After two-and-a-half weeks of chaos, the dust is finally beginning to settle on the major portion of free agency in the NBA. Let’s take a look at some of the headline grabbing stories that unfolded since free agency began on July 1.
Linsanity Houston Bound: The Houston Rockets tendered Jeremy Lin a three year deal, worth $25.1 million. The Knicks had an opportunity to match but passed after signing Jason Kidd and acquiring Raymond Felton in a deal with Portland. The Knicks made the decision after finding the third year would have put them in the luxury tax.
Where Will Howard End Up? The Dwight Howard saga continues to drag on. After saying the only team he would accept a trade to was the Nets, a proposed deal fell through. Instead, the Rockets and Lakers have emerged as interested teams in trying to acquire the big man’s services, despite the fact that there would be no guarantee that Howard would be anything but a one season rental. This may continue to drag out into the start of the regular season.
Seeking Amnesty: As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have the option to amnesty one player in order to have their salary deducted from the team’s salary cap number. This offseason has seen eight teams jettison overpriced players from their rosters in an effort to clear space.
The players that were amnestied with their former teams are: Elton Brand (Philadelphia), Brendan Haywood (Dallas), Darko Milicic (Minnesota), Luis Scola (Houston), Josh Childress (Phoenix), Andray Blatche (Washington), Ryan Gomes (Clippers) and Chris Andersen (Nuggets.) Brand has signed a new deal to join the Mavericks, while Haywood is now a member of the Bobcats.
Overpaid Free Agents: You have to think that Roy Hibbert was overpaid in free agency. The Blazers offered him a max contract offer sheet, worth in the neighborhood of $58 million for four years, which Indiana matched. That’s a lot of money for a guy that averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game last season.
Jamal Crawford fits the bill as well. A former Sixth Man of the Year, Crawford shot a career worst 38.4 percent from the floor last year. That didn’t stop the Clippers from giving him a four year, $21.35 million deal to come off the bench. You have to wonder what the thought process was there.
Steal of a Deal: If Raymond Felton can replicate the numbers that he put up in 54 games with the Knicks two seasons ago before being dealt to the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony deal, New York has a steal. He averaged 17 points and nine assists for the Knicks but his numbers dropped to 11.4 points and 6.5 assists per game in Portland. At three years and $10 million, it’s a cost friendly investment for the Knicks.
The Heat added Ray Allen, the NBA’s all-time leader in three point field goals, to a deal that pays him $3.09 million. Boston, Allen’s former team, offered nearly twice as much but the guard took less money to pursue another championship.
Big Spenders: Look no further than the Nets and Suns. Brooklyn re-signed Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace while dealing for Joe Johnson. Meanwhile, the Suns traded Steve Nash but added Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and they tentatively locked up Michael Beasley as well.
What was the biggest story in free agency to you?