Free agency in the NBA is a time for fans to dream – their team could sign almost anyone! Well, if they have the available cap space, strong pitch to the prospective player about the club’s vision for winning a title, and legions of fans ready to rally at airports to welcome them to their city. With the rise of player-controlled media communication from social networks, like Instagram and Twitter, NBA free agency has morphed into a media circus.
We went ahead and looked at the teams who’ve re-signed their star players, those who will be suiting up in different colors next season, and those who still have an uncertain future about where or if they’ll be playing in the NBA on Friday, October 20, 2017.
Veterans With New Beginnings
With four free agent signings already complete, the Houston Rockets are looking to give MVP finalist James “The Beard” Harden complementary players to push for postseason glory. While Tarik Black and P.J. Tucker are nice pickups, their largest acquisition came in springing Chris Paul out of Los Angeles in a blockbuster trade. Seven players, over $600,000 in cash, and a top-three protected first-round pick in the 2018 NBA draft was the hefty price the Rockets were willing to part with to bring CP3 to the Lone Star State.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of six teams who have signed three free agents as of this writing. They’ve acquired Raymond Felton, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Patrick Patterson in the hopes of keeping the NBA’s MVP Russell Westbrook feeling supported. He’ll at least be receiving a cinephile in Patterson, whose Twitter account is devoted to sharing his opinions on film and television he’s consumed.
Finished Castlevania.. Wish there were more episodes. Looking forward to Season 2. #CastlevaniaNetflix
— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) July 20, 2017
Gordon Hayward had many teams and their fans – the Celtics, the Heat, and the Jazz – wondering where he’d land. He ended up choosing the Boston Celtics for a chance to chase an NBA championship with his former college coach Brad Stevens. He did, however, thank Utah and all of the Jazz supporters in a letter in The Players’ Tribune.
They Can’t Leave Home
“Don’t break up a good thing” may be the Golden State Warriors new team motto – they’ve re-signed six players during the free agency period, including issuing the first supermax contract in league history to Steph “Chef” Curry. Even after being bested by Curry and the Warriors in the postseason, the king himself, LeBron James, had to tip his hat to his rival. This is on top of Kevin Durant taking less money to stay with the Warriors for another two years!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 1, 2017
The Miami Heat have also been busy working to retain talent. Udonis Haslem, James Johnson, Josh McRoberts, and Dion Waiters are all staying in the sunshine and waiting for some much-needed additions to their roster. So far they’ve only been able to add Kelly Olynyk to their roster. Pat Riley seemed rather happy they were able to keep Haslem in the red and white as he heads into his 15th season in Miami.
Still Searching for Their Spot
While the biggest players available in free agency have already found new homes or stayed put, there are still a few interesting options out there for teams still looking. Sports Illustrated said the best remaining individual player is restricted free agent Nerlens Noel, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks. But with the Mavs making cap room available to pay him a larger deal and ward off suitors, it may be difficult for Noel to find his way to a different team before the start of the next season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers put themselves in the most precarious positions, as each team has six free agents yet to re-sign to new contracts. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers landed right behind the Cavs and Pacers, each with five free agents still unsigned for the 2017–18 NBA season. Perhaps they’re still questioning how much to pay these players, or are pondering if better options remain on the market for various off-the-bench positions.
Your favorite team may be celebrating a big signing like Gordon Hayward or rejoicing that the franchise kept the team together like Golden State, but you can still be cheering on your team in the best officially licensed NBA merchandise and apparel, available right now on Fanatics.com.