Warriors’ DiVincenzo among top free agent deals: NBA Execs
LAS VEGAS — The bulk of the NBA’s top free agents have found their new teams or, as in many cases, are reconnecting with their old teams. Some contracts weren’t that hard to get, like the Knicks giving Jalen Brunson $104 million over four seasons.
But others have proven to be real bargains, with teams taking advantage of a lack of cap space in the market to sign player deals at discounted rates. What were the best contracts there? Well, we asked some NBA executives what they think and ranked what came out as the top 10 value contract teams this summer. (So far, at least.)
The top 3 as seen by NBA executives
- Donte DiVincenzo, Warriors. Two years, $9.3 million.
Eastern Conference GM: “Great pickup for them and a great price. I thought it would bypass the mid-level exception, but they got it for half. It’s strange that the Kings seemed to want him for the past two years and then let him walk so easily once he was a free agent. But it’s a really good choice for them because Donte didn’t have a good year last year, but he’s a really good catch-and-shooter from the 3-point line and can make other things for you with his defense and rebounding.
- Bruce Brown, Nuggets. Two years, $13.3 million.
Western Conference exec: “There were a lot of teams interested and maybe he could have made more money, but he’s found a place where he can win and play – they’re committing to a best defense on the wings with him and KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) For me that was the best deal of the summer.
- Otto Porter Jr., Raptors. Two years, $12.4 million.
Eastern Conference executive: “It’s funny how much salary changes the way guys are perceived. He had the giant Wizards contract but struggled to stay healthy and that became his whole identity. Then he’s the same player, but he’s going to help the Warriors win it all with minimum price and now he’s a bargain favorite. I think in a normal market he gets a full mid tier and I think that’s why he put in a player option for that second year. It was a bear market. If he repeats what he did with the Warriors, he’ll get a big raise next summer when there’s more money. Just a smart, tough veteran. I think the Warriors will miss him even more than Gary Payton.
- TJ Warren, nets. One year, $2.6 million.
Eastern Conference GM: “Potential theft for them. No matter what, they won’t regret signing him, you can take him off the bench and he’ll score for you no matter who else is in the team. The foot injury was tough and that’s the most important thing, that you get him back on the floor and he stays there. But if he’s still not healthy, they signed him as a vet (minimum contract for veterans), so it only costs you $1.8 million, not the $2.6 million. No risk there.
- John Wall, Mowers. Two years, $13.3 million.
Western Conference executive: “If he’s close to healthy, he opens up so many things for them. They can do trades, they can deal with other things that come up on the list. They can become a really good drive-and-kick offense if he can get his speed back.
- Malik Monk, Kings. Two years, $19 million.
Western Conference executive: “There was no money for him, which is too bad for him because he deserved more than he got. He can be an explosive goalscorer, he is established as a 3-point shooter at around 40%. The defense is not great, but he was better last year and he will get better. If he was a bit more of a combo guard, maybe he would have had more on the market. But it wasn’t a good year to be a free agent, so he winds up with this sweet, team-friendly deal.
seven. Kyle Anderson, Timberwolves. Two years, $18 million.
Western Conference executive: “Obviously they’ve done a lot more than that, but this move fits the bill perfectly. He doesn’t need to score but he knows how to handle the ball and he’s an excellent defender. That has to be the next step for this team is defense, and he can have almost as big of an impact on that as (Rudy Gobert).
Big men at low prices
8. Thomas Bryant, Lakers. One year, $2.1 million.
Eastern Conference GM: “I like this as a low-risk, high-reward game. Before he got injured, he was becoming a pretty useful guy in the middle, he could stretch the floor, he could block a few shots and rebound. He’s not a monster athlete or anything, but he’s made the most of what he’s got. I think he’s one of those guys who comes back from that (ACL surgery) and takes maybe a year or 18 months to come back to 100%. Great save and can be a decent starter next to AD (Anthony Davis) if healthy. He’s going to beat that contract no matter what.
9. Isaiah Hartenstein, Knicks. Two years, $16 million.
Eastern Conference executive: “They went from being really uncertain in the middle to having maybe the best one-two combination at the position. I thought there were other teams that could give him more money, could get to the middle level after the way he played last year, when it looked like he could go to Europe before than the Clippers give him that last spot on the roster. He knew how to seize his chance. He’s a solid defensive player, but he’s proven to be a better offensive center than we knew he was. But it’s a very good contract for the Knicks, they are now loaded in the center.
ten. Danilo Gallinari, Celtics. Two years, $13.2 million.
Eastern Conference GM: “They got him for the middle tier of ratepayers and he has a player option, so he’s going to be looking for a bigger payout next summer. But the team just got to the final and if he can step in and knock down some big shots for them, be consistent with his 3-pointer, he’s going to show his worth. I have to show that he can also stay healthy, that’s another thing. He is a shooter though and that got lost in the Atlanta shuffle. But with his size and shooting ability, he could have gotten double what the Celtics will pay him next year.
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