Everybody Wants To Be Closer To Free

If you were fortunate enough to have raised a child who was capable of playing professional basketball at even a competitive level, yesterday began the most exemplary fortnight or so that shows exactly how blessed you and your family are.  Per CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin:

NBA free agency has begun in earnest…Free agents, though, had not yet been allowed to negotiate with teams other than the one they finished last season. That changed Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET. NBA free agency is underway, and players can negotiate deals with anyone in the league.

And per NEWSWEEK’s Matt Levine, it didnt take very long for things to truly heat up this morning:

The biggest domino in free agency has fallen, as star forward Paul George has agreed to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers on a max deal. The deal is for four years and is worth $212 million. There had been growing speculation about George landing in Philadelphia as he and the Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t come to terms on a new contract.  Philadelphia lands George to pair him alongside stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. The 76ers now become one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference and will be a tough team to beat. They had been missing a true wing player to compliment its two stars, so George will be a sight for sore eyes.

A number of the bigger names on this year’s list of eligible free agents have already chosen to stay put, either officially or effectively.  George’s teammate James Harden, lately the king of wanderlust, will stay in Los Angeles for at least two more years, helping to lead the Clippers into the Intuit Dome.  Lebron James is all but set to remain a Laker, with son Bronny on his way to Summer League and an eventual historic on-court pairing.  He is reportedly already acting as an envoy to attract one of the more prominent players in play, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, who potentially could wind up playing for a team his dad Mychal broadcasts for.  Not quite the James connection, but it sure will make the Christmas Day photoshoot all the more appealing.

Botkin adds a few other moves of consequence that took place just as the starting gun was fired last night:

The Magic, meanwhile, made a notable move by landing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Part of the Nuggets’ 2023 championship team, KCP is heading to Orlando on a three-year, $66M deal.  (And) Chris Paul…was waived by the Warriors before agreeing to a deal with the Spurs).

Many others chose to stand put.  Botkin’s top 30 shows no less than a third of his list choosing to re-up with their current employers:

RANK PLAYER POS LAST TEAM NEW TEAM STATUS
1 SF
team logo
Opted out of final year of his contract
2 SF
team logo
team logo
Agreed to four-year, $212M deal
3 PG
team logo
team logo
Agreed to five-year, $204M extension
4 PG
team logo
team logo
Agreed to two-year, $70M deal
5 PF
team logo
team logo
Agreed to four-year, $189.5M deal
6 SF
team logo
team logo
Agreed to five-year, $212.5M deal
7 C
team logo
Unrestricted
8 SF
team logo
Unrestricted
9 SG
team logo
team logo
Agreed to three-year, $66M deal
10 SG
team logo
team logo
Agreed to four-year, $78M deal
11 PG
team logo
team logo
Agreed to five-year, $175M deal
12 SG
team logo
Unrestricted
13 PF
team logo
team logo
Agreed to four-year, $60M deal
14 PF
team logo
Unrestricted
15 C
team logo
Unrestricted
16 PG
team logo
team logo
Picked up $18.7M player option
17 SG
team logo
team logo
Team picked up $23M option
18 SG
team logo
Unrestricted
19 PG
team logo
Unrestricted
20 PF
team logo
Unrestricted
21 SF
team logo
Restricted
22 PG
team logo
Unrestricted
23 SG
team logo
Unrestricted
24 PF
team logo
team logo
Agreed to five-year, $90M deal
25 C
team logo
team logo
Agreed to three-year, $30M deal
26 SF
team logo
Declined player option
27 PF
team logo
Unrestricted
28 SG
team logo
Unrestricted
29 SG
team logo
team logo
Picked up $9.1M player option
30 SG
team logo
Unrestricted

 

Where the likes of DeRozean, Hartenstein and Harris wind up will provide incremental fireworks in the next few days.  One of the more positive qualities about the NBA free agency period is that there is often an urgency to get things done during the holiday period and no later than the end of the Summer League festivities, which get under way in Las Vegas a week from Friday.  Unlike football, which tends to draw things out over several weeks and certainly baseball, which didn’t wrap things up until mere hours before the start of the regular season on the U.S. mainland.

Keep an eye for those alerts.  You never know when firecrackers will go off this time of year.

Courage…

Share This Article