Looking Back at the 3 Best Signings of 2019 NBA Free Agency

A lot of things happened in free agency last summer. It got crazy enough that the NBA considered changing their rules on tampering, which is when players and teams try to entice a player currently on a contract for another team to play for their own franchise. This came after multiple players signed with teams as soon as current NBA rules permitted, which made some NBA owners suspicious.

However, it has been over five months since free agency ended, and the dust has (mostly) settled, so now let’s take a look at what free agent signings turned out great, and which ones turned out to be less than great.

Kawhi Leonard to Clippers for three years and $103 million

This was the so-called marquee free-agent signing of 2019, and so far, it’s paying off. When Kawhi came back home to L.A., he brought star small forward Paul George with him, and the Clippers instantly went from being No. 8 in the West last year to being only 3.5 games back of the Lakers for first place in the conference this year … and the Clippers have already beaten them twice. Leonard is averaging 25.3 points per game to go along with over seven rebounds and five assists and is soaring in both popularity and the wins column. This signing is making the Clippers’ front office members look like geniuses.

Kemba Walker to Celtics for four years and $114 million

After the Charlotte Hornets decided to not offer Walker a max contract and instead let him go to free agency, the Celtics offered Walker a max contract to replace Kyrie Irving, who went to the Nets, and so far, it is going well. The star point guard is averaging 22.5 points a game, and almost every stat has improved slightly since joining Boston. Additionally, Boston is No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, and after being on the Hornets for seven years, a team who many consider being “stuck in the mud,” the chance to win a ring seems to have given Walker something to play for. This seems to be helping the Celtics as a team overall.

Kyrie Irving to Nets for four years, $142 million

We have addressed Kemba Walker and how he has so far benefitted the Celtics as a team overall. Now, let’s address Walker’s predecessor, Kyrie Irving. Although he is currently averaging six more points than Walker, he has been injured with a right shoulder impingement for over 20 games now, with no real timetable for his return, and there is no guarantee that he will be able to perform at as high of a level once he returns. Not only that, but with his star teammate and fellow free agent addition Kevin Durant out for the season after tearing his Achilles in last year’s finals, New York is in a less-than-ideal situation when it comes to cap room, with two very large contracts on the books. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they are also No. 7 in the East and in no position to contend any time soon. The Nets may have seemed like big winners last summer when they signed two superstar players, but looking back, that move may end up hurting them in the future.

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