Not even a full month after the conclusion of another star-powered NBA Finals, and less than two weeks after a loaded draft, free agency commenced and money was flying in every direction.
Before 12:01 a.m. on July 1st hit, the Indiana Pacers broke Twitter by trading forward Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was unexpected, as the Pacers got back a minuscule return in Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
As if the Western Conference needed any more fire-power, that makes for a tandem of the 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook, and arguably the best two-way player the Eastern Conference had.
Three days before that trade, it was the Houston Rockets making a blockbuster trade for All-NBA point guard Chris Paul, pairing him with James Harden.
There was no surprise when the free agency period opened that the world champion Warriors signed two-time MVP Steph Curry to a max 5-year, $201 million dollar deal. As a matter of fact, the Warriors retained their key free agents in Andre Iguodala (3-years, $48 million) and Shaun Livingston (3-years, $24 million). Credit Finals MVP Kevin Durant (2-years, $53 million) in these moves, as he took a pay cut of $6.8 million more than a max deal would have netted him.
The biggest storyline of the off-season was where would all-star Gordon Hayward go? Would he stay with the Jazz? Bolt for South Beach or Beantown? Well, the allure of playing for his former college coach Brad Stevens was too much to pass up, as Hayward is headed to Boston. Although there was a bit of drama during his decision process, Hayward finally announced (on his own terms this time) that he would be joining the Celtics after seven seasons in Utah.
It wasn’t a surprise when Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin re-signed with the team that drafted him, inking a five-year, $173 million deal. The Clippers acquired Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari in a sign-and-trade deal.
He’ll be without another former Clipper in J.J. Redick, who trusts the process and signed a one-year, $23 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Speaking of the Nuggets, Paul Milsap, another Eastern Conference all-star headed out West to join Denver on a three-year, $90 million contract.
The Wizards have offered All-NBA guard John Wall a four-year, $168 million extension, but he has yet to agree. That might be because the Wizards have yet to retain restricted free agent Otto Porter, who had his best year with the Wizards this past season.
Staying in the East, but further up North, Toronto retained star point guard Kyle Lowry on a three-year, $100 million deal. They also held on to forward Serge Ibaka to the tune of three years, $65 million.
And most recently, Miami locked up guard Dion Waiters on a four-year, $52 million contract. Waiters had his best career season with the Heat, averaging 15 points a game, but only played 46 games.
So far, more than $1.71 billion in new total contract money has been shelled out, and the well is drying, but not until more players get paid and rosters get filled.