NBA Free-Agent Signings 2014: Highlighting Best Additions so Far This Offseason

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

Boston Celtics' Avery Bradley (0) reacts in front of Washington Wizards' Martell Webster (9) after scoring a 3-pointer in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Although the rumors have been flying left and right, few players have been on the move this offseason.

Most teams are waiting to see what happens with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Those two stars will dictate the market in a large way. The teams that lose out will be left scrambling for their Plans B, C and D.

Other teams, however, have been a little more proactive. They weren't waiting around to see what everyone else did. They identified their targets and wrapped up deals in a matter of days.

Of those deals that have been officially signed, these three are among the best.


Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Gregg Popovich celebrates with Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs after defeating the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Some wondered if Patty Mills would cash in on his postseason success and thus become too expensive for the San Antonio Spurs. However, his torn rotator cuff likely stunted his market value somewhat, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:

In the end, Mills is staying in San Antonio for the next three years, per Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News:'s Marc Stein reported that the deal's worth $12 million:

There's so much to like about this deal.

Three years and $12 million is a reasonable price to pay for Mills given how well he played last year. Before the injury, he could've gotten close to double that on the open market.

For Mills and the Spurs, this is the continuation of a fruitful partnership. He's proved himself to be a valuable rotation player, and from the player's perspective, he doesn't have to worry about how he'll be used offensively, as Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes wrote:

It's worth wondering if Mills would have been as effective, as optimally utilized and as appreciated if he would have wound up in another city this summer. Most likely, his role would have expanded, and he'd have been charged with doing more typical "point guard things," especially if whatever team that had signed him would have shelled out at least the mid-level exception.

Mills remaining in San Antonio won't make too many waves, especially once James and Anthony land, but this is one of the most under-the-radar moves that will happen this summer.


Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Imagine how much money Avery Bradley could've gotten if he was a good shooter. On the face of it, four years and $32 million seems a bit steep for a player with Bradley's skill set, per Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears:

"Avery’s glad to be back in Boston," Bradley's agent, Mitchell Butler, said, per Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe. "We’re very happy he remains a Celtic."

In Holmes' article, a source is quoted as calling the price "way too high."

"I was shocked by that one, especially with [first-round draft pick] Marcus Smart on board now," the source added.

Having Smart and Bradley gives Boston some cover in case the team decides to trade Rajon Rondo. The All-Star point guard has been the subject of trade talks in the past, and having two ready-made replacements helps facilitates a possible deal.

Bradley is also a great perimeter defender. Sure, he's 43.8 percent shooter, but his talent on the defensive end of the court can't be overlooked.

Perhaps $8 million a year is a bit too much, but don't forget that Bradley is only 23 years old. If he can become just an above-average shooter, he'll more than pay back that money.


Ben Gordon, Orlando Magic

Adam Jennings/Associated Press

One of the most surprising signings of this offseason is bound to be Ben Gordon to the Orlando Magic, per Wojnarowski:

Plenty have chosen to rip Orlando for committing nearly $10 million to somebody who played 19 games last year and has been generally waning for the past four or five seasons.

The key part of this deal is that the second year is a team option, so that the Magic are only really sinking $4.5 million if things go really badly, per's David Aldridge:'s Matt Moore had the best perspective on Gordon's signing:

Gordon is a career 40.2 percent shooter from three-point range. As long as he can stay healthy, the 31-year-old can remain a productive floor-spacer, not to mention that the Magic are in need of a little more veteran leadership.

You have to figure that Gordon will be highly motivated to play well and earn that $4.5 million in the second year. If he can return to only about 70 or 80 percent of the player he once was, then this will be a steal for the Magic.


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