The NBA free agency is bringing all sorts of big news around the league. In the first 48 hours, there was an enormous amount of deals made, and we can say without any hesitation that the balance of power is severely disrupted.
Jimmy Butler jump to Florida is the latest move which changed the picture in the East. The four-time All-Star and one of the best two-way players in the league decided rather having his own team than to be a part of the 76ers who eventually might compete for the title.
In a four-way deal, Heat sent center Hassan Whiteside to Portland, and in return got Meyers Leonard. The Trail Blazers also departed Maurice Harkless to LA Clippers, who will also get a 2023 first-round pick from the Heat.
Meanwhile, 76ers received Josh Richardson for Butler, who will sign a $142 million four-year deal.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 1, 2019
It is a move which launches the Heat back into the orbit in the East, and allows the player to finally be a leading star for the first time since he got traded from Chicago.
Allegedly, he declined the max-contract offer from the 76ers. It is clear proof that he didn’t want to be a part of a superteam or something like that. During his sting in Pennsylvania, Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 boards, 4 assists and was the key figure in closing all the close games. But even that couldn’t keep him at Wells Fargo Center.
In another deal which could potentially have a significant impact, former All-NBA and All-Star, Isaiah Thomas is back to the East Coast.
Isaiah Thomas is the shortest active NBA player. It was his destiny to play in Washington. pic.twitter.com/kZH0YLi6KL
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) July 2, 2019
The 30-year old will be in DC for one year, and at the moment the details about the contract are not revealed yet. The Wizards will be a perfect environment for him to revive his career. After being traded to Cleveland, then the Lakers, and dealing with all sorts of injuries which prevented him from reaching his full potential, Thomas ended up in Denver where he didn’t make it to the rotation.
A hip injury didn’t allow the point guard to be with the team right from the start. But as we write this text, Thomas is in the gym practicing and getting ready for the upcoming campaign.
“Now I can go back to being a gym rat this summer,” he recently told.
After losing Tomas Satoransky, Washington was desperate for a playmaker, and it appears that this move might benefit both sides.
In other news, the two-time champion, and the six-time All-Star, Pau Gasol declared himself ready to be back on the NBA courts. Gasol who is days away from his 39th birthday, successfully recovered from the left foot surgery he had. He is now a free agent and is considering options for his next team.
Free agent C @paugasol wants to return next season and says he's recovering well from left foot procedure. He tells ESPN: "My recovery from surgery has been smooth and I expect to be fully cleared for basketball activities in early August. I cannot wait to start training again."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
My recovery from surgery has been smooth, and I expect to be fully cleared for basketball activities in August,” Gasol told Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kevon Looney got back to the Warriors, signing a three-year contract worth $15 million, while Enes Kanter ended up in Boston. He will receive $10 million for the upcoming two seasons.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.