NBA free agency 2017: The top free agents, news and analysis – Washington Post


Kevin Durant isn’t likely going anywhere in free agency. (Getty Images)

When free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, players and their agents will look for the big paydays of a year ago, while teams will hope to spend less. That tug-of-war will dominate discussions in the coming weeks.

GRADING THE DEALS

Washington Post national NBA writer Tim Bontemps hands out his grades for some of the bigger signings and trades that are happening during NBA free agency. Here they are, with the most recent first:

Utah Jazz get: Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves get: Oklahoma City’s lottery-protected 2018 first round pick.

Grades:

Utah: B+
Minnesota: B-

Utah was unlikely to re-sign George Hill, and it also seems the Jazz will miss out on bringing back Gordon Hayward (and potentially Joe Ingles, as well). So getting Rubio, a solid starter who is also on a solid contract that pays him a combined $29 million over this year and next, is a good move for them to make. The hope now will be that Rubio can be a stopgap at the position until either Dante Exum or Donovan Mitchell is ready to become a full-time starter.

Minnesota’s grade here really should be an incomplete. The final mark for making this move will be influenced by what the team does with the $14 million in cap space for next season it just created. There are strong indications that the Timberwolves will end up with Jeff Teague, the Indiana Pacers free agent. If they do, how much they pay Teague – and what they do with the rest of their cap space – will determine how smart this move was in the long-term.

There’s also the uncertain future of Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City to consider. If the league MVP leaves the Thunder, this pick is likely to never convey to the Timberwolves as a first rounder (it’s lottery protected through 2020, then becomes a pair of seconds).

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