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NBA Free Agent Scorecard
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On July 7, 2012 @ 6:00 pm In All,NBA | No Comments
For many teams and the free agents they have been negotiating with, Wednesday is when they can finally put pen to paper and actually sign the deals that have been alluded to. We are, after all, still in the NBA’s free agent signing moratorium period. A flurry of announcements from NBA teams is coming next week.
The new collective bargaining agreement was supposed to rein in spending, especially by the freewheeling big market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, but apparently the impact of higher future luxury taxes is generating mixed results and big name unrestricted free agents (UFA) are doing well. From all of the back-loaded “poison pill” offers to restricted free agents (RFA), the new luxury tax provisions may have become a weapon in the battle to procure young talent.
All the information is approximate and mostly based on leaks from various players and their agents to the media. Don’t be surprised if the deal that gets signed next week is different.
The Celtics are trying to put the band back together again and started early by getting Kevin Garnett’s agreement to return for a reported $34 million over three seasons. They followed that up with Brandon Bass returning for three seasons at $20 million total and are reportedly close on a four-year, $40 million deal for Jeff Green. The big three era in Boston is over, however, as Ray Allen is taking his talents to South Beach.
Boston managed to replace Allen by getting Jason Terry from the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year deal worth $15.6 million.
If the Celtics can turn back the clock one more time, they will be a force in the Eastern Conference again next season.
The Suns have moved past the Steve Nash era and they did so with a big splash, offering RFA Eric Gordon a four-year maximum offer of $58 million. The New Orleans Hornets are expected to match or at least force a sign-and-trade.
Not nearly done after Gordon, the Suns found Nash’s replacement in Goran Dragic at up to $34 million over four seasons and then replaced Grant Hill with Michael Beasley at $18 million over three years.
Even if the Suns can’t hold onto Gordon, they have a good start on their rebuild.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers missed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups after he was lost for the season last year so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are bringing him back on a one year $4.3 million deal. In the playoffs, the Clippers lacked the experience to get the job done and by adding the veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford for the next three years, they have helped to address that issue. There is some debate about whether Crawford’s deal is for $15.7 million or $25 million and an extra year.
The Nets gambled and won on the trades that brought Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams to the team as both veteran free agents agreed to re-sign so they’d be there on opening night in Brooklyn. As the top free agent in his class, Williams will justifiably receive a maximum five-year deal worth $98 million. Wallace is getting a generous $40 million over four seasons, but as long as he stays healthy and productive, he will be worth the investment.
Adding in the Joe Johnson trade, the Nets have to be taken seriously next season.
Houston has been searching for a new star player since the loss of Yao Ming and they have put together two punishing offers in an attempt to land a couple of RFA.
Back-up center Omer Asik has been offered a back-loaded three-year deal worth $25 million designed to cause the maximum luxury tax pain to the Chicago Bulls in year three should they decide to match. The Rockets upped the pain threshold with a back-loaded four-year deal of $40 million to the New York Knicks RFA point guard Jeremy Lin.
Both the Bulls and the Knicks could match the offer sheets to their RFA, but as of now it looks like the Rockets may get to keep Asik.
The Timberwolves looked good last year until rookie point guard Ricky Rubio was injured, but this young team still had issues scoring from the wing and is looking to address the problem in free agency.
A four year deal for at least $45 million to RFA Nicolas Batum should give Portland pause, but the Trailblazers are giving every indication that they will match Minnesota’s generous offer. Not easily discouraged, the Timberwolves came to an agreement with former Trailblazer Brandon Roy on a two-year deal worth $10 million. Roy was amnestied by Portland because of his knee problems and the Timberwolves are taking a big gamble that those knees are now good enough to restart his injury shortened career, but if Roy can still play, the Timberwolves scoring issues are solved.
Los Angeles Lakers
In the biggest UFA move to a new team, Steve Nash convinced the Phoenix Suns to complete a sign-and-trade deal that will send him to the Lakers for three years and $27 million. In the end, Nash didn’t go for the most money in Toronto or the bright lights of New York, choosing instead to stay close to his family in Phoenix and to join a legitimate NBA Finals contender.
New York Knicks
The Knicks didn’t get the point guard they wanted, but they did gain a wealth of experience when Jason Kidd agreed to a three-year offer for $9 million. After 18 years in the NBA, the 39-year-old Kidd should instantly have the respect of the Knicks’ other stars and be an excellent mentor for Lin if the Knicks match.
The Magic have convinced their starting point guard to return again next season. Jameer Nelson agreed to a new three-year deal. An estimate of the amount hasn’t leaked out yet.
The 76ers are making moves. First, they got Spencer Hawes’ agreement on a new two-year deal for $13 million. Then, they convinced the Nick Young, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers, to come on board for one year at $6 million.
Apparently, we can expect more moves as it appears Elton Brand and his $18.2 million expiring deal will be amnestied soon. The 76ers still have a lot of roster spots to fill.
The Grizzlies own RFA Marreese Speights will re-sign for another two years and $9 million.
RFA Jeremy Evans will re-sign with the Jazz for $5.5 million over three seasons.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The 7’3” Hasheem Thabeet will get to try out his fourth team in four seasons as sheer size is enough in the NBA to get one another chance. The Thunder offered Thabeet a two-year deal, but no details are available.
The Raptors offered New York Knicks’ RFA Landry Fields a back-loaded three year deal worth $19 million during their attempt to land Nash. Even though Nash wasn’t acquired, it is believed the deal for Fields is still in play. The Knicks are not expected to match.
Ray Allen is taking less money to join Miami’s big three and a chance at another title for the HEAT’s mini mid-level exception of $3 million.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that’s going on in the world of free agency and deals can change right up until the last minute. Keep an eye on everything at our Free Agency Diary for the latest updates and check out Monday’s Free Agent Scorecard for some earlier deals.
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