Pacers president Larry Bird wants Indiana to play faster and more dynamically offensively.
Dropping Frank Vogel? A harsh move, but the coach seemed to prefer a more deliberate pace.
Hiring Nate McMillan? His history is with slow teams, but maybe he’ll adjust to a different roster.
Trading George Hill for Jeff Teague? I think that’s a downgrade, but Teague is more capable off the dribble.
Trading the No. 20 pick for Thaddeus Young? Again, I’m not sure about the value, but Young certainly fits.
Al Jefferson? Umm…
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Jefferson doesn’t fit the style Bird appeared to be trending toward one bit. That’s why Myles Turner should start at center.
To give the Pacers the benefit of the doubt, Jefferson could be effective as a change of pace off the bench. They don’t have to play the same way all the time. He could damage in the low post against backup bigs.
This is a reasonable enough price if the final year is unguaranteed. Jefferson can help now, but at 31, he might not remain a positive rotation player three years from now.
The Trail Blazers are interested in Chandler Parsons, reportedly offering him a max contract.
Well, you know the old saying: Where there’s Chandler Parsons, there’s Dwight Howard.
Jason Quick of CSN Northwest:
This would certainly be an exciting set of frontcourt additions for the Trail Blazers, who beat the odds last season behind strong guard play from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
With Parsons and Howard, Portland would be a major threat in the West — health permitting. That’s the big worry for those talented free agents, but short of landing Kevin Durant, upgrading requires risk. This might be a risk worth taking for the Blazers.
Giving Parsons a max contract would essentially use up all the Trail Blazers’ cap space, but they could clear room for Howard by renouncing Meyers Leonard ($7,689,700) and Maurice Harkless ($8,330,850) and/or trading Ed Davis ($6,666,667). With several team-friendly contracts and plenty of cap space, Portland is flexible.
The Wizards were going to give Bradley Beal a max contract. They stuck with that plan and stuck with it and stuck with it.
Now, everything is agreed upon.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Restricted free-agent guard Bradley Beal agreed to a five-year, $128 million maximum contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Vertical.
The framework of the contract will be a straight five-year deal with no options, Bartelstein said.
Beal can’t sign until July 7, and the Wizards might wait longer to make the deal official. His cap hold is $14,236,685, and his max salary projects to be about about $22 million. Washington can spend the difference — about $8 million — then use Beal’s Bird Rights to exceed the cap while re-signing him.
The important part is getting Beal’s contract terms locked up, and that’s done.
The next steps:
- Add depth in free agency, reportedly with Ryan Anderson the top target.
- Keep Beal healthy. When on the court, he’s productive young player, but injuries have piled up. Admittedly, this is a much more difficult challenge than throwing money at Anderson.
Hassan Whiteside is becoming the first player in NBA history to go from a minimum salary one season to a max salary the next.
Whiteside, who agreed to re-sign with the Heat, will get paid.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
Whiteside’s max projects be worth about $99 million over four years, though the exact amount won’t be determined until later this week.
What a journey for someone who was playing in Lebanon just two years ago, still facing major questions throughout this season and then seized this opportunity.
There’s plenty of risk for Miami, but I’d rather have the 27-year-old Whiteside than not. He’s worth the gamble.
The bigger issue is Dwyane Wade. This leaves just about $19 million for Wade, who’s agitating for more. Trading Josh McRoberts might be necessary to satisfy Wade’s demands.
And what about Kevin Durant? By the time the Heat meet with their reported top target, they might not have a clear route to clearing cap space for him — unless they dump Wade. But without Wade, why would Durant choose Miami?
The Heat have chosen their path with Whiteside.
Jeremy Lin is returning to the Big Apple.
After dazzling with the Knicks during Linsanity, the point guard — in an unsurprising move — is headed to the Nets.
Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports:
This is a huge bargain for Brooklyn. To get a starting-caliber point guard for that price in this market — wow.
And the Nets still have gobs of cap space to spend. The could become a reasonable team in a hurry.
Lin was rejuvenated with the Hornets after a hard season with the Lakers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he prioritized fit more than most players do. He already got a big payday from the Rockets. And if he plays well, he can hit the market again before turning 30.
Lin makes things happen in the pick-and-roll, and point guard was a major position of need in Brooklyn. He reunites with Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, who was a Knicks assistant during Linsanity.
They don’t need to recreate the magic to justify this deal.
This is a home-run signing for Brooklyn.