Denver Nuggets

Grading the George trade, the Griffin signing and more

NBA free agency is upon us. And, just a few hours in, it is already absolutely insane. Heck, even before it officially began, it was off the rails. Earth-shaking trades have gone down. Rumors are flying. Meetings are happening. Tampering has undoubtedly occurred, and has been customarily ignored. Some agreements are in place. Others are close.

To help you keep track of it all, we’ll be documenting and analyzing the biggest stories of each day until the chaos subsides. We’ll have everything from the Paul George trades to the Cristiano Felicio signings, from the Blake Griffin contract to the latest J.J. Redick reports, and much, much more. And we’ll dole out quick-hitting analysis and grades on all the significant moves.

Here’s what occurred on Friday night, which bled into Saturday morning and into the official opening of free agency’s doors:

From Indy’s perspective, it’s puzzling. Completely puzzling. Surely the Pacers had better offers on the table, or had had better offers tossed their way in the past. At the very least, they could have held out for a more enticing package from Boston in a week. If, as some have suggested, Indiana took a lesser package to get George out of the Eastern Conference, that is mind-numbingly stupid.

That’s right: the Clippers gave a five-year max contract to a player who hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2013-14, and who hasn’t been an All-Star since 2014-15. Griffin is a top-15 player in the NBA when healthy, and maybe he burgeons into more now that he’s out from under Chris Paul’s shadow. But the numbers don’t necessarily back up that line of thinking, nor does his injury history.

Blake Griffin got a fifth year and the max from the Clippers. (Getty)

The Clippers, in the end, had to do this to stay relevant. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smart basketball move. Nor does it vault the Clippers into contention for anything more than a second-round playoff exit.

The value of the deal for both sides depends (or depended) on subsequent moves. If Rubio is enough to lure Gordon Hayward back to Utah, this is an A+. If not, it’s a C at best. The Wolves needed to find a significant upgrade, such as Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry, if the trade was to ultimately pay off for them. They didn’t get Lowry.

Maybe Minnesota did its due diligence and heard that Lowry wasn’t going to be available. It feels like they should have made a stronger push, though.

If Iggy does leave the Bay Area? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors’ backup plan is Rudy Gay.

Hill is another candidate. According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Hill ended discussions with the Spurs, who re-signed Patty Mills, but has also spoken with the Nuggets and New York Knicks.

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