Day 1 of free agency has passed, and more than 50 players have agreed to new contracts, including Nic Batum, who will be staying in Los Angeles for at least one more year.
There weren’t any seismic moves that will shift the title chase, though Miami got better with the addition of Kyle Lowry. Phoenix and Utah are essentially running back their teams from last year by re-upping Chris Paul and Mike Conley, respectively. Dallas got some more 3-and-D ammo in the form of Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. And the champions got a little bit worse as P.J. Tucker — a starter for most of the postseason — left Milwaukee to join the Heat.
One player the Clippers have had an eye on, Lonzo Ball, has a new home in Chicago. His old team, New Orleans, was expected to make a run at Reggie Jackson but instead spent its point guard money on Devonte’ Graham. The Knicks spent their room, mostly in on existing free agents, and the Nuggets capped themselves out as well. That leaves the Celtics as the lone suitor who could make some room for Jackson, and they do have a need at point guard for the Boston College product now that Kemba Walker is in Oklahoma City.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to argue that any situation is preferable to what Jackson has with the Clippers, especially because no team can really outbid L.A. at this point. According to the L.A. Times, the Clippers “have been in contract talks” with Jackson, and there is no reason to expect that he is dissatisfied with the current regime.
The Clippers still have their mini-midlevel available to offer free agents. DeMar DeRozan and 2021 trade deadline target George Hill remain on the board. We’ll see what day 2 brings.
More news for Tuesday:
- The Athletic polled NBA coaches on the best defenders in the league.
- Sam Amick says the Clippers have been operating in the offseason with the assumption that Kawhi Leonard is returning.
- Marc Stein confirms that Leonard is “widely expected to re-sign”.
- The story of how Leonard teamed up with Paul George in 2019 has an unexpected wrinkle.
- The NBA announced the salary cap for the 2021-22 season at $112.4 million, a little higher than expected.