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2015 Free Agency Observations

DeAndre Jordan‘s indecision has seemingly hijacked NBA free agent movement today, but it’s just the latest development in a fascinating eight days. The July Moratorium ends tonight, but player movement will continue, and Thursday will be a hectic day as teams formally sort out trades and signings. While we wait for that, here are a few noteworthy trends as told by our free agent tracker:

  • Teams and players are showing far more willingness to do five-year deals. So far, 12 such deals have been agreed to, almost twice as many as in the summers of 2013 and 2014 combined. That’s perhaps in part because teams want to lock in salaries now, before the cap shoots up as it’s expected to in the next couple of years, and because a fair number of players are willing to take the long-term outlay of money instead of betting on themselves with a short-term deal.
  • On the flip side, teams and players are doing much more lucrative one-year deals than in years past. None is as lucrative as Dwyane Wade‘s $20MM agreement with the Heat, though Rajon Rondo‘s $10MM deal with the Kings is still larger than any one-year pact a player has signed over the past three summers. Reports indicate that Jason Smith has a $4.3MM, or perhaps $4.5MM, deal with the Magic and Alan Anderson has a $4MM deal with the Wizards, and those, too, are of higher value than any of the one-year contracts signed in the summer of 2014.
  • Guards may be of unprecedented value in the NBA, but that hasn’t manifested in this summer’s deals. Teams have only committed $50MM or more to five guards, including Jimmy Butler and Wesley Matthews, who also play small forward. Thirteen forwards and centers have received such deals.
  • All told, teams have so far doled out $2.176 billion over a combined 213 years by our accounting, which doesn’t take into effect draft picks and deals with draft-and-stash prospects. That eclipses the $1.565 billion over 437 years that teams paid out for the entire 2014 offseason, the $1.462 billion that went out over 482 years in 2013, and the $1.546 billion over 461 years from 2012. Most of the salaries for this summer are estimates, since the July Moratorium prevents the majority of deals from becoming official.

— Note: This data still counts Jordan’s deal with the Mavs.

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