LAS VEGAS -- The first week of NBA free agency is in the books, with over 60 players already agreeing to new deals across the association. Superstars like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Paul George picked their destinations quickly for a change, creating far more player movement in the first week of July than recent years when the process was more drawn out. While the free agent market has been tough for players as a whole due to the lack of significant salary cap space available across the league, some players have made out extremely well regardless.
What teams managed to navigate the free agency landscape well and which ones ended up missing out on their targets or overpaying? Let’s break down the winners and losers from the past week after chatting with executives and team personnel across the league over the past couple days.
Indiana Pacers: After overpaying for Doug McDermott (three years, $21 million) at the start of free agency, they have maintained their flexibility and added to a promising young core. Tyreke Evans (1 year, $12 million) and Kyle O’Quinn (1 year, $4.5 million) are both significant upgrades to the rotation in place of Lance Stephenson and Al Jefferson, giving up to what was a subpar bench. General manager Kevin Pritchard also maintained enough salary cap room for next summer to chase a max player on the open market. It’s unclear whether Victor Oladipo will be able to replicate his All-Star production from last season, but this is a 48-win team that was minutes away from upsetting LeBron James in the first round. Outside of Boston and Philadelphia, they have some of the best depth in the conference and kept their options open long-term.