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NBA Free Agency Continues to See Deals and Trades Being Made

NBA Free Agency Continues to See Deals and Trades Being Made

The current free agent period in the NBA has many teams looking to make moves to improve their rosters or finalize contract extensions with their current stars. There’s a lot going on this week, as is usual this time of year.

Suns Match Pacers’ Offer, Keeping Ayton In Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns will keep their star trio of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton together next season. The team matched the $133-million, four-year offer from the Indiana Pacers for Ayton, who was an unrestricted free agent. The first pick of the 2018 NBA draft had been eligible for a max contract extension from the Suns last summer, which never materialized. 

Ayton was a crucial part of the team that reached the NBA Finals in 2021 and averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds last season. Indiana was hoping to add Ayton to a promising young lineup, including point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who came to the Pacers via a trade with the Sacramento Kings last season. 

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The Suns were hesitant to offer Ayton a max contract that would have been worth more than $176 million over four years, as there were differences of opinion about his worth. In addition, he has been criticized about his maturity level and most recently argued with coach Monty Williams before being benched for part of Game 7 of their second-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks. 

Nuggets Agree To Extension with KCP

The Denver Nuggets and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have agreed on a contract extension worth $30 million for two years. He arrived in Denver two weeks ago after the Washington Wizards traded him away. The veteran will also be a big addition to the nucleus of league MVP Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. for the Nuggets.

KCP should greatly benefit from the league’s best-passing center and is excellent on the catch-and-shoot from three-point range. Last season, Caldwell-Pope was one of the top three-point shooters in the league and shot 44.8% on open looks from beyond the arc last season. In his final season with Washington, he averaged 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.

Knicks And Jazz Continue Negotiations For Mitchell

The New York Knicks and Utah Jazz continue their talks on a potential trade involving Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, it looks like the trade will happen, with the only thing left to figure out is how many draft picks the Knicks will have to give up on acquiring the All-Star. Some also say the Jazz are looking to get most of New York’s eight first-round picks as part of the deal. 

Utah has been discussing possible trade scenarios with other teams, with the Knicks being the apparent front-runner. The Knicks gained three first-round picks during the recent NBA Draft after acquiring a first-rounder from the Dallas Mavericks in a 2019 deal. They also have total control over all the picks. Utah recently traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, so the Jazz feel they need several of those top picks to start rebuilding if a deal for Mitchell is reached. 

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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