The 2014 free agency is officially a day old and as predicted it was all about Carmelo Anthony’s trips to hear the pitches of various teams. However, there were other notable free agents who made a decision for the future.
Here’s the top news from first 24 hours of free agency:
Shaun Livingston signs three-year deal with Golden State Warriors
Guard Shaun Livingston and the Golden Stat Warriors agreed to sign a three-year 16 million dollar deal once the NBA’s moratorium of July 10th passes because teams can’t sign new free agents up until then. General Manager of the Warriors Bob Myers could not comment a lot but did make a statement:
"We intend to enter into a player contract with Shaun Livingston once the moratorium period ends."
The versatile 6’7” guard Livingston will come off the bench and replace Stephen Curry on the court when the All-Star guard is taking a breather. Quite clearly this move was to strengthen the Golden State bench which was a worry since Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland last summer. Over the course of last season, the Warriors had three players who came off the bench to fill in Curry’s role- Toney Douglas, Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake. While Douglas was shipped to Miami to acquire Crawford, Blake was received from the Lakers during the mid-season trade deadline and now neither Crawford nor Blake are expected to return.
Livingston averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists with the Brooklyn Nets last season. Due to a severe knee injury, his early days in the league were a struggle but he worked his way through and turned into an important player in the Nets’ rotation. Drafted 4th overall in the 2004 Draft after skipping college, with the Warriors Livingston will play with his ninth team in his professional career.
Detroit Pistons and Jodi Meeks agree to sign contract
The first major move by the Pistons since they hired Stan Van Gundy as their General Manager and Head Coach. The Detroit franchise and Jodi Meeks agreed to sign a 3 year deal worth $19.5 million post NBA’s moratorium of July 10th.
Meeks averaged a career high of 15.7 points with the Lakers last season, and was also the highest scorer in the team with 1,209. After being drafted by Milwaukee in 2009, he was traded to Philadelphia in the same season where he played three years before the Lakers picked him up as a free agent in 2012. Meeks averages 9.7 points a game over his five season career.
This comes as the first move in a series of moves expected by the Pistons, a team who haven’t made it to the Playoffs since 2009. Detroit also announced early Tuesday morning that George David, their assistant general manager had stepped down from his post.
Wizards and Martin Gortat agree to five-year contract extension
Washington Wizards acquired Marcin Gortat to replace an injured Emeka Okafor at the start of last season and after his productive season with the team nearly averaging a double-double of 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds, the team has fulfilled their desire to re-sign the center.
Gortat and the franchise reached a verbal agreement on a five-year contract extension starting from 2014 worth $60 million in total. Gortat who had a good relationship with the team’s point guard John Wall will partner his starting frontcourt partner for another two seasons till Nene Hilario’s contract with the team runs out in 2016.
His long term deal gives the Wizards a chance to continue building on their previous successful season which saw them exit in the second round of the Playoffs. The past season was very fruitful as the team not only recorded a winning regular season after 5 long years but also broke the 9 year wait for a Playoff series victory, with their 4-1 first round victory over the Chicago Bulls.Published 02 Jul 2014, 13:49 IST