While free agency in the NBA has been in full swing since July 1, players and teams could only reach agreements up until now. Handshake deals.
Starting July 10 those handshakes turn into signed contracts.
Here is a list of who signed where, as of now (these are not rumors, just done deals with ink on paper). We will continue to update this list as deals get announced.
• The Cleveland Cavaliers have made announcement — Kyrie Irving has officially signed his max five year extension. What, you were expecting something else?
• The three-team Cavaliers trade that frees them up enough money to give LeBron James a max contract has gone through, the Cavaliers announced. Brooklyn gets Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev, the Celtics get Tyler Zeller and the Cavs’ 2016 first round pick (top 10 protected), while the Cavaliers get cap space as well as Boston’s 2015 second round pick (top 55 protected) and the rights to Ilkan Karaman and Edin Bavcic.
• Chandler Parsons was hanging out in a club with Mark Cuban and some other random guys, and signed the paperwork on his offer sheet with Dallas. Got to love that Cuban did that in a club. The two sides talked sign-and-trade for a while but that fell apart and the Rockets now have the offer sheet in hand. That means the clock is ticking at 72 hours to match — if they want to sign Chris Bosh and match Parsons the Rockets have a lot of moves to make very quickly (and they need LeBron to make his decision sooner rather than later).
• Steve Blake and Chris Kaman have both left the Lakers to sign with the Trail Blazers.
• Spencer Hawes and Jordan Farmar formally signed their deals to join the Los Angeles Clippers — Hawes gets the full mid-level and four years, $23 million, Farmar signs for two years and $4.2 million total, with a player option for the second year. But really the best part of this is the shorts Hawes wore to the signing.
• Marcin Gortat also put ink to paper on a five-year, $60 million deal.
• Kyle Lowry formally re-signed with the Toronto Raptors and will speak to the media Thursday.
• Gordon Hayward formally signed a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with a player option the third year with the Charlotte Hornets. The Jazz have 72 hours to match and are expected to do so.
First Kobe Bryant. Then Tim Duncan.
Now Kevin Garnett. The Hall of Fame class in five years is going to be stacked.
But before we move on from Garnett’s announcement this week that he is retiring after 21 years in the NBA, let’s look back at his greatest plays (compiled by the folks at NBA.com). Enjoy this for 11 minutes rather than watching your NFL fantasy team flounder. Again.
Did anyone ever fire up NBA 2K9 back in the day, decide to be the soon-to-be-champion Lakers, look at a roster with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom then say “I’m going to be Luke Walton”?
D'Angelo Russell says he did.
The Lakers young point guard has praised the new Laker coach at every turn — Russell and Byron Scott did not get along, the point guard is much happier now — and that includes talking about Walton’s playing days to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.
“I told him I remember playing with him on (NBA) 2K; I used to always play as him. I’m a fan. I’m definitely a fan. Because he was a point forward. I can’t speak on Elgin Baylor and all those guys, but my era, I know he was a point forward.”
Really? NBA veteran and current analyst Stephen Jackson called Russell out on that.
Jackson has a point.
What is with the ridiculous, unrealistic Philadelphia 76ers rumors of late? Last I checked recreational use was not legal in Pennsylvania. Not that the law is stopping anyone.
The latest silliness follows this logic:
This summer the Sixers made runs at veteran guards such as Jamal Crawford and Manu Ginobili (and they forced the Spurs to pay up for the Argentinian to keep him).
The Cleveland Cavaliers and J.R. Smith are in a staring contest, and Smith remains a free agent.
The Sixers have more than $22 million in cap space still.
No. Not happening.
Or, we could have just asked Smith who has said he is not talking to other teams and doesn’t want to play anywhere but Cleveland.
I can get why Sixers management would want to bring a veteran and beloved, hard-working pro such as Ginobili in to lead and mentor a young team. Does Smith bring that same demeanor? I get that Smith in Cleveland has developed his game, and that he has matured and backed off his hard-partying ways (he gets a hall pass for the days after winning a championship), but is Smith the veteran you bring into a young locker room?
Can we move on from the ridiculous in Pennslyvania? Well, probably not until after the election, that is a battleground state.
LeBron James is the best basketball player walking the face of the earth. The only guy who could start to challenge that supremacy the past couple of years has been Stephen Curry, and last season’s NBA Finals answered that question for now.
In the Eastern Conference, for years now it has been LeBron James and his team then a step back to everyone else — LeBron has been to six straight NBA Finals, four in Miami and the last two in Cleveland. Most pundits (myself included) think that’s going to be seven in-a-row because the Cavaliers are clear and away the class of the East.
Paul George says he and the Pacers are ready to change that narrative. Here is what he told Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“Honestly, I look at us challenging them. I’ve been in the East and I’ve been No. 1 with LeBron being on a team,” George told The Vertical in a recent telephone interview, harkening back to when the Pacers finished with the best regular-season record in the East in 2013-14, the season before his gruesome Team USA leg injury….
“I’ve always matched up with him like, ‘I know he can do this, I know he can do that,’ ” George told The Vertical about James. “Not in an awe fashion, but it’s more so, ‘I’m not supposed to win these games. This is supposed to be the best dude in the NBA. I’m trying to challenge him. I know what I’m up against.’ Now it’s, ‘I’m ready. I’m ready for you. I’m a veteran. I know you, you know me. Let’s meet here, let’s get this job done.’ I’m prepared. I’ve had time to figure this out. I’ve had time to lick my wounds. I’m ready.”
Good for George — this is exactly what you want an elite competitor and top player to say heading into the season. He sees Everest in front of him, and he wants to climb it.
I’m also higher on the Pacers than most; I think they are a top-four team in the East that can finish top two. They upgraded at the point with Jeff Teague, plus they added the underrated Thaddeus Young (although they will miss Solomon Hill) and depth up front with Al Jefferson. I don’t get Larry Bird pushing Frank Vogel out the door at all, but Nate McMillan is a solid NBA coach to take his place. I think the Pacers are taking a step forward this season, maybe a fairly significant one.
But they’re still not in the Cavaliers’ class.
The East is still Cleveland then everyone else. Last season Toronto won 56 games and had its best season in franchise history, and they were still a step or two below the Cavaliers. No team in the East — not the Raptors, not the Celtics, not the Pacers — are making up those steps. Unless injuries or something else unforeseen brings the Cavaliers back to the pack, the Eastern Conference once again will look like Secretariat at the Belmont.