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NBA Free Agency Day Two Was A Historic Day

Aside from Paul George, there weren’t any big-name signings on Day One of NBA Free Agency (excluding rookie extensions). Day Two brought some more firepower, while many of them may not be superstars of this league, they should definitely impact winning. Not to mention, the biggest contract in NBA history was signed today, a record that will probably last all of one season. 

OKC Continues To Build

To kick things off, the New York Knicks finally ran out of players to sign, as Isaiah Hartenstein left New York to sign a massive $87 million dollar, 3-year deal with the Western Conference number one seed last year, the OKC Thunder. Hartenstein is an awesome player, and as a backup center to Chet will be an incredible rotation for OKC.

Isaiah Hartenstein

Is it an overpay? Yes. But the Thunder, despite being so good, don’t have a lot of money on the books, as their 2nd and 3rd best players are still on rookie contracts. It’s hilarious that Hartenstein is making more money than Knicks superstar Jalen Brunson, but it’s not at all a bad signing for OKC considering their financial luxuries.

Sam Presti also did an excellent job re-signing both Isaiah Joe (4 years/$48 million), and Aaron Wiggins (5 years/$47 million) to very team friendly deals for their production. This Thunder team is looking primed for another fantastic season, and with another years' experience under everyone’s belt, plus the additions of Hartenstein and Caruso, expect them to be even better in 2024/25. Have to wonder what it means for Jaylin Williams though, maybe some spot PF minutes but it seems highly likely his playing time takes a dip.

The End Of An Era

Easily the most talked about deal of the day, was the sign and trade between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks, sending Klay Thompson to the Mavericks for two future second-round picks. A report has come out that the Warriors offered Thompson a 2-year/$48-million-dollar deal but was declined and is now joining last season’s runners up on a 3-year/$50 million contract.

Klay Thompson

Klay will slot into that Small Forward spot left by Derrick Jones Jr, unless Kidd decides to run him as the 6th man and have Naji Marshall start. They lose Josh Green to Charlotte in this trade, which is unfortunate, the 23-year-old was a nice piece for the Mavs, but someone had to be a casualty. If you’re Luka Doncic, there’s not many people than Klay to be kicking the ball out to, so I’m sure that going to be an excellent fit on both sides.

While I like the deal for the Mavs, it’s clear perimeter defense will likely be an issue for them next season if Doncic, Irving and Thompson start together. As for the Warriors, they had absolutely no leverage, as Klay was going to leave regardless, so they should be happy with at least getting a couple of SRPs out of it, but they are having a rough start to the off-season.

The Biggest Contract In NBA History

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum, fresh off an NBA Championship, re-signs with the Boston Celtics for a staggering $314 million dollars over 5 years, the highest amount in NBA history. Derrick White also signed a new deal with the team, for $125.9 million over 4 years. The Celtics starting lineup alone makes well over a combined $900 MILLION dollars over the remainder of their contracts.

Best Of The Rest Switching Teams

Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris is a Detroit Piston again, which is just such a Pistons move. While he does fill a

position of need, it’s just unrealistic to suggest they’ll be competitive next season with their current roster. Clearly Harris chose the option where he’d get the most money, which you can’t at all blame him for, $54 million over two years is not something you just pass up on.

If Detroit are bad again halfway through next season, don’t be surprised to hear Tobi’s name in trade talks, because he’ll probably have a great season in Detroit and maybe a contender takes a stab at him if they can manage to match contracts.

De’Anthony Melton signed with the Warriors, a really quality player who many thought was worth much more than his new contract suggests, perhaps the injury concerns are worse than anticipated.

Unfortunately for him, it’s hard to see Golden State competing for a top seed this year unless they manage to pull off some wizardry in the next couple of weeks. That offense/defense backcourt duo of Curry and Melton however, will be very good without a doubt.

Other significant signings made today:

Gary Harris - Orlando Magic (2 years / $14 million)

Goga Bitadze - Orlando Magic (3 years / $25 million)

Aaron Holiday - Houston Rockets (2 years / $9.57 million)

Nicolas Batum - LA Clippers (2 years / 9.6 million)

Delon Wright - Milwaukee Bucks (1 year / $3 million)

Drew Eubanks - Utah Jazz (2 years / $10 million)

Jalen Smith - Chicago Bulls (3 years / $27 million)

The Magic did well today, especially in bringing back two-way guard Gary Harris for just $7 million dollars annually. He'll settle into a bench role most likely now, with KCP on the team.

Through the rest of these signings, the most intriguing look to be Delon Wright to Milwaukee, and Jalen Smith to Chicago. Smith will finally provide actual stretchability as a big man for the Bulls, something Nikola Vucevic was brought in to do, but he has struggled from downtown in his time in Chicago. As for Wright, he will bring some real perimeter defense that the Bucks desperately needed last season and may even start at SG alongside Damian Lillard in the backcourt.

Day Two is done, but the consensus is that all the major moves this off-season have not been done just yet.


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