Grading Klay Thompson's Mavericks move and other Day 2 NBA free-agency deals


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After the drama of Paul George leaving for the Philadelphia 76ers, we had more wheeling and dealing around the NBA on Day 2 of free agency. Klay Thompson moved on and found his new team. Isaiah Hartenstein agreed to an amount of money that would make anybody’s jaw drop. And the LA Clippers kept plugging away at role players to fill the void of George. Were you wondering if Tobias Harris got another big deal? He kind of did!

We’ve got the big moves, the expected re-signs, head-scratchers, signings of great value, things we’re on the fence about and a lot more below from Day 2. In case you missed it, here were the Day 1 grades.

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Big moves from Day 2

Klay Thompson agrees to three-year, $50 million deal with Mavericks

This deal will be a sign-and-trade between Golden State and Dallas that will net a couple of second-round picks for the Warriors. No, this is not the same Thompson who was inexplicably left off the NBA Top 75 list. This also is not the same Thompson who was so dominant as a star role player for the Warriors on their four championship squads. He’s not the guy you expect to hit 44 percent of his 3-pointers every year and lock down an opposing scorer, but Thompson is still a feared shooter. His down year was attempting nine 3-pointers per game and making 38-39 percent of them. Those would be career numbers for most shooters. Adding this level of shooting and poise in the postseason could be massive for a Mavericks team that just made the NBA Finals. We just aren’t sure how the 34-year-old Thompson’s body is going to hold up.

Grade: B+

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Kawakami: The perfect and poetic timing of Klay Thompson’s 13 seasons of splash

Isaiah Hartenstein agrees to three-year, $87 million deal with Thunder

This is a big amount of money to a big man for the Thunder. Hartenstein is an excellent rebounder, someone who can finish in the paint and a guy who makes quick decisions with the ball in dribble-handoff or short-roll situations. He’s a good defender, too, so the Thunder don’t lose out on anything on that end. Considering he’s starting out around $30 million this coming season, it’s probably too much money for a role player like him. But the Thunder have flexibility, and there weren’t any other options for them to grab a quality big man. By the end of the deal, it won’t be so bad, and the Thunder will be in position to extend their current young stars.

Grade: B+

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

With Isaiah Hartenstein leaving for Thunder, what are Knicks’ other options?

Tyrese Maxey agrees to re-sign with Sixers on five-year, $205 million deal

This was a no-brainer. One of the reasons the Sixers didn’t do the typical max extension off the rookie deal was because waiting for Maxey in restricted free agency allowed them to maximize their cap space. This allowed them to agree to a deal for George and give their attack a three-headed monster along with Joel Embiid. There was no real danger of losing Maxey because the Sixers could match any offer sheet he signed with another team. And they weren’t worried about him signing the one-year qualifying offer and then bolting next summer. Maxey’s ascension has been great for the Sixers, and it will only get better.

Grade: A

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Amick: With Paul George deal, Sixers swing for fences — a move they had to make


Expected re-sign agreements

Isaiah Joe agrees to re-sign with Thunder on four-year, $48 million deal

The Thunder declined a small team option on Joe to pay him more now, and it’s a very good move for both sides. Joe is one of the best shooters on a team full of great shooters, and he’s part of the reason this team was the best at making 3-pointers this past season. When the outside shooting cooled off against Dallas in the playoffs, it wasn’t his fault. Joe, however, is more than a shooter. He can defend within the team concept, and a role player like him eventually makes more than roughly the midlevel exception. It’s a great signing to take care of someone like this on a very manageable contract.

Grade: A-

Aaron Wiggins agrees to re-sign with Thunder on five-year, $47 million deal

The Thunder did the same thing with Wiggins as they did with Joe. Wiggins isn’t the shooter Joe is, and this may seem like a big commitment to a guy playing roughly 15-17 minutes per game. However, this Thunder rotation is very deep, not to mention that Wiggins gets security here, and this could be a very easy contract to move down the road. He’s not quite the caliber of player that Caleb Martin became in Miami, but I think we could see a similar impact at times if he’s moved to a team that needs to play him more than the current Thunder.

Grade: B

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Aaron Wiggins celebrates after knocking down a 3-point basket against the Pelicans. (Alonzo Adams / USA Today)

On-the-fence deals

Jalen Smith agrees to three-year, $27 million deal with the Bulls

If the Bulls are getting the Smith who shot nearly 60 percent from the field and over 42 percent from 3-point range, then this is an easy contract to justify. We saw a dramatic improvement in Smith this past season compared to his prior years in the NBA. I worry a little bit this improvement came from the empowerment of the Indiana Pacers system and playing with Tyrese Haliburton. The Bulls have very much not been that way with their approach. It won’t be a bad deal regardless, but if Smith reverts to being a decent shot maker, then it doesn’t matter nearly as much. If he shoots close to how he did last season, then this is a major victory.

Grade: C+


Great values

De’Anthony Melton agrees to one-year, $12.8 million deal with Warriors

It’s not Klay Thompson, but Melton does help the Warriors recover a little bit from his loss. He’ll never be feared as a shooter the way Thompson was, but Melton can defend 94 feet. Having guys like him, Draymond Green and Brandin Podziemski on the court at the same time could be a big boost to Golden State’s perimeter defense. Melton needs to stay healthy, but this could be a great addition, though it would’ve been a better one when Thompson was still there.

Grade: B+

Goga Bitadze agrees to re-sign with the Magic on three-year, $25 million deal

I love this deal. Bitadze looked like he might be heading out of the league a couple years ago as he struggled to find a foothold with Indiana. He filled in brilliantly this past season with Orlando, and now he comes back to the Magic as a backup center on a very team-friendly contract. As long as he plays the way he did this past season, he’s going to outperform this deal. He was great when Wendell Carter Jr. was injured, and he paired nicely with the rest of Orlando’s young frontcourt. Great value by Orlando.

Grade: A-

Gary Harris agrees to two-year, $14 million deal with Magic

As long as Harris stays relatively healthy, this is a great deal too. Harris can stretch the floor, and he’s a very good defender. Once Kentavious Caldwell-Pope agreed to head to Orlando, I wondered if we might see a reunion with Harris in Denver. But he’s sticking around on a very team-friendly deal. The Magic need wing depth and 3-and-D options. Most of last year, they were just defensive guys. Harris has to be available consistently though.

Grade: B+

Kris Dunn agrees to one-year deal with Clippers

Assuming Russell Westbrook will be traded, this is a very necessary signing for the Clippers. Dunn has rejuvenated his career and had a great run with a bad Utah Jazz team. He can defend, and he can run an offense to get guys involved. If he knocks down some jumpers, he’s a very good backup point guard option. You can even play him alongside James Harden if needed.

Grade: B

Drew Eubanks agrees to two-year, $10 million deal with Jazz

I really like this value for the Jazz. Eubanks did a solid job in Phoenix when called upon. I’m assuming the plan for the Jazz is Walker Kessler as the full-time starting center next to Lauri Markkanen, with Eubanks and John Collins coming off the bench in very different roles. With Kelly Olynyk gone, they needed another big man to do the dirty work out there. Eubanks is more than competent enough to exceed this deal.

Grade: B+

Delon Wright agrees to one-year, $3.3 million deal with Bucks

Last year, the Bucks had Cameron Payne and then Patrick Beverley essentially as the backup guard behind Damian Lillard. Wright is more talented and a smarter overall player than both of those guys. That’s more a commentary on Wright than it is on Payne or Beverley. I’m very high on him as a veteran presence off the bench. If he can play for the Bucks like he did for the Wizards a couple years ago, this will look like a brilliant signing.

Grade: B+

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

What the ‘King of Deflections’ Delon Wright brings to the Bucks defense

Nicolas Batum agrees to two-year, $10 million deal with Clippers

Another nice pivot by the Clippers to fill in the void left by George. Batum has a good history with the Clippers, and they know exactly what he can do. Between him, Derrick Jones Jr., Norman Powell, Terance Mann and Harden, they should be able to make up for a lot of the production lost by George’s departure. Batum is old (35), but they just need a good 12-15 minutes a game from him.

Grade: B+


Head-scratchers

Tobias Harris agrees to two-year, $52 million deal with Pistons

I have a theory that there’s no such thing as a bad two-year contract in the NBA. In the first year, you see if the player fits and whether it works under your design. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, the player becomes an expiring contract in the next year. This signing is testing that theory quite a bit. While Harris probably got too much criticism in Philadelphia because of the money he made, I’m not sure how much of a fit it is to bring him back to Detroit, where he played 157 games from 2015-2018. Harris will need to raise the floor of what the Pistons have been and can be, and that takes a certain level of leadership and veteran perspective. It also requires him to mentor guys like Cade Cunningham to teach them the proper ways to do stuff. Is Harris up for those tasks, or is he just there to remind people he can score?

Grade: C

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Tobias Harris is headed back to Detroit. (Kyle Ross / USA Today)

Quick-hitters

Aaron Holiday agrees to re-sign with Rockets on two-year, $10 million deal

This is the same money Batum gets with the Clippers or Andre Drummond gets with the Sixers. Holiday probably won’t factor too much into their rotation if everybody is healthy, but I like him as a backup guard.

Yay or nay? 👍

Luka Garza agrees to re-sign with Wolves on two-year deal

Remember Sunday when we talked about Luke Kornet returning to the Celtics on a small deal? This is the Wolves’ version of this. He’s a favorite in Minneapolis who will see very little time on the court.

Yay or nay?  🤝

Mo Bamba agrees to one-year deal with Clippers

The idea of Bamba has always been enticing, but the reality of him has been very underwhelming. He’s not a bad option to replace Mason Plumlee, but this only works if Bamba really steps forward or they keep Daniel Theis.

Yay or nay?  🤝

Justin Minaya agrees to re-sign with Blazers on two-way deal

It’s hard to be harsh regarding a two-way deal, but in 38 NBA games, Minaya is shooting 29.9 percent from the field. Portland will bring him back, and we’ll see what kind of development gets done to improve his shot.

Yay or nay?  🤝

Collin Gillespie agrees to two-way deal with Suns

Finally, the Suns bring in some championship experience. The former Denver Nuggets reserve will try to develop in the G League and carve out a full-time contract in Phoenix.

Yay or nay?  🤝

Garrett Temple agrees to re-sign with Raptors on one-year deal

He’s one of the consummate professionals in this league and a fantastic locker-room guy for the Raptors as they retool this roster.

Yay or nay? 👍


Names to keep an eye on

Big names still available: DeMar DeRozan, Miles Bridges, LeBron James

Restricted free agents still available: Isaac Okoro, Simone Fontecchio, Jose Alvarado, Precious Achiuwa

Veteran lead guards: Tyus Jones, Spencer Dinwiddie, Monte Morris, Markelle Fultz, Kyle Lowry, Cameron Payne

Important veterans: Justin Holiday, Gary Payton II, Jeff Green, Taurean Prince, Caleb Martin, Kyle Anderson, Alec Burks, Gary Trent Jr.

Young guys to take a chance on: James Wiseman, TyTy Washington, Kenyon Martin Jr., Dominick Barlow

Mentors: Wes Matthews, Taj Gibson, Patty Mills, Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles, Robert Covington, Isaiah Thomas

Big men: Tristan Thompson, Daniel Theis, Christian Wood, Thomas Bryant, Bismack Biyombo, Mike Muscala, Moe Wagner, JaVale McGee, Xavier Tillman Sr.

Forwards: Marcus Morris Sr, Markieff Morris, Haywood Highsmith, Jae Crowder, Danilo Gallinari, T.J. Warren, Thad Young

Wings and shooters: Saddiq Bey, Lonnie Walker IV, Dāvis Bertāns, Reggie Bullock, Doug McDermott, Luke Kennard, Yuta Watanabe, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Buddy Hield, Josh Okogie, Cedi Osman, Talen Horton-Tucker, Seth Curry

Plumlees and Zellers: Marshall, Miles, Cody, Tyler, Luke

(Top photo of Klay Thompson and Isaiah Hartenstein: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)



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