Warriors Free-Agent Signing Tops NBA Value List, Execs Say

Donte DiVincenzo, new Warriors signing, right

Getty Donte DiVincenzo, new Warriors signing, right

LAS VEGAS — The bulk of the NBA’s top free agents have found their new teams, or, as in many cases, re-upping with their old teams. Some contracts were not so hard to nail down, like the Knicks giving Jalen Brunson $104 million over four seasons.

But others came out as downright bargains, with teams taking advantage of a lack of cap space on the market to sign players to cut-rate deals. Which were the best contracts out there? Well, we asked some NBA executives for their thoughts and ranked what came out as the 10 best value contracts teams got this summer. (So far, at least.)

The 3 Best as NBA Execs See It

  1. Donte DiVincenzo, Warriors. Two years, $9.3 million.

Eastern Conference GM: “Great pickup for them and a really great price—I thought he’d get around the midlevel exception but they got him for half that. It’s strange that the Kings seemed to want him for the last couple of years, then let him walk so easily once he was a free agent. But this is a really great fit for them because Donte did not have a great year last year but he is a very good catch-and-shoot player from the 3-point line and can do some other things for you with his defense and his rebounding.”

  1. Bruce Brown, Nuggets. Two years, $13.3 million.

Western Conference exec: “There were a lot of teams interested and he might have been able to make more money but he found a place where he is going to be able to win and play—they’re committing to better defense on the wings with him and KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope). For me this was the best deal of the summer.”

  1. Otto Porter Jr., Raptors. Two years, $12.4 million.

Eastern Conference executive: “It’s funny how much the paycheck changes the way guys are viewed. He had the giant contract from the Wizards but struggled to stay healthy and that became his whole identity. Then, he is the same player, but he goes and helps the Warriors to win it all on a minimum deal and now he is a bargain favorite. I think in a normal market he gets a full mid-level and I think that was why he put a player option in for that second year. It was a down market. If he repeats what he did with the Warriors, he will get a big raise next summer when there is more money. Just a smart, tough veteran. I think the Warriors will miss him even more than Gary Payton.”

Middle-Rung Bargains

  1. T.J. Warren, Nets. One year, $2.6 million.

Eastern Conference GM: “Potential steal for them. Whatever else goes on, they’re not going to regret signing him, you can pull him off the bench and he is going to score for you no matter who else is on the team. The foot injury has been difficult and that is the big thing, whether you get him back on the floor and whether he stays there. But if he is still not healthy, they signed him as a vet min (veteran’s minimum contract) guy, so it costs you only ($1.8 million) not the full $2.6 million. No risk there.”

  1. John Wall, Clippers. Two years, $13.3 million.

Western Conference exec: “If he is anything close to healthy, he opens up so many things for them. They can make some trades, they can address other things that come up on the roster. They can become a really good drive-and-kick offense if he can get his speed back.”

  1. Malik Monk, Kings. Two years, $19 million.

Western Conference exec: “There wasn’t the money out there for him, which is too bad for him because he deserved more than what he got. He can be an explosive scorer, he is established as a 40%-or-so 3-point shooter. The defense is not great, but he was better last year and he’ll get better. If he were a little more of a combo guard, maybe he would have gotten more on the market. But it was not a great year to be a free agent, so he winds up with this pretty team-friendly deal.”

7. Kyle Anderson, Timberwolves. Two years, $18 million.

Western Conference exec: “Obviously they did a lot more than this, but this move is a great fit. He does not need to score but he can handle the ball and is an excellent defender. That has to be the next step for this team is defense, and he can have almost as big an impact on that as (Rudy Gobert).”

Low-Cost Big Men

8. Thomas Bryant, Lakers. One year, $2.1 million.

Eastern Conference GM: “I love this as a low-risk, high-reward play. Before he got hurt, he was developing into a pretty useful guy in the middle, he could stretch the floor, he could block some shots and rebound. He is not a freak athlete or anything but he got the most out of what he has. I think he is one of those guys coming back from that (ACL surgery) who maybe takes a year or a 18 months to get back to 100%. Great backup and can be a decent starter next to AD (Anthony Davis) if he is healthy. He is going to outplay that contract no matter what.”

9. Isaiah Hartenstein, Knicks. Two years, $16 million.

Eastern Conference exec: “They went from really being uncertain in the middle going forward to having maybe the best one-two combination at the position. There were other teams I thought might give him more money, might go full mid-level after the way he played last year, when it looked like he might go to Europe before the Clippers gave him that last roster spot. He made good on his chance. He is a solid defensive player but he showed himself to be a better offensive center than any of us knew. But it is a really good contract for the Knicks, they’re now loaded at the center spot.”

10. Danilo Gallinari, Celtics. Two years, $13.2 million.

Eastern Conference GM: “They got him for the taxpayer mid-level and he has a player option so he is going to be looking for a bigger payoff next summer. But the team just went to the Finals and if he can step in and knock down some big shots for them, be consistent with his 3-pointer, he is going to show his value. Gotta show he can stay healthy, too, that is another thing. He is a shot-maker though and that got lost in the shuffle in Atlanta. But with his size and shooting ability, he could have gotten twice what the Celtics will pay him next year.”



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