Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on the sports world, the major sports have found ways to make things work. With the NBA Finals ending just a month ago, the NBA is working on a shortened timeline. With the 2020-21 season scheduled to start on December 22nd, a long offseason worth of activities is being crammed into just two months. Check out the latest basketball news in our update so you can get ready to make your bets for the upcoming season against our NBA odds.
NBA COVID-19 Update – November 23rd Edition
The NBA draft was held last Wednesday, and there were no major deals that night. However, the action was going to get hot and heavy just a day later, as the start of free agency was at midnight on Friday.
Even with the pandemic, the NBA owners have opened up their pocketbooks for this free agent class. Let’s take a look at some teams that have made a splash in free agency and have made an effort to really improve their club.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers jumped right into the free agent market. Prior to the start of free agency, they traded Danny Green to Oklahoma City for point guard Dennis Schroeder. The Lakers were in need of a true point guard, and Schroeder is a nice fit.
The Lakers then went on a frenzy. They re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a 3-year, $40M dollar deal. The Lakers didn’t stop there, as they signed guard Wes Matthews. A big move that not only helps them, but also harms the Clippers, is the signing of 6th Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. And on top of that, the Lakers also signed center Marc Gasol to a contract as well.
Anthony Davis has yet to re-sign with the Lakers, but he is just waiting to see what moves they make before he decides on how long to sign for.
The Atlanta Hawks have also used the free agency period to make some big improvements to their roster. One of the big moves that they made was the signing of Danilo Gallinari. They signed the former OKC Thunder forward to a 3-year, $61M contract. The Hawks also signed Rajon Rondo to a 2-year deal. Rondo’s experience will help the young squad, and he will also help mentor Trae Young.
Another move that could bolster the Hawks into playoff contention is the signing of an offer sheet by Kings free agent Bogdan Bogdanovich. Bogdanovich is a restricted free agent, and the Kings have the right to match the 4-year $72M offer that the Hawks gave to him. If the Kings don’t match the offer, he will become another lethal shooter that the Hawks can add to a group that includes Young, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter.
Some other newsworthy signings included: Serge Ibaka signing with the Clippers, Gordon Hayward opting out of his $34M deal with the Celtics to sign a long-term deal with the Hornets, Fred VanVleet re-signing with the Raptors, the Raptors also signing Aron BaynesTristan Thompson signing with the Celtics, and the Nets re-signing Joe Harris.
There are still a lot of moves to be made throughout the free agency period. COVID-19 has slowed the world down, but it hasn’t seemed to put a damper on the free agency period in the NBA.