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NBA Free Agency Watch: Day 3
Posted By Joel Brigham On July 3, 2013 @ 10:54 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Andre Iguodala Not In Big Demand… Yet
There were reports earlier on Wednesday that the Sacramento Kings had provided Iguodala with a four-year, $56 million offer, but within hours they had retracted the offer presumably because they wanted an answer from Iguodala’s camp more quickly than they received one. That left him without any team other than Denver aggressively pursuing him.
Keep in mind that the Nuggets have said all along that they’d like to keep him, and since Denver owns Iguodala’s Bird Rights they can give him a fifth year that no other team can. However, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, the Nuggets do not want to pay him $14 million a season, which could make negotiations stall a bit between player and former team.
The reality is that a lot of teams with serious cap space are waiting to see what happens with Dwight Howard and Josh Smith. Once they make a decision, a lot of other dominoes will fall because teams that may be willing to spend some bread on Iggy will only be willing to do so once they know they’re out of the Howard/Smith Sweepstakes.
In other words, after Howard picks a “winner” and Smith finds himself a home, Iguodala is going to be high on the list of teams’ second choices. Interest may be low for him now, but give it a little time. Even Sacramento could get back into the bidding, especially considering how badly they need a small forward, but expect some other teams (Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta) to come calling in another week or two. Iguodala’s camp just needs to stay patient. Big money and big years are almost certainly coming.
Bucks To Land O.J. Mayo
It’s a sad reality for the Milwaukee Bucks that Wisconsin just isn’t a place where players are dying to play. It’s really, really cold there in the winter (and most of the other seasons), the market is pretty small and Chicago and Indiana—both in Milwaukee’s division—look like they’ll be two of the East’s top four teams for the foreseeable future.
Knowing all that, it’s no wonder Monta Ellis seems to be chomping at the bit to get out of there and why J.J. Redick is already gone. Still, with two of their top scorers likely off the books for next season, that left a lot of cap space on the table for Milwaukee to pursue some backcourt replacements. Of course, almost all of the team’s courtships this month have been fruitless, with Chase Budinger, Kevin Martin and Kyle Korver all opting to sign with other teams.
Luckily for the Bucks, however, free agent two-guard O.J. Mayo thinks Milwaukee would be a rather lovely place to play and is reportedly on the verge of agreeing to sign a multi-year contract with the Bucks, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Mayo averaged 15.3 points and 4.4 assists last year in Dallas, but definitely had a stronger first half of the season than second half. Still, he’s proven himself a respectable NBA starter and should keep Milwaukee’s backcourt decent for at least the next few years, especially if Brandon Jennings re-signs (or has an offer sheet matched).
Bucks fans are lukewarm on the signing, but considering how many other guards have passed on the Bucks, it’s at least refreshing to have an intriguing name like Mayo on the radar. Wojnarowski suggested the deal could get done as early as Wednesday evening, but as of press time it wasn’t wrapped up yet.
Soon, though, Milwaukee will have themselves a new shooting guard, and a pretty decent one at that.
Kyle Korver and (Possibly) J.R. Smith Staying Put
Kyle Korver, of course, was someone Milwaukee had been pursuing pretty aggressively in recent days, even going so far as to reportedly offer him a three-year, $21 million deal. However, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Korver has elected to stay in Atlanta on what is reportedly a four-year, $24 million deal.
He gets an extra year and an extra $3 million this way, which doesn’t sound like much until you consider the fact that he would be 35 years old at the end of a three-year deal, making another lucrative multi-year contract after this one an improbability. That extra year, which puts him at 36 years old, is just a little more security with a team he’s already familiar with. Atlanta will have to spend some money on somebody if Dwight Howard isn’t coming home, and Korver has been in demand over the course of the last week. Both he and the Hawks are likely very glad the sharpshooter is staying put.
The New York Knicks, meanwhile, are working very hard to get something done with J.R. Smith and according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, the team spent all day Wednesday trying to get the terms of a deal done for Smith.
Nothing got done, however, and with teams like Detroit and Dallas—both of which could offer Smith a more lucrative financial deal than the Knicks—still chasing after Smith, it’s not a huge surprise that he’s still mulling his options. Despite all that, the belief is still that if money is equal, Smith would rather stay in New York. We’ll soon see if that’s what ends up happening.
Pelicans Finally Get Evans To Sign Offer Sheet
We’ve known for days that the New Orleans Pelicans offered restricted free agent Tyreke Evans a four-year, $44 million offer sheet, but on Wednesday night, Evans finally agreed to sign that offer sheet once the free agency moratorium lifts on July 10th, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. When that does finally happen, the Kings will have three days to match it, and at this point, it’s hard to tell whether or not they actually will.
After everything that’s happened over the course of the last week, it’s no wonder Evans got the taste for greener pastures. The Kings already had a backcourt rotation full of guards trying to find shots for themselves, but by drafting Ben McLemore, who many project as a future All-Star in this league, the franchise seemed to be signaling that they were ready to move on without Evans.
When the Kings put on an offer on the table for Andre Iguodala—even though they almost immediately rescinded it—it seemed to further signal that he team was moving on without him. There have been reports that the Kings are committed to keeping Evans, and other reports claiming they’re okay if he goes elsewhere, so it’s hard to get a handle on what they’ll do with this offer sheet. Somewhere around mid-July, we’ll know for sure. One thing we do know is that if New Orleans comes into the season with a backcourt that features Jrue Holiday, Greivis Vasquez, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, they’ll have one of the most loaded guard rotations in the conference. Not a bad summer for the Pelicans so far.
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