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The first day of free agency feels like the holiday season for certain players and certain NBA teams. Key players like Paul George, Chris Paul, Lebron James, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic are some of the players that will make headlines in free agency this season? Which of those players have been signed so far and by whom?
The first domino to fall was Paul George back to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a four-year deal worth $137 million. This was one of the biggest surprises because a lot of people expected him to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is from Farmingdale, California, which is not far from Los Angeles. George and Russell Westbrook threw a party on Saturday Night and that's where George made his announcement. He averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 2 SPG. Paul George was traded to Oklahoma City last offseason from the Indiana Pacers and the Thunder have a good chance of winning an NBA title with him back at the helm.
The Denver Nuggets signed two key players. Center/Forward Nikola Jokic was signed to a max-deal for five years worth $146.5 million and guard Will Barton to a four-year deal worth $54 million. Jokic is a rising star in the NBA. He is good in all phases of the game. The Denver Nuggets won 46 games last season and they missed the playoffs by one-game. Jokic averaged 18.5 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 6.1 APG last season. Barton averaged 15.7 PPG, 5 RPG, and 4.1 APG last season.
The Phoenix Suns signed forward Trevor Ariza to a one-year deal worth $15 million. Ariza's impact on the Houston Rockets will be missed there. At 33 years old, Ariza will be a good mentor to an up and coming team in the Phoenix Suns. He will help the Suns be better on the defensive end. Trevor Ariza averaged 11.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG last season with the Houston Rockets.
The Golden State Warriors re-signed Kevin Durant to a one-year deal worth $30 million. He has a player option for the second season worth $31.5 million. Kevin Durant has been one of the reasons why the Golden State Warriors are back-to-back NBA champions. He has also won back-to-back NBA Finals MVP awards. Durant is looking to be the the best player in the world. He averaged 26.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 5.4 APG last season.
The Houston Rockets re-signed Chris Paul to a max-contract which is a four-year deal worth $160 million. If Chris Paul didn't injure his hamstring in the postseason which caused him to miss Game 6 and Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets would have most likely dethroned the Golden State Warriors. Paul was a pitbull and a vauable leader last year for the Houston Rockets. He averaged 18.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 7.9 APG.
The Dallas Mavericks signed center DeAndre Jordan to a one-year deal worth $24.1 million. Jordan was going to go to Dallas the last time he was a free agent, but DeAndre Jordan backed out. This time, it won't happen. The Los Angeles Clippers are heading in a different direction and Jordan opted out of his contract in order to sign with Dallas. He averaged 12 PPG and 15.2 RPG last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Milwaukee Bucks signed forward/guard Ersan Ilyasova to a three-year deal worth $21 million. He is a very good shooter and the Bucks need more of that. They underachieved last season. Ilyasova averaged 10.4 PPG and 5.4 RPG last season. He played for both the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Minnesota Timberwolves re-signed Derrick Rose to a one-year deal worth $2.1 million. Rose played well for Tom Thibodeau late in the season after the Cleveland Cavaliers let him go. In 25 games played last season with both Minnesota and Cleveland, Derrick Rose averaged 8.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.5 APG.
The San Antonio Spurs re-signed forward Rudy Gay to a one-yeardeal worth $10 million and signed forward Marco Belinelli to a two-year deal worth $12 million. Gay is 31 years old and he will need to play another big role for the Spurs especially if Kawhi Leonard doesn't come back. Gay averaged 11.5 PPG last season. Belinelli averaged 12.1 PPG last season and he shot 37.7 percent from downtown. Marco Belinelli played with the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers last season. This will be the second time in his career that he will be playing for the San Antonio Spurs under head coach Greg Popovich. Marco Belinelli was a part of the 2013-2014 championship team in San Antonio.
This is only the beginning of free agency frenzy and it is far from over.