Bang for Your Buck
One word to describe the 2016 NBA offseason? As the O’Jays classic song “For the Love of Money” goes, “Money, Money, Money.” Millions of dollars were being handed out like fliers. On July 1st when the clock struck 12, the Los Angeles Lakers rushed to offer Timofey Mozgov a four year $64 million deal, which he immediately accepted. The Lakers must have been impressed with his 2016 playoff performance! He averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. They must know something other NBA scouts don’t. In terms of the best offseason move the obvious answer is the Golden State Warriors signing of Kevin Durant; however, some moves have gone under the radar. There were a few moves that are low risk and could possess extremely high rewards.
New York Knicks sign Brandon Jennings, 1 year, $5 million
*Photo via Fox Sports
Jennings was once a capable scorer who averaged above 15.5 points per game in his first five seasons. His 14-15 season ended abruptly after suffering a torn ACL injury. Since returning, he has struggled to find his scoring stroke averaging 6.9 points per game in 18 minutes. Jennings will now be two years removed since his injury and if he could return to his early days on the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks will have a point guard who could help their second unit. He dropped 55 points in his rookie season on the Golden State Warriors! Yes, that was the 2009 Warriors; however, it is still an impressive scoring display. Many believe Jennings was a score first point guard but he has averaged 5.9 assist per game in his career. The Knicks could have struck gold with this one year deal.
Los Angeles Clippers sign Marreese Speights, 2-year minimum-salary deal
*Photo via Bleacher Report
The man nicknamed “Mo Buckets” provides the Clippers with a versatile offensive big man, who is capable hitting three pointers. Last season he made a career high 24 three pointers. Blake Griffin hasn’t been shy about attempting them in his career and despite DeAndre Jordan hitting one in his career, both players don’t exactly give the Clippers a big man who can occasionally shoot it from downtown. Speights provides the offense more options. He is also a playoff-tested veteran presence, who has been to two consecutive NBA Finals. He could offer insight on getting past the first two rounds of the playoffs. Something the Clippers have failed to do in the past five seasons.
Brooklyn Nets sign Jeremy Lin, 3 years, $36 million
*Photo via NBA.com
You can’t spell Brooklyn without Lin. The Nets have been looking for a solid point guard since the departure of Deron Williams. Lin is certainty not the answer; however, he could be a solid placeholder for the team as they develop young guards Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead. Lin didn’t perform like a star but still produced 11.7 points per game in 26.3 minutes for the Charlotte Hornets. The Nets are hoping that Lin has a little, even a drop left of that magical run he made with the Knicks. They are hoping the fever known as “Lin-sanity” will run wild once again, only this time in another borough.
Los Angeles Lakers sign Jordan Clarkson, 4 years, $50 million
*Photo via USA Today
The Lakers are building for the future and having a 24-year-old point guard/ shooting guard with potential is a solid building block to have. Clarkson is coming off a strong season in which he averaged 15.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Clarkson could develop into an offensive threat that could help the Lakers in the years to come. His outside shooting still needs to develop and his assist need to rise; however, at about $12 million per season, the Lakers have a bargain on their hands. They also have a running mate for their new $64 million center.
Cleveland Cavaliers sign Richard Jefferson, 2 years, $5 million
*Photo via USA Today
Jefferson may have had the quickest retirement in NBA history. After capturing his NBA championship, Jefferson announced he would retire on top as a champion. Less than 72 hours later, he retreated on his word. While Jefferson is no longer the force he once was on the New Jersey Nets, the way he contributed to the Cavs goes beyond the court. Every team needs what has become known as a “glue guy”, who keeps the team together and does the little things that go beyond the box score. Jefferson was huge for the team in Game 3 of the Finals, as he started for the injured Kevin Love and proved a spark the struggling Cavaliers needed. At 5 million the team has nothing to lose.
Golden State Warriors sign Zaza Pachulia for 1 year, 2.9 million and David West for 1 year, 1.55 million
*Photo via Youtube
The new “Super Team” who plays in the Bay area, needed supporting characters. Similar to how Justice League needs other heroes beyond Batman, Superman and Wonderman to help such as Aquaman. Pachulia, a 12-year veteran, is an underrated center. He averaged 9.4 rebounds last season for the Dallas Mavericks, a career high. He plays physical down low and won’t back down from a confrontation. He even had a run in with new teammate, David West. West also brings a veteran presence to the team. A former two time All-Star, he averaged 7.1 point per game for the San Antonio Spurs last season. While his numbers aren’t mind blowing, he still provides toughness and options for the team on offense. He started a few games for the Spurs and showed he could still contribute on offense. The Warriors have might have found two Aquamans for their Justice team.
*Stats and Info courtesy of ESPN, SBnation, RealGM