Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Day 1 of NBA Free Agency

Free agency has begun, and after less than one day, we have seen a mix of loyalty of deceit. Let's break it down!

Situation #1: Baron Davis opts out of his $17.8M contract with Golden State and will reportedly sign a 5-year, $65M contract with the LA Clippers.
Pay's Take: Wow. This is pure deceit. Does anyone else think that the Warriors could not do better than the offer from the Clippers? Whomever was unaware that B Diddy loves the LA lifestyle should have known better. With no chance of him playing for the Lakers, the Clips were the only destination outside of Golden State. If the Clippers are able to re-sign Elton Brand (that's an enormous 'IF' given Brand's desire to play in Miami), here's their starting lineup:

PG Baron Davis
SG Cuttino Mobley/Eric Gordon
SF Al Thornton
PF Elton Brand
C Chris Kaman

Situation #2: Antawn Jamison re-inks for 4 more years in Washington for $50M
Pay's Take: Jamison isn't getting any younger, but for a 20 and 10 guy who is a respected veteran in his locker room and across the Association, this is a steal of a deal. This begs the question: How does this affect Gilbert Arenas?

Situation #3: Big Game Gil reportedly receives two max offers - from Golden State and Washington
Pay's Take: Now, it's time for Agent Zero to determine where his heart is. As an aside, I'm absolutely shocked that not one, but two teams have made max offers (averaging $20M/year) to Arenas after he missed nearly the entire year. I really thought Arenas would garner offers of no more than $14M per year. I guess that shows how much I know. If Arenas takes the Washington offer, expect him to pull a Tom Brady and sign for less in order that the organization can add the necessary pieces for the Wiz kids to compete in the East. It's never that simple though.

Situation #4: Jose Calderon reaches preliminary agreement with the Toronto Raptors
Pay's Take: This was a priority for the Raptors and they did not waste any time. More impressively, the Raptors immediately shored up the backup point guard position by reaching agreement with Roko Ukic, who was taken in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft. Ukic is one of Europe's top floor generals.

Situation #5: Beno Udrih re-signs in Sacramento for the full mid-level exception
Pay's Take: There's two ways to look at this. First, if Udrih replicates his 2007-08 output, then he will be of ridiculous value for the mid-level exception (rumored to be $5.5M per year). Second, Udrih was a career backup until he landed in the perfect situation. There are not many shades of gray with respect to Udrih's disposition.

Also on the radar:
- Will Corey Maggette get paid? If so, who's going to break the bank to pay him?
- What will the 76ers do with their $11M in cap space? With Jamison off the board, will they turn their attention to Josh Smith?
- Yesterday, Monta had his apprehensions about playing the point full-time. Today, with millions at stake, ... not so much.
- Can the Bobcats lock up Emeka?
- Is Brent Barry really a priority signing for the Rockets?
- LeBron James listed New York as his favorite city and noted that Brooklyn is his favorite borough. He then proceeded to travel and not get whistled for it.
- Some good team will go after Josh Childress with the full mid-level exception.

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