Friday, July 01, 2016

Free Agency Bonanza Kicks Off In NBA

As the clock struck midnight and the calendar turned to July 1, the NBA free agency period opened and with the salary cap increasing from $70-million to $94-million (thanks to a 9-year, $24-billion television deal the league signed with ESPN and Turner back in 2014 that kicks in this season), the players were prepared to strike it rich.

The big names on the market, like Kevin Durant and Al Horford, knew they were in line to get substantial raises but the deals that have been reported so far in the first few hours of this spending bonanza make me lament my existence as a non-NBA player.

Andre Drummond, who led the league in rebounding with a whopping 14.8 boards per game and earned his first All-Star selection, will be getting nearly $130-million from the Pistons over the next five seasons from Detroit.

Hassan Whiteside, a one-time journeyman who established himself as a legitimate starting center with Miami, is reportedly staying with the Heat for 4-years and $98-million.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in this new financial landscape in the NBA.  Players such as Kent Bazemore, who is the prototypical role player that championship teams covet in today's NBA because he is a good defender and is an above average shooter, will most likely land a deal for upwards of $20-million per season.  Evan Turner, who I have enjoyed watching immensely over the last two seasons with the Celtics, is in the same mold as Bazemore as a solid role player who will be cashing in sometime in the next week or so.  Jared Sullinger, who I have not really enjoyed watching play for the Celtics in his four NBA seasons, is an inconsistent and overweight forward who is going to get somewhere around $10-million per season (just not hopefully from Boston).

Of course all of this movement early is just the appetizer before Durant makes his decision and then the other big names like Horford, Dwight Howard, and Mike Conley get their fortunes.

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