NBA Free Agency Roundup: Cavs Re-enter the Dwightmare
Summer continues to smolder both in terms of temperature and in the NBA free agent market. Wednesday was no exception, with a number of high profile moves going down. In a stunning change of pace, the Dwightmare lead the charge with a new batch of rumors.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly become a frontrunner to be the third team involved in a potential Dwight Howard trade, which would send Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. Apparently the Cavs and Rockets are jockeying for position to be that third team without a deal being close to completed at this time.
In scenarios involving both teams, Lakers center Andrew Bynum (who only has one year left on his contract) would be the prize for being that third team, with them giving away multiple draft picks and young players. This begs the question: why would the Cavs, who play in a city dubbed “The Mistake By the Lake,” give away a package of picks and prospects with no guarantee of Bynum being there long term? It’s like they’re trading to have their hearts broken again.
Los Angeles also added veteran forward Antawn Jamison today to a one year, veteran’s minimum salary contract. Last season, he shot a career low 40% and averaged 17.2 points per game despite being on the wretched Cavaliers. The Lakers will likely use him as a bench guy, which is a huge addition in depth for them.
Portland has matched the offer sheet from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Nicolas Batum. The four year, $46 million deal demonstrates the Trail Blazers’ commitment to Batum, as they rejected several trade offers for him from the Timberwolves earlier in the year which included several draft picks and even former second overall pick Derrick Williams.
JaVale McGee will be a Denver Nugget for the foreseeable future, re-signing with the team for four years, $44 million. A great shot blocker (2.16 blocks per game last year), McGee provides some much needed toughness in the Nuggets’ front court. Two huge offensive games in last year’s first round series against the Lakers demonstrated his tremendous upside, warranting the pay increase. The team also released Chris “Birdman” Andersen.
2011 fifth overall pick Jonas Valanciunas will be coming to America after signing a rookie contract with the Raptors, who had to wait to bring him over due to a buyout in his contract in Lithuania. The contract is two years, with team options for two years after that.
According to his agent, the Chicago Bulls have shown interest in NBA Draft bust extraordinaire Darko Milicic. The Heat, Clippers, and Nets have also been reported to have interest in his services. Darko averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game last season, which leads me to ask: who does Darko Milicic have dirt on so that these teams are interested in him?
Houston is waiting on Omer Asik to sign an offer sheet to try and lure him away from the Bulls, using the same move they used to snatch Jeremy Lin away from the Knicks. The Bulls would take a $15 million cap hit in year three of the deal if they matched the offer sheet, provided that Asik signs it.