The NBA free agency has begun with a slew of both predictable and unpredictable moves alike. Coaches have been shuffled, players traded, and players have exercised their right to become a free agent. With the major names yet to declare a definite decision, a proverbial game of chess has become apparent amongst the NBA’s power players (Superstars and team management alike). 2010 showed us that players have decided to have a more active role in determining their own destiny with the formation of the Big 3 in Miami, so the million dollar question remains, will 2014 be an encore performance?
Tis’ the season to opt out
Firstly, the coveted superstars: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade have opted out of their 5-year contracts to become unrestricted free agents. Many hypothesize that LeBron has informed Pat Riley that he wants a max contract and a re-tooled roster than is more competitive. In the meantime teams have been clamoring to speak to James’ agent to potentially have a face-to face meeting to woo the 4-time MVP away from the Heat. Carmelo on the other hand has already completed his rounds to Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles to discuss his long-term plans. It is rumored that he has whittled his list to the Bulls, Lakers and Knicks. Chris Bosh is next on deck with interest pouring in from all over. He and Wade seem to be at a stalemate while LeBron mulls over his future. All eyes are on the King.
Other Key Transactions
Toronto traded forward John Salmons and a 2015 second-round draft pick to Atlanta for guard Lou Williams and the draft rights to center Lucas Nogueira.
Brooklyn Nets acquire Cory Jefferson from San Antonio Spurs for cash.
New York traded Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Samuel Dalembert and two 2014 second-round draft picks.
Denver Nuggets acquire Arron Afflalo from Orlando Magic for Evan Fournier and Roy Devyn Marble.
Charlotte Hornets acquire Semaj Christon and P.J. Hairston from Miami Heat for Shabazz Napier.
New York named Derek Fisher coach.
Minnesota named Flip Saunders coach.
Utah named Quin Snyder coach.
Los Angeles Clippers added president of basketball operations to coach Doc Rivers’ duties.
Brooklyn acquired second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019 from Milwaukee allowing Jason Kidd to become Milwaukee’s coach.
Milwaukee fired coach Larry Drew.