Steve Nash goes Hollywood
The biggest story of this year’s free agency so far was when Steve Nash decided to make it “show time Lakers” again. Earlier this week, the Lakers and the Suns made a sign and trade deal that would send Nash to the Lakers in exchange for the trade exception the Lakers got from Lamar Odom’s departure to the Mavericks. Nash basically agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract which would take him to 41 when his contract expires. It remains to be seen what impact this trade has on the futures of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Many had questioned Gasol’s ability after a not-so-good playoff performance.
The main rivals in the West will the be the Spurs and mainly the Thunders. People may just come out and state that this makes the Lakers the favourites in the West but the age factor may still catch up with them. The fact remains that Nash-Kobe-World Peace-Gasol-Bynum would have an average age of lineup of 32 while Westbrook-Harden-Durant-Ibaka-Perkins line-up has an average age of lineup: 24. It remains to be seen how much the Nash plan remains viable in the long run.
Deron Williams grabs the Nets
If people in LA were euphoric with Nash’s arrival, people in Brooklyn were also in joyous mood. After months of deliberation, Deron Williams told the world through his twitter account that he had decided to resign with the Nets. Williams signed a five-year contract worth $98 million. He chose the Nets over his home town team,the Mavericks. He should now be the cornerstone to the team that Mikhail Prokhorov had envisaged building when he bought controlling shares to the Nets in 2010. Teaming him up with Gerald Wallace,Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez provides a lethal combination for a new force in the east. Dwight Howard dreams may still be realised if Prokhorov is ready to pay luxury tax.
Jason Kidd spurns Dallas to join the Knicks
Jason Kidd’s inclusion in the Knick’s roster makes them an instant contender. The Eastern Conference is becoming ever increasing with the emergence of the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks will hope that Kidd will bring his leadership qualities to the talented yet dis-functional team. Kidd will bring his calming influence and Championship winning attitude and caliber to the Knicks organisation. Knicks GM, Donnie Walsh will be counting on Kidd to the turn the tables, be the missing ingredient, the pivot around which the talents of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire and Tyson Chandler would flourish to bring the title to New York.
Gerald Wallace & Joe Johnson go Brooklyn
The Deron Williams signing basically happened due to him getting convinced of the rebuilding plan at Brooklyn. The Nets acquired Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange of Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson as well as forwards Jordan Williams and Johan Petro, along with a lottery-protected 2013 first-round pick, the Nets had acquired from the Houston Rockets. Johnson is 31 and would produce a major dent in the Nets cap space as he is to make $20million next year. He though provides much necessary wing help that Deron Williams was seeking.
Gerald Wallance also re-signed with the nets in a 4yr deal worth $40million. Wallace’s production has declined over the past couple of years. It will also be interesting to see if Wallace is moved as a piece of any Dwight Howard deal in the future.
The return of Brandon Roy
When fit Brandon Roy is the third best shooting guard in the league. Six surgeries later, his knees were with a bone-on-bone condition, the knife eventually taking away all of the cartilage. So the word ‘fit’ doesn’t accompany Roy. It remains to be seen what impact Roy has on the Wolves and how much pressure he can take away from the core of Love, Rubio and Pekovic.
Roy was amnestied by the Blazers at the beginning of last year, while on a $68 million contract. No one picked Roy off waivers as it was recommended in December 2011 by his doctor that he should stop playing or else risk long-term issues with his knees. The return of Brandon Roy was treated with great euphoria from players, ex-payers and media personalities. No greater prodigious player has been dealt such a big blow as Roy was. The NBA was never the same without this former three time All-Star.
Lamar Odom comes back to LA
Lamar Odom’s basketball life came round a full circle as he came back back to the team that had initially drafted him. In between the years of being associated with the Clippers, Odom enjoyed successful spells at the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers where he went on to win 2 championships. He moved from the Lakers to Dallas under not so amicable circumstances and had his most dismal season till date. His switch back LA might re-ignite the Odom of Old. He comes back to the Clippers with the aim of helping Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to the ring.
Celtics gear up for another challenge
The Celtics’ biggest move of the off-season was the retention of their star forward, Kevin Garnett to a new 3 yr deal. With Ray Allen most probably on his way out, the Boston Celtics have agreed principally on a deal with former Dallas Maverick guard, Jason Terry for a three-year deal worth $15-million. Jason Terry is really underappreciated for his part in Dallas’s all conquering season a year ago. He will provide fresh ammunition for Boston’s assault on the title.
NBA’s moratorium on free agent signings is to be lifted on July 11 for any deal to be finalized. So a lot many deals are still up in the air. Teams who have already proposed qualifying offers to restricted free agents on their rosters will have 3 days to match any offer sheet signed by him.