The first day of 2021 NBA free agency was packed with action, as franchises across the league improved their rosters with some suitable signings. The 2020 Champions and contenders, the LA Lakers, added some familiar faces to their squad, while the Chicago Bulls added two key pieces in Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.
5 notable deals that went down on the first day of 2021 NBA free agency
NBA free agency has always been a convenient way for teams to add star talent, or even key role players, to the roster. Some free agency signings, like LeBron James to LA Lakers in the summer of 2018 have brought teams a championship, which goes on to show the importance of this period.
On that note, let's take a look at the five most notable signings on day 1 of NBA free agency.
#5 Alex Caruso to Chicago Bulls
Alex Caruso was expected to get this paid this summer after having four productive seasons with the LA Lakers as a role player. The combo guard signed a 4-year, $37 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, re-uniting with Lonzo Ball in the process. His salary has taken a sizeable bump, as he made just $2.75 million last season with the LA Lakers.
Caruso is a jack-of-all-trades kind of player, who can handle the ball and act as a playmaker with the second unit and play a completely off-the-ball role while sharing the court with the starters. He is a decent 3-point shooter on low volume and is known to play feisty defense against opposition guards.
#4 Doug McDermott to San Antonio Spurs
Perhaps the biggest surprise of 2021 NBA free agency, Indiana Pacers swingman Doug McDermott signed a 3-year, $42 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs. The Texas-based franchise was desperate to add a three-point shooter, and in McDermott, they got a player who has shot 40.7% from behind the arc for his career.
McDermott averaged 13 points and 3 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers last season, and will certainly provide Gregg Popovich's side with a scoring thrust through his shooting from distance.
#3 Evan Fournier to New York Knicks
There was major speculation around Evan Fournier's future, and there was a good probability of him leaving the Boston Celtics. The France international bagged himself a lucrative 4-year, $78 million deal with the New York Knicks in NBA free agency.
Fournier is a brilliant player on the offensive side of the ball, especially the scoring aspect of the game. He is adept at scoring points both in the paint and on the perimeter and will provide the New York Knicks with much-needed offense.
Fournier will be joining swingman RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, and head coach Tom Thibodeau will look to make a strong postseason run with the talented trio at his disposal.
#2 Lonzo Ball to Chicago Bulls
After months of rumors, coveted free agent Lonzo Ball went to the Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade deal in 2021 NBA free agency. Ball is set to make $85 million across four years, and the Bulls sent Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky, and a second-round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the services of the point guard.
In Lonzo Ball, the Chicago Bulls get a floor general who averaged 6 assists last season while turning the ball over just twice per game. The oldest Ball brother has also improved his shooting from behind the arc in the two seasons with the Pelicans, making 37.8% of his attempts from downtown.
#1 Kyle Lowry to Miami Heat
The Miami Heat had been on the lookout for a point guard for some time now, and they ended their quest by landing star point guard Kyle Lowry on a 3-year deal in a sign-and-trade worth $90 million in NBA free agency. Lowry was arguably the most coveted player available in NBA free agency, and with his signing, the Miami Heat will be able to field a strong backcourt of Jimmy Butler and Lowry.
Lowry had a strong 2020-21 season with the Toronto Raptors, averaging 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Kyle Lowry is also one of the few veteran point guards in the league who can hold their own on defense, and the Heat have acquired a gem of a player in NBA free agency.