Like any summer, basketball fans turn their attention to NBA offseason moves in 2022 following an entertaining playoffs. We’ve got you covered with all NBA free agency signings so far, plus our up-to-date grades, analysis and reaction as deals come in.
NBA offseason moves 2022: Tracker and grades
From NBA free agency moves to trades, from buyouts to max deals and some potentially significant sign-and-trades, we are covering every deal this offseason.
There will be influential minimum deals and overpays – our NBA offseason moves tracker below has our quickfire grades and takeaways.
Goran Dragic to Bulls, one year, $2.9 million
Of all NBA free agency moves to date, Goran Dragic ending up in Chicago is one we didn’t see coming. It seemed like a sure thing that the former Sun would be teaming up with fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic in Dallas. Instead, he partners with another of his friends, Nikola Vucevic.
The Bulls need good health from Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball if they are to be a top six team this season. Dragic brings a very different skillset to either of the former Lakers, yet his shooting and playmaking off the bench is still an enhancement to this roster.
Bulls grade: B
Cody Martin to Hornets, four years, $32 million
The Hornets rescinded the qualifying offer from Miles Bridges, and rightly so. Charlotte was always likely to bring back Cody Martin regardless of Bridges’ future, but keeping him became especially important.
Martin is a good defender, something the Hornets are desperately lacking in. He’s got athleticism and can shoot the ball. It’s exactly the skillset you need around LaMelo Ball.
Hornets grade: B+
Josh Okogie to Suns, one year
Along with Jock Landale and Damion Lee, this Josh Okogie signing is a depth move for Phoenix. It could prove to be much more than that if they can manage to push through a multi-player deal for a certain former MVP.
Okogie is a work in progress on offense. On defense, though, he’s a top tier perimeter defender and can take on some of the tougher point of attack assignments.
Suns grade: B-
Bryn Forbes to Timberwolves, one year, minimum
Minnesota gutted much of its rotation to acquire Rudy Gobert. Shooting was lost in that deal, and they have made a step to replenishing that shot making in the form of Bryn Forbes.
While unlikely to be a factor come playoff time, Forbes is one of the better catch-and-shoot guys in the league, and can be an effective player in the regular year.
Timberwolves grade: C+
Donte DiVincenzo to Warriors, two years, $9.3 million
The Warriors have done it again. Donte DiVincenzo was arguably the best buy-low candidate on the market. Yet to return to pre-injury form, someone was bound to take a chance on a player who showed the potential to become a solid three-and-D role player a couple of years ago.
DiVincenzo isn’t on Payton’s level as a defender, but he can be a plus on that end. He shot almost 38% from three on 5.2 attempts per game in 2020-21.
Golden State is optimistic that Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga can fill the holes left by Payton and Porter. DiVincenzo gives them another player with considerable upside – other teams should have been keen to pay this price.
Warriors grade: A
Damion Lee to Suns, one year, minimum
There isn’t a great deal to read into this as of Saturday morning UK time. Lee is a knockdown outside shooter and he hustles. He’s a functional player for any contender – how relevant this signing is changes considerably if the Suns land Durant.
Suns grade: C
Raul Neto to Cavaliers, one year, minimum
Third on Cleveland’s depth chart behind Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto should still get some minutes in two-guard configurations given the Cavs’ shortage of ball handling.
Cavaliers grade: C
Jalen Smith to Pacers, two years
Returning to the Pacers always seemed a solid outcome for Jalen Smith. Indiana will be prioritizing player development in 2022-23, which should mean plenty of minutes for the former lottery pick. A possible Myles Turner trade frees up more opportunity for the ex-Sun.
These are the deals rebuilding teams should be jumping at. There’s still upside here.
Pacers grade: B
Rudy Gobert to Timberwolves for Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, unprotected firsts in 2023, 2025, 2027, a swap in 2026 and a top-five protected pick in 2029
The Timberwolves effectively have two $200 million centers. This is a draft haul that no one saw coming for Rudy Gobert. Minnesota has cleared out half of its rotation, it’s 2022 first-round pick and the control of five future first for the former Defensive Player of the Year.
This is an all-time gamble on Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns working together in the frontcourt. There is no way out of this now – Minnesota committed everything to the Towns and Gobert combination in draft assets and enormous contracts.
The Prince and Anderson signings were a necessity with so many role players being sent out in this deal.
Utah must be ecstatic. What a return for a flawed player with that contract.
Jazz grade: A+
Minnesota grade: D-
Malcolm Brogdon to Celtics for 2023 first, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Juwan Howard, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts
This is an absolute steal for Boston. Sure, Malcolm Brogdon is bound to miss time, but to land a player of his caliber without giving up a rotation player is a coup. The 2023 first isn’t exactly a great asset either.
Brogdon will not be overtaxed. The Cs can carefully manage his minutes, keeping him available to play 20-30 minutes in the postseason. He’s one of the best guards at looking after the rock, and should massively help their turnover issues.
For Indiana, this has to be viewed as a disappointment. It’s a reflection of how much skepticism there is about Brogdon’s health, but there isn’t much to show for trading a player of his quality.
Celtics grade: A+
Pacers grade: C-
Kevin Huerter to Kings for lottery-protected first, Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless
Kevin Huerter’s days in Atlanta were numbered after the Dejounte Murray trade. Regardless, this feels like a disappointing return. Sacramento’s pick is lottery projected before dropping to top 12 and then top 10. This pick might never convey. Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless are unlikely to play a major role for the Hawks.
This was more about moving money than anything else for the Hawks, which is understandable. Still, it might have been worth waiting into the season to see if a team was willing to give up a better asset.
For Sacramento, Huerter is an ideal fit with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Monte McNair is rightly hoarding shooters.
Kings grade: A-
Hawks grade: C-
Kevon Looney to Warriors, three years, $25.5 million
Of all NBA free agent signings so far, Kevon Looney to the Warriors was the closest to a formality.
Looney was never walking after Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr signed elsewhere. An integral part of their title team, Looney is an ideal center for the Dubs’ system with his surprisingly switchy defense and smart passing.
Golden State again shows it is unafraid to pay up to keep its guys. This is a decent salary number considering what other centers have received this summer.
Warriors grade: B
Derrick Jones Jr to Bulls, two years, $6.6 million
Some defense and length sounds good for the Bulls on paper. Derrick Jones Jr is serviceable forward depth. He’s not much more than that though, and is unlikely to see meaningful playoff minutes.
This doesn’t really move the needle for Chicago, who risk being stuck in the middle.
Bulls grade: C
Bruce Brown to Nuggets, two years, £13 million
The Nuggets have wasted no time stocking up their perimeter defense. Bruce Brown joins Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as role players that fit like a glove next to their four core starters.
Regardless of his three-point shot, Brown is an asset as a defender, rebounder, passer and cutter alongside Nikola Jokic. If the perimeter shooting from last season is for real, this is an absolute bargain. This is one of the best NBA free agency moves in 2022.
Nuggets grade: A+
Mitchell Robinson to Knicks, four years, $60 million
This is a massive vote of confidence from the Knicks. Mitchell Robinson has stagnated over the last couple of seasons and is yet to prove he can be a 30 minutes per game center on a competitive team. Fouls and free throws are a problem.
It feels like an overpay on first look, especially with the money committed to Isaiah Hartenstein. At least it gives them another tradeable salary to cash in at some point.
Knicks grade: D
Ricky Rubio to Cavaliers, three years, $18.4 million
Among the most inevitable NBA offseason moves in 2022, a reunion was always expected between Ricky Rubio and the Cleveland Cavaliers after he was sent to the Pacers in the Caris LeVert deal.
Rubio can start alongside Darius Garland or come off the bench and orchestrate the second unit. Good deal for player and team.
Cavaliers grade: B+
Aaron Holiday to Hawks, one year
Phoenix was happy to let Aaron Holiday walk. A pesky defender and good outside shooter, Holiday is a useful bench guard for teams with high usage ball handlers.
Having lost Delon Wright, this is a good move for the Hawks. Holiday is likely the third string point guard behind Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, but he should still play some decent minutes.
Hawks grade: C+
Otto Porter Jr to Raptors, two years with a player option
Size, shooting, defense and rebounding. Otto Porter Jr brings everything the Raptors are built on, plus some knockdown three-point range, which will be a pleasant addition to an offense which was congested at times.
It’s a loss for the Warriors, but Steve Kerr will hope Jonathan Kuminga can step up into the Porter role. A lot to like about this for the Raps.
Raptors grade: A
Danilo Gallinari to Celtics, two years with a player option, $13 million
The Celtics prided themselves on playing no subpar defenders, so Danilo Gallinari is an odd fit. On the other hand, Boston needed scoring and shooting off the bench. Gallinari provides bucket loads of both.
Boston has the defense to cover for his weaknesses. This is a good use of their limited spending power this summer.
Celtics grade: A-
Juan Toscano-Anderson to Lakers, one year
Yet another Klutch client heading to the purple and gold side of Staples Center, Juan Toscano-Anderson provides frontcourt depth, hustle, and a bit of three-point shooting.
After stocking up on veterans last offseason, Los Angeles has gone to the other end of the spectrum by picking up younger players. Toscano-Anderson doesn’t necessarily have great upside, but his athleticism is a welcome addition.
Lakers grade: C+
Andre Drummond to Bulls, two years, $6.6 million
This is an interesting one. Chicago needed a backup to Nikola Vucevic. There have also been plenty of rumors about dealing Vucevic, particularly for Rudy Gobert. Signing Drummond won’t stop a Gobert trade, and it potentially opens up the possibility of flipping Vucevic for a non-center and using Drummond as the starter.
We all know Drummond’s flaws. But this is a nice pickup for the Bulls, who are in dire need of size and rebounding.
Bulls grade: A-
Delon Wright to Wizards, two years, $16 million
Bradley Beal has his supermax and Washington has restocked its backcourt around their All-Star. Delon Wright brings length and defense at either guard spot and upped his three-point percentage last season, albeit on very low volume.
This uses the vast majority of the Wizard’s non-taxpayer midlevel exception, and provides some line up flexibility to slide Will Barton to the three in smaller groups. It’s still a bit unclear what the Wiz are aiming for, but Wright is tradeable at this number if Beal asks out.
Wizards grade: C
Kyle Anderson to Timberwolves, two years, $18 million
It always seemed unlikely the Grizzlies would keep hold of Kyle Anderson. Memphis has the depth to compensate for the loss of the former Spur, particularly with Ziaire Williams in line for more minutes at the forward spot.
Minnesota is trying to match Memphis’ depth, and this signing goes a long way to doing just that. Anderson is a plus defender despite his limited athleticism. He also brings useful playmaking off the bench, which is particularly valuable given the TWolves’ messy point guard situation.
Timberwolves grade: B
Gary Harris to Magic, two years, $13 million
In a very limited wing market, Gary Harris was expected to be a man in demand. Orlando, just as they did with Mo Bamba, opted to retain Harris on a two-year deal. This seems an odd call with the Magic’s congested backcourt, but it also provides them with a stellar trade asset come the deadline.
Harris clearly enjoyed his time in Florida. This isn’t the sexiest of NBA offseason moves for a team with so much cap space, though it’s understandable.
Magic grade: C
Gary Payton II to Blazers, three years, $28 million
The Warriors wanted to run it back. According to Anthony Slater, the Blazers pushed the price point just out of their reach for Gary Payton II. It’s a frustrating loss for the Warriors, with Payton playing a huge role in the NBA Finals, and this is a great acquisition for Portland.
The Blazers have gone all-in on surrounding Dame Lillard and Anfernee Simons with defense in Josh Hart, Jerami Grant and now Payton. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Blazers utilize Payton’s unusual skillset. We’re expecting a lot of smallball.
Blazers grade: A
Kevin Knox to Pistons, two years, $6 million
It’s safe to say Kevin Knox’s NBA career hasn’t worked out as many hoped. Both the Knicks and Hawks have moved on from Knox, but the rebuilding Pistons are taking a chance on the former lottery pick.
There’s nothing to lose for Detroit here. It feels like a worthwhile low-risk deal for a team with cap space. Maybe Knox benefits from the opportunity in Motor City.
Pistons grade: B
JaVale McGee to Mavericks, three years with player option, $20.1 million
Arguably the most surprising of NBA free agency moves, the Dallas Mavericks are paying JaVale McGee over $6 million per year with the added luxury of a player option. According to ESPN, McGee is expecting to be the starting center in Dallas, pushing Christian Wood to the five and Dorian Finney-Smith to the three.
Given Dallas’ success with playing small, this is a surprising move. Rim protection was required this offseason, and McGee brings that, plus he’s a great lob threat for Luka Doncic, but could these resources have been put to better use elsewhere? Similar centers will be available for the minimum.
Mavericks grade: D-
Nic Claxton to Nets, two years, $20 million
Lonnie Walker to Lakers, one year, $6.5 million
Lonnie Walker can be pleased to get the taxpayer midlevel with the Lakers. It’s a fair market value, and gives him a chance to prove his worth before he hits the market next offseason.
Walker is neither a great shooter nor defender. The fit isn’t perfect next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis – this is the Lakers betting on upside, and Walker knocking down open shots.
Lakers grade: C+
Marvin Bagley extends with Pistons, three years, $37 million
Detroit took a chance on Marvin Bagley as a reclamation project after everything went south in Sacramento. Bagley played the best basketball of his professional career alongside Cade Cunningham, and he should be a good fit with Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.
Still, this number is higher than expected. There won’t have been much of a market for Bagley, and there’s still a chance he’s not a rotation player long-term.
Pistons grade: D
Jae’Sean Tate extends with Rockets, three years, $22.1 million
Houston wasn’t going to let Jae’Sean Tate leave after surprisingly turning down his option. Tate has flourished on the rebuilding Rockets, hustling on defence and providing supplementary scoring.
An improved three-point shot is what could take this contract from good to great for the Rockets. For now, this is a solid deal for a useful roleplayer alongside Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr.
Rockets grade: B
Patty Mills to Nets, two years, $14.5 million
When it comes to NBA free agency grades in 2022, the Nets re-upping Patty Mills is bound to go under the radar. Durant and Irving are seemingly on their way out. Mills, though, was good for the Nets in the regular season, and should be a good fit in the next iteration of Brooklyn alongside Simmons.
Opting out for a higher number was a good call from Mills.
Nets grade: C
Thaddeus Young to Raptors, two years, $16 million
The curious Goran Dragic trade is more logical with the Raptors extending Thad Young. Length and defense fits with how Masai Ujiri is building this roster. Young provides depth for injury to their core of frontcourt players, and makes it easier to trade one of them if the opportunity arises.
The number is maybe a bit higher than some Raps fans will be comfortable with, however. Could this have been put towards more shooting or shot creation?
Raptors grade: C-
Dewayne Dedmon to Heat, two years, $9 million
It wasn’t exactly a masterclass performance from Dewayne Dedmon in the playoffs. He’s still a decent backup five, though, and there’s not a great deal asked of him with Bam Adebayo playing the vast majority of important minutes.
Some might wonder if the Heat could have filled this spot with a guy on the minimum. Other deals appearing on the NBA offseason moves tracker will give a better idea of the value here.
Heat grade: D
Lu Dort extends with Thunder, five years, $87.5 million
The Thunder weren’t going to risk losing Lu Dort. Having been the best value player in the league for the last couple of years, Dort has landed his big contract. While it’s hard to predict Sam Presti, this looks like the clearest indication yet that Dort is a real part of their future with Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
This isn’t a massive number with how the cap is set to increase, though. Dort will still be tradeable given how in-demand his skillset is.
Thunder grade: A
Chris Boucher to Raptors, three years, $35.25 million
The transformation of Chris Boucher from the middle of last season to this contract is one of the NBA’s coolest stories. Boucher isn’t the flashiest of NBA offseason moves so far, but this is a win-win for team and player.
If we want to be more pragmatic, this gives Toronto yet another salary if they choose to make a big trade for a star in the next season or two.
Raptors grade: B
Damian Jones to Lakers, two-year deal
An upside swing from the Lakers after signs of improvement from Damian Jones in 2021-22. Los Angeles needs production from cheap players if they are to bounce back next season, taking a chance on players like Jones is a necessity.
Lakers grade: C
Jevon Carter to Bucks, two-year deal
Perimeter defense and a bit of shooting is going to work next to Giannis. It was curious that the Nets let Jevon Carter go last season – Milwaukee isn’t making the same mistake.
Bucks grade: B
Amir Coffey to Clippers, three years, $11 million
The Clippers are doing all they can to have the deepest roster in the league. Amid a raft of injuries, Amir Coffey proved himself as a more than useful NBA player last season and he’s got the payday he deserves.
Coffey’s spot in the rotation this season is unclear, but there are bound to be minutes as Los Angeles keeps its veterans fresh.
Clippers grade: B-
Joe Ingles to Bucks, one-year deal, $6.5 million
Coming off an ACL injury, there’s some risk in this for the Bucks. At the same time, Joe Ingles’ perimeter shooting and ball movement will help their second unit.
It’s a slight surprise that Ingles got all of the taxpayer midlevel, but this is still a decent deal for Milwaukee.
Bucks grade: C+
Wesley Matthews to Bucks, one-year deal
Milwaukee knows what Wes Matthews does. Wes Matthews knows his role next to the big three.
Not a great deal to say about this one. It’s a happy marriage – Matthews might be on his way to another ring.
Bucks grade: B+
Tyus Jones to Grizzlies, two years, $30 million
Suitors for Tyus Jones quickly dried up. A reunion with the Grizzlies always seemed like the best outcome for both parties, and Jones can be happy with this number. He’s proven himself as a reliable backup to Ja Morant, and will inevitably get some starts.
For Memphis, this is a very tradeable contract. This can be useful for salary matching if they look to make a three-for-one deal.
Grizzlies grade: A-
Mo Bamba to Magic, two years, $21 million
Now this was a bit of a surprise after Orlando didn’t tender a qualifying offer. The Magic clearly like the three-man frontcourt mix of Mo Bamba, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. This does seem like a bit of a logjam, however, particularly if Jonathan Isaac can stay healthy.
Bamba was a great fit for a lot of contending teams, and there’s still upside here. He could prove to be a huge trade asset once he’s eligible.
Magic grade: B-
Nicolas Batum to Clippers, two years, $22 million
Steve Ballmer is unafraid of any tax bill. Taking a leaf out the Warriors’ book of team construction, the Clippers continue to pay their guys. Nicolas Batum has been a revelation in southern California and remains an integral piece of the rotation.
With Ty Lue likely to go small often in 2022-23 after losing Isaiah Hartenstein, Batum will see a lot of minutes at the five.
Clippers grade: B+
Danuel House to Sixers, two years, $8.5 million
Daryl Morey is on a mission to recreate the Houston Rockets in the City of Brotherly Love. Danuel House impressed for the Jazz in their short playoff jaunt, and he’s an ideal piece for the Sixers to put next to James Harden, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.
Philly uses their bi-annual exception on House. Nothing to dislike here.
Sixers grade: B
Bobby Portis to Bucks, four years, $49 million
Milwaukee couldn’t risk making the same error they made with P.J. Tucker a year ago. Bobby Portis is a fan favorite in Wisconsin and an integral cog in Mike Budenholzer’s machine.
It’s a reasonable price for a player who can fill in at the four and five. Portis has come a long way as a defender over the last couple of seasons and fits perfectly next to Giannis.
Bucks grade: B
Anfernee Simons extends with Blazers for four years and $110 million
There wasn’t much doubt about this one, and it feels like a reasonable number given Anfernee Simons’ performances down the stretch. Portland didn’t have much choice other than to get this done.
The only worry is that the Blazers have created the undersized backcourt they just traded out of by shipping off CJ McCollum.
Blazers grade: B-
P.J. Tucker to Sixers, three years, $33.2 million
Like the Brunson deal, this one had been public knowledge for a few days. The Sixers freed up the midlevel and the bi-annual exception by reducing James Harden’s contract, which has enabled this reunion with P.J. Tucker.
We know all about the fit with Tucker and Harden. This perhaps makes a Tobias Harris trade more likely. Joel Embiid spoke highly of Tucker’s toughness – there’s a lot to like about this for Philly, though three years to a player with as many miles on the clock as Tucker is a bit scary.
Sixers grade: C+
Isaiah Hartenstein to Knicks, two years, $16 million
There’s no confirmation on Mitchell Robinson’s future at the time of writing. Isaiah Hartenstein was great for the Clippers last season, and has earned this lucrative contract. If Robinson’s rumored pact is correct, though, this is a lot of money committed to the five spot.
Hartenstein and Robinson in a platoon could work well, albeit at a high price. If Robinson goes elsewhere, Hartenstein could prove a bargain as a starter.
Knicks grade: C
DeAndre Jordan to Nuggets, veteran minimum
Denver needs someone to back up Nikola Jokic. DeAndre Jordan won’t have exactly been first choice after looking washed with the Lakers and Sixers. The Nuggets will hope Jordan is out of the rotation come the postseason.
Nuggets grade: D
Malik Monk to Kings, two years, $19 million
Not exactly the biggest of NBA free agency moves, yet this is a good payday for Malik Monk after a nice season with the Lakers. Monk brings scoring punch and shooting alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis which is much-needed.
It’s a loss for the Lakers, and a solid pickup for the Kings after passing on Jaden Ivey.
Kings grade: B+
Victor Oladipo to Heat, one-year, $11 million
Victor Oladipo stepped up for the Miami Heat in a big way in the playoffs. He delivered when Tyler Herro was out and then hobbled, and filled Kyle Lowry’s role at points with the former Raptor struggling.
Oladipo had been rumored to be attracting interest around the league, but this makes a lot of sense for the Heat. This could give greater flexibility for Miami to trade Lowry or Herro, too.
Heat grade: B+
Jalen Brunson to Knicks, four years, $110 million
The worst kept secret in basketball. The Knicks made multiple trades to clear space to acquire Jalen Brunson, and they have got their man. Brunson didn’t even grant the Mavericks a meeting in the end, with apparent frustration at Dallas’ refusal to give him an extension before the trade deadline.
He gets his own team, but there are very fair questions about how good this makes the Knicks. Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle is a play-in team at best. New York gets better, though this team is very much a work in progress, and they are relying on Brunson stepping up to another level.
For Dallas, losing Brunson for nothing hurts. This gives them greater flexibility in the future, however, and Spencer Dinwiddie can carry some of the load. The Mavs could well be in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes now, too.
Knicks grade: C+
Royce O’Neale to Nets for a 2023 first-round pick
This news has been somewhat overshadowed by Kevin Durant’s trade request. O’Neale would have been a good fit next to Durant and Kyrie Irving. Instead, it is pretty much impossible to know what this means.
Does this trade suggest Brooklyn isn’t going to trade Durant? Is O’Neale a player they use to build around Simmons and Irving? Who knows. Utah gets draft capital to potential start a retool, I guess. The Nets are sending either their own first, Philadelphia’s or Houston’s in 2023 — the worst of the three will go the Utah.
Jazz grade: C
Nets grade: ?
Dejounte Murray to Hawks for Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks and a swap
The Hawks were rumored as a Dejounte Murray destination for a few days. This deal has become reality with Danilo Gallinari being used as salary ballast – San Antonio’s return is really about the first-round picks. The Spurs are accepting they will not be competitive in the final two years of Murray’s contract.
For Atlanta, this gives them a backcourt mate for Trae Young who can share ballhandling responsibilities and play near-elite defense. Is this a way to utilize Young as an off-ball shooter? How does Murray operate when Young is going to work?
There are questions for the Hawks, but they are bound to be making further moves, and it’s significant that they didn’t lose John Collins here.
For San Antonio, this is a strong return in draft compensation, yet it’s hard not to be slightly underwhelmed by not getting a meaningful player in return. These could all end up being late first-round picks, which isn’t much to show for trading an All-Star.
This will be one of the biggest NBA offseason moves in 2022.
Hawks grade: B
Spurs grade: C+
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to Nuggets, Monte Morris and Will Barton to Wizards
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a great fit for the Nuggets alongside the Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr combination. Ish Smith gives a bit of offense off the bench, replacing the role that Monte Morris was filling when the full squad was healthy.
Will Barton’s almost $17 million expiring contract could be flipped by Washington at the deadline if they aren’t competitive again. Ultimately, a score-first two-guard isn’t what the Nuggets need. This is all about improving the defense in their starting line up – Caldwell-Pope is exactly the low-usage guy they need.
It might look like salary cutting, but this is more of a swap of assets to improve the fit. We like this for Denver. Not sure what this does for the Wiz.
Nuggets grade: A-
Wizards grade: C
Taurean Prince extends for two years, $16 million with Timberwolves
This deal crucially includes a team option for the second year, giving Minnesota a dose of control. For a team in need of wings, retaining Taurean Prince makes a lot of sense given how few three-and-D guys are available on the market.
It seems a high number given Prince’s uncertain spot in the rotation, but that’s just testament to the T-Wolves’ depth right now.
Timberwolves grade: C+
Ivica Zubac signs three-year, $33 million extension with Clippers
The Lakers trading away Ivica Zubac looks weirder the more time passes. Ivica Zubac is as solid as it gets at the five, and the Clippers have added another three years to his deal. For a franchise with no regard for the luxury tax, this makes a boat load of sense.
Zubac isn’t going to be playing 35+ minutes come the playoffs, yet he’s an innings eater in the regular season and can be a valuable postseason performer in the right matchup.
Clippers grade: A
Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, two second round picks to the Pistons from the Knicks
The Knicks continue to dump salary after their draft night trade. Detroit takes on $19 million and receives cash, plus acquiring its own second-round pick in 2023 which should be in the low-thirties. This is a shrewd use of cap space from the Pistons, even if it isn’t the flashiest of NBA free agency moves.
For the Knicks, this isn’t the highest price paid to dump salary. Still, this is a lot of effort to go after Jalen Brunson.
Knicks grade: D
Pistons grade: C+
John Wall to Clippers for taxpayer midlevel exception
The Los Angeles Clippers are finally acquiring John Wall after years of speculation. Wall has agreed to a buyout with the Houston Rockets where he gives up an amount that is almost exactly the same as the taxpayer midlevel exception. The assumption is Wall will sign with the Clips for the TPMLE.
Other than likely losing Isaiah Hartenstein, there’s little downside for the Clippers here. It’s a worthwhile gamble for a franchise willing to pay a hefty tax bill. Wall can help orchestrate the offense, but if it doesn’t work out, they’ve still got Reggie Jackson to play the one.
Clippers grade: B+
De’Anthony Melton to Sixers for 23rd overall pick and Danny Green
The Sixers were always unlikely to make their first-round pick. Instead, Daryl Morey flipped the 23rd selection and Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton.
Melton brings a lot of what the Sixers need; he’s a good three-point shooter, especially from the corners, a plus defender, and he can handle the ball when required. We could see some of Melton alongside Tyrese Maxey and James Harden, but he’ll mainly be on the court when Maxey and/or Harden are sitting.
We like this for both teams. Memphis again makes smart moves in the draft, and Philly fills a need.
Grizzlies grade: B+
Sixers grade: A-