As free agency rolls along, here are some players that have signed over the past few days:
PJ Tucker to Houston:
The Houston Rockets are trying aggressively to round out their bench the remainder of the off season. They continued doing that signing forward PJ Tucker to a 4 yr./32 million dollar deal. Tucker, a longtime friend of Chris Paul, made this deal tough to turn down.
Chris Paul played big role getting friend PJ Tucker to HOU. Raps offered 3 yrs/$33M, Rockets deal is 4/$32M, partial guarantee in last year
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 2, 2017
Tucker played 81 games last season for Toronto and Phoenix. During those games he averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. He shot the ball at a 41.3% clip form the field, and fired the three ball at 35.7%.
Tucker is a high energy player that will do pretty much anything you ask of him. Whether that’s rebounding, scoring, or hustling after a loose ball. This move will definitely be worth the money as the Rockets try to contend with the Golden State Warriors this season.
Serge Ibaka stays with Toronto:
Toronto looks to be keeping their core together for another chance in the weakened Eastern conference. Kyle Lowry is reportedly close to staying in Toronto as well. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Serge Ibaka’s deal will be 3 years at 65 million.
Source: Free agent forward Serge Ibaka has reached deal on three-year, $65M contract to stay with the Toronto… https://t.co/ATpQCWXQ36
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2017
Ibaka gave the Raptors a much needed inside presence last season after being acquired from the Orlando Magic. Ibaka averaged 14.2 points, and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games with Toronto last season. In all, during the 2016-17 season with the Magic and Raptors, in 79 games, Ibaka averaged 14.8 points per game along with 6.8 rebounds.
He shot 48% from the floor, and with his improving three point shot, made 39.1% from deep. He has shown the ability to stretch the floor and knock down the three ball. It may be time for the Raptors to find another player to go alongside DeMar Derozan, Ibaka, and Lowry (if re-signed). The Raptors need another offensive threat to contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James.
Taj Gibson reunites with Tom Thibodeau:
The Minnesota Timberwolves busy offseason continues. They came to terms with former Chicago Bull, and most recently OKC forward, Taj Gibson. Gibson and Jimmy Butler will now be reunited with former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota.
Free agent Taj Gibson has agreed to a two-year, $28M deal with Minnesota, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2017
Gibson’s deal will be for 2 years at $28 million dollars. Last season with the Bulls and Thunder, Gibson averaged 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and just shy of 1 assist in 78 games total. In what’s been a great offseason for the Timberwolves, they will now likely have a starting five of Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, and Karl Anthony Towns.
This lineup could propel them from 31 wins a year ago into the playoffs in 2017. It will be interesting to see if they add any more bench pieces as the offseason continues.
Golden State Warriors keep role players intact:
The Warriors have kept the key parts to their bench in the Bay Area for another few seasons. Golden State has come to terms with both Andre Iguodala, and Sean Livingston. Livingston signed a 3 yr./24 million dollar deal just before Iguodala signed a 3 yr./48 millon dollar deal just a day later.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 2, 2017
A vital part of the defending champions success has been the ability for their role players to contribute. Last season, Livingston, 31, averaged 5.1 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in 17.7 minutes a night. He shot 54.7 % from the field and lived off his mid range game that has become more than reliable.
Iguodala, 33, managed to average 7.6 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 76 games last season. He played 26.3 minutes a game off the bench. Never known for shooting the three ball, he held his own with a 36.2% rate from downtown, and shot 52.8% from the field overall.
Losing any of these two players would have been a significant blow for the Warriors next season. Look for much of the same out of these two next year.