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NBA Free Agency Day 2: Massive Trades And Value Signings Were The Name Of The Game

If you thought Day 1 was kind of slow in terms of big free agency news/moves outside the KD news, well then Day 2 was for you. We got much more of that chaos that we all crave at this time of year. I'm talking massive trades, huge contracts and value signings. You didn't know what was coming at any given moment. We were getting massive Shams/Woj bombs with big name players. If you spent the entire day on edge refreshing your timeline, I assure you that you are not alone. 

With that said, let's go through it all

Atlanta Hawks

Aaron Holiday - 1/1.9M

If I asked you all which team Aaron Holiday is coming from, how many know the answer without looking it up? Listen, he played just 41 games as a Wizard, got traded for cash, and finished the last 22 with the Suns. The Hawks lost Delon Wright and then traded Kevin Huerter, so you could understand why they would be looking for someone who could play guard and shoot, at the minimum. That's what Holiday provides in spurts as a 6'0 PG who shot 44% from three as a Sun and is a career 37% guy. 

The Hawks had a need for a 3rd guard and it cost them basically nothing to bring in another Holiday. All that's missing is Jrue and they could have all three brothers. If it doesn't work out, there's always Lou Will.

Boston Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon - traded

Danilo Gallinari - 2/13M (reportedly)

Luke Kornet - 2/4.3M

Massive day for the Boston Celtics. No other way to say it. A day that I don't think a single person saw coming. Even Windy didn't predict this like he did with the Jazz. That's because Brad moves in silence. First came the Gallo news, a guy willing to take less because he wanted to join a contender. Love that. Also haven't stopped listening to this since it became official

The Celts needed to address their bench shooting and that's what Gallo does. I'm not looking for 25+ minutes from Gallo or anything crazy like that. But at 6'10 with good range and proven scoring, that has value in 10-15 minutes. He's kinda slow and will get targeted on defense, I think most Celts fans understand that. But as a floor spacer and bench scorer on this roster? It's a great fit.

Had this been the only news of the day, that would have been fine. With the MLE and TPE their only real tools to work with and knowing TPEs have to wait until KD is traded so other teams would be willing to move their assets, getting the MLE guy was good enough. 

Then came Malcolm Brogdon for not a single rotation player and a pick in the late 20s that's top 12 protected. Just an unreal moment. Not a person alive thought you could get Brogdon for that package. Not even me! I was certain it was taking at least one of Smart/White to pull off something like that. It cost Daniel Theis and Aaron Nesmith. What a world. Now the Celts add another solid combo guard who defends at a good level and allows Ime even more lineup flexibility. They add the playmaking Brad wanted, as well as some improvements in terms of rim pressure and paint scoring. For the cost, it's a home run, even with the obvious risks.

Chicago Bulls

Zach Lavine - 5/215M extension

There may have been some chatter at the start of the offseason about LaVine's future as a Bull, but that was obviously just a leverage play. On the Bulls side, this is your best player. You have to max him if you want to keep him, that's how the NBA works. He's also pretty good and right at the start of his prime so it's probably not the worst idea. Remember, in the NBA your value is determined by what someone is willing to pay. You may not think LaVine is a max player, but the NBA model does. When you produce at LaVine's level and are in the right age range, you get the max.

DeRozan isn't getting any younger, same with Vuc, so you need a franchise guy moving forward. That is now officially Zach LaVine as long as he doesn't pull a Simmons/Harden/Kyrie/KD at some point, but why would he? He lives in a dope city for a historic franchise that just gave him 215M.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Ricky Rubio - 3/18.4M

Robin Lopez - 1/2.9M

Raul Neto - 1/2.4M

There's a chance that people forget how good the Cavs were before Rubio tore his ACL. This was a top 6 team for a large stretch of the first half of the season, even with their injury issues. Eventually, those just became too great to overcome but if you watched those Cavs games with Rubio healthy and doing his thing, they were pretty good. Rubio (13/4/6) looked way better than he did as a Wolve last year, and the team obviously loved him. All you heard was how much of an impact he made on things there and how much everyone loved playing with him.

So to see that type of deal isn't really surprising to me. Even with Rubio rehabbing, that's not even a bad price. We'll see what the options are, but you add everything up and that's a no brainer move for everyone involved.

It's also great that the Cavs are bringing in every 7fter in the league. The size on this team is bananas. Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen, Robin Lopez is crazy size to all have on the same roster. We're still waiting to see what they do with Collin Sexton and his RFA, and that's why the Neto signing makes sense. I mean, all they have is Rondo at the moment in terms of a reserve guard so Neto makes some sense.

Dallas Mavericks

Theo Pinson - 1/1.9M

Good bench mob guy I suppose. Only the minimum, we can move on.

Denver Nuggets

Bruce Brown - 2/13.2M

The Nuggets have my brain in a pretzel. I can't figure them out. They start things with a good trade with the Wizards to unload Barton and bring in the good wing help they desperately needed. Then they follow that up by very oddly being quick to sign DeAndre Jordan of all people. Good move minus the fact that he's legit the worst center in the NBA right now and has been for like 3 years. As you expect, they got killed for it. Why not just keep Boogie?

So how do they respond on Day 2? With one of the best value signings of the day. Bruce Brown is a fantastic fit playing next to Jokic. He's going to get so many buckets off cuts it'll make your head spin. He shoots well enough from three where you can spot him up in the corner and let Jokic find him. Defensively, he's pretty versatile and can guard both the perimeter and the post. All for midlevel money, that's a great move no matter how you slice it.

Golden State Warriors

Kevon Looney - 3/25.5M

Donte DiVencenzo - 2/9.3M

We heard all Finals about how the Warriors had tough decisions to make in terms of keeping their own guys, and after how he looked in those Finals I think most people figured that Kevon Looney was going to be one of those players. It's not like the Warriors owners care about money, they also just won the title so I'm pretty sure they're doing OK. Looney allows the Warriors to continue their ability to be versatile as shit up and down their roster, he's a great rebounder and obviously worth every penny they pay him.

With DiVencenzo, the biggest thing to remember is you can't think of him in his current state. You have to factor in the Warriors/Steph bump. So it's more about what he could be as a player once he gets that bump, and that's someone who will most definitely be overpaid by the Kings once his stint in GS is over.

Indiana Pacers

Daniel Theis - traded

Aaron Nesmith - traded

Jalen Smith - 2/9.5M

I'll say this to Pacers fans. Theis is a solid reserve big who plays hard, weirdly protects the rim well despite his size and can hit a three every few months. You're also going to get frustrated with his whistle, even on plays he clearly goes straight up, Those are going to be called fouls.

Aaron Nesmith plays like this

He plays at 1000 MPH and will have these awesome defensive moments, only to then throw it off the side of the backboard on an open corner three. The thing is, the second that shot clicks he's going to be a really good two way player. It just hasn't happened yet. It might never happen. But with real run and opportunity, my guess is it will.

I really like the Jalen Smith signing. That's a good number for a player who showed real flashes in his minutes as both a Sun and a Pacer. Why the Suns declined his option is still very confusing to me, because Smith legit produces when he gets his opportunity. I'm talking games that end up around 14/8 with a couple made 3s. He's young, cost controlled and has potential. That's usually a good combination.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Rudy Gobert - traded

You wanted massive trades and chaos? This qualifies. Danny Ainge was brought into UTA to rebuild and boy did he just arm himself with another massive treasure chest of picks. The Wolves went all in with a trade like this, and here's what that looks like

Malik Beasley

Jarred Vanderbilt

Patrick Beverley

Leandro Bolmaro

Walker Kessler 

2023 First-Round Pick (unprotected)

2025 First-Round Pick (unprotected)

2027 First-Round Pick (unprotected)

2029 First-Round (top 5 protected)

Pick 2026 Pick Swap 

Did they overpay? I dunno, sure? So what? Could this all backfire in devastating fashion? Sure! But the Wolves young talent is good enough to where if you're adding Rudy Gobert to the equation, I can't see that happening. Anthony Edwards and KAT are too good, especially now that the #1 weakness (defense) of the Wolves has been addressed. Are there going to be issues with KAT/Gobert in the same lineup playing a smaller lineup? Yup. Guarding in space is going to be an issue until they figure out what they want to do. But good luck scoring on this team inside. They didn't even have to give up Jaden McDaniels! 

This team has the talent to for sure be top 8, but that might even be too low. We know they can score at a high level, everything always came back to their inability to get stops. I have questions about their PG depth but I can understand why they went for it.

New York Knicks

Mitchell Robinson - 5/60M

Shoutout to Mitchell Robinson for becoming the first player drafted by the Knicks in the last 28 years to get a multi-year second contract. That feels like an insane stat but it's true. He's an elite shot blocker for sure, and next season he's going to comfortably slide into the 2nd spot all time in Knicks history in terms of blocks. There are some health issues that seem to creep up every year, but in terms of skill and production I don't really consider that an overpay. That's just the going rate unless you're Brad Stevens and you get Rob Williams at a discount. 

Think about it. The Knicks just invested heavy money in a playmaking point guard, one that thrives on getting into the paint. You know what goes great with those? Centers who catch lobs. Last time I checked, Mitchell Robinson can catch lobs. 

Orlando Magic

Bol Bol - 2/3.8M

Don't even ask. I have no idea what the Magic are doing. I did not see their plan to just bring everyone back. I wouldn't exactly put this on the same level as Bamba/Harris, but hey Summer League is going to be fun as hell with Bol Bol in the mix.

Phoenix Suns

Damion Lee - 1/2.3M

Good bench celebration guy. Can play some reserve minutes for you over the course of the season. Didn't cost anything to bring in. Insurance for a possible KD trade in terms of depth? That remains to be seen.

Portland Trail Blazers

Jusurf Nurkic - 4/70M

Drew Eubanks - 1/1.9M

Nurkic was one of those "free agents" where just because he was technically a free agent he really wasn't a free agent. He was always going back to the Blazers. For a team that has done nothing but make win now moves, they weren't going to move on from their starting center. At 17.5M if for whatever reason the Blazers one day need salary filler, that number works. But he's also pretty good so I'm not sure he's being traded unless Dame says so and he seems to love playing with the guy.

I'm fascinated to see what the Blazers look like next season, because I've really liked every move they've made so far. There's a chance none of it will even matter because of how the West looks, but it also might be the thing that gets them back into the top 6 discussion.

Toronto Raptors

Otto Porter Jr - 2/5.4M

A great value signing for the Raptors. Good size, can shoot, and just proved he could play in an NBA Finals so for that price it's hard to complain. Plus his wife is from Toronto so this is a no brainer from his side too. Who knows what happens with OG, there are rumblings that the Raptors could be in on KD, so having someone like Porter Jr for depth makes a ton of sense. 

Utah Jazz

Malik Beasley - (traded)

Jarred Vanderbilt - (traded)

Patrick Beverley - (traded)

Leandro Bolmaro - (traded)

Walker Kessler - (traded)

I'd like to welcome Jazz fans to the Danny Ainge experience. This is what he does. He makes massive trades. People love to joke about "Almost Ainge", but here he is again trading a foundational piece for a massive haul of picks. That's the Danny Ainge Special. What he does with him is anyone's guess, but holding onto them is for sure the leader in the clubhouse. He loves picks, especially unprotected ones. 

Or, does he go after his White Whale in Kevin Durant? With the Gobert/O'Neale trades, what are the Jazz doing if it's not rebuilding? Does that mean Mitchell is next? Is this all a way to bring Mitchell more help? What are they going to do on defense now? It's all fascinating. Imagine KD in UTA? No fucking chance lol. So what's the move? 

In terms of the player they got back, sure they're OK. But my guess is they aren't exactly going to be Jazz for very long.

And that was Day 2. A much crazier day than Day 1 all things considered, and at this point on the free agent market things are getting pretty thin. We're looking more at the minimum market as most teams have spent all their money/exceptions. Of course, there's still the KD trade which is massive and will then maybe start to impact other trades around the league, so who knows maybe that comes on Day 3.