NBA free agency: Analyzing best and worst deals

BOSTON – Is it over?

Three days into the most accelerated free agent period in NBA history more than 89% of roster spots are filled, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Gordon Hayward is a Hornet, Montrezl Harrell is a Laker and Oklahoma City has collected draft picks like teenagers once did baseball cards.

So what do we think?

I like Hayward’s four-year, $120 million deal with Charlotte … for Gordon Hayward. Any list of free agent winners has to be topped by Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, opted out of a $34.2 million salary for next season in Boston only to turn around and land a monster deal with the Hornets. After three injury plagued years with the Celtics, Hayward will earn $30 million over the next four in Charlotte. Incredible.

I don’t like the deal for the Hornets … because I don’t really get it. Charlotte got some badly needed star power when they drafted LaMelo Ball, a dynamic playmaking point guard. The 30-year old Hayward gives Ball a proven scorer to pass to, but at what price? A sign-and-trade with Boston is still possible, but if not the Buzz will waive Nicolas Batum and stretch the $27 million Batum is owed next season over three years, per the Charlotte Observer. That would effectively make Hayward a $39 million per year player on the team books over the next three seasons. The same team that drew a hard line on franchise cornerstone Kemba Walker a year ago.

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