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NBA Free Agency: Houston Rockets sign DeMarcus Cousins to one-year deal – reports

Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets on Monday, according to multiple reports.

The deal is not guaranteed, which allows the Rockets to gauge Cousins’ health heading into the season, according to The Athletic and ESPN.

The veteran big man has appeared in only 78 games over the last three seasons as he dealt with significant injuries such as a ruptured Achilles tendon and a torn ACL.

  • Marc Gasol agrees two-year deal with Los Angeles Lakers
  • Jayson tatum agrees $195m extension with Boston Celtics

The 30-year-old Kentucky product played most recently for the Golden State Warriors during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30 games, all of them starts.

In 565 career games (543 starts), Cousins has averaged 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He is a four-time All-Star, last earning the honour in 2018.

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Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Phoenix Suns bolster bench with Langston Galloway

The Phoenix Suns agreed to terms with free agent point guard Langston Galloway on Monday, according to multiple published reports.

Galloway is coming off a strong season with the Detroit Pistons in which he averaged 10.3 points in 66 games, including six starts. He shot 43.5 per cent from the floor and 39.9 per cent from three-point range.

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In 405 career games (62 starts), Galloway has averaged 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He started his career with the New York Knicks before moving on to the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and he spent the past three seasons with Detroit.

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Galloway, who turns 29 years old on December 9, provides the Suns with an option on the bench behind starting guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

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WNBL Live: Boomers star Ezi Magbegor ready to fire against Adelaide Lightning

Melbourne Boomers forward Ashleigh Karaitiana has identified the team’s WNBA champion Ezi Magbegor as the key to beating the in-form Adelaide Lightning on Tuesday night.

After starting the season on fire with wins over Liz Cambage’s Southside Flyers and Perth, the Boomers have slumped to consecutive losses.

Melbourne will look to steady their season when they take on an Adelaide side who will be playing its first game since being forced into six days of quarantine last week following the COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia.

Watch a live stream of the game in the video player above with tip-off scheduled for 5pm local (6pm AEDT)

WNBA champion Ezi Magbegor is a defensive and offensive force. Picture: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images.Source:Supplied

Karaitiana is expecting a tough clash against the Lightning, but she has full faith in Magbegor to lift the Boomers.

“Ezi is a major key to our team,” Karaitiana said about Magbegor, who won the 2020 WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm.

“She is so gifted and so athletic- it just amazes me.

“This is the first season I’ve played with her, and for someone so young and talented, she is the most humble player I’ve ever played with.

“It is amazing to see her work and when she wants to be, she is unstoppable.

“The energy she brings at both ends of the floor is massive.”

Karaitiana knows Adelaide will come out firing after being stuck in quarantine for almost a week, but she stressed the Boomers must worry about themselves.

“They (the Lightning) will definitely come out strongly, but we have a lot to focus on ourselves.

“We haven’t played as well as we did since beating the Flyers, so once we take care of our game the rest will just flow.”

Originally published asBoomers ready for Lightning strike

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Opinion: Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka fulfills his promise to make championship roster even better

Nearly nine months await before the Los Angeles Lakers can prove whether they can defend their NBA championship.

If they do, the reasons will go beyond LeBron James and Anthony Davis maintaining their greatness. It will also point to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, the man responsible for assembling a roster that will make life easier for James and Anthony.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Pelinka gave the Lakers plenty to feel grateful for entering the 2020-21 season that begins in just about a month.

Pelinka acquired last year’s NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year (Montrezl Harrell) that will ensure the offensive burden does not rest solely on James and Davis. Pelinka landed a former Defensive Player of the Year (Marc Gasol) that will ensure Davis does not have to solely protect the rim. Pelinka rewarded an improving role player (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) with a handsome contract because he has become more dependable for his clutch moments than his Klutch representation. Before free agency began, Pelinka also bolstered the bench by acquiring another Sixth Man of the Year candidate (Dennis Schröder) from Oklahoma City for Danny Green and the No. 28 pick.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka acquired last year’s NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year (Montrezl Harrell) and also landed Marc Gasol as free agency got under way. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports)

Granted, it remains premature to hand Pelinka the NBA’s executive of the year award just as it is way too early to crown the Lakers champions. Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey and Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk upgraded their rosters, too. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has collected too many draft picks to count. Perhaps an executive somehow entices the Milwaukee Bucks to trade Giannis Antetokounmpo or the Houston Rockets to deal James Harden. But Pelinka bolstered his resume this past weekend, and demonstrated he deserves more credit among his peers that did not offer a single vote for last season’s executive of the year award.

Among the criticisms that Pelinka faced last year? That he just benefitted from Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, publicly vouching for the Pelicans to trade his client to the Lakers. That he gave up too much when he dealt Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three draft picks to New Orleans for Davis. That he does not understand the salary cap after needing to make cost-cutting moves following the Davis trade to ensure they had enough room for another max-roster slot. That he is “a backstabber,” as Magic Johnson charged after quitting abruptly as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations.

All of those criticisms were overblown, even at the time.

Sure, the Lakers have always benefited from their brand. But the Pelicans were never going to trade Davis to the Lakers just because he wanted that. It would have to benefit them. Though the Lakers gave up plenty to acquire Davis, Pelinka offered enough to secure Davis without hurting the team’s foundation.

As a former longtime agent, Pelinka understands the salary cap. But he also understood the need to agree to the Davis deal well before the free agency moratorium was lifted since New Orleans wanted to use its No. 4 pick in a trade before the draft. And as much as Pelinka has his detractors, former clients and current employees swear by him and respect his dogged work ethic.

Those qualities emerged during this past week. Pelinka threaded the balance perfectly between keeping the team’s championship core while upgrading on the margins.

Pelinka chose a younger and more dependable scorer (Schroder) over an inconsistent shooter (Green) and an unpredictable No. 28 pick. He did not fret over losing Dwight Howard since his hopes for a larger role contradicted the team’s plans to use him only when the matchups called for it. Nor did Pelinka fret over losing a wing defender (Avery Bradley) since the Lakers won an NBA title just fine without him, partly because of Caldwell-Pope’s presence.

The Lakers still still need to address their backcourt with Rajon Rondo’s departure. But they added another trusted veteran in Gasol. And they would not have landed him if not for Pelinka’s prudence with avoiding to match Rondo’s market value and with performing a sign-and-trade to Cleveland.

Pelinka won’t lack interest for landing the remaining spots on veteran’s minimum contracts because of the moves he just made to complement James and Davis. Soon, Davis will be ready to sign his deal, too. He has not decided yet simply because he wanted to mull over the length of his Lakers’ contract.

“It’s easy to fall in complacency when you win a title. You can just say, “Let’s just run it back.’’” Pelinka said last week. “But at the same time, I think my school of thinking is always ‘Let’s find ways to get better. Every offseason, ‘Let’s get better.’ We never want to just settle.”

Pelinka refused to do that to open the weekend. As a result, he boosted the chances both for the Lakers and himself to bring home some hardware next summer.

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

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Jayson Tatum: Boston Celtics 'agree five-year, $195m extention' with star forward

The Boston Celtics and star forward Jayson Tatum have agreed to a five-year, $195m (£146.7m) max extension, according to ESPN.

The deal could reportedly approach $200m (£150.4m) with All-NBA escalators and will take effect for the 2021-22 season, as the 22-year-old has a year remaining on his rookie contract.

The Celtics selected Tatum No 3 overall in the 2017 draft out of Duke. He broke out in a big way during the 2019-20 season, averaging a career-high 23.4 points per game in the coronavirus-shortened season. The mark eclipsed his 2018-19 average by nearly eight points.

  • Donovan Mitchell ‘signs five-year extension’ with Utah Jazz
  • ‘Davis Bertans signs five-year, $80m deal with Wizards’
  • Heat re-sign veteran guard Goran Dragic

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Tatum averaged 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals – also career highs – as he was named to his first All-Star team and to the All-NBA third team. He led Boston with 189 three-pointers.

He averaged 25.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the postseason, leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to the Miami Heat in six games. Tatum played an average of 40.6 minutes per game in 17 postseason contests.

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Tatum is the third player from the 2017 class to sign a max extension since free agency opened on Friday, joining Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox.

Hayward ‘agrees four-year, $120m deal with Hornets’

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Gordon Hayward has agreed a four-year, $120m (£90.3m) deal to join the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN.

The monster deal punctuates a busy week for Charlotte, who drafted point guard LaMelo Ball at No 3 overall earlier in the week.

The Athletic reported Hayward’s deal is fully guaranteed.

Charlotte are coming off a 23-42 campaign and have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons.

Hayward enjoyed a bounce-back season last year, in which he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games (all starts) with the Boston Celtics.

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NBA free agency winners and losers: Lakers reload, Gordon Hayward gets paid and Pistons go big

This year’s NBA free agency period started with a slow drip of deals before turning into a steady stream of signings from late Friday night into Saturday afternoon.

Several players still haven’t reached agreements with teams, but seven of Sporting News’ top 10 free agents are already off the market. Anthony Davis and Brandon Ingram (Nos. 1 and 2 on that list) are expected to re-sign with the Lakers and Pelicans, respectively, and a few other impactful players are deep in negotiations. 

NBA FREE AGENCY: Live updates on signings, trades, rumors

A surprise signing or trade could still pop up because, well, that’s how the NBA offseason works. But for now, let’s roll through the early winners and losers from free agency based on what we know so far.

NBA free agency winners

Los Angeles Lakers

After officially acquiring Dennis Schroder on Wednesday, the Lakers could have opted to run it back with most of the roster that brought them a championship.

Instead, they stunned NBA Twitter (and Patrick Beverley) by signing Montrezl Harrell, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, to a two-year, $19 million contract. He should be able to develop off-the-bench chemistry with Schroder similar to what he had with Lou Williams. Los Angeles also added Wesley Matthews on a one-year, $3.6 million deal, giving the Lakers a solid replacement for Danny Green.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka didn’t just bolster the depth around Davis and LeBron James, he also took key contributors away from other contenders. You can’t ask for much more if you’re a Lakers fan.

Miami Heat

The Lakers’ NBA Finals opponent has also enjoyed a strong offseason.

Goran Dragic broke the news of his own signing to open free agency (two years, $37.4 million), and the Heat followed that up by retaining Meyers Leonard (two years, nearly $20 million). They brought in Moe Harkless on a cheap one-year, $3.6 million deal, which should soften the blow of losing Jae Crowder to the Suns.

Here’s the big thing, though: All of these contracts are structured to allow Miami to have plenty of cap room next summer. That’s important in case a certain Greek superstar wants to explore his options. (It’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. We’re talking about Giannis.)

Gordon Hayward

Hayward raised some eyebrows when he passed on a $34.2 million player option with the Celtics. Hey, good call!

Four years, $120 million. That’s what Hayward got from the Hornets. Oh, and that is a fully guaranteed deal, according to The Athletic’s David Aldridge.

An all-time securing of the baggery.

Toronto Raptors and Fred VanVleet

Speaking of cashing out, how about VanVleet going from undrafted to an $85 million contract?

This is a win-win situation for the Raptors and their 26-year-old guard, who is signed through at least 2022-23 (player option for 2023-24). VanVleet is better served being a contributor on a winning team than the No. 1 option on a lottery team like the Knicks, and he still got his payday. Toronto keeps a beloved player and maintains flexibility moving forward.

3-point shooters

Should you take your kids out to the driveway and force them to do shooting drills right now? Here’s your answer:

Nothing wrong with being a specialist.

NBA free agency losers

Los Angeles Clippers

Harrell switching LA allegiances from the Clippers to the Lakers grabbed headlines, but the bigger loss might be JaMychal Green, who jumped to the Nuggets. While Green is never going to be an All-Star, his combination of size and shooting will be difficult to replace.

The Clippers re-signed Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson, so free agency hasn’t been a total strikeout. Still, they appear to be worse off than last season (for the moment, at least), and their main rival may have improved.

Detroit Pistons

What . . . what are we trying to do here?

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has certainly been busy snagging every big man in sight, but it’s unclear if all of these pieces are part of some grand vision. The most inexplicable aspect of these transactions is the fact that Detroit brought these guys in and chose to let Christian Wood go. The 25-year-old showed real promise toward the end of the 2019-20 season. Now he’s heading to Houston.

Good luck to Dwane Casey figuring out his rotation.

Charlotte Hornets

The NBA Twitter reaction to Hayward’s contract could largely be summed up as, “Excuse me? He got WHAT?”

Look, Hayward isn’t a bad player. Maybe he can be something closer to the Jazz version of himself with an expanded role in Charlotte.

It’s moreso the terms of the contract that should sound alarms. The Hornets will be paying Hayward a high price as he ages out of his prime, and the 30-year-old comes with a rough injury history. Additionally, the Hornets are on the hook for Nic Batum’s salary over the next three seasons because they elected to waive and stretch him in order to create the cap room necessary to sign Hayward.

If the goal is to do whatever it takes to make the playoffs, uh, OK then. But this just feels like skipping steps in a rebuild.

Dwight Howard

Always double-check before you tweet.

Howard believed he had secured a one-year, $3 million deal to return to the Lakers, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. It turns out management had only discussed a “deal concept,” not an official offer, forcing Howard to delete his social media post.

Not long after the miscommunication, Howard accepted a one-year, $2.6 million contract from the 76ers. This was the most Dwight way to leave LA.

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Gordon Hayward 'joins Charlotte Hornets in four-year, $120m deal'

Gordon Hayward has agreed a four-year, $120m (£90.3m) deal to join the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN.

The monster deal punctuates a busy week for Charlotte, who drafted point guard LaMelo Ball at No 3 overall earlier in the week.

The Athletic reported that Hayward’s deal is fully guaranteed.

Charlotte are coming off a 23-42 campaign and have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons.

Hayward enjoyed a bounce-back season last year, in which he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games (all starts) with the Boston Celtics.

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  • Fred VanVleet ‘re-signs with Raptors in four-year deal’
  • Montrezl Harrell to Lakers; Dwight Howard moves to 76ers
  • Heat agree deals with Goran Dragic and Meyers Leonard

He has averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists across his 10-year career, which included seven seasons with the Utah Jazz and the last three seasons with the Celtics.

In Hayward’s first game with Boston, he sustained a gruesome leg injury that cost him the rest of the season. He averaged 11.5 points in a mostly reserve role upon his return in 2018-19 before returning to the starting lineup last season.

Hayward recently turned down his $34.2m (£25.7m) player option to return to the Celtics for a fourth season.

Several teams, including Hayward’s home state Indiana Pacers, were interested in adding him before Charlotte sealed the deal.

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Fred VanVleet receives four-year, $85 million deal to stay with Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet was not selected in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Now, he’s an $85 million man.

Toronto took a chance on him, developed him, and VanVleet turned himself into one of the NBA’s more productive players. VanVleet rewarded Toronto’s faith in him, and the Raptors rewarded VanVleet’s play as the two sides reached a four-year, $85 million deal in free agency, his agent Brian Jungreis told reporters on Saturday.

The 6-foot-1, 26-year-old guard has improved each season in the league, averaging 11 points and 4.8 assists in Toronto’s 2018-19 championship season and averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists while shooting 39% on 3-pointers in 2019-20.

Fred VanVleet, who played college ball at Wichita State, will be staying in Toronto. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

He is a pivotal part of the Raptors, and he earned the contract. The Raptors are trying to keep their core of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and VanVleet together while adding around them.

After winning the title in 2019, the Raptors lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Raptors will play in Tampa, Florida, this season due to COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.

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Lakers’ swindle at centre of NBA chaos

If NBA rivals weren’t scared of the Lakers — they are now.

LeBron James’ reigning champions were the big winners on Saturday (AEDT), gutting bitter rivals the Clippers in the biggest coup on the opening day of Free Agency with the signing of reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Motrezl Harrell.

However, before the Lakers emerged from a dramatic evening of contract chaos, the Lakers found themselves all over the place following a reported botched negotiation with star centre Dwight Howard.

Philadelphia picked up Howard for a reported bargain basement contract that will see the five-time All Star play for a sixth team in the last six seasons.

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The signing came after Howard announced on Twitter he was signing with the Lakers to stay in Los Angeles.

An hour later, his tweet was deleted and the Sixers were announcing he had agreed to a $US2.6 million, one season deal.

Dwight Howard got no love from the Lakers.Source:AFP

Reports emerged in the aftermath that Howard believed he had an official offer from the Lakers for $US3 million. However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported there was a communication breakdown with the Lakers claiming they had only presented a deal concept offer to Howard.

Suddenly the Lakers went cold.

While the Lakers reportedly failed to get back to Howard’s agent for more than an hour, the Sixers, through new general manager Daryl Morey and All Star Joel Embiid, chased Howard hard.

With the clock ticking away, Howard accepted the bargain basement offer of $2.6 million to join the Sixers.

His tweet was deleted.

It seemed like the most dramatic moment of Free Agency, but by the time the dust settled on Saturday afternoon, the Lakers had loaded up for another NBA Championship charge.

The Lakers already had Dennis Schroder in the bag.

Then on Saturday, Lakers boss Rob Pelinka went to work.

Harrell agreed to a two-year $US19M deal with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

They also picked up Wesley Matthews on a one-year, $US3.6M deal as the perfect, cheaper, replacement for Danny Green.

Harrell’s departure was clearly a sucker punch to the Clippers.

Clippers star Patrick Beverley posted on Twitter after the news broke:

🤦🏾‍♂️what🤬 https://t.co/44m24c60Ux

Sports Illustrated also reported Clippers teammates were blindsided by the news.

The scary Lakers roster might not even be complete.

According to reports, the Lakers are also in the mix to sign Marc Gasol as a centre to replace Howard.

Despite the Howard mix-up, the Lakers were the big winners on day one.

Rob Pelinka is looking like the MVP of the offseason.

The champion @Lakers are looking even better than last season!

Dennis Schroder, Wes Matthews and now Montrezl Harrell …

The reigning champs still have a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dilemma to sort … but they knew they couldn't repeat with the same squad and have replenished it like few thought they could

So far from Pelinka & Front Office…

-Schroder (19pts & 4ast)…Clear upgrade and needed playmaker

-Montrezl (18.6pts & 7rebs)..6th man of year, energy guy & key loss for Clippers

-Wes Matthews…Perfect player to replace Green at fraction of cost

Lakers in good shape… https://t.co/ZVoEq67Xqu

$1.2 BILLION COMPLETED DEALS IN 2020 NBA FREE AGENCY

The NBA’s 2020 Free agency exploded in a series of big deals on Saturday.

As reported by foxsports.com.au, the deals were flying in thick and fast, headlined by De’Aaron Fox’s max extension with the Sacramento Kings:

— Davis Bertans agrees to five-year, $80M deal with the Washington Wizards, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Christian Wood agrees to a three-year, $41M deal with the Houston Rockets (in a sign-and-trade), via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Marcus Morris agrees to a four-year, $US64M deal with Los Angeles Clippers, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

— Jeraimi Grant agrees to a three-year, $US60M deal with Detroit, via The Athletic’s Shams Charania

— Joe Harris agrees to a four-year, $US75M deal with Broolyn, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

— Derrick Jones Jr. agrees to a two-year, $19M deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, via Shams Charania

— Montrezl Harrell agrees to two-year $US19M deal with Los Angeles Lakers, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst

— Goran Dragic agrees to a two-year, $US37.4M ($A51m) deal with the Miami Heat, via Shams Charania

— Meyers Leonard agrees to a two-year deal worth nearly $20M with the Miami Heat, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Real Madrid guard Facundo Campazzo agrees to a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Wesley Matthews agrees to a one-year, $3.6M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, via Shams Charania

Mavericks pick Aussie young gun

NBA: Australian guard Josh Green is on his way to the Dallas Mavericks after being selected with the 18th pick in the NBA draft.

— Mason Plumlee agrees to a three-year, $25M deal with the Detroit Pistons, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Drew Eubanks agrees to a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Dwyane Bacon agrees to a two-year deal with the Orlando Magic, via Vincent Goodwill

— Jahil Okafor agrees to a two-year deal with the Detroit Pistons, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Patrick Patterson agrees to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— De’Aaron Fox agrees to a five-year, $163M ($A223M) extension with the Sacramento Kings, with clause to reach $195.6M, via Shams Charania

— Jordan Clarkson agrees to a four-year, $52M deal with the Utah Jazz, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Derrick Favors agrees to thee-year, $27M deal with the Utah Jazz, via Tony Jones

— Danilo Gallinari agrees to a three-year, $61.5M ($A84M) deal with the Atlanta Hawks, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Dwight Howard agrees to $US2.6M, one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, via Shams Charania

— Rodney Hood agrees to two-year, $21M deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Malik Beasley agrees to four-year, $60M deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, via Shams Charania

— Anthony Gill agrees to a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Trey Burke agrees to a three-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, via Tim MacMahon

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NBA 2020 Free Agency explodes in $820million frenzy, Dwight Howard’s Sixers backflip

There is no drama like an NBA free agency feeding frenzy — and it’s what fans received on Saturday as the league erupted in a series of rich deals.

The big drama centres around the Lakers, Sacramento, Miami and Ben Simmons’ 76ers.

More than 20 deals were reported on Saturday in contracts worth a combined $US600 million ($820m).

Philadelphia announced the signature of rollercoaster centre Dwight Howard for a reported basement-level contract that will see the five-time All Star play for a sixth team in the last six seasons.

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The signing came after Howard announced on Twitter he was signing with the Lakers to stay in Los Angeles.

An hour later, his tweet was deleted and the Sixers were announcing he has agreed to a $US.26 million, one season deal.

Dwight Howard got no love from the Lakers.Source:AFP

Reports emerged in the aftermath that Howard believed he had an official offer from the Lakers for $US3 million. However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported there was a communication breakdown with the Lakers claiming they had only presented a deal concept offer to Howard.

Suddenly the Lakers went cold.

While the Lakers reportedly failed to get back to Howard’s agent for more than an hour, the Sixers, though new general manager Daryl Morey and All Star Joel Embiid, chased Howard hard.

With the clock ticking away, Howard accepted a bargain basement offer of $2.6 million to join the Sixers.

His tweet was deleted.

Dwight Howard deleted the tweet.Source:Twitter

“I would love to come back and play for the Lakers again,” Howard said, via Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com.

“Hopefully, this year, they give me a contract; that’s the biggest thing. I don’t want to play for free anymore. This year, it was like, ‘OK, I’ll do whatever.’ But I think I’ve earned… a contract.”

COMPLETED DEALS OF 2020 NBA FREE AGENCY

The NBA’s 2020 Free agency exploded in a series of big deals on Saturday.

As reported by foxsports.com.au, the deals were flying in thick and fast, headlined by De’Aaron Fox’s max extension with the Sacramento Kings:

— Joe Harris agrees to a four-year, $US75M deal with Broolyn, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

— Montrezl Harrell agrees to two-year $US19M deal with Los Angeles Lakers, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst

— Goran Dragic agrees to a two-year, $US37.4M ($A51m) deal with the Miami Heat, via Shams Charania

— Meyers Leonard agrees to a two-year deal worth nearly $20M with the Miami Heat, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Real Madrid guard Facundo Campazzo agrees to a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Wesley Matthews agrees to a one-year, $3.6M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, via Shams Charania

Mavericks pick Aussie young gun

NBA: Australian guard Josh Green is on his way to the Dallas Mavericks after being selected with the 18th pick in the NBA draft.

— Mason Plumlee agrees to a three-year, $25M deal with the Detroit Pistons, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Drew Eubanks agrees to a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Dwyane Bacon agrees to a two-year deal with the Orlando Magic, via Vincent Goodwill

— Jahil Okafor agrees to a two-year deal with the Detroit Pistons, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Patrick Patterson agrees to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— De’Aaron Fox agrees to a five-year, $163M ($A223M) extension with the Sacramento Kings, with clause to reach $195.6M, via Shams Charania

— Jordan Clarkson agrees to a four-year, $52M deal with the Utah Jazz, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Derrick Favors agrees to thee-year, $27M deal with the Utah Jazz, via Tony Jones

— Danilo Gallinari agrees to a three-year, $61.5M ($A84M) deal with the Atlanta Hawks, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Dwight Howard agrees to $US2.6M, one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, via Shams Charania

— Rodney Hood agrees to two-year, $21M deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Malik Beasley agrees to four-year, $60M deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, via Shams Charania

— Anthony Gill agrees to a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards, via Adrian Wojnarowski

— Trey Burke agrees to a three-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, via Tim MacMahon

KINGS STAR SIGNS FIRST MAX EXTENSION

Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox was the first player to get the monster bucks when Free Agency opened, signing a deal that could extend to more than $US196 million ($268M).

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Fox’s deal is a five-year contract with a base rate of $US163M.

With performance clause bonuses Fox could join the top echelon of highest paid players in basketball.

HEAT STAR’S HILARIOUS CONTRACT RESPONSE

Miami’s Goran Dragic needed just one minute of free agency to announce he is staying with the Heat.

The veteran shooter has reportedly signed a $US37.4 million, two-year deal.

Dragic joked he was coerced into the deal by teammate Jimmy Butler.

“Jimmy’s a tough guy… I didn’t want him chasing my ass,” he told AP Sport.

the Heat made a fairytale run in the Florida bubble to reach the NBA Finals this year.

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Basketball

The Pistons are collecting all of the centers and Twitter has jokes

What on Earth are the Pistons doing?

Detroit earned an A-minus in SN’s NBA Draft grades Wednesday after acquiring six new players: German point guard Killian Hayes (No. 7 overall), Washington center Isaiah Stewart (No. 16), Villanova forward Saddiq Bey (No. 19) and Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee (No. 38) in the draft, and wing Rodney McGruder and center Tony Bradley from the Rockets and Jazz in separate trades.

SN FREE AGENCY TRACKER: Signings, best available players

On Thursday, the Pistons reportedly added center Dewayne Dedmon in a trade with the Hawks.

Then on Friday, they added two more centers, signing free agents Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor.

That’s five new centers acquired in a span of three days, to complement star power forward Blake Griffin. So much for modern basketball.

Of course, fans couldn’t wait to roast the Pistons’ front office, because seriously — what are they going to do with all of those centers?

Who could the Pistons’ next target be? Perhaps Boogie Cousins could be of service. 

Or maybe this big fella?

This sort of galaxy-brain thinking is typically only seen in the Knicks’ front office. 

Seriously though, Griffin can’t be too happy about the lack of spacing he’s going to have next season.

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