If you’ve paid anything resembling attention to sports this summer, you’ve probably noticed that the NBA free agency period has been absolutely insane.
Indeed, more big names than ever have seemingly been available. It’s led to some unreal, massive contracts for superstars and solid role players alike. The deals are so big, in fact, that many players from other professional sports like the NFL have taken notice and begun to believe they’re in the wrong sport.
They could be right about that. Based on what we’ve seen in 2019 NBA free agency, basketball is the place to be for lucrative pro sports contracts. If you aren’t quite sure about that, just check out the monster paydays handed out below.
Here are the 30 biggest contracts of the craziest NBA free agency ever – the one we’ve just watched unfold:
Jeremy Lamb – SG, Indiana Pacers:
Lamb signed a three-year, $31,500,000 deal with Indiana this offseason that averages $10,500,000 a year with a $10,500,000 cap hit.
Lamb came over from the Charlotte Hornets as an unrestricted free agent. He’s coming off his best season as a pro after averaging 15.3 points per game and 5.5 rebounds, and it came at just the right time to cash in.
Veteran Gay re-signed with San Antonio on a two-year, $32,000,000 deal as an unrestricted free agent. The deal averages $16,000,000 a year and has a $14,500,000 cap hit for 2019.
He didn’t exactly have his best season last year, averaging 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. But he’s a battle-tested vet of 15 seasons, so this was a solid if not spectacular re-signing for San Antonio.
Stephen Curry’s lesser-known younger brother Seth moved from Portland to Dallas as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He got a four-year deal worth $32,000,000. It averages $8,000,000 a season and carries a cap hit of $7,441,860.
He averaged a measly 7.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in his only season with Portland last year. Curry played for Mavericks one season before in 2016-17. For what it’s worth, he did average a career-best 12.8 points per game with Dallas before missing the entire 2017-2018 season due to injury.
German power forward Kleber showed enough in his first two seasons with Dallas to earn a four-year, $35,900,000 deal as a restricted free agent this offseason. The deal averages $8,975,000 a year with an $8,000,000 cap hit for 2019.
He has not exactly blown the doors off by averaging 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but he’s still very young and will be part of Dallas’ core moving forward.
Joseph moved on from the Indiana Pacers to sign with the Sacramento Kings as an unrestricted free agent. He inked a three-year, $37,200,000 deal that averages $12,400,000 a year with a $12,000,000 cap hit this season.
He averaged 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game last season, meaning he cashed in quite nicely at this rate.
Longtime veteran Jordan made a big move by joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn as part of their all-new ‘super team.’ He signed for four years and $39,960,716 as an unrestricted free agent. The deal pays him $9,990,179 a year with a cap hit of $9,881,598.
Jordan averaged 10.9 points per game with the Knicks last season, but his true value was in the rebound department, where he averaged 11.4 per game. He’s solid veteran depth for the up-and-coming Nets.
A veteran of 13 years in the NBA, Young left the Indiana Pacers for the Chicago Bulls an unrestricted free agent for a three-year deal worth $43,635,000. It averages $14,545,000 with a 2019 cap hit of $12,900,000.
Young averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. He’s a strong veteran presence for the Bulls, who are his fifth team.
After seven years as a Toronto Raptor, Valaciunas left the team for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018. He responded with his best-ever year by a wide margin, where he averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
That was enough for Memphis to offer him a three-year $45,000,000 deal as an unrestricted free agent. The contract averages $15,000,000 a year with a cap hit of $16,000,000. The future is looking very, very bright for the seven-footer from Lithuania.
After spending his first six years in Minnesota, Spanish sensation Rubio played for the Utah Jazz the last two seasons. He left Utah as an unrestricted free agent for the lowly Phoenix Suns this summer.
After averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 assists per game in 2018-2019, he got a three-year, $51,000,000 from Phoenix. It averages $17,000,000 per season with a 2019 cap hit of $16,190,476. The Suns are going to need him to live up to the hype (and then some) to crawl out of the NBA cellar.
The seven-foot Lopez is now an 11-season veteran somehow. He played a solid role for the upstart Milwaukee Bucks last year, averaging 12.4 points and 2.2 blocks per game. After years of obscurity, Milwaukee nearly made the NBA Finals, falling only to eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the East Conference Finals.
Getting so deep in the NBA Playoffs has it perks, and Lopez cashed in as an unrestricted free agent. He re-signed with the Bucks on a four-year, $52,000,000 deal. It averages $13,000,000 per year with a 2019 cap hit of $12,093,024. He should be a solid piece of their title hopeful team this year.
Ross began his career with Toronto then went to Orlando in 2016-2017. He’s played well for them, averaging 15.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 2018-2019. Ross has a pure shooting touch that plays perfectly into today’s three-point-focused NBA climate. In fact, he became the first-ever player to make 200 threes without starting a single game in 2018-2019.
The Magic rewarded him with a four-year, $54,000,000 deal averaging $13,500,000 per season as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It has a cap hit of $12,500,000. Due to the need to fill up the bucket from the three-point line, this appears a good re-signing for Orlando.
Rozier has played his entire four-year career with the Boston Celtics up until this point. After he averaged 9.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game in 2018-2019, the Hornets decided to pick him up as a restricted free agent.
Charlotte scooped him up on a 3-year, $56,700,000 deal averaging $18,900,000 per season. It carries a significant $19,894,737 cap hit for the 2019-20 season. The deal is a solid one for Rozier, but he’ll head into Charlotte with some big expectations weighing on his back because of it.
After starting his career with four straight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Randle took his talents to New Orleans in 2018-2019. What followed was his best season by far when he averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.
While the joke-inducing New York Knicks were expected to land a truly high-profile free agent this offseason, they did not get one of the biggest fish in the vast and open waters. They did, however, nab Randle. Of course, he’s far from a slouch. The Knickerbockers lavished a three-year, $62,100,000 deal on Randle. It will pay him $20,700,000 per season with a 2019-20-cap hit of $18,000,000. The Knicks need him – and a whole lot more – to end their seemingly endless downward trend this year.
Croatian Bogdanovic put forth by far his best effort, averaging 20.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game for the Indiana Pacers in 2018-19. The Utah Jazz liked what they saw and offered Bogdanovic a four-year, $73,100,000 deal averaging $18,275,000 per season. It carries a cap hit of $17,000,000 for the 2019-2020 season.
After losing Rocky Rubio, the Jazz will be counting on Bogdanovic to replace his offense and then some.
After kicking off his career with three seasons in Milwaukee, Brogdon cashed in on the spending spree of the Indiana Pacers as a restricted free agent. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game in the Bucks’ unreal 2018-19 year, including an amazing .928 free throw shooting percentage.
The Pacers threw him a monster four-year, $85,000,000 deal. It averages $21,250,000 per year with a 2019-20-cap hit of $20,000,000. They’re looking to capitalize on the upside of the young, improving Brogdon – and they paid for it.
Seven-year veteran Barnes was traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Sacramento Kings in the middle of the 2018-19 season. His scoring average went down to 14.3 from 17.7 points with the Mavericks, but his rebounding average went up from 4.2 to 5.5 per game. The scoring average was a three-year low for Barnes, however.
Either way, Barnes is a former NBA champion who commands a big payday. The Kings decided to re-sign the unrestricted free agent to a four-year, $85,000,000 deal averaging $21,250,000 per season. It has a cap hit of $18,973,214. The Kings have a long road back to being a contender in the new-look NBA, and they’re hoping Barnes will spearhead that movement in 2019-20.
Seven-foot Montenegrin Vuceviv has played all but one season of his eight-year career with the Orlando Magic. His latest effort was by far his best, where he averaged 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game in 2018-2019.
The Magic saw it fit to extend their center as an unrestricted free agent. He cashed in on a four-year, $100,000,000 deal averaging $25,000,000 a season. The cap hit of next year is substantial at $28,000,000. Still, Vuceviv will be an integral part of Orlando’s gameplan in every game for the next four years.
Perhaps the hottest name on this list overall, Leonard lead the Toronto Raptors to an unlikely NBA Championship after playing only 17 games for the San Antonio Spurs in 2017-18. He was an absolute beast who scored 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Then he averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 boards, and 3.9 assists in the playoffs.
To top it off, he was an unrestricted free agent set to cash in. That he did, leaving the Raptors for a three-year, $103,137,300 deal averaging $34,379,100 a year with the Los Angeles Clippers. The deal carries a large cap hit of $32,742,000 in 2019-20. It’s safe to say it was worth it no matter the cost, as Leonard will carry the Clippers into the future as one of the best players in the NBA.
The supposedly fading juggernaut Golden State Warriors lost one of the biggest names yet to come on this list, so they re-upped by adding the young, dangerous Russell to their team in free agency. The previous Brooklyn Net and Los Angeles Laker signed a four-year $117,325,500 deal averaging $29,331,375 a year as a restricted free agent. It has a cap hit of $27,285,000 this year.
The 23-year-old Russell averaged 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists this year. Golden State made a big and much-needed move by adding this future star to their roster in the 2019 free agency frenzy.
An infamous superstar who helped Lebron James shock the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, Irving has nonetheless gained the reputation of being unhappy wherever he goes.
It’s more about his skills on the floor, however, so Brooklyn doesn’t seem to care, however, lavishing a four-year, $136,490,600 deal on the former champion. The contract averages $34,122,650 a year and has a 2019-20 cap hit of $31,742,000. He’ll join Kevin Durant in forming one of the many so-called ‘super teams’ that were assembled in the 2019 offseason.
Walker spent his first eight seasons in Charlotte. He was a consistent force there, averaging more than 20 points a game for four straight seasons. Last year was his finest when he racked up 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.
Boston scooped him up to replace Kyrie Irving, handing him a four-year, $140,790,600 contract worth $35,197,650 a year. It has a large cap hit of $32,742,000 in 2019-20.
The Eastern Conference is shaping up to be a tough one this year, so Walker has his work cut out for him in leading the Celts to a top spot there. He got paid huge and should be up to the challenge.
Butler averaged more than 20 points a game himself for the Bulls and Timberwolves from 2014-2019. He was then traded to Philly in early 2019. He averaged a little less at 18.2 points for the 76ers, but still got paid big to go to South Beach.
The Miami Heat offered him a four-year, $140,790,600 deal as an unrestricted free agent and he took it. It averages $35,197,650 a season with a cap hit of $32,742,000. While his old team the 76ers has several high-profile players, he’ll have a chance to be the man in Miami.
Porzingis didn’t play at all during the 2018-19 season after tearing his ACL. But after the Mavs traded the New York Knicks for him, it was time to extend his contract and lock him up.
They lavished the seven-footer a five-year, $158,253,000 deal that averages $31,650,600 a season with a cap hit of $27,285,000. They’ve spent a lot in free agency this year, and Porzingis was their prize deal as he heads into his tenure as the main centerpiece of their team.
Now we’re getting up into the true big guns of the 2019 NBA free agency frenzy. Durant infamously tore his Achilles tendon while playing for the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. His team lost, adding insult to injury, but Durant also won two rings with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.
He could miss the next season, but he still agreed to join Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets. They offered him a five-year, $164,255,700 deal averaging a staggering $41,063,925 a year. It carries a monster cap hit of $38,199,000. Durant averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game last year. His injury is a devastating one, but Brooklyn still got one of the league’s best with this massive contract.
The latest in Philly’s insane 2019 spending spree, Simmons just inked a new deal for five years and $170 million. It averages 34,000,000 a season. Simmons’ numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he did average 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game in his second year with the team.
He’ll remain with Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and the newly acquired Al Horford as Philadelphia looks to make a big push towards the Eastern Conference Championship.
After playing one year in Detroit, Middleton has played the last six with the Bucks. He had one of his finest seasons last year, averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists a game in 2018-19. The Bucks obviously made the Eastern Conference Finals as well, so they chose to pay Middleton in order to keep their core intact.
He got paid in the form of a five-year, $178,000,000 deal averaging $35,600,000 a year. It carries a cap hit of $30,689,655 this year. He’ll join Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Bucks look to make another push to the NBA Finals.
Harris has played for five teams since 2011, and he was traded to Philadelphia from the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 18.2 points per game for the 76ers after averaging 20.9 points per game for the Clippers.
Philadelphia obviously saw him as an integral piece as the highest-priced prize of their free agent spending spree. The 76ers locked him up to a five-year, 180,000,000 contract averaging $36,000,000 a year with a $31,034,483 cap hit. Philly is gambling big that this core of Joel Embiid, Harris, Ben Simmons, and Al Horford gets them to the Finals. It had better at this price tag.
Finally, we arrive at the biggest contract of the absolutely insane 2019 NBA free agency season. Thompson needs no introduction as a member of Golden State’s infamous ‘Splash Brothers’ with Steph Curry. He averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists last year as the Warriors made the NBA Finals again.
Things got complicated when Thompson tore his ACL against Toronto in a losing effort by Golden State. Still, there was really no other option for the team than to re-sign him to a max five-year, $189,903,600 deal averaging $37,980,720 a season with a cap hit of $32,742,000.
Thompson has quite a ways to go towards his recovery. But overall, he’s still one of the best pure shooters in the league today. If Golden State wanted to keep their core intact, they needed to make this huge deal, and they did. Thus, Thompson signed the biggest deal of the NBA’s craziest free agency period of all-time.