Who are the winners and losers of the NBA 2022 free agency day 1? Teams, players…
The first day of the NBA free agency saw the largest contract signed in NBA history, but not everyone was so lucky.
Before Thursday at 6 p.m., the talks were already happening. When the time came, the deals were made quick. Though there are still plenty of free agents on the market (and some good ones at that), let’s take a look at the biggest winners and biggest losers from day one of the 2022 NBA free agency.
Free Agency Day 1 Winners
I don’t think anyone will argue that Nikola Jokic was the biggest winner here, after he signed an epic five-year, $264 million supermax contract with the Denver Nuggets. I suppose the case could be made that the Nuggets are also pretty big winners here. That contract is the NBA’s largest contract in history and shot the two-time MVP up to the highest-paid player in the league.
Like Jokic, Devin Booker also cashed in on a huge deal. He signed a four-year, $224 million extension with the Phoenix Suns. Booker has continued to get better every year and helps put the Suns in championship contention.
Bradley Beal got nearly as lucky as Nikola Jokic did, raking in the second-largest ever contract. He signed a five-year, $251 million contract extension with the Washington Wizards. Even if he accepts a trade before the contract is up, he’s getting an extra $57 million. That makes the Wizards a little bit less of winners, here, I’d say.
The Sixers are having a great offseason so far. They nabbed De’Anthony Melton on Draft night plus Danny Green, and have now picked up P.J. Tucker for around $33 million. Because James Harden didn’t take the player option, he’ll be signing with the Sixers for less, giving them the opportunity to afford Tucker and keep Harden.
Free Agency Day 1 Losers
Kevin Durant has requested a trade, and that just shook up everything within the Nets’ franchise. With Durant leaving, the door has opened up for his co-star Kyrie Irving to leave, too. There are already talks of Irving heading to the Lakers. The upside is the Nets will get strong offers in return.
DeAndre Ayton entered the free agency hoping for a huge max deal. We’re only just about a day into the market opening, but he has yet to get that offer. It’s still a possibility Ayton ends up heading over to the Nets, but the only team that could offer him what he was hoping for would be the San Antonio Spurs.
Like Ayton, Miles Bridges also has yet to receive the max offer he was hoping for. To make matters more complicated for himself, Bridges was just arrested on charges of domestic violence against the mother of his children, who released disturbing photos earlier today.
The Dallas Mavericks are not the biggest losers, but they certainly are suffering a loss as Jalen Brunson signs with the New York Knicks. Brunson had an impressive year, shown even more in the post season, when he took over for co-star Luka Doncic. He was their second-leading scorer. He now joins the Knicks on a four-year, $104 million deal.
For a full recap of the day one moves, check out our live coverage as it happened here.