The NBA Free Agency signing period began on July 1st, and teams have already been busy locking up star players to long-term contracts. The addition of free agents has been the most important and quickest way for a team to change their fortunes in past years. Below are the five biggest free agent signing so far this offseason.
LeBron James-Los Angeles Lakers
The big question heading into this summer, was where would LeBron James take his talents? We have our answer, after LeBron James agreed to a 4 year, 154 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. This will be the first time in “King James’” career that he will play in the Western Conference. The addition of LeBron makes the Lakers an instant playoff team, but they still need to add some pieces to contend for an NBA Championship. LeBron has taken a team to the NBA Finals in 8 straight seasons, but he will have to navigate through a tough Western Conference if he is going to make in 9 straight. Look for the Lakers to stay busy in the offseason to try and add other superstars to team with LeBron.
Paul George-Oklahoma City Thunder
Experts believed that Paul George would be headed to the Lakers this offseason, but he surprised everyone by staying in Oklahoma City. George and the Thunder agreed to a 4 year, 137 million dollar max deal, keeping the All-Star paired with Russell Westbrook. The Thunder struggled in the first year with George, but they believe they can compete for an NBA Championship in the near future. Oklahoma City will need to add a few more pieces to surround Westbrook and George, but keeping George in the fold was a huge boost to OKC’s chances.
Chris Paul-Houston Rockets
Keeping Chris Paul in Houston was the Rockets number one priority this offseason, but they may have overpaid for his services. Paul signed a four year, 160 million dollar deal, and keeps the Rockets in the conversation as the best team in the NBA. The Rockets suffered a tough playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors, losing both games 6 and 7. Chris Paul missed those final two games of the series, and the Rockets feel that with their point guard they can beat the defending champions. The big question mark is the health of Paul. Paul has missed at least 20 games in each of the last two seasons.
Aaron Gordon-Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic haven’t been relevant in a very long time, but they took a step in the right direction by resigning forward, Aaron Gordon. Gordon and the Magic agreed to a four year, 84 million dollar contract that keeps the best player in Orlando. The 22 year old Gordon is already the face of the Magic franchise and gives the struggling franchise hope for the future. The Eastern Conference suddenly looks wide open and if the Magic can make a few more moves, suddenly factor into the playoff mix.
DeAndre Jordan – Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, has been trying to land DeAndre Jordan for a few years, and he was finally able to sign him. Jordan and the Mavericks have a verbal agreement on a deal. Dallas just drafted European star, Luka Doncic, and the addition of Jordan gives thes Mavericks a dynamic player on both sides of the ball. The Mavericks have taken a few steps backwards in recent years, but they appear ready to jump right back into the playoff mix in a tough Western Conference. Cuban still needs to bring in a few more pieces, but the addition of Jordan speeds up the rebuilding process.
The first week of July is here and those are the top NBA Free Agent signings to this point.