NBA free agency began Friday night with many top players agreeing to new deals in the first weekend. Those deals can become official July 6. Between Friday and July 6, all deals can be agreed upon but are not binding agreements between team and player. They become official once the deal is signed July 6 or later. The new collective bargaining agreement took effect Saturday.
There are still a few dominoes that teams around the league are waiting on, including James Harden and what happens with Damian Lillard’s trade request. Harden opted into the final season of his deal in order to facilitate a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. Lillard requested a trade from the only franchise he has known on Saturday with his preferred destination being the Miami Heat.
Miles Bridges expected to sign qualifying offer with Hornets amid ban for domestic violence arrest
Restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges is expected to sign a $7.9 million qualifying offer to remain with the Charlotte Hornets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The two sides remain far apart on a long-term extension, per the report. The move would keep Bridges in Charlotte for the upcoming season and allow him to enter next offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Bridges will start the season serving the final 10 games of a 30-game NBA suspension after he was arrested on domestic violence charges last offseason. Bridges initially pleaded not guilty to multiple charges at his arraignment and later pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic violence toward a spouse or other cohabitant in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Read more on Bridges’ qualifying offer.
Jordan Clarkson agrees to remain with Jazz on 3-year, $55 million extension
Jordan Clarkson has agreed to a three-year, $55 million contract extension to remain with the Utah Jazz, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, ensuring that the second-leading scorer from a surprising attack that ranked 10th last season in offensive efficiency will be staying put in Salt Lake City for a while.
The re-up comes after Clarkson chose earlier this week to pick up his $14.3 million player option for next season, providing a foundation of which to build a longer-term extension to continue a partnership that’s proven fruitful for both player and team since Clarkson landed in Utah midway through the 2019-20 season. Over the ensuing campaigns, Clarkson has established himself as a favorite — including, evidently, of new Jazz owner Ryan Smith, who once reportedly kiboshed discussions of a deal that would’ve landed the former Laker back in L.A. — with his flair-filled, instant-offense game. Read more on Clarkson’s extension.
Eric Gordon reportedly agrees to sign with Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns picked up a key rotational piece for their backcourt after they reportedly agreed to a deal with guard Eric Gordon, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Terms of the deal were not immediately reported, though Gordon likely signed at the veteran minimum given the Suns’ payroll situation.
Gordon, 34, was reportedly a sought-after acquisition this offseason, per Charania, and turned down more lucrative offers to sign with the Suns. He reportedly considered the Golden State Warriors as well as the Houston Rockets, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. Gordon was traded from the Rockets to the Clippers midway through this past season. Read more on Gordon’s deal.
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Russell Westbrook returns to Clippers on 2-year, $8M deal
Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Clippers are running it back.
After finding a surprising amount of success as a post-NBA trade deadline signing, Westbrook has agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal to stay with the Clippers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal comes after the end of a supermax contract that saw Westbrook’s value steadily descend until it was considered one of the worst values in the NBA. It began with the Oklahoma City Thunder, then saw him move to the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards and, finally, the Los Angeles Lakers. Read more on Westbrook’s deal.
Rockets reportedly land Dillon Brooks on 4-year, $80M sign-and-trade
Following an unceremonious exit from the Memphis Grizzlies, forward Dillon Brooks has found a new home. Brooks and the Houston Rockets reportedly agreed to a 4-year, $80 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal will reportedly be a sign-and-trade that gives the Grizzlies a significant trade exception to use for the future.
Brooks, 27, had a relatively successful six-season stint in Memphis, which he capped off with a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive second team last season. He averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists this past season during the Grizzlies’ rise to the second seed in the Western Conference. Brooks has averaged 14.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists since 2017. Read more on Brooks’ deal.
Kings C Domantas Sabonis reportedly agrees to 5-year, $217M extension
The Sacramento Kings apparently enjoyed Domantas Sabonis’ first full season with the team, and vice versa.
The All-Star center has agreed to a five-year, $217 million contract extension with $195 million in new money, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski. Sabonis was previously under contract for one more season with the Kings on a $19.4 million salary and $22 million cap hit, but will now be under contract through 2028. Read more on Sabonis’ extension.
After one season with the Golden State Warriors, Donte DiVincenzo is headed East.
DiVincenzo agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the New York Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. DiVincenzo joined the Warriors on a two-year, $9 million deal last offseason and hit free agency again by declining his player option for next season.
The former Villanova star turned out to be a solid rotation player for the then-defending champs, ranking sixth on the team in total minutes and shooting a career-high 39.7% from deep. Now, he will reunited with his former college teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart in New York.
Damian Lillard asks for trade out of Portland
The face of the Portland Trail Blazers is ready to leave the only NBA team he’s ever played for. Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill reported Saturday that Damian Lillard has formally (and some would say finally) requested a trade out of Portland, presumably to play for a team that has a much greater chance of winning a championship sometime in the next five years.
Goodwill reported the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are the only teams on Lillard’s list of preferred destinations.
Lillard, 32, has been with the Blazers since 2012 when they chose him as the sixth overall pick in the draft. He is a big reason they went to the playoffs every year from 2014-21. Questions about his desire to stay in Portland have come up frequently since the Blazers’ first-round playoff exit in 2020, but he continued to be incredibly loyal, even as the team tanked for a better draft position, fired general manager Neil Olshey and traded his on-court collaborator C.J. McCollum. But now, it finally seems like Lillard is ready to go. Read more about Lillard’s trade request here.
LaMelo Ball agrees to 5-year max extension with Hornets
LaMelo Ball will continue his career as the face of the Charlotte Hornets.
In a landmark deal for the franchise, the Hornets and Ball agreed to a five-year max rookie extension worth up to $260 million, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The deal is the first of its kind for the Hornets since Michael Jordan bought the franchise in 2010. No other player drafted during the Jordan era signed a max extension to his rookie contract.
The deal also represents a commitment to building around Ball from a new team ownership group led by former minority owner Gabe Plotkin and ex-Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall. Jordan announced the pending sale of his majority stake June 16, but will retain a minority share of the team. Read more on Ball’s extension.
D’Angelo Russell, Lakers agree to 2-year, $37M deal
D’Angelo Russell’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers last season ended on a sour note. He just made sure there will be more to the story. The 27-year-old point guard agreed to a two-year, $37 million deal to remain with the Lakers after hitting unrestricted free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers acquired Russell earlier this year at the trade deadline as the largest piece in their return from the three-team trade that got Russell Westbrook off the books. That trade reunited Russell with his original team, as the Lakers selected him second overall in the 2015 NBA Draft and traded him two years later, partially due to his infamous Snapchat incident with Nick Young. Read more about Russell’s deal.
Brook Lopez agrees to return to Bucks on 2-year, $48M deal
Coming off his best season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Brook Lopez has a lucrative new deal. The veteran center agreed to a two-year, $48 million deal to return to the Bucks, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Lopez, 35, is coming off his first selection to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team and finished second in voting to Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. for Defensive Player of the Year. He posted his highest scoring average in five years with the Bucks while tallying 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game and shooting 53.1% from the field and 37.4% from 3-point distance on 4.7 attempts per game. Read more on Lopez’s deal.
Thomas Bryant, Heat agree to 2-year, $5.4 million deal
Thomas Bryant, who spent the latter part of the 2022-23 season with the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, agreed to a two-year, $5.4 million deal with the Miami Heat, who the Nuggets beat in the Finals, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He will reportedly have a player option on the second year.
Bryant was on the court for just 29 seconds during the Nuggets’ championship run. He was traded to the Nuggets at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a four-team trade.
Thomas averaged 9.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 18 minutes last season, his sixth in the league.
Max Strus, Cavaliers agree on 4-year sign-and-trade deal
After a very busy postseason for the Miami Heat, guard Max Strus is headed to Cleveland on a three-team sign-and-trade deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In the reported deal, the Cavs will get Strus, the Heat will get a second-round pick, and the San Antonio Spurs will get Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens and a second-round pick. The Spurs are also reportedly taking on salary from the Cavs.
Strus averaged 11.5 points and 3.2 rebounds this past season, both career highs. His presence was vital during the playoffs when he stepped in for the injured Tyler Herro, and started all 23 playoff games for the Heat. This is the first major deal for the 27-year-old, who went undrafted out of DePaul in 2019. Read more about Strus’ deal.
Nets, Dennis Smith Jr. agree to one-year contract
The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly landed their first free agent target in Dennis Smith Jr. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Smith and the Nets have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal, likely at the veteran minimum. Smith spent just one year with the Charlotte Hornets, but it was an important one. He resurrected his career with the Hornets, turning into a bright spot for a team that definitely needed one.
The Nets are in desperate need of guys after losing Seth Curry and Yuta Watanabe to free agency, as well as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant earlier in the year. Smith can help fill in some of the gaps the Nets are sure to have, especially considering that Ben Simmons’ health is still a major question.
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers reach agreement on max extension
Third-year guard Tyrese Haliburton reached an agreement with the Indiana Pacers on a maximum rookie-scale contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Haliburton, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is due $5.8 million this coming season in the final year of his rookie contract. His extension is worth more than $200 million over five years, beginning in the 2024-25 campaign. The deal could increase to $260 million if Haliburton makes the 2024 All-NBA roster.
The 23-year-old averaged 20.7 points (49/40/87 shooting splits), 10.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 33.4 minutes per game over 56 appearances for the Pacers this past season, earning his first selection to the All-Star Game. Haliburton finished second to one-time NBA MVP James Harden in assists per game. Read more on Haliburton’s extension.
All-Star guard Fred VanVleet joins Houston Rockets on $130M deal
One-time NBA All-Star and 2019 champion Fred VanVleet has agreed to a three-year, $130 million contract with the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 29-year-old averaged 19.3 points (39/34/90 shooting splits), 7.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 36.7 minutes over 69 games for the Raptors last season. VanVleet declined a $22.8 million option to play in Toronto next season, instead entering unrestricted free agency for a second time in his seven-year career.
One of the most accomplished undrafted players in league history, VanVleet graduated from Wichita State in 2016 and received an invite to training camp in Toronto, where he earned a roster spot and split his time with the franchise’s G League affiliate. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound guard played 25 minutes off the bench on the Raptors’ run to their only championship in 2019, scoring 22 points in the title-clinching Game 6 victory. Read more on VanVleet’s deal.
Kevin Love agrees to return to Heat
Longtime NBA big man Kevin Love will play a 16th season in the league. Love agreed to two-year deal to remain with the Heat, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer. Love will rejoin he Heat via the NBA’s non-Bird exception and has a player option on the second year of the deal.
Love, 34, will continue to pursue another NBA championship after falling short with the Miami Heat last season. After joining the Heat in February, Love averaged 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21 regular season games with the team. He put up similar numbers during the team’s run to the NBA Finals. Read more on Love’s deal.
Lakers signing Gabe Vincent to $33M detail, retain Rui Hachimura
Gabe Vincent now has a life-changing contract after a breakout postseason with the Miami Heat.
The free-agent guard is joining the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-year, $33 million contract, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports. Vincent’s prior career earnings totaled $3.5 million over three-plus seasons with the Heat.
Vincent’s is one of a number of deals secured in free agency by the Lakers, who agreed to re-sign forward Rui Hachimura and added former Portland Trail Blazers forward Cam Reddish on Friday, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. They also agreed to a deal with former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Read more on the Lakers’ moves.
Kyrie Irving agrees to re-sign with Dallas Mavericks
Eight-time NBA All-Star point guard and one-time champion Kyrie Irving will return to the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year, $126 million contract, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The Mavericks traded Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round draft pick and two second-round picks for Irving this past February, following the 31-year-old’s most recent trade request.
Irving averaged 27 points (51/39/95 shooting splits), six assists and five rebounds over 20 games in Dallas, despite suffering from plantar fasciitis in his right foot at the end of last season. In their 27 games following Irving’s debut, the Mavericks finished 9-18, falling from sixth place in the Western Conference to 11th and out of the playoff picture for the first time since superstar teammate Luka Dončić’s rookie season in 2019. Read more on Irving’s deal.
Cam Johnson agrees to $108M deal to stay with Nets
Cam Johnson has hit the jackpot.
The restricted free agent forward agreed to a four-year, $108 million deal to remain with the Brooklyn Nets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Johnson will sign the contract following a midseason trade from the Phoenix Suns, who drafted him in 2019.
A 3-and-D specialist, Johnson previously made $18.6 million over four years on his rookie contract. With the Nets and Suns last season, Johnson averaged 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 47% from the field and 40.4% from 3-point distance on 5.2 attempts per game. Read more on Johnson’s deal.
Khris Middleton staying with Bucks on $102M deal
Three-time NBA All-Star and 2021 champion Khris Middleton has agreed to return to the Milwaukee Bucks on a three-year, $102 million deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Middleton averaged 15.1 points (44/32/90 shooting splits), 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds in just 24.3 minutes over 33 games for the Bucks this past season. He missed the first 20 games of the year to offseason surgery on his left wrist and another 18 games over the winter with a sore right knee, which required arthroscopic surgery after Milwaukee’s disappointing first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat.
A sprained left MCL also cost Middleton the final 10 games of the 2022 playoffs, when the defending champion Bucks lost a seven-game series to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Read more on Middleton’s deal.
Jakob Poeltl returning to Raptors on $80M deal
Jakob Poeltl has agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract to return to the Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, taking one of the best available big men off the market early in the NBA’s 2023 free agency period.
The 27-year-old Poeltl averaged 12.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game across 72 appearances last season for both the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he began the season, and the Toronto Raptors, who brought Poeltl into the fold at February’s trade deadline. Read more on Poeltl’s deal.
Kristaps Porzingis gets $60 million extension from Boston Celtics
One-time NBA All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis has agreed to a two-year, $60 million contract extension with the Boston Celtics, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.
The Celtics traded Marcus Smart and salary in a three-team deal that returned Porzingis from the Washington Wizards and multiple-first round picks from the Memphis Grizzlies prior to the NBA Draft.
Porzingis is due $36 million from the Celtics this coming season, and the extension will keep him under contract through the 2025-26 campaign. Much of Boston’s rotation is signed for at least the next two seasons, save for extension-eligible All-NBA forward Jaylen Brown and restricted free agent Grant Williams.
Jerami Grant reportedly agrees $160M deal to return to Trail Blazers
Forward Jerami Grant has agreed to a five-year, $160 million contract to return to the Portland Trail Blazers, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
Grant, 29, spent the past season with the Portland after being traded from the Detroit Pistons this past offseason. He had a solid 2022-23 season, averaging 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Trail Blazers. Read more on Grant’s extension.
Bruce Brown, fresh off an NBA title with Nuggets, reportedly agrees to $45M deal with Pacers
Bruce Brown, a key contributor in the Denver Nuggets’ 2023 championship team, reportedly agreed to a two-year, $45 million deal with the Indiana Pacers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The deal comes after Brown declined his $6.8 million player option earlier this month. Brown enjoyed a breakout season in Denver after he originally signed a two-year, $13.3 million contract with the Nuggets this past offseason. He averaged a career-high 11.5 points per game in 28.5 minutes per game last season. Brown also added 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game this season. Read more on Brown’s deal.
Draymond Green will re-sign with Golden State Warriors
Four-time NBA champion and 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green has agreed to return to the Golden State Warriors on a four-year, $100 million contract, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports. Green will have a player option on the fourth year.
The 33-year-old veteran averaged 8.5 points (53/31/71 shooting splits), 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31.5 minutes over 73 games for the Warriors this past season, earning his eighth spot on an All-Defensive roster. Read more on Green’s extension.
Kyle Kuzma returning to Wizards on $102M deal
Kyle Kuzma is returning to the Washington Wizards, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Kuzma, after declining a player option with the Washington Wizards and entering free agency, agreed to rejoin the team on a four-year, $102 million deal, his agent told Wojnarowski.
Though the Wizards struggled and missed the playoffs both seasons that Kuzma was there, he is coming off the best season in his career. Kuzma averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game, shot nearly 45% from the field and added 7.2 rebounds and a career-best 3.7 assists per game. Read more on Kuzma’s extension.
Nets deal Joe Harris to Pistons to free up cap space
The Brooklyn Nets are trying to get some payroll flexibility before NBA free agency officially opens. The team took a big step toward that Friday, dealing Joe Harris to the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets are also sending two second-round picks to Detroit in the deal. Harris has $19.9 million left on his contract, which expires after the 2023-24 NBA season. The move gives the Nets more cap space, allowing the team to potentially add multiple impact players in the offseason.
James Harden reportedly picks up player option in order to facilitate trade from Sixers
One-time NBA MVP James Harden has picked up $35.6 million player option with the 76ers in anticipation of working with the team on a trade out of Philadelphia, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Harden, who turns 34 years old in August, averaged 21 points, a league-high 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Sixers this past season, making his 10th straight All-Star appearance. A strained tendon in his right foot and a sore left Achilles’ tendon cost him 24 games during the regular season and a possible All-NBA appearance — a growing trend in his career. Soft-tissue injuries also sidelined Harden in his two previous seasons, and he has not made an All-NBA roster since he was on the Houston Rockets in 2020. Read more on Harden’s options.