cameroncrazies02
Kawhi Leonard debacle-
There's almost no precedent to a situation like this.  Kawhi came into the season hurt and returned for 9 games before going back out with injury.  Throughout the season, the Spurs training staff would give updates and say Kawhi was ready to return, but his own medical staff would keep him out saying he wasn't ready.  This lasted throughout the season and even into the playoffs where he was suppose to return and didn't.  There's a lot to work out this summer with the Spurs.  Much talk has been centered around a Kawhi trade, but he's in essence in the final year of his contract with an opt-out option the following year which he'll exercise to become a free agent.  I'm sure there's going to be tons of chatter around Kawhi's availability, but it would likely hinge on him signing an extension with that team.  Some scenarios-

LA Lakers trade Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Josh Hart, CLE's 2018 1st to SA for Kawhi Leonard-
The Lakers are looking for max cap space to sign a superstar this summer, but the availability is dwindling.  Kawhi has always been rumored to LA in future free agency, this would just speed up the process.  LA would get rid of Deng's contract along with it and would give them the same amount of space this summer for someone like Cousins.  Kawhi, Kuzma and Cousins would be dangerous together.  Add in Lonzo and they have a formidable group.  The Spurs would have to eat Deng's contract which would be messy for them considering they already have some bad contracts, but Ingram is about to break out.  Add in Hart for shooting and CLE's first and SA would have two picks in the 20's to tinker with.

LA Clippers trade Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Wes Johnson, own 18' and DET 18' 1st rd picks for Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills-
If Kawhi wants to go to LA, the Clippers may be the next best bet to get him to re-sign.  LA, in essence, would trade Blake Griffin and Beverley for Kawhi as this is the same haul they got for Griffin.  Now that's asset management.  SA would re-boot on the fly, stick Harris next to Aldridge which isn't exactly the best lineup defensively, but he's 25 and developing every year.  Beverley would act as a 3rd guard for them with Parker and Manu potentially out.  They also get out from the Patty Mills contract and pick up the 12th and 13th picks this season.  They can certainly build around Aldridge, Harris, Murray and make use of the 12th, 13th and 18th picks they'd own.  

Chicago trades Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio, #6 for Kawhi Leonard, #18-
For Chicago, they'd gut some of their best young players for a superstar, but also get out from the Felicio contract.  Nothing would be better for Zach LaVine than to play next to a primary ballhandler and defensive stopper.  This would also give them some wiggle room in free agency.  LaVine, Kawhi and Bobby Portis isn't a bad start especially with max cap space to boot this summer.  SA would get a few top flight prospects in Markkanen and Dunn along with the #6 where they could pick up Porter, Bamba or Bridges.  Dunn, Murray, Bridges, Markkanen and Aldridge is a fun group.

CLE trades Larry Nance, Cedi Osman, George Hill, BKN's #8 to SA for Kawhi, Mills-
I'm not sure how thrilled Kawhi would be playing second fiddle to Lebron and if Lebron bolts, at all in CLE by himself.  But if CLE could pull this off, it'd be wizardy.  This would essentially be the same CLE team except upgrading Nance to Kawhi.  As for SA, they'd pick up a few pieces, Nance would be a perfect fit next to Aldridge, Hill played in SA under Poppovich before and Osman is a good G/F project.  Add in dropping Mills contract for one year of Hill and picking up the #8 pick to go along with their #18 and that's a really nice re-build.

ORL trades Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier, Shelvin Mack, #5 for Kawhi, Mills-
ORL is desperate to find a fit next to Aaron Gordon and Kawhi would be just that.  ORL wouldn't have to blow up their roster or even re-tool that much.  They'd need a backcourt upgrade but Kawhi, Gordon and Vucevic would be a solid front court and they have some decent pieces to work with in the backcourt in Mills, Augustin, Simmons, and a potentially re-signed Hezonja.  SA needs to find a perimeter defender for guys like Durant, George, etc in the West.  Isaac isn't their yet, but with the right coaching, he could be.  Fournier would be a massive upgrade over Green and Manu and they'd pick up the #5 pick where they could take Porter.  Murray, Fournier, Porter, Isaac and Aldridge.  Swoon.

PHI trades Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, LA Lakers #10 for Kawhi-
I'm not sure what kind of stock SA would put into Fultz, but a proper coaching regime and medical staff could re-work him.  Covington would be that perimeter defender, shooter they need on the perimeter-an upgrade over Danny Green and they'd pick up the Lakers pick.  As for PHI-Kawhi, Simmons and Embiid with Saric off the bench, JJ Redick on the perimeter.  Yikes.

Toronto trades Demar Derozan for Kawhi-
A straight swap.  SA might be hurting in the sense that Derozan and Aldridge are notorious shrinkers in the playoffs, but they'd get an immediate all-star, something they're not getting right off the bat in any other trade.  TOR works Kawhi back to health, an upgrade defensively and tries to give this a go.  Considering TOR is about to get swept and has minimal options with it's roster, this isn't a bad swap.

Portland trades Damian Lillard, Zach Collins for Kawhi-
I don't think SA would be in love with the idea of keeping Kawhi in the West, but Lillard is an assassin.  POR is teetering on a blow up especially with some of their bad contracts, but getting the ball out of Lillard's hands and into Kawhi would drastically help CJ McCollum.  SA picks up Lillard and inserts him into their gaping hole at PG.  Lillard and Murray is a great backcourt that compliment each other well.  Collins is a project but showed a lot of promise shooting and defending the rim.  Lillard, Murray, a re-signed Kyle Anderson, Collins and Aldridge works.
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safetysqueezepleezzee11
I have read that Leonard has tendinapathy of the quadriceps. Anyone know what treatment/treatments he has gotten and will possibly get for this condidion?  Tendinapathy is a very very broad term for problems with tendons. I am only aware of one person who had tendinapathy of the quadriceps diagnosed for him.  They never really figured out how he did it, but he had to quit pitching fast pitch softball. It didn't affect him working, as he worked construction and never had to just sit home. He told me he just had extreme 'weakness' in his push off foot when pitching and it would get painful after about 2-3 innings. I don't think any Dr ever figured it out for him. He just 'hung it up' for playing softball. He was in his early 30's and quite busy with his business. At the time of the injury he was one of the better pitchers around. To my knowledge he never played another game - neither pitching or hitting/and playing the field elsewhere. I remember the summer it began to bother him as he was pretty 'owly'. He was frustrated it wouldn't heal and frustrated no Dr's, DPT's, DC's or others could give him help or advise.  It didn't really affect his pitching, but he told me the pain would get excruciating. He took anti inflammatory meds and aspirin; but nothing seemed to really help. I ran into the guy about 10 years later and asked him about his leg problems. He told me after he quit playing ball, it just seemed to go away after a year or so. He never played softball again.  Laughing as he said it - he just told me he "GOT OLD". It was a bit odd as I had heard of tendinitis, but never really heard the word tendinapathy used. I guess it was the DPT that diagnosed it as tendinapathy.  Seems the words are used somewhat interchangeably as my physician told me. My dr told me that anytime 'itis' is used it means inflammation and apparently tendinapathy doesn't always show inflammation.

I honestly wonder 'if' this could be a career ender for Leonard?
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cameroncrazies02
A really crazy story blew up on Twitter tonight involving Bryan Colangelo, 76ers GM.

A bit of backstory-Sam Hinkie was the developer of Trust the Process.  He tore the 76ers down, made shrewd trades to take on assets by taking back bad contracts and just making the 76ers bad in general.  He missed with a few picks-Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor to name a few.  But brought in some players that have been very effective and positioned the 76ers to draft Embiid and later, Ben Simmons, drafted by Colangelo.  He acquired all those picks by a) being bad, and b) making trades like when he acquired Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and their bad contracts and got Nick Stauskas, a future 1st and rights to swap 2016 and 2017 draft picks.  His tenure was cut short when the 76ers fired him and brought in Bryan Colangelo as President of Basketball Ops (essentially a higher up GM) in 2016.  Colangelo has feasted on all the assets he had and essentially taken credit for all the work Hinkie did.  He even went the opposite route of Hinkie by trading the 3rd pick and the Kings 2019 pick to move up to #1 to take Fultz which has backfired thus far as Tatum went #3 and looks like a superstar.

Tonight, an article came out on The Ringer.  A writer got an anonymous tip that Colangelo has up to 5 Twitter burner accounts.  Burner accounts have become popular of late by guys like Kevin Durant accidentally tweeting from his own account something he would've tweeted from a burner account.  The tipster seems to be a bit of a social media and tech-savvy guru.  They said they found these five accounts were loosely linked by their activity, phrasing and follows.  All of the tweets were rather prepubescent with poor grammar and a lack of sentence structure.  They were all claimed to be 76ers fans who followed very deep 76ers staffers, writers, but most suspiciously, they followed people who were very off the beaten path like the small college for Bryan Colangelo's kid plays basketball and his coaches and some staff and professors.  

The tweets were all very pro-Colangelo/anti-Hinkie, and even blasted some of the 76ers own players like Embiid and Fultz.  They talked about a botched Okafor trade and a failed physical that prevented a big trade to the Pelicans.  It harped on this failed physical tweeting at 76ers insiders and writers begging them to cover the story of a failed physical that nobody had heard of.  It also went on anti-Embiid tyrades questioning his care for his body and the game.  All in all, they were very damaging.

The story was brought to a 76ers media person who was asked to discuss with Colangelo.  Colangelo came out publicly and acknowledged one of the accounts was his, but this was one of the accounts that nearly never tweeted anything and said it's important to stay up to date in social media, and denied the other accounts were his.  This was probably the most premature move he could've made.  A lot of very smart people on twitter began investigating.  One person requested a password reset on the three most active accounts and all of them had password resets to a phone number ending in 91 and an e-mail with some phonetics in the e-mail shown.  Then, a password reset was requested on Colangelo's personal e-mail and the reset was sent to an e-mail with the exact same phonetics in the email for the reset request on the twitter accounts.  On top of all that, a search was done of Colangelo's cell phone number and personal data which was found that one of his cell phone numbers ends in 91.

This is a huge blackeye to the 76ers and Colangelo.  Embiid was tweeting about it tonight poking fun at it, but ultimately said he didn't believe it, although that was all before the twitter detectives found the password reset stuff.  I'd bet this is the end of Colangelo's run in the NBA.  You can't really come back from that.  I'm sure it's going to take some time for them to make a decision as to what to do, but I'd expect him to resign in the next week or two.  This is a tough blow for the 76ers, but as long as they don't keep him around, it should be fine.  They have a huge summer coming up and this is very bad timing considering the draft and free agency will be huge for them and they may be without their biggest front office guy for that time period.
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gstacy
Bucks need to bite the bullet for one more year, next year there will be more flexibility to sign/resign players.
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cameroncrazies02
Kawhi Leonard has reportedly requested a trade from the Spurs.  This has been an ongoing saga for a year.  Kawhi went down with an injury after Zaza Pachulia stepped underneath him in the playoffs.  Since then, the Spurs medical staff cleared him on several occasions to return, but his camp kept pushing it back and Kawhi kept saying he wasn't ready.  It has created a lot of tension amongst the team and Kawhi and his camp.  He played only 8 games this last season before shutting it down for the entire season.

Now Kawhi has pushed it out that he wants to be traded.  This was news to the Spurs as they allegedly hadn't heard of this.  But it's convenient timing as a trade would come at the perfect time just before the draft.  The issue is that Kawhi is in the final year of his contract making any trade difficult for the acquiring team as it is going to cost them assets for a possible rental in hopes of him re-signing.  There has been some reports he wants to go to LA which is entirely feasible considering LA's stockpile of assets and want to build their own super team.

Here are some trades I consummated to make a Kawhi deal appealing for the Spurs and his acquiring team.

SA incoming-Brandon Ingram, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LaVert, Demarre Carroll
SA outgoing-Kawhi Leonard, #19

LA incoming-Kawhi Leonard
LA outgoing-Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng

BKN incoming-Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Luol Deng, #19
BKN outgoing-Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LaVert, Demarre Carroll

Why for SA-SA is depleted at positions 1-3 right now.  Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gay are free agents and Danny Green is getting older.  This trade would net them a haul of a star player, two solid young players and a rotational player.  A lineup of Dejounte Murray, LaVert, RHJ, Ingram and Aldridge is all sorts of length, athleticism and complimentary.  Ingram, RHJ and LaVert are all still on their rookie contracts and when their extensions come up, both Pau Gasol and Green's contracts expire next year and the following to open up cap space.  Netting Ingram alone would be a load, but they'd take advantage of LA desperately trying to unload Deng while not taking back any horrendous salaries.  They'd have to send out their 19th pick as well, but considering the haul of talent, it wouldn't hurt too badly.

Why for LA-if LA wants to make a super team, it will have to cost them nearly all of their young players while unloading Deng.  This accomplishes both the start of a super team and unloading that contract.  Ingram is certainly on his way to being a very good, borderline all-star player, but LA isn't in any waiting pattern and want to win now.  They'd acquire Kawhi with the likelihood of him re-signing long term, clearing their books entirely and opening up the strong possibility of signing Paul George and possibly Lebron.  

Why for BKN-BKN would have to balance whether acquiring Ball/Kuzma/19 is worth sending out RHJ, LaVert and taking back Deng.  As well as BKN has begun a re-build, they need to continue to take advantage of trades like this.  Lonzo would be playing in one of the larger markets, obviously a draw for him, and brings his buddy Kuzma with him.  RHJ and LaVert are budding players, but neither have all-star written all over them.  They'd also get back the 19th pick to add on to the 27th pick they acquired from the Raptors.  They could package and move up, hold on to both picks and acquire young assets or trade down or out to continue to add assets.  But Ball, D'Angelo Russell, Kuzma and Jarrett Allen is a nice start.  It may not look pretty now, they'd have to suffer under cap tightness for a few years, but Deng, Allen Crabbe and Timofey Mozgov all expire in two seasons which would be huge assets at the time.

SA trades Kawhi Leonard to CLE for Kevin Love

Why for SA-Love would be a perfect partner to LaMarcus Aldridge, albeit a little soft in the middle.  But it would give them an all-star in return for Kawhi, something they may not achieve in any other trade.  They'd certainly ask for the 8th pick as well, but if I'm CLE, I'd hold tight onto that pick in case Lebron doesn't re-sign and/or Kawhi doesn't either.

Why for CLE-they could pitch to Lebron they brought in a top 5 player when healthy to partner with him for a run.  Imagine trying to defend Kawhi and Lebron on the floor at the same time.  Keeping the 8th pick would be crucial where they could pick up Wendell Carter, Trae Young, Michael Porter.

MEM trades Chandler Parsons, #4 to SA for Kawhi Leonard

Why for SA-taking back the Parsons contract would be a hard pill to swallow.  But to get the #4 pick for Kawhi would be a huge grab.  And the way the draft is shaking out, it looks like Luka Doncic may be available at 4.  Doncic would be a dream scenario in SA.  They'd have a good foundation of Aldridge, Doncic and Murray with some decent role players to remain competitive, but also be pretty well set for the future when Gasol and Parsons both expire.

Why for MEM-MEM is in a weird spot of veteran players with big contracts where a trade would only get them pennies worth.  In this scenario, they get out from the Parsons contract by attaching the #4 pick and get Kawhi and have a year to convince him to re-sign and give him the keys to the team.  A healthy Conley and Gasol paired with Kawhi would be a terror.

SA trades Kawhi Leonard, #19 to CHI for Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez, #7

Why for SA-in this trade, they get back a blue chipper in Portis who's huge season was marred by a fight with Nikola Mirotic.  Portis has a relentless motor, a versatile offensive game and good rebounding.  Lopez would serve as a serviceable backup center on a 1 year contract who could defend the rim and allow Aldridge to play his more natural PF position.  They'd have a lot of versatility with a front court rotation of Aldridge, Portis, Lopez and Gasol.  They'd also move up 12 spots to the 7th spot where Trae Young, Michael Porter, or Mikal Bridges could be targets to bolster their backcourt/wing position.  

Why for CHI-it's a no-brainer for them.  CHI is one of the largest markets in the NBA, a huge draw to Kawhi who would be the face of the franchise and would re-sign long term.  They'd give up their pick, but still pick in the back end of the teens where there's a plethora of guard/wings available.  Kawhi would also alleviate a lot of ballhandling from Dunn and LaVine who would benefit greatly.  Those three, plus Markkanen is a versatile, young and dynamic grouping.

SA trades Kawhi Leonard, #19 to MIA for Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson

Why for SA-this would be a short term fix for SA and not the most appealing trade, but would fill a lot of holes.  Dragic is 33, but only has 2 years left on his deal and still playing at a high level.  SA needs a PG to pair alongside Murray and Dragic would compliment him well.  Justise Winslow finally started to break out towards the end of last season showing why he was a high lottery pick and Richardson is a lock down defender with an improving, near 40% from 3, a perfect 3&D player on a fair contract at about $10M per year for the next 4 years.  They'd have to give up 19 as well as MIA would ask for it as they don't own many of their picks and would need insurance in case Kawhi leaves.

Why for MIA-they have such a laundry list of players under contract, this would be a great deal for them considering they lack top end talent.  A front court of Kawhi, James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside is frightening.  If they wanted to make a splash right away, they could also flip Bam Adebayo for a wing player alongside Kawhi.  They'd pick up 19 as insurance and pick up a young player.

NY trades Tim Hardaway Jr, Frank Ntilikina, #9 to SA for Kawhi Leonard, #19

Why for SA-Hardaway is a microwave scorer who isn't a primary or even secondary guy on a good team, but is useful.  Ntilikina was a high lottery pick last year that flashed a lot of versatility, but needs to improve.  They'd also move up to #9 and pick up any number of players like Miles Bridges, or Lonnie Walker.  

Why for NY-this would be ideal for NY to pair another superstar alongside Porzingis and take advantage of Ntilikina's potential and their 9th pick.  They'd be a little thin in the back court, but could draw in some free agents for cheap.  

PHI trades Dario Saric, Robert Covington, #10 to SA for Kawhi Leonard.

Why for SA-Saric and Covington are perfect Poppovich guys-both versatile, hard-nosed guys.  They'd also pick up #10 (Mikal Bridges).  Murray, Bridges, Covington, Saric, Aldridge with Gasol, Mills, Green off the bench gets them right back into the conversation.

Why for PHI-it's the all in move PHI has been stockpiling assets for.  I don't give them back 19 in this draft due to the likelihood Kawhi re-signs there.  But Fultz, Redick (re-signed), Kawhi, Simmons and Embiid would terrorize the East.
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cameroncrazies02
Hornets trade Dwight Howard to Nets for Timofey Mozgov, two 2nd round picks

For CHA-well, the albatross that is the Hornets continues to get worse.  They tried the Dwight experiment for a year and although he produced, stat wise, on the court, he was awful in the locker room and all the advanced stats had him as terrible for the team.  Dwight was on an expiring contract, he'll be owed $24M next year before expiring.  Mozgov is owed about $18M for the next two years each.  They'll pick up two 2nd round picks in the process, the 40th and 45th pick in this years draft.  At 40, they can still pick up a useful player, but with the reasoning for this trade is to save money so I'd guess they sell one of the picks for cash.  The Hornets have some horrendous contracts-Cody Zeller, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and now add Mozgov to that list.  It looks like they're going to be selling on everyone that isn't Malik Monk and now would be the time to go for Kemba.  The main reason for this trade is to get comfortably under the luxury tax line.  They won't have money to play in free agency, as of now, but at least it gives them some wiggle room.  But the Hornets, as of now, won't have cap room until the summer of 2020.

For BKN-I'm not sure what their plans are for Dwight Howard.  Jarrett Allen looks to be a really good player.  They would greatly benefit from buying out Howard and not even letting him near their young nucleus.  They had to send out two 2nd round picks, but they're not going to have a ton of cap room in the summer of 2019, albeit, with a bunch of free agents to re-sign.  I like the move for them, they need to make moves like this to replenish their assets and although they may not be the biggest draw for free agents, they'll be able to take on big contracts for assets in the future.
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cameroncrazies02
Players with player options that opted-in-

Milos Teodosic-as expected, Teodosic opted into his $6M player option to remain with LAC next season.  He struggled at times with his shot and injury issues, but he was effective as a playmaker.  The Clippers are chock-full of guards though, and it'll be interesting to watch how the Clippers manage their contracts.

Austin Rivers-also as expected, Rivers opted into his $13M player option.  Rivers runs so hot and cold, he's a poor defender, not a great playmaker but is serviceable as a 6th man scorer off the bench.  Too often though, he tried to take over games.  Similar to Teodosic, Rivers may be up for grabs throughout the season as a cap clearing move.  They now have Lou Williams, Rivers, Teodosic, new comers Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Jerome Robinson and a few sophomores that showed promise last year in Jawun Evans and Sindarious Thornwell.

Jeremy Lin-opted in to a $12.5M option.  He got hurt in the first game of the season and didn't play the rest of the way.  It's no surprise he opted in after mssing an entire year and there being so little money out there.  Brooklyn too, has a lot of talented guards on their roster to include D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie (who had a breakout year), Allen Crabbe and Caris LaVert.

Iman Shumpert-a $10M option with the Kings, he'll likely be glued to the bench most of the season and tried to use as trade bait.

Wilson Chandler-$12.8M option-Chandler will have a year to prove himself with the likelihood of rookie Michael Porter missing the entire season.  Chandler has long been rumored as a trade option and will be a name to watch around the trade deadline as a defensive stopper for a championship caliber team.

Wes Matthews-$18M option-with Luka Doncic coming in as a rookie phenom and Harrison Barnes at the 3, it's likely that Matthews will be relegated to a 6th man role.  Matthews shot hasn't been as good as it was early in his career and he's battled a ton of injuries.  With such a lofty cap number, it's not likely he's a trade candidate unless DAL takes on serious money in a trade, but the way their positioning themselves to be big spenders this summer, they'd love that money to come off the books next summer.  Wes would be an interesting candidate for a Bucks sign and trade of Jabari Parker though.  They could use another 2/3 who can defend and hit 3's.  

Carmelo Anthony-$28M player option-as expected, Anthony opted in and will likely be a buyout candidate for the Thunder.  But OKC is notoriously cheap and Carmelo won't take less than a near full buyout so if Paul George signs elsewhere, they may keep him throughout the year.

Dewayne Dedmon-$7M option-I touched on this, but this was the biggest surprise.  This goes to show the likelihood of very little money out there in free agency.  Dedmon was a force defensively last year and still may not get the mid-level in FA.  He was a hot trade commodity at the deadline, but no one was willing to give more than a 2nd round pick for him as it was thought he'd be a rental for teams.

Opting out-

Kevin Durant-Durant has said all along he won't go anywhere else, but opted out and after taking a major discount his first signing with GS, he'll likely command the max which will put the Warriors in a precarious situation when it comes to re-signing Draymond and Klay in the future.

Kyle OQuinn-$4.5M option-KOQ will draw a lot of interest in free agency, but not for much more than his option.  It's already been reported he wants to play for GSW where he'd be a perfect fit.  They'd likely only be able to offer minimum contract though.

Rudy Gay-$8.5M option-Gay had a pretty good year for SAS as a scorer in the absence of Kawhi, he'll be looking for his last long term contract and will fill a lot of voids for teams looking for scoring on the perimeter.

Jamal Crawofrd-$4.5M option-this was a huge surprise.  Crawford is 37 and is well beyond his prime.  This seems like a ring chasing opt out as it isn't likely to happen in MIN next season.
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cameroncrazies02
-DEN declines Nikola Jokic's 5th year player option, set them up for 5 year max extension-all in all, the Nuggets are closing in on a max contract for Jokic.  Jokic is an extremely special talent.  He can shoot from 3, has some nifty footwork, is a good rebounder and has some of the best passing in the NBA, not just for a big.  My only knock on Jokic is he's a terrible defender.  It was so problematic last year, the Nuggets routinely played him and Mason Plumlee together which did not work well.  I'm not sure Jokic will ever be the best player on a championship caliber team, but he's young and a unicorn.  

ORL waives Shelvin Mack-Mack was only partially guaranteed this season for $1M of his $6M contract.  The Magic waived him to save an additional $5M in cash.  Some Magic fans weren't happy because he was probably their best playmaking PG, but they need every penny they can get this summer.  They're currently sitting at $79M in cap, but have a $19M cap hold on Aaron Gordon.  Unless they renounce Gordon, they're right at the salary cap with his number so they won't have much room anyway.  It will be interesting to see how ORL plays their roster this summer.  They need a PG, Mario Hezonja is likely gone and they now have three centers after drafting Bamba.  Their best case scenario is to trade Vucevic for a player of equal caliber at a different position.

PHX renounces rights to Alex Len, Elfrid Payton-Len balked at a nominal extension last summer and took his chances at free agency this summer.  It didn't work out.  I'll be interested to watch him though as his minutes were yanked around more than any player in the league sometimes playing 25 minutes, the next game not at all.  He's a good rebounder and is long and can defend the rim, but he has physical limitations that prevent him from being a good team defender.  I was surprised by the Payton renouncing, PHX has Brandon Knight, Tyler Ulis and rookie Elie Okobo.  Okobo is probably a year away, and Knight has extensive injury issues.  Ulis is likely to be released as well.  I'd expect PHX to play Knight as their PG, while Okobo develops and also play a big lineup of Booker, Bridges, Jackson, Warren at times 1-4.

Pacers release Lance Stephenson-Stephenson was set to make $4.5M next season.  He was their primary defender, but was so erratic everywhere else on the court.  He tried to be the alpha dog too much and figured with their drafting of Aaron Holiday, they'll play more three guard lineups.  Thaddeus Young has a $13M player option which he hasn't exercised yet and I'm sure IND is anxiously awaiting that.  They'll have some cap room to work with whether or not Young opts in.  But they have Sabonis and TJ Leaf waiting in the wings.  I'd expect them to target another wing in free agency or take on a contract (like Wilson Chandler) and acquire a pick in the process.  Of note, there was discussion of a Dellavadova and 17 for the Pacers 23rd pick at the draft, but my guess is the Bucks wanted the 23rd pick and the Pacers wanted to sed two future 2nds instead which the Bucks declined.  If FA doesn't work out for IND, this could be their route.
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cameroncrazies02
LAC trades Austin Rivers to WAS for Marcin Gortat

For LAC-this is a trade that signifies much more for LAC.  DeAndre Jordan has yet to decide on his player option of $23M for next season, but regardless of what he does, this means it's likely he wants out and Gortat will replace Jordan for the year.  Gortat is a big, lumbering center but is strong and a defensive force on the inside and grabbing rebounds.  He isn't terribly athletic to guard on the perimeter, but he's certainly an upgrade over anyone they could've gone after in free agency.  And they also cleared out a spot on the perimeter for their young guys Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Jerome Robinson, Sindarious Thornwell and Jawun Evans.  They also have Pat Beverley who is on an expiring contract at a modest $5.5M.  He's 32 years old, but is still a tenacious defender.  The question will be how his health is after missing almost the entire season due to injury.  What's most interesting, if Jordan finds his free agency isn't up to par with what he wants in a long term contract, he'll opt in and the Clippers will trade him.  This will be an immense add for LAC as they can acquire talent for him yet.

For WAS-I'm confused as to how WAS is playing this.  They drafted Troy Brown, a G/F with a defensive prowess and added Rivers to bolster their backcourt, but did it at the expense of having almost no front court players.  They have Markieff Morris at PF, Ian Mahinmi at C and Jason Smith at C.  But Mahinmi and Smith are both untradeable and unplayable.  I would venture a guess that the Wizards are likely to try to offload either Otto Porter or Kelly Oubre as they now have a surplus at the wing/guard spot to bolster their front court.  Porter would certainly fetch them the most, but his $25M contract is tough to work a trade around and Oubre, who's young and has shown flashes of being really good, is on the final year of his rookie deal.

A trade of Porter for DeAndre Jordan makes a ton of sense for both teams.  Porter is a nasty defender and has shown the ability to be a scorer, but has been hampered as a third banana playing off of isos by John Wall and Bradley Beal.  Jordan would provide them the elite toughness and rim protection as well as athleticism and would be a short term deal that would net them some future cap savings.  That is only if Jordan opts into his contract though.  Porter would bolster LAC's wing position, especially at SF where they're particularly thin with only Danillo Gallinari and Sam Dekker their presently.
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cameroncrazies02
Kawhi update-the Spurs have apparently gotten further along in trade talks than they have in the past with rumors of LAL, BOS and CLE circling the wagons.  I think the BOS rumors are a smoke screen because they have the most assets to offer.  It still seems the most plausible scenario is trading him to the Lakers.  They can offer the most assets, but won't take back Luol Deng.  They'd have to find a third team to take Deng which would include an asset like Lonzo Ball.  Finding a third team could prove difficult and SA has reportedly said absolutely not to trading him to LA as they don't want Kawhi in the western conference.  This trade could break at any moment or take weeks to develop.

Enes Kanter to Milwaukee?  A few days ago, this rumor came out when Kanter was still weighing his $18.5M player option.  It seemed to come from nothing without merit, but Kanter posted a tweet tonight of a deer head and quickly deleted it.  That certainly had to mean something.  If Kanter opts-in, a sign and trade of Jabari for Kanter is entirely plausible, but would seem like an odd fit considering NY just drafted Kevin Knox who has similar positional and defensive concerns as Jabari.  Nonetheless, NY has a hole to fill at both forward positions depending on if Porzingis is playing center or PF.  But with Kyle O'Quinn out and Kanter possibly on the move, the Knicks would need to add a center.  A Henson + Delly or Snell would financially work, but it remains to be seen whether NY would bite on that deal.  Kanter isn't a great fit in Milwaukee, he's big and lumbering and is a pretty poor defender, but is a really good rebounder.  I'd do the Henson + Delly/Snell deal if only because it'd cut the Bucks future salary down by between 1 and 3 years.

DeAndre Jordan to Mavs?  Three years ago, the strangest free agency story occurred where Jordan agreed to a contract with Dallas at the height of the Paul/Griffin/Jordan trio in LAC, but when it came to put pen to paper, Jordan recanted and re-signed in LAC.  Now, LAC acquired Marcin Gortat for Austin Rivers leaving Jordan on the outs.  The Mavs are now back in the conversation for a trade for Jordan.  DAL doesn't have a lot to offer in terms of draft picks as they traded their 2019 1st in the draft day deal to move up and select Luka Doncic.  But they could do a Wes Matthews + 2nd rounders to get a deal done.

Thaddeus Young opts in-Young opted into his $14M option at the last minute to remain in IND.  It shows the lack of money teams will be willing to spend in free agency.  It cuts into IND's cap space, but they will be very active this summer as they've already been linked to Aaron Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Will Barton when free agency starts.
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cameroncrazies02
Predictions-

Lebron signs with LA for 1+1-a large part of me still believes Lebron stays in CLE, but there are some insane Vegas numbers out there right now.  One book keeper has Lebron to LA at -5000.  That means you have to bet $5000 to win $100 that Lebron signs with LA.  Another book had the Lakers chances at a championship next year at 6:1, the second best odds.  But I don't think Lebron takes a massive deal and gets stuck there.  He'll do a 1+1, so one year with a player option for the 2nd year.  That'd also provide LA flexibility next summer so they're not locked into a Lebron number.

Chris Paul re-signs with HOU-easy deal.  CP3 isn't going anywhere.  They were a CP3 hamstring pull away from the Finals and a likely championship.  HOU doesn't need to do anything insane this summer.

Kevin Durant re-signs with GSW-an even easier prediction than CP3.  Durant has said publicly he's staying.  It's just a matter of how much it's for.  That'll greatly affect how they handle Klay and Draymond's future conracts.

Paul George signs with LA-I think whatever Lebron does, PG will go to LA.  LA, right now, has room for two max contracts.  So PG can go there, if Lebron doesn't sign in LA, then LA is likely to maintain their flexibility, probably sign Julius Randle to a 1 year, $20M deal so he gets a boatload of money which he won't get on a multi-year deal and be a free agent when there's more money next summer and LA can still tinker with their roster again next summer.

Demarcus Cousins re-signs in New Orleans-I don't have a great feel for this.  Cousins played just over a year in New Orleans.  The experiment results with him an AD were so-so.  They were good, but not ground breaking.  And an achilles injury is dangerous for a big man, it doesn't have a great recovery track record.  I think Cousins will be surprised at the lack of serious long term, big money contracts for him.  I'd guess he gets 3/60 in New Orleans.

Julius Randle signs 1/20 in LA-like I said in the PG part, Randle won't be thrilled with the long term money for him this summer.  Next summer will be the big time money with lots of teams having it.  This gets him way more than he'd get on a multi-year deal this summer which also maintains LA's cap flexibility.

Jabari Parker signs with Phoenix for 3/60-PHX is loading up on cap space.  A few months ago, it seemed like PHX was going to hunt for a center this summer being Capela or DeAndre Jordan, but they added Ayton in the draft.  PHX has a hole at the 4.  And they have a ton of money to spend.  They're going to put out a $20M offer to him which MIL won't match.  PHX, CHI and IND are the three teams that will likely be targeting him and can offer the most money that MIL won't match.

Aaron Gordon signs with IND for 4/80-this rumor came out this week that IND was targeting Gordon.  It's a little peculiar, they have Damantas Sabonis that's a 4/5, Thaddeus Young at the 4 and Myles Turner at the 5.  None are great man defenders, neither is Gordon.  I'd bet they sign Gordon with a team option on the 4th year which ORL won't match and trade Young in the future.

DeAndre Jordan signs with DAL-Jordan opted out of his contract negating any chance at an opt-in and trade for LAC.  LAC already posted a "thank you, DJ" tweet yesterday meaning he won't be back.  DAL is in hot pursuit of Jordan.  He'll have a ton of suitors including Golden State.  He can get the most money in DAL but could go to a team like GS for the mid-level.  I wouldn't be surprised to see MIL get in on this as well, if Jabari leaves and MIL offers the full mid-level to DJ.  But DAL is building a nice foundation and Jordan would round out their roster nicely.

Clint Capela re-signs with HOU-with DJ on the market and DAL going after him and PHX landing Ayton, there aren't many teams that both have a need for Capela and have enough money to sign him to such a deal that HOU balks at matching.  I'd guess it's in the realm of 4/80.
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db11
Predictions-

Kevin Durant re-signs with GSW-an even easier prediction than CP3.  Durant has said publicly he's staying.  It's just a matter of how much it's for.  That'll greatly affect how they handle Klay and Draymond's future conracts.

Paul George signs with LA-I think whatever Lebron does, PG will go to LA.  LA, right now, has room for two max contracts.  So PG can go there, if Lebron doesn't sign in LA, then LA is likely to maintain their flexibility, probably sign Julius Randle to a 1 year, $20M deal so he gets a boatload of money which he won't get on a multi-year deal and be a free agent when there's more money next summer and LA can still tinker with their roster again next summer.



Durant signs a one-and-one with GSW.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/23957834/kevin-durant-sign-one-one-deal-golden-state-warriors

George re-ups with OKC for 4 years, $137 million.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/23958531/paul-george-commits-re-sign-oklahoma-city-thunder
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cameroncrazies02
Paul George re-signs with OKC for 4/137-this was a huge shock, and not just in his return, but for the money.  Paul George had the option to go to LA and possibly get paired up with Lebron/Kawhi and a lot of cap flexibility.  Instead, he returns to OKC.  The money is a surprise, because if he took a 2 year deal with a player option for 3rd year, he could opt out and get a huge 10-year vet max contract.  He passed that up to go for 4 years where he'll be 31/32 at the time of free agency again.  OKC has to be thrilled, even at that number, to get him back, because otherwise they were looking at a weird scenario of re-build without flexibility.  Carmelo has to be stretched or bought out now.  The Westbrook/George/Melo trio was not good together and they just need less ball dominant, more defensive guys.

Chris Paul re-signs with HOU for 4/160-this is a monster, crazy deal.  CP3 is definitely angling for his last big contract and likely to ride out into the sunset in HOU.  $40M a year is insane though and HOU is going to be in cap/luxury tax hell.  They now absolutely have to get off the Ryan Anderson contract, especially with Capela still lingering in free agency.

Ersan Ilyasova signs with Bucks for 3/21-the third year is non-guaranteed.  That NG 3rd year is HUGE.  You can count this deal as a 2 year, because Ilyasova, Henson and Delly will all be free agents two summers from now which is when Giannis is next due for a contract extension.  That's really big when it comes to re-upping the franchise cornerstone.  Ilyasova is a great fit in Milwaukee.  The Bucks desperately missed having a legitimate back up PF.  All too often, when Jabari was hurt, we'd see lineups with Middleton playing the PF and our defense and rebounding went into the tank.  Ilyasova can shoot the lights out and is a really good rebounder for his size/build.  He's also a good team defender.  He can switch and guard multiple positions, albeit needing some help on the perimeter against smaller guys.  But it's a good move.  

Doug McDermott signs with IND for 3/22-this gets the worst contract award of FA thus far.  McDermott has bounced around a lot, and hasn't been all that effective.  But McDermott can shoot the lights out.  This won't help their defense or rebounding, but IND did have a need for another 3/4.  It's shocking though, considering IND was in talks for a possible Aaron Gordon/Jabari signing.  This all but puts that to bed.  The worst part is it is a fully guaranteed contract.  

Marco Belinelli signs with SA for 2/12-SA absolutely has a need to improve its backcourt and shooting.  It is an improvement, but there has to be more coming, because SA now has Murray, Belinelli, rookie Lonnie Walker, Danny Green and Patty Mills.  This has to be a sign that SA is adamant to try to keep Kawhi, because unless SA is playing a lot of small, 3 guard lineups, it doesn't make a ton of sense.  But the contract is fair considering Belinelli is still only 31 and proved on a team with other stars around, he can get open.

Derrick Rose re-signs with MIN for 1 year deal-MIN fans have to be absolutely furious.  They hated Rose, especially because it took minutes away from Tyus Jones, a promising young PG.  MIN needs help at the 2-guard, and especially shooting and Rose is neither of those things.

Ed Davis signs with BKN for 1/4.4-this is a bargain for BKN.  Davis is a really good rebounder and can spell for minutes off the bench.  With the Nets trading Mozgov for Dwight Howard and Howard likely to be bought out, they had a need for a backup center.

BKN re-signs Joe Harris to 2/16-Harris was a hot commodity in FA and BKN kept him locked up quickly at a reasonable contract.  Harris is a really good scorer, mostly as a shooter and had a career year.  BKN has a lot of talent at the wing with Hollis-Jefferson, LaVert, Crabbe, Harris and a couple of combo PG's in Jeremy Line and Spencer Dinwiddie.  It looks like BKN will maintain what they had, look to continue to build on it and continue to stockpile assets to re-build their asset chest.

MEM signs Omir Casspi to 1 year deal-Casspi was released by Golden State towards the end of the year to sign Quinn Cook to their full roster and Casspi never got back on with another.  He's a good scorer as a 6'9" hybrid forward, a need for MEM to add shooting around their star players.

Trevor Ariza signs with PHX for 1/15-this was a shock to me.  I thought Ariza could've gone to a couple different contenders for the full MLE over a few years.  Ariza had a great year in HOU as a defensive stopper and shooter.  PHX now has a glut of SF's in Josh Jackson, TJ Warren, rookie Mikal Bridges.  I'm not sure how they plan to move forward with that group unless TJ Warren gets traded.

Will Barton re-signs with DEN for 4/54-that is a huge contract for a 6th man.  But DEN wanted to keep him around and DEN fans seem to be happier about it than the rest of the NBA fandom.  They must see him as a SF for now.  He's talented as an all-around scorer and long defender.  DEN has so much money tied up now though.  Coincidentally, adding up all their contracts, if you take the big contracts of Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur off their books, it puts them just under the luxury tax.  That is a combined salary of about $19M.  I'd expect them to trade both players to a team with cap space (like ATL) for a future 1st and probably at least one or two 2nd round picks.

Rudy Gay re-signs with SA for 1/10-so Gay opted out of his $8.5M option to take a 1 year, $10M deal.  He must have really wanted to stay in SA or a very nominal raise, because he could've gotten full MLE from some other teams at something like 3/25.  Gay had a good year and is 31, so he may be angling for the better market next summer.

Gerald Green re-signs with HOU for 1 year minimum-a great add for HOU last year when they picked him up, even better to get him back on the minimum.  HOU has so much money tied up they needed a discount.  Ariza was the glue of that team though, and it looks like that responsibility will now be on Green and PJ Tucker.
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Thanks for all of the updates Cameron.  With the moves made out there, what are the chances of Jabari getting an offer??  Phoenix seemed like a team that had been lining up to make one and Sacramento also.  With Ariza though going to the Suns, does that hamper their efforts of signing him??  Any sign and trade possible with the Suns??  

I like Ersan and his ability to shoot it.  2 years for $14 million doesn't seem excessive to me.  His toughness is something the Bucks have desperately needed and missed.  I did have my hopes on Bellinelli in Milwaukee.  He just always seems to make shots.
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cameroncrazies02
Lebron James signs with Lakers for 4/154-I have to say, I'm shocked.  I did not see this one coming.  I thought all along that Lebron would stay in Cleveland.  To go somewhere like PHI or HOU or a franchise on the cusp of winning a championship, that'd be one thing.  They each have storied histories, but not to the extent of LA.  I can't say I love this for Lebron's legacy.  When Lebron retires, what jersey do you retire?  Does it depend if he wins another ring in LA?  Regardless of all that, LA has a nice, young nucleus.  And they added a number of role players today to accompany Lebron.  I fully anticipate the Lakers making a full-fledged push for Kawhi now too.  I feel like this makes the Spurs stance against trading Kawhi to LA even stronger now though.  However, they may not have a choice as LA can offer the most.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope re-signs with Lakers for 1/12-KCP signed a 1 year, $17.5M deal last summer in LA as a seemingly caveat to a future contract.  Now, he'll stay in LA for less than his previous contract.  He had a solid year for them as a scorer and defender.  He'll be asked now, to continue that repertoire alongside Lebron.

Lakers sign JaVale McGee to 1 yr, minimum contract-this was also a shock to me.  I thought McGee could've at least gotten the bi-annual exception, but it seems like he wants to be on a contender.  I'd imagine GS was offering the same and still, McGee chose to go to LA.  David West and Shaun Livingston made some strong statements at the end of the year that it wasn't easy and some "stories would come out," about the season.  Maybe there was significantly more turmoil that hasn't been released yet which could've driven McGee away.  Lebron hasn't had a rim-runner quite like McGee.  He can be a bonehead at times, but he's a great energy boost for them and a good rim defender.

Lakers sign Lance Stephenson to 1/4.4-this was even crazier!  Stephenson and Lebron have had some serious history and now they're joining forces.  Stephenson sees himelf as a much greater alpha-dog than he is, so it'll be interesting to see how he takes a backseat role.  But it gives them another top notch defender next to Lebron to ease that side of the ball for him.  

The Lakers roster currently still holds Ingram, Ball, Kuzma, Deng, Zubac, Hart and Moritz Wagner.  Hart is almost expendable at this point with bringing back KCP and adding Stephenson, but he's on a cheap rookie contract and he's a good shooter.  He could be added into a trade for Kawhi.  I'd expect the Lakers to both pursue a Kawhi trade and a Cousins signing.  If they dump the Deng contract and renounce Julius Randle's contract, I believe they can still do both.  

Mario Hezonja signs with Knicks for 1/7-this was a steal for the Knicks and probably the best signing yet.  Hezonja has been miscast and buried on the Magic bench since he came into the NBA.  He has always been budding with talent.  He reminds me as a poor man's Luka Doncic.  He'll get a lot of burn in LA alongside Hardaway Jr and Kevin Knox.  NY still needs to address their defense though.  It looks like they're going to continue to give the reigns at PG to Ntilikina and he'll ease the burden as a primary defender.  They also drafted Mitchell Robinson-a project center who can be brought along slowly since Enes Kanter opted into his contract next season.  

Aaron Gordon re-signs with ORL for 4/84-this was a shock to me.  I thought Gordon was going to be forced to seek a contract.  He missed a large portion of his rookie season due to injury and 1/3 of his 4th season due to injury.  But this really sets the bar for a Jabari contract as they're both similar players in similar positions.  I thought this was a massive overpay unless Gordon can turn the corner.  ORL still needs a PG badly and I'd be surprised if they didn't seek out a trade for one using Nikola Vucevic as trade bait.  

Fred VanVleet re-signs with TOR for 2/18-this was a solid re-signing for TOR.  He was a very steady backup last year that carried them through large chunks of games.  TOR really hurt themselves with a few big contracts in the past, including some lesser role players.  They're still in cap hell without much relief in sight.  But they were the #1 seed and dominated the East all season until they faced Lebron in the playoffs.  With Lebron gone to the West, they're going to try to roll it back and take over as contenders.
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