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NBA Free Agency Roundup: Prepare for Mayhem

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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.

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Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Addresses Trade Rumors

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Ever since New Orleans’ Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis put in a trade demand rumors have been running non-stop about which teams, and which players, will be a part of his exit from New Orleans.

One player in particular, Boston Celtics’ star Jayson Tatum, has been rumored to be a main piece in a potential trade that would land Davis in Boston.

Tatum, isn’t concerned with the constant chatter.

“And my response is always the same; control what I can control, I don’t take it personal. I understood coming in that it is a business. They have to make the best decision for them, whatever that may be. Especially right now; I can’t control it.” Tatum said, according to NBC Sports’ A.Sherrod Blakely.

“You learn pretty quickly that when you are under contract, you don’t have too much say-so,” Tatum said.

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Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Credits Team Meeting for Spark

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The Boston Celtics have been on the upswing of late and Celtics’ guard Kyrie Irving is crediting a recent team meeting, following a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, as the catalyst for the turnaround.

The loss to Milwaukee back on December 21st was the Celtics’ 3rd in a row and dropped their record to 18-13 on the season.

“We could pinpoint a lot of turning points,” Irving said, according to Jay King of The Athletic.

“We just want to build that chemistry first. Just getting with one another (after the Bucks loss), really put everything out there and then move on from that point. At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren’t at rock bottom, but we needed to address some shit in this locker room. It’s just good to get stuff out in the air.”

Irving believes in this team’s chances this season, despite the early struggles.

“We’re not on a good team, we’re on a great one,” Irving said. “We have the talent to be great.”

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Celtics’ Aron Baynes Out 4-6 Weeks After Surgery

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The Boston Celtics will be without center Aron Baynes for the next four-to-six weeks after Baynes underwent surgery on his broken hand, according to the Celtics’ official Twitter page.

Baynes broke his hand during the Celtics’ recent loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Baynes has posted 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for Boston this season.

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