The theme of this NBA offseason has centered around blockbuster moves. We’ve seen stars like Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Paul George traded. We saw Stephen Curry sign a five-year, $201 million deal that briefly made him the highest-paid player in the game.
Now that we’ve had a full weekend of official free agency—teams could begin signing players to contracts on July 6—things are beginning to quiet down a bit. However, there are still quality players available on the free-agent market and impactful moves to be made.
We’re here to examine the latest storylines and rumors heading into Week 2 of free agency.
Anthony Trade Talks Between Knicks, Rockets to Resume
A buyout is one option, though certainly not the most team-friendly one. The problem is that the other option—a possible trade—would require Anthony’s blessing. He holds a no-trade clause in his contract and he isn’t likely to sign off on just any deal. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets.
After a couple of other offseason moves, the Knicks and Rockets may ramp up talks of a possible trade. The Rockets locked up Harden, and the Knicks signed away Tim Hardaway Jr. from Houston with a four-year, $71 million offer.
According to Wojnarowski, the Hardaway deal is likely to affect Anthony’s future:
“The Knicks’ acquisition of Hardaway Jr., to the staggering deal is expected to trigger a renewed willingness to work with the on trade scenarios to unload Carmelo Anthony, league sources told ESPN. The Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, league sources told ESPN, and the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where Hardaway Jr. is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season.”
As is the case with Wade, Anthony isn’t quite the dominating force he once was. However, he still offers a lot as a scorer and would give the Rockets another offensive option as the team looks to match up with Golden State in the Western Conference. His defensive talents would certainly have benefited the Clippers in battles against teams like the Rockets, Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Clippers Were Close to Acquiring Bradley
One of the other big deals we saw this offseason was the Boston Celtics’ acquisition of forward Gordon Hayward. The former Utah Jazz standout—who averaged 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season—was widely regarded as one of the top free agents available.
Gordon didn’t come cheap, though, as he garnered a deal worth just under $128 million over four years.
In order to make financial room for Hayward, the Celtics ended up trading Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons. Doing so cleared nearly $4 million in cap space. Bradly was set to earn $8.8 million in 2017, while Marcus Morris—whom the team acquired from Detroit—is set to earn $5 million.
However, it appears Bradley was nearly shipped off to a different team entirely. According to Marc Spears of ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers were close to getting Bradley before the Pistons closed the deal:
Per Lucas Hann of ClipsNation.com, Los Angeles offered guard Lou Williams as part of the deal:
Adding Bradley would have been a smart move for the Clippers, who are also trying to stay competitive in the Western Conference. They team isn’t in full rebuild mode but is looking to retool the roster after trading away Paul to the Rockets.
Pacers Acquiring Cory Joseph
The Indiana Pacers are potentially looking at their own rebuild after moving George. They may have added a nice young piece for that rebuild in the form of Cory Joseph.
According to Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers are set to acquire Joseph from the Toronto Raptors in the form of a sign-and-trade. Per Taylor, “Pacers will sign veteran forward C.J. Miles to a three-year, $25 million contract and then trade him to the Raptors.”
Joseph should be a terrific role player for the Pacers as he is extremely well-rounded and has youth on his side. He averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game in 2016.
The Raptors, meanwhile, will get a guy who averaged 10.7 points per game in roughly 23 minutes per contest.
Miles is in position to get his three-year deal as part of the sign-and-trade because he declined his player option and became a free agent on June 1. He was set to earn just over $4.7 million for the season under that deal.
*All Contract Information via Spotrac.com.
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