It is crystal ball time as NBA free agency is opening, and anybody who tries to predict the future does so at considerable risk given the way things change by the hour in the NBA these days. Just ask Larry Drew. Free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, and the biggest fish that could be caught is Carmelo Anthony. Apologies to LeBron James, but pretty much everyone is convinced he is staying in Miami. One team that has been under the radar
CHICAGO BULLS 2015-16 Offseason Additions: F Cristiano Felicio 2015 Draft Picks: F Bobby Portis Draft Picks Coming: 2016 first round (Sacramento, protected 1-10); 2016 second round (Portland) Draft Picks Going: 2016 second round (to Orlando, higher of two) Trade Exceptions: None Over/Under: Over the tax Amnesty Provision: Used on Carlos Boozer (2014) PLAYER 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20Derrick Rose $20,090,000 $21,320,000 Jimmy Butler $16,410,000 $17,640,000 $18,870,000 $20,100,000 $21,330,000Joakim Noah $13,900,000 Taj Gibson $8,500,000 $8,950,000Pau Gasol $7,450,000 $7,770,000Nikola Mirotic $5,540,000 $5,780,000Mike Dunleavy $4,800,000 $4,800,000 $4,800,000Kirk Hinrich $2,850,000Doug McDermott $2,380,000 $2,480,000 $3,290,000 $4,510,000Tony Snell $1,540,000 $2,370,000 $3,390,000Bobby Portis $1,390,000 $1,450,000 $1,520,000 $2,490,000 $3,610,000Aaron Brooks $1,270,000E’Twaun Moore $1,020,000Cameron Bairstow $510,000 $980,000 $1,250,000Richard Hamilton $330,000Cristiano FelicioNazr MohammedTOTAL SALARY $88,320,000 $73,540,000 $33,120,000 $27,100,000 $24,940,000Player Option Team Option Qualifying Offer Waived BACK TO TEAM SALARY INDEX
It’s always a good thing to see NBA players and athletes in general give back to a good cause. While many of them are living comfortable lives, those that choose to spend their money or time for the benefit of others show a level of selflessness that transcends their on court contributions. NBA veteran Drew Gooden has long been an advocate for community service, and is the founder of the self titled Drew Gooden Foundation. In addition to his own organization
How many more years will LeBron James stay with the Heat? Not two, not three, not four … It might just be five. And a big part of the reason why was Miami’s acquisition of point guard Shabazz Napier in Thursday night’s draft, a move that James openly praised on Twitter just moments after the deal with Charlotte went down. If ever there was a case in which you needed to read between the lines, this was it. And how is this for
When it comes to trades, the 2014 NBA draft hasn’t been quite as nuts as last year. Nevertheless, there have been a handful of deals. Here’s a breakdown: Philadelphia 76ers trade Elfrid Payton to Orlando Magic for Dario Saric, 2015 second-round pick and 2017 first-round pick. Philadelphia didn’t need another point guard with Michael Carter-Williams entrenched at the position, and the Sixers are all about assets. Injured Joel Embiid went third and now Dario Saric will be in Turkey for the next two seasons.
It what seems like a never-ending soap opera, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly split on Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. As things stand, I get the sense that the Cavs prefer to trade the top overall pick in Thursday’s draft. And if they do, I expect Joel Embiid to be a very real possibility if the Cavs move down. The significance of LeBron James opting out is that it comes early enough that all teams looking to make a play for him
Some prominent NBA athletes are still recuperating from injuries, taking necessary time off to recover, heal and rest from weariness and prolonged seasons that may have gone deep in the playoffs. Some, like Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, among others, are in Brazil enjoying the 2014 FIFA World Cup. There are plenty, like LeBron James, who are on vacation, spending time with their families. Still, there are those who are already hard at work, trying to improve for the 2014-15 NBA season.
The San Antonio Spurs and the organization’s two stalwarts, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, are coming off a fifth championship and are poised for another title run next season – provided Duncan doesn’t retire. With five championships in a 15-year period, the Spurs have made a claim to be considered a dynasty. However, some people – most notably Phil Jackson – would disagree because the Spurs haven’t won consecutive titles. Jackson won three consecutive championships on three separate occasions (1991-93, 96-98, 2000-2002).