NBA News: Contract signings that made headlines on July 1
Ricky Gray | July 1, 2022
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From Nikola Jokic to Ja Morant, these players signed hefty deals today.
The beginning of July marked a huge day for many NBA players. This was the first day of free agency and there has already been a ton of contracts signed and extensions revealed.
Making perhaps the biggest splash is the Nikola Jokic contract which will see the reigning MVP stay in Denver for another five years with a $270m supermax contract.
However, Jokic isn’t the only player that landed a huge deal as Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves also received a $224m contract on a four-year deal.
Ja Morant will also stick around in Memphis on a five-year extension that is worth up to $231m. Of the $231m, Morant is guaranteed $191m and could trigger supermax escalators.
His agent, Jim Tanner, said: “Over the past three seasons, Ja has truly emerged as an NBA superstar and must-see TV. From Rookie of the Year to NBA All-Star starter, to All-NBA Second Team and Most Improved Player, we are incredibly proud of him for his dedication to improving his game and developing into a team leader.”
Chicago Bulls’ superstar Zach LaVine also signed a five-year $215m deal. This contract move makes a lot of sense for Chicago as LaVine has emerged as a two-time All-Star in Chicago.
Frankly, the moves by each of these teams is in-line with what we assumed would happen. Keeping these players around gives the teams the best chance of winning an NBA Championship.
The Bulls also have DeMar DeRozan in their lineup to go along with LaVine. The team was beaten 4-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season by the Milwaukee Bucks. However, some attribute their struggles to the team not being able to stay healthy.
The Nuggets had a similar experience, being beaten by the Golden State Warriors in the first round. The Timberwolves were also easily beaten by Morant and the Grizzlies in round one.
Each of these teams hopes that these signings will increase their chances in 2022-23.