After covering 2012's free agent expenditures in the Atlantic, Central and Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest divisions, we're round up our league-wide look at summer spending today. Using Hoops Rumors' Free Agent Tracker, let's head out west and examine the Pacific Division, where the biggest free agent contract signed this offseason might come as a surprise.
Once again, these figures only take into account free agent signings, so salary absorbed in trades or money used to sign draft picks isn't included in this list. Additionally, not all of this salary is necessarily guaranteed, which we'll try to note as we go along. Here are this summer's Pacific Division free agent costs, sorted by player salary:
Phoenix Suns: $57.999MM (Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown, Goran Dragic, Jermaine O'Neal, P.J. Tucker)
After missing out on Steve Nash, the Suns had money to spend, allowing them to sign Beasley and Dragic to big, multiyear deals while adding a handful of complementary players as well. Even after signing these free agents, trading for Wesley Johnson, and claiming Luis Scola off amnesty waivers, the Suns still have about $7MM in cap room, making them a candidate to take on salary later in the season.
Los Angeles Lakers: $41.236MM (Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks, Darius Morris, Steve Nash)
How does a team that came into the season well over the tax threshold manage to make the biggest splash of the summer? The Lakers were able to re-sign some of their own free agents (Ebanks, Hill, Morris), get a couple veterans (Jamison, Meeks) to accept discounts, and land Nash using their $8.9MM trade exception. And, of course, the club's biggest move, acquiring Dwight Howard came outside of free agency, by parting ways with Andrew Bynum.
Sacramento Kings: $36.788MM (Aaron Brooks, Jason Thompson)
The Pacific's largest contract this summer wasn't inked by Nash, Dragic, or any Clipper or Warrior — it was signed by Thompson, whose five-year deal will pay him $30,187,500 if he's not released before the end of it (the fifth year is only partially guaranteed). While I'm not in love with that deal for the Kings, I do like their signing of Brooks, whose two-year, $6.6MM pact has a player option in year two.
Los Angeles Clippers: $35.936MM (Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Willie Green, Grant Hill, Ryan Hollins, Ronny Turiaf)
Tackling free agency without a general manger certainly isn't an ideal situation, and for the Clippers, it delivered mixed results. Green and Hill should be nice bench additions at affordable prices, but four years for Crawford seems ill-advised, even if the last two years are only guaranteed for $1.5MM each.
Golden State Warriors: $17.262MM (Kent Bazemore, Carl Landry, Brandon Rush)
After being linked to a number of free agents for most of July, the Warriors landed Landry and Rush nearly at the same time, and for the exact same price — two years and $8MM each, with 2013/14 player options on both deals. If both players opt out and Bazemore fails to stick with the Warriors for this year and next, Golden State will only end up paying about half of this $17.262MM figure.