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NBA Winners and Losers: The Lakers impress with a surprising deal; Dwight Howard forged Twitter

The NBA free agent harvest in 2020 isn’t the most exciting we’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t mean off-season activity should be less wild. The free agency officially launched at 6pm ET on Friday and has already had some wild twists.

While the biggest names on the board – Anthony Davis, Brandon Ingram, Gordon Hayward, Fred VanVleet – have not yet announced their intentions, very intriguing and head-scratching decisions were made on Friday night. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers from the first day of the free agency.

The last Dwightmare aside, the Lakers came in as one of the biggest winners of the evening. They made a big fuss by agreeing to a two-year, $ 1

9 million deal with ruling Sixth Man of the Year Montresle Harel, who reportedly turned down more lucrative offers to join the champions.

Earlier, the Lakers made a cunning move by agreeing to sign veteran security guard Wesley Matthews for a one-year deal for $ 3.6 million. Matthews will replace Danny Green, whom the Lakers sent to Oklahoma City to trade with Dennis Schroeder. It looks like a great move for the Lakers, as Matthews had almost identical averages to Green last season and will make $ 12 million less this year.

Okay, so not all centers were winners on Friday night. Shortly after the opening of the free agency, Dwight Howard triumphantly announced that he would return to world champion Lakers, along with the lyrical phrase “Purple and gold never grow old.” But before Magic Johnson could even write about him, Howard quickly deleted him, followed by Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reported that Howard was “still considering all possibilities.” As you can imagine, NBA Twitter had a field day with Dwight’s indecision.

About an hour later, it was announced that Howard had agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers for $ 2.6 million, which is less than the minimum that the Lakers can offer him at $ 3.1 million. It turns out, according to a Yahoo Sports report, that Howard thought he had a deal with the Lakers that sparked a tweet only so the team could quickly inform Howard that no official offer had ever been made. You can’t invent these things, people.

Howard is one of the funniest and most polarizing players in the NBA in his entire career, so we needed to know that his free agency would have a flair for the dramatic.

Winner: Centers

Reports of the death of the NBA center are greatly exaggerated. At least financially. Two of the biggest deals negotiated since opening a free agency on Friday went to Myers Leonard (two years, $ 20 million from Miami Heath) and Mason Plumley (three years, $ 25 million from the Detroit Pistons), which we’ll talk about later). Later, San Antonio Spurs center Jacob Pollt agreed to a three-year deal worth $ 27 million, surpassing both. Although Poeltl’s deal was not unreasonable, Leonard started for the Heat during the regular season but fell completely out of the rotation during the final, while Plumlee averaged 17.3 minutes per game (10.8 in the playoffs) as a backup for Nikola Jokic with the Nuggets. , so it was a little surprising to see so much money being thrown in their way.

In addition to the two, centers Robin Lopez, Jalil Okafor, Drew Yubans and Derrick Favors also agreed to deals on Friday. They have set a pretty high salary limit, with centers like Serge Ibaka, Mark Gasol and Tristan Thompson still without deals. Indeed, the people on board receive money.

Lost: Los Angeles Clippers

Repelling a disgraceful loss to the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, the Clippers lost much of last year’s team when Harel agreed to sign with the Lakers. Now their options are limited when it comes to centers to join Ivica Zubac on the list. After Harel agreed to sign with the Lakers, the Clippers decided to give Marcus Morris a four-year contract worth $ 64 million. Morris is a good player, but he had the main lever, knowing that the Clippers do not have the flexibility of the cap to go out and sign another wing of his caliber. Steve Ballmer may not mind lowering the check, but by switching teams to the Harel Lakers, they took the lead in the battle for LA … for now.

photo of the head

Fox became the first player to receive a maximum contract for the season in 2020, agreeing to a five-year extension of $ 163 million with the Sacramento Kings. While fellow draftsmen in 2017 Jason Tatum and Donovan Mitchell are also expected to sign maximum extensions, there has been at least some debate around Fox, so good for him in payouts. Now he will try to lead the kings to the playoffs for the first time since 1947 2006

Loser: Detroit Pistons

Look, maybe the Pistons are playing chess and we’re all staying here trying to keep the sanctity of the back row while we play checkers, but what we did on Friday was … weird. They agreed to make deals with both Mason Plumi and Jalil Okafor, adding to their existing central harvest Dewey Dedmon, Tony Bradley and the recently produced Isaiah Stewart. Yes, these are five centers in a team (according to reports, they will give up and stretch Deadmon, but still). They then negotiated with Jeremy Grant for a three-year deal worth $ 60 million, promising to be a more offensive focal point, while instead they could keep Christian Wood, who agreed to sign with the Rockets for three years, $ 41 million. They also made a deal with Josh Jackson, which is not a terrible move for a recovering team, but still adds to the oddities.

Overall, it was a strange start to general manager Troy Weaver’s first off-season season with the team. We’ll have to wait and see if there’s a method for Detroit’s madness.


Clarkson’s re-signing seemed a priority for jazz, but it was still a little surprising to see him agree to a four-year, $ 52 million contract. He is one of the best players in the league, but perhaps the best bucket player in the league, Lou Williams, makes only $ 8 million a year. Clarkson will now make $ 13 million a year.

Lost: Denver Nuggets

When Jeremy Grant gave up his $ 9 million option for next season, we knew he would be paid – we just thought it would be from the Nuggets. Coming out of a bubble burst, Grant instead chose to sign a three-year, $ 60 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. To add insult to the injury, Grant said he had the same offer at the Denver table, but was lured by the bigger role in the Pistons attack. Grant rose to third star next to Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, so this is a gross loss for the Nuggets, although he provided JaMychal Green with a two-year deal worth $ 15 million to fill the gap in the front.

On the plus side, Denver fans can watch the Argentine human accent film Facundo Campazzo for the next two seasons.

Winner: 3-point specialists

It’s a great time to be a 3-point scorer in the NBA. Sharpshooters Danilo Gallinari (three years, $ 61.5 million), Joe Harris (four years, $ 75 million) and Davis Bertans (five years, $ 80 million) agreed to contracts totaling $ 216 million on Friday , with an average of $ 18 million annually. Gallinari actually went down in history with his contract – this is the most lucrative multi-year deal for a player over the age of 30 without the participation of All Star, according to Adrian Voynarovski of ESPN.

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