The 2018 NBA Free Agent bonanza is well under way.
NBA Free Agency capped off with several key players still mulling over their options, but several amongst 2018 class chose to get it over with once the floodgates opened. In some cases, like in the case of Kevin Durant & the Warriors, the question was never with whom he would sign, but how much term would be associated with the contract. In Durant's case, he signed a two-year deal, the second of which being a player option giving him self determination should he want a change of scenery.
Other NBA stars that re-upped with their current teams were: Paul George on a 4-year max contract paying him $137 million, putting the Lakers' rumors to rest. Also re-upping was Chris Paul for 4 years/$160 million and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Fred Van Vleet taking a bridge deal for 2 years/$18 million. The Raptors ran the risk of losing Van Vleet, a player that really came to his own as the core distributor on the league's best 2nd unit. The short term deal buys the Raptors a little to decide where they want to go at the point guard position. There is talk of splitting up the Raptors core of Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry.
Back on the West Coast, DeAndre Jordan opted out of his player option with the Los Angeles Clippers to max out with the Dallas Mavericks. Back in 2015, Mark Cuban famously courted DeAndre Jordan on his private jet, only to have the star center renege on his word after a Chris Paul-led intervention won him back temporarily. The Los Angeles Clippers team of the past decade is barely recognizable in its current form.
The Best of the Rest category remains stocked with value signings. The Phoenix Suns used their cap space to sign Trevor Ariza. He will no longer figure in the Rockets' plans to dethrone the Golden State Warriors. Elsewhere, Derrick Rose re-signed with Minnesota, where he proved invaluable in the playoffs. Italian maestro Marco Belinelli returns to San Antonio, filling a need for bench scoring on the depleted roster.
The biggest questions left unanswered are of Demarcus Cousins, Clint Capela and of course LeBron James, decisions likely tied up by a potential Kawhi Leonard sign-and-trade. Keep it locked for Day Two.