Al Horford to Boston, 4 years, $113 million (B+)
Most have lauded this deal, which is no surprise considering the Boston Celtics commonly play the role of media darling. Whilst it is certainly a nice catch for Boston, who have been desperate to improve down low for a long time, it should be noted that Al Horford is 30, and this deal will see him being paid over $30 million at the age of 33-34. I’m not definitively saying he will not be contributing at that age – his below the ring play style and skills are tailor made for lasting effect – but it is always wise to consider how a play may have declined through to the end of their contract. The Celtics certainly filled a need this offseason, and did it in a big way, but the back end ramifications of this deal may come with some question marks.
Jarret Jack to Atlanta, 1 year, $1 million (A+)
How the Atlanta Hawks pulled this deal off is a deadest mystery. How the rest of the NBA let them do it is an even bigger one. Before his injury last year, Jarrett Jack showed the league he had been aging like a fine wine, averaging career numbers in assists, rebounds and free throw shooting, and close to for points. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a terrible knee injury, which kept him to 32 games. Signing a player in their early 30s coming off a knee injury is always going to prove risky, but $1 million for a man who was having a career year before the injury is just ridiculous. Atlanta filled a need here with one of the better backup point guards in the league, and they did it for absolutely nothing.
Al Jefferson to Indiana, 3 years, $30 million (B+)
The Indiana Pacers did their absolute best to add depth to a team severely lacking in that last season. One of the ways they went about doing that was by signing Al Jefferson to a three year contract that will see the big man earn $10 million a year. This is pretty good value for a guy who has been a starting quality big man in the NBA for a long time, and will likely come straight into the starting lineup, if not Thaddeus Young. While he does not dramatically improve their post defence, which was an ongoing struggle last year, Indiana will likely be hoping that Myles Turner will be their dominant linchpin on both defence and offence down low after a solid rookie season.
Brandon Jennings to New York, 1 year, $5 million (B+)
After losing his starting spot last year at both the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic, Brandon Jennings has taken his talents to the New York Knicks for this year, on a one year, $5 million contract. After a fairly encouraging first few years in the league with Milwaukee and Detroit, the injury bug crept up and bit Jennings, and he has never really cemented his spot on a team since. A signing this inexpensive can hardly be criticised, and good for New York for giving Jennings another chance to show he can be a quality player in this league.
Joe Johnson to Utah, 2 years, $22 million (A)
Joe Johnson’s situation is not dissimilar from Brandon Jennings’, expect Johnson is now in the twilight of his career. After battling for a while on the Brooklyn Nets, the former all-star seems to now have found a revamped identity as a scorer off the bench, putting the ball in the hoop to the tune of .518/.417 last season. If Johnson can recapture this form with the Utah Jazz, they will drastically improve their pedestrian shooting numbers from last year, and presumably drastically improve their position in the Western Conference standings from last year’s 9th.
Courtney Lee to New York, 4 years, $48 million (B+)
Alongside Brandon Jennings, the Knicks added another value signing, picking up three and d man Courtney Lee for just $12 million a year for the next four seasons, breathing life into Phil Jackson’s slowing dying front office career. Considering New York were bottom 10 in the league in both shooting categories last year, this is a good addition, and it is encouraging seeing the Knicks fill gaps in their lineup as opposed to chasing high profile and reputable names.
Jeremy Lin to Brooklyn, 3 years, $38 million (C+)
Brooklyn has become the latest team to roll the dice on Jeremy Lin, to the tune of $12 million a year over three years. While some were impressed with Lin’s form last year off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets last year, statically, his performances were not that better or more economical. But for what it’s worth, Lin will get another shot at a full time starting job with the Nets, which will be a good chance to show whether or not he truly has what it takes. I wouldn’t be putting any money on it though.
Timofey Mozgov to LA Lakers, 4 years, $64 million (D)
Timofey Mozgov has always been a solid and serviceable NBA centre, but lord knows what from last year’s play made the LA Lakers think “we need this guy on our roster, and we need $64 million to get him”. After what was his best year in the NBA in 2015, he fell off a cliff last year, hitting his lowest totals since he was only seeing single figure minutes per game. Still, all indications are that Los Angeles wants this 30 year old to be their starting centre next year. Best of luck with that.
Joakim Noah to New York, 4 years, $72 million (D)
It has not been a pretty picture for Joakim Noah lately. After the best year of a glittering career in 2014, when he was an All-NBA First Teamer and Defensive Player of the Year. The year after he struggled, missing 15 games and seeing a dip in numbers across the board. Last year, he played in only 29 games, starting 2, and barely making a dent in his 22 minutes per game. Yet, something in all that mess convinced New York that at age 31, a $72 million contract was about what was required to bring him to the Big Apple. What a time to be an NBA player!
Zaza Pachulia to Golden State, 1 year, $2 million (A)
After the Kevin Durant decision, NBA veterans were lining up around the corner to join the Golden State Warriors, and Zaza Pachulia was lucky enough to be one of the select few. Coming off a fairly impressive campaign as starting centre for the Dallas Mavericks, Pachulia will now only play on a one year contract worth just $2 million for next year, which shows where Zaza’s heart truly lies. Fair play to him for that, and well done to Golden State on another great signing.