This has been a weird offseason for free agents. Whereas there was a long list of players who signed lucrative contracts in the summer of 2016, few teams had the cap space to offer the types of contracts many of the big names on the market were looking for this summer. It didn't prevent LeBron James, Paul George and Chris Paul from signing for the max, but it impacted the next tier of free agents.
As a result, a number of teams were able to sign players at a discount this offseason. From Seth Curry to Ed Davis, let's take a look at five that stand out from the crowd.
Seth Curry, Blazers - $5.6 million over two years
Curry would've received a lot more interest this summer had he not missed all of last season with an injury. He proved to be an elite shooter the season prior by knocking down 40.6 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts from distance and 48.1 percent of his pull-ups inside the perimeter. The combination made him a threat to score both with and without the ball in his hands, something that will help him fit in alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Portland.
Mario Hezonja, Knicks - $6.5 million over one year
Hezonja was one of the more exciting prospects in the 2015 NBA Draft. While he hasn't lived up to the hype of being the No. 5 pick, he flashed his potential in the second half of the 2017-18 season when he averaged 12.1 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting from the field and 33.5 percent shooting from 3-point range. Still only 23, Hezonja brings some much-needed youth, athleticism and 3-point shooting to a Knicks team that ranked 24th in offensive efficiency last season.
Elfrid Payton, Pelicans - $2.7 million over one year
Payton has become known more for what he can't do than what he can. His limitations do lower his ceiling - there's only so much teams can do with a point guard who isn't a threat to score outside the paint and struggles defensively - but the Louisiana native is a talented passer who has the physical tools to make an impact on both ends of the floor. With shooting surrounding him at every position, Payton should be able to play to his strengths more in New Orleans than he could in Orlando and Phoenix.
DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors - $5.3 million over one year
The Warriors used their mid-level exception to sign a four-time All-Star coming off of a season in which he averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. Golden State probably wouldn't have been in the running for Cousins had he not torn his Achilles six months ago - an injury that has derailed many careers - but nobody could have predicted the defending champions acquiring one of the biggest names on the free agent market for as little as they did.
Ed Davis, Nets - $4.4 million over one year
The Nets know exactly what they are getting in Davis. The 29-year-old pulled down more offensive rebounds than any other reserve in 2017-18 and made 63.4 percent of his shot attempts in the restricted area, where almost all of his scoring came from on the season. Davis will bring energy off the bench for a young Nets team without stepping on the toes of Jarrett Allen, the No. 22 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and the team's centre of the future.
Kevin Durant, Warriors - The two-time Finals MVP signed another team-friendly contract. By agreeing to less than the full max, Durant gave Golden State more money to spend in free agency this offseason.
Brook Lopez, Bucks - Lopez would've made a difference on a number of teams next season, including the Lakers. His 3-point shooting from the center position will give Giannis Antetokounmpo the sort of room he didn't have to work with last season.
Luc Mbah a Moute, Clippers - Mbah a Moute's versatility on defence helped the Rockets go from being one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best. His switchability will be missed in Houston, as will his solid 3-point shooting.
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