Posts Tagged ‘2014 free agency’

2014 Free Agency — Day 1

VIDEO: NBA TV’s Kristen Ledlow with the latest on free agency

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Now that this country’s World Cup soccer craze, the same one that has engulfed folks from every walk off life the past few weeks, has subsided with the U.S. National Team’s 2-1 loss to Belgium, maybe we can all get back to the business of NBA free agency.

And that includes LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the two most-high profile free agents on the market.

Anthony, despite spending his day in Chicago on the first day of his national recruiting tour, found the time to acknowledge what was going on in Brazil. James, forgoing the recruiting process he went through in 2010, was active in his support of the U.S. National team as well.

James is the biggest domino of the summer. Once he makes up his mind about returning to Miami or choosing to go elsewhere, Anthony and the rest of the biggest chips will fall accordingly.

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving got his maximum extension, five-years and $90 million, to remain the face of that franchise. And Jodie Meeks, who played with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, has reportedly agreed to a 3-year, $19-million deal in Detroit.

But the rest of the free agent field remains wide open as we finish off the first 24 hours of this process tonight and head into the next 24 …


John Schuhmann provides an update on free agent options and offers


Mills injured prepping for World Cup hoops, 11:54 p.m.

Teams wary of LeBron camp’s silence, 11:23 p.m.

Lowry taking his time, 10:05 p.m.

Nets-Cavs discuss swap, 9:13 p.m.

Pat and Pau chat, 8:46 p.m.

Once again, NO DISCOUNTS in Miami, 7:23 p.m.

Bulls wrapping up with Melo, 6:41 p.m.

Hawes in demand, 6:25 p.m.

Livingston hits big, 5:35 p.m.

Wall reports Gortat’s return, 5:09 p.m.

So much for those home team discounts for Bosh and Wade, 4:58 p.m.

Cartier Martin also joins the revolution in Detroit, 4:52 p.m.

Meeks to the Pistons on 3-year, $19-million deal, 4:50 p.m.

The ‘Melo tour continues, 4:39 p.m.

Celtics will have to go the trade route, 4:08 p.m.

Rose in on the recruiting pitch to Melo, 4:02 p.m.

No news until after the game ends, 3:53 p.m.

The King weighs in on Messi, 3:22 p.m.

‘Melo delivers well wishes to U.S. soccer team, 2:56 p.m.

Kobe’s version of NBA history, 2:13 p.m.

Suns want to keep Frye around, 1:55 p.m.

DRose didn’t recruit LeBron like this, 1:41 p.m.

Brand in demand in Atlanta and New York, 1:41 p.m.

Pacers in pursuit of C.J. Miles, 1:21 p.m.

The wooing of Melo is officially underway in Chicago, 1:14 p.m.

Dirk after Melo for Mavs, 12:59 p.m.

Nets search will not expand to Karl or Van Gundy, 12:57 p.m.

If Melo wants to talk to Rose it will be done, 12:38 p.m.

The Lakers and their California Dreaming, 12:35 p.m.

The one-man coaching search, 12:22 p.m.

Monroe makes sense for the Magic, 12:04 p.m.

Please no, not the “L” Word again, 12:01 p.m.

Wizards not sweating the small stuff or LeBron, 11:52 a.m.

Wiz owner Ted Leonsis is one of the few people brave enough to admit he doesn’t care about the King!

What will it take to get Love? 11:41 a.m.

Hawks’ Scott may be able to be had, 11:29 a.m.

Cavs may get in on pursuit of Monroe, 11:27 a.m.

Lines of communication open between Rose and Melo, 11:13 a.m.

Hollins up next to take over for Kidd in Brooklyn, 10:59 a.m.

It makes sense. Lionel Hollins could turn out to be the steal of the free agent summer.

Pistons have their new Isaiah Thomas? 10:29 a.m.

Piling on Kidd, 10:27 a.m.

Wiggins at SG alongside Kyrie, 10:08 a.m.

Don’t take it personal, 10:05 a.m.

Dirk in no rush, 9:54 a.m.

In pursuit of Marvin (Williams), 9:54 a.m.

Nets optimistic about Pierce, 9:51 a.m.

Statement time in Milwaukee, 9:46 a.m.

No Kidding, 9:43 a.m.

No love for Ayon, 9:43 a.m.

Spencer Hawes rumors have spread, 9:36 a.m.

The market for Isaiah Thomas, 9:31 a.m.

Perspective people, 9:28 a.m.

Choices for the Butler, 9:05 a.m.


Kyrie Irving was the first player of this summer to agree to a max-deal, a five-year extension worth $90 million.

Now who’s next?

LeBron James?

Carmelo Anthony?

Chris Bosh?

The 2014 free agent summer is nearly 10 hours hold and we’re still waiting for the next big deal to drop!

— CLICK HERE for Part I of the Free Agent Fever —

LeBron opts out of deal with Heat

VIDEO: LeBron James opts out of his deal with the Miami Heat

From staff reports

Miami Heat star LeBron James is doing the same thing that New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony did a day ago: opt out of his contract with his current team and become an unrestricted free agent.

The news, which was first reported via Twitter by’s Chris Broussard, was somewhat expected by those following James and the Heat closely. James’ agent, Richie Paul, confirmed his client’s decision to the Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon.

James’ fellow running mates on the Heat — All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — can also opt out this summer, although their decision has not yet been made known. James opting out doesn’t prevent him from returning to the Heat; like Anthony, this move allows James to test the free-agent waters (if he so wishes) or return to his team on (perhaps) a lesser deal.

Here’s more from Broussard on James’ move:

LeBron James’ agent, Richie Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement.

James had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season.

As you’d expect, Twitter was abuzz about LeBron’s move: (more…)

Spurs, Heat Have Questions (And More Offseason Queries)

By Jeff Caplan,

VIDEO: The GameTime crew discusses what’s next for the Spurs

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The San Antonio Spurs won their fifth championship since 1999, but it took 15 years for the most stable franchise in pro sports to play in back-to-back NBA Finals. What’s left to accomplish?

That’s right, back-to-back titles.

That’s only one reason to expect Spurs captain Tim Duncan to continue his brilliant career for at least a 18th season. The talk has always been about Kobe Bryant chasing Michael Jordan‘s six rings, but it’s now Duncan in his twilight years who has the greatest chance to get it done.

So why in the world would Duncan, his body holding up as strongly as his production, hang ’em up now?

Versatile forward Boris Diaw, high-octane point guard Patty Mills and reliable-when-needed forward Matt Bonner are the only players not under contract for next season. While Diaw and Mills have raised their stock and will be attractive free agents, it’s certainly not out of the question that they’ll be back in the silver-and-black.

Even if the Spurs lose one, or both, their Big Three — plus Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and a couple new reinforcements for the bench — will have the Spurs as a favorite to make it three consecutive Finals appearances.

Duncan, 38, just completed a phenomenal postseason, averaging 16.3 ppg on 52.3 percent shooting and 9.1 rebounds while logging 32.7 mpg. That followed up a regular season in which he played in 74 games while coach Gregg Popovich again masterfully managed his playing time.

So, again, what would be the motivation to retire now? A man of similar body type, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won a championship with the Lakers at age 40 and played in The Finals at age 41.

While Duncan, for whatever reason, hasn’t come out and stated that he’ll be back despite still having one year and $10.3 million left on his contract, he has smiled through interviews while making statements lightly-sprinkled with hints that he has no plan of joining San Antonio resident David Robinson on the golf course quite yet.

Fortunately, the anticipation for a definitive answer won’t take long. Duncan has a June 24 deadline, that’s one week from today, to notify the Spurs of his plans.

The Miami Heat’s future won’t be resolved quite so soon. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their contracts and become free agents. What they decide to do will be the biggest story of the summer and whatever they decide will produce ripple effects across the league.

And that brings us to the biggest story lines of the summer:


Tear down to build up with Carmelo? Shaky strategy for him, suitors

Would Carmelo Anthony be a good fit with Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls? (Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

Would Carmelo Anthony be a good fit with Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls? (Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

If Carmelo Anthony leaves the New York Knicks as a free agent this summer and signs for less money elsewhere – and it’s a huge “if,” roughly the size of 30 million dollar bills stacked one atop the other – his avowed motive will be to join a team with which he’d have a better shot at winning an NBA title.

OK, fine. Those teams exist, because the Knicks’ avenues to improve are largely blocked by massive salary obligations to other players and a shortage of draft picks. Locking in with the Knicks for another five seasons, at approximately $129 million, mostly would assure Anthony of more of the same: frustration, eliminations and his nose pressed against the Finals glass while his buddies are grabbing hardware.

So even among Anthony’s supporters and critics – rarely on the same page about the high-scoring, ball-dominating All-Star forward’s polarizing game – there seems consensus that, if he truly craves that which he cannot buy, he’d best be served by seeking it somewhere else.

[Insert decision tree here: Those who doubt Anthony’s single-minded lust for a championship, over all the attention, fun and earning opportunities that flow to him win or lose by virtue of playing in New York, can stop reading right now. So, too, can those who believe the extra $30 million, mostly at age 34 in the fifth year of a deal he cannot get elsewhere, renders moot any other-team scenario. What follows is of interest only to readers who actually believe Anthony will change teams in July…]

Then the question becomes: If the team he chooses has to start throwing pieces overboard just to pay him, won’t that be counterproductive to achieving the very goal he purportedly is seeking?

Anthony, remember, has been there, done this. When he leveraged his trade out of Denver in February 2011, he ostensibly got what he wanted – New York in all its Big Apple glory. But it came at a hefty price in the form of valuable Knicks players (Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov) and draft picks (including the 2014 first-rounder this June).

Even as the Knicks added Anthony as a marquee scorer, what they gave up all but killed the plan at its genesis. Cue the sad trombone.

So, fast-forwarding to the summer of 2014, what can we expect? Anthony and a team that covets him making the exact same mistake?

If, say, the Chicago Bulls – the team currently in the media’s crosshairs as fitting, wanting and flat-out needing Melo, with or without center Joakim Noah‘s supposed “recruiting” advice – tries to dredge enough salary-cap space to compete monetarily with the Knicks, it effectively will have to do what New York did. Either via sign-and-trade or the outright purging of players, Chicago would start any Anthony acquisition process by taking several steps backward.

First, the Bulls would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer to shed the $16.8 million due him in 2014-15. They would have to renounce cap holds on players such as Kirk Hinrich, D.J. Augustin, Nazr Mohammed and a few other near the bottom of their payroll.

And still, Chicago might need to shed more. Power forward Taj Gibson, for instance, might have to be traded to clear his $8 million salary. So what if Gibson, the Bulls’ Boozer replacement, has become a legitimate candidate for the NBA’s Sixth Man Award? His money would be all that mattered, just so VP John Paxson and GM Gar Forman could shove it across the table toward Anthony.

At which point Anthony – if he were really serious about wanting to win – ought to push it right back and say, “Not necessary, gentlemen.”

That’s right. Turn down money. Turn down a lot of money.

It’s the only way a move by Anthony to another team makes sense and serves both parties’ needs. And both parties’ needs do merge: If the Bulls or anyone else tear down their roster so much that they go backward before they can go forward, they likely won’t get where they want to go and he won’t either.

A team that has or painlessly can create cap space to max out (or near-max) Anthony’s contract probably doesn’t already have in place the pieces or track record he can trust to win big now and into his late prime. A team that would wince to do so ought to beware.

Chicago is way more viable as a contender with Gibson, to name one, than without him. Which looks better, a frontline of Anthony, Noah and Gibson, or one of Anthony, Noah and Phil N. DaBlanc, some low-salary schmoe scrounged after the rest of the money is in Anthony’s pocket?

The thing is, Anthony should want this, too. And he can afford it.

By the end of this, his 11th NBA season, Anthony will have been paid approximately $135 million. That’s about $6 million more than LeBron James, a four-time MVP. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Anthony has pulled in more than $10 million more than James, who was playing for less money while going to three straight Finals and winning two of them.

This is where critics might ask: What has Anthony done to justify premium pay over what the game’s best player earns? Sticking to the topic, though, we’ll simply ask: Why can’t Anthony afford to take less now, the way James (and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh) did, to chase what he allegedly really craves? When Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen negotiated new deals in their 30s to keep their Big Three together in Boston, they took a combined pay cut of $23 million annually.

Keep in mind, Anthony’s off-court income from endorsements and other enterprises was recently estimated to be $8 million annually. His wife LaLa is an entertainer, bringing more cash into their celebrity household. The Anthonys might end up hosting telethons but they’ll never need to be the beneficiaries of one.

Fitting into Chicago’s ideal cap number would push Anthony’s paycheck down considerably; without stripping themselves of Noah, Gibson, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell and a few others, the Bulls might only be able to offer $11 million or $12 million in starting pay, building out to about $52 million over four years. That’s even a steep discount from approximately $95 million over four if he maxes out with a new team.

An insult? No, because Anthony would be getting while giving. He’d be getting the best possible cast of teammates, into which he could air-drop as the primary scorer. He’d be getting a fresh start in a market poised to adore him for what he might bring. He’d be getting one of the league’s most respected and resource coaches, Tom Thibodeau, who engenders blood loyalty in his locker room (if not his front office).

There would also be a bonus benefit of Anthony accepting a much lower offer, as in, money, meet mouth. If he prefers to max out financially, then he’s tracking a vastly different scoreboard than James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. But no team should prostrate itself at that particular altar for him, least of all the Bulls. I’ve already gone on record that his and their cultures, at any price, would mix about as well as brown shoes and tuxedos or, y’know, Mike D’Antoni and Dwight Howard.

If, on the other hand, Anthony truly wants a title, he in essence could buy an enhanced path to one by making sure the roster he joins is the strongest possible. That’s how four years, $52 million, compared to five years, $129 million, can literally have a better ring to it.