Tag: NBA Free Agency

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers

Winderman: NBA should bring order to free agency chaos


If the NBA was smart, it would swoop collectively upon Dallas, claim the already-booked hotel space and tell Major League Baseball that, at this moment, they need winter meetings far more than any other sport.

In 2010, when the NBA actually had time to conduct an orderly free-agent process, most of the league found itself camped in Chicago. That’s where the Heat, Nets, Knicks, Bulls and other teams wined and dined Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and other prime free agents, while also having planes at the ready for the quick flight to Cleveland for the LeBron-a-thon.

This time around, order has given way to bedlam. And while the Free Agent Class of 2011 pales in comparison to what 2010 had to offer, it is likely that there will be more than a few sight-unseen dollars spent Friday when free agency and camps open.

If they open.

As of the weekend, a pair of agents said they weren’t sold that the Friday would be the definitive starting point of the process, with a final collective-bargaining agreement still being completed and votes by the owners and players not scheduled until Thursday.

One of the agents said he has been told that if he wants to get his players in front of general managers and to work at the various sessions being conducted at NBA arenas, that the athletes or agents would have to pay such travel expenses out of pocket.

Considering how much has been done on the fly since an agreement in principle was reached Nov. 26, each day along the path to a lockout resolution seemingly has brought its own rules.

“Last week they said nothing is starting until Dec. 9 and all of a sudden they said, ‘Oh, at 9 a.m. tomorrow we’re open for business,’ ” the agent said of last Tuesday’s NBA change of heart when it came to free-agent negotiations. “I think the same thing is going to happen. I think they’re going to say you can fly guys there on the seventh and things are going to change. I think they’re going to give us direction.”

Some of that direction came with word that contact between coaches, executives and players could resume Monday. But, even then, workouts alongside coaches or in front of team executives remain off-limits until Friday.

In other words, players coming off injury, such as Dallas Mavericks free-agent forward Caron Butler or Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, would have to be signed off medical records. For now, there can be no eye test before Friday.

With signings on hold until Friday, some teams are planning to drain D-League rosters for what effectively could be considered training-camp “seat fillers,” players who will work for $1,500 a week during camp for the opportunity for some face time in front of NBA coaches.

What the NBA truly needs is its own version of the winter meetings, a high-priced whirlwind job fair to create a greater sense of order at week’s end.

That, of course, is not happening. Bud Selig isn’t giving up that Dallas hotel space.

“It’s going to be chaotic,” an agent said.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Report: Free agency lunacy tips off in earnest Monday

Denver Nuggets Behind the Scenes

Yes, there have been back-channel communications. Yes, there are indications and sources and talks. But free agency hasn’t officially begun and won’t until Monday. But Monday, according to an ESPN report, that’s when free agents can begin being wooed by teams and executives. Cue the Brazilian steakhouse jokes!

NBA team executives and coaches will be allowed to start talking to players around the league Monday at 10 a.m. ET, according to league sources.

Teams were notified Saturday that contact with players and free agents will be allowed Monday in advance of the scheduled opening of training camps Dec. 9.

via NBA free agency courting can start Monday, sources say – ESPN.

Stein notes that oral and written deals cannot be agreed to until camp starts on Dec. 9, which is ridiculous. “You can pick her up and take her out and show her a good time and go back to her place, but you can’t date her.” Come on, now. So in short, expect Nene to rack up a ton of frequent flyer miles, and for deals to start leaking out as early as Wednesday.

It’s going to be a frantic free agency period despite the lack of talent in this group. Which once again makes you wonder what the lockout was for exactly. Nevermind, don’t ask questions. It might come back.

Bulls, Clippers going hard after wing players Butler, Prince

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs, Game 3
1 Comment

The Chicago Bulls need a wing player to create shots and take some scoring burden off Derrick Rose. The Los Angeles Clippers need a wing player to fill out a roster with Eric Gordon at the guard spot and Blake Griffin in the paint.

Both teams have started to reach out to guys like Caron Butler and Tayshaun Prince and are making a hard push.

Butler’s preferred destinations are the Clippers or Bulls, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Butler is most attracted to the Bulls because of the chance to play with Derrick Rose and compete for a title, but he would have to take significantly less money to play in Chicago. The Bulls have a stronger need for a shooting guard and could ultimately spend their money there. Ultimately, that leaves the Clippers with an edge over the New Jersey Nets among the suitors with the most significant cap space and a need for a starting small forward.

“He sees the Clippers with a more stable foundation of players,” one source familiar with Butler’s thinking said. “He isn’t sure about Deron Williams’ future in New Jersey, and having a chance to win will be a big part of this.”

A lot of players are not sold on New Jersey yet (including Deron Williams, apparently). For the record Butler is working out in Chicago while waiting to see where he lands.

The Clippers really like the idea of Prince as he is a three who can both score and defend, would not take shots away from Gordon and Griffin but would be efficient with the ones he does.

Any move would likely be a sign-and-trade that would send center Chris Kaman to Detroit, reports the Detroit News. Kaman is a Michigan native and is a $12 million expiring contract. Plus, Kaman at the five moves Greg Monroe over to the four, which may be a better spot for him. The Clippers want to turn the center spot over to DeAndre Jordan, who they need to re-sign as a free agent.

Look for the Clippers to land one of these two. The Bulls really need a two guard and Butler is really a three who could fill the role if healthy. There just are not a lot of good options on the market right now, so the Bulls may push.

In the end, however, it comes down to who can pay. And right now (before things like Blake Griffin’s extension kicks in) the Clippers can afford to pay.