NBA free agency is now underway, and Atlanta Hawks fans are anxiously watching as GM Landry Fields re-tools this offseason following a speedy first-round exit from the 2023 playoffs.
His first move was trading away John Collins and his monster contract, which seemed like a sleepy transaction at the time, but set the stage for yesterday’s big news. With cap space cleared after the Collins deal, the Hawks were able to finalize a 4-year, $120 million extension for star guard Dejounte Murray.
With free agency very much on the mind here at BetGeorgia.com, we wanted to take a quick break from Georgia sportsbooks updates and take a look to at the best signings over the past five years. Using free agency records from Sportrac.com and stats from Basketball-Reference.com, we put together a list of the best free agent signings for each offseason between 2018 and 2022 based on “win shares” — an advance statistic that measures a players impact beyond just the usual box score stats.
Best NBA Free Agent Signings Since 2018
To be eligible for this list players must have contributed all win shares to the team they signed with. In other words, if they a player was moved before the end of the season, they weren’t considered.
With all that in mind, here is our list of the Best NBA free-agent signings since 2018.
Other Notable Signings For Comparison
Bogdanovic Reigns Among Hawks Free Agent Signings
Hawks fans will be delighted to see Serbian sensation Bogdan Bogdanovic rate out as 2020’s top free-agency signing. During the COVID-shortened 72 game season, in which the Hawks won the Southeast Division, Bogdanovic averaged just over fifteen PPG, and 3.6 total rebounds per game. He would be a key factor in the playoff run that led the team all the way to the Eastern Conference finals.
Although he’s been plagued with injuries since arriving in Atlanta, Boganovic’s strong play has continued while he’s been on the court — and his contributions haven’t gone unnoticed. Earlier this year, he signed a 4-year, $68 million extension.
Of all the free agent signings from the past five years, the Miami Heat’s addition of Jimmy Butler in 2019 had the most impact during Butler’s inaugural season with the team — and ever since too. “Jimmy Buckets” was the star of this years NBA playoffs, averaging 26.9 PPG as he helped lead the Heat to the NBA finals, where they would ultimately lose to the Denver Nuggets.
LeBron James to the Lakers is the third most impactful signing of the past half-decade. While it wouldn’t be until his second season with the team, the Lakers would win the NBA championship with LeBron in 2020.
It’s yet to be seen who will be the impact signing ahead of the 2023-24 season, but bullish Hawks fans can put their money behind Atlanta to win the NBA championship at +6500 on DraftKings sportsbook. Georgia DraftKings sportsbook will likely have all of your favorite Hawks wagers once sports betting becomes legal.