Free agency is off and running in the NBA and, predictably, chaos reigned in the opening hours. While there are many more dominos to fall, including some of a high-profile nature, it is time to weigh in on the teams that had good outcomes and bad outcomes on day one of the frenzy.
Here we go.
A lot of things happened on Sunday but the biggest domino, by far, happened in Brooklyn. The Nets picked up Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a matter of minutes (or at least it was reported in minutes) and, quite obviously, that is a coup for the franchise. It is worth a reminder that Durant probably isn’t going to be a big factor for the 2019-20 season, but Brooklyn also added on the edges with Garrett Temple and DeAndre Jordan, fortifying its roster considerably.
Having Irving as the centerpiece of the team comes with some downside, as residents of Boston could testify, but the Nets had a fantastic start to free agency and stole the show in stunning fashion.
The Jazz threw a pre-draft haymaker with the addition of Mike Conley and, while that doesn’t necessarily contribute to their “winner” status for free agency, it definitely helped the team’s standing. Utah’s big swing was the acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic, who checks a ton of boxes as a two-way player with the ability to space the floor. They dealt away Favors, but added Ed Davis on a really good value deal at two years, $10 million, as he’ll bolster their frontcourt depth, which is very important given Gobert’s injury issues in the past.
Just imagine a lineup of Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert. That’ll work.
Out of the gate, the Kings probably overpaid to retain Harrison Barnes and that has to be acknowledged. However, the hate often goes too far on Barnes, who is a very useful two-way player, and Sacramento was always likely to retain him given the presence of a highly lucrative player options. On top of that, there’s always a bit of a tax paid by less desirable free agency destinations to get talent. From there, though, Sacramento did very, very well.