4 Winners and losers from a surprising first day of 2024 NBA free agency

The first day of NBA free agency is in the books and there were more than a few surprises involving several key players and here are the 4 winners and losers.
Joel Embiid
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Winner: San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs haven't been big players in free agency in years but made a surprise signing when they agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with NBA legend Chris Paul. The 39-year-old Paul might be nearing the end of his incredible career but should have just enough left in the tank to have an impact on one of the best young rosters in the NBA, led by Victor Wembanyama.

Paul helped transform big men like Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan into terrific players and could do the same thing with Wemby, but on a much bigger scale. The Spurs previously struggled to get Wembanyama the ball but he still managed to put up 21.4 points per game.

With a true play maker, Wembanyama could make a big leap forward in his second season and possibly help carry the Spurs back to playoff contention. That would be a major improvement after having missed the playoffs for the last five seasons but for Paul-led teams wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.

That might seem like a lot to expect from Paul, but he will likely start and split time evenly with former starter Tre Jones. It would keep him from being overused while maximizing his playing time with the likes of Wembanyama, Devin Vassell, and Jeremy Sochan, as well as fourth overall pick Stephon Castle, whom he may be able to mentor. If he can create easy shots for their best player and mentor their top pick, Paul would be a bargain for the Spurs.