NBA Free Agency


Brandon Chan, Staff Writer

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced on Nov. 9 that they agreed on a Dec. 22 start date (Christmas week) for the 2020-2021 season. Because of these changes, this year, negotiations with free agents began at 6:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 20 and free agency signings began at 12:01 p.m. ET on Nov. 22. With so much uncertainty for each team in the league, it is essential that general managers find and recruit free agents who can fit well with the team and contribute instantly on and off the court. During this offseason, some teams have definitely improved while other teams have stayed complacent.

The reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, definitely improved this offseason. They signed last year’s Sixth Man of the Year Montrez Harrell (acquired from the rival Los Angeles Clippers), a great point guard Dennis Schroder to replace Rajon Rondo, shooting guard Wes Matthews, and former defensive player of the year Marc Gasol. The Lakers also re-signed LeBron James to a two year, $85 million extension and Anthony Davis to a five year, $190 million contract.

“I believe they did, they got better and are better than the team that actually won the title,” Shannon Sharpe said on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed. “They addressed a lot of the issues they had which was scoring.”

One fantastic re-signing that happened during this free agency was the four year, $75 million deal Fred VanVleet signed with the Toronto Raptors. He was an essential part of their 2019 championship team with Kawhi Leonard and is a stable point guard that they can trust to run their offense. Another good re-signing was Joe Harris’ four year, $75 million contract. He’s an elite shooter with a career three-point shooting percentage of 42.6%. Harris will be a great floor spacer for their superstars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

The trade between the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards shocked the NBA world. The Houston Rockets sent former MVP Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for point guard John Wall and a 2023 protected first round pick.

“Everyone now has to watch out for the Wizards!” Magic Johnson said via Twitter. “They traded for Russell Westbrook today. A Russell Westbrook/Bradley Beal will terrorize the East and make the Wizards a playoff team.”

Additionally, somehow, after this free agency concluded, the Oklahoma City Thunder now have 17 first round picks through 2026. That’s just insane.

“The Thunder are just going to own every draft pick eventually,” said USA Today’s Dan Wolken.

This NBA offseason was incredibly intriguing, and hopefully, the regular season will be just as interesting.


Graphic courtesy of THERINGER.COM