The NBA free agency period really just started with LeBron James’ announcement that he would be playing in Miami next season with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. While a bunch of players have decided on where they will play next season, including all of the big ten free agents, teams are still far from finished. Now is when the make or break moves will happen. It’s nice to land a superstar or two, or three, but for team’s already in contention for a championship, it’s about what supplemental players they can add to put them over the edge. The Heat have already traded former second round draft pick Michael Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves (for a draft pick) to make cap room for new big three, and other team’s who cleared the shelves to get a superstar have a team to fill now. The Knicks and Nets are going to save room for the less heralded Melo sweepstakes next off-season, but neither team is close to finished this season. Both teams put everything they had into this year’s free agency. The Knicks will walk away with at least be able to team Amar’e Stoudemire up with returning small forward Danilo Gallinari, and after a sign and trade of David Lee, sending him to Golden State in return for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, and Kelenna Azubuike, they have some pieces to work with. The Nets, however, are the biggest loser so far as they have been unloading talent and salaries for years in order to make a splash this year, but are still without a new player on their team.
Team’s may be unable to get any of the top free agents at this point, but there are still a handful of players who can help out a team in need.
Top Free Free Agents Available:
*Consider this your WNST free agency tracker- as these players sign with teams I will update the post.
1. Luis Scola PF- Houston Rockets (Restricted)
16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg
Scola is without a doubt the top player still available, and you can bet that there is no chance that Houston is going to be willing to part ways with him. With Yao Ming, who constantly injury problems, going to be a free agent next year, it gives the Rockets more reason to resign Scola.
My Prediction: Houston
Signed- Houston- 5 years, $47 million
2. Josh Childress SF- Atlanta Hawks (Restricted)
15.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg at Olympiakos
He played in Europe last season but his right are owned by Atlanta. The Hawks looked like a contender last season, well until they got smashed by the Magic in the playoffs, but with everybody back a guy like Josh Childress coming off the bench could be just what they need. But if somebody offers a big contract they probably won’t match it.
My Prediction: Atlanta
Sign-and-trade- Phoenix Suns- 5 years, $33 million
3. Tyrus Thomas PF- Charlotte Bobcats (Restricted)
9.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
The Bulls shipped Thomas off to Charlotte just before the trade deadline in order to clear up room, and he looked to be a perfect fit in Larry Brown’s system. They don’t look like they want to let him go at all.
My Prediction: Charlotte
Signed- Charlotte- 5 years, $40 million
4. Shaquille O’Neal C- Cleveland Cavaliers
12.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg
There is no question that the former face of the NBA is at the end of his career and is starting to wind down, but he can still be a real asset to a team who is either young and trying to develop some guys, or ever so close to being a top contender. so the question for Shaq is does he take the money and end his career, which he says will last for a least three more years, with a rebuilding team, or does he try to go out with one last championship? The former front runner Boston looks to be out as they signed another O’Neal (Jermaine), so it looks to be out of Dallas as Shaq and Mark Cuban have a good relationship, and Atlanta, who could really use him to help them out against Dwight Howard who embarrassed them in the playoffs.
My Prediction: Dallas
5. Raymond Felton PG- Charlotte Bobcats
12.1 ppg, 5.6 apg
More team’s have been in contact with Raymond Felton than LeBron James. Felton is hands down the best point guard in this year’s class, sad as it may be, but he can still help a team with point guard issues. Charlotte is not willing to go over the Salary Cap to keep Felton, and while all signs were pointing to the Knicks, they don’t want to be locked into his demand for a three year deal as Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Tony Parker all hit the market next year. That still leave six teams that he could end up with, but he’s the biggest mystery as far as free agents go right now.
My prediction: Memphis
Signed- New York- 3 years, $25 millions
6. Richard Jefferson SF- San Antonio Spurs
12.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg
He may be coming off his least productive season since he was a rookie, but Jefferson still has the ability to be a quality role player for a team. It was still a shook that he opted out of his contract knowing he could get nowhere near the $15 million he would have made, but with the collective bargaining agreement ready to change next year, and his career on the decline, probably just looking for a long term deal for as much as he can get.
My Prediction: New Jersey
7. J.J. Redick SG- Orlando Magic (Restricted)
9.6 ppg, 40.5% 3PT
Once considered the most hated man in sports, and later a bust, Redick has finally found his role, a solid three-point shooter. That is something that ever team in the NBA can use, including the Orlando Magic, where he is happy to remain a bench player because he has a chance to win.
My Prediction: Orlando
Signed- Orlando- 3 years, $19 million deal
8. Ronnie Brewer SG- Memphis Grizzlies
8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Brewer is a very good young prospect that got hurt after Memphis brought him over in a trade with Utah. But despite the injury there is still good reason for teams to go after Brewer as he is very athletic, and a solid defender
My Prediction: San Antonio
Signed- Chicago- 3 years, $12.5 million
9. Udonis Haslem PF- Miami Heat
9.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Haslem’s time in Miami is clearly up, but he is still a very solid and consistent player for teams to consider adding. He may not be as highly touted as the big ten free agents, but a team looking to make some sort of a splash can certainly get a great pick-up with Haslem
My Prediction: New Jersey
Signed- Miami- 5 year, $20 million
10. Al Harrington PF- New York Knicks
17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg
He doesn’t exactly have a bad rep for being a locker-room disturbance, but he has been given a bad rep for being lazy, very lazy. But nevertheless he still has great scoring ability for a team in need.
My Prediction: Phoenix
Agreed in principal- Denver- 5 years, $34 million
11. Matt Barnes SF- Orlando Magic
8.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Barnes is another player who opted out of his contract in hopes to get what he can before the new collective bargaining agreement. He didn’t live up to his expectations in the play-offs but for a team looking for a scrappy defensive players off the bench who makes good offensive shot selections, Barnes can be a good pickup.
My Prediction: Orlando
Signed- Los Angeles Lakers- 2 years, $3.6 million
12. Zydrunas Ilgauskas C- Cleveland Cavaliers
7.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Losing James, O’Neal, and Ilgauskas would be devastating for the Cavaliers, but luckily for them Ilgauskas has not plans to move on to a new team. After being traded to Washington for a brief time, he quickly found a way to get back with the Cavaliers and seems perfectly happy with staying in Cleveland.
My Prediction: Cleveland
Signed- Miami- 2 years, $2.8 million
13. Mike Miller SG- Washington Wizards
10.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg
All reports indicate that is pretty much a done deal that Mike Miller is going to take a pay cut to play with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in hopes of winning a championship. That team still needs some outside shooters off the bench, and Miller is a great pickup for that.
My prediction: Miami
Signed- Miami- 5 years, $25 million
14. Brad Miller C- Chicago Bulls
8.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Brad Miller suffered a poor statistical year, but that was mostly because of him being stuck behind Joakim Noah. Miller still has some value, especially for a team like Boston who, despite adding Jermaine O’Neal, is still without the retiring Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins, who is going to be out for at least six months after ACL surgery.
My Prediction: Boston
Signed- Houston- 3 years, $15 million
15. Nate Robinson PG- Boston Celtics
10.1 ppg, 2.9 apg
Robinson is a solid bench player that can score in bunches. The Celtics brought him aboard to win a play-off game and he did that a few times in the post season. Boston seems like a perfect place for Robinson to be and Robinson seems like a perfect player for Boston to have right now, so don’t expect any movement by him.
My Prediction: Boston
Signed- Boston- 2 years, $8 million
16. Linas Kleiza SF- Denver Nuggets (Restricted)
17.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg at Olympiakos
Another Euro player who has talent that should translate to the NBA. The Raptors already offered him a contract of $18.8 million over four years, now the Nuggets have one week to match it or lose him.
My Prediction: Toronto
Signed- Toronto- 4 years, $18.8 million
17. Tracy McGrady SF- New York Knicks
8.2 ppg, 3.3 apg
McGrady is far from where he was a few years ago when he was arguably the leagues top player, but he did show flashes last year after being traded to the Knicks. He’s probably a cheap pickup for a team desperate for something, but a definite gamble as he said he may retire next year if he doesn’t get back to where he thinks he should be. However, McGrady has expressed a lot of interest in a minimum deal sending him to the Lakers in order to contend while the Lakers were far from opposed to that idea.
My Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
18. Jordan Farmar PG- Los Angeles Lakers
7.2 ppg, 1.5 apg
Farmar wants a chance to run his own team, and with the Lakers foregoing a $3 million qualifying offer, signing former Maryland Terrapin Steve Blake, while desperately trying to get Derek Fisher back, it is going to have to be with a team other than the Lakers. Farmar has some skills but doesn’t give our many assists, or turnovers for that matter. A team in need of a point guard is definitely going to scoop him up.
My Prediction: Indiana
Signed- New Jersey- 3 years, $12 million
19. Josh Howard SF- Washington Wizards
12.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg
A torn ACL four games into his stint with Washington just showed what kind of a year it was for the Wizards last year. While he was enduring a bad season in Dallas before that, he still could be another bargain pickup for a team as he can still score a fair amount of points when needed.
My Prediction: Sacramento
20. Anthony Marrow SG- Golden State Warriors (Restricted)
13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Marrow is a very good three point shooter, and like J.J. Redick, that makes his a hot commodity. He may not provide too much defense but he will stretch the floor and be a solid offensive threat for a team off the bench.
My Prediction: Golden State
Sign-and-trade- New Jersey- 3 years, $12 million
21. Roger Mason SG- San Antonio Spurs
6.3 ppg, 33.3% 3PT
His 11.8 ppg season two years ago seems like a long way away, but even still Mason could be a solid reserve player on another team. He drop in production was not because he didn’t have the talent, but it was because Richard Jefferson and George Hill were cutting into his time.
My Prediction: Portland
22. Wesley Matthews SG- Utah Jazz (Restricted)
9.4 ppg, 38.2% 3PT
After loosing Carlos Boozer the Jazz can’t really afford to lose much else. Matthews was an undrafted guy that Utah hit with, but they are going to need to cough up some money to keep him around.
My Prediction: Utah
Signed- Portland- 5 years, $32.5 million
23. Earl Barron PF- New York Knicks
11.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg
it’s not very often you can land guys who average double-double’s for decently cheap. Barron is a very solid player, but probably isn’t a great one. Stat’s aren’t everything in basketball but he is still a solid player for a team who needs players.
My Prediction: New York
24. Derek Fisher PG- Los Angeles Lakers
7.5 ppg, 2.5 apg
Fisher is far from a top of the line point guard, but he’s no scrub either. He’s been there before, won championships, and knows the Lakers team inside and out. Kobe wants him back and I think the temptation of a three-peat could be just too much for him to leave.
My Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
Agreed to sign- Los Angeles- 3 yars, $10.5 million
25. Allen Iverson SG- Philadelphia
13.8 ppg, 4.0 spg
You probably forgot about Allen Iverson, and while he isn’t as great as he once was, he’s still a very big scoring threat for any team that gets him and uses him the right way.
My Prediction: New York
26. Luke Ridnour PG- Milwaukee Bucks
10.4 ppg, 4.0 apg
Ridnour’s time in Milwaukee is up as they have moved onto Brandon Jennings. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a viable asset for a team who is looking for a point guard. Amar’e Stoudemire has asked Knicks officials to take a guy like Ridnour, and with his willingness to get a fairly cheap and fairly short deal, they can still make a move next summer if things don’t work out.
My Prediction: New York
Agreed in principle- Minnesota- 4 years, $16 million
27. Anthony Tolliver C- Golden State Warriors (Restricted)
11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
The Warriors passed on a chance to offer Tolliver a restricted free agent, so now he can go anywhere he wants to. He’s not great but he’s a solid young player than can help out a team when in the right role.
My Prediction: Atlanta
28. C.J. Watson PG- Golden State Warriors (Restricted)
10.3 ppg, 2.8 apg
The Warriors placed a qualifying offer on him fast, and unless somebody offers something outrageous, they’ll likely be willing to match another team’s big to keep the sharpshooting bench player.
My Prediction: Golden State
Signed-and-trade- Chicago- 2 years, $6.5 million deal, with a non-guaranteed third season.
29. Kyle Korver SG- Utah Jazz
7.2 ppg, 53.6% 3PT
Korver brings solid outside shooting ability and is on the radar of several teams. Utah is looking like the will be ravaged by this year’s free agency as Korver is looking for what everybody is looking for: good money, playing time, and a chance to win.
My Prediction: Chicago
Signed- Chicago- 3 years, $15 million
30. Shannon Brown SG- Los Angeles Lakers
8.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg
It’s not that Brown wants to leave LA, but he probably has to if the rumors are true that Tracy McGrady is going to be a Laker next year. Brown is a freak athlete and a highlight reel dunker that can be a good and exciting player for a team to pick up. While he may still stay in LA for a smaller contract, he could go back to the city that drafted him, Cleveland, as he is an upgrade over both Anthony Parker and Delonte West.
My Prediction: Cleveland
Tyrus Thomas has signed to a 5 year, $40 million deal to stay in Charlotte. The former Bulls is sticking with the former Bull. Michael Jordan’s top priority this off-season was to keep Thomas and he did.
Linas Kleiza has signed a 4 year, $18.8 million deal with Toronto after the Denver Nuggets failed to match the offer on the restricted free agent. No surprise here, after getting a big offer from Toronto, Denver was not willing to spend all of their cap room to keep him.
Raymond Felton has agreed in principle to a 3 year, $25 million deal with the New York Knicks. It looked as if the Knicks were going to go a different direction on a point guard but Felton agreed to a shorter contract to seal the deal.
Kyle Korver has agreed to a 3 year, $15 million deal with Chicago. The Bulls were looking for outside shooting and landed Boozer’s Utah teammate.
The Chicago Bulls have offered restricted free agent J.J. Redick a 3 year, $20 million deal. The Orlando Magic will have one week to match the offer or he will be with the Bulls. The Bulls are having a fantastic off-season. After going way under the cap in hopes of getting two of the big three, they are loading up with cheaper, yet good talent and filling every need.
Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith said he “anticipates” the team will match the Bulls offer for J.J. Redick offer but will consider it for the entire week.
Derek Fisher has met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley. LeBron James met Fisher at the airport but no agreement has been announced.
The New Jersey Nets have offered restricted free agent Anthony Marrow a contract for 3 years, $13 million. The Golden State Warriors will have seven days to match the offer but are not expected to.
Both Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are expected to sign with the Miami Heat but no contracts have been signed yet. Miller has been offered a 5 year, $30 million contract. No terms have been announced for Haslem.
Shaquille O’Neal has been offered a two-year deal that starts at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million by the Atlanta Hawks and has been said to be “seriously considering” it. He has also been contacts by the Cavaliers but nothing has been signed.
Jazz restricted free agent Wesley Matthews has been given offers by Portland and San Antonio but has yet to sign any offer sheet.
Luther Head has signed a 2 year, $2.3 million deal with the New Orleans Hornets.
Wesley Matthews has signed the offer sheet for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers will have seven days to match the offer or they will lose him.
Tony Allen has stunned everybody and signed with the Memphis Grizzlies for a 3 year, $10 million contract. It was falsely reported that Allen resigned with the Celtics as the deal was so close to done, but instead the Grizzlies signed the shooting guard, which should give very good depth behind O.J. Mayo.
Ben Wallace will not leave the Detroit Pistons a second time as the defensive master and rebound machine has signed a 2 year, $3.8 million deal to stay with the Pistons.
Dorell Wright has signed a 3 year, $11 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. This moves pretty much guarantees they will not match Portland’s offer for Anthony Marrow.
Jordan Farmar has signed a 3 year, $12 million deal with the New Jersey Nets, contingent on him passing a physical. Farmar has good basketball skills and can be a solid NBA point guard, he should be a great compliment to incumbent point guard Devin Harris, as Farmar is more of a slasher while Harris is a shooter.
The magical fro has found a home. Josh Childress has been dealt to Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal. Childress signed a 5 year, $33 million contract and was dealt for Sun for a 2012 second-round pick and it’s trade exception in received in the Amar’e Stoudemire sign-and-trade deal. Childress is a very good scorer who can create his own shot, but is no slouch on the defensive end.
While it is not free-agent news Raptors power forward Hedo Turkoglu will join Childress in Phoenix as the Suns and Raptors have reached a trade agreement that will send Turkoglu to the Suns, Phoenix will send shooting guard Leandro Barbosa and point guard to Toronto in exchange for Turkoglu. Toronto will then send its trade exception from the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade deal, Jose Calderon, and Reggie Evans to Charlotte for former Sun forward Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler.
Quentin Richardson has agreed to a “multi-year” contract with the Orlando Magic. Specific details of the agreement have not been released but with the addition of Richardson it may not be likely that the Magic will keep either Matt Barnes or J.J. Redick. Richardson is a solid three-point shooter that may be the replacement for Redick, while he is good and experienced enough to fill in the open starting spot left by Barnes.
Derek Fisher has announced he will pass on the Miami Heat’s contract offer and return to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers originally offered Fisher a 1 year, $2.3 million deal but have reportedly made a better offer, though specifics are unknown. “I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles,” Fisher said in a statement. “While this may not be the most lucrative contract I’ve been offered this offseason, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin.”
Udonis Haslem reportedly turned down bigger contract offers from the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks to return to Miami. Specifics of the contract have not be released but Haslem sent an e-mail to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reading: “Turned down full mid level from Dallas and Denver. See u next season.”
Mike Miller has not officially signed a contract with the Miami Heat, but he has changed the color scheme of his website www.mikemiller33.com to black and red and has added a Miami Heat news ticker on the side bar.
Udonis Haslem‘s contract has been announced to be a 5 year, $20 million deal. Haslem is a workhorse that is a great add to the Heat. He wants to be able to play for a championship and decided to stay in Miami for less money.
Restricted free-agent Anthony Marrow has been sent to the New Jersey Nets in a sign-and-trade deal in which the Golden State Warriors will receive a $4 million trade exception. Marrow agreed to a 3 year, $12 million deal with the Nets.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas has signed a one year, veteran minimum contract for $1.352 million to join former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James in Miami. I honestly did not think Big Z would leave Cleveland, especially after the way he got back so quick following a trade to Washington, but with his career quickly coming to an end he felt like the best place to be able to get a championship was Miami, not Cleveland.
In trade news the Utah Jazz have agreed to a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Al Jefferson. Jefferson will be sent to the Jazz in exchange for two future first-round draft picks. Clearly the move to get Jefferson is a way to replace Carlos Boozer. The always talented Jazz roster took major hits so far but this lightens the blow.
In other trade news the Charlotte Bobcats have pulled out of the three-team trade with the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns which send Hedo Turkoglu to the Suns. The Bobcats were supposed to send Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler to Toronto for Jose Calderson and Reggie Evans, but Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has “second thought” about trading away Chandler. As the trade stands now Turkoglu will be sent to Phoenix in return for Leandro Barbosa.
Following the Charlotte Bobcats pulling out of a deal with the Toronto Raptors, the Charlotte Bobcats have traded Tyson Chandler and Alex Ajinca to Dallas in exchange for Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll, and Eduardo Najera. The only notable players involved in this trade are Chandler and Dampier. While they have similar statistics, Dampier is a much better defensive player that will be brought in to combat Dwight Howard, but the switch also clears a few million dollars in cap room to allow the Mavericks to potentially add another player, possibly the long rumors Shaquille O’Neal.
The New York Knicks have officially signed point-guard Raymond Felton to a 3 year, $25 million contract.
Power Forward Al Harrington has agreed in principal to a 5 year, $34 million contract with the Denver Nuggets. Harrington was expected to sign with the Dallas Mavericks but the Nuggets outbid them to get him. Harrington is a very good scorer that is probably a bargaining chip to try to keep Carmelo Anthony in Denver (hey it could help to have a former Knick give horror stories as well). But it is also a very solid add in their front court.
RUMORS: There are loads of rumors this morning. Most notably, it looks as if the Atlanta Hawks will waive center Erick Dampier, who they just traded for, unless of course they can find a trading partner for him. Dampier has a very big contract that is tough to any team. His current contract is not guaranteed so if he is waived the Bulls could possibly take him before anybody else can, or outbid the Atlanta Hawks on a new contract.
MORE RUMORS: Reports are that Luke Ridnour is close to a 4 year, $16 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. With Ty Lawson, Ramon Sessions, and the rights to Ricky Rubio already, the T-Wolves would be way too loaded at point guard. However, the Timberwolves have put Sessions on the market and the Charlotte Bobcats are the likely to get him as they have lost Raymond Felton to the New York Knicks.
MORE RUMORS: Swingman Ronnie Brewer has become a very sought after free agent at this point. The Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls have been fighting over players the entire offseason and it doesn’t stop now. Both are very interested in getting Brewer, who has averaged 10.3 points per game over his four year career. Brewer was a three-year starter for the Jazz for the majority of his NBA career but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies late last season. With the losses of Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews, the Jazz are making a big play to get him back in Salt Lake City. But now both Carlos Boozer and Korver have been in contact with their former teammate and are trying to start the “Chicago Jazz,” according to Korver. The Bulls are not likely to sign Brewer unless their offer for J.J. Redick is matched by the Orlando Magic. If Utah loses out on him they have shown “serious interest” in both Shannon Brown and Roger Mason, two other guys the Bulls have interest in.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Houston Rockets’ restricted free agent guard Kyle Lowry to a three-year offer sheet. However, Houston has said they will match any offer sheet given to Lowry or Luis Scola, who has not been signed to an offer sheet yet. Houston will have seven days to match the offer.
Point Guard Shaun Livingston has reached a 2 year, $7 million agreement with the Charlotte Bobcats. The former Wizard will replace the now-Knick Raymond Felton. With the move it also looks as if they will pull out of any deal for Ramon Sessions.
Luke Ridnour has agreed in principle to a 4 year, $16 million contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ramon Sessions is still on the trading block.
As expected, the Houston Rockets have matched Cleveland’s offer sheet of 4 years, $24 million for point guard Kyle Lowry.
It appeared that long time rivals Raja Bell and Kobe Bryant were on the verge of being on the same team, but instead of that face-to-face meeting between the two, Bell has agreed to a 3 year, $10 million deal. After losing Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews, the Jazz were desperate to get a talented player on the team as the shooting guard and choose to bring back Bell, who played for the Jazz from 2003-2005 above rumored players like Ronnie Brewer. Bell is a very underrated and solid player. He is one of the top defensive shooting guards in the NBA, but gets the dirty work done. Six games into last season with the Golden State Warriors, Bell underwent season ending wrist surgery. If he can come back from the wrist injury, which may be tough as it was his shooting wrist, it will be a great addition to the Jazz to make up for their heavy losses at shooting guard.
Mike Miller has officially signed a 5 year, $25 million contract with the Miami Heat. While this move was almost done since LeBron James announced his decision, the Miami Heat had to wait until Michael Beasley passed his physical with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which made the trade official.
The Utah Jazz have announced they will not match the Portland Trail Blazers’ 5 year, $32.5 million offer sheet for restricted free agent Wesley Matthews.
Keeping Luis Scola was the top priority of the Houston Rockets as he averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds last year in Yao Ming‘s absence. The restricted free agent turned down a few offer sheets in order to get a deal done with the Rockets. He has agreed to a five year, $47 million contract, which will likely be the last big one for the 30 year old.
J.J. Redick’s offer sheet of 3 years, $19 million has been matched by the Chicago Bulls has been matched by the Orlando Magic. Redick has gone from lottery bust to being a key contributor for the Magic and has developed into a very good offensive player, but is still scrappy on defense. With the Bulls unable to get Redick they will likely turn to Ronnie Brewer.
Nate Robinson has agreed to a 2 year, $8 million contract with the Boston Celtics. Last season after the Celtics traded for Robinson they said he would win them a playoff game. He won the team more than just one playoff game and looks to be a perfect fit for the Celtics, and the Celtics look to be a perfect fit for him.
Honestly, not getting LeBron James may have been the best thing for the Bulls. They cleared a lot of cap space and now have the room for more than just one player. It didn’t take long after J.J. Redick’s offer sheet was matched by the Orlando Magic that the Bulls found a guy to fill in the spot. They just signed Ronnie Brewer to a 3 year, $12.5 million contract. The best thing about this Bulls team is they are getting guys who know how to play together. They have the solid trio of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and Loul Deng who played on the Bulls last season, and have now added Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer, who all played on the Utah Jazz together.
The Houston Rockets are taking no chances with Yao Ming’s health. They expect him to be back at 100% this season but by signing Luis Scola and now Brad Miller the Rockets should have no worries about front court depth is something were to happen to any of them. Miller has inked a 3 year deal worth $15 million to play for the Houston Rockets.
Free agency has been a bit quiet lately as team’s are waiting to see how their prospects do in the summer league, but the Miami Heat have re-signed James Jones to a 2 year, $2.9 million deal. Jones was third in the NBA in three-point percentage last season.
Matt Barnes, who was arguably the top remaining free agent left, has signed a 2 year, $10 million deal with the Toronto Raptors. After trading away Hedo Turkoglu and losing Chris Bosh, the Raptors have reloaded with solid player, but none of whom are stars or superstars.
The Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks have agreed on a sign-and-trade, sending Darnell Jackson and a second round pick to the Kings in return for center Jon Brockman, who became expendable after the additions of Samuel Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins, and Hassan Whiteside.
After the sign-and-trade deal for Jon Brockman the Milwaukee bucks signed point-guard Keyon Dooling to a 2 year contract. Dooling has a lot of experience running the point, and even starting, but will be used as the primary back-up to second-year man Brandon Jennings.
The Los Angeles Clippers have re-signed Craig Smith to a 1 year, $2.3 million contract. The former Boston College standout went undrafted after worries about his size but went on to average 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds as a rookie, and has a career average of 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds over four years.
The Chicago Bulls are having an action packed free agency and have completed a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors for point-guard C.J. Watson, who will be the primary back-up for Derrick Rose. The Bulls traded a 2011 second round pick for Watson, who agreed to a 2 year, $6.5 million deal, with a non-guaranteed third season.
Portland guard Rudy Fernandez, a native of Spain, has asked the Trail Blazers to allow him to return to Spain and play basketball. Fernandez said: “If I could reach an agreement with Portland, so that they would not trade me to another NBA team and they would accept my return to Europe, I’d be pleased. … My agents are looking for the best trade for me, but at the end of the day only Portland can decide.”
Lately all the talk is about whether or not Chris Paul will get his wish and be traded from the New Orleans Hornets. But there is still a little bit of action going on. While the three most established players, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, and Tracy McGrady, teams are signing cheaper and younger talent to fill out their rosters. Those three will likely find somebody looking for at least a player to draw a crowd, but right now they are all looking at an early retirement.
The Philadelphia 76ers have signed forward Tony Battie to a one year veteran minimum contract of $1.532 million. Over his career Battie has averaged 6.4 p.p.g. and 5.3 r.p.g., which is not stunning, but solid off the bench.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed six-year veteran point guard Royal Ivey to a one year veteran minimum contract of $1.532 million.
Point Guard Carlos Arroyo became the 13th player to have a contract with the Miami Heat this season. Arroyo re-signed with the Heat in hopes of winning a championship.
Josh Powell has signed a veteran minimum one–year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. He formerly played for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Former Louisville power forward Samardo Samuels has signed a multiyear contract with the Clevelnd Cavaliers. The undrafted rookie averaged 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Chicago Bulls.
Matt Barnes, who was seen by many as the best remaining free agent, has agreed to a 2 year, $3.6 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Barnes was expected to sign with their the Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, or Cleveland Cavaliers, but shockingly the former Orlando Magic starter has decided to take a reserve role with the Lakers, who he lost to in the 2009 championships.