Welcome to the wildest NBA off-season anyone can remember.
Thanks to the new television deal the salary cap is spiking by $24 million. Look at it this way, last season the cap was $70 million, next season the salary FLOOR teams must reach is estimated to be $84.6 million. Throw in some quality free agents — Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley — and some question marks (we’re looking at you Dwight Howard) and things will be fast and wild.
We will keep this post continually updated for the first 24 hours of free agency so you can keep up with everything.
12:50 AM: The Warriors just ended a more than two-hour meeting with Kevin Durant. It takes a lot of time for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steve Kerr all to beg. The Clippers are up Friday night, the Spurs and Heat are on Saturday for KD.
11:53 AM: http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-pacers-nearing-deal-with-al-jefferson/
This is reportedly a three-year, $30 million deal, which adds some front line bench scoring to the Pacers.
11:42 AM: The Sixers have reached a deal to bring in Jim O’Brien as an assistant coach under Brett Brown. Good hire.
DEAL REACHED 11:12 AM: As had been expected, the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal reached terms on a five-year, $128 million max contract. They had been talking since free agency opened.
10:51 AM: When Dwyane Wade put out feelers to other teams about leaving Miami, those other teams were understandably skeptical. We saw this movie last year, he used other teams as leverage against Miami. But this time, he may be serious (although I’ll beleive it when I see it).
10:36 AM: The Sacramento Kings are talking with Dion Waiters, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That is a bit of a risk by the Kings, but they need shooting are in a position where they need to take risks. Dave Joerger is good with challenging personalities.
10:29 AM: Mike Conley has always been most likely to re-sign in Memphis (if they offered the fifth year of a max deal) and he has been talking with Chandler Parsons about joining him there, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Parsons met with the Grizzlies. By the way, there is zero chance they would team up in Dallas.
DEAL REACHED 10:15 AM: Jeremy Lin is going back to New York… Brooklyn that is. As had been rumored, Lin has reached a three-year, $36 million deal with the Nets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is a good fit, the Nets need a point guard and someone who can sell tickets, and with the Nets Lin will get the ball in his hands and be asked to create and attack.
DEALS REACHED 9:53 AM: A lot to catch up on this morning:
Report: Pistons, Andre Drummond nearing five-year max contract
Hassan Whiteside says he’s re-signing with Heat
Report: Nicolas Batum agrees to five-year, $120 million contract with Hornets
Report: Lakers re-signing Jordan Clarkson to four-year, $50 million contract
Report: Pistons signing Ish Smith to three-year, $18 million contract
Report: Magic signing D.J. Augustin
2:24 AM: There’s been conflicting reports about who was meeting with Chandler Parsons when, but the Trail Blazers just got done with their meeting and threw a max offer down on the table, according to Sam Amick of the USA Today.
2:12 AM: With Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah the Knicks do not yet apparently have enough players with worrisome injury histories to reach their quota, they are talking to Eric Gordon (most recently of the Pelicans), according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
I’ll need to see the terms of the proposed deal, but the Knicks training staff should get a raise.
DEAL REACHED 2:05 AM: DeMar DeRozan said he was only going to meet with Toronto, that he wanted to stay. Not a shock then that the two sides have reached a deal, something first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today.
1:57 AM: There were fewer deals in the opening hours of free agency Friday than there were a year ago, and on the Vertical’s live show Adrian Wojnarowski had an interesting explanation for why: The league had called around to GM’s Friday asking about all these meetings that were set before players and teams could talk. While a number of deals were reached in the first hours of free agency, teams wanted to hold off on announcing them to avoid the appearance of tampering. That makes a lot of sense.
1:41 AM: The meeting between Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat has ended without a formal deal being reached. Dallas and Portland still will get chances to woo him.
1:21 AM: Chandler Parsons will meet with the Portland Trail Blazers and they will offer him a max contract ($26 million a year for him).
DEAL REACHED 1:13 AM: And it’s done (well except that the papers can’t be signed until July 7), the Lakers got their man in 7-foot Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov for an average of $16 million a year, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
What surprises me most here: How does Mozgov fit in with the up-tempo style Luke Walton wants to play? This is going to play poorly with Lakers fans but it’s a decent fit — with their young, more athletic players they needed a rim protector, a guy who can set screens and do the dirty work. I’m not sure I’d want to give him four years, and that’s a lot of cash for a big the numerous small-ball teams in the West can marginalize, but this isn’t a horrid signing.
1:11 AM: In addition to Mozgov, the Lakers also have reportedly reached out to Evan Turner, and there is mutual interest.
1:07 AM: Chandler Parsons is going to meet with Memphis and Portland in the next 24 hours, and despite missing more than 60 games the past two seasons with knee injuries, he is expected to be offered a max contract by at least the Blazers ($26 million for him). I’d say that is unprecedented, but Wesley Matthews got nearly the same thing coming off an Achilles injury the season.
12:40 AM: The Brooklyn Nets need a point guard, and while they are going to go after Jeremy Lin they also will take a look at Brandon Jennings, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.
12:32 AM: Did not see this coming — Timofey Mozgov may be the Lakers’ big fish. The Lakers and Mozgov are in “advanced discussions” about a four-year, $65 million deal for the old-school big man, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. My initial reaction is: That is vastly overpaying a guy who doesn’t really fit well in Luke Walton’s preferred up-tempo style. That soft weeping you here is Lakers’ Nation.
12:23 AM The Washington Wizards are nearing a max deal of five years, $128 million with Bradley Beal. While that is a lot of money for a guy who will be battling stress fractures his entire career (and have reduced minutes to prevent issues) if the Wizards didn’t max him out they’d lose him for nothing. The Wizards did what they had to do here. The two sides will reach a deal but he will sign that last, giving the Wizards about $30 million in cap space to chase other free agents.
12:14 AM: The first of many, many signs about how overheated this market will be.
12:08 AM: Who was Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak’s first call at midnight? Timofey Mozgov, the old-school center of the Cavaliers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. Not exactly what Lakers fans were hoping for this summer.
12:06 AM: We knew that the Knicks wanted Joakim Noah and he wanted them, no surprise the two sides are meeting already. But man, this seems like a lot of money and a lot of guaranteed years for a guy battling injuries.
12:02 AM: The Houston Rockets have a midnight meeting with coveted swingman Kent Bazemore (who would be a fantastic fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system). James Harden is reportedly at the meeting.
12:01 AM: The Dallas Mavericks are waiting their turn to meet with Hassan Whiteside, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. The Mavs are one of the favorites, along with the Heat, to land Whiteside, and they will offer him a max contract (Whiteside has said he wants to make a quick decision).
Midnight: IT’S ON!