HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dwight Howard made the biggest splash of the day, night and probably the entire free agent summer of 2013 by choosing the Houston Rockets. And you are free to weigh in on his (in)decision and where it ranks in recent memory among summer spectacles.
But he wasn’t the only free agent to firm up his future Friday.
Plenty of his contemporaries were busy solidifying their respective futures with teams around the league. Keep in mind none of these deals become official until July 10, when the league’s moratorium on signing new contracts and finalizing proposed trades is lifted.
Some of the other notable activity from the first and likely wildest Friday night of free agency:
- O.J. Mayo agreed to terms on a three-year, $24 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, giving the Bucks a replacement for Monta Ellis (who the Denver Nuggets are targeting as their possible replacement for Andre Iguodala, who agreed to terms with the Golden State Warriors on a four-year, $48 million deal earlier in the day).
- Paul Millsap agreed to terms on a two-year, $19 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, sliding into the power forward role vacated by the pending move of Josh Smith (to either the Rockets in a sign-and-trade deal or to Detroit, in a potential sign-and-trade deal). There is still no official word on where things stand but the Rockets planned all along to snag both Howard and Smith this summer. Millsap’s Utah Jazz teammate DeMarre Carroll is also reportedly going to join him in Atlanta, where rebuilding around someone other than Howard plans is underway.
- Jose Calderon agreed to terms on a four-year, $29 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks, moving on from discussions with the Detroit Pistons (who wanted to keep Calderon in the fold) to join up with Dirk Nowitzki in the Mavericks’ rebuilding operation, whatever that might be now that Plan A (Howard) is off the table.
- Chris Copeland agreed to terms on a two-year, $6.1 million deal with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers saw enough of Copeland during the Eastern Conference semifinals to bring in the versatile forward so he can help bolster their bench and add another shooter to their frontcourt rotation.
- Houston traded Royce White to the Philadelphia 76ers for future Draft considerations, which might have been Houston general manager Daryl Morey‘s best move of the night. The Rockets will enter what they hope will be another championship era without having to deal with the sideshow that became the White saga during the 2012-13 season.