The deadline has come and gone and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns, are without contract extensions to their rookie deals.
That means both of them, as well as Avery Bradley in Boston, will be restricted free agents next summer (any team can make an offer but the team they are on now has the right to match). A deep free agent class just got a little deeper.
All three of them are guys that their current teams said they wanted to keep, but the sides couldn’t agree on a price — that could be an expensive proposition now as all of those players have fans around the league. Teams trying to lure a restricted free agent tend to offer above the market value for a player to scare off the team who has the rights, that very well may be what happens here.
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Weeks ago the Jazz had seemed optimistic they could work out a deal with Hayward at first, but over the last 10 days reports had started to surface the two sides remained far apart. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports had the details on Hayward and Utah.
The sides never came close on a deal, remaining several million dollars apart, league sources told Yahoo. Hayward had been seeking a deal in the four-year, $50-million plus range, sources said.
The Jazz gave Derrick Favors four years, $47 million extension earlier this summer. There were reports they offered Hayward more or at least the same one, but apparently that was not enough.
The Suns traded Jared Dudley as part of a three-team deal to get Bledsoe to be part of their guard tandem of the future.
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.