NBA free agency continues into the weekend. And if Saturday is anything like the first 48 hours of free agency, we are in for another whirlwind of moves. As Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey put it, “The NBA has to be the most entertaining league….. correct?” Correct.
The free agency moratorium opened Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, the negotiating period during which free agents and teams can begin discussing and agreeing on contracts. While teams cannot officially sign players to new deals until 12:01 p.m. ET on July 6, that hasn’t stopped them from agreeing to shell out several hundred million dollars.
Many of the biggest deals on Day 1 were for players returning to their original teams: Bradley Beal to Washington (five years, $251 million), Anfernee Simons to Portland (four years, $100 million), Lu Dort to Oklahoma City (five years, $87.5 million), Bobby Portis to Milwaukee (four years, $49 million).
Day 2 was highlighted by Minnesota’s big move to acquire Rudy Gobert from Utah. Zach LaVine agreed to a five-year, $215.2 million deal to stay in Chicago, while Boston acquired Malcolm Brogdon from Indiana.
RUDY GOBERT: Timberwolves make big move to acquire star from Jazz
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MORE: NBA free agency money flies quickly as seven players total $1.5 billion
As the calendar flips to July 2 on Saturday, several notable names are still available, James Harden, Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges and Collin Sexton among them.
There’s also the big question looming after Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets just hours before free agency opened. Where will Durant land?
If you missed any moves, USA TODAY Sports’ NBA crew recaps the weekend of free agency with notes on all the contracts agreed to:
Zion agrees with Pelicans on max deal
Zion Williamson, who missed all of last season with a foot injury, has come to terms with the New Orleans Pelicans on a rookie maximum extension of five years and $193 million. With escalators, the deal could be worth up to $231 million. Williamson has played in just 85 games in three seasons since being draft first overall in 2019. However, when he’s been on the court, Williamson has played well, averaging 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds on 60.4% shooting from the field.
Garland reaches max extension with Cavs
Cleveland guard Darius Garland, coming off a fantastic season, agreed to a designated rookie extension for five years and $193 million, his agency, Klutch Sports, said. The amount could reach $232 million if Garland meets certain incentives. Garland averaged career-highs in points (21.7 per game), assists (8.6 per game) and field-goal percentage (46.2%) in his third season in 2021-22. The Cavs are set up for the present and the future and will be a key factor in the Eastern Conference.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA free agent tracker: Darius Garland signs max extension with Cavs