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Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press
Tap pause on your post-NBA draft takes. Free agency is waving now and it promises to be wild.
If the start of the association’s transaction period is an indication, the free agency will actually be wilder than wild. Cap space is in short supply, but teams are already flexing their trading muscles, and a bit of unexpected scenarios continue to bubble to the surface.
Keeping up with the hectic chain of events yet to come can be overwhelming. Do not sweat it. We̵
So tighten up and find your favorite source of caffeine. Free agency is here and a tumult of surprises, small and seismic, come with it.
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Ashley Landis / Associated Press
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Mason Plumlee is signing a $ 25 million three-year deal with Detroit. We are still awaiting notification as to whether the Stamps made this move intentionally.
Look, Plumlee is a great man of high quality. He hits the glass on both sides of the floor, can finish strongly on rolls to the basket and remains an underrated passer-by. But the stamps have Blake Griffin, just traded for Dewayne Dedmon and retains the ability to sign Christian Wood, a combo big that is waaay better than Plumlee.
Adding another center is not absurd. Nor should it cost more than $ 8 million a year on average. And if it does, he needs to be more matchup-proof on defense. (To be clear: Well, Plumlee knows how to get his money.) It would be different if the stamps look at him as their starting center. That in itself is problematic if they do.
A 30-year-old Plumlee does not fit the tenor of a rebuilding group with veteran greats already in place, and this signature will look much worse if it in any way contributes to Christian Wood landing somewhere else. The latter scenario is still unknown, but even if you remove it from the equation, Detroit’s thinking here does not make sense unless it participates in some sort of sign-a-Plumlee-or-Zeller bingo tournament on the site.
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Morry Gash / Associated Press
Wesley Matthews is on his way to the Lakers on a $ 3.6 million deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. This is a huge win for a team that just traded Danny Green (and a first player) to get Dennis Schroder.
Starting caliber wings that knock down three and assume that some of the harder perimeter covers typically do not run semi-annual exception money. The value here is outside the charts. Matthews inexplicably wants freelance at halftime far more than Green, but he reinforced his defensive value while matching Jimmy Butler as a member of the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs.
Although the landing of Matthews certainly makes the Schroder deal easier to celebrate – people continue to underestimate the importance of a three-and-D wing like green remnants, wild shots and everything else – the Lakers still need a different plug type on the perimeter at this writing.
They currently anticipate having Matthews, a likely re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James as their primary wing defenders. It’s a little too sparse, though Avery Bradley holds on.
Grade: A +
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Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
Meyers Leonard will stick with the Heat on a two-year $ 20 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Last season will be a team opportunity, according to Associate Press’ Tim Reynolds.
Treating this as a one-year deal certainly improves the optics, but a level of WTF networking still remains. Leonard hit more than 41 percent of his treys while starting in all but two of his 51 appearances in the regular season, but he barely played under Miami’s push for the finals.
Changing circumstances dictated some of his absence. He suffered a sprained left ankle in early February, and when he returned when the NBA began its restart of Disney World, the Heat had traded for Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala, preferring to play several one-blg lineups.
Bringing Leonard back could signal that Miami has no plans to stick with that model all year. And again: the team has not put any of its consumer power in 2021 at risk with this deal.
It is nonetheless bizarre to spend so much on someone who does not project to have a consistent role and at least is likely to become less of a factor in the post season. This is set to change if the Heat move Kelly Olynyk and do not sign Crowder or Derrick Jones Jr., but for now it is mostly curious.
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Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
Goran Dragic does not match your league sources. He announced his return to Heat on Twitter.
Miami signs him a two-year $ 37.4 million deal with a second-team team opportunity, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. This move, right down to the contract structure, felt inevitable, but it does not make it less of a gain.
Dragic excelled in the regular season, turning it a notch during the playoffs with an average of 19.1 points while dropping 50.9 percent of his two-pointers. Paying him involves some risk of going into his age-34 campaign given his injury history and that he’s coming out of a left plantar fascia problem, but Heat left the final needing another shot creator, even when he recognizes Dragic’s probable return. Keeping him around was a must without a viable contingency.
That this is a plus-one with a team opportunity makes it a no-brainer from Miami’s perspective. It retains the chance to maximize 2021 cap flexibility, but could also bring Dragic back if Giannis Antetokounmpo and other potential free agents appear to be out of bounds.
Grade: A +