Our look at offseason spending continues today as we examine the fifth of six NBA divisions. So far, we've covered free agent expenditures in the Atlantic, Central and Southeast, and Northwest divisions, using Hoops Rumors' Free Agent Tracker. The Southwest division is up next, and it includes a surprising pair of teams at the top and bottom.
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 Southwest Division free agent costs, sorted by player salary:
New Orleans Hornets: $108.948MM (Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Robin Lopez, Roger Mason)
It wasn't a surprise to see the Hornets match the Suns' max offer sheet for Gordon and bring him back on a four-year deal worth $58MM+. But I wasn't expecting the Hornets to splurge on a couple more free agents, as they did with Anderson and Lopez. To be fair, it appears only the first year of Lopez's three-year, $15MM+ contract is guaranteed, but Anderson's four-year, $34MM deal is fully guaranteed. With Gordon, Anderson, Anthony Davis, and Austin Rivers signing four-year deals this summer, the Hornets' core appears to be in place through at least 2016.
Houston Rockets: $56.248MM (Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Jeremy Lin)
It appeared for some time as if the Rockets would use their cap space to absorb salary in a major trade. Instead, they used it to sign a pair of players to offer sheets they may have thought would be matched. The "poison pill" included in both Asik's and Lin's offer sheets won't apply to Houston, since the Rockets have the ability to spread the two players' annual salaries out more evenly (about $8.3MM per year each). Still, the $25.1MM they'll spend on each player is a risky investment.
San Antonio Spurs: $52.697MM (Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan, Danny Green, Patty Mills)
The Spurs' offseason was fairly quiet, as the team simply re-signed its own free agents rather than exploring the market too extensively. All of these contracts except Green's include a player option in the final year, and all four of them are fully guaranteed, with Duncan's $30MM representing by far the largest commitment.
Memphis Grizzlies: $26.832MM (Darrell Arthur, Jerryd Bayless, Hamed Haddadi, Marreese Speights)
Like the Spurs, the Grizzlies focused primarily on re-signing their own free agents, with one notable exception: Memphis replaced the departing O.J. Mayo with Bayless. Mayo ended up signing for not much more than the two-year, $6.135MM deal Bayless inked with the Grizzlies, so it will be interesting to see if the minor savings are worth it.
Dallas Mavericks: $17.444MM (Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo, Delonte West)
The Mavericks appeared prepared to offer Deron Williams a four-year, $73MM+ contract, which would have significantly altered their place on this list. But when D-Will opted to return to the Nets, the Mavs took a more cautious approach to free agency, committing to Kaman, Mayo, and West on short-term deals. Given the possibility that Mayo will opt out of his second year and the fact that West is on a minimum-salary deal, the total amount the Mavs spend on this summer's free agents could end up being less than $13MM.