Tweet of the Day: Rip Hamilton loving free agency

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Former NBA champion Richard “Rip” Hamilton was recently waived by the Chicago Bulls, saving the team roughly $4 million next season.

Rip Hamilton as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

Rip Hamilton as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

He quickly became a free agent target for teams looking to add a veteran shooting guard.

Hamilton is clearly excited to be a free agent and seems to be embracing his time in the open market.

Along with the Tweet was the following image.

Rip Hamilton posted this picture on his Instagram, saying there are "several choices out there."

Rip Hamilton posted this picture on Instagram, saying there are “several choices out there” and added “#Imexcited.”

Hamilton displays three jerseys on his Instagram account, they are, the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. In order, they’re teams he’s played for in his NBA career.

That image quickly began speculation that he would like a return to Detroit alongside former teammate and friend Chauncey Billups.

Although Hamilton may not be worth the $5 million that was owed to him next season, he’s still a valuable piece to the right team. In two seasons with the Bulls, he appeared in 78 games and averaged 10.5 ppg, 2.6 apg and 1.9 rpg.

Hamilton’s shooting percentages were still honorable during his time in Chicago, he shot .438 from the field, .337 from three-point range and .833 from the free-throw line.

Will he return to the Bulls for less money? Aim to retire where it all began in Washington? Go back to where he had success with the Pistons? Or start fresh somewhere else?

SH Blog: D’Antoni questions how Houston is better for Howard, Lakers want LeBron or Melo

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Mike D'AntoniWhen Dwight Howard left the Los Angeles Lakers and bolted to the Houston Rockets, we heard and saw the reactions of plenty – perhaps most notably from Kobe Bryant, who immediately unfollowed his former teammate on Twitter upon hearing the news.

The one person most relevant to the situation that we’ve yet to hear from had been Mike D’Antoni, whose offense was cited as a critical reason for Howard’s desire for departure. So what did the coach think of his time with the center? How did D’Antoni feel about Howard’s decision to join the Rockets? Vincent Bonsignore of Daily News has all the details below:

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Mighty Moke’s Top 25 Remaining Free Agents — July 14 Update

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Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings

When Monday morning rolls around and the NBA free agency period continues, the biggest winner over the weekend will not be Metta World Peace and it will not be Jeff Teague.

Brandon Jennings is now the man with much of the power.

Over the weekend, it was reported that the Atlanta Hawks decided to match the four-year, $32 million offer sheet that Teague signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, Teague will remain a Hawk for the foreseeable future, and will be paid rather handsomely to do so.

The $32 million deal Teague will play under represents fair market value for a young point guard who is coming off of his most productive season, where he helped the Atlanta Hawks to a sixth straight postseason appearance while averaging 14.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists per game.

But now, the Bucks will have to answer to Jennings—who reportedly told the Bucks that it would take $12 million a year for him to re-sign a multi-year extension with them.

The message to Jennings was sent, his team preferred another man. And now that Teague is back in Atlanta, the Bucks face the very real possibility of Jennings, having felt alienated by the club, not backing off from his salary demands. As it stands, Jennings still has the option of accepting the Bucks one-year qualifying offer worth $4.5 million, and may become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Los Angeles Lakers—Jennings’ hometown team—will have cap space to throw at him if they choose to do so.

For the Bucks, herein lies the quandary: attracting young free agents to Milwaukee may prove difficult, and sometimes, especially for a small market NBA team, it is better to love the one you are with if you cannot be with the one you love. In other words, the Bucks may be better off trying to come to a long-term agreement with Jennings rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer.

There are arguments both for and against retaining Jennings, though $12 million may be too high of a number. Either way, eyes will now be firmly fixed on Jennings’ free agency and how his situation with the Bucks plays out. Obviously, a sign-and-trade deal remains a possibility, as well. Maybe even the likeliest one.

Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace

The other major news to come out of this past weekend was Metta World Peace’s clearing amnesty waivers without being claimed.

As of 5:00pm ET on Sunday, World Peace became an unrestricted free agent and is expected to sign with either the Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks. The more time elapses, the more team names seem to be added to the list of his potential landing spots, but World Peace’s father has, Ron, Sr., has been steadfast in saying that he believes World Peace would end up with the Knicks if he cleared. And he did.

The Knicks—who suddenly have a much less talented roster than the Brooklyn Nets do—need to make a splash and their poor cap situation and dearth of tradable assets means they need to get lucky in order to do so. Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Jeremy Tyler, both of whom are competing for the Knicks summer league team in Las Vegas, have both had their moments. But the third tier of free agents—such as World Peace—is where the Knicks need to have some sort of success if they are to repeat as Atlantic Division champions for the first time since they won back-to-back division titles in 1993 and 1994.

With Nikola Pekovic all but certain to re-sign in Minnesota on a four-year deal worth $50 million and Monta Ellis agreeing to terms with the Dallas Mavericks, Teague’s offer being matched by the Hawks means that Jennings is now our number one free agent on the market. There still is an abundance of talent out there, though, and quite a few guys are still getting some attention.

Dejuan Blair, No. 21 on our list, is reportedly receiving some interest from the Washington Wizards while Nate Robinson, who has had conversations with multiple teams, sounds to be close to signing with the Denver Nuggets.

Mo Williams, Aaron Brooks, Samuel Dalembert and Elton Brand are still out there, as well.

One other name, who is no longer available, is Wesley Johnson. The Los Angeles Lakers, obviously the biggest losers in this year’s free agent market, continue their makeover after losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets. The Lakers are reportedly wooing Lamar Oodom for a potential return and have followed up the signings of Nick Young, Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar with another veteran’s minimum signing—Wesley Johnson.

Johnson was selected with the No. 4 pick in the 2010 draft, and the Lakers hope to tap into his potential and get something out of him.

In the meantime, how’s about a little love for the biggest winners this offseason? We will rank them soon enough, but after the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets, a round of applause is in order (though in no particular order) for the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here are your updated free agency rankings…

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StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Winners & Losers July 11 Update

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Most of the star players in free agency are now off the board, but there are still plenty of impact players to discuss in this updated version of the Free Agency Breakdown with unique analytic angles. We here at Sheridan Hoops will break everything down for you into bite sized Winners & Losers style pieces.

HowardThe Houston Rockets, GM Daryl Morey and Dwight Howard were WINNERS after agreeing to a four-year deal worth $88 million to finally, mercifully, ending the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Morey set out a year ago to acquire two stars to legitimately compete in this SuperTeam Era that currently rules the NBA and got them in Howard and Harden.

Houston also signed Francisco Garcia to a team-friendly contract worth $1.3 million over two years. Garcia could probably replace Carlos Delfino in a spacer-type role for Houston after shooting 37.4 percent from three last season. Houston then picked up another spacer in Reggie Williams, who needs to greatly improve from his 30.6 shooting percentage from three last season with Charlotte.

Of course, the Howard deal makes the Los Angeles Lakers the big losers of the offseason for getting nothing out of Howard and looking ridiculous in doing so. They will now try to delude themselves into thinking players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will come next offseason. Good. Freaking. Luck.

But if there is any consolation for Laker fans, I do like their signing of Chris Kaman a lot. Despite a sharp decrease in minutes with the Mavericks last season, from 29.2 to 20.7 per game, Kaman shot 50.7 percent from the field (his best percentage in a season in which he played over 40 games since the 2005-2006 season) and averaged 10.5 points with 5.6 rebounds. His Win Shares per 48 minutes was his best mark since the 2007-2008 campaign. Expect better production in LA with a slightly increased workload. And Jordan Farmar won’t be a bad player either for the veteran’s minimum.

Josh SmithDwight Howard’s good friend, Josh Smith, ended up with Detroit for four-years and $56 million and Al Jefferson cashed in for three years and $41 million with Charlotte. This brings us a really interesting philosophical question: Can these players be the highest paid, and best, players for playoff teams? The answer is likely no. But does that mean the teams shouldn’t try?

Despite a subpar year by his standards Smith is still a really good player, so the jury is still out on this signing for the Pistons. Smith will make a really good frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but do the Pistons have the backcourt to compete? Not right now, even with the Chauncey Billups signing (two years, $5 million).

LAC_Billups_ChaunceyBillups will add veteran leadership and a fan favorite to the Detroit roster, but he’s only played 42 total games over the last two seasons. But when he’s played he’s been good, shooting 36.7 percent from three last season with a Win Share/48 number that’s well above average. It’s just hard to envision Billups being healthy all season. Billups will join Will Bynum, who Detroit re-signed to an affordable two-year deal worth $5.75 million. Bynum shot a career best 46.9 percent from the field and averaged nearly 10 points per game for the Pistons in 2012-2013.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the team uses reigning Italian League MVP Gigi Datome, who inked a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. Our resident Euro expert A.J. Mitnick told me that he’ll need to adjust to the NBA game, but the potential is there for Datome to become a nice NBA player. I’ll take his word for it…

On the Charlotte side of things, there’s no doubt that Jefferson is a really, really good player. Anyone who shoots nearly 50 percent from the field and averages nearly 18 points and over nine boards per game is really good. His defense will certainly help an inept Bobcats team in that department, but his offensive rating of 109 last season leaves something to be desired.

Can Jefferson, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo coexist in the frontcourt? Can Jefferson be the best player on a playoff team? Jefferson has made the playoffs just twice in his nine-season career, losing in the first round on both occasions. Golden State signed David Lee to an enormous contract, and Golden State ended up okay by hitting it big by drafting Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Charlotte will have to do that in order to not look foolish with this Jefferson signing, so, again, the jury is still out.

SH Blog: Jason Kidd a real candidate for Nets coaching job, Hollins out as Grizzlies coach

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kiddA week ago, one of the best floor generals in the history of the NBA in Jason Kidd decided to hang it up after realizing his limitations at the age of 40. When you retire from a career you’ve held onto for 19 years, you’d think some kind of nice vacation to a fancy island is in order. Instead, news has broken that Kidd has become a real candidate to become the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Does this guy love the game of basketball or what? Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the story:

After meeting with Brooklyn Nets management Monday, the head coaching candidacy of Jason Kidd has emerged as formidable in possibility, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Kidd has convinced Nets management of his seriousness of committing the time and energy necessary to move into a head coaching job within weeks of his retirement as a 10-time NBA All-Star point guard, league sources said.

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