Each Team’s Most Expensive Signing

Teams take vastly different approaches when it comes to signing players. The Knicks made it a priority to re-sign Carmelo Anthony, even if it took the maximum salary to do so, as it nearly did. The Sixers are laying back in rebuilding mode, and they haven’t signed a single free agent so far. Their only addition has been draft-and-stash signee Pierre Jackson, whose rights they acquired via trade from the Pelicans. He inked for the rookie minimum salary.

The other 28 teams fall in between, and the methods each club used to make its most lucrative signing of the summer are almost as varied as the amounts of money all the teams spent. Some teams made their most significant expenditure by re-signing one of their own free agents, while others signed outside free agents, signed offer sheets, matched offer sheets, completed sign-and-trades, signed first-round picks to rookie scale contracts, and, like the Sixers, signed players drafted in previous years. The only avenues of player acquisition not accounted for here are waiver claims, since no team made its most lucrative addition this way, and trades, since trades generally involve an exchange of salaries already on the books (sign-and-trades are counted here, however). The list also includes Tony Parker‘s veteran extension, which outpaces San Antonio’s four-year, $28MM re-signing of Boris Diaw.

The complete list of each team’s most lucrative signing of the summer is below, in descending order of expense, with the amount of the payout in parentheses. These amounts, rounded to the nearest $1K, include all options and non-guaranteed salary, where applicable:

  1. Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (five years, $124.065MM — re-signing)
  2. Heat: Chris Bosh (five years, $118.705MM — re-signing)
  3. Jazz: Gordon Hayward (four years, $62.965MM — matched offer sheet)
  4. Wizards: Marcin Gortat (five years, $60MM — re-signing)
  5. Raptors: Kyle Lowry (four years, $48MM — re-signing)
  6. Mavericks: Chandler Parsons (three years, $46.085MM — unmatched offer sheet signing)
  7. Spurs: Tony Parker (three years, $43.336MM — veteran extension)
  8. Cavaliers: LeBron James (two years, $42.218MM — free agent signing)
  9. Rockets: Trevor Ariza (four years, $32MM — sign-and-trade)
  10. Celtics: Avery Bradley (four years, $32MM — re-signing)
  11. Magic: Channing Frye (four years, $32MM — free agent signing)
  12. Hornets: Lance Stephenson (three years, $27.405MM — free agent signing)
  13. Suns: Isaiah Thomas (four years, $27MM — sign-and-trade)
  14. Clippers: Spencer Hawes (four years, $22.652MM — free agent signing)
  15. Bulls: Pau Gasol (three years, $22.346MM — free agent signing)
  16. Bucks: Jabari Parker (four years, $22.24MM — rookie scale contract signing)
  17. Lakers: Nick Young (four years, $21.326MM — re-signing)
  18. Pistons: Jodie Meeks (three years, $18.81MM — free agent signing)
  19. Pacers: C.J. Miles (four years, $18MM — free agent signing)
  20. Warriors: Shaun Livingston (three years, $16.631MM — free agent signing)
  21. Kings: Darren Collison (three years, $15.041MM — free agent signing)
  22. Grizzlies: Vince Carter (three years, $12.264MM — free agent signing)
  23. Hawks: Thabo Sefolosha (three years, $12MM — sign-and-trade)
  24. Nets: Bojan Bogdanovic (three years, $10.277MM — draft-and-stash signing)
  25. Thunder: Anthony Morrow (three years, $10.032MM — free agent signing)
  26. Timberwolves: Zach LaVine (four years, $9,647MM — rookie scale contract signing)
  27. Trail Blazers: Chris Kaman (two years, $9.816MM — free agent signing)
  28. Nuggets: Jusuf Nurkic (four years, $8,473,305 — rookie scale contract signing)
  29. Pelicans: John Salmons (one year, $2MM — free agent signing)
  30. Sixers: Pierre Jackson (one year, $507K — draft-and-stash signing)

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