The NBA’s 2019 free agent frenzy took place less than eight months ago, and many of the players signed at that time made their regular-season debuts with new teams less than four months ago. However, it’s already clear that some of the signings completed last July were ill-advised.
The Kings, for instance, are almost certainly regretting investing in Dewayne Dedmon on a three-year, $40MM contract with nearly $28MM in guaranteed money. Dedmon was expected to be the club’s starting center this season, but lasted just four games in that role before being supplanted by Richaun Holmes, who signed a far more team-friendly deal around the same time. Sacramento ultimately surrendered a pair of future second-round picks to get out from under Dedmon’s contract at the trade deadline.
While the Kings were at least able to find a taker for Dedmon, that wasn’t the case for the Spurs with DeMarre Carroll — the two sides reached a buyout agreement this week. Most players who are bought out at this time of year are on expiring deals, but Carroll – who signed a three-year, $21MM pact with San Antonio last summer – still had a fully guaranteed 2020/21 salary and partial guarantee for 2021/22.
Carroll gave back a little money when he was cut this week, but it was still a costly mistake for the Spurs — particularly since agreeing to sign both Carroll and Marcus Morris in the offseason resulted in the team trading away Davis Bertans to accommodate both incoming forwards. Morris reneged on his tentative agreement with the Spurs days later, and now Carroll is gone as well.
The Dedmon and Carroll signings are two of the most obvious failed free agency moves from the 2019 offseason, but they won’t be the only ones.
The Bulls, for instance, may want a do-over on their three-year, $40.6MM ($32.4MM guaranteed) deal with Thaddeus Young. The Sixers and Kings might not invest so heavily on their four-year contracts for Al Horford and Harrison Barnes if given a second chance. The Knicks‘ free agent signings won’t hurt them much because they’re all short-term, but besides Morris, it’s not clear that any of those veterans will turn into a long-term keeper or a valuable trade chip.
We want to hear your thoughts. Which of 2019’s free agent signings do you think teams will regret, even if they might not be considered full-fledged mistakes quite yet? Are there any long-term contracts signed in 2019 that will be viewed as albatross deals in a year or two?
Check out our free agent tracker from the 2019 offseason to refresh your memory, and head to the comment section below to weigh in!