MANILA, Philippines – With all the big name NBA free agents already off the board apart from LeBron James, other role players have begun agreeing to new contracts and getting new homes.
Let’s look at some of them and see how they impact their team moving forward:
1. Derrick Rose, Minnesota Timberwolves
Contract: 1 year, $2.1 million
For the second year in a row, the Minnesota Timberwolves have gotten a bargain of a lifetime. Derrick Rose, even after numerous major injuries, is still a former league MVP who still has a lot left in the tank.
The 28-year-old guard arguably outperformed regular starter Jeff Teague in their short-lived playoff run, as Rose averaged 14.6 points and 2.6 assists on 51% shooting in just 23.8 minutes. Teague, meanwhile, normed 13 points and 5.8 assists on 45% shooting in 30.6 minutes.
With Rose now back, Minnesota is looking to build on that playoff run and improve with an intact core.
2. Trevor Ariza, Phoenix Suns
Contract: 1 year, $15 million
In a big shocker, especially to Houston Rockets fans, starting small forward Trevor Ariza bailed out of Texas to land in the desert of the Phoenix Suns.
This deal is as good for the Suns as it is bad for the Rockets, as the young squad now adds a proven shooter and defender frequently assigned to guard the opposition’s best player.
Meanwhile, the Rockets now have to trust PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute a little bit more to guard the LeBron James and Kevin Durant-caliber forwards running wild in the playoffs.
Ariza now joins the All-Star-level combo guard Devin Booker along with very hot prospects like TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, Mikal Bridges, All-Rookie Second Teamer Josh Jackson, and the 2018 top overall pick DeAndre Ayton.
3. Marco Bellinelli, San Antonio Spurs
Contract: 2 years, $12 million
You can never have enough shooters, and the San Antonio Spurs know this as they bring back an old friend.
Italian sniper Marco Bellinelli, who averaged 13.6 points on 39% from distance last season, and fellow sharpshooter JJ Redick significantly helped boost the Philadelphia 76ers’ offense that resulted in a second-round playoff finish.
If you haven’t seen him play, here’s a sample. He’s a budget Steph Curry who has mastered a breathtaking turnaround jumper.
There’s a reason why he’s a former NBA champion.
4. Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers
Contract: 3 years, $22 million
Speaking of shooters, here’s another one who got lost in the rotation of many teams but still has a lot of potential.
The Indiana Pacers placed their trust on 26-year-old forward Doug McDermott, who is heralded as one of the best college players of all time.
The 5th all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history averaged 9.0 points per game last season with the Dallas Mavericks on a staggering 48% shooting and 49% from downtown, proving he never lost his touch despite Dallas being his 4th team in 6 years.
McDermott now boosts a young playoff-caliber squad with proven talents like Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, Darren Collison and the 2018 Most Improved Player Victor Oladipo.
Again, as proven by Bellinelli and Redick with the Sixers, you can never have enough shooters.
Other notable signings: (per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski)
*Rudy Gay to the San Antonio Spurs for 1 year, $10 million
*Ersan Ilyasova to the Milwaukee Bucks for 3 years, $21 million
*Jerami Grant to the Oklahoma City Thunder for 3 years, $27 million
*Ed Davis to the Brooklyn Nets for 1 year, $4.4 million
*Omri Casspi to the Memphis Grizzlies for 1 year (undisclosed amount) – Rappler.com