Philadelphia has been looking for a wing player to add to the roster this summer. They were swinging for the fences, but Paul George stayed in Oklahoma City, LeBron James went to Los Angeles, and the Spurs are slow playing the Kawhi Leonard trades waiting for a better offer.
So the Sixers went another direction and traded for Wilson Chandler from Denver. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.
For Denver, this was all about the money. They now can go ahead with the four-year, $54 million Will Barton extension and pay less of a price.
For the Sixers, they use up most of their cap space and get a workmanlike player who can fill a role. Chandler averaged more than 30 minutes a game last season, scored 10 points a night, and shot 35.8 percent from three. At age 31 his efficiency has started to dip, his defense isn’t what it once was (injuries played a role in that), but he’s a solid role player who can help them out on the court.
Plus, as Philly keeps looking for a home run, Chandler can be part of a trade for Leonard or another star.
This is not the move the Sixers fan base wants, it’s not exciting and challenging, but it’s not a disaster. It’s just solid.
The Mavericks pulled their qualifying offer for Doug McDermott, but he will be just fine.
Reported Pacers target Will Barton is re-signing with the Nuggets, and Indiana will be…
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Like many contracts agreed to this early in free agency, this seems like an overpay. McDermott is a good shooter, but limited otherwise – especially defensively.
At least McDermott will help on the court. He’ll share minutes at small forward with Bojan Bogdanovic. At 26, McDermott shouldn’t slip during this contract.
The questionable part is the value. Could Indiana have spent this money better elsewhere or at least paid McDermott less and saved some for another player?
To be fair, we all criticized the Pacers last offseason, and they proved us wrong. Kevin Pritchard has earned the benefit of the doubt on this signing.
Will Barton had a strong season in Denver — he finished fourth in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, averaged 15.7 points per game while shooting 37 percent from three and playing quality defense.
Which is why Indiana and a few other teams that needed wing help had targeted Barton heading into free agency, but when the calendar flips to July 1 in a few hours expect the Nuggets to hold on to Barton, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Expect this to be one of the early deals to fall in free agency.
What is Indiana going to do instead? As Wojnarowski reported, the buzz around the league is they have their eye on Doug McDermott.
Don’t sleep on the Pacers this free agency, they have money, and while not targeting the top-tier of free agents, they want to upgrade and have the room to spend this summer.
This was a runaway.
There were other good sixth men this past season — Eric Gordon, Fred Van Vleet, Will Barton — but Lou Williams was in a class of his own. With Chris Paul gone and Blake Griffin traded mid-season, more and more responsibility fell on Williams, and he lived up to it, averaging 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game, at times carrying the Los Angeles offense.
Monday night in Los Angeles, Williams was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year for the second time in his career.
Williams is one of those forgotten second-round picks that turns out to be a special player in the league for a long time. At age 31 and after 13 NBA seasons, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Williams ran away with the voting, having 97 first-place votes out of the 101 cast by select media members. In second was Eric Gordon (3 first place votes) followed in order by Fred Van Vleet (1), Will Barton, and Wayne Ellington.
The Nuggets are building around Nikola Jokic.
But a second-round pick turning into a franchise player so quickly creates complications. Denver is resolving one by declining Jokic’s team option, which will send him into restricted free agency (as opposed to unrestricted free agency next year) and paying him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
This ought to please Jokic. He would have earned just $1,600,520 next season if Denver exercised his team option.
Jokic is one of the best-passing full-time centers ever. He also shoots and rebounds well, though he must improve his defense to become worthy of this contract. At just 23, he’s worth betting on.
That said, I’m surprised the Nuggets didn’t get him on a slight discount. Though they clearly didn’t want to risk him testing unrestricted free agency next year, they gave him a MASSIVE raise (about $24 million) next season when they didn’t have to.
Jokic’s exact max salary won’t be determined until the salary cap and luxury-tax line are set this month. But this clearly puts Denver in cost-cutting mode now.
As constructed, the Nuggets are in line for about $24 million in luxury-tax payments. That’s without considering Will Barton, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent. Expect Denver to look to unload Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, Wilson Chandler and/or Mason Plumlee.
Jokic was always going to be in Denver next season. The Nuggets have now secured him far longer. It will cost them next year – an important season to them – but they also clearly value a future with Jokic.