July 2008 - Posts

The NBA Draft is over and teams are free to talk to the league's free agents (as of July 1st), but who's signing where and who's getting traded - those are the questions NBA fans want to know.  Below is a regularly updated list of recent free agent signings, trades and general player movement.  By the way... this is a long-as* page, so get your scroll finger ready.  This year has been absolutely nuts w/ the amounts of signings and trades. If you're interested in the mid-level guys and those players that most people could care less about... guess what, they aren't going to be listed here either.  News will be listed newest-to-oldest.

August 19, 2008

Philadelphia 76ersSome of this happened earlier this week, but I haven't been able to post about them until now.

Andre Igoudala signs 6-year extension w/ the Philadelphia 76ers for a reported $80 million.  This is a huge amount for a 2nd or 3rd option on a team, and a pretty significant salary cap figure for the future, especially w/ the newly signed Elton Brand already on board w/ a large contract. Igoudala is certainly a stud, but I don't think he was worth $80 million (yet).  Just seems like a big risk for Philly.

Cleveland CavaliersThe Cleveland Cavaliers made a huge offseason move by acquiring Mo Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks.  The guard gives Lebron James another scoring option, which the Cavs have really been lacking.  It also gives them a better (& younger) point guard compared to the options in previous years. The trade was a three-way, including the Oklahoma City Thunder (unconfirmed) - the Thunder acquired Desmond Mason in the deal, which is odd considering he basically plays the same positioni as Kevin Durant. Cleveland gives up Damon Jones (virtually nothing) and Joe Smith, a solid backup forward they acquired last year after trading Larry Hughes to Chicago.  The Bucks will receive Luke Ridnour, who lost favor (in Seattle) and Adrian Griffin.  The deal was great for both Milwaukee and Cleveland, but Oklahoma City really didn't do themselves any favors.

Ben Gordon is bitching in Chicago that the Bulls aren't offering him enough money.  He declined to re-sign last year also, for a 5-yr, $50 million extension.  This guy is a freaking idiot unfortunately, but the market has impressed it upon him that he's worth more than $10 million per year.  Coming off the bench for the Bulls, who were not even a playoff team, does not warrant a contract the size Gordon is requesting.

More players are leaving the NBA to play in Europe; the latest NBA defector is Jannero Pargo, who has signed a deal w/ a European team for twice what he made last year in New Orleans.  The trend of the 4th or 5th option-type players is surely one that will make the NBA's benches a little weaker across the league.  While the trend has been the strongest this year, rumors are floating that either Kobe Bryant or Lebron James are being offered $50 million for a single season to play in Europe.  If that happened, it would be the strongest sign yet that the NBA is losing it's appeal.  It already has a referee scandal and allegations that games have been fixed (for TV ratings), so losing the top player(s) to another league would be devastating, regardless of what the league may say.  If the players go, it's only a matter of time before the European games will be broadcast in the states - if this happens, the NBA is going to have about the same appeal that hockey or track & field have now.

August 8, 2008

Atlanta HawksOn the same day the Memphis Grizzlies surprisingly opened up the vault for Josh Smith, the Atlanta Hawks acted quickly and matched the offer.  The deal is worth over $55 million (5 yrs).  This offer & matching offer smells of sneakiness in my opinion; the Grizzlies are trying to sell and have been dumping contracts like crazy (e.g. Trade of Gasol to the Lakers for peanuts).  I wouldn't doubt if Smith's agent or someone else that knows him, requested that another team get involved to force the issue on Atlanta, where Smith probably wanted to stay anyway - he just wanted more money.  The only way to get that, was to have a competitive offer on the table. 

The LA Clippers have signed point guard Jason Williams, who the Suns were also considering.  While it is doubtful Phoenix could've paid Williams anything more than a few million.  Details of the signing are unavailable (at the time of this post).

July 30, 2008

Houston RocketsReports indicate that the tempermental (mental being the key) Ron Artest is on his way out of Sacramento and over to the Houston Rockets.  In what appears to be a lopsided trade, the Kings will get back one of their old players in Bobby Jackson, albeit at a lot higher salary than when he left & much older, another player and a 1st round draft pick for next year. 

The trade instantly puts the Rockets into any conversations about next year's NBA champion.  Joining Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Rafer Alston and Luis Scola in the starting lineup; Artest instantly adds credibility and toughness to the already strong defensive unit.  Houston already has a lock-down defender at the small forward position in b, but having a tough defender coming off the bench to spell either McGrady or Artest is not a bad problem to have.  Sure, the Rockets could try and bring Artest off the bench as a 6th man, but knowing his already out of control self-attitude, I don't think that's gonna fly for Ron-Ron.

Artest's defense will instantly help the Rockets against their toughest competitors.  He can guard Peja (Hornets), Bryant (Lakers), Williams (Jazz), Roy (Trailblazers) and just about any other player under 6'10" on any team.  The key to the Rockets success, however, will still be the health of Yao Ming and McGrady.  If either of them goes down before/during the playoffs, Houston will be watching games on the TV come June 2009. 

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are making one of the biggest mistakes in the history of their franchise!  That's just my opinion, but signing Luol Deng to a 6-yr, $80 million contract extension is absolutely retarded.  Tell me how a guy averaging only 17 pts and 7 rebounds over the last 2 yrs gets $80 million.  This guy is not the face of their franchise and they could've easily acquired some talented players in a trade last year, when teams were interested.  With his new salary, I don't think as many teams will be contacting the Bulls. 

This signing would seem to indicate that Ben Gordon is the odd man out in Chicago - I can't see how they can pay him even close to the same amount, though based on this summer's contract extensions, he certainly deserves about the same as Deng, Ellis, Okafor.

Charlotte BobcatsThe Charlotte Bobcats have signed Emeka Okafor to a 6-yr, $72 million extension.  There's no denying that Okafor is a solid player, but $12 million a year for rebounding and blocked shots?  Emeka is an undersized center and a moderate power forward, so I don't really get why the Bobcats would mortgage their future w/ this signing.  Of course, other recent deals set the bar on salaries (I'm gonna puke), so he got what he deserved compared to those other players (e.g. Biedrens, Bogut).

July 28, 2008

Not all of the news for this day occurred today - forewarning... let's play a little catch up.

Monta Ellis antes-up w/ the Warriors, to the tune of $66 million - way over value in my opinion.  Not to be outdone, his teammate, Andres Biedrens signs for 6-yrs and $62 million today.  I guess this is one way to build angst in your organization... pay the stiff the same amount you pay your top player.  Way to go Warriors.

The L.A. Lakers re-signed Sasha Vujacic to a 3-yr, $15 million deal.  This is supposedly less than Sasha could've have gotten, but not in the NBA.  He was apparently being courted by several European teams, who were willing to pay a bit more than the Lakers.

Yet another California team making waves this offseason, the Clippers made news again by signing Ricky Davis to a multiyear deal (terms not disclosed).  Good luck Clipperland... this guy is a team-wrecker.  Enjoy a guy who can't play defense or pass.

The Knicks traded Ronaldo Balkman to the Denver Nuggets for a draft pick and two players.  Balkman was one of Isiah Thomas' favorite players and a real "energy" guy, so I'm not exactly sure why Donnie Walsh and D'Antoni would want to move him.  The deal frees up cap space for Denver, who seems to be on a "sell, sell" type of streak these days.  Pretty soon, Anthony and Iverson will be the only players left.

July 22, 2008

San Antonio SpursThe San Antonio Spurs retained an important piece of their puzzle on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a 2-yr deal for Kurt Thomas.  It's good to see Thomas get more than a 1-yr deal, but I wish he would've come back to the Suns.  He's going to be a huge asset to the Spurs, especially when the get to the playoffs and face the big Lakers, who should have Bynum to compliment Bryant and Gasol this upcoming season.

The NBA Champion, Boston Celtics, have retained two key players in Eddie House and Tony Allen.  With the departure of James Posey to the Hornets, Allen is expected to step up on the defensive end. 

Minnesota Timberwolves have re-signed Sebastian Telfair, who'll play his 2nd season in Minnesota after being traded at the beginning of last year. 

July 20, 2008

Phoenix SunsFinally!!!  My beloved Phoenix Suns have made a splash in the free agent waters.  For an absurdly low deal financially, free agent Matt Barnes has signed with the Suns.  Formerly with the Golden State Warriors, who btw have had a huge offseason, Barnes was a particularly strong role player who was never really given significant minutes.  This deal solidifies the SG/SF rotations and could even include Barnes starting - w/ Grant Hill or Raja Bell coming off the bench (I doubt it though).  Perhaps Barnes sees the age of the current Suns players and has identified the opportunities that will be available when those players are gone; otherwise, I don't really see why he would sign here.

Matt Barnes also brings an air of toughness, much like Bell does, so I believe he is a GREAT addition to the team.  With Robin Lopez showing good signs so far in summer league, as well as Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry, Phoenix may be in better shape this year than last.  It will be interesting to see how Terry Porter works all of these players into the game plans.

Phoenix is still in need of a solid backup PG, but I think they're going to have to settle in this case - they just don't have enough $$ to pay a decent player to come to Arizona. 

This is also a great move by Phoenix, in the fact that it gives them flexibility with Leandro Barbosa - he could be traded and the Suns will still be in good shape w/ Barnes in the mix.  And for the veteran's minimum $$, Matt is a lot better option for a Suns team trying to lower payroll.

July 17, 2008

Los Angeles ClippersAnother day, another story involving the Golden State Warriors and the L.A. Clippers.  This time, it's a report that Kelenna Azubuike has received an offer sheet from the Clippers for $9 million over 3-years.  The Warriors have 7 days to match the offer for Azubuike before he'll officially be a Clipper.  If they don't sign him, Kelenna will join former Warrior Baron Davis on the revamped Clippers team, which now includes Marcus Camby as well.

It's not the "same 'ol" Clippers so far this summer - trades, big free agent signings and spending a lot of money.  This is a new strategy for the storied "loser" franchise, but only time will tell if the end of the story is different - can they win? 

July 16, 2008

New Orleans HornetsTwo-time NBA Champion and (now) former Celtic, James Posey, has reached a 4-year agreement with the New Orleans Hornets.  This deal is in the $25 million range for 4 yrs, which is likely a lot longer than the Celtics were offering.  Posey is primarily a defender, as demonstrated on both the Heat's championship run, as well as this year's Boston Celtics.  He is also a good 3-point shooter, which he'll no doubt get to showcase in New Orleans.  With Chris Paul manning the point and David West in the post, there will surely be a lot of 3's to go around - if Peja passes the ball of course.

This move by New Orleans is a statement to the rest of the Western Conference.  It says, we came close last year and we're going to be even better this year - take notice.  With the trade of Camby to L.A., Denver drops out of the playoffs and the only real contender for the Hornets is the Lakers - Posey helped shutdown Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals, so why not try to take him out before he even gets there.  Great move by the Hornets!!

Los Angeles ClippersThe L.A. Clippers decided not to stand by and take the departure of Elton Brand lightly.  In fact, their recent acquisition may give them the most intimidating front-line in all of basketball.  With the recently acquired Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets, the Clippers will roll out Camby and Chris Kaman at the 4 & 5 spots.  Not a bad move for the Clippers, who were looking like fools after allowing Brand and Corey Maggette to leave without matching either offer.

Camby, a former Defensive Player of the Year, and great overall paint presence (defensively), is a great addition for L.A.  I am still trying to figure out how the trade works financially, since the other components of the trade appear to be the ability to switch 2nd round draft picks in the 2010 draft and a $10 million trade exception (to be used within 1 year). Camby will make $11.25 million this year and another $10.9 the following season, so how exactly does a 2nd round draft pick & $10 mil equate?  Don't the trades have to be of equal dollar amounts (at least within a certain figure).

It's safe to say that the Nuggets are going in a downward direction, considering they really didn't get anything in return for trading arguably their only solid defender.  It's unclear what their real motive is in the deal, but hopefully they'll use the $10 million to sign somebody that can help them. 

July 10, 2008

Baron Davis has officially signed w/ the LA Clippers, although him and Chris Kaman are about the only players left after Elton Brand and Corey Maggette both bolted for ($) greener pastures.

Free agent Roger Mason signs w/ the San Antonio Spurs for 2 years, for a total of $7 million.

Milwaukee BucksThe Milwaukee Bucks have opened the vault, and have offered center Andrew Bogut a 5 year, $72 million contract extension.  This only a few weeks after trading for Richard Jefferson.  With a new coach, Scott Skiles, and a serious commitment to their core players, as well as bringing in Jefferson, the Bucks are making a run to go deep in the playoffs next season.  All the sudden, the East is looking a little deeper than in previous years.  The West is still significantly deeper, but the East has at least 5-6 quality teams that will fight it out all season.

The Orlando Magic strengthened their team by signing former Warriors guard Michael Pietrus.  Details of the free agent signing were not available as of this update.

July 9, 2008

Wednesday marks the first day that reported trades and deals can officially go through.  For instance, the pre-draft deal between the Pacers and Raptors involving Jermaine O'Neal goes through today, etc.

In other news...

James Jones signs w/ the Miami Heat.  The deal is for 5 years (wow, really?) and will start at $4 million this year.

DeSagana Diop re-signs w/ the Dallas Mavericks for 5 years ($31 million total).  Wait, you'll love this... Diop's new contract comes only 6 months after he was traded from Dallas to New Jersey in the Kidd trade.  Shouldn't deals like this be illegal?

Philadelphia 76ers

July 8, 2008

Today's big news & somewhat of a shocker, is that the Clippers Elton Brand will reportedly be signing w/ the Philadelphia 76ers.  The deal is reported to be valued at $82 million over 5 years.  The deal instantly makes the 76ers a valid Eastern Conference contender - I believe they will challenge for the #3 seed in the East.  Btw... Nice to see the East get at least 1 quality player back from the loaded Western Conference. Philly gets bigger, tougher and a solid rebounder to control the paint.  Brand is also a reliable defender and consistent low-post scorer, which the 76ers desperately needed.  Philadelphia has a young, but up-and-coming roster, to which Elton Brand should make an immediate impact as a role model and 1st or 2nd scoring option behind Andre Igoudala.  Elton's recent injury is still a concern, long-term, but for the 76ers it was a good move to make.  The move by Brand has to come as a huge shock to the Clippers' new PG, Baron Davis, who has signed a long-term deal w/ the now weak L.A. team.

Golden State Warriors

To top of the news of Brand leaving the Clippers, reports are that SG/SF Corey Maggette is signing a 5 year, $50 million contract w/ the Golden State Warriors.  Maggette likely got more money than he's worth from the Warriors, but a bid from the Celtics may have helped improve the bottom line.  Not really sure where Corey will fit in w/ the guard/forward loaded Warriors, but he's a guy who can score and get to the foul line; he's an aggressive player who's not afraid to put his body on the line.

Boston Celtics

July 5, 2008

Free agent Corey Maggette has reportedly been offered a contract by the Boston Celtics. Boston is already going to be over the salary cap for next year, based on their existing contracts, but signing Maggette to the midlevel exception would allow them to exceed the calp.  Signing Maggette would seem to be a dumb move, considering he's struggled defensively w/ the Clippers.  The Celtics would be better off re-signing James Posey for the exception, but he could be seeking a larger payday elsewhere or at least a multi-year deal.

New York KnicksJuly 4, 2008

The New York Knicks have agreed to terms w/ free agent PG Chris Duhon.  The new deal is supposed to be for 2 years at the full mid-level exception.  Duhon isn't the typical up & down PG that coach Mike D'Antoni is use to (w/ Steve Nash), but he's a good ball-handler and distributes the ball fairly well.  Unless NY is still seeking out trades, I can see Duhon winning the starting point guard spot and forcing Marbury to come off the bench - that is, IF he doesn't get bought out or traded for salary cap reasons.

July 3, 2008

Washington WizardsGilbert Arenas accepted a lower offer than the Wizards presented to him - $16 million less to be exact.  While the $111 million contract he signed is still likely to tax the team's ability to become a championship contender, he was steady on his word of taking less money to stay - give him credit for that.

"I'm basically giving back $16 million," Arenas told the Washington Times. "This is in line with what I've been saying the whole time. You see players take max deals and they financially bind their teams. I don't wanna be one of those players and three years down the road your team is strapped and can't do anything about it." More

The Hornets' Chris Paul agreed to a 3 year extension worth $68 million.  The deal will pay Paul the maximum amount allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Mavericks pickup a new shooting guard in Gerald Green, the former Celtic & Timberwolf, who is also a one-time Slam Dunk champion as well.  Dallas signed Green for a 1 year contract (minimum value).  This move certainly adds youth and athleticism to the Mavs, but he's struggled on the other teams, so Dallas really isn't risking anything w/ the minimum salary offered.

Golden State Warriors

July 2, 2008

In a strange twist, after reports surfaced that Baron Davis would be teaming up w/ Elton Brand in Clipperland, Brand has been offered a maximum deal from the suddenly Baron-less Warriors.  So Davis moves to L.A. and Brand moves (possibly) to Golden State... perfect timing for Davis to go to a poorer situation than he left.

Baron Davis, after being spurned by the Warriors, will be going to the L.A. Clippers - $65 million over 5 years.  This is definitely a paycut for Davis, but after being benched late last season, I think he saw the writing on the wall. 

New Orleans Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets are negotiating an extension w/ All-Star and runner-up MVP Chris Paul.  CP3 wants the max and he deserves it, so I'm not sure what the hold-up is on the new deal.  Personally, I think he should play out his current contract before worrying about an extension, but if I had millions of guaranteed money on the table, I'd probably ask for a new deal ASAP too. 

Chris Duhon receives offer from the New York Knicks, but does he really want to be part of that train wreck?  Sources suggest the Phoenix Suns are also interested in Duhon, but can't pay what the Knicks are offering.

Washington Wizards

Washington has resigned Antawn Jamison to a 4 year deal worth $50 million.  While Jamison probably got a raw deal here, his "I will play for less if Jamison is signed" buddy, Gilbert Arenas was offered over $100 million by several teams (cough... cough... what?).  Sources suggest Arenas is preparing to re-up w/ the Wizards, but it doesn't appear he's saving them any money.  Hope he likes being on a shitty team for another 5-6 years. 

Jose Calderon is reportedly signing a long-term deal w/ the Toronto Raptors.  Details of the new contract are unavailable as of this post, but it's believed to be around $35 million for 4-5 years.

Related Resources

ESPN's 2008 NBA Free Agent List
Chad Ford's 2008 NBA Free Agent Rankings
Free Agent Roundup from FoxSports 

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