We’re about five and a half weeks into the 2017/18 NBA season, which means we’ve seen enough action to start shaping clearer opinions about this offseason’s roster moves from around the league. Signings that we may not have paid much attention to back in July could be paying off in a big way now.
We can’t offer up any Black Friday deals here at Hoops Rumors, but in honor of the biggest shopping day of the year, we’re taking a look back at this summer’s free agent signings to identify some of the best deals of 2017.
Here are a few candidates:
- Jeff Green (Cavaliers): Lost amidst the drama surrounding David Griffin, Kyrie Irving, and several other current or former members of the Cavaliers this summer was Green accepting a one-year, minimum-salary deal to join the defending Eastern champs. So far this season, Green has been far more productive than he was on a $15MM salary in Orlando last year. Although he’s playing just 20.4 minutes per game for Cleveland, Green is scoring 10.2 PPG with a career-best .492 FG%. He has also been one of the few Cavs playing solid defense.
- Tyreke Evans (Grizzlies): With the Grizzlies once again impacted by the injury bug this season, the oft-injured Evans has been healthy, and he’s been a godsend in the Memphis backcourt. The former fourth overall pick is averaging 17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.6 APG with a scorching .502/.417/.814 shooting line through 17 games, and his per-minute production is easily the best of his nine-year NBA career. Evans is doing all that on a one-year, $3.29MM contract.
- Rudy Gay (Spurs): At the time, Gay’s two-year, $17.23MM contract was viewed as a below-market deal for a player of his caliber, but a reasonable rate given his ongoing recovery from Achilles surgery. Gay’s Achilles recovery progressed faster than anticipated, however, and he has been an important contributor for the Spurs in the early going, particularly with Kawhi Leonard sidelined. While his per-game numbers are modest, given his reduced role, Gay’s per-36 numbers (19.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.6 APG) are all above his career averages.
- Jonathon Simmons (Magic): Gay essentially replaced Simmons in San Antonio, allowing the Magic to get a good deal on the veteran swingman, locking him up to a three-year, $18MM pact. Simmons has been everything Orlando hoped for so far, averaging an impressive 14.1 PPG in just 24.8 minutes per contest. He’s also chipping in 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, and a .497/.385/.763 to go along with reliable defense.
While the players listed above have been great investments for their respective teams so far, there are plenty of other free agent deals from around the NBA worth recognizing. For instance, it’s almost too obvious to mention, but having taken less than his maximum salary to allow the Warriors to make other moves, Kevin Durant is a terrific bargain at $25MM this season.
What do you think? Which 2017 free agent signings have represented the best deals so far in the 2017/18 season? Jump into the comment section below to weigh in!