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- Falcons shouldn’t feel like underdogs as long as they have their defence
- The Toronto Raptors are starting to experience the downfall of not having Bismack Biyombo
- Nikola Jokic is slowly working his way towards greatness with the Nuggets
Reactions and analysis to players signed on Day 2 of NBA free agency
- Updated: July 3, 2016
Day 2 of NBA free agency was not a disappointment, with 15 players signing with teams looking to utilize their talents.
Money was flying everywhere, something we can expect the entire duration of free agency- all thanks to the NBA’s new TV deal.
— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) July 2, 2016
Some of the deals may sound crazy, while others may change the entire dynamic of their teams. Let’s take a look at which ones fit those categories:
After getting waived by the Brooklyn Nets last season, Joe Johnson pulled himself a good second half of the season to sign a 2-year/$22 million deal with the Utah Jazz.
Johnson joins one of the youngest teams in the league, one that is in need for a veteran scorer off the bench. If Johnson is able to pull off the numbers he did in Miami, 13.4 points on 51.8 FG% and 41.7 3P%, he’ll give the Jazz an extra offensive punch next to Gordon Hayward.
With his ability to post-up, the Jazz can expect the 7-time All-Star to provide instant offence, but to also give up some of their high-tier defence.
Even though Bismack Biyombo was a crowd favourite in Toronto, general manager Masai Ujiri had to let him go to the Orlando Magic for a 4-year/$70 million deal.
Biyombo will leave Toronto with the franchise record for most rebounds in a game (26), which he set against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With the Magic already having centre Nikola Vucevic under contract, it’s still unsure if Biyombo will become a starter or remain on the bench like he did for the Raptors.
Whichever role he plays, the combination of him and Serge Ibaka will be a scary sight for any player that tries driving to the hoop against the Magic.
After entertaining multiple offers from teams looking for a stretch-4, Ryan Anderson has decided to join the Houston Rockets on a 4-year/$80 million deal.
This move gives the Rockets a scorer next to their young and promising big man Clint Capela, but Anderson’s health is always a problem. In Anderson’s 8-year career, averaging 13.1 points on 37.7 3P%, he’s only been able to play over 70 games once.
Defence is also a problem for Anderson, but with Mike D’Antoni as the coach you shouldn’t expect it to be Houston’s biggest concern. Instead, Anderson will be able to hang around the 3-point line, waiting for James Harden to (hopefully) dish him the ball.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in need of some serious veteran leadership, and that’s what they got with Luol Deng after signing him to a 4-year/$72 million deal.
The former 2-time All-Star will be able to make sure no cells phone are misused off the court, while providing versatility on it. Last year with the Heat, Deng showed his ability to play the power forward position- something that the Lakers can use for small ball by moving Julius Randle to the centre position.
Deng is also as hardworking as they get, and will be able to help Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Larry Nance Jr. figure out their roles as scorers in this league.
Aaron Afflalo proved himself as a scorer once again in New York, helping him land a 2-year/$25 million deal with the Sacramento Kings- but with only $1.5 million guaranteed in the second year.
At the moment, DeMarcus Cousins is the only proven option on the Kings roster, meaning Afflalo should expect a lot of shots to come his way. A career 45.2 FG% and 38.5 3P%, Afflalo is a consistent scorer no matter the situation, which is exactly what the Kings need at this point.
With his ability to post up smaller guards, the Kings will be able to sit back and watch him go to work. With his situation, no one should be surprised if we see the 30-year-old average over 15 points again- something he hasn’t done since his time in Orlando during the 2013-14 season.
Al Horford has decided to leave the team that drafted him in 2007, to sign a 4-year/$113 million dollar contract with the Boston Celtics.
In his time with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford proved to be one of the most consistent big men in the league- averaging 14.3 points on 53.5 FG% and 8.9 rebounds for his career. Even though he has 4 All-Star appearances under his belt, Horford is known to be a team player. It’s what helped him win 2 national championships in his time with the Florida Gators.
Horford isn’t the missing superstar piece that can get the Celtics back to the promised land, but he will help them attract more free agents in the future- one of them possibly being Kevin Durant.
Originally undrafted, Kent Bazemore has earned himself a 4-year/$70 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Bazemore had himself a solid season in Atlanta averaging 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Because of it, he received bigger contract offers from the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, but decided to stay put in Atlanta.
With Horford and Jeff Teague gone, he and Dennis Schröder will be expected to take on a bigger role as the Hawks’ future backcourt.
Marvin Williams has decided to stay with the Charlotte Hornets on a 4-year/$54.5 million deal.
Williams was offered more money from teams like the Brooklyn Nets, but has decided to stay in Charlotte after they had their most successful season in the past 15 years. A former second overall pick in the 2005 Draft, Williams also had his best season this year- averaging 11.7 points and career highs in rebounds (6.4), blocks (1) and 3-point percentage (40.2).
With his 6-foot-9 frame, Williams is able to play both small forward and power forward for the Hornets. Now that he and Batum are both signed, they’ll be able to continue fighting their way up to the top of the East.
The Hornets weren’t able to hang on to all their free agents, leading to Courtney Lee finding himself a nice 4-year/$48 million contract with the New York Knicks.
The Knicks have formed themselves a solid starting lineup, with Lee filling into the shooting guard position. A career 38.4 3P% shooter, Lee will be able to spread the floor for teammates Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah; who was a big reason for his arrival in the Big Apple.
Lee also has 50 playoff games under his belt, making him a perfect fit a team dying to get back there for the first time since 2013.
The Washington Wizards were able to strengthen their frontline by signing Ian Mahinmi to a 4-year/$64 million deal.
Mahinmi is a solid centre, proving in his 8 year career that he’s able to do what is asked of him. Last season, he started for the Indiana Pacers averaging averaging 9.3 points on 58.9 FG%, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.6 minutes a game. Mahinmi was also part of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks squad that won the NBA Championship.
With Marcin Gortat still in Washington, Mahinmi will be looked at to contribute more on the defensive end than his new teammate.
Anthony Tolliver is a journeyman, and his next stop will be with the Sacramento Kings on a 2-year/$16 million deal- with only $2 million guaranteed in the second year.
In his 8 year NBA career, Tolliver has already suited up for 8 different teams- averaging 6 points on 40.9 FG% and 35.7 3P% for his career. At 6-foot-8, Tolliver is able to stretch the floor as both a small forward and power forward.
With Omri Cassipi and Rudy Gay already giving the Kings what Tolliver is capable of, it’s hard to imagine he’ll get that many minutes in Sacramento.
With Austin Rivers signing a 3-year/$35 million deal with his Dad, it must mean that there isn’t a chance Durant will be coming to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rivers had his best year last season, averaging career highs in points (8.9) and FG% (43.8), while playing backup to Chris Paul. When Paul went out during the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Rivers earned respect around the league for continuing to play with a messed up face.
Without any other off-season moves so far for the Clippers, except for Wesley Johnson for a pack of peanuts, Rivers should expect the same amount of minutes in his fifth year in the league.
The former seventh overall pick in the 2008 Draft, Eric Gordon has agreed to a 4-year/$53 million contract to play for the Houston Rockets.
Gordon averages 16.6 points on 38.3 3P% for his career, but his health is the biggest problem. In his 8 year career, Gordon has only been to play over 70 games in his rookie year.
If Gordon is able to stay healthy he’ll be a nice backup for James Harden in coach D’Antoni’s system, because of his ability to run the floor and generate quick offence.
After two seasons with the Utah Jazz, Trevor Booker will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets under a 2-year/$18 million contract.
Now part of a team that’s rebuilding, Booker will be given more playing time than the 20.3 minutes he’s averaged so far in his career. Last season, the 28-year-old power forward averaged 10.2 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes, making him an interesting experiment if he were to start.
The past two seasons Booker has also experimented with the 3-point shot, making Brooklyn a perfect place for him to try to expand his game.
After playing a season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Wesley Johnson has agreed to return on a 3-year/$18 million contract.
Compared to the other contracts we’ve seen NBA players receive the past couple days, this one has to stand out. Johnson averaged 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Clippers last season, playing behind Paul Pierce and free agent, Luc Mbah a Moute.
This deal may have come in the belief that Durant was reaching Los Angeles, but after the Clippers signed Austin Rivers to just over $11 million a year; it’s safe to think that pipeline dream is over.
The Detroit Pistons have decided to straighten their frontline by adding Jon Leuer on a 4-year/$42 million contract.
Originally drafted in the second round of the 2011 Draft, Leuer had the best year of his career last season with the Phoenix Suns- where he averaged career highs in points (8.5), rebounds (5.6) and minutes (18.7).
Leuer is a player made for Stan Van Gundy’s coaching system, with his ability to stretch the floor and shoot the 3-ball at 37.5% for his career.
You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97
Find out which free agents were signed on Day 1 here: