Fox, Kings agree on USD163 million deal

AP – On the first night of free agency, De’Aaron Fox was the first huge winner.

Huge, as in USD163 million — or even more.

Fox and the Sacramento Kings agreed on a max deal Friday night, agent Chris Gaston said. It’s a five-year pact that will pay Fox USD163 million, and that figure could rise to nearly USD200 million if Fox makes an All-NBA team or receives other league honours.

Fox’s numbers have improved in each of his three NBA seasons. He averaged 11.6 points as a rookie, then 17.3 points two seasons ago and finally 21.1 points last season for the Kings. His field goal percentage has also risen in each of the last two seasons. Fox’s extension will kick in for the 2021-22 season and start at USD28.1 million.

Free agency opened in the NBA on Friday. Many of the biggest available names — such as the Lakers’ Anthony Davis and Fred VanVleet, who has seen his star rise meteorically with the Toronto Raptors — did not make immediate decisions.

File photo shows Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox driving during the team’s NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Sacramento, California. PHOTO: AP

Davis is expected to remain with the Lakers; the question there is how the new deal will be structured. VanVleet is expected to command at least USD80 million over the next four seasons, if not more, and Toronto has made clear that they would like to keep the undrafted guard who became a huge part of the Raptors’ run to the 2019 NBA championship.

A breakdown of moves on Friday:

ATLANTA

Danilo Gallinari — one of the top wings on the free-agent market — agreed to a three-year contract worth USD61.5 million, a person with knowledge told The Associated Press (AP). ESPN and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the agreement.

Gallinari averaged 18.7 points for Oklahoma City last season and is a 38 per cent career shooter from three-point range.

The Hawks were one of the teams who entered free agency with considerable cap space, and have been looking for veteran talent to add to the group that includes Trae Young and Kevin Huerter.

Gallinari, a 32-year-old Italian, has also played with the Knicks, Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. He was originally the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft by New York.

BROOKLYN

Joe Harris has agreed to re-sign with the Nets, keeping one of the NBA’s best shooters in Brooklyn.

The Nets checked off what general manager Sean Marks called their biggest priority in free agency on Friday night by agreeing to a deal with the swingman.

Priority Sports, which represents Harris, announced the deal on Twitter. ESPN reported that Harris would get USD75 million over four years.

Harris finished his fourth season in Brooklyn by averaging a career-best 14.5 points in 69 games in 2019-20.

DALLAS

The Mavericks and Trey Burke have agreed on a USD10 million, three-year contract to bring the guard back after he played well in the NBA bubble.

Burke originally joined Dallas in the trade with New York headlined by Kristaps Porzingis in early 2019. The Mavericks didn’t re-sign Burke before last season, and he ended up in Philadelphia.

The 76ers waived Burke in February before the coronavirus shutdown, and Dallas signed him before the restart after centre Willie Cauley-Stein opted out of the finish to the season.

DENVER

The last time Facundo Campazzo and Nikola Jokic shared a court in a real game together was during last year’s Basketball World Cup in China. Campazzo was dazzling and Argentina prevailed, ending the championship hopes for Jokic and Serbia.

Soon, they’ll be teammates in another title quest.

Campazzo agreed to a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets on Friday’s opening day of free agency, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the contract remains unfinished until at least Sunday, when the NBA moratorium on new signings will be lifted.

The New York Times first reported the agreement between Campazzo and the Nuggets.

The five-foot-10 Campazzo has played in the Olympics twice, the Basketball World Cup twice, has a pair of EuroLeague championships and is known for passes that are spectacular. And now, he’s decided it’s time to try the NBA with a Denver team that rallied from 3-1 playoff deficits twice last season to make it to the Western Conference finals — where they fell to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

DETROIT

Jerami Grant is headed to Detroit on a three-year, USD60 million deal, player representative Mike Kneisley of The Neustadt Group said.

Grant is coming off a season where he averaged 12.0 points for Denver, which wanted him back.

The Pistons received commitments on Friday night from centres Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor, people familiar with those deals told AP.

ESPN, which first reported the Plumlee agreement, said he would sign a three-year deal for USD25 million.

Plumlee later posted a thank-you letter to Denver fans on his Twitter account, saying he “has no doubt” that big things await the Nuggets. He also said he’s excited to join the Pistons, calling them “one of the league’s most storied franchises”.

LA CLIPPERS

Marcus Morris is staying with the Clippers on a four-year deal, a person with knowledge told AP. ESPN, which first reported the agreement, said it was a USD64 million contract.

Morris averaged 16.7 points last season, starting the season in New York before getting traded to the Clippers.

“Run it back!” Morris tweeted.

Also Friday, Patrick Patterson will return on a one-year contract, AP was told. Patterson averaged 4.9 points last season for the Clippers. ESPN first reported the Clippers’ agreement with Patterson.

LA LAKERS

The defending NBA champions are adding Montrezl Harrell as a free agent from the Clippers, a person with knowledge of the deal told AP.

That move, when finalised, will give the Lakers the top two finishers in last season’s Sixth Man of the Year voting. Harrell won the award; Dennis Schroder, who was acquired by the Lakers in a trade with Oklahoma City earlier this week, was second.

MIAMI

The Heat got quick agreements from point guard Goran Dragic and centre Meyers Leonard on two-year deals, the second year in both cases being team options. Dragic will make about USD18 million next season, Leonard about USD9 million.

“I simply appreciate that they care about the little things,” Leonard said.

Dragic flew back to Miami from his native Slovenia on Friday and intends to sign his new contract quickly. He said the fact that the Heat will have much of its roster back from a year ago, when the team won the Eastern Conference title, was particularly important to him.

“This is a family here,” Dragic said. “We know we have a good team. We know we have chemistry. We have unfinished business.”