Hoop heads already know that once NBA free agency officially kicks off, their phones are at the mercy of an endless deluge of notifications from ESPN, Bleacher Report, or whoever else for the rest of the day. And with players officially able to agree to terms on new deals on Monday at 6 p.m. ET, here were some of the biggest deals that, for one reason or another, had the Internet buzzing.
A move to the Bulls isn’t exactly surprising considering the word around the water cooler was that they tried to get a deal done before last season’s trade deadline. I’m just more surprised that the Pelicans weren’t able to get a stronger return than Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and a second-round pick after agreeing to a sign and trade. Ball and Zach LaVine will form a compelling tandem in the backcourt. And with Orlando Magic refugee Nikola Vucevic in the middle, the Bulls are a solid wing away—whose name isn’t Lauri Markkanen—from making noise in the Eastern Conference.
Oh, boy. Much has been said about Jimmy Butler’s age (31), his inability to shoot, and the Heat’s perceived lack of tradable assets (which isn’t true) and ceiling. But none of the above stopped Miami Heat President Pat Riley from doing what he does best: backing up the Brinks truck to help the man who single-handedly resuscitated this franchise. Lowry provides an immediate upgrade at the point and gives the Heat arguably the most stout defense in the entire league. And yes, age will be a concern moving forward (the Raptors legend turned 35 in March), but $90 million is well worth the price of admission to return to title contention.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Robert Sarver, the Phoenix Suns’ universally reviled owner and arguably the cheapest man in the history of Western civilization, is finally cutting a goddamn check. It’s safe to assume that the Suns going to the Finals for the first time since In Living Color got canceled has plenty to do with that decision, but at least for the time being, Phoenix is finally—finally—doing things right.
The Point God declining his $44 million player option for the upcoming season to return isn’t surprising. What is, however, is the fact that Sarver agreed to a four-year deal (instead of an expected three-year pact) with a dude entering his 17th season in the league. At 36 years old, how long can CP3 keep this up? Especially since his body was clearly breaking down throughout the playoffs and it will cost a pretty penny in luxury tax to keep this squad together. I don’t have the answers, but at least they’ll be on Sarver’s tab—for once.