Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017 NBA Offseason Running Blog

Are you not entertained? In a lot of ways, the NBA Offseason really is its own spectator sport with all of the competition, surprises, and drama involved, but rather than live-tweeting it, I'm going to attempt to track what's going on in this post with outside links to who broke the details and information about current salaries from BasketballInsiders.com (colors mean player option, team option, or not fully guaranteed). Being posted at 10:15 AM PST on July 1st, I've started to add in my commentary alongside my estimates of what the contracts will look like based on reports (max salaries should be pretty set in stone, though), and I'll be updating it throughout the week. The official salary cap was set at $99,093,000 last night, locking in what max salaries can start at, and now we're off!

Utah picks up Rubio before midnight hits (Jones)

Jazz get:
Ricky Rubio$14,250,000$14,950,000

Timberwolves get:
Thunder 2018 1st round pick (top-14 protected through 2020 before becoming 2020 and 2021 2nd round picks)

Ever since the Jimmy Butler trade on draft night, I tried thinking of what teams have both the need and means to acquire Rubio, and Utah stood out with their 2016/2017 cap space expiring once the new league year starts and the uncertainty around Gordon Hayward, George Hill, and Joe Ingles. Zach Lowe reported shortly afterwards that their was interest there. Deadlines spur actions, as Andrew Brandt likes to say, so when talks heated up yesterday, it seemed like only a matter of time before the Jazz secured at least part of their back court at a fair price that I accurately guessed. Now they have a point guard who is four and a half years younger, a better playmakers, a comparable defender, and cheaper than what Hill, a far superior shooter, would have cost after a failed renegotiation and extension fell through during the year. Although it is complicated with Hayward reportedly wanting Hill to stay but also sharing the same agent as Ingles, who would plunge them deep into the Luxury Tax if re-signed with the other two all at market value, this does make sure they are secured at the position ahead of their pitch for him, and in the doomsday scenario of losing their star wing, they can now rely on Rubio to run the offense with Rodney Hood and either Dante Exum, Alec Burks, or rookie Donovan Mitchell.

For Minnesota, it is unfortunate that they had to move on from a valuable player that was often the heartbeat of the team, but with Tom Thibodeau never seemingly a fan and the need for shooting around Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns, the writing was on the wall. Getting a 1st for next year, albeit with protections, is important since they owe a similarly protected pick to Atlanta from the failed Adreian Payne trade, and they have playoff aspirations next year that would mean losing it. Although Rubio had an undervalued contract for the next two years, moving him also brings their max possible cap space to over $32 million as they seek a new point guard and more shooting at forward.

Clips re-sign Griffin at the Max: 5 years, $172+ million (Shams)
Blake Griffin$29,727,900$32,106,132$34,484,364$36,862,596$39,240,828

Good for him leveraging them losing Chris Paul into getting the maximum amount of years and dollars possible. The max anyone else could offer him was 4 years and just under $128 million, so it is a little surprising that LA gave a 28 year old with his injury history such a long deal with the full 8% annual raises since that 5th year of guaranteed money puts their deal over the top. I haven't seen any news about whether that last year contains a team or player option at all, but at least they didn't give him a no trade clause. It appears they'll try to compete going forward as they work on getting their own arena in Inglewood, and he can be the focal point of the offense with Pat Berverley and Austin Rivers at guard, Sam Dekker on the wing, and DeAndre Jordan at center while Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, and Montrezl Harrell provide the main bench support. Currently around $11 million under the Luxury Tax, they could use the full Mid-Level Exception of $8,406,000 to add a wing without much fear of becoming hard-capped $6 million past the Tax threshold since they'll only have minimum contracts to fill out the rest of the roster, but it could limit them in any potential trades this year.

OKC and Indy shock the world with PG13 trade (Shelburne)

Thunder get:
Paul George$19,508,958$20,703,384

Pacers get:
Victor Oladipo$21,000,000$21,000,000$21,000,000$21,000,000
Donatas Sabonis$2,550,000$2,659,800$3,529,555

So...that wasn't expected. I have no idea why Kevin Pritchard pulled the trigger on this deal now rather than last week during the draft when they could have tried adding the #21 pick to the deal or, more realistically, next week like most people anticipated when they could have held more leverage over Boston if Hayward doesn't sign there. With their other rumored target of Griffin locked up earlier in the night, the Celtics would be scrambling to use their cap space and plethora of picks to add a star while they can this summer if the Utah star stayed there or chose Miami instead, so they might have caved on the demands of Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and multiple picks. But instead of waiting as the Celtics tried to get the timing right of signing Hayward first and then going over the cap with a George trade, Indiana settled for a deal now that wasn't even the best offer available if reports are true about Boston offering future picks outside of the Nets and Lakers/Kings 1sts (likely their own 1st next year and the protected Clippers and/or Grizzlies 2019 1st, with the latter potentially as high as #9 if Memphis declines by then) around the draft after even having this year's Nets pick that became #1 on the table at the trade deadline. Speculation about Pritchard not wanting to deal him to the East reflects even more poorly on him since the Pacers won't be contenders in the foreseeable future anyway, and if you really think George is actually going home to LA next year, why not take Boston's assets and let his departure weaken them?

The fact that there aren't any draft picks included at all (possibly due to OKC lacking available 1st after past trades) makes this even worse than the Bulls trade of Butler, and as Kevin O'Connor first pointed out, this was essentially flipping the return from the Serge Ibaka trade one year later with an extensive contract extension attached and one less year of the rookie scale. Even if they are higher on Oladipo and Sabonis than most, the former is already 25 and has averaged the same 16-18.1 points, 4.2-5.2 rebounds, and 2.9-4.7 assists per 36 minutes with average efficiency each year and inconsistent on/off splits defensively while the latter is caught between positions to a degree as he is lacking in length at center and in skills and quickness on the perimeter. Maybe they saw Oladipo honing his defensive potential this year and view him as a potential go-to perimeter creator. Sabonis is only 21 and shot a surprising 44.4% on 3's his first 30 games (h/t O'Connor) before crashing down to 21.8% over his next 51 appearances, adding to what I liked when he was drafted, so he could potentially form a nice pairing with Myles Turner up front down the line with rookie T.J. Leaf in his ideal role as a third big. The appeal could be that they locked in two young-ish pieces who are under team control for the foreseeable future, with Oladipo's Hoosier ties likely an added bonus for a franchise that refuses to tank due to the fans, and they have the cap flexibility to take on that overpaid contract that OKC signed at the extension deadline last fall as a bet on growth. Still, it's an underwhelming return deficient in superstar upside that shouldn't have been rushed.

My first reaction for the Thunder side of things was that even if this is just a one year rental, they could be viewing this as a way to get out of a contract that they might be feeling some buyer's remorse on after Oladipo had his usual year with a slight uptick in shooting but less assists due to Russell Westbrook's overwhelming usage rate. Heck, they're even saving over $4 million this year as they likely go into the Tax to re-sign restricted free agent Andre Roberson. There is obviously the risk or even likelihood that he leaves small market OKC for the glamour of LA next summer, but at this cost, it's certainly worth it to have him compete for a top playoff spot this year. There is the hope that success will convince him, and to a lesser extent Westbrook, to stay, especially since they'll have his Bird rights to offer a 5 year, $177,480,000 deal compared to $131,580,000 over 4 years elsewhere (based on up to date estimates for next year's cap). The effect this has on the recently named MVP is fascinating since he's eligible for the Designated Veteran Extension and has the offer of well over $200 million on the table, but he isn't expected to sign it yet. On the one hand, Westbrook could see the team's commitment to winning (and paying the Tax) and re-up his commitment, but on the other, he might not want to lock himself down since George could leave just like Kevin Durant did and leave a heavy burden on him again. The Lakers are currently around $14 million shy of having the space to sign both of them next year, but there is the chance that both of them want to return to their Southern California roots and play with a set up man like Lonzo Ball. That was always the case if Westbrook didn't agree to the extension, though, so this is worth taking a chance on with the understanding that if things blow up, they could have around $40 to $58 million (depending on Enes Kanter's player option) in space themselves thanks to getting out of the money they traded. Their defense could be elite with Roberson and George on the wings and Steven Adams at center, especially if they delve deep into the tax to re-sign Taj Gibson rather than starting Jerami Grant at power forward, and with post-scoring sixth man Kanter and shooters Alex Abrines and Doug McDermott, they'll have a potent offense off the bench once they secure a backup point guard. In addition to his great defense, George of course makes any offense better with his shooting, drives, and passes, and he is ideally suited to be a secondary facilitator next to someone like Westbrook. It may not last long, but it should be a fun ride.

Rockets re-sign Nene: 4 years, $15 million 3 years, ~$11 million (Woj)
Nene$3,477,600$3,651,480$3,825,360$3,999,240

My projected salary here adds up to $14,953,680 because that starting salary is the most possible Nene can re-sign at with Non-Bird rights, thereby preserving the MLE for other players. It's a nice pay day after he settled for the Room MLE of under $3 million last year and was great in his limited minutes that helped him stay mostly healthy until the playoffs, but besides the risks for Houston committing long-term to someone with his injury history, my question about this deal revolved around the updated Over-38 rule. The new CBA changed it from Over-36, but since he turns 35 before season starts, this deal would still run too long to have the last year guaranteed, and sure enough, Bobby Marks confirmed that the structure would have to be $10,954,440 over three years due to this rule. HOWEVER,  Marc Spears reported as I officially posted this that the deal is now falling through due to the realization that it can't be for that full amount, so we'll see what happens.

1:13 PM 7/2 UPDATE: The deal is back on, per Woj, at the maximum possible using his Non-Bird rights: $10,954,440 over three years. The Over-38 rule cost him $3,999,240 in a fourth year, but it's still a good chunk of change for the soon to be 35 year old.

Timberwolves sign Teague: 3 years, $57 million (Shams)
Jeff Teague$18,095,238$19,000,000$19,904,762

Don't you find it a little interesting that after reports of mutual interest surfaced in the wake of the Rubio trade, they came to an agreement with his new team right at midnight Eastern? In any case, I didn't mention Teague among who they might pursue after trading for Butler since he's not a lights out 3 point shooter at 35.5% for his career, but per NBA.com's shot tracking the past four seasons, he has hit 37.6%, 49.6%, 40.4%, and 34.2% on catch and shoot 3's, which should be what's often generated for him off of kickouts from Butler, Wiggins, and Towns when defenses collapse. The fact that he just turned 29 makes him more appealing for this young team than Kyle Lowry or George Hill, and he's coming at what's likely a smaller commitment, which might have been why they pounced so quickly. This leaves them with around $15 million of cap space left if they renounce all of their free agents, so if Teague's former teammate Paul Millsap does decide to join him in Minnesota, it would probably have to be in a sign-and-trade. I wonder if Gorgui Dieng might appeal to Atlanta since they're currently lacking big men aside from Miles Plumlee and #19 pick John Collins, but if his contract is too onerous, perhaps backup center Cole Aldrich's decent salary could go back instead.

Bucks re-sign Snell: 4 years, $44 million (Woj)
Tony Snell$9,821,429$10,607,143$11,392,857$12,178,571

The initial report stated $46 million, but since there's only $44 million guaranteed with unclear incentives, I'm marking down the smaller number for now, especially since even this starting number would put them past the Luxury Tax line. Either way, this is a good deal for a 3-and-D wing who came into his own as a 25 year old in his first year in Milwaukee, shooting a career high 40.6% from deep. He may have to come off the bench this season with Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker healthy and Malcolm Brogdon coming on strong as the first Rookie of the Year not selected in the 1st, but he'll surely have a role with his valuable skill set. Given their proximity to the Tax line that I mentioned, they probably won't use the MLE or $3,290,000 Bi-Annual Exception for any other spending this summer unless they decide to pay up or move some other salary like the expiring deals of Greg Monroe or, more likely, Spencer Hawes.

Bulls re-sign Felicio: 4 years, $32 million (Shams)
Cristiano Felicio$7,142,857$7,714,286$8,285,714$8,857,143

Felicio has shown well in limited opportunities to the tune of 11.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes across his 97 game career, but this is a bit bigger of a commitment than I would have expected. He was a restricted free agent limited by the Arenas provision, so they might have been bidding against themselves early in the process. Regardless, they can wait to sign the deal and only keep his $1,671,382 cap hold on the books to maximize space, and they currently have over $22 million that could become $35.8 million if they withdraw the qualifying offers for Nikola Mirotic and Joffrey Lauvergne. Once signed, they could have the starting salary at the Early Bird Exception number and have it decline in later years a bit if the "$32 million" isn't the true guarantee. For example, 5% changes could look like $7,843,500, $7,451,325, $7,843,500, and $7,451,325 to total $30,589,650, or the maximum changes of 8% could result in $7,843,500, $7,216,020, $7,843,500, and $7,216,020 to total $30,119,040.

Spurs re-sign Mills: 4 years, $50 million (Woj)
Patty Mills$11,160,714$12,053,571$12,946,429$13,839,286

Like Chicago with Felicio, San Antonio can wait to officially sign the contract in order to only keep Mills' $6.8 million cap hold on the books to maximize their cap space (and they can do the same thing with Jonathon Simmons, by the way). Pending Manu Ginobli's possible retirement, they could renounce all of their free agents besides Mills and Simmon and possibly range from around $12.9 to $14.1 million in room depending on what they do with Bryn Forbes' non-guaranteed contract and Euro-Stash Nikola Milutinov, the #26 pick in 2015. Some of that money might be earmarked for Pau Gasol since the big man opted out of $16.2 million in order to sign a long-term deal and provide some spending flexibility, but it is possible they have a handshake agreement to simply bring him back with the Room MLE once they hit the cap. That maxes out at $8,872,400 over two years, but they could let him opt out again next year and re-sign him with Early Bird rights like they did with Ginobli two years ago, as I described here.

They could also just stay over the cap, use the MLE and BAE for depth pieces, and re-sign their guys with whatever form of Bird rights they possess. This deal isn't going to put them in danger of huge Tax payments and is a more than fair value to them for a sharpshooter who could have potentially gotten looks elsewhere as a starter. Depending on how the rest of their summer shakes out, some combination of him, Dejounte Murray, and rookie Derrick White can bridge the gap until Tony Parker gets healthy just fine, especially with so much of the offense run through Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge anyway.

Warriors re-sign Curry at the Max: 5 years, $201+ million (Woj)
Stephen Curry$34,682,550$37,457,154$40,231,758$43,006,362$45,780,966

Due to his smaller cap hold, this potentially could have come later just in case they ended up needing to use cap room to re-sign Durant or anyone else, but why wait? Curry has absolutely earned the richest contract in NBA history after his previous deal that was a risk to both parties due to his ankle issues totaled only $44 million. By virtue of being a recent MVP and making All-NBA teams, he becomes the first player to receive a Designated Veteran Contract that bumps up his max salary to 35% of the salary cap as opposed to the 30% he would normally be eligible for based on his 8 years of experience. This was the deal always expected once the terms of the new CBA emerged, and since it really only affects the team's Luxury Tax payments as they go past the cap, the only real question was whether he would demand a No-Trade Clause or the flexibility of a player option on the last year. Woj reported right away that there are no option years, and Marcus Thompson had the details later that it does not include a no-trade clause either. Good deal all around.

Warriors re-sign Livingston: 3 years, $24 million (Krawczynski)
Shaun Livingston$8,000,000$8,000,000$8,000,000

The man who starts in Curry's place when needed was a much more surprising midnight signing since he holds a key role on the team but also was facing his only real chance at a big pay day. Due to his career threatening knee injury in his third year, the #4 pick in 2004 has made less than $42 million in his career according to BasketballReference.com, and as he's about to turn 32, there was a chance he tried to double that on the open market with a more prominent role elsewhere. Finally finding a home after nine previous stops leaves an impact, though, especially with trips to the Finals in each of his three seasons with the Warriors, and having his first child this year apparently emphasized that point further. The fact that he didn't press for a higher salary and accepted a partial guarantee in the final year makes this a no-brainer for the Warriors no matter the Tax bill. That third year is key because in addition to Livingston turning 34 by then, that is both when Klay Thompson is up for a new deal and when they'll face the harsher Repeater Tax since they'll be repeat offenders after being Taxpayers in 2016, 2018, and 2019.

Pelicans re-sign Holiday: 5 years, $126 million (Woj)
Jrue Holiday$21,724,138$23,462,069$25,200,000$26,937,931$28,675,862

This is what leverage looks like, folks. Knowing that New Orleans would only have a little more than $13 million in space to replace him and fill out their roster if he left, Holiday was able to get a large guarantee along with huge possible incentives and a player option that could allow him to hit the open market again when he's 31. The max other teams could have given him was nearly $128 million over four years, but even though his well-rounded skill set and youth compared to the rest of the top tier of free agent point guards was on his side, it's unclear if anyone would have given him that full amount in this crowded market. Locking this in now is more than acceptable from his side, especially with a team he trusts after the way they supported him missing training camp and the first 12 games of the season when his wife, soccer star Lauren Cheney, dealt with a brain tumor at the same time as the birth of their daughter, Jrue (teaching us that it's a unisex name). Now, they can operate as an over the cap team and use the MLE and BAE to fill out the roster, and they're around $10 million under the Tax line that they likely want to avoid.

Warriors re-sign West: 1 year, minimum contract (Aldridge)
David West$1,471,382
My tweet right after the news broke about sums it up from a financial perspective. There's a chance that Golden State rewards him for taking less than he could have earned elsewhere last year, but the extra $465K for him would be much more costly with the Tax. This is of course quite the boon for them again on the court and in the locker room as the steady vet that helps guide the second unit with his surprising passing and reliable scoring. He was pretty much their best center last year, and although he lacks the size (and likely endurance as he turns 37) to play heavy minutes, you can count on him to have an important role.

11:05 AM 7/1 UPDATE: It will in fact be for the minimum per Chris Haynes.

Rockets sign Qi to "multi-year deal" (Woj)

Drafted 43rd overall last year, Zhou Qi will likely have to wait to see whether any portion of the MLE is left over to give him anything more than the two year minimum. The Chinese center has always measured out well analytically and has a ton of length to go with good athleticism and some shooting ability. With Montrezl Harrell included in the CP3 trade, there are some minutes to be had up front.

1:04 PM 7/1 UPDATE: Looks like it will be a four year deal, likely as part of the MLE.

8:27 AM 7/8 UPDATE: Only the first year, which is at the rookie minimum of $815,615 as expected, is guaranteed.

Pistons sign Galloway: 3 years, $21 million (Woj)
Langston Galloway$6,666,667$7,000,000$7,333,333

It sounds like Detroit is using the full MLE for this deal, which hard-caps them at a maximum of $125,266,000 in salaries this season. Michael Gbinije only has $500K of his $1,312,611 guaranteed until July 15th, per BasketballInsiders.com, but as it stands right now with him and Luke Kennard's cap hold, they only have about a $20 million gap before that hard cap, which could limit their ability to match offer sheets for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope unless they trade someone. Like the Kennard pick, this shouldn't be an indicator of whether they'll bring KCP back or not because Galloway is a nice backup guard getting paid as such. Being able to knock down 3's and run point in a pinch is useful, but with only so-so creation capabilities and his size limiting him defensively despite giving tough effort, there's only so much you can expect from him.

Celtics sign Theis to 2 year deal (Woj)

Daniel Theis is a 25 year old German forward who went undrafted in 2013. The two year deal would suggest he will be signed through the minimum exception once they hit the cap with other signings.

76ers sign Redick: 1 year, $23 million (Woj)
J.J. Redick$23,000,000
What a great deal that also shows how this free agent class is suffering from the overspending last summer. Following rumors that Redick was seeking $18-20 million per season on a multiyear deal and that Philadelphia was only looking for one year deals, this seems like a a nice compromise. He gets cashed out now within close proximity of his semi-recently purchased Brooklyn penthouse before hitting the market again next year, and from a team perspective, there really is no such thing as a bad one year deal when opportunity cost isn't a factor. They had over $50 million in cap space, so a one year overpay is fine for one of the best shooters in the league and a strong veteran influence on their young team. Helping the development of Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid on the court -- with his spacing allowing precious room for them to operate -- and in the locker room is well worth this price.

76ers sign Johnson: 1 year, $11 million (Woj)
Amir Johnson$11,000,000

Chalk another one up to a veteran locker room guy on a one year deal as part of The Process. This one is a bit richer than you'd like since he ideally won't be getting any minutes behind a healthy Simmons, Embiid, Saric, Okafor, and Holmes, but it's fine for someone Bryan Colangelo knows from their time in Toronto. With last year's #26 pick, Furkan Korkmaz, coming over as a versatile and skilled wing, that puts the roster at 15 already, assuming they keep the non-guaranteed deal of T.J. McConnell like you'd think. They currently have around $16.1 million left in cap space that they can use for the expected renegotiation and extension of Robert Covington, so theoretically they could increase his $1.6 million salary for this year to $17.7 million in order add four more years of control. It could then decline to the $10.6 million next year before standard 8% raises take it to $11.5, $12.3, and $13.2 million, and in this scenario, he would get about $63.7 million in new money while only having a cap hit of $47.6 million over the four year extension. 

9:37 AM 7/12 UPDATE: Now that Pincus is updated the BasketballInsiders.com salary page for Philadelphia, I see that Gerald Henderson had $1 million guaranteed instead of a total non-guarantee that was in my notes previously, so that of course leaves $15.1 million in space they could use towards a Covington renegotiation. The updated numbers if they gave him that big of a raise this year with lower cap hits on a four year extension would be about $10, $10.8, $11.6, and $12 million, so about $60 million in new money to him that counts as under $45 million over the next four seasons after this one.

Hornets sign Carter-Williams: 1 year, $2.7 million (Zillgitt)
Michael Carter-Williams$2,700,000

This is a nice fit for the soon to be 26 year old on a "prove it" deal to rebuild his value since Charlotte needed a cheaper backup point guard than Ramon Sessions as they approach the Luxury Tax. The 6'6" Carter-Williams fits well with sharpshooting but undersized rookie Malik Monk on the second unit, and he could even play with starter Kemba Walker since the latter's shooting still makes him effective off the ball. They can fit this into the BAE and still have the full MLE to work with, but they're only about $2.8 million away from the Tax line right now with two roster spots to fill. Johnny O'Bryant, Briante Weber, and Treveon Graham are all on non-guaranteed deals that total $4.3 million, so if really needed, any of their salaries could be replaced my rookie minimums.

Cavaliers sign Calderon: 1 year, minimum contract (Shams)
Jose Calderon$1,471,382

Like West, Calderon will get $2,328,652 with the NBA paying the difference, and it's a decent add for a team so far in the Tax. He's never been a great defender and doesn't have much juice off the bounce anymore as he'll be 36, but a good shooter and mistake-free passer might be all you need with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in tow. He can't be much worse than Deron Williams was in the Finals, right?

Jazz re-sign Ingles: 4 years, $52 million (Amick)
Joe Ingles$11,607,143$12,535,714$13,464,286$14,392,857

Turns out that Utah didn't have to worry about a rumored $60 million offer sheet from Orlando as they took care of business quickly with their key restricted free agent...who also happens to be close friends with and has the same agent as Hayward. Ingles is almost 30 after it took him a while to make it to the NBA from Australia (coming a long way from his time with the Warriors summer league team in '09 and '10), but he's a great glue guy with good shooting, passing, and defense. He might not hold up as well defensively in the later years of the deal, but the offensive skills should age just fine, making this a fair price for both sides. If Hayward and Hill do end up leaving, they could increase their cap room from $4.5 million to around $12.6 million for someone else before officially inking this deal if they want to waive the non-guaranteed contracts of Boris Diaw and Raul Neto.

Warriors re-sign Iguodala: 3 years, $48 million. (Shams)
Andre Iguodala$14,814,815$16,000,000$17,185,185
After Iguodala hilariously broke the news himself, Shams provided the all-important details, including that it's fully guaranteed. That's a great job of negotiating on his end when considering the the main competition for his services: Houston, armed only with the MLE of 4 years, $36 million; Sacramento, who it turns out was only offering around 2 years, $32 million; and San Antonio, who could have maxed out at around 3 years, $42.4 million or 4 years, $57.9 million but likely wouldn't have used all of of their possible cap space on him with their interest apparently more of the courtesy variety. With him already 33 years old and often needing his minutes monitored, this is a large commitment on Golden State's part since it will increase the Tax bill in the 2019/2020 season that I mentioned above with Livingston, although that is also when their new arena opens. They could structure it as $17,391,304, $16,000,000, $14,608,696 or $15,584,416, $16,831,169, $15,584,416 to mitigate their Repeater payments that year, but any way you slice it, credit is due to Joe Lacob and the ownership group for approving an increase in their offer that dramatically eats into their profits. 

Once Kevin Durant signs another 1+1 deal below his max in order to facilitate all of this, they'll already be around $10.8-$13.2 million past the Tax line depending on Iguodala's contract structure. That's already over $16.25 million in penalties, and that's only accounting for 10 players so far. Although they could use part of the Taxpayer MLE to give him more than two years, 2nd round pick Jordan Bell will likely get the $815,615 rookie minimum, and then they'll have to decide whether to only use the minimum exception or the rest of the TP MLE that goes up to $5,192,000 for any other players. In their current tier, it costs $2.50 for every dollar spent, and if they want to sign a center like Dewayne Dedmon, it will push them into the tier of $3.25 per. This is why they'll probably only offer the minimum to their other incumbent free agents instead of Non-Bird or Early Bird raises, especially since Bell and last year's 1st round pick, Damian Jones, could soak up some minutes up front. I'm not sure if these players will come for the minimum, but some interesting fits in my mind are Willie Reed or Jeff Withey as shot-blockers and Omri Casspi, Anthony Tolliver, Michael Beasley, or Vince Carter as better shooters than Matt Barnes at forward. Those last two actually have connections to Durant in his youth while the more expensive Dedmon started his career with the Warriors, so they could turn out to be more than just my pipe dreams. 

Rockets sign Tucker: 4 years, $32 million (Shams)
P.J. Tucker$7,441,860$7,813,953$8,186,047$8,558,140

Once Iguodala was off the market, this was agreed upon rather quickly, and it looks like the rest of the MLE after giving some to Qi in order to give the rookie four years rather than the maximum of two through the minimum exception. If it is an even $32 million, this starting salary with the standard 5% raises would leave $964,140 of the exception, but if they're just giving Qi the minimum amount necessary, $815,615, than the most Tucker could get is $32,638,656: $7,590,385, $7,969,904, $8,349,424, and $8,728,943. Having the last year only partially guaranteed limits the risk here since he's already 32, and he's a great fit as a 3-and-D wing who can pair with Trevor Ariza at forward in small lineups. Between those two, James Harden capable of playing multiple positions on the perimeter, and Ryan Anderson a good enough rebounder to get by at center if needed, they have a lot of versatility in their lineups with a nice combination of shooting and defense.

8:25 AM 7/8 UPDATE: I was right about Tucker's starting salary being the MLE after the minimum for Qi, but Pincus' report also has a lower number than it could be for the last year, with the guarantee at $2.6 million. I'm using a standard 5% decrease for that final partially guaranteed year.

P.J. Tucker$7,590,385$7,969,904$8,349,424$7,969,904

Raptors re-sign Ibaka: 3 years, $65 million (Woj)
Serge Ibaka$20,061,728$21,666,667$23,271,605


Re-signing Ibaka was almost assumed once Toronto traded for him ahead of the Trade Deadline, and only committing 3 years to him at the market rate is a good deal for them. I considered him right up there with Griffin as the best big man available this offseason thanks to his defense, shooting, and ability to finish inside, and he's hardly missed any time through his age 27 season. This guarantees that they'll be an over the cap team, but since they're only around $18 million below the Tax threshold before a deal for Lowry, the MLE might not be an option for them. They've already lost Tucker to Houston, and unless they move the salary of someone in the front court like Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson is likely on his way out, as well.

Timberwolves sign Gibson: 2 years, $28 million (Shams)
Taj Gibson$13,658,537$14,341,463

This is no surprise given Gibson's history with Thibs and the newly-acquired Butler, but man, he just turned 32 and is not the shooter they need. At least it's a short term deal that expires before Towns and Butler are due big money, and he will instantly make the defense tougher. If he returns to his old sixth man role rather than starting over Dieng, that shouldn't hurt their spacing too much given the incumbent's decent touch, but that could squeeze the minutes of the only stretch four they have, Nemanja Bjelica. Unless they move Aldrich due to having enough bigs, this slight overpay means they're renouncing their rights to Shabazz Muhammad and Brandon Rush, and they'll only have a couple million left in cap space. They could use that to sign young players to longer than the two year minimum, or they could front-load this and Teague's contract before Wiggins and Towns get big raises. With only the Room MLE at their disposal, they're pretty shallow on the wings now, so Thibs might be planning another heavy minutes load on his stars.

Wizards sign Meeks: 2 years, ~$7 million (Shams)
Jodie Meeks$3,290,000$3,454,500

This sounds like a chunk of the MLE, which would be a surprising use of resources, but it's worth noting that if for some reason they let both of their restricted free agents, Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic, go and waived the partially guaranteed deals of Daniel Ochefu and Sheldon McClellan, $3.55 million is how much room they'd have left to fit this in. Meeks is a great shooter off the bench when healthy, but he's only played 39 games the past two seasons. With them likely to pay the Luxury Tax for the first time ever, they're probably going to rely on smalls moves like this and internal development to improve.

9:53 AM 7/2 UPDATE: Tim Bontemps confirmed the report by saying they're using the BAE, which makes more sense than using part of the MLE. That means the deal can only max out at $6,744,500 instead, and I've updated the above estimate accordingly. Unless it does become part of the TP MLE, this would also hard-cap them at a maximum salary of $125,266,000, so while a potential max deal for Porter can still fit in the roughly $25 million gap they currently have, this likely makes Meeks a Bogdanovic replacement. If the max is too rich for their taste, they could re-sign Bogdanovic instead and still use the full MLE up until that hard cap.

2:13 PM 7/6 UPDATE: I'm just seeing now that Bontemps received updated information that it will actually be through the TP MLE in order to avoid the aforementioned hard cap. This may mean that it is a full $7 million ($3,414,634 and $3,585,366), or it could still be for the BAE amount but as a part of the larger exception, leaving under $2 million of it left.

Cavaliers re-sign Korver: 3 years, $22 million (Shams)
Kyle Korver$6,790,123$7,333,333$7,876,543

The partial guarantee on the last year helps since Korver is 36, but this put them almost $17 million into the Tax this year if they keep the non-guaranteed minimum contracts of Edy Tavares and Kay Felder as you'd expect, but he is an important shooter off the bench for them as they pursue another Finals run. A potential Iman Shumpert trade with Houston could have huge financial savings, but that would also decimate their depth on the wings, making Korver even more vital. There's not a ton that they can do in their situation with only the TP MLE to sign someone, and Euro-Stash Cedi Osman, the 31st pick in 2015, is likely to command most if not all of that to possibly replace Shump. They do have a few small Trade Exceptions, but with a protected 2019 1st already owed from acquiring Korver, I'm not sure what they can send out to take advantage of those.

Raptors re-sign Lowry: 3 years, $100 million (Scotto)
Kyle Lowry$30,864,198$33,333,333$35,802,469

I was always skeptical that Toronto would give the 31 year old Lowry a full five year deal close to his max, and like Ibaka earlier in the day, keeping it to a shorter deal helps make up for the high annual salary. The current market -- both for point guards and in general -- worked in the team's favor in that regard, but he'll still be one of the highest paid players in the league next year. Assuming they keep Fred VanVleet's non-guaranteed contract, which they should considering it's just the second year minimum, they're now $13 million into the Tax with one open roster spot unless they move someone. With a full year of Ibaka and the rest of their starters back, they should be one of the top teams in the East again, and if some of their young guys improve enough to make an impact in the playoffs, it's not inconceivable that they can make a run.

8:05 AM 7/8 UPDATE: I'll just make note of the guarantees that are coming in from Pincus like Collison's contract rather than all of the ones that are confirming my estimates. Apparently Lowry only has $93 million guaranteed with the rest as unlikely bonuses. My new estimate would save them $5.4 million in Luxury Tax payments in addition to the difference in salary.

Kyle Lowry$28,703,704$31,000,000$33,296,296

Bulls sign Holiday: 2 years, $9 million (Shams)
Justin Holiday$4,390,244$4,609,756

So much for him and his brother Jrue reuniting after playing 9 games together Justin's rookie year in Philly, as much as he would have helped New Orleans. This is a solid, reasonable pick up for Chicago as they need 3-and-D wings, and I guess he enjoyed his half season there before being a part of the Derrick Rose trade a year ago. He might be their starting small forward right now unless they plan on playing Zach LaVine out of position there next to Dwyane Wade, and although he lacks some strength there compared to at guard, his 7'0" wingspan helps him compete defensively. There is a chance that this will end up using all of their cap room and have this as the last of their signings as the Room MLE worth $4,328,000 and $4,544,400, but that will still almost quadruple the career earnings of the 28 year old. With a good opportunity for minutes, he could cash in again two years from now if things go well.

Grizzlies sign McLemore: 2 years, $10.7 million (Haynes)
Ben McLemore$5,192,000$5,451,600

This estimation only adds up to $10,643,600 because I'm willing to bet that it's for all of the TP MLE, which will keep their options open as they still have to deal with the free agency of JaMychal Green, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter. If Memphis ends up losing them or retaining them cheaply without risk of hitting a hard cap, the rest of the full MLE could then be used. This has the potential to become an important signing if McLemore hones his defensive focus in a more stable environment than what he had in Sacramento, where he just had arguably his best year under former Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger. He's always been known as a shooter, and his 3P% has increased every year up to last season's 38.2%, which has often been needed on this Grit 'n' Grind team. It's a bit of an expensive gamble, but as just a 24 year old, I wouldn't be surprised if he put things together to become their starting shooting guard.

4:24 PM 7/7 UPDATE: Marks noted that McLemore actually got a touch more than the TP MLE, triggering the hard cap since that requires part of the full MLE, and that makes sense now that they signed Tyreke Evans today using the BAE, which also hard-caps teams.

Nuggets sign Millsap: 3 years, $90 million (Shams)
Paul Millsap$28,571,429$30,000,000$31,428,571

This was one I've been hoping for ever since I heard Danny Leroux pine for it on the Dunc'd On a few weeks ago, and even though he's a bit older than their core at 32, he's a tremendous fit on the court. Between him and Nikola Jokic, they'll have one of the most skilled front courts in the league with their interior scoring, shooting, and passing, and the tough vet provides a much better defensive partner for the slower young stud than anyone else on the roster. Although they can still hold onto the cap hold of restricted free agent Mason Plumlee, this basically means that Danilo Gallinari is on the way out, as expected. Besides my estimate above of standard raises, they could give a flat $30 million a year, or if they're planning on waiving Mike Miller's non-guaranteed $3.5 million, I would suggest having the contract decline since their younger players are going to get extensions soon. I thought them picking up both Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon in the draft was a bit excessive, and now they are quite superfluous along with Juan Hernangomez at forward, but it's not the worst problem to have. The West is going to be as tough as ever with yet another East All-Star migrating over, but this team is ready at a playoff run.

8:44 PM 7/2 UPDATE: I'm just seeing now that Matt Moore is reporting that the last year is a team option, which absolutely makes this one of the best signings of the young offseason.

Warriors re-sign Durant: 2 years, $53 million (Haynes)
Kevin Durant$25,853,659$27,146,341
Wow, this one is a stunner. I've gone in depth about Durant taking a few million less this year and locking in a long-term deal next summer that's even bigger than his current available max salary would allow much more flexibility in re-signing the rest of Golden State's free agents, but who could have guessed that he'd take even less than the $31,848,120 available through Non-Bird rights. Considering that his max was $34,682,550, it's quite the sacrifice that spares ownership's Luxury Tax bill, and he's still in line to opt out next year to sign a 4 year, $159,936,000 contract through Early Bird rights next summer if the current cap projection of $102 million holds up. Perhaps there's a limit to how much the team is willing to spend this season because he apparently would have taken even less if the team needed to sign his buddy Rudy Gay to replace Iguodala, likely through the full MLE rather than the taxpayer version.

We don't know the exact terms yet since Sam Amick had an initial report of $25 million this year, which would total $51.25 million with the player option, after Marcus Thompson broke the news of a pay cut before Chris Haynes had the final number, but this is even more reason to front-load Iguodala's contract in order to reduce the Repeater payments in the '19/'20 season. In that scenario, they'd be around $126.5 million in salary -- with a $11.3 million Tax bill -- before filling out the remaining five roster spots. If Bell and three veterans take the minimum, that brings the total to $131.7 million and a $22.3 million charge before deciding on the last player. If they splurge on someone with all of the $5,192,000 TP MLE, that adds about $14.9 million to the Tax payment compared to just a regular vet on the minimum, a $1,471,382 salary, tacking on $3.7 million instead due to the tiered structure. Thus, I wouldn't expect them to use the full amount possible unless they back-load Iguodala, but the idea of it is at least more financially palatable now thanks to KD's sacrifice taking them down a Tax bracket.

8:41 AM 7/4 UPDATE: Thinking about this further in like of what the possible max budget might be, I think it's more likely that they use at least part of the TP MLE and keep Iguodala at a flat rate or lower this year. A key figure might be $4,376,385 because only using that amount on a single player leaves part of the exception to give Bell a three year contract like I was hoping they'd do with Patrick McCaw last year. Using that number, Iguodala at the lowest possible starting salary I listed earlier, and three veteran minimum contracts, the total team salary would be about $133.7 million, and that keeps them in the third Tax tier, resulting in a $27.3 million Tax bill.

Pacers sign Collison: 2 years, $20 million (Woj)
Darren Collison$10,000,000$10,000,000

I guess this is the point guard Indiana's reuniting with and not George Hill. Collison was solid during his two years with the team at the beginning of the Frank Vogel era that returned them to the playoffs, and he is a solid veteran to help bridge the gap before they're good again. He's a good enough distributor and floor spacer to help their young prospects develop, and his shaky defense could help them pseudo-tank, especially since he turns 30 later this year. You can't really complain about a contract this small, especially with Amick adding that the second year only has a partial guarantee, and if C.J. Miles, Lavoy Allen, and Aaron Brooks leave, they'll have over $13 million left in space that could bump up a little depending on a couple non-guaranteed minimums. Now with all their bodies up front, the question will be if they try to flip Thaddeus Young since he can opt out next summer.

7:59 AM 7/8 UPDATE: Eric Pincus has been starting to trickle in official numbers, and Collison has $10 million flat with only $2 million guaranteed in the second year. Solid deal for Indy, and I updated the numbers above.

Wizards sign Scott: minimum contract (Woj)
Mike Scott$1,471,382

I'm going to assume that this is just a one year deal since it's just for the minimum, and giving Scott a second year would mean Washington has to pay his full $1,709,538 rather than having the NBA reimburse the difference. Considering that they're going to be paying the Luxury Tax for the first time in franchise history, every little bit counts. He gives them another decent stretch four option off the bench as he shot 39.2% on 3's two seasons ago before last year's struggles, and he won't completely kill you defensively. Just about to turn 29, this is a worthwhile opportunity for the Virginia native to go close to home and build his value back up in the Southeast Division he knows well from his Hawks days.

Kings sign Hill: 3 years, $57 million (Shams)
George Hill$18,095,238$19,000,000$19,904,762

I can see the appeal of Sacramento adding a good vet to mentor a team whose majority of the roster consists rookie scale contracts, but this is a bit of a puzzling fit since rookie De'Aaron Fox and sophomore Buddy Hield should get as many reps as possible at guard. At 6'5", 212 lbs with a 6'9" wingspan, it's not inconceivable that Hield starts at small forward, and staggering minutes can allow the three of them to rotate at the guard positions from there since Hill has played at both spots in his career. Still, you have to wonder whether it might have been more prudent to grab a cheaper bench player to be the locker room presence instead, especially with Hill's production likely to hurt any tanking chances in the strong 2018 draft before they lose the 2019 pick they owe. It is interesting that based on reported numbers, this deal is for the same annual value as the one Minnesota gave Teague, whom he was trading for last year, but the last year is only partially guaranteed due to Hill already being 31. That's a far cry from what he could have earned had he come to terms on a renegotiation and extension with Utah earlier in the year, which could have given him up to $88.7 million over three years as Albert Nahmad broke down.

10:40 AM 7/10 UPDATE: Amick is reporting that the total guarantee is only $40 million, which would mean that the last years is almost entirely non-guaranteed. That's quite the deal for Sacramento in case his play starts to fall off in his 30's or they need some flexibility in general.

Kings sign Randolph: 2 years, $24 million (Woj)
Zach Randolph$11,707,317$12,292,683

Like Philly with Redick and Johnson, it didn't take long for the second veteran addition to be finalized, but unlike the East coast model, Sacramento is giving out two guaranteed years. Although they're short enough not to block their youngsters too much, it does take them out of max cap room right now (meaning Porter won't be signing that offer sheet they discussed) while also possibly eliminating that opportunity next year depending on player options and the exact terms of the contract for Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is not subject to the rookie scale since he was drafted three years ago. The Kings know exactly who they are getting to teach their post players, though, since Randolph is reuniting with Joerger after their time together in Memphis. It's not necessarily something I would have done, but it's a fair price to help continue their culture shift.

Celtics sign Hayward: 4 years, ~$128 million (Haynes)
Gordon Hayward$29,727,900$31,214,295$32,700,690$34,187,085

Might have to hold on for this one since shortly after Haynes' tweet, his fellow ESPN reporter Woj pumped the brakes. Multiple other follow ups indicate that Boston has been told he's coming, but not from Hayward directly as he's likely trying to be respectful to Utah by telling them first before officially making an announcement. An underrated part of this is that the Celtics still have to clear salary to give him his max, as I went over at the end of this post, and with their maneuverings and the lower than projected cap, I'll note that trading Marcus Smart somewhere for nothing is the most direct path to having the requisite room while Jae Crowder's bargain contract likely has the most trade value.

4:51 PM 7/4 UPDATE: It is now officially official as Hayward said goodbye to Utah with a Players Tribune post, and Shams confirmed that it's going to be a 3+1 deal at the max, as expected. This allows him to hit the market again when he's still only 30, and with 10 years of experience at that point, he'll be eligible for a max contract at 35% of the cap compared to the 30% now. That's why the financial difference between the 5% raises with a new team and 8% raises back in Utah is negligible: he'll make over $93,642,885 these next three years compared to $96,318,396 million with the Jazz. It still remains to be seen what Boston will do to create a bit more cap room for him, but this clearly keeps them among the top teams in the East, regardless of that decision. It feels like they eventually envision a starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford that can be versatile on the wings, but I'm interested to see what kind of lineups they use in the meantime while their young forwards develop and Avery Bradley is still on the team (as of this writing). Brad Stevens of course knows how his former Butler star's shooting and passing fits right in with his system, and that connection was clearly a draw for Hayward, who cited his relationship with the coach multiple times in his announcement. Danny Ainge finally got his guy (and without giving up any key assets), so I guess the East All-Star team won't be so barren after all.

Warriors sign Casspi: 1 year, minimum contract (Woj)
Omri Casspi$1,471,382

Hey, I got one right! As mentioned above in the Iguodala section, I'm a big fan of this fit as an upgrade for the Matt Barnes role. The 29 year old Casspi is a smart cutter, capable defender at either forward position, solid defensive rebounder, and 36.7% career shooter on 3's. He shot over 40% in back to back season before last year's injury-ravaged season that surprisingly saw him play for three teams. That allowed Golden State to swoop in for this one year deal that Bontemps confirmed is just the minimum, which is quite the value. Now they have have another option at power forward with the second unit since Durant was basically Draymond Green's backup last season, and any heavy bench lineups needs some spacing around any pairing of Livingston, Iguodala, and McCaw, who should see an expanded role in the rotation but is still developing as a shooter.

Nets sign Porter to Max offer sheet: 4 years, $106+ million (Shams)
Otto Porter$24,773,250$26,011,913$27,250,575$28,489,238

This is no surprise based on the limited teams with max cap space, Brooklyn's efforts in restricted free agency last year, and the fact that Porter is a much better fit for them as a forward than the other top young free agent, Caldwell-Pope, is as another guard. The Wizards have said they're going to match any offer, and I'd expect them to do so before the July 8th deadline since their only other options if he left would be re-signing Bogdanovic and using the MLE, as discussed above in the Meeks section. So why didn't Washington just offer the max themselves? For one, they probably wanted to make sure that is what he is worth on the open market, but it's also likely that Porter's power agent, David Falk, was pushing for the full five years and/or the 8% raises that would bring the contract to 4 years, $111 million or 5 years, $143.7 million. It makes sense from the team's perspective to just match whatever he can get since it is guaranteed to be a lower number than that, but they do risk alienating the relationship with the player. Case in point: Hayward was rumored to be upset about the way his second contract was handled, and that could have played into his decision to leave Utah today. Finishing up on Porter, he's a useful player for any team given that he's good on both ends of the floor, especially now that his outside shooting has really taken off, and can start at small forward before swinging over to other positions when needed. He may be a bit overpaid given that he's not exactly a star on either end, but a 24 year old is going to get his money in a league that's a scarce on two-way wings

4:23 PM 7/6 UPDATE: Washington has officially received the offer sheet to start the clock on their window to match it, and Woj added that the last year is a player option with a trade kicker included, which is no surprise considering these high offer sheets try to scare away the original team.

8:19 AM 7/9 UPDATE: The Wizards matched the offer sheet last night to keep Porter in Washington like they said they would. They are not going to have any financial flexibility for the next few years and are currently about $6.8 million into the Tax for the first time, which will result in a $10.65 million payment, but they had very limited means of replacing him.

Thunder sign Patterson: 3 years, $16.4 million (Woj)
Patrick Patterson$5,192,000$5,451,600$5,711,200

This will probably end up as one of the best deals of the summer, especially since using the TP MLE won't hard-cap Oklahoma City when negotiating with restricted free agent Roberson like giving Rudy Gay the full MLE would have. Patterson found his niche in Toronto as a stretch four who holds up well defensively, and that is exactly what this team (and all teams, really) needs. I'd much rather have him on this contract than what they lost Gibson to Minnesota for, even if he likely opts out to hit the market again in two years when he's 30. With Westbrook and George good rebounders for their positions, it's okay that he's only average on the defensive glass, and he'll provide some nice space for them and Adams to operate inside. Grant should still get decent minutes behind him in a similar role, and once Roberson's deal gets taken care of, that should provide a tough rotation outside of backup point guard.

Clippers sign-and-trade for Gallinari: 3 years, ~$65 million (Woj)
Danilo Gallinari$20,559,599$21,587,579$22,615,559

Hawks get:
Jamal Crawford$14,246,988$14,500,000
Diamond Stone$1,312,611
Houston's 2018 1st round pick (top-3 protected through 2023, then unprotected)
Cash considerations

Nuggets get:
Washington's 2019 2nd round pick

I was hoping that this would be a rare double sign-and-trade involving Millsap, especially since the last one I can remember also included the Nuggets when Randy Foye going from Utah to Denver was added to the Warriors' salary dump of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, and Brandon Rush on the Jazz in order to sign Iguodala in 2013. Unfortunately, Gallinari's salary couldn't quite match up with Millsap unless Denver sent out $7.8 million in salary due to Base Year Compensation, as Nahmad pointed out last night after the deal was rumored, so they won't be operating as an over the cap team with access to exceptions. They'll still just make their signing with cap space, but by helping their former player go to LA like he wanted, they picked up an extra 2nd rounder that Chris Vivlamore reported will be the Wizards pick in 2019 that Atlanta owns. The Hawks' part in this is pretty simple: they're using a chunk of their space to take on what are essentially expiring contracts in order to turn a future 2nd into an extra 1st as they rebuild. Crawford's last year only has $3,000,000 guaranteed, so there's already been buyout talks rather than having him return to where he won his first Sixth Man of the Year award. Stone was the 40th pick in last year's draft before only playing 24 minutes for the Clippers since Doc Rivers hardly develops his youth, so he's worth a look on a team in need of size.

I'm not sure why it took an extra 24 hours from when the news came out to become agreed upon since it was apparently right away what the key pieces needed to be, and Amick had the details shortly after, unless they were still trying to find a way to make it a dual sign-and-trade. The biggest starting salary Gallinari could get was set once the principal players in the deal were in place: it's the combined salaries of Crawford and Stone for this year plus $5 million per the trade rules, with 5% raises bringing it to $64,762,737. Over the past day of thinking about it further, I don't love the move for LA even though I've always been a fan of Gallo. He cost them the rare extra 1st they had from the CP3 transaction; at nearly 29, he shouldn't be guarding small forwards full time anymore, which he'll have to the majority of the time starting next to Griffin and Jordan; and due to a variety of ailments, he has only played in 175 total games since 2013, when he tore his ACL. The reason they did sign him, though, is that he brings some much needed shooting from the forward spot, draws fouls well, is a decent passer, and at least competes defensive, even if he lacks quickness. Hopefully they'll go small more with him as a stretch four to maximize his talents and Griffin getting some time at center, but overall, he should be a helpful piece for them, even if the did overpay to get him. They're now hard-capped at $6 million over the Luxury Tax line that they are currently $6.1 million below, and they still have the full MLE to use, although doing so to enter the Tax would be costly as they face the Repeater penalty.

Warriors sign Young: 1 year, ~$5.2 million (Woj)
Nick Young$5,192,000

Well, that answers the questions about whether Bell will get part of the TP MLE compared to just a two year deal on the minimum or if they'd get a center like Dedmon. It's somewhat surprising that Young was willing to take a one year deal, especially since he opted out of a slightly higher salary for what was assumed to be more guaranteed money, but I guess Green and Durant are persuasive recruiters. I would guess that they won't front-load Iguodala's contract now, so once they add in Bell and two vet minimums (although Pachulia could get up to $3,477,600 with Non-Bird rights to start at center), that brings their total salaries to at least $134.5 million. That would result in a $29.5 million Luxury Tax payment for a final payroll of $164 million, which is still less than it could have been had Durant not given them a discount. The amount he's giving up is roughly the same size as this contract for Young, so it didn't kill the budget to add a sharpshooting wing who is passable on defense as a luxury buy despite the financial penalty named after the term.

Lakers coach Luke Walton must have given a positive review to his old Warriors bosses in a similar way to how Iguodala endorsed adding JaVale McGee last year, and with just a one year commitment, it's essentially risk free. They didn't necessarily need another wing since McCaw is ready to take on an expanded role, but the two of them will likely take the Ian Clark minutes with Young providing some necessary shooting on the second unit like Casspi. I'm interested to see how the rotation will play out since Clark was Curry's replacement in the substitution pattern by the end of the year even though Livingston is who starts at point guard when needed. Perhaps McCaw or Young will be the one who subs in near the end of the first for Thompson rather than Livingston, who would then go back to starting the second quarter and initiating the offense more instead of essentially serving as a wing next to the starters. Clark was serving as a floor spacer and secondary facilitator for Iguodala among the bench group, so that could be filled by McCaw or Young, who both provide more defense. McGee could still return, but I'd expect him to get a nice payday elsewhere, leaving his role to Jones.

Pelicans re-sign Miller (Pick)

Darius Miller has been out of the league and playing overseas the past two seasons after New Orleans, who drafted him 46th overall in 2012, cut him loose early on in 2014. He won a national championship at Kentucky with Anthony Davis before they played together in the pros, and ideally he could serve as something of a 3-and-D role player on the wing again. There are no details on his contract, but given the scant interest around him in recent years, I'd guess it's for the minimum.

Heat re-sign Waiters: four years, $52 million (Scotto)
Dion Waiters$12,093,023$12,697,674$13,302,326$13,906,977

Once Hayward chose Boston, it felt like a good sign for Waiters, who didn't appear to have much of a market outside of another one year deal to continue to build his value, because Miami was running out of targets to fill their need on the wings. Today Woj confirmed that he'd be returning, and it would appear that the one year "prove it" deal he signed for just the Room MLE last year worked out for both sides. Although the sample size was limited to 46 games due to injuries, his 3 point shot finally broke through to the tune of 39.5% after showing flashes of it previously, and he was vital to the team as a co-creator with Goran Dragic in the back court, resulting in a career high 4.3 assists per game. In fact, during their infamous 30-11 second half of the season, they were 21-4 with him in the lineup and just 9-7 with him hurt. With him only turning 26 in December, this should be a fair contract that gives a large total commitment to keep the annual salary a bit lower than expected. If he continues to compete on defense and hit anywhere close to 42.8% on catch and shoot 3's (per NBA.com's shot tracking) while limiting the ambitious pull-up attempts, this deal will be well worth it. This leaves the Heat with between $15.8 and $23.4 million in cap space depending on if they want to keep the cap holds of Willie Reed and Luke Babbitt or the $6.27 million owed to Wayne Ellington if he's not waived by the weekend. Besides signing another forward that can shoot like Gay, they still need to work on a deal for key sixth man James Johnson, who became a point forward and had defensive on/off splits of 102.3 points per 100 possession allowed when he played and 106.2 when he was out. Because he just joined them last year and only has Non-Bird rights, he'll require cap space to sign for more than $4.8 million, which he's sure to eclipse.

Thunder re-sign Roberson: 3 years, $30 million (Woj)
Andre Roberson$9,259,259$10,000,000$10,740,741

Roberson is a tough eval since he is clearly a gifted defender, but his offensive struggles clog up an offense even before teams intentionally foul him. His 3 for 21 free throw performance in the playoffs this spring was quite the sight to see, and given all of this, you know going into negotiations that it's a challenge to play him in crunch time. This seems like a decent compromise, although it's odd that he reportedly turned down a four year deal to apparently bet on himself when he's 28 three years from now. Pairing him with George on the wing is a strong start to a defense that has Adams on the back line, and if they slide Roberson up to a small ball four role, then his lack of shooting might not be as much of a concern with him acting as the roll man on screens. I'm not sure what other teams would give him this much in a cool restricted free agency market, but if OKC is fine with it, then they must be okay going $5.8 million into the Tax, resulting in a $8.8 million payment with two roster spots yet to be filled.

Clippers sign Teodosic: 2 years, $12.3 million (Woj)
Milos Teodosic$6,000,000$6,300,000

Finally! It feels like #NBATwitter has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Serbian sensation ever since he dazzled in the Olympics last year in follow up to helping CSKA Moscow win the EuroLeague championship. Teodosic was arguably the best player not playing in the NBA alongside his now former teammate that won EuroLeague MVP honors last year Nando de Cololo, whose rights are held by Toronto after his stint with them and San Antontio, and this year's MVP Sergio Llull, whose draft rights have been with Houston since 2009. Lowering his asking price from what was rumored to be around $9 million a year to the majority of the MLE makes sense given the heavy supply of point guards, but at least this way he can opt out next year to sign a bigger deal if he finds success as a 30 year old making his stateside debut. He is walking into a good situation for him to meet expectations as a rotation guard with Rivers, Williams, and Berverley, who was his teammate for a year in Greece. He might not be the quickest defender, but his 6'5" frame, creative passing, and 3-point range should pair well with the undersized Williams' scoring on the second unit. Like I mentioned with the Gallinari addition, hopefully they'll go small often and get out in transition to showcase his wizardry with the ball.
2:52 PM 7/11 UPDATE: Interestingly enough, LA is protecting themselves a bit by only having $2.1 million of the second year guaranteed even if Teodosic opts into the contract, per Pincus. In the event that he doesn't work out and both DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers opt out next year, then this partial guarantee could allow them to get to around $24 million in cap room.

Pistons sign Moreland: "multi-year deal" (Kyler)
Eric Moreland$1,739,333$1,826,300$1,913,267

Eric Moreland was rumored to Detroit by Steve Kyler a couple of days ago, but details have been fleeting even after the team officially announced it today. I would guess that it's for the minimum with a non-guaranteed second year based on their cap situation and his lack of opportunities last year, but I'll update this once news comes out for the energy big man.

8:16 AM 7/8 UPDATE: Looks like it is only guaranteed for $500K per Pincus, and based on it being three years starting at $1.7 million, I'm estimating that it's the remainder of the MLE after Galloway's deal.

Heat sign Olynyk: 4 years, $50+ million (Woj)
Kelly Olynyk$11,627,907$12,209,302$12,790,698$13,372,093

Now that's one out of left field. Olynyk is not who I imagined them targeting as another shooter since this means he will have to play the majority of his minutes next to Hassan Whiteside as a stretch four when I consider him most useful when he can split time as a center in a five out system. This deal could mean their pursuit of Gay has ended, Ellington's non-guaranteed $6.27 million will be waived, or both. As it stands, it only leaves room to offer James Johnson a starting salary of a little over $7 million as they negotiate the terms of his return, and that would be if they renounce the small cap holds for Reed and Babbitt.

Spurs sign Gay: 2 years, $17+ million (Woj)
Rudy Gay$8,406,000$8,826,300

Guess that answers the question I just asked above about Gay in Miami. I'm willing to bet it's the full MLE and my estimate reflects as much, which would likely mean San Antonio is staying over the cap. They had a lot of options given Gasol's opt out to get a long-term deal at a lower annual salary and Ginobli's pending retirement with his large cap hold. Gay will likely slot in as a small ball four who occasionally is the backup to Leonard, and that will give them a much different look than Kyle Anderson in that role, even if Gay is no longer the athlete he once was after his torn Achilles last season. This couldn't have been what he envisioned when opting out of over $14 million in Sacramento, but he will get a chance to contend for a championship in a winning culture now.

5:24 PM 7/6 UPDATE: Sure enough, right after I wrote that, Aldridge confirms that it is the MLE.

Kings sign Carter: 1 year, $8 million (Woj)
Vince Carter$8,000,000

These are suddenly coming in rapid-fire, so you have to wonder if the market was waiting on the domino to drop with Olynyk's big deal taking up a chunk of Miami's cap space since they had the most left among realistic playoff teams. This is a nice payday for Carter to come in and be another voice in the locker room like Hill and Randolph, and it's a stark difference from contending for a ring on the minimum with the Warriors like he was so often linked to doing. Joerger gets another one of his former Grizzlies like Z-Bo, and now he'll have to juggle minutes between developing the kids and trying to be competitive with his vets. I don't necessarily love it for either side, but it's reasonable with only a one year commitment.

Mavericks re-sign Nowitzki: 2 years, $10 million (MacMahon)
Dirk Nowitzki$5,000,000$5,000,000

And so continues Dallas and Dirk's little dance around the salary cap to manipulate cap space. To recap, he signed for just three years and $25 million in 2014 to help the team have space to sign Chandler Parsons' big deal, then opted out of the final year last summer to be "made whole" with a "two years, $50 million" contract, and now the team opted out of that to give him this deal instead. What a guy...the best player in franchise history helps the team generate at least nearly $12 million in cap room with this agreement. The previous deal was an even $25 million each year, but my current estimate is to provide slightly more space if necessary.

8:20 AM 7/8 UPDATE: I should have went with last year's precedent and had it $5 million flat after all.

Heat re-sign Johnson: 4 year deal (Woj)
James Johnson$13,953,488$14,651,163$15,348,837$16,046,512

Terms aren't available yet as Miami is still finalizing a trade with Dallas to open up the requisite room for him. The rumored salary dump of Josh McRoberts for A.J. Hammons' minimum salary at the cost of a future 2nd and cash would result in as much as $11.84 million. They could hold onto Babbitt's cap hold to re-sign him to whatever they want since they have his full Bird rights (as opposed to Reed's Non-Bird rights), and in that case, the nearly $10.4 million in space and four year framework would top out at $44,586,084. That's a big investment in a 30 year old who apparently has had issues staying in top shape before becoming a part of the Heat, but like I described in the Waiters section, he made a big impact as a sixth man on both ends. Having someone who can fly around on defense across multiple positions is valuable in itself, but he also averaged 4.3 assists during their 41 game run to bring his season average to 3.6. He's not exactly Draymond Green, but he would be hard to replace for them.

8:03 PM 7/6 UPDATE: Amick is reporting it as $60 million over four years with the last one being a player option, which is surprisingly high. That would require closer to $14 million in cap room, so they'd have to make other moves like cutting Ellington to pay up.

Knicks sign Hardaway to offer sheet: 4 years, $71 million (Woj/Begley)
Tim Hardaway Jr.$16,511,628$17,337,209$18,162,791$18,988,372

After a couple of years studying abroad at the Hawks University for Wings, the junior Hardaway is going back to New York a lot more expensive than when he left. That is some offer sheet that Steve Mills is handing out in the first big move of the post-Phil Jackson era, and I have a hard time seeing the rebuilding Hawks matching it. I was impressed by Hardaway's huge step forward this season with improved efficiency and passing, but I couldn't have imagined a team overpaying him like this in restricted free agency, especially with how the deals have been going so far. The good news is that he's only 25, he can bump up to small forward in a pinch, and the remaining $36.8 million on current shooting guard Courtney Lee's contract shouldn't be impossible to move. It's just a head-scratcher that they would tie up all of their cap space in this way, and now they'll only have the Room MLE to add an experienced point guard so split time with raw rookie Frank Ntilikina barring a trade.

7/8 UPDATE: As expected, the Hawks are declining their right to match this offer sheet per Woj, so Hardaway will be a Knick again. Marks clarified that the first year starts at a flat $16.5 million to total $70,950,000.

Tim Hardaway Jr.$16,500,000$17,325,000$18,150,000$18,975,000

7/7 UPDATE: Due to the sheer size of this page from the first week of action, I've created a second version of this post for any new moves going forward.

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