First the draft – now this.
The NBA free agency period opened on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, meaning organizations were officially free to wheel and deal at their leisure, dishing out the big bucks with hopes of either making a splash or locking down their franchise cornerstones.
Let’s take a look at all the moves that have been made so far, incluiding a game-changer in Tinseltown.
The Lakers: Reloaded
No, the big news in Los Angeles wasn’t who left.
It was about who stayed – kinda.
In a shocker of a move, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers signed the NBA’s top sixth man in Montrezl Harrell to a two-year, $19 million contract, just days after trading for the top reserve scorer in the NBA, Dennis Schroder.
Harrell was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year last year, after averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 27.8 minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers’ cross-town rivals.
Needless to say, the sports world reacted strongly to the news on Twitter, including Skip Bayless.
And one Clipper in particular didn’t seem too pleased.
The King, however, was elated.
The Lakers: Reloaded – Again
The Lakers didn’t stop with the signing of Harrell. They also added 13-year veteran guard Wes Matthews Jr.
Matthews Jr. averaged 7.4 points and shot 36.4 percent from three last season for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Howard to Philly
There was one Laker who made a move out of LA on Friday, and that was former All-Star center Dwight Howard, who took his talents to Philadelphia.
Howard came off the bench during the Lakers’ title run this past season, averaging 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes during the regular season.
Wonder what the Lakers will do now…
Clarkson stays in Utah
This one has nothing to do with the Lakers – it just involves a former Laker who shares an agent with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Harrell.
Jordan Clarkson averaged 15.6 points in 24.7 reserve minutes for Utah last season.
John Wall update!
Fans haven’t seen former All-Star guard John Wall take the court since Dec. 26, 2018.
And when he takes the floor again, it doesn’t look like it will be for the Washington Wizards.
Wood lands in H-Town
One of the most underrated big men in the NBA is Christian Wood.
And he’s hoping that by taking his talents to Houston, he will have the opportunity to build on the 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.4 minutes that he averaged in Detroit last season.
Houston will now be Wood’s sixth stop in six NBA seasons.
Gallinari going back East
After spending three seasons the last nine seasons in the Western Conference, 12-year veteran forward Danilo Gallinari is signing a three-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Good news for the Clippers
After losing their reserve star in Harrell, the Clippers were able to lock up 11-year veteran Marcus Morris on Friday.
Kings keep Fox
It’s not really free agency news – because De’Aaron Fox will now play for far from free in Sacramento.
Nuggets replace Grant with Green
The classic free agency swap.
Jerami Grant paid major dividends for Denver last season, averaging 12.0 points and shooting 38.9 percent from three.
The Nuggets will hope that JaMychal Green can fill Grant’s role at least partially, after Green averaged 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Clippers last season, where he shot 38.7 percent from the field.
Stay tuned for the latest key updates!
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