Free Agency – Day 3

Darren Collison

After two fairly exciting days of free agency action, day three was noticeably quieter. Still, the biggest name available made the move we all expected him to, while the second biggest name available met with his final suitor. Day three also saw the rebuilding Pacers throw a large sum at a guy expected to serve as their back-up point guard for the upcoming season, a whole load of meeting take place and some juicy rumors start to take shape. So, let’s take a closer look at three of the day’s biggest storylines:

Warriors bring back the band

After securing agreements with Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on the first two days of free agency, the Warriors reportedly finalized one with Kevin Durant on Monday.

While everyone expected KD to take a pay cut to stick with the team he just won a championship with the deal he actually signed is even smaller than most thought it would be, saving the Warriors a significant luxury tax payment.

That said, the reported two-year, $53 million deal includes a player option that enables KD to opt out again next summer and sign a huge five-year max contract similar to Stephen Curry’s if he feels so inclined.

The decision has divided opinion (in much the same way KD’s decision to sign with GSW in the first place did), as many around the league believes it sets a dangerous precedent that could see other free agents replicate the move to give their teams a shot at a title.

From a Warriors’ perspective though this is something approaching best-case scenario, as although the team probably would have liked to have locked him up for longer, they will at least enter the 2017-18 campaign as favorites to retain the title while keeping the dynasty dreams alive.

The Pacers add depth

The Pacers first move post-Paul George saw them add veteran point guard Darren Collison to what is now a very young roster.

According to reports the two-year, $20-million deal comes with a partial guarantee for the second season, making Collison an affordable replacement for the departed Jeff Teague. That said, there’s a very good chance that the 29 year old plays the majority of his minutes off the bench, as Indiana looks to plunge its time and effort into player development next season.

Still, that shouldn’t be too difficult for Collison – a player who’s spent large periods of his career doing just that.

The grand tour reaches its conclusion

One of this summer’s hottest free agents, and the most coveted still on the board at this stage, Gordon Hayward, visited his final potential destination yesterday – Utah.

Having spent time in Miami on Saturday and Boston on Sunday, Hayward went to speak with the team that drafted him, nurtured him and helped him become an All-Star, before announcing that he’ll be sharing his decision at some point today.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Jazz got their pitch just right though:

Right now it seems as if Utah and Boston are the two front runners, as the former gave Hayward his chance in the NBA, while the latter has the best chance of competing with Cleveland in the East. They also give Hayward a chance to hook up with his college coach, Brad Stevens.

Still, you should never underestimate Pat Riley when it comes to free agency.

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