In today’s NBA news, one former star retired from the league while another former star’s agent told the media that his client’s whereabouts were known.
Yes, there’s still a few prominent names out there – Lamar Odom, Antawn Jamison, Corey Maggette and Tyrus Thomas among them – but no one who is going to crash our list of the top 10 free agent signings.
Just because there has been a dry spell of inactivity as far as news is concerned, that does not mean NBA players haven’t been finding ways to stay active.
Clippers forward Matt Barnes, in conjunction with Snoop Dogg (Lion?), hosted his annual Athletes vs. Cancer flag football game on Sunday. Barnes started the foundation in 2007 after his mother passed away just 26 days after being diagnosed with cancer.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Draft Picks Coming: 2016 second round (Brooklyn, protected 55-60, right to swap)
Draft Picks Going: 2014 second round (to San Antonio, 31-55); 2015 first round (to Boston); 2015 second round (to Houston, 31-50, 56-60); 2015 second round (to Denver, 31-55); 2015 second round (to Milwaukee, 51-60); 2016 second round (to New Orleans, 31-55)
Trade Exceptions: Eric Bledsoe ($2,630,000), expires July 10, 2014
Over/Under: Over the tax
Amnesty Provision: Used on Ryan Gomes (2012)
Stretch Provision: Available
Player Option Team Option Qualifying Offer
Clippers GM Gary Sacks was smart enough to let Chris Paul pick a new coach. He was even smarter not to let him pick any new players.
Once Paul’s personal choice of Doc Rivers was in place – and it would have been hard for the Clippers to do any better – Sacks knew Paul would be staying put and signed him to a five-year, $107 million contract. With both Paul and Blake Griffin signed through the 2017-18 season, the Clippers will be relevant for the next five years.
Sacks – or owner Donald Sterking, if you prefer – also didn’t pull the trigger on the deal that would have sent DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe to Boston for the aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Instead, he held onto Jordan and put the coveted Bledsoe in a package that landed free agent sharpshooter J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. While keeping the roster relatively young, Sacks filled one of LA’s two glaring needs – perimeter shooting.
The other glaring need was a reserve big who can score, and they are hoping Byron Mullens can fill that role. The Clips still have a portion of their mid-level exception after using $2 million of it to sign Darren Collison, who also backed up Paul in New Orleans.
Late in the offseason, Sacks signed Antawn Jamison away from the crosstown Lakers. Jamison may not be ready for the start of the season but eventually should make everyone forget the lack of contributions from Lamar Odom.
On Tuesday, the NBA officially released its schedule for the upcoming season.
Opening night will take place on October 29th which will kick-off the season with three games. We’ll warmup with the Orlando Magic visiting the Indiana Pacers on NBATV, then settle in for two of the better rivalries the NBA has to offer: Bulls/Heat and Lakers/Clippers in the nightcap on TNT.