- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
NBA AM: NBA Free Agency Already Moving
Posted By Steve Kyler On July 1, 2013 @ 9:55 am In NBA | No Comments
Free Agency Begins: NBA teams wasted no time yesterday, at 12:01pm EST they began reaching out to free agents. Some of the notable free agents had meals and meetings with teams, others had lengthy phone conversations. Just one minor commitment has been made, but there is a sense that some of the bigger fish may start to fall off the board in the coming days. Here is where we stand after just a few hours of free agency:
Dwight Meets With Lakers And Rockets: Laker free agent Dwight Howard met with a huge contingent from the Houston Rockets last night. The meeting lasted more than three hours. As HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy chronicled Houston brought out the franchises’ big guns in Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler as well as a Skype visit from Yao Ming. Current Rocket players James Harden and Chandler Parson also joined Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, owner Les Alexander, head coach Kevin McHale for the pitch which centered on explaining Houston as a basketball market and how Howard could compete right away in Houston and for the foreseeable future. Howard was said to be impressed with Houston, but will take meetings with other markets today and tomorrow.
Prior to Howard’s meeting with Houston, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak stopped by the LA hotel to speak with Howard briefly. Kupchak and the Lakers will meet with Howard sometime on Tuesday, but wished Howard well in his meeting with other teams. Kupchak wanted to “be the first and last voice” in this process with Howard.
Howard is expected to meet with Atlanta and Golden State today and Dallas and the Lakers on Tuesday.
The current NBA Collective Barging Agreement allows for Howard to earn up to 105 percent of his salary in the last year of his previous deal ($20,513 million) regardless of where he signs. The Lakers can offer a fifth guaranteed salary year and higher annual raises which amounts to roughly $30 million more in guaranteed money.
Howard’s camp has been quick to point out that almost no major NBA player signs a contract that does not have an opt-out in the deal, which is expected in Howard’s next agreement, making the firth year almost moot except as injury insurance.
Howard has set no time table for reaching a decision, but it’s believed he’d like to get this circus process out of the way soon so an answer could come as early as Wednesday.
Josh Smith Liked The Pistons: Hawks free agent Josh Smith met with the Detroit Pistons last night. The meeting was said to be extremely productive and positive and that Smith is very “intrigued” at the possibilities in Detroit.
Smith is considered one of the top “available” free agents, although he is not expected to make a quick decision, as his best deal may come from the teams that do not land Dwight Howard, including his current team Atlanta.
Smith is expected to meet with Atlanta and Houston at some point today.
The Pistons are said to be meeting with Andre Iguodala in LA today, but may not get very far as the Denver Nuggets are also meeting with Andre and plan to offer him a multi-year deal somewhat near the $14.96 million he earned last year.
If the Nuggets produce a high-dollar offer they may end up pricing Detroit and other suitors out of the Iguodala game. The Nuggets can offer a five year deal and higher annual raises. Iguodala has been working out in Denver throughout the offseason leading many to believe his re-signing in Denver might be a formality.
Warriors Open To Moving David Lee: The Golden State Warriors will get a chance to pitch Laker free agent Dwight Howard, although they do not have any means to sign him without a sign-and-trade from the Lakers. The Warriors do not have all their eggs in the Dwight Howard basket, as they have made runs at Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge in trade and are said to be using forward David Lee and guard Brandon Rush as trade bait.
Dangling those two players makes sense, neither were part of the Warriors playoff run, and the team did surprisingly well without them.
Warriors sources down play the desire to trade David Lee, but it is clear that if the Warriors, who were in contact with their own free agents Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry last night, hope to re-sign both, they are going to have to move off some contract money.
Landry and Jack are going to take free agent meetings this week, but both have said they would like to return to Golden State, but it’s unlikely either is going to leave money on the table to do so.
OJ Has His Suitors: Dallas Maverick’s free agent O.J. Mayo is getting his fair share of phone calls. The list of suitors for Mayo includes Minnesota, the Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Trail Blazers, Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick.
Its long been believed that Utah has Mayo high on their wish list for free agency and that they were prepared to make a ssubstantial offer for the high-scoring two guard.
Mayo is not expected to make a quick decision as he can and likely would earn a bigger offer from the Dallas mavericks if they swing and miss on Dwight Howard. The Trail Blazers, Bucks and Bobcats join Utah in having substantial free agent money to spend, while Clippers and Bulls have only exception based offers to extend.
With Andrei Kirilenko deciding to opt-out of his final year in Minnesota, the Wolves now have significant cap room to play with, having some $19 million in possible money to spend. The Wolves will also have to account for an offer sheet on Nikola Pekovic, however they can exceed the salary cap to match him, so getting money spent early will be a key factor for the Wolves.
Kevin Martin Is In Demand: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin has no shortage of free agent suitors either, he has heard from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.
Martin has said several times over the last year that this would be the first time in his career in which he could make an unrestricted free agent decision that was based purely on where he wants to play. Martin has earned more than $58 million in his NBA career and says that money won’t be the deciding factor, which also keeps the Thunder in the race to re-sign him.
“I know they have tough decisions based on their salary cap and I have tough decisions because I’m 30 years old and I still feel like I’m … the top shooting guard, actually starting shooting guard, in this free agency,” Martin said to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports. “Both sides have positions, and I think we’ll face them in the upcoming week and just see how the whole process plays out. As (Thunder general manager) Sam (Presti) told me, I deserve to be in this process.
“The first nine years of my career, and I’m just now being able to really feel out the league and how teams work and things like that. Also, (the Thunder) deserve to be in this situation as a championship-caliber team, to see all their options and what can work outside of Kevin and Russ as another scorer. But myself, I feel like there was nobody else better in the league who could have been more efficient playing that role with Kevin and Russ. I actually enjoyed it, and I’m always open to an opportunity to return there.”
The Thunder has $67.79 million in salary commitments without Martin in the picture, that includes the three non-guaranteed deals for Hasheem Thabeet ($1.2 million), Daniel Orton ($916,000) and DeAndre Liggins ($884,000).
The Thunder still hold their one-time amnesty provision and could remove one of Kendrick Perkins ($8.97 million), Thabo Sefolosha ($3.900 million) or Nick Collison ($2.585 million) from their cap if they opt to use it.
Ellis Has Options To Consider Too: Monta Ellis turned down a multi-year contract extension from the Milwaukee Bucks that was said to be worth more than $12 million per season and would have guaranteed him $36 million, in order to hit free agency. It’s unlikely Ellis will see that kind of money as an unrestricted free agent, but he does have a lengthy list of suitors including the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs, the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
The Bucks are still very much in the mix to re-sign Ellis, but it’s clear that his camp wants to shop his options and it seems he has several situations to choose from.
Mavs Get A Point Guard: The Dallas Mavericks have been aggressive on all front trying to get in front of Andre Iguodala, Chase Budinger and trying secure meetings with points guards like Mo Williams and Jose Calderon. The Mavericks have backup plans in the event that they do not secure a commitment from Dwight Howard, but they are also preparing to gut their roster and fill in with minimum contracts in the event that they get their big fish too.
Yesterday, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Mavs reached an agreement on a multi-year deal with 25-year old Israeli point guard Gal Mekel. The deal will be at the NBA minimum but will have guarantees beyond the upcoming season.
Mekel had strong workouts for both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks which started something of a bidding war for his services. The Mavs won out with a multi-year deal. The Mavericks were said to be trying to lure their own second round pick Nick Calathes back from the International game after he won the Eurocup MVP last season.
With Mekel on the roster there is a belief that Calathes’ rights could be traded, and that might return something of value to the Mavericks and it might also open the door for Nick to make his NBA debut this season.
We Want To Know: If you were advising Dwight Howard…
Rockets Find Home For Robinson: The Houston Rockets have been trying to clear out enough cap room to offer Dwight Howard a full maximum contract. The Rockets made a couple of moves yesterday, waiving guard Aaron Brooks and swing man Carlos Delfino in order to avoid guaranteeing their contracts for the upcoming season.
The Rockets also found a home for Robinson, who they tried aggressively to trade around the NBA Draft. The deal reached will send Robinson and his $3.5 million salary to the Portland Trail Blazers for two future second-round picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic. The deal can not be completed until July 10th when the NBA’s moratorium on transactions is lifted.
The move is purely a salary cap dump to get the Rockets far enough under the cap to offer Howard a full max deal.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports is reporting that the Rockets have also put both guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik on the trade market, as they are looking to clear even more salary cap space to offer a third major free agent deal if they secure Howard.
The Rockets are expected to meet with Hawks free agent Josh Smith today and have addition meeting set up this week.
After the Robinson deal is consummated the Rockets will have $36.13 million in salary committed for next season, which includes the non-guaranteed deals of Patrick Beverly, Greg Smith and James Anderson.
Asik and Lin both have a cap value of $8.37 million for 2013-2014 and $8.374 for $2014-2015.
As things stand today the Rockets have roughly $20 million in space under the projected $59 million salary cap.
Who are the key free agents? Check out the 2013 NBA Free Agent List. Who has capspace? Checkout the most detailed and hyper accurate NBA salary data anywhere. The offseason is right around the corner and HOOPSWORLD has you covered.
Knicks Make Their Deal: Both teams in New York now have deals awaiting July 10. The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a much talked about deal that will land them Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics.
The New York Knicks countered with a deal of their own that will send Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and a first-round draft pick in 2016 to Toronto in exchange for Andrea Bargnani.
Like the Nets deal, the terms between New York and Toronto have been agreed to but await the league re-opening for business on July 10.
In the wake of the news of the trade Camby released a statement, expressing his reluctance about the trade.
“It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t given a meaningful opportunity to contribute last season in New York. I was really looking forward to the upcoming year as a chance to show the organization what they missed out on last year, and pushing our team towards the Finals.
“I have nothing but positive things to say about the city of Toronto and its great fans, having been drafted by the Raptors 17 years ago. Given that my goal at this point in my career is to have a shot at a championship, however, I’ll have to evaluate my options going forward. I’ve enjoyed a great career, and under the right circumstances I hope to continue making an impact in the league.”
There has been talk that the Raptors would be open to a contract buyout of Camby, if they cannot find a suitable trading partner.
Camby has $4.3 million on his contract for the upcoming season and a final non-guaranteed year worth $4.17 million.
Steve Novak is on the books for $3.75 million for the upcoming season with two more seasons worth $3.45 million and $3.75 million respectively.
More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to insure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @AlexKennedyNBA, @TheRocketGuy, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @SusanBible, @DPageNBA , @TommyBeer>, @JabariDavisNBA , @NateDuncanNBA and @YannisHW.
NBA Chats: There will be two NBA chats today starting with Bill Ingram’s weekly chat at 11:00am EST. Bill covers the NBA and the Western Conference for HOOPSWORLD and is based in Dallas. Yannis Koutroupis will hold down his weekly chat at 3pm EST. Yannis covers the NBA, the NCAA and the D-League for HOOPSWORLD. Both chats fill up fast, so get your questions in early. You can always find the next upcoming chat here. If you are looking for a completed chat try here.
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-nba-free-agency-already-moving
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.