signing Patrick Patterson. Oklahoma City is getting Patterson cheaper for three years than the Timberwolves have acquired Gibson for two. Gibson is better than Patterson, but the discount makes up for that.
This is a solid signing, as Patterson will be a valuable bench player who can score about 7-8 points per game. He's also just 28, so he'll continue to play well throughout the duration of this contract.
Celtics sign Gordon Hayward (4 years, $128 million): A Grade
If this seems like a lot of money, it's most definitely not even though it's a max contract. The NBA is all about having stars, and the Celtics are certainly getting one in Gordon Hayward, who averaged about 22 points for the Jazz last year.
This signing gives the Celtics a legitimate chance to unseat the Cavaliers as the top team in the Eastern Conference. They were three victories away from reaching the NBA Finals this past season despite losing Isaiah Thomas. Now, they'll have Thomas and Hayward to help defeat Cleveland. Boston still isn't as good as Golden State, but there could be injuries. You never know.
The Celtics deserve an "A" for this signing. Hayward improves the Celtics, and he'll fit in very well, given that he played for head coach Brad Stevens in Butler. Hayward is also still young; he turned 27 in March, so he'll be in his prime throughout the duration of this contract.
Warriors sign Omri Casspi (1 year, minimum): A Grade
This is almost unfair now. The Warriors keep getting better by adding players for low-money contracts. This time, they're getting Omri Casspi, who is far from being a great player, but he's a terrific shooter. He'll get plenty of opportunities in Golden State. With so many players drawing attention from Casspi, he'll be open all the time, and he should be able to drill at least 40 percent of his attempts from downtown.
I'm definitely giving the Warriors an "A" for this, as Casspi could've signed elsewhere for more money. This is a steal.
Kings sign Zach Randolph (2 years, $24 million): C- Grade
This seems like a poor deal for the Kings. Zach Randolph could've taken less money to play for a contender. Instead, he chased the money and went to an awful franchise with no hope. Thus, I can't see him putting forth full effort. Sacramento will be getting a player who is a shell of his former self, especially considering that Randolph turns 36 later this month.
This isn't an awful contract, as it's only for two years, but it's pretty bad. The Kings should be adding young, promising talent; not overpaying for players who are way past their prime.
Kings sign George Hill (3 years, $57 million): C Grade
Vlade Divac is the worst, but this signing isn't too terrible. George Hill is a solid starting point guard, and while this is a slight overpay, he'll definitely help the Kings win some games. He'll also mentor first-round rookie De'Aaron Fox, which is a plus.
That said, the Kings are paying on past production, as Hill just turned 31. He could begin to regress soon, and I have to wonder if Hill's full effort will be there, given that he's going from a playoff team to one of the worst organizations in major sports. I wouldn't have made this move if I were Divac, but he has certainly done worse.
Pacers sign Darren Collison (2 years, $20 million): B+ Grade
It's odd to see a talented player going from the Western Conference to the East, but it's finally happening this offseason. Darren Collison signed with the Pacers after playing for the Kings the past three years.
Collison is an average starting point guard, and he'll fill a need for the Pacers. Backups have been signing for absurd rates this offseason - as high as $8 million per season! - so a starter for $10 million seems like quite a deal, especially when it's a contract for just two seasons. This is a quality move by Indiana, so a B+ or A- makes sense.
Warriors re-sign Kevin Durant (2 years, $53 million): A+ Grade
If anyone is wondering how the Warriors can afford all of their talented players, well, here's your answer. Kevin Durant just took a major discount to keep the core group of the Warriors intact, inking a 2-year, $53 million deal. Durant could've easily gotten the maximum, but he did the selfless thing and took less money so that Golden State could keep its dynasty together.
This is a no-brainer A+, though it is an "F" for the NBA. The league is borderline unwatchable next year (and probably the two seasons afterward) because we know who's going to win the championship. Barring multiple injuries to star players, the Warriors will prevail, and it's so much of a certainty that it's even more intriguing to ask whether or not they'll be able to go 16-0 in the playoffs this time.
Nuggets sign Paul Millsap (3 years, $90 million): C+ Grade
I suppose the Nuggets feel that Paul Millsap is going to get them over the hump and into the playoffs. This would certainly work if they were in the Eastern Conference, but I'm not sure if that plan will pan out because they're in the tough West. They were ninth in the conference last year, but they now have to worry about Minnesota passing them as well.
Millsap is a very good player, but I wouldn't call him great, so I don't think he's worth $30 million per season. He'll also turn 33 during the 2017-18 campaign, so it appears as though Denver is paying on past production. I don't really fault the Nuggets for making this sort of move, as they're desperate to stay relevant, but I think they'd be better off tanking for now.
Grizzlies sign Ben McLemore (2 years, $10.7 million): A- Grade
Ben McLemore was the seventh-overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he hasn't done anything in the NBA, aside from averaging 12 points per game one year. Still, he's a 24-year-old with some major potential, so I like this move.
Not only is there upside with signing McLemore, but the Grizzlies could be acquiring a starter for about $5 million per season. Shooting guard is a need with Tony Allen and Vince Carter off the books, and McLemore can step into that spot. There's a chance he becomes a significant player for Memphis if he finally lives up to his ability. He could also continue to be pedestrian, but the risk is worth the reward.
Bulls sign Justin Holiday (2 years, $9 million): B Grade
The Knicks were attempting to retain Justin Holiday, but lost him to just $9 million for two years. It's a rough time for the Knicks, who can only get players if they overpay.
As for the Bulls, they're getting a solid bench player who averaged 7.7 points this past season, playing 20 minutes per game. He has improved his three-point shooting over the years, and he's still just 28, so this is a decent move for Chicago.
Raptors re-sign Kyle Lowry (3 years, $100 million): C+ Grade
It was once rumored that the Timberwolves were going to sign Kyle Lowry, but now we see why they "settled" for Jeff Teague. Lowry is set to make $43 million more than Teague over the same span, which seems insane. Lowry is better than Teague, but not $43 million better!
This is an egregious contract. Not only is Lowry on the wrong side of 30 - he turned 31 in the spring - he also tends to struggle in big moments. Toronto is definitely overpaying. That said, I can understand why the Raptors are doing this, as staying relevant is pretty significant in the Eastern Conference, which will open up following the 2017-18 campaign if LeBron James goes to the Lakers next summer.
Cavaliers re-sign Kyle Korver (3 years, $22 million): C Grade
The 76ers were foolish to get rid of Kyle Korver once upon a time, as he was one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. He's still excellent from deep - he hit 45.1 percent of his threes last year - but age is becoming a concern, as Korver will turn 37 during the 2017-18 campaign.
I don't think this is an awful contract, as Korver fits in well with the current Cavaliers. He'll continue to have open looks because of LeBron James, so he'll help Cleveland win a game against Golden State again in the NBA Finals. However, it sounds like James is going to leave for the Lakers next summer, so if that happens, where does that leave Korver? The Cavaliers are going to be stuck with a bad contract for two years as a result, so I don't like this move very much.
Rockets re-sign Nene Hilario (3 years, $11 million): B+ Grade
Nene Hilario is a solid bench player and a great guy to have in the locker room. Re-signing him for about $4 million per season is yet another solid move by Houston's front office.
But four years!? Hilario turns 35 in September, so it seems odd that the Rockets would give him a contract for that long. I imagine Hilario will retire before his deal is up, which makes the duration of the contract a head-scratcher, but the price is definitely right.
Update: Hilaro's deal with the Rockets had to be adjusted because of CBA rules. It's now a more sensible three years and $11 million. I'm going to bump this grade up from a B- to a B+, as I like this signing much more now.
Bullets sign Jodie Meeks (2 years, $7 million): A- Grade
It's odd to see a cheap deal like this early in NBA free agency, but the Bullets managed to put one together in order to obtain Jodie Meeks.
I like this move. Meeks comes cheaply, which is important, and he's also going to provide a solid presence off the bench. He'll be a valuable backup, as he can shoot threes well. He turns 30 in August, but he should be able to avoid a decline throughout the duration of this contract.
Timberwolves sign Taj Gibson (2 years, $28 million): B+ Grade
I like these short-term, high-salary deals. Is Taj Gibson worth $14 million per year? Absolutely not, but the Timberwolves don't have to pay him beyond the 2018-19 season, so they won't be stuck with an awful contract. Meanwhile, they'll be getting Gibson at full effort because he'll have to impress teams to get another lucrative deal in the summer of 2019. I like the 1-year pacts better than the 2-year versions, but this is a very good signing nonetheless.
Gibson, who just turned 32, isn't the same player he used to be, but he can be a strong bench presence for the Timberwolves, who are gearing up for a playoff run. It also helps that as a former Bull, Gibson is familiar with Tom Thibodeau's coaching style, so there won't be much of a transitional period for the 6-foot-9 forward.
Raptors sign Serge Ibaka (3 years, $65 million): B- Grade
The Raptors lost P.J. Tucker last night, but they at least managed to re-sign Serge Ibaka. Granted, Ibaka's salary is much larger than it should be, but they were able to retain him to stay relevant in the pathetic Eastern Conference.
Ibaka is a solid starting power forward, but he shouldn't be making close to $22 million per season. However, this deal is for three years; not four, so it's not an awful contract. Plus, the Raptors had to overpay after seeing Tucker leave for Houston, so it's not like they had much of a choice.
Rockets sign P.J. Tucker (4 years, $32 million): C Grade
P.J. Tucker is a savvy defender and a solid rebounder, and he can offer versatility off the bench. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Rockets overpaid him by giving him $8 million per year.
The correct price for Tucker, at four years, probably would've been $20 million or so. But I don't even think four years is right, as Tucker just turned 32. His skills could begin to erode soon, so the Rockets might be paying a do-nothing player $8 million per year in 2019 and 2020.
Warriors re-sign Andre Iguodala (3 years, $45 million): B- Grade
The salary cap apparently applies to only 29 teams in the NBA. The Warriors have somehow brought back Andre Iguodala in addition to re-signing everyone else, ensuring that they'll have a chance to go undefeated in the playoffs next year.
This re-signing is nice for the short term, but it could cost the Warriors in a year or two, as Iguodala is no longer worth this sort of money. Iguodala is a great role player off the bench and a fierce defender, but he turns 34 in January, so his skills will be eroding soon. He could be a shell of his former self in the third year of this deal, but I guess the Warriors will take it if it means they can win the championship the next two seasons with ease.
Jazz re-sign Joe Ingles (4 years, $52 million): KAHN!!! Grade
This is the worst signing of the NBA offseason thus far. The Jazz could've offered Joe Ingles half as much, and it still wouldn't have been a good acquisition. That's how awful this move is.
Ingles is usually a backup, but he saw more action last year in the wake of injuries. He had some nice moments, but giving him $13 million per year is absurd. Plus, it's not like he's a young player who has the potential to improve. He turns 30 in October, so his skills will erode by the end of this contract. This signing is easily worth a Kahn.
Cavaliers sign Jose Calderon (1 year, minimum): A- Grade
Jose Calderon won't help the Cavaliers overtake the Warriors, but he can assist their efforts of reaching the NBA Finals again. Calderon was signed to be the team's backup point guard, and he was brought in for the veteran's minimum.
Calderon's specialty is shooting, and he'll have plenty of opportunities to knock down shots from deep with LeBron James drawing attention away from him. Calderon will certainly have more chances than he had in Atlanta, where he struggled mightily last year. Calderon seems like he should be able to bounce back, however, so I like this minor move.
Hornets sign Michael Carter-Williams (1 year, $2.7 million): B+ Grade
Remember when Michael Carter-Williams was named Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season? He has fallen off completely since, and he seemingly keeps getting worse. Carter-Williams' inability to shoot on even an average level has derailed his career, and it's discouraging that he has never developed that facet of his game. It appears as though legendary general manager Sam Hinkie knew exactly what he was doing when he traded Carter-Williams, though he got a ton of flak for it at the time.
That said, Carter-Williams is still young - he turns 26 in October - so he still has time to develop. Perhaps he'll do that in Charlotte. It's unclear where he fits, as both Kemba Walker and Malik Monk are capable of playing point guard, but for just one year and $2.7 million, it's worth the investment to see if the coaching staff can turn his career around.
76ers sign Amir Johnson (1 year, $11 million): B Grade
As with the J.J. Redick signing, this is an instance of the 76ers overpaying a player, but not having it matter very much because it's for only one year. Philadelphia has money to spend, and there no long-term ramifications.
I don't like this move as much as acquiring Redick, but Amir Johnson will provide solid depth in the front court as the Sixers attempt to take advantage of the demise of several Eastern Conference teams and make the playoffs in 2017-18.
76ers sign J.J. Redick (1 year, $23 million): A Grade
Before I begin, I'd like to thank my friend Drew for alerting me of this signing. I was about to fire up the new Zelda game, so I would have missed this for a couple of hours.
As for this signing, it's definitely a great one. A salary of $23 million for J.J. Redick is far too much in a vacuum, but not if it's for just one year. Redick provides the 76ers with what they're missing, a three-point specialist, and he could help them finally reach the playoffs for the first time in what feels like eons.
This contract is perfect because it allows the 76ers to spend the tons of money they have available, all while not ruining their cap situation beyond 2017-18. When I heard that the 76ers were interested in Redick, I was worried that they were going to give him a massive contract, but they're apparently smarter than that.
Pistons sign Langston Galloway (3 years, $21 million): KAHN!!! Grade
This continues the trend of Eastern Conference teams doing stupid things. This contract doesn't make any sense, so it's just par for the course for what the other Eastern squads have done thus far in free agency.
Langston Galloway is a mediocre backup point guard. In what world does that warrant paying him $7 million per year? Also, the Pistons have Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith as point guards, so where does Galloway fit in?
This is a failure in every regard, so it's getting an "F." I give Millens to NFL teams, and I think I'll assign Kahns to NBA squads. Kahn, as in David Kahn, who once selected three other point guards over Steph Curry in the same draft as general manager of the Timberwolves.
Pelicans re-sign Jrue Holiday (5 years, $126 million): C- Grade
It seems that every year, people expect the Pelicans to make the leap to finally becoming a playoff team, and yet, every year, the Pelicans find a way to disappoint. It's moves like this that keeps them from reaching their potential with Anthony Davis.
I don't understand what Jrue Holiday has done to earn this sort of a contract. He's an average starting point guard with an extensive injury history; he missed 107 games in the three years prior to 2016-17. He's not a bad player by any means, so I'm not going to issue a "D" or anything, but the Pelicans could've used this money on players to finally get them over the hump, and I don't think Holiday will help accomplish that.
Warriors re-sign Steph Curry (5 years, $201 million): A Grade
Unlike the NFL, where a massive contract to a quarterback can financially cripple a team, the NBA is a star-driven league where such deals are imperative. Basketball teams need to make sure they retain their superstars, and Steph Curry obviously happens to be one, as he's a top player in the league.
Curry wasn't going to take less money than this, so the Warriors had no choice but to re-sign him for this sort of a deal. By doing so, the Warriors will be an NBA Finals contender throughout the duration of his contract. Even better for Golden State, it sounds like Kevin Durant could take a pay cut for the core group of the team to remain together. If so, we might be looking at a situation in which the Warriors win the championship for the next three, four or five years, and it'll take another super team to even challenge them.
Warriors re-sign Shaun Livingston (3 years, $24 million): B+ Grade
Shaun Livingston is an important bench player for the Warriors, as he can play multiple positions. He could've received more money elsewhere, especially when considering the amount of money some of the Eastern Conference backups have been getting tonight. However, Livingston agreed to take a pay cut to remain with the team that is almost guaranteed to win the NBA Finals again next year.
Livingston's deal isn't even fully guaranteed, as only $2 million happens to be during the third year of this contract. I'm willing to give the Warriors a B+ for this, as the savings could help Golden State retain Andre Iguodala.
Bulls re-sign Cristiano Felicio (4 years, $32 million): C- Grade
While the Western Conference is loading up on All-Stars, teams in the Eastern Conference are paying big bucks to backups. I guess we know who's winning the All-Star game.
Cristiano Felicio averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Granted, he's only 25 (as of July 7), but he's not nearly good enough to earn $8 million per season. I'm not even sure if he's worth half as much, but I won't dismiss the possibility that as a young player, Felicio will make big strides and improve over the next couple of years. That's the only thing keeping this grade from being a "D" or worse.
Bucks re-sign Tony Snell (4 years, $46 million): C- Grade
This contract is confusing. Tony Snell has never averaged more than 8.5 points per game, and yet the Bucks are willing to give him close to $12 million per season? How does that make any sense? Giving out deals like this is a quick way to end up in a horrible financial situation.
Snell isn't a bad player, by any means. He plays strong defense and shoots well from beyond the arc. He's also just 25. So, it's not like the Bucks are giving a bum a ton of money. However, Snell isn't worth this sort of cash, as this is a major overpay.
Timberwolves sign Jeff Teague (3 years, $57 million): A- Grade
The Timberwolves traded Ricky Rubio today - go here for the NBA Trade Grades - so they were obviously targeting a point guard to take Rubio's spot with the money they saved in the deal. Kyle Lowry was the rumored player, but Minnesota inked Jeff Teague instead.
Lowry would've been better, but Teague is perfectly fine. Rubio does some things better than Teague, but Teague is the superior player, and he seems like a better fit. He, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
I like this deal a lot. The salary is massive at $19 million per season, but the contract is for only three years, so the Timberwolves won't be stuck if Teague turns out to be a lemon.
Spurs re-sign Patty Mills (4 years, $50 million): B- Grade
The Spurs are obviously an intelligent team - save for Gregg Popovich's occasional maniacal rants - so it's odd to see a contract like this. Giving Patty Mills this sort of money seems like an obvious overpay at first glance.
Mills is a solid bench contributor who plays about 20 minutes per game. A salary of $8.5 million is a lot for a player like that, so the only way this makes sense is if the Spurs have a much larger role for Mills in mind, and that is exactly what's happening here. Tony Parker, who just turned 35, tore his quad in the spring and won't be able to play until at least January. There's also the question of how long he'll be in the NBA after he returns, given his age.
We haven't seen Mills in a major role yet, but he'll get his chance this year. And I'm sure the Spurs will be proven right, as they usually are.
Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin (5 years, $173 million): B Grade
So much for the Clippers rebuilding. Though they lost Chris Paul in exchange for two solid veterans in Patrick Beverly and Lou Williams, they'll still remain relevant with Blake Griffin on the roster. That is, of course, if he can stay on the court.
Griffin hasn't been the most reliable player in recent years. In the past three seasons, he's played in 67, 35 and 61 games. It also remains to be seen how he'll perform without an elite point guard like Paul, whom he has been paired with for all but one year in his career.
With all of these concerns, I can't give the Clippers an "A" of any sort. However, they couldn't let Griffin walk if they wanted to remain relevant, so this contract makes enough sense to warrant a "B."