The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us: NBA Free Agency! This year, there are some significant moving parts and major players looking for new homes. The next 24 hours prove to be extremely crucial, since there are multiple players with option deadlines today. Let’s do a quick recap!
LeBron James: LeBron has a $35.6 Million player option, which he just opted out of and now is a free agent. I would expect his decision to come sooner rather than later, but he may wait for other dominoes to fall (ie. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George).
DeAndre Jordan: A seriously under-the-radar decision could be DJ’s departure from the Clippers. The irony? The team rumored to be targeting the big is the Dallas Mavericks, who notoriously missed out on Jordan when he went back on his word in 2015 and rejoined LA. Three years later, the vision Mark Cuban had may become feasible. Jordan opting into his $24.1 Million option may do the trick, since it’ll be easier to create room for him by shedding salary via trade.
DeMarcus Cousins: I’m honestly not really sure where his free agency is going to take him. Boogie recently suffered an Achilles tear this past season, which unfortunately threw all of his free agency worth out the window. He might not be ready to play basketball until November, at the earliest. His best move might be to just resign for a shorter deal with less money with the Pelicans, who are open to the idea. This might be the best option for both sides, as Cousins can earn more down the line if he can prove his health and the Pelicans don’t have to immediately commit long-term to a player coming off a major injury.
Paul George: George has already opted out of the final year of his deal with the Thunder, making him a free agent. While this doesn’t rule out a return to OKC (who could pay him more), the specter that is the LA Lakers looms in the background, waiting to lure PG away. George has been rumored to join the Lakers for almost three years now, and while it’s expected for him to finally wear purple and gold, nothing in free agency is certain. I’d expect the three-part tv special he’s making to end with his free agency decision. Interestingly enough, he mentioned the Clippers and Celtics as possible destinations in part two of “My Journey” while talking with Dwyane Wade about his future.
Other potential moves
There are multiple restricted free agents on the market, such as Clint Capela, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, and Zach LaVine, to name a few. The Sacramento Kings have expressed interest in LaVine, who are deeply considering throwing an offer sheet at the athletic 23 year old guard. The Pacers have also been rumored to be in on both Marcus Smart and Aaron Gordon, but these plans might be thrown to the wayside with Thad Young picking up his $13.7 Million option and diminishing their cap space.
Clint Capela is seeking a max contract, or as close as he can get to it. This sort of handcuffs the Rockets if they plan to pursue LeBron, however the Suns were supposedly interested at the beginning of May. Drafting DeAndre Ayton might have changed those plans, unless they’re aiming to pair the two bigs together.
And of course, Kawhi Leonard activity has picked up significantly today, with rumors flying out of all directions. While Kawhi has clearly made LA his preferred landing spot, rumors have emerged that he’s open to playing in other big markets such as Boston and New York. Trading for a star like Kawhi isn’t a no-brainer when he’s non-committal on staying with his new team, but the Spurs have made clear that they’re listening to offers.
It’s time to turn on notifications for Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania. I expect more big news to drop in the next 24 hours.
Celtics’ Terry Rozier Rejected Contract Extension Offer
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier rejected a contract extension from the team that would have paid him roughly $12 million annually, according to a report from A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
Rozier’s decision to decline the contract offer was a decision made by him and his management team.
“I’m in a great situation,” Rozier said, according to NBC Sports Boston. “My team felt it wasn’t good for me to sign an extension right now. It opens my options a little bit, but I’m focused on what’s happening right now.”
Kyrie Irving Announces Commitment to Celtics Long-Term
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving made a lot of fans happy on Thursday night, including the Celtics organization, when news broke that he had met with ownership over the past few months and is committed to the Celtics for the long term, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Irving announced his plans to re-sign with the team during a fan event at the TD Garden on Thursday night.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 4, 2018
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Re-Affirms Desire to Stay in Boston, Says it’s Not All About the Money
Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is doubling down on his comments that he wants to remain with the Boston Celtics, saying that at this point in his career, it’s not all about the money as he prepares for free agency next summer.
Irving, who turned down a contract extension this summer, spoke about his decision making process as he enters the final season of his current deal.
“To be in a position to even be considered a franchise free agent is pretty awesome,” Irving said, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “At this point in my career, it’s not so much about the money, it’s not so much about the extra curricular things, it’s like OK, where am I happy? Where am I most comfortable? Who’s going to give me that [atmosphere] where I would love to grow as a human being? I spent more time with my teammates than I do with my family and you want to be in a place where thinking about starting over again, obviously that’s what the thing you think about.”
Irving then spoke again about his preference to remain in Boston.
“You think, ‘what about a new location?’ and it’s just like I want to be comfortable and what’s better than being in Boston?” Irving asked.
“This year has felt much different because of the environment that has been created for me and by me and going to the new practice facility. There’s nothing like playing at TD Garden. “I didn’t say that to appease you guys. I actually love Boston.”
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