4 Most Head-Scratching Moves During 2015 NBA Free Agency

By David Kenyon

The drama of NBA free agency has essentially concluded now that the DeAndre Jordan saga is over.

However, the aftermath of the center’s decision to leave the Dallas Mavericks and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers created a strange financial adjustment.

According to TNT’s David Aldridge, Matthews’ four-year deal with Dallas is now worth $70 million instead of $57 million. Had the shooting guard not sustained an Achilles injury, Matthews might’ve been worth that hefty contract.

But, the history of NBA players who recovered from that painful issue doesn’t bode well for his future production. While it’s a head-scratching move, Dallas wasn’t the only team to leave an inquisitive look on faces around the league during this summer’s edition of free agency.

Portland Trail Blazers Extend Max Offer Sheet to Enes Kanter

Courtesy of USA Today Images

Courtesy of USA Today Images: Portland really dropped the ball on Enes Kanter.

Fortunately for Portland, this move isn’t signed, sealed or delivered. Nevertheless, the franchise extended a four-year, $70 million offer to Oklahoma City Thunder power forward and restricted free agent Enes Kanter.

Dan Favale of The Hoop Doctors expounded upon the strange move:

“That’s a ludicrous price tag, even with the salary cap set to explode in 2016 and then again in 2017. It’s straight up reckless.”

After signing Ed Davis and acquiring Mason Plumlee to join Chris Kaman and Meyers Leonard in the frontcourt, the Blazers might add an offensively limited, defensively challenged Kanter. The Thunder have 72 hours to match—which would be an equally frustrating decision—but at least he’s not a featured scorer in OKC.

Sacramento Kings Erase Depth to Sign Rajon Rondo

Why? Just why? Sacramento couldn’t have not noticed no one else wanted the beleaguered point guard, yet the Kings spent $9.5 million on Rajon Rondo. Darren Collison was a much better offensive weapon than Rondo last season, but the UCLA product will see his role reduced for no good reason.

The Kings traded away Jason Thompson and Carl Landry to clear cap space for Rondo, so maybe George Karl is preparing to utilize a lineup of DeMarcus Cousins at center, Rudy Gay as a stretch-4 and have Ben McLemore, Collison and Rondo roam the perimeter.

But, they also shipped out Nik Stauskas and Ray McCallum, so defensive-minded Willie Cauley-Stein is the only solid piece off the bench.

Good job, Sacramento—Not.

Brooklyn Nets Spend $110 Million to Stay Average

Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez are returning to Brooklyn? All right. The duo is coming back after inking $50 and $60 million deals, respectively? Not all right.

The Nets finished the 2014-15 campaign at 38-44, but those pricey moves eliminated the potential to upgrade the roster. Brooklyn didn’t re-sign Alan Anderson and could only afford to add reserve pieces in Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Thomas Robinson.

Although the postseason is still a reasonable goal, the Nets winning a first-round series shouldn’t be one.

Detroit Pistons Willingly Give Reggie Jackson a Max Contract

Courtesy of USA Today Images

Courtesy of USA Today Images: The Pistons could’ve waited on an offer sheet to sign Jackson but instead jumped the gun.

If Oklahoma City signs Kanter to a max contract, at least the Thunder have a means to justify paying that much money. The Pistons, on the other hand, simply extended Reggie Jackson a five-year deal worth nearly $90 million.

Jackson is an above-average point guard, and Detroit should’ve kept him, sure. However, the team didn’t even require a signed offer sheet, arguably the most head-scratching move of them all.

According to Spotrac, Jackson penned the sixth-highest contract in the league. Brandon Jennings is returning from that historically bad Achilles injury, so Jackson absolutely has value. But it’s not that high.

Photo: USA Today Sports