NBA Free Agency and Trade News

Jordan Stephenson

South Bureau Chief

NBA free agency started off with a huge bang, when the Knicks cleared about $19 million in cap space, by trading Nerlens Noel, Alec Burk, 2023 and 2024 2nd round pick, with $6 million to the Pistons. They obviously did this trade to eventually sign rumored —and coveted guard, Jalen Brunson. They got their free agency wish when Brunson signed a 4-year $104 million deal. 

Free agency just continued to get better, when an extremely gutsy trade took place. The Hawks traded Danilo Gallinari to the Spurs for 1st time all-star Dejounte Murray, a 2023 1st round pick, unprotected 2025 and 2027 1st round picks, and a 2026 pick swap. Gallinari was eventually waived as expected. Also, he signed with the ECF champions, the Celtics in free agency, on a 2-year $13.3 million deal. 

Way before free agency officially began, the Mavericks and Trailblazers made some impactful trades to get better. The Mavericks acquired Christian Wood from the Rockets for the 26th pick in the draft, Boban Marjanovic, Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke, also Sterling Brown. They also signed Javalee McGee to a 3-year $21 million deal. The Trailblazers acquired Jerami Grant from the Pistons for a protected 2025 1st round pick, and other draft assets.

A savvy decision that facilitated other deals, was when James Harden declined his $47.3 million player option, to help the 76ers get more significant pieces around Joel Embiid and Harden. The 76ers acquired De’Anthony Melton for significantly injured Danny Green and the 23rd pick in the draft. They were able to pry PJ Tucker from the Heat, by giving him a 3- year $33.2 million deal. Also, they signed Danuel House to a 2-year $8.5 million deal. Then Harden was able to sign a 2-year $68.6 million deal, with a player option in the 2nd year. These moves kind of made it like a Rockets reunion of sorts. 

Many all-star caliber players signed max contracts and extensions, to solidify them for the future, on their respective teams. Bradley Beal signed a 5-year $251 million max contract. Karl Anthony-Towns signed a 4-year $224 million supermax extension. Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, signed a 5-year $264 million extension. Ja Morant signed a 4-year $226 million designated rookie extension. Devin Booker signed a 4-year $224 million supermax extension. Zion Williamson signed a 5-year $193 max rookie extension., Zach Lavine agreed to a 5-year $215 million max contract. First time all-star, Darius Garland signed a 5-year $193 million max rookie extension. Lastly, Damian Lillard agreed to a 2-year $122 million extension. 

Two other win now trades that were made was the Celtics acquiring Malcom Brogdon for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, 2023 1st round pick, and other marginal players. The shocking trade was when Utah traded 3x DPOY Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Jared Vanderbilt; unprotected 1st round picks in 2023, 2025, as well as 2027, a 2029 top-5 protected pick, and other marginal players. This type of haul made the trade market for two other all-star players extremely steep. 

Since they traded Gobert, the Jazz are finally making Donovan Mitchell available for trades. The top teams interested are the Heat and Knicks. As of right now, no trade is imminent. The biggest news that basically broke the internet, was when WOJ reported that KD requested a trade. When I saw this breaking news notification, it was extremely shocking because there wasn’t any real indication of this. 

A couple days before, Kyrie Irving requested a trade, the Lakers were his only suitor, and then he opted into his $36.5 million option. It was then rumored that the Lakers would trade for Irving and KD, which would’ve been wild. The top teams interested in KD are the Heat and Celtics. Currently, there isn’t any trade imminent, NBA analysts are speculating that KD will begin the season with the Nets. KD will meet with Nets management extremely soon.

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