NBA offseason bargains: Brandon Ingram, Dwight Howard among acquisitions thriving on cheap contracts
On Black Friday, let's take a look at some players providing solid value for their new teams
Each year on Black Friday we're reminded of a universal truth: Everybody loves a bargain. There's no better feeling than being a smart shopper and getting something of solid value for a rock-bottom price, and NBA teams are no exception. You generally have to spend big for the best players, but acquiring a strong contributor for a relatively low salary can lead to years of franchise success.
Just ask the Golden State Warriors, who were able to jump start their recent dynasty thanks to a now-unthinkable four-year, $44 million deal for two-time MVP Stephen Curry. We're not saying these players are going to be Curry, or that the teams will be the Warriors, but here are a few NBA bargains who are making a splash with their new teams this season.
*All salary figures from Spotrac
2019-20 salary: $5.9M
Everyone knew the Pelicans had to trade Anthony Davis, and they did extremely well to get Ingram in return on the final year of his rookie contract. He's been sensational for the Pelicans this season, finding himself in the Top 10 in the NBA in scoring while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 46 percent on 3-pointers.
2019-20 salary: $5.3M
Partially to clear cap space, the Celtics traded Baynes to the Suns for a late first-round draft pick. So far, it's worked out pretty well for the Suns. Before a recent injury, Baynes was a revelation, anchoring a much-improved defense and stretching the floor with 44 percent 3-point shooting on over four attempts per game. Phoenix's recent skid has coincided with Baynes being out of the lineup.
2019-20 salary: $3.8M
The Thunder were forced into action when Paul George decided he wanted to join Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles, but they ended up with a tremendous player on a rookie-scale contract in the process. Gilgeous-Alexander has been tremendous this season playing both on and off the ball, and he leads the team in scoring despite being just 21 years old.
2019-20 salary: $2.3M
2019-20 salary: $1.9M
These two are linked, so we figured we'd put them together. Burks and Robinson have both taken advantage of the Warriors' devastating injury situation, getting major minutes as primary scorers in most of their games so far this season. Both are young veterans on an even younger team, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr hopes their performance so far this year will help bolster their careers.
"Alec and Glenn both have given us that consistency with their scoring and leadership," Kerr said. "Both guys have been huge for us. It's really fun to watch them because they're both pros, they've been around long enough to know the league, but this is a great opportunity for them to really improve their careers. They've got plenty of years ahead of them, and they're really seizing the opportunity that they have here, so it's exciting."
2019-20 salary: $2.6M
Reports of Dwight Howard's demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. The 7-footer promised he had turned over a new leaf and was ready to play team basketball, and so far it seems to be coming to fruition. Howard has anchored the Lakers' second unit and has helped contribute to one of the league's top defenses. Not bad for a non-guaranteed contract.
2019-20 salary: $6.5M
Parker has proven one thing this season -- he can put the ball in the basket. He's flourished in a more prominent role with John Collins out of the lineup, averaging over 19 points and seven rebounds on 51 percent shooting to go along with almost two steals per game since Collins' suspension.
2019-20 salary: $2.3M
He hasn't exactly returned to his pre-injury All-NBA form, but Thomas has given the Wizards pretty good value on a minimum contract. He took over the starting point guard job and is shooting over 40 percent from the 3-point line while dishing out more than five assists per game.
2019-20 salary: $4.9M
Holmes looked like a serviceable backup big in Sacramento before an injury to Marvin Bagley opened up more of an opportunity for him. Thriving in his extra minutes, Holmes is averaging 11.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks since entering the starting lineup in late October.
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