NBA Free Agent Signing Grades




Warriors re-sign F Draymond Green (4 years, $100 million): B+ Grade
The Warriors may have lost Kevin Durant, but they've won titles without him before. They still have a strong group that is capable of winning the championship over the next several seasons, and a major reason for that is this extension.

You could argue that Draymond Green isn't worth a max contract, and I can understand that criticism as far as this extension is concerned. However, Green is still an excellent player who happens to be very important to Golden State's success. Green will have to do more in the wake of Durant's departure, so it was crucial to re-sign him. Also, Green isn't even 30 yet, so he should continue to perform on a high level for the duration of this deal.

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76ers re-sign G Ben Simmons (5 years, $170 million): A Grade
These sort of contracts make me worry about a team's ability to compete in the NFL. In football, dedicating a huge chunk of the salary cap to one non-elite player can often be detrimental, causing depth issues in the future. Just look at what became of the Ravens after they gave Joe Flacco a massive contract

Basketball is different, however. The NBA is all about accumulating as many superstars and stars as possible, as it's the only way to compete for a championship. I'm not sure Ben Simmons can be classified as a superstar because of his horrid jump shot, but he's a terrific player otherwise. Plus, he's young enough (23 in a few days) to improve the worst aspect of his game. The 76ers had to extend Simmons to remain among the best teams in basketball, so they have to be graded accordingly for this move.

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Knicks sign F Marcus Morris (1 year, $15 million): D Grade
Marcus Morris initially signed with the Spurs for two years and $20 million. I graded that move as a B+, but Morris changed his mind after getting a better offer from New York. He ultimately joined the Knicks for $15 million this upcoming season.

While I liked the Spurs signing Morris, this transaction makes very little sense for two reasons. First, New York already signed a bunch of power forwards this offseason, including Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson. Why do they need another power forward? Second, given that the Knicks will be terrible once again, what are they doing signing a veteran like this to a 1-year "prove it" deal? This move would make more sense for a team on the cusp of NBA Finals contention; not a squad that will have a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

I won't mark this down as an "F" because Morris is a good player, and this contract has no long-term ramifications, but the Knicks still deserve a poor grade for yet another nonsensical signing.

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Suns re-sign F Kelly Oubre (2 years, $30 million): B+ Grade
I can't say I understand what the Suns have done this offseason, but this is at least a solid move. Kelly Oubre played very well in Phoenix last year, averaging 17 points and five rebounds. Better yet, Oubre is only 23, so he should continue to improve his game. Even if Oubre disappoints and fails to live up to this contract, the Suns won't be locked into him for very long because they signed him to just a 2-year pact.

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Grizzlies sign PG Tyus Jones (3 years, $28 million): D Grade
I saw a great post on Twitter regarding the Tyus Jones signing: "There's no way Tyus Jones is worth $6 million per year." The math might be horrendous, but the sentiment is absolutely correct.

Jones is a solid backup point guard for sure, as he did well last year for Minnesota while filling in for Derrick Rose. He's only 23, so he has upside. I could maybe buy this signing if the Grizzlies believed enough in Jones to make him their starting point guard. However, Memphis just drafted Ja Morant, so Jones will be relegated to backup duties. With that in mind, there's no reason to pay a reserve point guard nearly $10 million - not $6 million - per year, unless he's an elite reserve. Jones most definitely does not qualify as one.

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Lakers sign PG Quinn Cook (2 years, $6 million): C Grade
My friend John summed up Quinn Cook perfectly when we were watching the NBA Finals: "If a team has to use Quinn Cook, you know their depth sucks." Cook is a below-average backup; outside of shooting open threes effectively, Cook doesn't do anything well on the court, and that includes his poor defense. A contract worth $3 million per season is too much for Cook, but this isn't the most egregious or expensive signing, so I don't think I can go below a "C" for this move.

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Pistons sign Markieff Morris (2 years, $6.56 million): A Grade
I love this signing. The Pistons are buying very low on Markieff Morris, who is coming off one of his worst years in the NBA. Morris failed to average double digits for the first time in his career since his second season in 2013-14. There was a reason for this, however, as Morris was recovering from a neck injury. It sounds like Morris is healthy now, so he should be able to revert to his former self; at age 30 (as of Sept. 2), Morris shouldn't regress just yet. Thus, Detroit will be getting a double-digit scorer for the very low price of about $3.3 million per year, making this signing worthy of an "A" grade.

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Lakers sign G Avery Bradley (2 years, $9.7 million): D Grade
Avery Bradley was once a very good player for the Celtics. That was a few years ago, and much has changed since. Bradley was atrocious for the Clippers and then waived by the Grizzlies, so it's mind-boggling that the Lakers believe that he's worth nearly $5 million per year.

There's a chance that Bradley regains whatever he had in Boston, so I won't give this an "F" grade. However, that's unlikely to happen, and I think it's more probable that Bradley will check out mentally like he's done frequently in recent seasons. Adding a bad-attitude player like him to the roster doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

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Hawks sign F Jabari Parker (2 years, $13 million): F Grade
What a dumb move. I can't imagine a worse decision Atlanta could have made. Well, it could have given Parker more money, but this horrendous signing must be graded as an "F" regardless.

Jabari Parker has tons of skill as the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but he has lacked any sort of drive in the NBA. Parker never plays hard unless he has some sort of weird motivation, which is rare. I think surrounding Trae Young with such a lazy waste of talent could have disastrous ramifications. If Young begins to develop negative workout and practice habits, we'll know why.

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Clippers re-sign F JaMychal Green (2 years, $10 million): A- Grade
When a team assembles two of the best players in the NBA on one roster, depth tends to be lacking. That's not the case with the Clippers, who managed to retain a key bench player of theirs.

JaMychal Green had some nice performances last year when starting in favor of injured players. He ended up averaging 9.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. He's an excellent depth player who should have received better contracts than this on the open market because he wouldn't be a bad starter. This is a great deal for the Clippers, who continue to look like the heavy favorite to win the NBA championship in 2019-20.

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Lakers sign C DeMarcus Cousins (1 years, $3.5 million): B Grade
This signing is very similar to the Rajon Rondo deal I graded below. The only difference is that unlike Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins is not a declining player. He turns 29 soon, so he should theoretically be able to play on a high level this upcoming year.

Cousins, however, has his warts as well. He's yet another problematic guy in the locker room, and like Rondo, he has been known to quit at times. Cousins has loads of talent, but is a horribly inefficient player at times, struggling with turnovers and defense.

That said, I won't grade this signing poorly. The Lakers are very desperate after whiffing on Kawhi Leonard, so I understand why they're doing this. They're not taking a long-term risk by signing Cousins, so I think a "B" makes sense.

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Lakers sign PG Rajon Rondo (2 years, $5.2 million): C Grade
There's nothing wrong with the financials of this contract. Rajon Rondo is definitely worth this amount of money, and it could be argued that his upside in some games makes him a bargain. Rondo, who will turn 34 during the 2019-20 season, will have a few brilliant performances this upcoming campaign, particularly those on national TV.

My issue with this signing is the player himself, or rather, the attitude. Rondo is not a positive presence in the locker room, and he has been known to quit on his team. He's not someone I'd want on my roster, but I can at least understand the desperation behind the Lakers' decision.

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Lakers sign G Danny Green (2 years, $30 million): F Grade
If you told Laker fans that they'd have a former Raptor on their team, they may have gotten very excited. Unfortunately for them, it's the wrong ex-Toronto player, as Danny Green - not Kawhi Leonard - signed with the Lakers.

With Leonard going to the Clippers, the Lakers are desperately trying to stay relevant. However, all they're really doing is signing washed-up bums and malcontents. Danny Green qualifies as the former; he's 32, and he was so bad at times in the playoffs that the Raptors limited his minutes. Why on Earth do the Lakers think a pedestrian player like Green is worth $15 million per season? This is a horrible signing.

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Clippers re-sign C Ivica Zubac (4 years, $28 million): B+ Grade
I mentioned that the Clippers have quality depth when I discussed the Kawhi Leonard signing. This move strengthens the Clippers' bench, as they'll now have a quality backup big man.

Ivica Zubac is an inconsistent player, to say the least. He looks lost in some games, but has flashed some major potential on other occasions. Zubac is just 22 and has some major potential, so I like the idea of retaining him. Giving Zubac $7 million per season on a 4-year deal is an overpay, but I don't think it's impossible that we'll look back on this contract and say that Los Angeles got a bargain.

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Clippers sign F Kawhi Leonard (4 years, $142 million): A+ Grade
The Clippers just won free agency. They obtained the crown jewel on the open market, inking Kawhi Leonard to a 4-year max contract.

This is an obvious A+. With the Leonard signing and the Paul Georgge trade, the Clippers have suddenly transformed from a very good NBA team to arguably the best squad in the entire league. The Clippers unquestionably have the best front court in the NBA, with Leonard and George joining Montrezl Harrell. The back court isn't as great, but point guard Patrick Beverly is a terrific defender, while Landry Shamet is a young player with plenty of potential. What's especially impressive is that the Clippers have very good depth despite having Leonard and George on their roster, as they'll be able to use Lou Williams, Moe Harkless and Rodney McGruder off the bench.

The Leonard signing is so great that it has completely changed my stance on the upcoming NBA season. I considered betting a handful of good teams slated 30/1 or higher to win the championship (i.e. Blazers, Jazz), but I'm not sure I'm going to do that now. I once considered the 2019-20 NBA campaign to be wide open, but I'm not sure about that anymore. I consider the Clippers the favorites to win it all, so this was obviously an amazing signing.

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Pacers sign PG T.J. McConnell (2 years, $7 million): C Grade
The Pacers were in the market for a backup point guard behind Malcolm Brogdon in the wake of Cory Joseph's departure to Sacramento. T.J. McConnell is not as good as Joseph, but he's far cheaper than Joseph and his absurd $37 million contract.

That said, this signing isn't all that great. McConnell is a below-average backup point guard who probably should have gotten a bit less than $3.5 million per year. I don't hate this move, but it's not a good one either.

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Mavericks sign C Boban Marjanovic (2 years, $7 million): C- Grade
The biggest news concerning this signing is that the critically acclaimed Tobi and Bobi show will be coming to an end, now that Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic are separated. How sad.

As for the actually basketball implications of this signings, it's not looking good for the Mavericks. They've repeatedly overpaid for scrubs this offseason, and this is yet another example. Boban Marjanovic is a fan favorite, but he's not a functional basketball player.

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Clippers sign F Rodney McGruder (3 years, $15 million): B- Grade
Rodney McGruder will be a solid depth player for the Clippers. He shoots threes well and plays good defense, so he'll be a nice contributor off the bench. He's worth about $5 million per year, so he seems appropriately priced. My only qualm is that this should've been for two years and $10 million, but that's not a huge deal.

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Pelicans re-sign F Darius Miller (2 years, $14.3 million): C Grade
The Pelicans have been enjoying a terrific offseason, but this is an exception to all of their positive moves. Darius Miller is not a very good basketball player, and it'll be difficult for him to match the minutes he logged last year because of some of the new additions, so I don't know why the Pelicans have given him $7 million per year. I'm looking just below this, and James Ennis, who is just as good of a player, if not better, received $2 million per season. This would be graded "D" or worse if the second year of this contract were guaranteed, but it's not.

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76ers re-sign G James Ennis (2 years, $4.1 million): A Grade
The 76ers didn't have much depth last year, but James Ennis was one of the few exceptions. He was arguably Philadelphia's best bench player, particularly in the playoffs, when he had some quality performances against the Raptors. Retaining him was important, and Philadelphia has been able to do that for about $2 million per season. This is a steal for the 76ers, so this re-signing must be graded as an "A."

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Bulls re-sign Ryan Arcidiacono (3 years, $9 million): C- Grade
The Bulls had a troubling point guard situation last year, but they've improved in that regard by drafting Coby White seventh overall and then signing Tomas Satoransky. Chicago apparently was not fully satisified, as it wanted to retain Ryan Arcidiaocono to a 3-year pact as well.

I'm not sure I like the strategy of paying a third-string point guard $3 million per year for three seasons. It seems excessive. Why not sign him to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract? This is an overpay for sure, but it's not an egregious one, so I won't go worse than a C-.

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Jazz sign F Jeff Green (1 year, $2.5 million): A Grade
The Jazz have enjoyed a terrific offseason, and this is yet another positive move for them. Jeff Green was able to play extensively last season, averaging 12.3 points and four rebounds per game on a 27-minute basis. Green will experience regression soon, given that he'll turn 33 in August, but he can still give his team decent minutes. There's even a chance he'll end up starting for Utah, so a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million is a steal.

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Nets sign F Wilson Chandler (1 year, $2.6 million): B Grade
This is similar to the Lakers signing Jared Dudley. Wilson Chandler is a fine bench player entering his mid-30s. The Nets need depth at forward, given Kevin Durant's injury. Durant won't be able to play until 2020-21, so having another forward on the roster is essential. As with Dudley, the Nets are taking no risk with Chalder, so this is a decent move.

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Lakers sign F Jared Dudley (1 year, $2.6 million): B Grade
It seems as though everyone is hating on this signing, but I don't think it's that bad. Dudley is a fine bench player who can provide the Lakers with some needed depth on the defensive end of the court. He's also a positive presence in the locker room. This signing is just for one year, so it's not like the Lakers are risking anything long term.

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Celtics re-sign C/F Daniel Theis (2 years, $10 million): B Grade
It's very odd that Boston's starting center, Enes Kanter, will be making just as much money as the backup center. Despite this odd situation, this is a solid move. Theis did well in relief of Al Horford when Boston's former center couldn't play last year, and paying a viable backup center $5 million per year is very reasonable.

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Mavericks re-sign F Dorian Finney-Smith (3 years, $12 million): B+ Grade
The Mavericks have made some odd signings over the past couple of days, but I wouldn't classify this as one of them. Dorian Finney-Smith was a solid contributor off the bench for Dallas last year, averaging 7.5 points and nearly five rebounds per game. Finney-Smith just turned 26, so he could improve his game a bit over the duration of this contract. This seems like a quality move for depth purposes.

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Warriors re-sign C Kevon Looney (3 years, $15 million): A Grade
I gave the Suns a "B" grade for signing Frank Kaminsky to a contract worth $5 million per season. This grade definitely has to be higher because Kevon Looney is a better player, yet is receiving the same annual salary.

Looney is a 23-year-old big man with plenty of upside. I'm surprised he didn't get more on the open market, but the Warriors won't complain. They'll ask Looney to do more next year, given all of the front-court departures this offseason, so this may seem like a crazy bargain in the near future.

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76ers sign C Kyle O'Quinn (1 year, minimum): A- Grade
The 76ers didn't have a viable backup for Joel Embiid last year, as they had to use Greg Monroe and Boban Marjanovic at times. Kyle O'Quinn is a substantial upgrade over both. O'Quinn is a quality defensive player who won't embarrass himself in the 20 or so games Joel Embiid misses in 2019-20. The 76ers are getting good value at the veteran minimum.

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Bucks sign SG Wesley Matthews (1 year, minimum): A- Grade
It's hard not to like this signing. The Bucks were looking for a new guard in the wake of Malcolm Brogdon's departure, and Wesley Matthews is a nice, cheap option. He's signing on for the veteran minimum, so Milwaukee is getting nothing but upside. Granted, there isn't much upside, as Matthews will be 33 by the start of the season, but he averaged about 11 points last year and also shot threes well.

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Suns sign C Frank Kaminsky (2 years, $10 million): B Grade
The Suns lost Richaun Holmes in free agency to the Kings, so they needed to find a viable backup center behind Deandre Ayton. Kaminsky has been a bust as the former ninth-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, but he is a mediocre backup who can handle 15 minutes per game pretty well. I think the price makes sense, so I'm giving the Suns a "B" for this signing.

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Kings sign C Richaun Holmes (2 years, $10 million): A- Grade
It turns out that Vlade Divac is much better during the daytime than he is after midnight, which can't be a surprise to anyone. Unlike many of his other signings, this is a quality addition at very good value.

Richaun Holmes had some nice performances last year when Deandre Ayton was injured. He's best on the defensive end as a shot-blocking specialist, and he's a quality rebounder as well. He should be a solid backup big man behind the newly acquired Dewayne Dedmon. The Kings did very well to get Holmes signed on for just $5 million per year.

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Celtics sign C Enes Kanter (2 years, $10 million): A+ Grade
The Celtics were supposed to get weaker in the paint with Al Horford headed to Philadelphia. Instead, they signed a very cheap replacement who will fill in well in the wake of Horford's departure.

Enes Kanter isn't anywhere near the defender Horford is, but he's a good interior scorer who almost averaged a double-double last year (13.7-9.8). Granted, he was such a liability defensively against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals that Portland stopped using him, but Kanter will be very good for the Celtics in most matchups.

This signing deserves an A+ grade. Getting a viable starting center for just $5 million per year is ridiculous value.

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Mavericks re-sign F Maxi Kleber (4 years, $35 million): D- Grade
Mark Cuban must have stolen Vlade Divac's night beverage of choice because his team's moves today haven't made any sense. They've locked them into a pair of 4-year deals with two bench players in Seth Curry and now Maxi Kleber.

Kleber is a good defender, but doesn't do anything on the offensive end. He's a fine backup who should be getting $6-7 million per season. Giving him a contract worth $14 million for two years would've been fine. Yet, Dallas has awarded him a 4-year pact worth almost $9 million per season, which doesn't make any sense. Why is Dallas overpaying for bench players like this?

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Knicks sign PG Elfrid Payton (2 years, $16 million): A Grade
I cannot believe I'm writing this, but the Knicks just made a great signing. This almost seems like fake news, so I had to double check to make sure this is a real transaction. It is, and yet I still can't believe it.

Elfrid Payton is coming off a season in which he had a stellar stretch of games. He recorded triple-doubles in five consecutive contests. Granted, that was a result of the Pelicans having tons of injuries, but Payton is still a good, young (25), promising player with plenty of upside. Getting him for just $8 million on a 2-year pact is a steal. Payton figures to be a backup behind Dennis Smith Jr., but he can be a solid starter in the event of an injury.

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Mavericks sign PG Seth Curry (4 years, $32 million): D- Grade
What was the thought process behind this? "Sir, we want to sign a below-average backup point guard, but he won't take $8 million per year over two seasons." "Oh no, we must have him! Let's take him on for four years so we can get stuck paying a sub-par player for nearly half a decade!"

I don't get this at all. Seth Curry had to play more for the Blazers in the Western Conference Finals due to matchup problems, and yet he was a liability for them. Did the Mavericks not watch those games? Why would they want to pay the bad Curry brother $8 million per year for four seasons? I wouldn't have minded this too much if it were $16 million for two years, but the length of this contract seems very problematic.

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Knicks sign SG Wayne Ellington (2 years, $16 million): C+ Grade
It's sad that this might just be the best signing New York has made this offseason. I'd feel sorry for Knicks fans if they weren't New Yorkers.

Wayne Ellington is a solid backup who can shoot threes well. He collectively averaged 10.3 points per game last year for both the Pistons and Heat. Giving him $8 million per year is a bit much, especially considering that he'll turn 32 during the 2019-20 season, but it's not a major overpay.

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Bullets sign PG Ish Smith (2 years, $12 million): B Grade
This is exactly what a backup contract is supposed to look like in the NBA. Whereas Cory Joseph received $37 million over three years, Ish Smith obtained a far more reasonable $12 million for two seasons.

There isn't much else to say about this deal. Smith is a fine backup who averaged nine points per game in 2018-19. The Bullets are paying the right amount for him, so a "B" grade seems appropriate.

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Bulls sign G Tomas Satoransky (3 years, $30 million): B Grade
Just comparing recent contracts, the Knicks and Kings both signed backup guards to more money than the Bulls did to acquire their new starting point guard. I don't understand why some teams are so dumb with their cap, but maybe that's why the same teams are atop the standings each year.

Tomas Satoransky had a great opportunity to showcase himself last year when John Wall went down with an injury. Satoransky played well, establishing himself as a viable starting point guard. He's far from a great player, but he'll be an upgrade over Kris Dunn for Chicago at a reasonable price.

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Kings sign G Cory Joseph (3 years, $37 million): F Grade
I'm not sure why people in the Kings' organization allowed Vlade Divac to make any decisions after midnight, local time. This news was announced at 12:19 a.m. Pacific, which would explain why the details of this contract are so horrid.

Below, I wrote that I would've given the Knicks an "F" had the Reggie Bullock deal been for three years. Thus, I have no choice to issue that sort of a grade for this signing. Like Bullock, Cory Joseph projects to be a fine backup. He's not a bad player, but he's worth nowhere near $12 million per season. Sacramento could have signed a comparable player for half as much. I don't know what Divac was drinking when he made this signing, but it sounds like he was having a fun time.

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Knicks sign G Reggie Bullock (2 years, $21 million): D- Grade
Months ago, we saw the Knicks tank for Zion Williamson. Now, it might just be better to pay for a tank to blow up Madison Square Garden because this is just getting absurd.

I don't know what Reggie Bullock did to warrant a contract worth more than $10 million per year. Bullock plays good defense, but is a waste of space on offense. This is a horrible signing that would have earned an "F" grade if it were for three or more seasons.

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Clippers re-sign G Patrick Beverly (3 years, $40 million): B+ Grade
It's unclear if the Clippers will sign Kawhi Leonard, but they needed to retain Patrick Beverly in case they couldn't land the reigning NBA Finals MVP. Keeping Beverly around will allow the Clippers to remain competitive for a playoff spot in 2019-20.

The contract details make sense for someone like Beverly. The 6-1 guard plays excellent defense and upped his game in the playoff series against the Warriors, helping his team win two games. Beverly is a key member of the Clippers, so he had to be retained.

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Nuggets re-sign PG Jamal Murray (5 years, $170 million): B+ Grade
The early consensus is that the Nuggets are overpaying for Jamal Murray. As usual, the consensus is wrong. The Nuggets have done well to re-sign Murray, even if it's for the max.

Murray, the seventh-overall pick from the 2016 NBA Draft, seems to be emerging as an excellent point guard. He's coming off a strong season and an even better playoff performance in which he averaged more than 20 points per game despite being just 22 years old. Murray should continue to get better, and I don't think Denver will regret paying Murray so much money.

I'm not going into the "A" range for this contract because it's not a bargain, but I think a B+ is a logical grade for this essential re-signing.

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Knicks sign PF Bobby Portis (2 years, $31 million): D Grade
The Julius Randle signing was a FOMO move. The Taj Gibson addition was a DUMBO transaction. Well, I don't even know what this is. It's just sad. Remember when the Knicks were supposed to get Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson this offseason? Well, your new Knicks are Randle, Gibson and Bobby Portis. Ouch.

Portis is a fine big man. He averaged 14 and eight last season, though he did so for two bad teams. Portis is not worth more than $15 million per year. He should be getting about two-thirds of the salary he received from the Knicks.

What are the Knicks going to do with these power forwards, by the way? They signed three power forwards in free agency, and it's not like they can start one at center because they have Mitchell Robinson. I'm confused by the Knicks' incompetence, but I can't say I'm surprised by it.

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Warriors sign G D'Angelo Russell (4 years, $117 million): A+ Grade
This is unbelievable. Here we were, thinking the Warriors would have a down year because of Kevin Durant's departure and Klay Thompson's injury, and yet they were able to do something like this. They acquired D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal, though it's still unclear what the overall details of the trade are (Andre Iguodala is likely dealt.)

The Warriors are getting a 20 point-per-game scorer who is just 23 years old. Russell will be a fine replacement for Thompson during the 2019-20 regular season. When Thompson returns, Russell will remain the back court with Steph Curry, moving Thompson to small forward. It's not really ideal for Thompson to be at that position, but he, Russell and Curry are so talented that it probably won't matter. If Thompson can be at 75 percent during the playoffs, Golden State will have a strong chance of becoming champions again.

This is an outstanding move. The Warriors had to do something to remain the top dog in the NBA after losing Durant. This is the splash they needed to make.

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Warriors re-sign SG Klay Thompson (5 years, $190 million): B Grade
This contract is sort of similar to the Kevin Durant deal, as a team gave insane amounts of money to a player who won't be able to play in 2019-20. However, there are two major differences that make this a "B" grade rather than a C+.

First, Thompson's injury is far less severe for the long term than Durant's. Thompson suffered a torn ACL. There's a slight chance he may never be 100 percent again, especially in his potential return to the playoffs in the spring of 2020, but odds are that he'll revert to his former self eventually. Second, Thompson is a couple of years younger than Durant, which makes a huge difference.

I'm not willing to go into the "A" range for this signing because there's some risk, and the Warriors won't have Thompson available for most of the 2019-20 campaign. However, it's not a bad idea to give him a max contract, so I think a "B" grade makes the most sense.

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Nets sign Kevin Durant (4 years, $164 million): C+ Grade
Part of the reason why the NBA is so wide open this season is because of this player. Kevin Durant tore his Achilles while trying to lead his team back from down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Durant will be out for the 2019-20 season and may never be the same, as Achilles injuries have been devastating for NBA athletes over the years.

I thought Durant would just exercise his player option for 2019-20, but apparently there was a team bold enough to give him this sort of a contract. It's a very risky one, to say the least. Not only is Durant coming off a horrible injury that will sideline him for all of 2019-20; he'll also turn 32 before he even steps on the court for the Nets. Giving a max deal to a 32-year-old coming off an Achilles tear obviously has a very high chance of backfiring, and the Nets could be in cap purgatory for a long time because of this contract.

I have the urge to grade this as an "F." I want to berate both the Nets and renowned idiot Stephen A. Smith for bashing the Knicks for not signing Durant. However, I understand the reason for the risk. If Durant makes it back to 90, or even 85 percent of his former self, the Nets will be an NBA championship competitor for a couple of seasons. Unfortunately, Durant being at 85-90 percent might be a bit far-fetched, so we'll just have to see what happens.

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Spurs sign F DeMarre Carroll (2 years, $12 million): C Grade
A contract that lasts two years and pays $6 million per season won't crush the Spurs, but this is still an overpay. Carroll is not a durable player, and he turns 33 in July. It's likely that he'll regress this season or next, so I imagine there's a good chance San Antonio will regret this signing.

That said, signing Carroll could pan out. Carroll seems like he'd be good in San Antonio's system, so if he manages to stay healthy, he could provide solid depth.

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76ers re-sign F Mike Scott (2 years, $9.8 million): A Grade
The 76ers wildly overpaid for Al Horford - more of a contract length dilemma - but this deal seems far more reasonable.

While Tobias Harris was obviously the key piece of the trade with the Clippers last season, Mike Scott was a solid contributor off the bench. He was able to shine in some playoff appearances, so it was crucial for the thin Sixers to keep him. They've done so at a great price, as Scott seems like he should be worth more than $5 million per season.

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Jazz sign C Ed Davis (2 years, $10 million): A Grade
The Jazz continue to have a strong offseason. Ed Davis is their latest signing, as they've inked him to a 2-year deal worth $5 million per season.

This seems like a great bargain for Davis. The former Net is a strong backup big man, which is something the Jazz needed behind Rudy Gobert. It's worth noting that Davis is a regression candidate at 30 years old, but the Jazz aren't risking much with this 2-year deal.

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Nets sign C DeAndre Jordan (4 years, $40 million): D- Grade
Four years for DeAndre Jordan? Why!? Teams were willing to part ways with Jordan after four months with him, and yet the Nets are giving him four years on this deal? Again, I ask, why!?

I don't think $10 million per season for a mediocre center is the end of the world, but the length of this contract is troubling, especially when considering Jordan's age. Jordan turns 31 in July, so he'll begin to regress. In fact, it seemed as though the Mavericks and Knicks, Jordan's previous two teams, already believed that Jordan was in decline, as they wanted to give his minutes to younger options. I imagine the Nets will believe the same once they see Jordan for four months, yet they're going to be stuck with his contract for four miserable years.

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76ers sign PF Al Horford (4 years, $109 million): C+ Grade
People in Philadelphia seem excited about this signing, and I can understand why. Al Horford had a great 2018-19 campaign, particularly when he played against Joel Embiid. Horford has a penchant for limiting Embiid's production, so that's another reason why Philadelphia is excited for this. Also, the 76ers lost Jimmy Butler, so Horford's signing will allow Tobias Harris to slide over to small forward as a replacement for the Miami-bound forward.

There certainly are positives regarding this signing, including the fact that Horford could help Philadelphia win the championship in a wide-open 2019-20 season. That said, this contract seems horrible. Horford just turned 33, meaning he'll be 35-plus in the second half of the deal. Horford will regress soon, perhaps even as soon as next year, so the 76ers are paying on past production. I can understand why they're doing it, but if they don't win the NBA Finals, this contract could really hurt them in the future.

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Knicks sign PF Taj Gibson (2 years, $20 million): F Grade
If the Julius Randle signing was a case of FOMO, this Taj Gibson contract is a case of DUMBO. I don't understand what Gibson has done to make the Knicks believe he's worth $10 million per year.

Gibson averaged 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds last year. If the Knicks were guaranteed to get that from Gibson, this contract wouldn't be so bad. However, Gibson turned 34 this summer, so he'll regress. With Mitchell Robinson and Randle on the roster, Gibson will have to be a backup, so $10 million per season for that seems ridiculous.

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Bucks re-sign PG George Hill (3 years, $29 million): A- Grade
George Hill was a breath of fresh air for the Bucks in the playoffs this spring with Malcolm Brogdon being injured and Eric Bledsoe struggling mightily. Hill helped the Bucks come two victories shy of reaching the NBA Finals, so with Brodgon gone, retaining Hill was crucial.

I'm definitely a big fan of this signing. It could be argued that with the added responsibilities, Hill is a bargin at less than $10 million per season.

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Knicks sign PF Julius Randle (3 years, $63 million): C Grade
This is a classic case of "FOMO," which stands for "Fear of Missing Out." The Knicks understandably feel that way after not giving Kevin Durant a contract, but they're compounding errors by overpaying for Julius Randle.

Randle is a good, young player. He's only 24, so he should continue to improve. He averaged about 20 points per game in 2018-19. However, this is an overpay for sure. The silver lining is that this contract is three years rather than four, so New York won't be stricken with a poor deal for too long.

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76ers re-sign PF Tobias Harris (5 years, $180 million): B+ Grade
The 76ers could have endured a horrible offseason, as they had Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler entering free agency. Seeing both depart without acquiring a viable replacement would have been disastrous.

Butler is gone, but Harris will remain. At first glance, this is an overpay, but Philadelphia absolutely had to retain the 27-year-old talented forward to stay competitive in the improving Eastern Conference. I like this move for that reason, but I can't get into the "A" range for this.

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Blazers re-sign F Rodney Hood (2 years, $18 million): A Grade
The Blazers made some lineup changes in the playoffs last year, giving more time to Rodney Hood, rather than Moe Harkless. Hood was terrific, particularly against the Nuggets, so the Blazers did a great job in retaining him.

This is a fantastic move. Based on what he accomplished in the playoffs, Hood is worth more than $9 million per season to the Blazers, who aren't taking any sort of risk because the contract is for only two years. This contract definitely deserves a high grade, and I even considered an A+ for this.

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Blazers re-sign PG Damian Lillard (4 years, $194 million): A Grade
I wouldn't give an "A" grade for an NFL signing like this. Football teams struggle when dedicating a large percentage of the cap to one player, even if it's a quarterback. Conversely, doing so is necessary in the NBA, as owning elite players are essential to compete for NBA titles.

Lillard is certainly an elite player. Not only is he one of the top point guards in the NBA; he's proven to be extremely clutch in big games. As mentioned below, the NBA is wide-open in 2019-20, and Portland has as good of a chance to win the championship as anyone, given that it was a series away from reaching the NBA Finals last year despite an injury to its starting center. Keeping Lillard around, even for the super-max, is a terrific move.

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Bullets sign C Thomas Bryant (3 years, $25 million): A Grade
The Bullets are in horrible shape, given John Wall's injury and anemic contract that hasn't even kicked in yet, but they were at least able to get some positive news in the wake of this signing.

Thomas Bryant played well after Dwight Howard suffered a very painful season-ending injury last year. Bryant, in relief of Howard, averaged 10,5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Even better, Bryant is just 22 years old (as of July 31.) He should continue to get better, and I think this signing may seem like a bargain by the time next season is over.

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Jazz sign SF Bojan Bogdanovic (4 years, $73 million): B Grade
At first glance, this seems like an overpay. Bojan Bogdanovic is a terrific shooter who averaged 18 points per game in 2018-19. However, a contract worth more than $18 million per season seems like it's too much for the better of the Bogdanovic brothers.

That said, the NBA is wide open in 2019-20. With the Warriors dealing with injuries, as well as Kevin Durant's departure, it seems as though at least a dozen teams have a good chance to win it all. The Jazz, now with Bogdanovic and Mike Conley, definitely have a good shot to go the distance, so despite this being an overpay, I think this transaction is a solid one.

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Pacers sign SG Jeremy Lamb (3 years, $31.5 million): B Grade
The Pacers looked like they'd have a chance to reach the NBA Finals last year, but that changed when Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending injury. Oladipo won't be ready for the start of the 2019-20 campaign, so Indiana needed to obtain some back-court help. They did so, trading for Malcolm Brogdon and signing Jeremy Lamb.

I'll get to Brogdon on our NBA Trade Grades page. As for Lamb, he's coming off a solid season in which he averaged 15 points per game, so given that he'll need to start for about half of this upcoming season, the Pacers are paying a fair price for him. I imagine Lamb will return to the bench by the All-Star break, but Indiana will need to lean on him, as Oladipo may not be 100 percent.

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Suns sign PG Ricky Rubio (3 years, $51 million): A Grade
It was rumored that Ricky Rubio would be signing with the Pacers, but he opted to move to Phoenix instead. I imagine Rubio will love the Arizona winters much more than what he would have experienced in Indiana.

The Suns have a couple of talented, young players in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but they needed a veteran presence to handle the point-guard duties. Rubio won't be asked to score as much as he was in Utah because of Booker and Ayton, so Rubio will thrive as a pure floor general. I love this signing for Phoenix, as Rubio can help the Suns potentially emerge as a playoff contender in 2020-21, once Booker and Ayton have more experience.

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Magic sign PF Al-Farouq Aminu (3 years, $29 million): C Grade
I liked what the Magic did regarding Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross. This contract? Not so much.

Al-Farouq Aminu was one of the weak links on the Magic roster in the playoffs this past season. He was a liability on the offensive end, prompting the Blazers to severely limit his minutes. Given that Aminu is coming off a down note, you'd think Orlando could have gotten him at a discount. This did not happen, however, and it seems as though the Magic overpaid a bit.

I'm not a fan of this move, but I don't hate it either. Aminu will help Orlando defensively off the bench, so he at least will have some functionality.

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Kings sign F Trevor Ariza (2 years, $25 million): B Grade
When I saw that the Kings signed Trevor Ariza, I figured Vlade Divac gave him $100 million over three years. These terms aren't nearly as horrible, surprisingly.

I actually think this is a fine move. I'm not sure what the Kings plan on doing with all of their wing depth, but Ariza is a good defender and three-point shooter, so he'll be able to help Sacramento in that regard. This contract is for just two seasons, so the Kings won't be hurt over the long haul if their new player busts for them.

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Magic re-sign SG Terrence Ross (4 years, $54 million): B+ Grade
Terrence Ross is coming off a solid year, averaging 15.1 points per game off the bench. He was especially great at the end of the season, scoring at least 23 points in four consecutive games. Ross is unquestionably talented and probably should be starting.

With that in mind, I like this move. Ross is a key piece of Orlando's roster. If the Magic return to the playoffs, Ross will be a big reason why. The financial terms of this contract make sense to me.

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Nets sign PG Kyrie Irving (4 years, $142 million): C Grade
There's no question that Kyrie Irving is an exceptionally talented basketball player, both offensively and defensively. He's also just 27, so he won't be regressing anytime soon.

So, why the "C" grade? Quite simply, Irving is a horrible person to have in a locker room. He has hurt team morale throughout his career in the NBA. He caused the Celtics to have poisonous conditions this past season, ultimately capsizing the team in the second round of the playoffs.

I don't see why Irving will be any different in Brooklyn. He'll definitely help the Nets improve and perhaps establish home-court advantage in the opening round of the postseason, but it's more likely that he'll ultimately hurt the team.

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Magic re-sign C Nikola Vucevic (4 years, $100 million): A+ Grade
I normally save "A" grades for bargain contracts. Though this deal is for $100 million, this transaction could absolutely be considered a bargain.

Nikola Vucevic is coming off an amazing year, averaging 20.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. He was also a terrific defender. He led the Magic into the playoffs, and he should continue to do so, as he won't turn 30 until next October. It seems like Vucevic should've gotten more money, so the Magic basically "stole" him for $25 million per season. I'm shocked no other team offered Vucevic more money.

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Pelicans sign SG J.J. Redick (2 years, $26.5 million): C+ Grade
The Pelicans traded away the oft-injured Anthony Davis, yet they have seemingly improved their roster. It wouldn't surprise me if they made a run at the playoffs next season. If so, J.J. Redick will be a key bench player for them.

I'm not crazy about the financial value of this deal, as $13 million per year seems like too much money for a one-trick bench player, but this contract is for only two seasons, and Redick should be able to help his new team take the next step.

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Bulls sign F Thaddeus Young (3 years, $41 million): D Grade
I don't understand the thought process behind this signing. What is Thaddeus Young supposed to provide for the Bulls, exactly? Young is a good bench player at this stage of his career, and he's apparently going to be a backup in Chicago behind Lauri Markkanen. So, why give him a contract worth almost $14 million per year? It doesn't make much sense to me.

Even worse, Young's age must be considered. Young just turned 31, so he'll be in his mid-30s by the time he's on the final year of this contract. I imagine the Bulls will regret paying him this much money when he's declining in a couple of seasons.

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Mavericks re-sign C Kristaps Porzingis (5 years, $158 million): C+ Grade
I suppose this means the Mavericks aren't concerned about the allegations surrounding Kristaps Porzingis. They're giving their new center $158 million, fully guaranteed.

It seems to me that Dallas should've gotten some sort of a discount for Porzingis. The big man not only has off-the-court issues; he's also a big injury risk. This seems like a major overpay, considering the circumstances.

And yet, I understand why the Mavericks are doing it. They need Porzingis to be competitive. If Porzingis is healthy and out of prison, he and Luka Doncic are going to form a hell of a duo. Thus, I can't hate this signing, though Dallas definitely spent too much money.

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Pistons sign PG Derrick Rose (2 years, $15 million): A+ Grade
The Pistons have a great front court, thanks to Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. If they can get some solid back-court play, they'll have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. Derrick Rose will give them that shot.

I love this signing. I understand that Rose has a very dubious injury history and will have to play about two-thirds of the year because of load management - the NBA desperately needs to shorten its season - but Rose was able to stay healthy in 2018-19 and average 18 points in 51 contests. If the Pistons can get that production out of Rose, they'll be more of a threat in the Eastern Conference. I understand that's a big "if," but it's not like the Pistons are taking a huge risk with this contract.

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Grizzlies re-sign C Jonas Valanciunas (3 years, $45 million): A Grade
Jonas Valanciunas was excellent for the Grizzlies after he was obtained from Toronto in the middle of this past season. Valanciunas averaged 20 points and almost 11 rebounds per game in 19 contests with Memphis. He should be able to keep posting great numbers like that for the next three years.

This is an excellent signing. Valanciunas is a talented big man, and he'll only be 30 by the time this contract expires. It's great that this deal is for three seasons, and not four, as Memphis won't be hurt by this if Valanciunas begins suffering injuries.

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Bucks re-sign F Khris Middleton (5 years, $178 million): A- Grade
The Bucks absolutely had to re-sign Khris Middleton to stay competitive in a rapidly improving Eastern Conference. They managed to do so, as Middleton will return to be the team's second option - and perhaps even top threat if there's a shot to be made with a game on the line.

This isn't a great bargain, obviously, but it is a slight discount, as it's $12 million shy of the max. Middleton is just 28 (as of next month), so he should be able to keep playing on a high level throughout the duration of this contract.

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Hornets sign PG Terry Rozier (3 years, $58 million): D- Grade
I understand that Michael Jordan feels foolish for letting Kemba Walker leave, but he should not be compounding more errors with his initial blunder. That's exactly what he's doing in the wake of this signing.

I like Terry Rozier, but giving him nearly $20 million per year is insane. Literally insane. If the mental hospital came after Jordan to lock him away in a padded room, I wouldn't blame them! Rozier deserved about half of this. I'm absolutely shocked by this contract.

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Bucks sign C Brook Lopez (4 years, $52 million): C+ Grade
I feel inclined to compare this contract to the Dewayne Dedmon deal that I just graded. I gave the Kings a B+ for Dedmon, so this grade must be worse.

Why, you ask? A couple reasons: First, Lopez is two years older than Dedmon. He'll turn 32 during the 2019-20, so he'll be an old player in the second half of his contract. Second, this deal is for one more year, so if Lopez gets hurt or disappoints, Milwaukee will be locked into him for an extra season, which is not ideal.

That said, I don't hate this move. The Bucks needed to re-sign some of their players to stay in contention for the championship, so I can see why they retained Lopez.

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Kings sign C Dewayne Dedmon (3 years, $40 million): B+ Grade
Well, I guess a blind squirrel signs a decent basketball player once in a while. Right after slamming Vlade Divac for overpaying Harrison Barnes, I have to praise Divac for agreeing to terms with Dewayne Dedmon.

Dedmon isn't a great big man, but he was a solid interior presence for the Hawks last year. The Kings have a nice backcourt, but they had a weakness at center this past season, so Dedmon figures to be a nice upgrade at a reasonable price.

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Kings re-sign F Harrison Barnes (4 years, $85 million): F Grade
Vlade Divac is one of the worst executives in the NBA. When I watch the NBA Draft with my dad, and the Kings are on the clock, he says, "Watch, Divac will draft the worst player available."

Something like this validates my dad's sentiments toward Divac. Why in the world would Divac give a pedestrian player like Harrison Barnes more than $20 million per year? It makes no sense. Barnes is not very good at basketball; he'd make for a solid bench player, but the Kings will want him to start at this price, meaning he'll continue to take away valuable minutes from Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Kings won't be upgrading their roster at all for the cheap price of $85 million, which is just stupid.

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Celtics sign PG Kemba Walker (4 years, $141 million): A+ Grade
NBA free agency doesn't begin until July 1, but reports say that the Celtics and Kemba Walker have agreed to a 4-year, $141 million contract.

This is a terrific signing for the Celtics, who were bound to lose Kyrie Irving to the Nets. Walker and Irving are similar in overall talent - Irving might be a bit better - but Walker will be far better for Boston because Irving is terrible to have in the locker room. Irving destroyed all team morale for the Celtics last year. Walker will do the opposite. He'll have Boston in contention for a championship in a wide-open NBA next season.

Two other things:

1. It's amazing how incompetent Michael Jordan is. He allowed Walker to leave Charlotte for nothing. I don't understand why the Hornets didn't trade Walker last year once they fell out of contention.

2. I wonder if the NBA is going to punish the Celtics for tampering. Just kidding. It'll never happen. Though there is clear tampering, commissioner Adam Silver has no balls and caves to everything, which is perhaps why all of the owners like him. I'll be utterly shocked if Boston suffers any sort of repercussions.

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