Scotto: Isaiah Thomas Dishes on Free Agency; Could Command Full Mid-Level Exception

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IsaiahThomas cropIsaiah Thomas entered the league as “Mr. Irrelevant” after being selected 60th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. In his third season, he’s now become a candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award (although colleague Kels Dayton seems to disagree).

Thomas’ breakout season couldn’t have come at a better time with restricted free agency looming this summer.

With that in mind, Thomas and I discussed his development, Sacramento’s new culture and his free agency plans in an exclusive SheridanHoops interview.

Bernucca: Cap Room, Exceptions, Expiring Deals: Who Has What as NBA Trading Season Begins

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220px-Rudy_GayThe NBA holiday shopping season is upon us a little early this year.

It usually starts December 15, the first day players who were signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. But after seeing Rudy Gay’s immovable contract somehow sent from Toronto to Sacramento, it is clear that shopping season is under way. 

Come next Sunday, NBA general managers will have increased flexibility when looking to improve their rosters, which was Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro’s approach in acquiring Gay, or their payroll, which was Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s approach in moving him.

In addition to the Raptors-Kings deal, we’ve already heard reports that the Houston Rockets are telling teams reserve center Omer Asik is on the block and they are looking to move him between Sunday and Dec. 19, which is the deadline for any player acquired for Asik to be rerouted before the trade deadline on Feb. 20.

So Rockets GM Daryl Morey may make two deals. Or he may make one deal. Or he may not deal at all.

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Hubbard: For the Lakers and Kobe, it was good business

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Los Angeles disasterLOS ANGELES – Arriving in at LAX for Thanksgiving proved to be entertaining as usual.

Kobe Bryant signed his two-year, $48.5 million extension Monday morning, so by the time my plane touched down late Tuesday, the irrational debate and cheap analysis was kicking into a higher gear among Lakers Nation.

This group is one of my favorites because its members live in a self-contained universe where there are only two types of humans – those who are Lakers and those who want to be Lakers.

In the first 24 hours here, I read or heard about scenarios that had LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook coming to the Lakers, although one written report quoted an anonymous Lakers source saying speculation on James migrating to the West Coast was “a pipe dream.”

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Carmelo Anthony’s Present Frustration and Questionable Future in New York

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Carmelo_AnthonyBefore the season began, Carmelo Anthony told the New York Observer he plans to become a free agent this summer. With every additional loss, that statement hovers over the Knicks like a dark cloud in a tornado zone, with the threat of the ultimate catastrophe – a lightning bolt and whirlwind that would destroy everything.

“I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career,” Anthony said at the time. “It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.”

Eight games into the season, Anthony is growing frustrated during his own evaluation period with New York’s record at a middling 3-5, with four straight home losses.

The End of the Movement: An Early Preview of the NBA Futures Market

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moneyThe dust has settled and the NBA offseason has officially hit its conclusion when it comes to the futures market.