HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Somebody has to go first.
Who is it going to be?
It’s only fitting that the first “official” transaction of the free agent summer of 2013 be Dwight Howard putting his John Hancock on that four-year, $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets. Or maybe it will be Chris Paul finally signing the five-year, $107 million deal he agreed to last week with the Los Angeles Clippers. Josh Smith putting pent to paper on that four-year, $56 million deal with the Detroit Pistons is a candidate as well, though, sometime Wednesday afternoon is more likely for that.
Those are the three biggest deals, to date, of the summer of 2013. And any one of them could be the first one to become official now that the league’s moratorium on free agent signings and trades has been lifted, as of 12:01 a.m ET.
But the guessing game is over for many of the players who have been waiting on this day. The salary cap figures for the 2013-14 season are set. And we’ll make sure you are updated on the latest, as these deals — which also includes that blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from Boston to Brooklyn — get the league’s official stamp of approval. (And, as our always-astute John Schuhmann points out, the KG/Pierce mega-deal likely won’t be consummated until Friday because little-used Nets forward Kris Joseph was signed on April 12 and can’t be traded for 3 months per CBA rules).
Keep checking back here all day Wednesday as deals start becoming official …
11:46 p.m. ET
REPORT: BUCKS READYING OFFER SHEET FOR HAWKS’ TEAGUE
Might there be an end in sight to the point guard drama involving the Milwaukee Bucks and Hawks restricted free agent Jeff Teague? There could be as the first 24 hours of signing day comes to an end. (You knew we were going to finish up the first day with a little drama, what with so much of the “official” business still being sorted out.)
While this is hardly a done deal, what with all of the confusing signals that have gone back and forth about potential swapping of restricted free agent point guards Teague and Brandon Jennings, as well as unrestricted free agent guard Monta Ellis, the Bucks are reportedly set to scramble all those other plans and present Teague with a four-year, $32 million-plus offer sheet.
If Teague does indeed sign an offer sheet from the Bucks, the Hawks would have three days to either match the offer or watch him head to Milwaukee and play for his former coach with the Hawks, Larry Drew.
8:49 p.m. ET
BYNUM TO THE CAVALIERS
Andrew Bynum wasn’t about to be left out of the free agent big man parade, not with a two-year offer on the table from the Cleveland Cavaliers. With only $6 million of the incentive-filled deal guaranteed the Cavaliers, Bynum had to take advantage of the opportunity that isn’t nearly as risky as it appeared to be Tuesday, when ESPN.com first reported that he was considering the Cavaliers’ offer. TNT’s David Aldridge provides some details and perspective:
Bynum agreed Wednesday to sign with the Cavaliers on a two-year deal worth $24 million. But that $24 million, really, is just $6 million in guaranteed money for next season. The other half of Bynum’s salary next season would come if he reaches certain incentives. The Cavaliers have a club option for the second and final year of the deal.
The deal is a small gamble for the Cavs, who continue to rebuild their team in an orderly manner. They had already added first overall Draft pick Anthony Bennett, former Warriors combo guard Jarrett Jack and ex-Laker big man Earl Clark since June to a core that includes guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, forward Tristan Thompson and centers Anderson Varejao and Tyler Zeller.
Now they add Bynum, whose abilities when healthy are unquestioned. The 25-year-old center averaged 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in 2011-12 with the Lakers, his final season in L.A., and looked to be one of the game’s best young big men.
But knee injuries have plagued Bynum throughout his career, and kept him from logging a single game with the Philadelphia 76ers last season after being part of the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard from the Magic to the Lakers, Andre Iguodala from the Sixers to the Nuggets and several young players and Draft picks to the Orlando Magic.
Bynum, according to sources, is still not able to participate in full-court drills. But the Cavs don’t need Bynum next season. They have the veteran Varejao, recovering from a blood clot that ended his season last January, and Zeller, the second-year center from North Carolina.
So many of the Cavaliers’ main players are in the process of trying to recover from injuries that it’s difficult to identify exactly who or what they might be come training camp. But there is no denying they are a talented bunch with the potential to compete for a playoff spot, provided the key members of their core group get healthy in time for the start of the 2013-14 season and stay that way for as long as possible.
Toss in Bynum at anything close to his best, and the chances of them making some playoff noise go up dramatically.
6:37 p.m. ET
REVISED NUMBERS ON SMITH DEAL WITH PISTONS …
Josh Smith signed a four-year, $54 million deal with the Pistons and not the $56 million figure previously reported here and elsewhere, a source with knowledge of the deal has confirmed to NBA.com.
The dollar amount, however, was only part of what sold Smith on the Pistons, who have already put him front and center on the team’s website. The other was a convincing sales pitch from Hall of Famer and Pistons boss Joe Dumars.
“When I first met with Joe, he had me sold from the word ‘go,’ ” Smith said during his introductory presser Wednesday afternoon. “This is an organization that is a successful organization. I’ve always wanted to be part of a good organization that has a lot of die-hard fans.”
4:12 p.m. ET
CLIPPERS PRESENT FAMILIAR AND FRESH FACES
Everything the Clippers do these days seems to be big-time, and that includes introducing all of the players they signed and/or traded for this summer. And that includes Matt Barnes, Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Ryan Hollins, CP3 and J.J. Redick flanking Doc Rivers and the rest of the Clippers’ brain trust:
3:33 p.m. ET
BOBCATS AMNESTY THOMAS
Tyrus Thomas will not be a part of whatever the Charlotte Bobcats do this season or beyond. They have requested waivers on the seven-year veteran and plan on using the one-time amnesty provision on him. That allows the Bobcats to wave him and not have his salary count against their salary cap or luxury tax figures.
2:46 p.m. ET
PACERS KEEP WEST IN THE FOLD
Perhaps no player over the last two seasons has done more to help a team’s on-court and locker room culture than the Pacers’ David West. Since he came aboard before the 2011-12 season, Indiana has returned to its glory days of the mid-1990s with long playoff runs, Central Division relevancy and legitimate contender status in the East.
West got a reported deal from the Pacers early in free agency as he was one of, if not their primary, target. Pacers.com has details on the move, which keeps West with Indiana as it tries to make a run to The Finals:
The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have re-signed veteran free agent and two-time NBA All-Star David West to a contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released.
West, 6-9, 240 lbs, is a 10-year veteran who has played the last two seasons with the Pacers, averaging 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 139 games. Prior to his time with the Pacers, West had played his entire NBA career with the New Orleans Hornets. He has career averages of 16.1 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.
“We said when the season ended, bringing David back was our No. 1 priority and we are very pleased to have him back,” said Larry Bird, Pacers President of Basketball Operations. “He is a leader, he is a professional, he is a great competitor and he is the type of player and person you want on your team if you hope to be successful.”
West played in two All-Star games in 2008 and ’09. Those two seasons, he averaged 20.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg and 21 ppg and 8.5 rpg, respectively.
“You can watch David play and appreciate him, but to coach him and see what he brings to our team on a daily basis really enhances that appreciation,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “There aren’t many players like him in the NBA and to have him back on our team is very important for what we hope to accomplish.”
2:33 p.m. ET
LAKERS RE-SIGN FREE-AGENT CENTER (SORRY, IT’S NOT DWIGHT)
Sorry to get your hopes up there, Lakers fans, but Dwight Howard still is Houston-bound. But, at least Lakers fans will get to enjoy the sideline antics and celebrations of backup center Robert Sacre for another season! Lakers.com has more on the return of the towel-waving big man:
The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed Robert Sacre, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
Sacre, a 7-foot center out of Gonzaga University, was selected by the Lakers in the second round (60th overall) of the 2012 NBA draft. In 32 games (three starts) with the Lakers last season, he averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 6.3 minutes. Sacre also spent time with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development league during his rookie campaign, appearing in eight games and posting averages of 11.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.33 blocks in 32.8 minutes.
At Gonzaga, Sacre finished his career with the Bulldogs ranked second in school history with 186 blocked shots while averaging 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.38 blocks in 135 games. As a senior, Sacre was named the 2012 WCC Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-WCC First-Team honoree while averaging 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.42 blocks in 26.3 minutes.
1:44 p.m. ET
JEFFERSON HEADS EAST, JOINS BOBCATS
Al Jefferson spent his first three seasons with the Celtics before being the lynchpin (for Minnesota, at least) in the deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston. After three seasons with the Wolves and the last four with the Jazz, Jefferson is going back to the Eastern Conference on the heels of him signing a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats.
It’s a move that surprised many in the early stages of the offseason given the reported amount Charlotte would pay Jefferson and how it might help reverse the fortunes of a franchise that has often been stuck in hard times. Jefferson joins a youthful frontcourt that features Bismack Biyombo and some veteran bigs (such as Brendan Haywood):
Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent center Al Jefferson. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are ecstatic to add Al to our roster,” Higgins said. “He gives us a low post presence that we have not had on our roster and brings a skill set that does not become available very often. He is a veteran leader who helps his teammates get better, but at the same time he is only 28 years old so he can be part of the core of this franchise for several years to come.”
The 15th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the 6-10 Jefferson has played in 628 games for the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz during his nine-year career. He has career averages of 16.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.6 minutes, while shooting .500 from the field.
Jefferson is one of only two players in the NBA to have averaged at least 17.0 points and at least 9.0 rebounds in each of the last six seasons, joining Dwight Howard in doing so. No other player has posted those averages in more than four of the last six campaigns.
1:37 p.m. ET
WIZARDS ADD MAYNOR, RE-SIGN TEMPLEIn our breakdown of teams most likely to crack the playoff party next season, the Washington Wizards were our surprise pick to be postseason bound (with the No. 6 seed, no less!). Part of that comes with the assumption that John Wall plays a full season — a hope that will be helped immensely by Washington’s signing of capable backup Eric Maynor.
Maynor made his name as Russell Westbrook‘s backup for 2 1/2 seasons before getting injured and losing his job to Reggie Jackson. The Thunder moved Maynor at the trade deadline last season to Portland, where he again was a solid backup, this time to Rookie of the Year winner Damian Lillard. The Wizards have more on the addition of Maynor on a day where they also re-signed defensive stopper Garrett Temple:
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Eric Maynor. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Eric is a solid player who has thrived playing behind some of the league’s best point guards,” said Grunfeld. “He will bring stability and experience in that role and add leadership and character off the floor.”
Maynor averaged 4.5 points and 2.8 assists in 64 overall games with Oklahoma City and Portland last season, including 6.9 points and 4.0 assists in 27 game after being traded to the Trail Blazers.
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed guard Garrett Temple. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Garrett was a good addition to our backcourt rotation last season and we are happy to have him back to give us depth at both guard positions,” said Grunfeld. “His defensive ability, toughness and team-first attitude make him an excellent fit in our system and provide a great example of the culture we are building.”
1:14 p.m. ET
PISTONS SIGN VERSATILE SMITH
This isn’t a big surprise to anyone — particularly after the Atlanta Hawks announced the signing of Paul Millsap two hours earlier — but Josh Smith is officially a member of the Pistons. Smith leaves behind the only NBA team he’s ever known (as well as his hometown of Atlanta) to venture off to the Motor City to play along side young big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Josh Smith to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We’re pleased to welcome Josh Smith to the Pistons organization,” Dumars said. “Josh is a two-way player and we look forward to blending his talents with our young core.”
12:08 p.m. ET
KNICKS, RAPTORS COMPLETE SWAP
As our own John Schuhmann pointed out a few weeks ago, the Raptors’ proposed trade that would send Andrea Bargnani (and his large contract) to New York proved that no player is untradeable. That is apparently true as the Knicks and Raptors officially signed off on the deal that breaks down as follows:
New York receives Bargnani while the Raptors get Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, Steve Novak, a 2016 first-round pick and second-round picks in 2014 and 2017.
11:48 a.m. ET
TRAIL BLAZERS SIGN WRIGHT
Portland owner Paul Allen took to Twitter to announce the signing of Dorell Wright and rookie Allen Crabbe, not to mention the completion of the trade that will bring second-year power forward Thomas Robinson to the Pacific Northwest.
It’s been an interesting offseason, so far, for the Trail Blazers, as they attempt to escape from the Western Conference cellar and move back into the playoff mix. It remains to be seen if their offseason moves will produce the kind of results they desire.
11:23 a.m. ET
HAWKS PICK UP MILLSAP
According to Hawks GM Danny Ferry, ex-Jazz forward Paul Millsap “got the call at 12:01 (a.m. on July 1)” to gauge his interest in coming to the team. Millsap, who was born in Monroe, La., and went to Louisiana Tech, is back in the South again after signing his contract with the Hawks on Wednesday morning.
Millsap, 28, averaged 14.6 points on .490 shooting, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30.4 minutes per game in 78 starts with the Jazz last season. He is expected to help fill the void in the lineup by Josh Smith, who is reportedly headed to the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks have more in a team release:
The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Paul Millsap, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today. Per club policy, terms were not disclosed.
The 6-foot-8, 253-pound forward has career averages of 12.4 points on .516 shooting, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27.4 minutes per game in 540 games (265 starts) and has recorded 107 double-doubles. A native of Louisiana, Millsap played collegiately at Louisiana Tech where he became the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding in three consecutive seasons.
“Paul was one of our top priorities entering the free agency process and we believe he is a great fit with the team and culture that we are trying to build,” Ferry said. “He is a high-character individual and his toughness, high basketball IQ, and selflessness will add to our locker room and give us versatility on the court.”
10:30 a.m. ET
KNICKS RE-SIGN PRIGIONI
Pablo Prigioni made a lasting impression on New York as a 36-year-old rookie with his passing skills and playmaking. While he was mostly a reserve for New York in his first season, Prigioni moved into the starting lineup down the stretch and the Knicks took off, going 16-2 with Prigioni among the first five.
That productivity helped lead the Knicks to re-sign the point guard to a deal, the terms of which were undisclosed by the team. The team released the following statement Wednesday morning:
New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed guard Pablo Prigioni to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Prigioni, 6-3, 185-pounds, was the first Argentine-born player in Knicks history and made his NBA debut at age 35 after signing as a free agent on Jul. 24, 2012. He averaged 3.5 points, 3.0 assists and 1.8 rebounds over 16.2 minutes in 78 games (18 starts) this past season and was inserted into the Knicks starting lineup on Mar. 18 to help lead the team to the franchise’s third-longest winning streak of 13. In 11 postseason games (10 starts), Prigioni averaged 4.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.27 steals over 20.9 minutes.
“We are very excited to have Pablo back in a Knicks uniform. He is one of our catalysts on both the offensive and defensive end,” Grunwald said. “His tenacity, leadership and experience played an integral role in our team’s success down the stretch, and into the postseason.”
1:08 a.m. ET
BULLS CONFIRM DUNLEAVY DEAL
The Bulls add some depth to a bench crew that did a lot of heavy lifting last season by confirming the signing of veteran swingman Mike Dunleavy. The 11-year pro has become a vital reserve throughout his career, which has included stops with the Warriors, Pacers, Bucks and now, Bulls. As our own John Schuhmann pointed out yesterday, Chicago should be getting a lot of 3-point bang for the buck as Dunleavy is a significant upgrade in the shooting department.
12:20 a.m. ET
PAUL WASTES NO TIME RE-SIGNING
And the first man to put pen to paper is … CP3 (with Lil’ Chris keeping a watchful eye over the proceedings)! According to the Clippers’ web site, Paul inked his deal almost immediately once 12:01 a.m. ET (9:01 L.A.-time) passed and will be sticking with the Clippers through the 2017-18 season.