Free agency officially began on July 1.  However, respective deals can’t be finalized until July 6.  Below is a look at the free agent moves that have taken place thus far along with their grades.

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2018 NBA Free Agency Grades 1st Tier

  • Lebron James to the Lakers at 4 years, $154M                                                        The Los Angeles Lakers wasted little time in landing the biggest and most influential free agent this year.  The Lakers were quick to surround James with players who were down right nuisances in his championship quests.  The question remains of whether this presently constituted team can compete now against the reigning NBA champion Warriors.                                                                                                         Grade: A+                                                                                                                                                              
  • Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder at 4 years $137M                                The Thunder seemingly pulled off the impossible in landing their primary target this off season.  This threw everyone for a loop as Paul George told us last year his main focus was to sign in LA.  The Thunder were able to sign George without him taking so much as a meeting.  Such a deal is more than impressive.                                                          Grade:  A+                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets at 4 years $160M                                              The Rockets were forced into somewhat of a pickle of a situation.  Paul proved to be one of the best players in the league when he was healthy and on the court.  Paul though missed 24 regular season games.  He also got hurt at the most inopportune time during the post season.  Didn’t a famous coach once say that the best ability was availability?  Does it really make sense to sign an injury prone player approaching the other side of 30 a massive deal?                                                                                                Grade: B                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Demarcus Cousins to the Golden State Warriors at 1 year $5.3M                        This was a brilliant move by both camps.  The Warriors will get a tough minded, rebounding and scoring machine in his prime.  Cousins can rehabilitate his image as the best player in the league to never win a championship. And the Warriors can afford to let him rehab while they tear through the league.                                                            Grade: A

2018 NBA Free Agent Grades 2nd Tier

  • Deandre Jordan to the Mavericks at 1 year $24M                                                    Jordan’s signing would have been a dream come true for the Mavs had it taken place 3 years ago.  Jordan is still in his prime, however, his defensive abilities have taken a significant dip.                                                                                                          Grade: B-                                                                                                                                                               
  • Rajon Rondo to the Lakers at 1 year $9M                                                               A successful offense built around Lebron James needs to have spacing.  This signing most certainly doesn’t address that issue.  James did mention, though, that he was looking to play with intelligent ball players and that is something Rondo does bring.      Grade:  B                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • J.J. Redick to the Philadelphia 76ers at 1 year $13M                                              Redick’s sharpshooting was quite refreshing for a 76ers team lacking in shooting.  This was an unsurprising move that needed to happen to continue trusting “The Process”.      Grade: A+                                                                                                                   
  • Julius Randle to the New Orleans Pelicans at 2 years $18M                                    There are two things of note here.  For one thing, the Pelicans didn’t have to commit to the injured Demarcus Cousins long term.  Two, the Pelicans played at a faster pace was Cousins was injured and enjoyed relative success. Randle should be able to adequately compliment Anthony Davis running fast breaks and strong arming his way to the rim.      Grade: A-                                                                                                                     
  • Aaron Gordon to the Orlando Magic at 4 years $84                                                  Not many options that seemed better than resigning with Orlando if Gordon wanted to cash in.  This was a straight money grab, which Gordon can not be faulted for.  But one has to wonder if he’ll ever reach his ceiling in Orlando.  The additions of Jonathon Simmons and Mo Bamba will force Gordon to play out of position at small forward.        C-

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