As the clock was ticking down to 12:01 Eastern time on July 1 and the opening of NBA free agency, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was learning about the signing of new contracts faster than he could tweet them. NBA franchises didn’t waste time announcing deals early on Saturday evening and in a matter of minutes, Wojnarowski’s list included names like Chris Paul, Paul George, DeAndre Jordan, Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli, Omri Casspi, Derrick Rose, Ed Davis, Jerami Grant, Ersan Ilyasova, Joe Harris, Doug McDermott, and others.
Of course, the biggest of the names announced was likely Paul George, who while it was considered he might stay in Oklahoma, surprised people with the announcement that he would. He declined a ton of money, the option to go to the Lakers as part of the rumored “big three with LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard and chose to stick with his good friend Russell Westbrook to the tune of four years and $137 million.
Paul George has agreed to a four-year, $137M max contract with the Thunder, league source tells ESPN. Deal includes a player option.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
This wasn’t long after a video went viral of Westbrook and George together telling fans in Oklahoma that he “was here to stay” and wanted to chance to bring an NBA Championship home to the fans in OKC.
Paul George made the announcement himself at Westbrook's party. (via @GabeIkard) pic.twitter.com/2sxXOK3epA
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2018
Chris Paul was also announced as signed with the Houston Rockets to the tune of four years and $160 MM. Could this be a team that James is looking at? Houston was one of the favorites outside of LA and Cleveland.
DeAndre Jordan was rumored to be heading to Dallas after he opted out of his contract with the LA Clippers and that’s exactly what happened when he signed for one year and $24 million.
The rest of the evening on Saturday and well into Sunday morning is likely going to be full of further announcements. There is a lot of money being handed out in the NBA over the next 24 hours and NBA teams are going to be out billions of dollars. Will every signing pay dividends? Only time will tell.
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