- The Clippers agreed re-signed Austin Rivers to a three-year, $35 million contract.
- The Clippers came to terms with Wesley Johnson for either the mid-level exception or the rest of their cap space, effectively losing the rest of their flexibility to sign outside free agents.
- The Clippers reportedly offered Jamal Crawford — the last free agent they could exceed the cap to sign with Bird Rights — a contract he deemed too cheap.
With the Clippers in a hole they dug themselves into, Crawford used his leverage.
Sam Amick of the USA Today:
The 36-year-old Crawford probably won’t play up to that salary. He can’t keep defying aging forever, right?
But this is still an OK signing at this point for the capped-out Clippers, because they had no way to get a better replacement. For a team trying to win now, better to overpay a greater talent than pay a lesser talent fair value. This is why losing Jeff Green to the Magic was so devastating.
The Clippers also avoid locker-room issues by paying Crawford this much — i.e., more than the president/coach’s son.
Unless they make a trade before executing these signings, the Clippers will be hard-capped. Johnson will trigger it with the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
That doesn’t make the road ahead any easier, but the Clippers set themselves up for a rough offseason. At least they’re retaining another talented piece.
The Bulls had been quiet since trading Derrick Rose, letting Joakim Noah (to the Knicks), E'Twaun Moore (to the Pelicans) and likely Pau Gasol (somewhere) walk.
Now, Chicago is making its splash.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Rondo makes the Bulls better. It’s better to have him in the rotation than rely on just an aging Jose Calderon and unproven Jerian Grant.
The price isn’t cheap, but there isn’t better free agent point guard on the market. Well below the salary floor, Chicago could take this swing with little downside.
Rondo looked good as a distributor with the Kings. But they just opted to pay Garrett Temple instead. That happened for a reason, and not just because they’re the Kings. Rondo gives minimal defensive effort, and he sometimes chases his own stats — particularly triple-doubles — rather than making the right play.
The biggest drawback is whatever portion of Rondo’s 2017-18 salary is guaranteed. Assuming it’s a relatively small amount, the Bulls should have monstrous cap space next summer.
Rondo just makes them a little better in the meantime — emphasis on little. This is a marriage of convenience, Chicago needing another point guard and Rondo (still) trying to rehab his image on a short-term deal.
The Kings’ incumbent point guards are an unrestricted free agent who left a less-than-great impression (Rajon Rondo), someone facing domestic-assault charges (Darren Collison) and a restricted free agent who could get a major backloaded offer due to the Arenas rule (Seth Curry).
Garrett Temple, at least, is none of those things.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Even in this market, that’s a ton of money for a 30-year-old who has never been more than an adequate backup. And a player option!
Barring a trade, the Kings will have to renounce Rondo to clear cap space for Arron Afflalo, Anthony Tolliver and Temple. Depending on the contract structures, Sacramento might still have room to bring back Curry.
It seems the Kings are ready to start Collison, and he’s capable — if available. His legal issues are troubling.
The Kings have so many centers — DeMarcus Cousins, Willie-Cauley Stein, Kosta Koufos, Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere — some of them will likely have to play power forward.
But when you play a center at power forward, you get… a center at power forward.
So, Sacramento is adding a different type of power forward: Anthony Tolliver.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
The Kings are paying for flexibility, a smart course. They’re not an attractive destination right now, so, rather than locking into the so-so players they can draw now, they’re giving themselves an out to upgrade if the team becomes more appealing next year. Sacramento also protects itself if Arron Afflalo and Tolliver live up to their contracts.
That’s the lesson learned from Rajon Rondo, who out-performed his one-year contract and now hold leverage in free agency.
Speaking of Rondo, Sacramento still needs a point guard and its cap space is dropping. Bringing back Rondo might not be ideal, but I’m not sure there’s a better option. Can the Kings really depend on Darren Collison given his legal issues?
Tolliver, a quality outside shooter, will give Dave Joerger more options. Despite his limited athleticism, Tolliver competes defensively, and he’s a good locker room presence. He’s the type of player the Kings need.
The Pistons will be fine without him. They just signed Jon Leuer as an upgrade.
The Heat have Hassan Whiteside committed to a max (or so) contract. They want to sign Kevin Durant. Oh, and they have to squeeze in an increasingly impatient Dwyane Wade.
So, the Nets are putting the screws to Miami with Tyler Johnson.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Miami Heat restricted free-agent guard Tyler Johnson has agreed to sign a four-year, $50 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told The Vertical.
In the next four years, because of the Arenas rule, Johnson will make:
- between $18,858,766 and $19,648,157
- between$18,842,583 and $19,631,975
If the Heat match, his cap hit will match his salary. If they don’t, his cap hit will be $12.5 million each season.
This is a big decision for Miami.
Johnson’s cap hold is just $1,180,431 right now. That’s low enough where the Heat could attend to their big-ticket shopping before he signs an offer sheet, which he can do Thursday.
But if Miami needs more time, that could be a problem. The Heat can’t directly sign Johnson to a contract this large. They can give it to Johnson only by matching an offer sheet. So, Johnson needs the Nets — and they won’t want to make this process easier on Miami. Brooklyn will probably demand he sign immediately.
The Heat meet with Durant today. That’ll give them more perspective on how to handle Johnson.