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The NBA offseason is sometimes just as exciting, sometimes more exciting, than the regular season itself and this is because of free agency.

Every year, some of the league’s biggest stars end up hitting the open market and while this year’s free agency class was weaker than most years, there were still some big names available.

While stars like Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and James Harden were not on the move, there have been plenty of well-known secondary contributors to sign with new teams.

Not to mention, plenty of the league’s brightest stars signed contract extensions this offseason, including two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, who agreed to a five-year, $270 million supermax extension. This is now the biggest deal in NBA history.

Nowadays in the NBA, it takes more than a couple of stars to win a championship and we saw this during the 2022 NBA Finals, as the Golden State Warriors displayed their depth and impact of their second-unit.

So many teams around the league have been looking to address their second-unit in free agency and as a result, here are some of the more underrated deals to be agreed upon this offseason.


Andre Drummond - Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls will be Andre Drummond’s sixth team since the start of the 2019-20 season, but this should not take away from what kind of player he is.

Still just 28-years-old and set to turn 29 in August, Drummond has proven to still be one of the better rebounding big men in the entire NBA and is someone that can be trusted in any role.

Starting the 2021-22 season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Drummond thrived in his backup role behind Joel Embiid and he had multiple games in which he recorded double-digit rebounds in less than 20 minutes.

After being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, Andre Drummond stepped into the starting center role and was a double-double threat each and every night alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Now in Chicago alongside Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, Drummond presents himself as the best rebounding threat on this team and best of all, he can be preserved for most of the regular season due to the fact that he will be coming off-the-bench and not have to play big minutes in the starting lineup.

There may even be times that the Bulls will look to have Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic out there on the floor together given Vucevic’s ability to step out and hit shots from the perimeter!

All-in-all, this is a really good signing for the Bulls, especially because they got Drummond for two-years at $6.56 million in total, assuming he opts into his player option for the 2023-24 season.

Many are overlooking this contract, but given that Andre Drummond has averaged 12.9 points and 11.9 rebounds since the start of the 2019-20 season, this is one of the better signings of this offseason.


Otto Porter Jr. - Toronto Raptors

Fresh off winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors, Otto Porter Jr. is now a member of the Toronto Raptors after signing a two-year, $12.3 million deal. This contract does contain a player option for the 2023-24 season.

The No. 3 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Porter has never really lived up to the hype of being a top pick and generational type of talent because of injuries, but he has really carved out a role for himself in this league over the last couple of seasons.

Being just 29-years-old, Porter has plenty of basketball left in him and he proved this with the Warriors this past season.

Playing in 63 games, Otto Porter Jr. averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 37% from three-point range in about 22.2 minutes per game.

A really solid three-point shooting threat that can be a “small-ball” center in some lineups, Porter is exactly what Toronto has been lacking on their bench in recent years. He will very likely play the power-forward position when the Raptors look to play Pascal Siakam at the center position and with other shooters around him, Porter will really thrive in his role.

Depth has been the biggest weakness of the Raptors since they won their only championship in 2019 and finally, it seems like management is addressing this problem.

Set to make $6 million during the 2022-23 season, this seems like a very fair and reasonable deal for both the Toronto Raptors and Otto Porter Jr.


Jalen Smith - Indiana Pacers

Prior to the 2021-22 season, the Phoenix Suns declined their two-year team option on former first-round pick Jalen Smith’s contract, resulting in his value taking a massive hit.

Smith was then dealt ahead of the trade deadline to the Indiana Pacers where he seemed to find a home during the second-half of the season. In 22 games with Indiana, Smith averaged 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and shot 53.1% from the floor, 37.3% from three-point range.

Standing 6-foot-10 and being only 22-years-old, the Pacers were able to get a former Top-10 pick that still has plenty of untapped potential for basically nothing. However, with him being a free agent this offseason, it seemed unlikely that Indiana would be able to bring him back since they did not own his rights and since other teams in the league could offer him more money.

Ultimately, no other teams really showed interest in pursuing Smith, which allowed the Indiana Pacers to re-sign him on a three-year, $15.1 million deal.

The Pacers are rebuilding right now and the best thing they can do for themselves is to continue building a young core in order to find future success. Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte and now rookie Bennedict Mathurin have all shown flashes of this team’s full potential, which is why keeping and adding Jalen Smith to this core was important for the Pacers to do this offseason.

Maybe he will be a backup big man and maybe he will still only see around 20 minutes per game during the 2022-23 season, but the potential for growth was too much for Indiana to pass up on.

Smith showed flashes of his double-double style of play last season and with there being questions about Myles Turner’s long-term future, this is a free agent signing that may end up being one of the best from this offseason.

His new contract is affordable, it is fair and most importantly, it gives the Pacers time to continue developing Jalen Smith into what they need him to be. I would expect to see quite a bit of Smith on the floor in Indiana next season and he could very well end up cementing himself as a key starter by the end of the year.


Kevon Looney - Golden State Warriors

Maybe he is not the biggest center in the league and he is definitely not the most athletic, but there may not be a better role player or “glue guy” in this league than Kevon Looney.

To put it simply, the Golden State Warriors would not have won a championship this past year without Looney and this is because of all of the little things he does to help the Warriors win.

First off, he played in all 82 games during the regular season and then all 22 playoff games for Golden State. That kind of value cannot have a price put on it and then when you look at Looney’s rebounding numbers in the playoffs, it was clear to see why Golden State could not afford to let him go elsewhere.

From rebounding to being able to defend any position to being able to help initiate the offense from the perimeter, Kevon Looney does so much that may not necessarily show up in the stat sheets, but his impact shows up in the win column for his team.

The Warriors and Looney agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal with incentives built in each year of his contract, likely stemming from the amount of games he plays. There are no options on this deal and the final year of his contract is only partially-guaranteed for $3 million, allowing the Warriors to possibly restructure his deal at that time.

This was the perfect deal for both sides and given Golden State’s massive tax bill, they were able to save a little bit of money for arguably their most important player not named Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green.