NBA Free Agent Watch
The official start of NBA free agency has begun and it is like Christmas time for league chatter. Everyone has sources giving information at ridiculous speeds, Twitter is ablaze and it is all tons of fun for those who follow and love the NBA. With information coming at a fast and furious pace, here is some of the NBA free agency information that we know as of now.
Be sure to check in with HOOPSWORLD’s Free Agent Diary frequently, as the team is updating as new information comes in.
The First Verbal Agreement
Gerald Wallace and the Brooklyn Nets have come to terms on a deal that will pay him $40 million over the next four seasons, as the team adjusts to their new life in Brooklyn. Wallace took a bit of a gamble when he opted out of $9.5 million he was under contract to earn, instead believing he could lock himself in for a longer deal and it paid off.
This will not be the last time the Nets are in the rumor mill during this crazy time of year. How does Wallace signing affect the team going forward? Deron Williams is doing his due diligence by meeting with other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, but in all likelihood will re-sign with Brooklyn. With Dwight Howard’s continuing saga of will-he-or-won’t-he in Orlando and his newest move of looking to take legal action against the Magic unless they move him to the Nets, Brooklyn may be setting themselves up for quite a first season in their new home.
A core of Williams, Howard and Wallace is a nice start, should all the pieces fall into place.
Minnesota Rumored with Better Brand of Players
After declining the options on both Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been busy as free agency tips off. Team owner Glen Taylor, David Kahn, Rick Adelman and trainer Gregg Farnam have already met with Brandon Roy to make their pitch to him.
According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the Timberwolves have already made an offer to Nicolas Batum and it is considered to be a “serious offer” of four years and $45-50 million. Batum is set to meet with representatives from both New Orleans and Toronto as well. While the Portland Trailblazers stated a while ago they will match any offer Batum receives from other teams, this reported offer from Minnesota seems as if the Timberwolves are testing their resolve and calling their bluff.
The Timberwolves are also set to meet with Greg Stiemsma, who was and is loved by Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics. Now that Minnesota counts Pekovic as one of their building blocks, Stiemsma would be a great fit off the bench should a deal come to fruition.
While some doubt the team’s ability to land Roy or any of the big name free agents, the Timberwolves young core of Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic coupled with head coach Rick Adelman does, in fact, make the team an intriguing destination.
Toronto and Steve Nash
Chris Broussard reports the Toronto Raptors have put an offer to Steve Nash for three years and $36 million. The team is said to be pulling out all the stops to land the two-time Most Valuable Player, even having Nash’s hero Wayne Gretzky film a video plea to try and entice him to sign in his homeland of Canada.
While Nash is set to meet with other teams, including the New York Knicks, there is a lot of confidence from the Raptors that they will eventually end up with Nash, who has stated he will make a decision quickly and his free agency will be short. The Knicks pitch to Nash is reported to have been a sign-and-trade that would get Nash to New York for about $5 million.
Nash may have better opportunities to win in his final years in the NBA outside of Toronto, but the idea of making incredibly good money, playing back home in Canada and setting up life after his playing days may be just too good to pass on for Nash. The Raptors looking to trade Jose Calderon indicates their belief that it is only a matter of time before Nash comes home.
All-Star Roy Hibbert Worth the Max?
The Portland Trailblazers are set to offer Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers an offer sheet for a max contract on July 11. Hibbert, who made his first All-Star appearance in 2011-12, averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds (11.7 points and 11.2 rebounds in the playoffs) during this past season. After coming off a career-year, Hibbert continued to work out at the Pacers’ facilities with regularity, knowing this summer was an important one for the future of his career.
After the Pacers met with the big man and reportedly did not offer a max deal, Hibbert looks to be ready to sign the offer sheet with Portland in an attempt to force Indiana’s hand. The Pacers promised to be “aggressive” in their pursuit to retain the former Georgetown center—and everyone knows the history of Georgetown centers in the NBA—and while many expect Hibbert to stay in Indiana, they already seem to be looking at all their options by reaching out to Omer Asik of the Chicago Bulls.
Celtics Keeping the Big Three Together?
Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics have already come to terms on a deal that reportedly will pay him $34 million over three years. The speculation that Garnett would go elsewhere can end, as Garnett was steadfast in his essential promise to either return to Boston or retire. Now, it is only a matter of time until the ink can dry and the paperwork is final.
Garnett will be a great veteran leader for the newest Celtics, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, to learn from during their early NBA years.
Ray Allen, on the other hand, has options. It would seem almost a betrayal to go to the arch-rivals of the Celtics, but the Miami HEAT would love to add Allen’s services. LeBron James has even sent out a few tweets to begin the courtship. The Memphis Grizzlies are reported to be prepared to offer Allen the full mid-level exception of $5 million to get themselves in the running as well.
However, the Celtics are prepared to offer double what the HEAT are able to offer since Miami can only offer $3 million. Boston is banking on the relationships with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to keep Allen from moving elsewhere.