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Saturday, May 18, 2024

NBA Free Agency Opens With Over $2.6B in Deals

  • Led by Nikola Jokic's record $264M extension, six of the 10 largest all-time contracts were signed in the last 24 hours.
  • Teams gave out nine contracts over $100M — seven of them over $200M.
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

NBA free agency is off to an extremely hot start.

Led by Nikola Jokic’s five-year, $264 million supermax extension with the Nuggets — now the largest contract in league history — NBA teams have reportedly handed out over $2.6 billion in contracts.

The explosion in new money is at least in part a result of the elevated $123.6 million salary cap announced earlier this week. The cap moved only marginally — or not at all — in the last couple of years due to decreased revenues from the pandemic.

As a result, Giannis Antetokounmpo held the largest contract record for about a year-and-a-half after signing a five-year, $228 million deal in December 2020. Like Jokic, he was a back-to-back MVP at the time.

But this summer’s historic payouts extend far beyond Jokic and Giannis.

  • Bradley Beal (five-year, $251M max deal with the Wizards) and possibly Zion Williamson (five-year, $231M max extension with the Pelicans) also surpassed Antetokounmpo’s record.
  • Six of the 10 largest contracts of all-time were handed out in the last 24 hours.
  • Teams gave out nine contracts over $100M; of those, seven were over $200M.
  • From those deals, Jalen Brunson was the only one to change teams, signing a four-year, $104M pact with the Knicks.

There were also a number of trades on the first day of free agency.

Kevin Huerter was reportedly dealt from the Hawks to the Kings for Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless, and a future first-round pick.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon is headed to Boston from Indiana for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, and a 2023 first-round pick.

And there’s a bevy of talent still out there.

Deandre Ayton seems destined to leave the Suns, while James Harden has yet to sign a deal to remain with the 76ers after declining his player option.

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