Back To Where We Started
The first day of NBA free agency proved to be more controversial than the entire summer of 2010, when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, upsetting an entire community and sparking the biggest debate of last year. Will the Heat win it all with a Hall of Fame core of stars Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Fast forward one year and some change, due to the 149 day NBA lockout period, and we have one of the busiest and active free agent days in NBA history. And one of the most controversial. Things immediately kicked off with a blockbuster three team trade that centered on Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, moving Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and sending Lamar Odom to the Hornets along with Kevin Martin and Louis Sciola and Goran Dragic of the Rockets.
Everything was good. Then unexpectedly it was vetoed by commissioner David Stern and league execs due to, at the time, "basketball related reasons". Things went from bad to worse when the league then retracted that statement and cited that New Orleans would be "better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade."
This was met with much criticism from every angle and aspect of sports. From ESPN analysts to former and current players. Everyone took to Twitter and the message boards with their angst for commissioner David Stern and NBA leagues execs for their draconian antics in nixing the deal after it's completion.
But on the other side were owners furious over the deal. After months of deliberating at the negotiating table, it was assumed that the new CBA deal would squash any of the issues that have been set forth within the past 24 hours. Small market owners walked out under the assumption that the major market teams wouldn't reign supreme in the sweepstakes for the leagues stars. And the players thought they still had the freedom to choose in which teams they would like to play for.
Neither appears to be the case.
On the bright side though, there were actual transactions that took place. Alot of which were direct moves teams as a result of the language set in place by the new collective bargaining agreement. That of which is the amnesty clause. This is a " one-time opportunity to remove a contract from the salary cap as a way to help reduce payroll", and essentially is set in place for teams to eliminate bad player contracts under certain conditions.
These "conditions" have hit a few players, first of which was Magic guard Gilbert Arenas. Arenas $62 million remaining on the final three years of his six-year, $111 million deal made it an easy decision for Orlando to decide whether to exercise the option. This gives Orlando a bit of cap flexibility in dealing with the delicate situation that is All-Star center Dwight Howard. Who has openly stated his desire to be traded to the New Jersey (and soon to be Brooklyn) Nets to play alongside guard Deron Williams.
That is where the day's second set of drama hit full tilt. The Orlando Magic have claimed that the New Jersey Nets and execs, broke league tampering rules by speaking directly to Dwight Howard. Magic GM Otis Smith has since issued a statement confirming he did give Howard's agent Dan Fegan permission to speak with New Jersey, however there has been allegations that Howard himself conducted conversations with team representatives.
Howard has denied such allegations and the Orlando Magic have not officially filed charges against the Nets.
The next victim of the amnesty was New York Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups. Billups was waived merely as a precursor to the anticipated adding of free agent Tyson Chandler from the Dallas Mavericks.
And The Rookies Came..
Rookie's also finally signed their not so hard fought contracts. As No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving, No.3 pick Enes Kanter and No. 4 pick Tristan Thompson all signed with their teams. While, No. 2 pick Derrick Williams practiced with the Minnesota Timberwolves with expectation that his deal would be done by the end of today. The Sacramento Kings also completed the signing of BYU star Jimmer Fridette
Other League Notes..
- Phoenix Suns bring back forward Grant Hill for one year, worth $6.5 million
- Miami Heat sign guard Mario Chalmers, swing-man and forward James Jones, Juwan Howard, and center Eddy Curry
- Portland Trailblazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy retires from NBA, citing degenerative knee issues
- Portland Trailblazers have decided to remain loyal to notoriously injured center Greg Odom, signing while also "suffering another setback"
- The Trailblazers also will not have center Lamarcus Aldridge for the first weeks of the season, due to a heart illness
- Chuck Hayes has been confirmed to have resigned with the Sacramento Kings, according to an AP source, the center will be in Sacramento for 4 years at a reported $21.3 million.
- The Los Angeles Clippers came to an agreement with Caron Butler, for 3 years at around $24 million.
- In the wake of the Paul fiasco, the Lakers have signed shooter Jason Kapono former UCLA standout.
- Detroit Pistons parted ways with guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton, he is expected to sign with Chicago as 2-guard Keith Bogans was held from practice.
- Atlanta made a flurry of signings, picking up Tracy McGrady, Vladmir Radmonovic and Jerry Stackhouse to a practice squad contract.
- In a sleeper move, San Antonio standout Roger Mason is heading to the Washington Wizards, according to an announcement on Twitter.
- The Toronto Raptors made history in signing Jamal Maggloire, the first Canadian born player to sign with a Canadian NBA team (weird that hasn't happened sooner..)
- The Boston Celtics are expecting to sign free agent New Orleans Hornet big man David West apart of the team before the end of the weekend.
- The Cleveland Caveliers are expected file amnesty with point guard Baron Davis, despite reports from Cavs' GM Chris Grant who says he has not decided yet to waive or keep the veteran 32yr old guard.
- 3-time defending slam dunk champion Nate Washington was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- The Suns have also signed guard Sebastian Telfair and Lakers forward Shannon Brown to one year deals.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chris Bosh, Dallas Mavericks, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Kevin Martin Chris Paul, Lamar Odom, LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pau Gasol, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Tyson Chandler, Washington Wizards