Several NBA teams entered free agency on July 1 with money to spend, which was music to the ears of the agents of players who were searching for new teams. Let’s take a look at some of the teams that had money to burn and some of the top players that were on the market.
Teams With Cash
Brooklyn Nets: The Nets came into free agency with nearly $41 million under the cap but that number has declined substantially. Brooklyn re-signed small forward Gerald Wallace and point guard Deron Williams and then dealt for power forward Reggie Evans and shooting guard Joe Johnson. In the process, Brooklyn moved several smaller pieces from last season’s lineup. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries are both unsigned at the moment; they still may return or be key pieces in a deal for Orlando center Dwight Howard.
Phoenix Suns: The Suns began free agency with $22 million of space under the cap. A large portion of that was earmarked for a potential Steve Nash extension but the team dealt him to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade deal which netted the team four draft choices. Phoenix signed Goran Dragic to a contract to fill Nash’s starting role with rookie Kendall Marshall waiting in the wings. Phoenix threw a max offer to Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon but it is unlikely that New Orleans would let him walk. The team also agreed to a three year deal with Michael Beasley.
Philadelphia 76ers: Philadelphia found itself with $21 million in cap room after amnestying Elton Brand and his $18 million salary. With his departure and Lou Williams being a free agent, Philadelphia’s leading scorers the past two years are no longer on the team. They did re-sign Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen; the recent signing of Nick Young to a one year, $6 million deal gives the team hope to replace Williams.
Here’s a brief look at the biggest names at each position in free agency and their potential landing spots.
Roy Hibbert: Portland threw a max offer sheet at Hibbert worth $58.4 million over four seasons. The Pacers have the option to match; will they?
Brook Lopez: The Nets have the right to match any offer; he still may be part of a Dwight Howard deal.
Kris Humphries: Much like Lopez, the Nets would like to have him back but cap space will be the issue. He was rumored to be part of a Howard move but a third team would be necessary to take him in a sign and trade.
Ersan Ilyasova: Milwaukee’s big man was not happy with the first offer on the table from the Bucks. Brooklyn may be a destination should the Howard deal fall apart.
Goran Dragic: With D-Will signing with the Nets and Nash traded, Dragic became one of the most coveted free agent guards on the market. Phoenix locked him up with a four year deal.
Lou Williams: Finished second to James Harden in Sixth Man of the Year voting and was the 76ers leading scorer. Several teams are interested in adding him to their lineup, including Memphis, Dallas and Phoenix.
Did your favorite team have any money to spend in free agency?