Free Agency: The Moves That Matter
- By The Commissioner, Day 1, 2020
Every year there is a lot of bluster over free agents moving teams, taking pay cuts and, most of all, asking for inflated salaries. When it comes down to it, many of the actual signings that end up being executed merely move minor pieces around the board. However, there are always ones that look to shake up how the league will play out. Here are the five moves that matter.
1. Drayton Banks to Los Angeles Fireballs
Banks had been unhappy at Mexico City, ostensibly due to his frustration over the constant losing and lack of roster development. After turning down a max extension he was always going to leave. Only a few teams had the change to be able to offer him a max, and the Fireballs came through after taking a huge risk and renouncing their rights to re-sign guard Jamaine Curry.
Why does this move matter? Banks changes the Fireballs into a slower but stronger team, and gives them a real shot at beating the Austin Rockets. Chris LaCruz and Banks will combine to form another Lob City in LA, but this one may work. Whether they will be able to run the high octane offense that they did in 2019 remains to be seen, but when you consider they also added Curtis Westley, all signs are looking promising for a deep 2020 playoff berth.
2. Reggie Goodwin re-signs with Austin Rockets
While Goodwin was in no real danger of leaving, there were multiple rumours of the Rockets moving on from the upcoming guard. Goodwin promises to be one of the most versatile two-way guards in the league, and the Rockets choosing Shandon James over Goodwin would have been a travesty. This keeps Austin relevant for another few years until Kaiama Nyambi retires.
3. Jamaine Curry to the Miami Cyclones
Poor Jamaine Curry. After misreading the market (and firing his agent), Curry ended up taking an extremely cheap $13 million dollar deal for two years. Miami should have been way better last season, and having shed Kaiser Andersen (see below), they needed another piece of firepower to keep their playoff hopes alive. Curry will form a formidable 1-2-3 with Isaiah McCarty and either Rickey Douglas or Mark Robertson (if he’s retained), which will cause oppositions fits in deciding who to guard.
4. Kaiser Andersen to Nashville Stars
After Nashville lost Tyree Chappell to the Cyclones (after renouncing him), they manage to snare Kaiser from the Cyclones, giving them a veteran presence for all their frontline. While they have 5 Cs, none are as versatile or experienced as Andersen. They need his veteran leadership and championship experience, and he proved last year he can still contribute statistically. As long as he doesn’t lose a step and can bring the rest along for the ride, he could be the difference for the Stars.
5. Orien Young and Lorenzen Eyles returning to Las Vegas Scorpions
The Champs re-signed their two key acquisitions from 2019, and most importantly their glue guy in Eyles. Things only become real once Eyles rejoined with Dontay Sowder to give the Scorps a much improved chemistry in a year of topsy turvy roster turnover. Not only that, they both signed at a slight discount, giving the Scorpions future wiggle room.