Kyle Lowry: He agreed to a 4 year, $48 million dollar deal with an Early Termination Option after year #3. This is a huge win for Toronto General Manager Masai Ujiri who managed to keep a free agent in Toronto to continue the building process. 2013-14 was a season in which the Raptors made the playoffs, missed a last second shot in game 7 and ultimately had their heart broken by Paul Pierce. But not by Kyle Lowry.
Pau Gasol: Oklahoma City can add Pau Gasol if he is willing to take a drastic pay cut. Forget Dwayne Wade and his improbable 40% pay cut. To join the Thunder Pau would have to take a 70% pay cut. But he wants to win a third title and he was personally courted by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Primarily a jump shooting team who play at a fast pace, the addition of Gasol adds complexity to the Thunder’s offense even as it would be a mystery. Pau is used to getting the ball inside, to getting a lot of touches. With Durant and Westbrook is that possible? Besides the Thunder, the Bulls have come out to Los Angeles to talk to Pau. They are his #1 target after Carmelo. There is pessimism in the Bulls camp that Carmelo won’t leave New York. At this stage in his career, Pau is more a center than a power forward. His foot speed and elevation make it a challenge to defend power forwards and chase down rebounds. The Lakers are still interested. As are the Knicks but the Knicks have to wait on Carmelo and his decision before they can engage Pau. Plus they can only offer Pau $3 million dollars which would be a $16 million dollar pay cut. Dallas, Miami and Golden State are also interested but don’t have salary flexibility to offer Pau what he is used to.
Lebron James: House money still has Lebron James going back to the Heat. But if that is true then he needs to tell Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Chris Broussard reported that Bosh and Wade left their meeting with Lebron unsure as to what he is going to do. Their willingness to take less money is meant to entice him back and to allow Pat Riley to make additions to the team. But as of right now Lebron James has gone underground even as his possible suitors have looked to spend their money in other ways. Cleveland is considering a max offer sheet for Gordon Hayward. Houston is all in on Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls, have targeted Pau Gasol. The Lakers have multiple free agent options in Gasol, Luol Deng, Eric Bledsoe. For the public figure, the Samsung app guy, Lebron James silence is not necessarily a message. But for everyone in Miami, it makes them nervous.
Carmelo Anthony: Two more cities. Ho-hum. Oh and Jeremy Lin’s feeling were hurt. Stay tuned. In LA Thursday.
Avery Bradley: You thought Jodie Meeks was an overpay at 6 million? Enter Avery Bradley. He has had shoulder surgery twice and is 24 years old. He is a 6-2 shooting guard who defends well but he still is 6-2. He rebounds well, averaged 15 points last year but is not worth the $32 million- 4 year deal the Celtics gave him. But, then again you are worth what someone is willing to pay you.
Ben Gordon: He used to be a good player once upon a time when he was with the Bulls. A couple of teams later you forget he still is in the NBA. He inked a two year deal with the Orlando Magic for 9 million. As of right now he is the second highest paid player on a roster without much scoring ability.
C.J. Miles: Needing a wing player to back up Paul George the Pacers signed Miles to a 4 year, $18 million dollar deal. This for a long and agile three point shooter who averaged 10 points on a bad Cavalier team last year.
Patty Mills: It wasn’t a shocker the back-up point guard re-signed with the Spurs. His rotator cuff injury eliminated the opportunity of driving his price up and using free agency as a leverage. He agreed to a 3 year $12 million dollar deal with San Antonio. Finally, a guard who is not getting overpaid.
Gordon Hayward: The Cavaliers are hesitant to sign Hayward to a max offer sheet because they believe Utah will match it. Instead they may go the sign and trade route and try to offer the Jazz some pieces in order to get Hayward.