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NBA - US Sports: Biggest free agency deals to date

There has been plenty of movement in the NBA free agency since the trade window opened, but we're still waiting for the biggest issues to be resolved.

Despite requesting trades, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remain Brooklyn Nets players for now and elsewhere Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are still contracted to Utah Jazz.

If Irving and/or Durant do secure moves away from Brooklyn, that could open the door for more trades to happen across the league - as teams that are interested in signing those players can't afford to make too many moves until they know where they stand with regards to those superstars.

The biggest deals so far have largely been teams tying down their star men but there have been a few interesting moves between different clubs.

Phoenix hand new deals to star duo

Phoenix Suns claimed top seed in the Western Conference last season and DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker played a key role in that success.

Booker's future was never in doubt and he has agreed a four-year extension, but Ayton was a different matter.

The Suns could have offered Ayton a five-year deal paying $179.6million on July 1st, but they instead opted to allow him to become a restricted free agent.

Indiana Pacers moved to make Ayton a $133m offer, which the Suns then immediately matched to tie the center down to a new deal.

Incidentally, Phoenix were one of the teams linked with Durant, but their decision to keep hold of Ayton on a big deal means they are now unlikely to bring in the Nets veteran.

Phoenix were unable to back up their incredible regular season with a strong run in the playoffs as they were dumped out in the second round and they will be desperate to make amends with a sustained championship bid next season.

Bulls add valuable experience to roster

The big story for Chicago Bulls this summer is the new deal for All-Star guard Zach LaVine, but they have also made some shrewd moves that have gone under the radar a bit.

The capture of center Andre Drummond, who split last season between Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, looks a great bit of business and veteran point guard Goran Dragic could be a good impact player from the bench.

KAT commits to Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves reached the playoffs for the first time since 2018 last season and if they can keep their core together in the years ahead they may be able to mount a serious challenge for a championship.

All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has been their key man for a number of years and his four-year extension is great news for the franchise, as they continue to work towards being serious contenders in a highly competitive Western Conference.

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Portland pick up Lillard back-up

Portland Trail Blazers struggled last season as Damian Lillard missed a big chunk of the campaign due to injury.

The point guard should be fit for the new season but if he does suffer any setbacks the Blazers have brought in some cover in the shape of Gary Payton II.

Payton, 28, is entering his seventh season in the NBA and enjoyed his best year to date last season with champions Golden State Warriors.

The guard played 71 games in total - his previous career high was 31 split between Milwaukee and LA Lakers in 2017/18 - and made 12 appearances in the playoffs as the Dubs claimed the title.

Admittedly, Payton is nowhere near Lillard's level, but he proved he could be a key player in the Warriors rotation last season and should be able to ease the pressure on Portland's superstar next term.

Toronto land 2022 champion

Otto Porter Jr also left the Warriors at the end of the season after helping them win the championship by providing cover from the bench, and he has now agreed a two-year deal with Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors may be able to strengthen further in free agency, but Porter looks a solid acquisition.

The 29-year-old, formerly of Washington, Chicago and briefly Orlando, probably won't be a regular starter for the Raptors, but will provide valuable experience in what is a relatively young team.

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