Lebron James: Lebron is out the country on vacation so reconnaissance duties belong to Rich Paul, Lebron’s long time friend, confidant, and agent. He has met with four teams: Cleveland, Phoenix, Houston and Dallas. On Friday he will meet with Mitch Kupchak in Cleveland. There are two ways to look at it. One: the Lakers and Mitch Kupchak are getting played. They are being used as leverage or bait while Pat Riley is in town interviewing free agents such as Pau Gasol. So as Riley is desperately trying to hang on, Lebron’s agent is twisting the knife deeper. Or maybe Lebron is intrigued by Julius Randle and Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, all post players who are skilled in the paint which would alleviate a lot of the burden for Lebron and slide him back to his natural position as small forward. But the facts are the same. No one is meeting with Lebron James and that might not happen for a while so how serious are they really?
Jordan Farmar: The Clippers are interested in Farmar as a back up to Chris Paul after losing Darren Collison to free agency. Jordan Farmar is slower than Collison, not as skillful getting to the rim, not as good a defender but he is a more proficient three point shooter, he has championship level experience and he is a gritty player, not unlike Paul. The truth about Chris Paul’s career is he has never played an 82 game season. The back-up role is a crucial one. But as he showed this past year, Jordan Farmar has a habit of getting injured and remaining that way for long periods of time.
Carmelo Anthony: He met with Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss, Jeannie Buss and other executives in a two and a half hour meeting. The Lakers offered him the maximum deal of $96 million. After the Lakers meeting, Carmelo met with the Knicks who offered him the max of $126 million. Most observers believe it will be near impossible for Carmelo to turn down the Knicks offer. He really doesn’t want to leave New York. The Lakers long shot opportunity was in the hands of Kobe Bryant who had the last pitch of the night with Carmelo. Even Phil Jackson said: Kobe is very persuasive.
Dirk Nowitzki: He signed a three year deal with the Mavericks in the $30 million dollar range. He has an opt out clause in 2016 and he has a no trade clause.
Chris Kaman: Having his year totally destroyed by Mike D’antoni, Chris Kaman rebounded on day 3 of free agency and signed a two year deal with the Portland Trailblazers for $10 million. The second year is partially guaranteed. He’ll be the back up center to Robin Lopez, a perfect fit for his post skills and rebounding. The Trailblazers badly need someone of Kaman’s ability to manage the interior, especially on the offensive side of the ball since Kaman doesn’t give you much on the defensive end besides play hard.
Thabo Sefolosha: The defensive wing player originally drafted by the Bulls and nurtured by the Oklahoma City Thunder has signed a 3 year, $12 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are hoping that Sefolosha’s defense will translate to the Eastern Conference and will help the Hawks on the perimeter. His three point shooting is a natural fit for the Hawks open floor, spread offense style of play.
Darren Collison: The Sacramento Kings made him feel wanted, unlike the Los Angeles Clippers. Darren Collison signed a 3 year $16 million dollar deal that is fully guaranteed. He opted out of the final year of his deal with the Clippers which would have paid him $1.9 million dollars. Darren Collison was the first person Doc Rivers called when the free agency period began. However the Clippers were uninterested in matching the Sacramento offer. Without Chris Paul this season, Collison averaged 13 points and 7 assists.