NBA Free Agent Signing Grades

David Kay’s Free Agent Signing Grades

Recent NBA Free Agent Signing Grades
By Mike Elworth. Follow Mike @MikeElworth24. For site updates follow @walterfootball.

Nets sign Trevor Booker to a 2-season, $19 million contract

This is an odd signing, just for the fact that Booker could really help a playoff team off the bench, and I think a number of teams would have paid this to him, but he has to be looking for playing time, as he should be Brooklyn’s starting four next season. The value is solid, but the Nets need to be investing in young players. Regardless, this is a tradeable contract, and Booker is a fine player on a market contract, so I can’t grade this harshly. I just don’t know what the Nets are doing. They should be trading Brook Lopez and re-building this team, not signing Jeremy Lin and Trevor Booker for $20 million a year.

Grade: B-

Suns sign Leandro Barbosa to a 2-season, $8 million contract

Leandro Barbosa is still one of the strongest sixth men in the NBA, but I hate that he chased money to go to the Suns again. I know that’s where he made his name, but they already have too many guards; in fact, Phoenix’s three best pieces are young guards – Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker and Brandon Knight -, and the team has two more who need minutes – Archie Goodwin and Tyler Ulis. The Suns aren’t making the playoffs in these next two seasons as well, and a minute that Barbosa gets is a minute a young key player of the team is losing, so although the money is fine, I hate the signing. Barbosa should have re-signed with the Warriors.

Grade: D

Nets sign Joe Harris to a 2-year, minimum deal

I have been yelling at the Nets as they haven’t been signing young talent, but now that they one; meh. Joe Harris is a shooter – that is it – but if he’s not shooting 40 percent, which he hasn’t, then he shouldn’t play. If Harris can start shooting like he is capable of doing, I will like this contract a lot more, but he seems to be a 12th man right now.

Grade: B

Nets sign Greivis Vasquez to a 1-season, $4.5 million contract

Vasquez is one of my favorite reserve guards in the league and, at 6-foot-6, is one of the NBA’s best distributors, which gives him a lot of position value. He isn’t a defender or athletic, but he is a very nice scorer and an elite distributor who can give you a double-double in 30 minutes. However, I don’t know why he signed with the Nets to play off the bench. This is a bargain contract, but why are they giving $17.5 million to him and Jeremy Lin next season to play the point? Find a freaking young point guard!

Grade: B

76ers sign Dario Saric to 4-season, rookie contract

Saric is a big-time talent – 11th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft -, who the 76ers have wanted to get to the states and they have. Saric had contract issues with his foreign team, but for the 76ers, this is really like them getting a second lottery pick – one who has had two extra seasons to improve. I have loved their offseason actually.

Grade: A

Spurs sign Dewayne Dedmon to a 2-season, $6 million contract

I like Dedmon, the money is fine and I think he will help the Spurs, but they had the money to sign one big man to join Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge and I don’t know if they picked the right guy. I am not one to doubt the Spurs, but Dedmon isn’t the proven big man they needed; they needed to handpick a defender who can play the four or five and play with Aldridge and Gasol. I don’t know who that player is, but considering the Warriors got Anderson Varejao for the minimum and the Cavaliers got Chris Andersen for the same amount, I, for one, think there were stronger options. I will still give this a B, because the money is more than fair, but San Antonio needs to find a veteran big for the minimum.

Grade: B

Timberwolves sign Jordan Hill to a 2-season and $8 million deal

I have loved the Timberwolves’ offseason, as they got another all-star talent in Kris Dunn and Tom Thibodeau is getting strong veteran role players who can play with his team’s young championship core. Hill should be making twice this amount as he is an excellent rebounder and athlete, plus can really score the ball. He’s no rim protector though, and the fact that he is now on his fifth team at just 28 says something, but this is a steal.

Grade: A-

Nets sign Randy Foye to a 1-season, $2.4 million contract

I don’t know what the Nets are doing. I like Foye, I like this contact, but the crappiest team in the NBA, which doesn’t have its draft pick for the next two seasons, is just signing mediocre veterans to fair contracts. This doesn’t help the Nets now or in a year, and the only thing I can think of is that they are doing this, so that at the trade deadline, they have a number of cheap, valuable role players who they can trade for assets. I don’t know if Sean Marks is that smart, but if he is, nice job; if not? The Nets are well …. You get it.

Grade: A-

Cavaliers sign Chris Andersen to a 1-season, minimum contract

The Cavaliers needed to replace Timofey Mozgov, and although Andersen at 38 isn’t Mozgov, for 10-15 minutes a game, he will help the Cavaliers and he knows LeBron James well, which helps with any signing with this team. Andersen is still a solid rebounder and defender who is as physical as they come and makes the shots he takes, as few as they are. He’s a role player who knows his role and is perfect for the Cleveland. This also cost $63.5 million less than Mozgov.

Grade: A-

Pelicans sign Langston Galloway to a 2-season, $10.6 million contract

I actually really liked watching Galloway on the Knicks as he plays hard and makes baskets, but I am a numbers guy and the Knicks don’t like him; they actually hate him. His problems are simple; he is 6-2, but isn’t a point guard and he hasn’t shot 40 percent from the field in the NBA. He is a decent shooter, who is bulky, which helps make his lack of size easier to swallow for a team, but he shouldn’t be getting close to the $5 million a season the Pelicans are paying him. Lucky for him, he won’t have to play on the ball much with Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, E’Twaun Morre and Buddy Hield with him, so he could play well for them. I like the fit and player, but I can’t give this more than a C-.

Grade: D

Pelicans sign Terrence Jones to a 1-season, approximately minimum contract

Terrence Jones must be injured because this might be the steal of the offseason. At just 24, Jones is a versatile forward who can shoot and defend, and yes, he has missed a lot of games in his four seasons, but he is an NBA starter and New Orleans got him for about the minimum – a tad more. I don’t know how or why, but the Pelicans have Jones, who can play the four when Anthony Davis is playing center or with Omer Asik and can start if the team moves Davis to the five.

Grade: A-

Nets sign Luis Scola to a 1-season, likely $4-6 million deal

I have looked for days, but I cannot find the numbers, so I will assume it’s about $4-6 million as that has seemed to be the value of a strong veteran bench big man. The Nets have been signing veterans all offseason to 1-season contracts that I assume teams will call with assets to trade next season and lacking their pick for the next two years, the Nets need them. It’s that or their GM has no idea what the hell rebuilding means.

Grade: A-

Heat sign Derrick Williams to a 1-season, $5 million contract

Williams had arguably his best season playing as a sixth man of the Knicks’ bench. He is an athletic beast who showed excellent scoring potential, and being used as a three and four off the bench seems to be best for the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Heat are looking like a potential lottery franchise, and although I don’t think Williams will get them to the playoffs, this is a steal of a deal.

Grade: A-

Grizzlies sign Troy Daniels to a 3-season, $10 million contract

The Grizzlies have had a weakness for years, and that is shooting the basketball, so they signed one of the NBA’s best shooters in Troy Daniels. He just shot 48 percent for the Hornets, and over the last three seasons has a 43 percent mark, which is truly elite. He is going to make a big difference for the Grizzlies off the bench, and this is a bargain contract as lesser shooter Wayne Ellington received $6 million a season.

Grade: A-

Clippers sign Brandon Bass to a 1-season, minimum contract

Bass must be looking for a ring because he would have gotten a contract for at least $7 million a season if he wanted, as he is a starting four who should be an excellent third big. He’s a solid big man who can score, rebound, block shots and has started for a playoff team. Importantly, he knows Doc Rivers well from playing for him as a Celtic, and with Marreese Speights, the Clippers second unit big men will be much improved this season.

Grade: A

Hawks sign Jarrett Jack to a 1-season, minimum contract

The Nets cut Jack, so he is getting paid by them, meaning he is able to take a minimum contract with a playoff team and still be making decent money. I love this signing. The Hawks traded away Jeff Teague, so they needed a second point guard and got one of the best in the league, one who could challenge for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Jack is also a veteran who can help teach starter Dennis Schroder some things. The Hawks are a lesser team from losing Al Horford, but I have liked most of their signings in free agency.

Grade: A

Lakers sign Tarik Black to a 2-year, $12.9 million deal

What the bloody hell is this? I’m not British, but that’s what came to mind. Tarik Black will be making more than $6 million a season; that’s hard to understand. I actually like Black as he plays hard and is a solid role player, but there are veterans who the Lakers could have gotten for the minimum and could have given them the same numbers. Yes, Black can rebound and defend, but so can a number of guys who the Lakers could have signed for the minimum. He is still young and did play excellent in the D-League, but I just don’t get this contract.

Grade: C-

Nets sign Anthony Bennett to a 2-season, minimum contract

The Nets signed a young player with big potential; thank you. Anthony Bennett was the hilariously crappy first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, but he still has potential, and now that we know that he is a four/five, not a three/four, maybe he can show what he has. At just 23, he finds himself on the league’s weakest team – his fourth in four seasons – but that means he could get a chance. The first thing the Nets have to do is tell him to stop shooting, because he can’t and takes too many shots, but if he uses his athletic talents to score in the paint and continues to rebound, he can slowly become something in the NBA. He won’t be an all-star as he just doesn’t have the talent, but he can become a starter if he improves with Brooklyn.

Grade: A-

Spurs sign Manu Ginobili to a 1-year, $12 million contract

The Spurs didn’t have the money to sign more free agents, but they were able to reward Manu Ginobili for taking discounts and paid him all they could. This just shows the loyalty of the team; they did this for Tony Parker a year ago. The funny thing is this is Ginobili’s value, as he is still one of the best sixth men in the league. He deserves this.

Grade: A-

Mavericks sign Quincy Acy to for 2-season, minimum deal

Acy is just 6-foot-7, but has the athleticism and motor to be a strong power forward off the bench. He is an efficient scorer and a solid rebounder and defender, but what makes this a steal is that he is becoming a shooter, too, which increases a big’s value. I thought Acy would get a lot more.

Grade: A-

Celtics sign Tyler Zeller to a 2-season, $16 million contract

Zeller lost his rotation spot for the Celtics, but they have re-signed him, which is smart as when he plays he gives them excellent scoring, strong rebounding, plus he can block a shot or two. I really like this contract because only the first season is guaranteed and a player with his talents would have gotten a lot more if he wasn’t a restricted free agent. Zeller is a mediocre starting center, and having him means Boston can move Al Horford to the four at times. He can actually play with any of the Celtics’ big men; they have a lot of fours.

Grade: A-

Celtics sign Gerald Green at the minimum for one season

Green, at 30, isn’t the elite athlete he was, but the Celtics signed him as a shooter and scorer at the two and three off the bench. He is a fine role player, and for the minimum, this is a solid contract. However, I would much rather Boston give his minutes to R.J. Hunter, who can be a starter, and James Young.

Grade: B

Heat sign James Johnson to a 1-season, $4 million contract

The Heat signed another athletic three/four in free agency, Derrick Williams, but Johnson is the opposite. He is a defender, and in a defensive unit with Hassan Whiteside, they can be a hell of a duo. The money is fine, and I think Johnson will really help the Heat. My problem is that they need to be thinking bigger after losing Dwyane Wade and the James Johnsons, Derrick Williamses and Wayne Ellingtons of the world are not the answer.

Grade: B+

Knicks sign Sasha Vujacic to a 1-season, minimum deal

There are few players in the league who know more about the Triangle than Sasha Vujacic, which is likely why the Knicks are keeping him, as they are still going to use it some. Regardless, he really shouldn’t be playing much, as the Knicks are much improved, but they need shooting and for 10 minutes a game, he could be of use as he is one of the roster’s stronger shooters. Any team with Derrick Rose as its starting point guard needs shooters at the two and the Knicks have it with Courtney Lee and Vujacic.

Grade: B

Heat sign Wayne Ellington to a 2-season, $12 million deal

Wayne Ellington was one of my lowest-ranking free agents; he can shoot the ball, but there are much stronger shooters in this league and giving him $6 million is a little ridiculous to me. Miami could have gotten Steve Novak for the minimum, and Troy Daniels, who just shot 48 percent, got just $3 million a season. The Heat are looking like a lottery team more and more.

Grade: D+

Pelicans sign Alonzo Gee to a 1-season, minimum contract

Gee has played for the Pelicans, so they know what they have in him; a solid scorer for the bench at the three. I will give an A- to any minimum player who can help their team.

Grade: A-

Knicks sign Maurice N’Dour to a 1-season, minimum contract

N’Dour will be a rookie next season. He was signed and went to camp with the Mavericks last summer, but was cut; however, I like this move for the Knicks. Still just 24, in his first professional season he played with Real Madrid and in two of the best league’s in the world, showing elite defensive potential. He was a strong scorer in college at Ohio and has NBA talent, so I have no problem with the Knicks taking a chance on him for the minimum.

Grade: B+

Heat sign Udonis Haslem to a 1-season, $4 million deal

This is more of a loyalty contact – where was this for Wade? – as Haslem has been on the team for more than a decade, helped them win championships and has taken discounts. I have no problem with a team rewarding loyalty, and Haslem is still a defender and a physical beast with a strong mid-range game. He is also an excellent mentor who can really help the increasingly young Heat roster mature. This was a smart signing.

Grade: A-

Nuggets re-sign Mike Miller to a 2-season, approximately $6 million contract

Mike Miller is basically just a shooter now in his mid-30s, but is still one of the best, although he has played with serious back problems, which could still be an issue – must be said. I have no clue why Miller is going to be spending two more seasons with the rebuilding Nuggets, but $3 million for a shooter seems to be the price. They also need shooting, so I’m fine with this.

Grade: B

Lakers re-sign Marcelo Huertas to a 2-year, $3.4 million contract

Huertas was 32 and a rookie for the Lakers, and although he isn’t much of a scorer and isn’t a shooter, his point guard skills are excellent, as he averaged 7.5 assists per 36 minutes and has a very strong assist ratio. He’s a mediocre second point guard – will be third with Jose Calderon traded to the Lakers – making less than $2 million, so this is a fine contract.

Grade: B

Pelicans re-sign Tim Frazier to a 2-season, $4 million contract

This is one of my favorite contracts of the summer. Frazier only has 62 games played in two seasons, but his per-minute numbers are excellent and in a 16-game run for the Pelicans last season, he averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.5 assists in less than 30 minutes a game, while shooting 41.9 percent from three. If he wasn’t a restricted free agent, I think some team would have given him a much bigger contract, and as he can become the Pelicans’ starting point guard, this is a ridiculous bargain.

Grade: A-

Bulls sign Isaiah Canaan to a 2-season, minimum contract

With Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade able to play on ball and run the offense, the Bulls don’t need a true second point guard after Rajon Rondo, and although I like Jerian Grant, he needs time to develop, so I like the team going for a scoring guard, in Canaan, who can play off the ball, too. For the minimum, this is a fine contract, and although he has shown little ability to be a true one, he is a strong shooter and scorer. I assume he will get his 10-15 minutes, and getting a role player for the minimum is going to get you an A- in my grades.

Grade: A-

Pacers sign Aaron Brooks to a 1-season, $2.5 million contract

Aaron Brooks is an excellent shooter and scorer who can win you games by himself because he is such a strong spark plug, but the Pacers have a lot of similar players and although this contract is small, do they need him? I would have rather them spend money on a frontcourt player, but it’s just $2.5 million for a player I like, so I cannot complain much.

Grade: B

Spurs sign Livio Jean-Charles to his rookie contract

I have mentioned I do not like the Spurs’ frontcourt after losing Tim Duncan, David West, Boris Diaw and Boban Marjanovic, so I really like the team adding a young talent – first-round pick from 2013, but still just 22 – who will be cheap and adds needed fresh legs off the bench. Jean-Charles did not play as much in France as I would like, but he has averaged almost 10 points and rebounds per 36 minutes as a professional and he has been one for four years. Really, what matters with this grade though is that the Spurs picked him, and it may sound like I am B.S.’ing this grade, they don’t miss when it comes to foreign prospects.

Grade: A

Hawks re-sign Kris Humphries to a 1-season, $4 million deal

Yes, the former Kardashian is a joke to some, but he can ball and has continued to improve. Humphries was one of the league’s best rebounders and a strong scorer, but he now has a three-point shot, which makes him an excellent fit with Atlanta. For somebody who can give you a double-double any night off the bench and shoot the three, I call this a bargain.

Grade: A-

Heat re-sign Tyler Johnson to a 4-season, $50 million deal

Ha. I laughed when the Nets gave him this contract (restricted free agent), but they suck and are desperate for talent; for the Heat, this is just ridiculous. I know they lost Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson is a talented guard, but this money is double his value. Yes, Miami has to get younger and team’s guards are average at best, but the organization is paying about $100 million to two big men, almost $100 million to a mediocre point guard and now $50 million to a mediocre sixth man. Pat Riley is losing his touch, and although I like Johnson and I like when teams keep their young talent, the Heat didn’t need to do this. Their cap is looking like one of the ugliest in the NBA.

Grade: D

Grizzlies sign James Ennis to a 2-season, $6 million contract

I like this contract. Ennis isn’t a household name, but he could be next season, as he has played well in 84 games over two seasons. Per minute his numbers are that of an NBA role player and a potential three-and-d starter. Signed by the Pelicans late in the season, he had a nine-game run where he averaged 16 points, four rebounds and two assists per game, shooting 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from three, which is why he was given $6 million. This contract could look like a steal if he is given minutes and plays well.

Grade: A-

Rockets will sign Eric Gordon to a 4-season, $53 million contract

With all of the ridiculous contracts this offseason, this is a steal. If healthy – yes, that matters since Gordon has missed a ton of games-, he is one of the most talented offensive shooting guards in the NBA and an elite shooter. Regardless, he is just 27 – 28 on Christmas Day -, so we could see the best from Gordon in the next four seasons, as he is a perfect fit with James Harden at guard and can play on the ball or function as a shooter and scorer at the two. Whether Houston uses Gordon as a starter or a sixth man, this contract is a bargain, and if he is healthy, this is one of the best offseason values.

Grade: B+

Utah Jazz Get: F/C Boris Diaw and second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft
San Antonio Spurs Get: G Olivier Hanlan
The Spurs needed the money to sign Pau Gasol and Dewayne Dedmon to improve a frontcourt that was going to miss Tim Duncan, so they traded Boris Diaw’s expiring contract and a second-round pick to Utah, which had the money to take Diaw’s contract. For San Antonio, it was a smart trade, as Gasol is an all-star and Dedmon is a talented young big man, but the team will miss Diaw’s versatility, and there is no doubt the Spurs are going to be a far weaker defensive team next season. I don’t love the fit of LaMarcus Aldrdige and Pau Gasol, but Boris Diaw shouldn’t have been a factor in retooling the frontcourt, so the Spurs made the right choice.

As for the Jazz, they nailed this. They have had one of the best offseasons of any NBA team, adding veterans – Diaw, George Hill and Joe Johnson – to their elite young core, and Diaw’s versatility off the bench, as he can still play at least two positions, and shooting fit them well. Utah also gets a pick for free and only had to trade Olivier Hanlan, who hasn’t, and wasn’t likely, to play for them. Hanlan is a wild card in this trade, because he was a stud at Boston College and the Spurs could use help at guard, so I could see him at least in training camp. I like this trade for the Spurs and love it for Utah.

Grade For Jazz: A+
Grade For Spurs: A

Golden State Warriors Get: Future second-round pick
Dallas Mavericks Get: Andrew Bogut and a future second-round pick
The Mavericks needed a starting center and the Warriors needed the money to sign Kevin Durant, so the Warriors traded Andrew Bogut to the Dallas, which had the cap space to take his contract. This is an easy win for the Warriors as they got to sign Kevin Durant, the third-best player in the NBA, but the Mavericks got their needed stronger starting five. With Bogut’s elite defense and excellent rebounding, he will be the rock in the middle for the Mavericks, who have a very talented defensive team with Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and Justin Anderson at the two and three. Injuries are a problem with Bogut, but he is only making about $12 million and it is an expiring contract, so it’s not too big in my opinion. This trade helped the Warriors become incredible and the Mavericks a stronger player team in the West.

Grade For Warriors: A+
Grade For Mavericks: A-

Cleveland Cavaliers Get: G/F Mike Dunleavy and a prospect they won’t get
Chicago Bulls Get: A prospect they won’t get
To get Dwyane Wade, the Bulls had to trade Mike Dunleavy and Jose Calderon, as they didn’t have the money to sign him, so this is an easy A for the Bulls. Chicago doesn’t get anybody, and yes, losing a veteran and shooter like Dunleavy hurts, but this was a simple choice. The Cavaliers also are winners of this trade as they got another strong shooter and role player for their bench. I think Dunleavy will play a big role for the defending champions and has a salary of less than $4 million.

Grade For Cavaliers: A-
Grade For Bulls: A

Chicago Bulls Get: Ater Majok – 58th pick in 2011
Los Angeles Lakers Get: Some prospect who won’t play
Like with Dunleavy, the Bulls had to trade Calderon to get Wade and throwing in two second-round picks means little, as the Bulls got another superstar. Yes, Wade’s aging, but still elite, and this is another ‘A’ grade for Gar Forman. The Lakers don’t really need Calderon, but they got two second-rounders to take his expiring contract, and he could help teach D’Angelo Russell how to be an NBA point guard, so this is a win for them too. If you were going to ask, there is little chance Majok will play for the Bulls or in this league.

Grade For Bulls: A
Grade For Lakers: A-

Trail Blazers sign Festus Ezeli to a 2-season, $15 million contract

This is a ridiculous value, as Ezeli is a starting NBA center and in his mid-20s; however, his knees are a problem, which is why he got so little money. I don’t mind this at all though because if Ezeli is healthy, he gives Portland an excellent center pairing with Mason Plumlee, who can also play some power forward. I can’t give this an A because of the health, but this will likely be a steal. I have not liked Portland’s offseason, but I love this signing.

Grade: B

Hornets re-sign Marvin Williams to a 4-year, $54 million deal

Who would have thought Marvin Williams would be more valuable at this point than Deron Williams – drafted second and third in 2005? The Hawks would look somewhat less moronic if Chris Paul wasn’t taken fourth, but Marvin Williams has become a hell of an NBA role player. He was just one of the best shooting four’s in the league, shooting 40.2 percent, and he’s also a strong defender and a decent rebounder. Right now, this is a steal, but Williams will be 34 in the fourth year of this deal, with 14 seasons played, so age is a bit of an issue with this contract.

Grade: B

Rockets sign Nene to a 1-season, $2.9 million contract

This is one of the best values of free agency. Losing Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones, the Rockets’ frontcourt was porous and getting a veteran like Nene to come off the bench and give them scoring and the ability to play the four or five is nice, plus the price is a bargain. I am assuming that Houston starts Ryan Anderson and Clint Capela at the four and five, but with Nene, the roster has somebody who can play with Anderson or Capela and give the team a different type of big man; a scorer in the paint. An easy A.

Grade: A

76ers sign Sergio Rodriguez to a 1-season, $8 million contract

I did not expect Rodriguez to come to the states again. The Spanish star played four seasons, mostly for Portland, but went back to Europe; however, it seems he wants to give the NBA another try. The 76ers are a nice fit. They needed help at guard and have found themselves a strong distributor and point guard on what could be a steal of a contract. With Jerryd Bayless, Philadelphia now has another option at point guard to go with Ben Simmons, who is likely to have the ball when playing.

Grade: B

Timberwolves sign Cole Aldrich to a 3-year, $22 million deal

I have been a Cole Aldrich fan for a few years now, as his per-36-minute numbers have been that of a starting center and he has a lot of offensive skill. He probably shouldn’t play more than 20 minutes a game, but he gives Minnesota another defender in the frontcourt and somebody who can have Karl-Anthony Towns play more four, which is important because he won’t get hit as much. Aldrich could start, but the Timberwolves have Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic, so their are options. Regardless, I like the money, player and fit.

Grade: B+

Wizards sign Jason Smith to a 3-season, $16 million contract

The Wizards’ journey to repeated mediocrity continues. This is a fair contract as Jason Smith is a fine offensive big man for your bench, but it’s just so small a move for a team who needed to make at least one big move this offseason. I don’t know how much he’s going to play, but this is a tradeable contract and he can help an offense for 15-20 minutes a night.

Grade: B

Mavericks re-sign Deron Williams to a 1-year, $10 million

Deron Williams isn’t an all-star anymore, and he does have injury problems, but looking at the contracts given this offseason, this is a freaking steal. He was much stronger for his hometown Mavericks than he was in his last season with Brooklyn, and I don’t know why he didn’t ask for more seasons. Williams is still getting paid by the Nets, so the money isn’t an issue, but he still has a few more seasons to play and I think they should have gotten him for more than just one year. That’s my only issue with the deal and it’s not really one; I have loved the Mavericks’ offseason.

Grade: A

Timberwolves sign Brandon Rush to a 1-season, $3.5 million contract

This is a Tom Thibodeau signing. With Cole Aldrich and now Brandon Rush, you can see that Thibodeau is trying to put defenders with skill next to Minnesota’s ridiculously talented young foundation – title contenders in 2-3 seasons. Rush is also one of the league’s strongest shooters, so this is a very nice contract.

Grade: A-

Knicks sign Courtney Lee to a 4-season, $48 million contract

This is alright. I would have liked the Knicks getting Eric Gordon more, but this contract makes sense. The money seems like a lot, but $12 million is now the rate for an average NBA starter and Lee does give the Knicks defense, which they are sorely lacking, and another shooter in their starting five, which is vital as Derrick Rose cannot shoot. I just don’t get why the Knicks signed him for four seasons, as I like Arron Afflalo more and he got just two seasons – and was their starting two. The Knicks look like a playoff team with starting five of Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porizngis and Joakim Noah, and I for one want to see this team play today.

Grade: B

Wizards signed Ian Mahinmi to a 4-season, $64 million contract

Mahinmi is a solid starting center, but Washington has Marcin Gortat signed for a few more seasons, and I doubt they will play together much. Regardless, this is still too much money if he gets 30 minutes a game, which isn’t happening if Gortat is on the roster. The Wizards could trade Gortat, but I still wouldn’t care for this contract; the Wizards are a mess.

Grade: D+

Kings sign Garrett Temple to a 3-season, $24 million contract

The Kings just make me laugh. I mean this isn’t an Isiah or anything, but Garrett Temple’s value isn’t $8 million a season and there isn’t another team who would have given him $8 million. He is a defender and that’s about it. He’s improved as a shooter, but his efficiency as a scorer is poor and he is now 30. I don’t get this at all; I like how they are adding defense, as they are a pathetic defensive team, but they went from sucking at guard to sucking a little less at guard and it cost them 24 mil.

Grade: D

Warriors signed Ian Clark to a 1-season, minimum contract

Ian Clark is going to replace Leandro Barbosa as the small scoring guard in the Warriors’ rotation. Clark played well for them when given minutes, and for a minimum contract, this is strong value. I thought he was going to get a lot more in free agency.

Grade: A-

Knicks re-signed Lance Thomas to a 4-season, $27 million contract

Thomas is basically a shooting three/four. He is an efficient scorer, and he shoots 40 percent from three, but this is far too much money for a scoring big who is just 6-foot-8 and doesn’t rebound or block shots. I don’t know who the Knicks were bidding against, but this is just too much money.

Grade: D+

Pistons signed Boban Marjanovic to a three-season, $21 million contract

The tallest player in the NBA, Marjanovic as a rookie was statistically one of the best players in the league, and yes, it came with role-player minutes and a machine called the Spurs, but I love this contract. I doubt he gets 20 minutes, but he is a ridiculously efficient scorer, an elite rebounder and a strong shot-blocker. The Spurs have a lot of big men though, so I don’t know how much time he will get, but the value is a bargain to me.

Grade: A-

Kings signed Anthony Tolliver to a 2-season, $16 million contract

Tolliver has one job, and that is to shoot from three. He is one of the stronger shooting big men in the league and consistent, but I don’t like the money for a guy who isn’t much of a rebounder or shot-blocker. These types are a dime a dozen now, and the Kings already have too many bigs.

Grade: D+

Trail Blazers re-sign Meyers Leonard to a 4-season, $41 million deal

This is a steal of a contract. Portland got an Isiah for one free agent, but I thought Leonard deserved something in the $12-15 million-per-season area, and the franchise got its 7-foot-1 shooting center signed for just $10 million per year. Leonard still needs to learn how to use his size on defense, but he is a solid rebounder and one of the best shooting bigs in the league and should continue to improve. If he does, this will look like one of the NBA’s best deals.

Grade: A-

Mavericks will sign Seth Curry to a 2-season, $6 million contract

Seth Curry isn’t his brother, but he is a potential elite sixth man and could start if playing with a bigger point guard, like he has in Deron Williams. With Wesley Matthews at the two, Curry will play off the bench, but will still give Dallas ridiculous value. He is an efficient scorer, an elite shooter, a pesky defender and a solid play-maker who proved he could start some in this league when playing for the Kings. Additionally, Curry should have gotten at least $6 million a season. I love this contract.

Grade: A

Hornets will sign Roy Hibbert to a 1-season, $5 million contract

This is a steal of a contract. Yes, Hibbert kind of sucks now, but he is one of the biggest players in the league and an elite defensive talent when he tries. If Hibbert wants to get paid next summer, he will and can give Charlotte solid scoring and rebounding to go with his defense in the second unit. This is an excellent “prove it” deal, and he gives the Charlotte a defender at center they haven’t had.

Grade: A-

Cavaliers signed Richard Jefferson to a 2-season, $5 million contract

I thought the Cavaliers could have gotten Jefferson, who has made a fortune in this league, for the minimum, but this is still a steal for a former star who is now a fine piece for a second unit. He played a big role for the Cavaliers, giving the a bench shooter who can play multiple positions and defend which was needed. They could use somebody younger than the mid-30s Jefferson to play the role, but for the money, its a very nice contract.

Grade: A-

Warriors will sign David West to a 1-year, veteran-minimum contract

Well, the Warriors got a $10-15 million a season player for less than $2 million as David West wants a ring more than any player I have seen in my life. He said no to $12 option a year ago and probably something similar this offseason. The Warriors had no money to spend, so they got an elite third big man for the minimum; how very nice for Steve Kerr. Golden State’s roster is getting ridiculous.

Grade: A+

Houston re-signs James Harden for 4 years, $118 million

I have loved this team’s offseason. Signing Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to provide a big offensive punch, getting Nene for a steal of a contract, and now re-signing franchise player James Harden. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but now there is no concern about losing him in a couple of years, because the Rockets have the NBA’s best two guard signed for his prime. Houston is one big player from pondering contention, but I love the team’s roster.

Grade: A

Wizards will sign Andrew Nicholson to a 4-season, $26 million contract

The Wizards, to me, have had a laughable offseason. They couldn’t get a second of Kevin Durant’s time, gave $130 million to a young guard who is constantly injured – they had no choice – and have signed a number of average big men to big-money deals. Nicholson is a solid shooter, scorer and rebounder, and Washington needed some help at power forward, but I don’t think he deserves this money. I may be proven incorrect, as Nicholson is young, but I don’t love this contract or see a playoff team.

Grade: C

76ers will sign Gerald Henderson to a 2-year, $18 million contract

Gerald, what are you doing? It’s Philadelphia and you are willingly taking the money. Jokes aside, the 76ers needed more veteran players, help at guard and defense, plus he gives them all three and a likely starter for market value, which is rare this offseason.

Grade: B+

The Trail Blazers re-sign Allen Crabbe to a 4-year, $75 million deal

I laughed when I heard the Nets gave the restricted free agent $75 million, however I understood it, as they are so ridiculously desperate for talent, but I did not think there was a chance in hell the Blazers would match. I like Crabbe, as he is an excellent bench shooter and scorer, however, they gave another sixth man, Evan Turner $72 million, who is far more versatile and talented. They also have a max contract starting this season with Damian Lillard and will have to give C.J. McCollum and Mason Plumlee big money next offseason. They will need to be intelligent with their money if they want to develop into the elite young team they look like they will become and because of this they deserve the first Isiah of the offseason!

Grade: Isiah

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger to a 1-season, $6 million contract

I really like this contract. The Raptors lost Bismack Biyombo in free agency, and rookie Jakob Poeltl is too similar to starting center Jonas Valanciunas to play together much, so frontcourt depth and help at power forward was an issue for Toronto. The Raptors will likely start Patrick Patterson, or Luis Scola – if they re-sign him -, but Sullinger is probably their second-best big today. This is one hell of a deal, and although Sullinger has had problems with his health, he just played 81-of-82 games, is one of the NBA’s elite rebounders and an excellent scorer who can shoot. His health must be a bigger issue than I thought or he was asking for too much money and got a “prove it” deal, but this is a steal regardless of health.

Grade: A-

Clippers will sign Jamal Crawford to a 3-season, $42 million contract

Jamal Crawford didn’t have his best season, but was still the best sixth man in the NBA. Although he is 36, he has aged very well and should continue to. The Clippers had to keep him, as they needed his scoring off the bench. For just $14 million per season, I don’t have too much of a problem with this contract.

Grade: A

Knicks will sign Brandon Jennings to a 1-season, $5 million contract

The Knicks have had a weird offseason, and I have no idea if the pieces will fit, but they have added another semi-big-name player in Jennings. Once considered one of the best young guards in the league, Jennings is now a sixth man with injury problems, which is why he signed one of Walt’s famous “prove it” deals. For $5 million, this is a ridiculous steal for the Knicks, as Jennings could be one of the best bench players in the league this season. He is a excellent scorer and can run the Knicks’ second unit as well. I love this.

Grade: A-

Nuggets re-sign Darrell Arthur to a 3-season, $23 million contract

Arthur is a very solid big man for the bench as he can shoot and rebound, and he gets more than a block and steal per 36 minutes. There have been so many ridiculous contracts this offseason, and although I don’t love this deal, it’s solid.

Grade: B

Warriors sign Zaza Pachulia to a 1-season, $2.9 million contract

I thought that Pachulia would get a contract like Timofey Mozgov in the 4-season, $60 million range, and I would have given that a C+, as Pachulia is a very solid starting center who just played well for the Mavericks. He almost averaged a double-double as a starter last season, and he’s a tough, excellent defender. This is one of the best contracts of free agency, as the Warriors were able to sign him for a fraction of what he should have gotten this offseason. With the Warriors losing Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli by getting Kevin Durant, they had to find a starting five, and they got one for less than $3 million. Pachulia must want a ring.

Grade: A

Mavericks re-sign Dwight Powell to a 4-season, $37 million contract

I really like this contract. I thought Powell could have signed for another $10-$15 million, as he looks like an excellent third big man and could likely start. He just averaged 14.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and about one block and steal per 36 minutes off the bench, and although he’s not a shooter, this contract is quite the bargain.

Grade: A-

Hornets sign Ramon Sessions to a 2-season, $12.5 million contract

Losing Jeremy Lin, the Hornets had to find another excellent second-unit point guard so that Kemba Walker can be a scorer and not have to run the offense at times. Mission accomplished. Sessions is as solid as it gets, as he he can give you big scoring or assist numbers and can start if needed. The contract is a steal, too, as he got about half of what Austin Rivers received and it took me a minute to think of which I player I would rather have. Charlotte is nailing free agency.

Grade: A-

Kings sign Matt Barnes to a 2-season, $12 million contract

Matt Barnes is known for being a physical defender and a solid shooter, and although he is in his mid-30s, he has proved to the league that he still has a lot to give a team. He could start for the Kings if they trade Rudy Gay and this is a very fair contract, although you’d think he would sign with a contender. The Kings are looking like one of the three-four weakest teams in the league, so he probably went for the money.

Grade: B-

Clippers re-sign Wesley Johnson to a 3-season, $18 million contract

Wesley Johnson shouldn’t have been the fourth pick in his draft, but he has become a reliable role player for the Clippers. He is a mediocre “three-and-d” small forward, but with so many average players getting big money, I like this contract, as Johnson will probably start for the Clippers.

Grade: B

Mavericks will re-sign Dirk Nowitzki to a 2-year, $40 million deal

Dirk was playing for about $7 million last season so they could sign free agents one year ago, but he is getting paid now that the Mavs have so much money to spend; so that’s nice for his family. Regardless, Dirk’s value is still basically $20 million and he is still the best player on the Mavericks, so not much needs to be said. Easy “A.”

Grade: A

Magic will sign Jeff Green to a 1-year, $15 million contract

Jeff Green can score and play two positions, but meh. He’s really just an athletic scorer who didn’t become the player he was expected to become. Green can help you offensively, but he really shouldn’t be going to a nonplayoff team on a one-season contract. This is just him chasing money and trying to improve his value for more money next offseason. I have hated Orlando’s offseason, but as it is a tradeable contract, it won’t get the first Isiah.

Grade: D

Pistons will sign Jon Leuer to a 4-season, $42 million contract

This is actually one of my favorite contract so far. I didn’t know it during the season, but Jon Leuer had truly ridiculous per-minute numbers and is one of the few elite big man shooters who is also a big-time rebounder. Leuer fits the Pistons very well and is getting less than he could have made with all the money teams are spending. He could start for Detroit as well.

Grade: A-

Clippers will sign Austin Rivers to a 3-season, $35 million contract

Doc Rivers, who is the coach and GM, just gave his son another $35 million. The contract last offseason? He didn’t earn it. This one? Same. His value is that of a solid sixth man, as he is a versatile player who really helps his team, but that is $6-7 million a season. Math tells me that this is a $4-5 million difference a season, but third guards have gotten a lot of money this offseason, so I will say undisputedly that I am 100 percent indifferent. It’s too much, but he’s a strong role player.

Grade: C

Magic will sign Bismack Biyombo to a 4-season, $70 million contract

Biyombo’s value is about this amount; I have no problem with this, but the Magic already have one of the NBA’s best big men in Nikola Vucevic, just traded for Serge Ibaka and already have Aaron Gordon. The latter two are known for defense, while offensively, Vucevic and the former Raptor don’t exactly fit together. Really, Orlando doesn’t need Biyombo and has spent a fortune for a luxury, when the team has little at the one, two or three. If I didn’t like Biyombo, this would be the first Isiah of the offseason. I hate the Magic’s offseason more than almost any I have seen in the seven years I’ve been in the business.

Grade: D-

Bulls has signed Rajon Rondo to a 2-season, $28 million deal – second year not guaranteed

The Bulls took a bold approach to finding a point guard, their biggest need, but they signed a player who has a bit of an attitude. Rondo is a winner and could work perfectly with Jimmy Butler, but there could be problems, as we have two big egos in one guard duo sharing one basketball. Regardless, Chicago got the NBA’s best distributor and a daily triple-double threat for cheap. I can’t not like it as a Bulls fan, but I don’t love it.

Grade: B+

Bulls sign Dwyane Wade to a 2-year, $54 million contract

Umm, I have to not be in Chicago for something incredible to happen? I guess so, as I am in Nashville. Yes, this is a ton of money, and Wade’s not the player he was, but this signing gives the Bulls a chance to contend in the East for the next two seasons – more if he re-signs. If Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler can learn to share the ball and the offense can do well despite the best shooter in the likely starting five being a power forward, the Bulls will be excellent next season. This signing makes Chicago a real player in the Eastern Conference.

Grade: A-

Heat will re-sign Hassan Whiteside to a 4-season, max contract ($98 million)

This is the hardest grade of the offseason. Why? Whiteside is the most random star in the NBA. He was a second-round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and became something in the league for the first time in 2014. What happened in those four years? He played ball – only some in the NBA – but the change from what he was to max player is ridiculous. His rebounding and shot-blocking numbers are elite, and he can score, but he has issues with fouling and maturity. I cannot trust a guy with issues who has been making NBA peanuts with $100 million.

Grade: C

Pelicans will sign E’Twaun Moore to a 4-season, $34 million contract

Moore was excellent for the Bulls as a sixth man and a starter when Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler was injured. Moore is a versatile player who can guard at least two positons, can play the point or two, is a strong shooter and scorer, and just helps teams win. However, one nice season shouldn’t give you $34 million. I do like the fit as the Pelicans needed a versatile guard off the bench – assuming Jrue Holiday and Buddy Hield start – but the team os giving Moore elite second-unit money, when he isn’t elite.

Grade: B-

Mavericks will sign Harrison Barnes to a 4-season, $94 million contract

I freaking love this. The Thunder losing Durant has made the Mavericks winners of free agency, as the Mavericks are collecting the pieces the Warriors had to lose and Barnes is a truly elite talent who has been used as a role player. Dallas was facing the prospect of another lost offseason, but by signing Barnes, the team gets a player with all-star potential who can become a franchise player when Dirk Nowitzki retires. Yes, the money is a little much, but I think Barnes becomes a max player.

Grade: A-

Lakers will sign Luol Deng to a 4-season, $72 million contract

I love Luol Deng’s game as a Chicagoan, as he was their first star after Michael Jordan retired, but this is ridiculous. He isn’t the big-time scorer or all-star he once was, and although he is still a very solid starter, the money is just too much. The Lakers just drafted Brandon Ingram, who is also a small forward and their next franchise player, so is Deng going to be making almost $20 million per season to come off the bench? Will one of them move to the four? Ingram is too thin, while Deng is only 6-9. I don’t get the money or fit, but he is a perfect veteran for a young team and can help them on the court defensively and score 15 points a game. I don’t like this deal though financially, as Deng is aging and his value is much less.

Grade: C

Spurs will sign Pau Gasol to a 2-season, $30 million contract

It looks like Tim Duncan will retire, so the Spurs are signing all-star Pau Gasol for two seasons to keep them elite when it comes to their bigs. Still one of the three best teams in the NBA, getting another elite scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker keeps them a title contender and the one team in the West that can beat the Warriors. If Duncan stays, Gasol will come off the bench, which is best because I do not love the fit of him and LaMarcus Aldridge on defense, as they are mediocre in that respect, and the Spurs’ NBA-best defense will struggle as a result. Regardless, the Spurs obtained Gasol for a steal, as he will help them win a lot of games and potentially another title.

Grade: A

Nets will sign Justin Hamilton to a 2-season, $6 million contract

Hamilton has played internationally and in the NBA since being drafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, but he is a solid scorer who can shoot and is a strong defender. His rebounding numbers are mediocre, but he’s a solid fourth or fifth big man. I don’t mind this.

Grade: C+

Kings will sign Arron Afflalo to a 2-season, $25 million contract

The Kings needed some help at guard, and I like the signing of the veteran Afflalo, who is a very nice three-and-D shooting guard. He is the type of player who can help the Kings win games, but they need a lot more if they want to be in the playoffs. I can see him starting though, and he signed a pretty solid contract.

Grade: B+

Suns will sign forward Jared Dudley to a 3-year, $30 million contract

This is one of my favorite signings of the offseason. The Suns needed help at the three, as they only have T.J. Warren and are so young at the four, which Dudley can play to, so they really needed a veteran forward. Well, the Suns have signed one who is a solid defender and gives them another elite shooter; a perfect fit. He should start for Phoenix, and as he is just 31 – in a few days – and is aging well, this contract is more than fair.

Grade: A-

Magic will sign shooting guard Evan Fournier to a 5-season, $85 million contract

This is a lot of money for Fournier, but he is Orlando’s best perimeter player with Victor Oladipo in Oklahoma City and Tobias Harris in Detroit. Fournier is an elite shooter and a strong scorer, and the Magic had to keep him, but this is too much money. I have no clue why Orlando traded Oladipo, who to me is far more talented and gave Fournier this much money, but the team sees a big role for him in its very different roster, which now has a core of Nikola Vucevic, Fournier, Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Aaron Gordon. Also, what the hell are the Magic doing with all these big men? Are they trading Vucevic, their best player? Sorry for rambling, but I don’t mind this contract, as Fournier could have a big season as the No. 2 scorer. Seriously though, Orlando’s offseason is pathetic.

Grade: B-

Warriors will sign Kevin Durant to a 2-season, $54 million contract

Well, the NBA’s best roster is now ridiculous. Signing Kevin Durant, the Warriors now have the two best scorers in the game (Stephen Curry) and four legitimate superstars (Draymond Green and Klay Thompson), meaning they could easily win 75 games next season. They are now the title favorites for at least two years. The Warriors would have liked to get him for more than two seasons, but obtaining the third-best player in the NBA will earn an A+.

That said, I do not like how Durant has now ruined Oklahoma City. He should have re-signed with the Thunder; they were one game from winning the West, so it’s not like he was in a bad place. Where is the loyalty?

Grade: A+

Jazz will sign Joe Johnson to a 2-year, $22 million contract

I really like how the Jazz are finding veterans to go with their elite young core. First, point guard George Hill, and now, small forward Joe Johnson, who should come off the bench and give the team strong scoring, shooting and play-making. Mostly, he gives Utah a guy who the young players can go to for advice, as he’s elderly, but he can still play ball. I don’t love the money, but I like this signing.

Grade: B-

Pelicans will sign Solomon Hill to a 4-season, $50 million contract

A friend of mine is a Pacer fan who wanted them to re-sign Hill, but laughed when he saw the numbers; I did, too. Hill is getting strong starter money, but his numbers are average, his per-36 numbers are average, his advanced stats are average, and he is average. Yes, Hill can defend, but you do not give a non-shooter this much money at the three. This rivals Evan Turner as the most ridiculous contract, so far.

Grade: D

Bucks will sign Matthew Dellavedova to a 4-year, $38.4 million contract

I am a big fan of Matthew Dellavedova, one of the dirtiest players in the game. I don’t like when he punches guys in the nuts, but I love how hard he plays for his team. I said in the free agent rankings that Dellavedova deserved elite sixth man money, and although that’s what he is getting, I thought it would be $7-$8 million, not almost $10.

Still, Dellavedova fits the Bucks, as they lost Jerryd Bayless, can’t get Michael Carter-Williams to play consistent and are playing forward Giannis Antetokounmpo a lot at the one. Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ best player, but they need a point guard and Dellavedova could start for them, as he gives them defense, toughness and shooting. He will play harder than any player I have graded to prove he deserves this contract, which is why this is a “B” and not the “C” I had at first.

Grade: B

Hawks will sign Dwight Howard to a 3-year, $71 million contract

You know, I expected to give an Isiah to the team that signed Howard, as he is hard to work with and gets coaches fired, but I love the fit. The Hawks knew they were likely losing Al Horford – to the Celtics – and had to make a move to stay relevant in the East, so they did. I have no problem with giving a big 3-year contract to Howard, who is only 30, as he will still give Atlanta an elite defender at center, but also help improve the team’s rebounding. If Howard wants to, he could give the Hawks another big-time scorer too, but he has been lacking in that area for a few seasons.

Regardless, the best part is Atlanta’s coach runs the team, so he can’t get fired. Also, him and Paul Millsap are a perfect fit in the frontcourt. An interesting move, but I like it, as the Hawks could improve next season.

Grade: B+

Celtics will sign Al Horford to a 4-season, $113 million contract

Well, meet the third-best team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics with Al Horford. Horford is an elite defender, an excellent rebounder and scorer and can shoot from three. The Celtics have been trying to find a big star for years and they have with Horford. They are now a contender in the East because they now have a second all-star to go with Isaiah Thomas in the four time all-star. My first A+ of the offseason, ladies and gentlemen.

Grade: A+

Rockets will sign Ryan Anderson to a 4-season, $80 million contract

This contract looks big, but Ryan Anderson is the best shooting big in the game. He is more than just a shooter though, as he is a talented scorer who can with minutes give you 20 points a game. As a starter, I expect him to average 20 points, giving them an excellent second option to James Harden. Although this is a lot of money, the Rockets needed to sign a big-time player, and he fits perfectly with Harden and the recently hired Mike D’Antoni.

Grade: B

Bucks will sign Mirza Teletovic to a 3-season, $30 million contract

Mirza Teletovic has one talent, but he happens to be one of the best shooting big men in the NBA. He’s just 30, so this is a more than a fair contract. I know they are trying to trade Greg Monroe who isn’t a fit, but they have a lot of guys who can play power forward, and although he is the best shooter of the bunch, $10 million is a lot for a player with one skill at a stacked position. He is very tradeable though, which is nice, but I don’t love this move.

Grade: C+

Hawks will sign Kent Bazemore to a 4-season, $70 million contract

Yeah, I get that Kent Bazmore had a very nice season for the Hawks, but he is a one-year wonder, and I do not trust him as a $17.5 million player. I don’t see it. Yes, he is athletic, defends, rebounds and shoots well, but he’s just a solid starter. Teams have money and just want to spend it, but giving a guy who had one solid season (11.6 points a game!!!!) almost $20 million is insane to me. DeMarre Carroll was the stronger player, and they let him go for $15 million. He actually took a few million less to be with the Hawks; what the hell is going on NBA?

Grade: D

Grizzlies will sign forward Chandler Parsons to a 4-season, $94.8 million max contract

I love what the Grizzlies did by signing Parsons and Mike Conley. Parsons has injury problems, but he is a perfect fit and gives them what they have lacked for years – a scorer and pla-ymaker, as well as a defender at small forward. They have tried with a number of players, and although it’s a lot of money, they are now serious players in the Western Conference. I want to give this a “C” because of price and injuries, however I just love the fit too much. Parsons is so versatile and still in his 20s and fits with Conley and Marc Gasol to perfection, so I’ll give it a B-.

Grade: B-

Grizzlies will re-sign Mike Conley Jr. for 5 seasons, $153 million

Although Mike Conley is coming off injury and his value is a lot closer to $20 million than $30, the Grizzlies would have lost him if they didn’t pay this amount. He has been one of the best players most didn’t talk about for years because his numbers aren’t elite, but his intangibles and defense are, and he is an excellent scorer and play-maker. With Marc Gasol, chandler Parsons and Conley signed long-term, the Grizzlies now have a 4-year opportunity to be strong contenders in the Western Conference; they just need one more big talent.

Grade: B

Trail Blazers will sign Evan Turner to a 4-season, $75 million contract

Wow, do I hate this signing. Turner is a specialty player, as he is a unique sixth man who can run the second unit and helps if a point guard is a poor distributor. But the Blazers are fine with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Yes, Turner can run the second unit, but I just don’t think he will fit like he did with Brad Stevens as a Celtic, and I don’t care what you say, $19 million dollars for Evan Turner is ridiculous. You don’t pay a sixth man who cannot shoot this much money. This is the worst signing of the offseason so far.

Grade: D-

76ers will sign guard Jerryd Bayless to a 3-season, $27 million dollar contract

I didn’t like this contract at first, but Bayless is a heck of a second-unit guard with starter potential. They are likely starting No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, who is a four, at point guard, so Bayless could start, giving the 76ers a secondary distributor, a scorer at guard and an elite shooter. If he is a sixth man, this is a little much, but I don’t mind this at all. I actually like it.

Grade: B

Magic will sign D.J. Augustin to a 4-season, $29 million dollar contract

I like D.J. Augustin; he is one of the best second-unit point guards and is an excellent scorer who can run an offense. However, he is being paid like an elite reserve, and I just think it’s a little too much. The Magic needs another point guard, as its starter is mediocre offensively, so he fits, but Orlando is winning this season or next, and I don’t see the need to pay Augustin this money. I hate Orlando’s offseason.

Grade: C-

Knicks sign center Joakim Noah for 4 seasons, $72 million

As a Chicagoan, I have loved watching Noah for the nine seasons he was with the Bulls, but it was time for him to go and play somewhere else, and it’s nice he gets to play for New York, where he’s from, and with one of his best friends (Derrick Rose). The money is a little much, and he has injury problems, but he is perfect for the Knicks on the court and is an incredible locker room guy to have. Playing with Kristaps Porzingis, he can give the Latvian stud the paint or let him play with his face to the basket, as Noah can just play at the charity stripe and distribute or shoot. He gives them an excellent secondary distributor as well. This will take some playing time at the four from Carmelo Anthony, but I love the fit. However, he is 31 and constantly injured, and this is a big contract for him considering those two factors. Regardless, they are betting big and I like that, as the Knicks now have a playoff roster.

Grade: B

Pistons will re-sign center Andre Drummond to a 5-season, max contract (about $130 million)

A lot of people don’t agree with me, but I think Drummond is the best center in the NBA. He was my third-ranked free agent this offseason. There was no doubt that he was going to re-sign, and although the dollars are ridiculous, he deserves it all. At 22, he is already one of the NBA’s best rebounders, and he is an excellent defender and scorer. He should continue to improve yearly, and Drummond will keep the Pistons a winner for the next half decade. This is my favorite signing of free agency, just because it took no thinking and it was obvious, so no games were played.

Grade: A

Lakers will re-sign Jordan Clarkson to a 4-season, $50 million dollar contract

The Lakers got a steal. Starting shooting guard (also a point guard) Jordan Clarkson has signed for a lot less than I expected, but an odd random rule helped them, as he was a second-round pick. Regardless, $12.5 million per season for a proven NBA scorer at 24 who can shoot and play two positions is a steal. He is a perfect fit with starting point guard D’Angelo Russell as well, who likes to shoot, while Clarkson can easily get to the basket. They can share ball-handling and scoring duties at guard. This is one of my favorite deals of the day and I like how they are keeping their Russell-Clarkson-Julius Randle-Brandon Ingram core together, as they can become a contender with time.

Grade: A-

Pistons will sign point guard Ish Smith to 3-season, $18 million contract

I love this deal. I thought Smith would get at least $8-10 million per season because he is a solid starting point guard and a Sixth Man of the Year Candidate if used right, which is what he will be with Detroit. He isn’t efficient, but can score and happens to be an excellent distributor. He is small, but he deserved more than this. Stan Van Gundy is one of the best coaches in the league, but he’s proving himself as one of the best general managers, too. He is building something in Detroit.

Grade: A-

Nets will sign point guard Jeremy Lin to a 3-season, $36 million dollar contract

I am a fan of Jeremy Lin, but he has proven that he is best as a sixth man and shouldn’t be a starting point guard; he is likely starting for the Nets. He gives them a big name, but he still won’t help them win games, and again, they won’t have their own lottery pick (Boston can switch), so I don’t see how he helps Brooklyn. They need to get younger, and Lin is almost 28. Yes, they have a lot of money to spend, but they should use that cash for players who can be part of their foundation; not a point guard who will probably be traded next offseason. A contract worth $12 million per year is just too much for Lin to play on what is now the NBA’s most pathetic team. If a playoff squad gave him $12 million to be their sixth man, it would have gotten a C, but I don’t like this signing.

Grade: D

Nicolas Batum will re-sign with Hornets for 5 seasons and $120 million

To me, Batum was the best player for Charlotte in his first season there and he deserves a near-max contract; I actually thought he would get one. This is still a lot of freaking money for somebody who would be the third option on most contenders, but he is so versatile and allows Kemba Walker (their most recognized player) to be more of a scorer, where he’s best. Batum is the perfect fit. as he is an excellent defender, shooter, rebounder and playmaker, and is still just 27. He can play three positions for Charlotte, and as their most important player, I have little problem with this contract; they had to keep him.

Grade: B

Al Jefferson will sign with Pacers for 3 seasons and $30 million

This is a nice match. Al Jefferson is one of the best offensive big men in the NBA. He may have had a poor season where he was injured, benched and suspended, but he can still give a team 20-10 any game, and the Pacers had to find themselves a true big man. The price is excellent, and although he cannot defend, he should really help them, whether as a starter or on the bench, where he should be for them.

Grade: B+

Raptors will re-sign shooting guard DeMar DeRozan to a 5-year, max contract

This is the second deal I thought I would see tonight, along with Bradley Beal. DeRozan had already said that he was going to re-sign with the Raptors, and so their franchise player will spend his prime in Canada. He loves the city and fellow Olympian teammate Kyle Lowry, meaning the Eastern Conference’s best guard duo will remain together. DeRozan is one of the NBA’s best pure scorers and has improved as a play-maker. At just 27 when the season starts, DeRozan just had his best season, averaging 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4 assists per game. and we can expect similar numbers for the next five years. It’s about $140 million dollars, which is one of the biggest contracts in history, but Toronto had to re-sign him. Nice job, Raptors.

Grade: A

Lakers agree to sign center Timofey Mozgov to four seasons for $64 million

A year ago, this would have gotten a D or an Isiah, but people are getting big contracts this offseason and Mozgov is a strong starting center, which means this is the price. He just won a title with the Cavaliers, but didn’t play much; however, it’s not his fault, they just liked playing small. Mozgov is a legitimate starting five, and center was a need for the Lakers, but there are so many big men to sign I think they could have signed a similar player for half of this in four weeks. Regardless, he is just 30 – in two weeks-, has few miles on his legs and averaged basically 13 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes for Cleveland. Mozgov is an excellent role player, and yes, $16 million per year for him is a little rich for my blood and I really like the center the Lakers drafted 32nd – Bosnian Ivica Zubac -, but Zubac is just a teenager. If Zubac wins the starting job though, this is a tradeable contract. I don’t love this, but the Lakers needed to find a center and Mozgov is a fine five.

Grade: C+

Wizards (will) re-sign shooting guard Bradley Beal to a five-season, $128 million max deal

Our first deal of free agency is no surprise as it was well known Beal would re-sign for the maximum. He is an incredible talent, with excellent scoring ability and elite shooting talent. Beal is a play-maker, and he and franchise player John Wall are one of the best guard combos in the Eastern Conference, so the Wizards had to re-sign him. They couldn’t afford to lose a young guard who will be an All-star and trust me, there are a dozen franchises that would have given him the max, so I cannot grade Washington too harshly. He does get hurt a lot though, so I have to lower the grade at least by a letter.

Grade: B

Milwaukee Bucks extend GM John Hammond

John Hammond made a big mistake paying Greg Monroe as he wasn’t a fit, but Hammond has made a number of nice moves for Milwaukee. He has proven himself as a strong drafter and trader, has re-signed his own players to excellent contracts and hired Jason Kidd, one of the NBA’s best young coaches. The Bucks are building something in Milwaukee, and Hammond deserves to see where this goes, and he will now be there for at least two more years.

Grade: A-

Pistons Get: 2019 Second-Round Pick
Magic Get: SG Jodie Meeks
Well, we have the first after draft move and it’s a doozy. The Pistons were able to shed the two seasons and $12.5 million of Jodie Meeks’ contract and, for that, get a second-round choice in the 2019 NBA Draft; how nice for them.

I like this for the Pistons as they have a lot to do this offseason – starting with re-signing franchise player Andre Drummond – to try to move from No. 8 to the No. 4-6 range of the East. I love that the Pistons are getting more money to do so, trading a player they do not need, so it’s a win for them.

Meeks has about a league-average salary and is an excellent shooter, but I don’t know what the Magic are doing this offseason to be honest with you. First, there was the pathetic Serge Ibaka trade, which was one of the most one-sided trades of the decade, and now, Orlando is taking on salary and only giving up a second-round pick. The Magic don’t actually need Meeks, like Detroit, so I am confused, as they seem to be trying to build their team with trades.

Grade For Pistons: A-
Grade For Magic: D

Indiana Pacers Get: F Thaddeus Young
Brooklyn Nets Get: Pick No. 20 and a second-round pick
The Pacers make another trade today, and they continue to build the small and fast team that Larry Bird has wanted. They have a small guard duo in Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis which is one of the strongest offensive combos in the league, and they can now pair Thaddeus Young with franchise player Paul George at forward. Just as important is that they can keep George at the three, which is where he’s at his best. They are now one of the fastest and most athletic teams in the Eastern Conference, and with stud second year forward/center Myles Turner, they have a really nice foundation. Young gives them an excellent fourth option offensively, and someone who is a versatile, athletic and an elite role player. I love this trade for the Pacers, who on paper now have arguably the fourth-best team in the East.

The Nets have few assets and wanted a first-round pick, so they have traded their second best player Thaddeus Young to the Pacers for their first-round pick and a second-rounder (not this draft). I get why the Nets are doing this, as they are re-building and really only have All-Star center Brook Lopez and two young prospects in Chris McCullough and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who look like keepers. I really like this trade for them because they aren’t going to be in the playoffs in the next few seasons, and they were able to shed Thaddeus Young’s big salary, meaning they have as much money to spend in the next few offseasons as any NBA team and they will get another prospect. I have no problem with a team that needs to rebuild doing what they can to improve, and as Young is a veteran who really wasn’t needed in their rebuild, they did well to get valuable assets for him now.

Grade For Pacers: A+
Grade For Nets: A-

Utah Jazz Get: PG George Hill
Indiana Pacers Get: PG Jeff Teague
Atlanta Hawks Get: 12th Pick in the 2016 NBA Draft

This is an interesting trade. I really like this deal for two franchises and hate it for one, but I will start with my favorite; Utah getting George Hill. George Hill isn’t as talented as Jeff Teague, but the Jazz were one piece from a playoff team and two from being real players in the Western Conference, and they got that first needed player. Their biggest problem was at point guard, and although Hill isn’t a true point guard, he can score, run an offense and is an excellent defender. Hill fits because the Jazz use multiple players to run their offense, so they don’t need a true point guard. Utah can get him in the starting five and improve offensively, and he will make the team’s excellent defense stronger.

I also like what the Pacers did; they got an all-star point guard who is just 27 and the best player in this trade, which is nice. The problem with this trade to me is that although the Pacers are a stronger team on paper, like Utah, Indiana doesn’t use a true point guard, at least with Frank Vogel, but that may change with him gone. However, with Monta Ellis being the Pacers’ second-best player, having a big point guard who could play off the ball and guard twos was necessary. Indiana now has more offense and speed, but the defense loses something with this trade. Yes, the Pacers now have three all-star talents with Teague, Ellis and Paul George, but again, I like this team more with Hill than Teague, as he is too similar to Ellis. The Pacers won on paper though, so I cannot grade them too harsh for that.

This is where it gets odd, because I have no clue what Atlanta was doing. I knew they wanted to deal Teague, but all they could get for a franchise point guard making half his value was the 12th pick in the draft. The funny part is Atlanta doesn’t want pick No. 12 or their second first round pick, No. 21. They could combine those picks for one of the first ten picks or so or try and trade them for a veteran starter, but they had all offseason to make this trade and I think they could have gotten a lot more when teams missed on players in free agency. Yes, they love Dennis Schroder who will now be their starting point guard, but I hate this trade.

Grade For Jazz: A
Grade For Pacers: B
Grade For Hawks: Isiah

Bulls Get: Center Robin Lopez and point guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant
Knicks Get: Point guard Derrick Rose, shooting guard Justin Holiday and 2017 second round pick

As a Chicagoan and a noted Bulls fan, I love this trade. Although because of Robin Lopez (a starting center with a big contract) the Bulls are going to probably lose Joakim Noah, too, they shed Rose’s salary and play, get a younger franchise center and make Jimmy Butler the man, which is what he wanted. They also get Grant, a very talented second-year guard who can become their starting point guard in a year or so and at the least will give them a strong sixth man. As for Jose Calderon, he has a nice expiring contact and can start at the one for them this season. The Bulls are probably a stronger team now because of this trade, but they do lose a lot of money to spend next summer. However, this means the Bulls are 99-percent likely to keep Butler, which they have to, as he is one of the 10-20 best players in the NBA today.

I also love this trade for the Knicks, as they get another marquee name to sell tickets and jerseys. More importantly, they have given themselves another $15 million or so in cap now and $25 million next summer, meaning they have so much money to sign elite players to join Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Also, Holiday is a talented defender who can score. I love this trade for the Bulls, but the Knicks edge them out.

Grade For Bulls: A-
Grade For Knicks: A+

Bairstow-Dinwiddie Trade

Chicago Bulls Get: Guard Spencer Dinwiddie
Detroit Pistons Get: Center Cameron Bairstow

This is our first move of the offseason. Most don’t actually know much about these two 12th men, but I actually really like this trade for the Bulls and Pistons. It is odd for division rivals to trade, but it makes sense. The Pistons needed big man depth, and Bairstow is a solid physical center who can shoot, which makes him a fit. Meanwhile, the Bulls, who want to trade Derrick Rose, need depth and versatility at guard, and Dinwiddie can play the one and two. This is a trade of two 2014 second-rounders who can make a difference for cheap. Dinwiddie is the stronger talent, so the edge goes to Chicago.

Grade For Bulls: B+
Grade For Pistons: B
Houston hires Mike D’Antoni as coach

This is a difficult grade. First, the Rockets shouldn’t have fired the excellent Kevin McHale, but now they have hired the re-tread coach of all re-tread coaches, who has not been relevant in a half decade, Mike D’Antoni. He was famous for his fast offenses with the Suns, with Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, and yes, D’Antoni’s running and shooting style of offense fits today’s NBA and he knows how to coach elite talents and manage all-star personalities, which is needed with James Harden, but there are a number of coaches with potential Houston could have hired. The club settled with D’Antoni, and although it’s not a poor hire, I don’t love it.

Grade: C

Magic hire Frank Vogel as Head Coach

Scott Skiles resigned, which wasn’t expected, but the team has somehow hired one of the five best coaches in the league; incredible. The Magic now have an elite defensive coach who knows how to play small or big, and should get the most of their talent, which they are rich in. There isn’t much to say, but one thing is true, Orlando could make the playoffs next season with Vogel as coach.

Grade: A

Grizzlies hire David Fizdale as Head Coach

The Grizzlies will be hiring Heat assistant coach David Fizdale as their third head coach in their owner’s few years as the boss. Memphis was smart to fire Lionel Hollins for Dave Joerger, but Joerger looking at the Sacramento job – he was hired – made Memphis have to let him go, as he didn’t want to be with the franchise. So, the team was then left with no coach, yet was able to hire one of the two assistant coaches that were talked about all offseason: David Fizdale. The Grizzlies weren’t going to be fancy with their hire and considering they could have gone with a number of retreads, I am a fan of this hire, as Fizdale comes from a coaching staff that was excellent at developing talent, still playing big – important because so do the Grizzlies – and playing strong defense – another important factor. I am interested in seeing how he makes Memphis his own, but in theory, I really like the hire. The Grizzlies have some of the smartest basketball people in the NBA, so I trust them.

Grade: B

Knicks hire Jeff Hornacek as Head Coach

The Knicks are hiring former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek as their next head coach. I like it. Actually, I kind of love it, as there was talk that Phil Jackson would keep interim coach Kurt Rambis to run the Triangle. Rambis has proven that he is no NBA head coach and would have gotten an Isiah grade. Regardless, Hornacek knows how to play small ball, which is what is played in today’s NBA and he uses it well.

In two and a half seasons with the Suns, Hornacek used a lot of small ball, with two point guards, and so there is no doubt he knows how to play small and use the pieces he is provided with. The problem is the Knicks don’t have the ideal small-ball unit with Carmelo Anthony at the three, Kristaps Porzingis at the four and Robin Lopez at the five. But my guess is that the former two will play as much at the four as they can, as those three starters as just too big and slow to get too many minutes together in today’s NBA. Really, New York’s frontcourt is excellent, but there may not be another team with weaker guards.

At guard, it’s really just Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant for now. Calderon is aging and should be dealt, as his expiring contract is valuable, but I do like Grant in small ball at the two. Regardless, the Knicks must find themselves a stud point guard. I can see them making a big run at Mike Conley or trading for one of Jeff Hornacek’s former guards in Phoenix; Eric Bledsoe or Brandon Knight.

I like the hire because I like the coach; I like that the Knicks won’t be just using the Triangle – at least as their main offense – and that they didn’t keep Rambis, but they need a lot of pieces 1-3 for them to best use the talents of coach Hornacek. After all, if they aren’t going to give him guards, what’s the point of hiring him? Regardless, I like this.

Grade: B

Indiana Pacers hire Nate McMillan as Head Coach

As most adults, I was sleeping Saturday afternoon, so I missed the hiring of Nate McMillan by the Pacers. When I looked at Twitter, I immediately texted a one-word message to a friend who is a Pacer fan: “lol.” His response was a meme of an angry sitcom character from the 90s, which says it all: “What are they thinking? They have fired one of the best coaches in the league, to hire one of his assistants, who isn’t half the coach that Frank Vogel is.”

McMillan coached the Sonics for six years and the Trailblazers for eight, but hasn’t been a coach for four years, so this is what most call a retread hire; trying to get the most of a coach who used to do well. However, this is what I like to call a stooge hire, as Larry Bird, who runs the Pacers, wants a stooge who will do what he says, as apparently Vogel didn’t qualify as one. Bird wants to play small and adapt to the small-ball and shooting style that the Warriors and Cavaliers use to win. The problem is that we have no idea if McMillan can do this, although they do have the players to do it. Hence, stooge.

McMillan has won as a coach and is a fine veteran, but the Pacers have an excellent core that Vogel coached perfectly, and they are a lesser team now with McMillan. There were coaches like Mark Jackson or George Karl they could have hired, but Vogel is the best on the market, so regardless this was going to be a loss. This doesn’t deserve an Isiah grade, but I thought about it.

Grade: D-

Utah Jazz sign coach Quin Snyder though 2021

Quin Synder has proven himself in his few NBA seasons to be an excellent NBA coach, as the Jazz would have made the playoffs if they were healthy this season. He has turned the Jazz into an elite defensive team, and Snyder’s job this season was incredible, as he was coaching lacking an actual point guard. His contract was for one more season, but he now has five to mold the Jazz into a contender. If Synder can make Dante Exum into the player his talent says he can be (injured this season, fifth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft), they can be one.

Grade: A

Memphis Grizzlies fire coach Dave Joerger

The Grizzlies have fired an excellent coach in Dave Joerger, and although if he was actually just fired for how the Grizzlies did, it would be a D- or an Isiah, he earned it. He was looking for another job and wanted permission to, and if he doesn’t want to be there, then fire him. I have no problem with this at all, but it could be hard for Memphis to find a stronger coach. Rumor has it the club might hire Frank Vogel, which would give this an A.

Grade: B+

Sacramento Kings hire coach Dave Joerger

There must be a problem with the Grizzlies if Joerger wanted to go to Sacramento and its moronic owner. I don’t get it, but at four seasons for $16 million with just three seasons guaranteed, I love it. I didn’t think that said moronic owner – one, he’s a moron, two I don’t want to spell his 30-letter name – would get a real coach after firing another so many recently, so this is a big win. I think Joerger will get through to DeMarcus Cousins and get the Kings to actually play defense, which are the two things they needed in a coach. Sacramento has also hired him as assistant general manager, and I love a smart coach getting a voice, so this just makes an A grade an A+. This is a win for a team that really needed a victory. Nice job, Sacramento.

Grade: A+

Los Angeles Lakers hire Luke Walton

This is the best move the Lakers have made in a half decade. Luke Walton was the biggest free agent coach and a former Laker, wanted by a number of teams, and the Lakers, a team that won just 17 games, were able to sign him. The contract is something about five seasons and $24 million with four seasons guaranteed, which is actually less than what some coaches have gotten recently, and although that doesn’t matter – I know he could have made more – and that means he wanted to be a Laker again. Really, there isn’t anything I don’t like about this move.

Yes, Walton had a ridiculous run with the Warriors while Steve Kerr was injured to start the season, but this is the Warriors and a blind monkey with a history of tossing his feces could have coached them to 65 wins, but that doesn’t mean Walton isn’t an elite coach. The Lakers aren’t going to play the Triangle, but he knows it. They may not play the Warriors’ system, but he knows it. My point is that Walton knows this game and will make the Lakers into winners.

I think that Luke Walton can help any team win, but why I love this signing so much, is it shows me that the Lakers are going to develop their young roster, as they hired a coach young players can relate to and one which all players love. With an elite young prospect in D’Angelo Russell, a potential All-Star big man in Julius Randle, a number of recent draft picks and likely one of the first three picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, Walton will be able to teach. He will teach his players how to be professionals and men, teach them how to play and coming from Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson, teach them how to play the game right. Yes, it may be a few seasons for the Lakers to make the playoffs, but they are young, talented and will be learning from one of the best young teachers in the NBA, and he can make a talented young roster into a contender. I love this hire. Nice job, L.A.

Grade: A+

Los Angeles Lakers fire Byron Scott

Well, that was smart. As a friend correctly said today, Byron Scott has been living off the success of two seasons more than a decade ago with the Nets, as Scott today is just a poor NBA coach. With the Kobe Show all season, Scott didn’t properly develop the elite young talent that his roster had and he really hurt his two best talents – D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle – by benching them. A team as pathetic as the Lakers doesn’t need to punish talent that young; such a team needs to give them minutes. For the love of Kobe Bryant, Scott started Lou Williams for half the season and not Russell, an incredibly talented rookie point guard and likely the Lakers’ next franchise player.

Scott also had a locker room in pieces, and well, he genuinely did jack. The team didn’t care because they wanted to lose for their draft pick – theirs if not Nos. 1-3 – but why it took two weeks to fire him is a mystery; it should have been the minute after Game 82. The Lakers should just hire Mark Jackson and forget the evil that was Byron Scott.

Grade: A+

Brooklyn Nets hire Kenny Atkinson as coach

As I have not heard of Kenny Atkinson, I am ashamed. It’s my job to know these things. Or maybe it’s the Brooklyn Nets making another mistake, because my friends don’t know who he is either. If an NBA writer and his buddies have no clue who a guy is, maybe he shouldn’t be a head coach in the NBA, but that is my ego talking. Let me see what the Wikipedia has to say.

Well, he isn’t a country singer as his name would suggest – I know I am not as funny as Walter, you can just deal with my Dad Jokes, thank you – and I am now convinced that he should probably not be an NBA coach right now. At 48, Atkinson has just nine years of coaching experience; five with the Knicks and four with the Hawks. Although he is coming from a pretty solid Hawks staff, I don’t trust the Nets’ owner or management.

It is true that all these questions were asked about Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer in 2014, who we now know is an elite NBA coach, but he was coming from the Spurs and had 20 years of experience. As I doubt this is the rich franchise being cheap, they sincerely think he is a hidden gem, but count me a doubter for now. I would like to be proven incorrect, as it is a ballsy move and I respect it, but I don’t get it, sorry Brooklyn.

Grade: D

Washington Wizards hire coach Scott Brooks

First off, no, this doesn’t mean the Wizards are signing Kevin Durant, because he is staying with the Thunder – sorry, Wizard fans. Regardless, Washington has hired itself a far more talented coach than Randy Wittman. Brooks was the Thunder coach for years, won the Western Conference once and was loved by his players. If I was running the Thunder he would still be their coach, but now the Wizards have a real coach in Washington.

The Wizards missed the playoffs this season, but that was mostly because of injuries and nobody can say they aren’t a very talented young team. Assuming Washington re-sign Bradley Beal, who is a restricted free agent, the franchise will have one of the best backcourts in the league with Beal and franchise player John Wall. The Wizards also have nice pieces in Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre, Marcin Gortat, the 12th pick in the NBA Draft and a lot of money to work with.

Wittman couldn’t get the potential from his teams; Brooks will and with a little help from management, the Wizards will not only make the playoffs next season, but they could be one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference. People criticize Scott Brooks’ X’s and O’s, but the difficult part of being a coach is managing the locker room, and that is where he is excellent. He is also a winner and easily the best coach on the market. This was $35 million – $7 million a season – well spent by Washington.

Grade: A

Minnesota Timberwolves hire Tom Thibodeau as coach and president of basketball operations

This is a tough grade. My colleague and friend Josh and I spent about an hour talking about it today, as there are so many little things that need to be discussed. First, as a coach, Thibodeau was the best on the market. That makes this a win. He did have trouble with the Bulls’ management team, and now being able to run his own team will take care of an issue that could have become a thing in a year or two, which is also nice. I also have no problem with the $50 million they are paying him over five season, but he doesn’t have experience running a front office; however, I have faith in him.

As for the coaching aspects of this hire, the former Coach of the Year is arguably the best defensive mind in the NBA not named Gregg Popovich and to me, is one of the five best coaches in the league. He will have the Timberwolves, who have the most talented young roster in the NBA, in the playoff hunt by next season, and he will help them so much stronger defensively. The one issue I didn’t think of are the two criticisms of his coaching; he plays his guys a lot of minutes and he’s tough on his guys. I think that Minnesota’s depth makes the minutes a non-issue, but I don’t know how this young team will react to being yelled at constantly, and so this is something that needs to be watched.

Regardless, this is an excellent move that is going to help the Timberwolves make the playoffs in no more than three seasons – I think two. When you hire the best coach available, you get an A, no matter the secondary issues.

Grade: A-

Phoenix Suns hire Earl Watson as coach

Earl Watson was the Suns’ interim coach after they fired Jeff Hornacek mid-season, and they have given him a three-season contract. I don’t like this move, but I don’t hate it. They wouldn’t have kept him if they didn’t like him and they didn’t think the players tried hard for him, and I do like how the Suns’ injured young team played for him, mostly Devin Booker.

I also want to see what Watson can do with this team healthy for a season. This is mainly because the Suns are so talented at guard and as a former guard himself, he will know how to best play so many talented players who would normally play two positions – Phoenix’s three best players are guards. Watson is a coach and former player who knows small-ball, and Suns need to use it; however, there were simply stronger coaches on the market. Mark Jackson, Scottie Brooks, who islikely to become Houston’s coach, Lionel Hollins and Kevin McHale would have been stronger picks for Phoenix to me.

Grade: D+

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