Well, here we are. Summer continues to rage on as we make our way through July, but NBA free agency is slowing down.
But where does the NBA stack up as a whole? Let’s find out…
Los Angeles Lakers
Signing LeBron James is an automatic free agency win. You could fill out the rest of your starting lineup with Scooby Doo’s human companions and having LeBron is a win. And while there are certainly many losses that come within that win, getting James wasn’t the only good decision that the Lakers made this summer.
For all of the blustering about Los Angeles’ lack of shooting, it’s worth noting that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has improved significantly as a shooter over the past two years and made 38.3% of his three-pointer’s last season without LeBron on his team. He projects as an elite three-and-D player next season. The Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson signings make no sense, but Caldwell-Pope shouldn’t be lumped in with them.
Another win: the Lakers didn’t have to use the stretch provision to dump Luol Deng. That would have left them with something like $7 million on their cap sheet in dead money for the next five years. He will be far easier to trade next summer, when his deal is expiring, and stretching him then would yield even greater cap savings. The Lakers could and should have been more aggressive in their post-LeBron moves this summer, but there are positives that have to be considered.