Most offseason business is already taken care of well before September, when the opening of training camps at month’s end looms. It’s that new beginning for on-court action that stirs a renewal of off-court transactions, too. September saw several notable moves last year, and that’ll no doubt be the case again in 2015, with Tristan Thompson still unsigned, the Rockets facing an unappealing set of circumstances with No. 32 pick Montrezl Harrell, and Markieff Morris still pushing the Suns to trade him.
We’ll look back on the top 10 September transactions from last year to provide a preview of the sort of moves we can expect in the next few weeks:
- Suns re-sign Eric Bledsoe — Thompson’s restricted free agency is very much the sequel to Bledsoe’s. Both are clients of agent Rich Paul, and both spent far longer on the market than players of their caliber normally do. The Suns moved off their reported four-year, $48MM offer, and Bledsoe came down from the five-year, $80MM mark he sought. We’ll see if Thompson and the Cavs bridge their $14MM gap.
- Greg Monroe signs qualifying offer from Pistons — Bledsoe threatened to sign his qualifying offer, but Monroe actually followed through with his. Monroe denied that the Pistons put a five-year, $60MM offer on the table, but he nonetheless made a significant financial sacrifice, playing for only about $5.48MM last season. The move paid off for him when he signed a max deal with the Bucks this summer.
- Morris twins sign extensions with Suns — One of this September’s most prominent storylines might not be around if Markieff Morris and twin brother Marcus Morris hadn’t signed four-year extensions from the Suns, who allowed them to split a total of $52MM between themselves. The brothers thought it meant they’d play together when the deals kicked in this coming season, but the Suns traded Marcus to the Pistons in July, touching off Markieff’s desire to exit Phoenix, too.
- Rockets acquire Jason Terry in trade with Kings (September 17th, agreed to August 31st) — Terry never played for the Kings after they acquired him in a 2014 deadline trade from the Nets, but he filled a significant role for the banged-up Rockets in the playoffs, starting 17 games, the most postseason starts he had seen since 2006.
- K.J. McDaniels signs required tender from Sixers — Agent Mark Bartelstein expressed fundamental misgivings about the four-year offers with two years of non-guaranteed salary that Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has made a staple over the past couple of years. McDaniels instead signed a non-guaranteed required tender for one year at the minimum salary, and he proved his worth before Philadelphia traded him to the Rockets, who re-signed him this summer for three years and $10MM.
- Sixers waive Hasheem Thabeet — The former No. 2 overall pick has never lived up to his draft status, and that was never more apparent than when Philadelphia waived him not long after acquiring him via trade from the Thunder. He signed later in September with the Pistons, but they waived him before the start of the regular season.
- Warriors sign Leandro Barbosa — The NBA career of the Brazilian blur hadn’t been on the fast track in a while when he joined Golden State, but a spot in the rotation for the eventual champions helped him to a new one-year, $2.5MM contract with the Warriors this summer.
- Spurs re-sign Aron Baynes — Baynes was sort of like Norris Cole this summer, the non-star who nonetheless lingered in restricted free agency. Baynes landed a one-year, $2.077MM deal with the Spurs that led him to unrestricted free agency this summer and a lucrative three-year, $19.5MM deal with the Pistons.
- Kings sign Ramon Sessions — The point guard failed to beat out Darren Collison for the starting job in Sacramento, but he did enough to convince the Wizards to trade for him at the deadline this past winter, sending Andre Miller in exchange.
- Celtics sign Evan Turner — Unlike Thabeet, this former No. 2 overall pick experienced a revival in 2014/15, rebounding from a disappointing stint with the Pacers to start 57 games for the playoff-bound Celtics this past season.