After a rather quiet Day 5, in which not much of substance unfolded in terms of new free agent signings or trades, Day 6 was quite a lot more eventful. A couple of veterans parted ways with their organizations due to fit issues as well as their free-falling level of play. A couple more teams have made strides towards increasing their roster quality, particularly out in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers now sport a better look than they did last season. With a couple of shrewd acquisitions in Tyreke Evans and Kyle O'Quinn, they are now about as well-tooled at every roster position as one could expect them to be, given their current cap situation, the owner's aversion to the luxury tax and the Eastern Conference playoff picture post-LeBron.
The following were the biggest deals to go down on July 6th, with an unreported deal from the 4th making the cut here:
#1 Carmelo Anthony will be let go of by Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have reportedly reached an agreement with Carmelo Anthony to stretch the remaining year of his contract over the next 3 years. Melo was slated to make over $27 million this season, driving Oklahoma City's wage bill to nearly $160 million and their luxury tax bill (with the repeater offense) to around $150 million.
Also read: 5 Trade packages for Carmelo Anthony
Melo has regressed massively over the past 2-3 seasons, shooting below league average for a player at his height and position. A significant loss in bounce and quickness has rendered him as a target for switching offenses on the defensive end and as a below average player inside the paint.
The primary reason for stretching him, however, is the fact that it will save OKC a massive luxury tax bill this season while giving them greater financial flexibility over the next couple of seasons. Doing so, however, means that they are still $8 million above the luxury tax limit and two players short on their roster list, which now contains only 13 players even with the re-signing of Raymond Felton and Jerami Grant and the addition of Nerlens Noel.
#2 Tony Parker signs a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets
Tony Parker is one of those players who cannot be associated with any jersey other than the one that he's worn for the last 17 seasons. The Frenchman, however, has parted ways with the Spurs organization this offseason, signing a 2-year, $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets in a move that could see him culminating his career in North Carolina.
The veteran point guard has had his struggles ever since the Spurs won their last NBA title in 2014. Injuries, his own natural aging and a league-wide change in emphasis towards a 3-pointer-heavy offensive style have accelerated his fall from a perennial All-Star to a backup point guard.
Parker is a cerebral player, and most likely will have a much greater impact on the Hornets franchise than Michael Carter-Williams, who was their backup point guard last season. $10 million over 2 years for a player with his ability, even today, is a pretty even deal.
#3 Zach LaVine offered 4-year deal by Kings, Bulls to match
Restricted free agent Zach LaVine was offered a 4-year, $78 million deal by the Sacramento Kings, as reported by Shams Chirania of Yahoo Sports. Barely an hour later, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Bulls would match the offer sheet and retain his services for the next 4 years.
LaVine is one of the finest athletes the game has ever seen. Most of his struggles this past season were due to him not getting a full offseason and a training camp alongside his teammates. In addition the Bulls are currently at a severe talent disadvantage at all positions, and the rebuilding process will take a couple more years before all of their young pieces like Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen mature into elite talents.
In his last 2 seasons at Minnesota, LaVine scored on 38.7% or more of his 3-point shots, which means that he's already made the transition into a scoring role. He has the potential to be a real franchise piece for the Bulls in the years to come, and they were wise to invest in it, considering they are in no hurry to contend.
#4 Ian Clark re-signs, Kyle O'Quinn moves to the Pacers
Ian Clark, an important rotation member for the Pelicans over the past season, re-signed with the franchise on a 1-year, $2.4 million deal. The swingman is a pretty useful offensive option, what with his ability to knock down 3-pointers and run the floor - two things he did quite effectively during his time with the Warriors.
Kyle O'Quinn, a backup center who occasionally started for the Knicks after injury to Kristaps Porzingis, secured a move to the Indiana Pacers. O'Quinn projects as a good backup for the likes of Sabonis and Myles Turner, and increases the Pacers' depth at the center position.
Amir Johnson signed a 1-year deal with the Sixers for $2.4 million, after raking in $11 million last season due to the Sixers' need to meet the cap floor.