Day 2 of the 2016 NBA free agency period didn't bring the biggest contract in NBA history like Friday did, but there were still stunning moves, topped by Al Horford going to the Celtics on a four-year, $113 million deal.
Here's a look at the winners and losers from Saturday's free agency action.
Winner: Boston Celtics
The Celtics signed the best free agent they've landed in decades in Al Horford, and in doing so, may have put themselves in pole position for Kevin Durant. It changes the perception about the team as a free agent destination and dramatically improves them off the bat. He will take all the pick-and-pop situations the Celtics clanged last year and turn them into buckets. He's a better screener, passer and defender than anyone the Celtics have and raises their collective basketball IQ by leaps and bounds.
If they get Durant, this will be the move that unlocked it. If they don't, they still got the second-best available free agent on the market. (LeBron James is not available.) He's a terrific player who makes their team better and they'll still have assets to try and trade for another star later.
Big day for Boston.
Loser: Atlanta Hawks
Judging by the Internet's reaction, I have to spell this out.
It is not 2011.
If it were 2011, this was an understandable and good move for the Hawks. Dwight Howard would be an MVP candidate and as good as Al Horford is, Howard would be a dominant replacement upgrade. As it is not, the Hawks gave up one of the five best centers in the NBA so they could pay a 30-year-0ld center off back and knee surgeries $23 million. They also alienate Paul Millsap by attempting to trade him to keep Horford, and do keep Kent Bazemore on a huge but market-appropriate contract -- money that could have been Horford's.
Howard and Millsap make more sense together than Howard and Horford, but Millsap and Horford make more sense together than either. This team won 62 games and made the Eastern Conference finals two years ago and now have lost their starting point guard to trade and center to free agency.
The Hawks are not better than they were a month ago, because it is not 2011.
Winner: Kevin Durant
OK, for one, he got to hang out with Tom Brady, which is cool. Two, his choices are now: a) play with Russell Westbrook; b) play with Stephen Curry; or c) play with Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas. There are no bad options, and his risk if he chooses to go to Boston is significantly diminished.
Durant's options all over the board improved and he got to spend a day in the Hamptons hanging out and being praised and worshipped by the Spurs and Celtics. Life is good for KD right now.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
That's right. Two nights in a row, the Lakers take the top slot for losing. Luol Deng is a very good player and had a resurgence in Miami, turning into a stretch-four late in his career. He will be good for the Lakers and help them with veteran experience. But he's also 31 with a ton of miles on him and still shot just 34 percent from 3-point range in a strong year last season.
He doesn't fit their timeline of the youngsters and will take minutes from either Brandon Ingram or Julius Randle. And the deal was four years for $72 million -- just two years removed from people wondering whether Deng was on his way out of the NBA.
Now, I credited the Knicks for the Noah deal so I have to balance this to a degree, but the Knicks aren't trying to build around a young core. It just doesn't make sense to make that kind of investment when it only complicates your situation.
The bigger problem is that the Lakers seem to not know which direction they're going. Again.
Winner: Orlando Magic
The Magic finally had a good day, as landing Bismack Biyombo for four years and $72 million comes with sticker shock but was also market value. Pairing Biyombo with with Serge Ibaka means that Orlando is likely to have a top-five defense next year. They cleared cap space and presumably their big target was not Biyombo, but between Ibaka and Biz, they have created a fearsome interior duo.
They can figure out Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic's role in all this later. That's still a dominant rim protection duo that will have guards petrified.
Loser: Dallas Mavericks
As if losing out on Hassan Whiteside and Mike Conley on Friday wasn't enough, on Saturday the Mavs made the only big free agent move they could, reportedly confirming with Harrison Barnes that they'll offer him a max contract.
Not only is this giving an estimated $94 million offer sheet to a player who has not shown anything close to the ability to carry a team or produce at the level they would need him to, but the Warriors are almost certain to match the offer. So the Mavericks' best move is to spend three days hoping something happens that forces the Warriors to not match their desperation offer sheet for a player who likely will not wind up being value on that contract anyway.
The talk of possibly letting Dirk Nowitzki pursue greener pastures has never been louder.
Winner: Sacramento Kings
Is it possible, just maybe, that the era of stupid is over in Sactown?
The Kings inked just two deals Saturday. They paid $25 million to Arron Afflalo over two years, getting the kind of veteran two-guard they've wanted for some time. Afflalo hasn't been good defensively in over three seasons but is a big, athletic two-guard who can score in a multitude of ways efficiently. For a short-term deal under $15 million per year? That's really good value
Then they added Anthony Tolliver, a total vet who can hit from range and did so on a two year deal at around $8 million per season.
The Kings didn't overextend themselves or give up assets for pipe dreams of a big-name signing. They just found smart opportunities to add quality players, in a very un-Kings-like way.
Loser: Los Angeles Clippers
Got bumped out of the Kevin Durant chase, and the way everyone knew was that they started dishing out contracts for Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford. It was like realizing the person you really wanted to go to that wedding with was not going to go with you so you had to take your cousin.
Winner: Brooklyn Nets
Like the Kings, the perennial over-spenders in Brooklyn kept their wallets in check showing the kind of fiscal discipline that has been absent for a half-decade there. No big bold contract for the Nets, instead they just get Trevor Booker on a reasonable deal. Brooklyn's starting to undo the damage from so many short-sighted ideas.
Loser: Washington Wizards
The Ian Mahinmi deal (four years, $64 million) is good value for a good player, but not the kind of guy they needed. They're either overpaying for a backup or squandering an asset in Marcin Gortat who they may look to trade. Good player on a good contract, but Mahinmi doesn't make much of an impact considering how many needs they have in reserves.