Thursday, July 5, 2012

The NBA Free Agency Period Seems To Be Bipolar

The NBA free agency opened July 1st and by July 5th we have seen some interesting moves along with a couple of non-moves. While the official signing period does not open until July 11th offers are being tossed and accepted almost as quickly.

Looking at my Suns I am disappointed yet intrigued with the moves since the NBA Draft.

The big move was the sign and trade of Steve Nash to the Lakers. This was a surprise to me, I knew he was listening to offers with the most notable being Toronto, Knicks, Nets and Mavs but to be traded to the Lakers is like a dagger to the heart of every Suns’ fan.

Picking Kendall Marshall in the draft was the start to the drama of Steve Nash’s trade, but at least the Suns picked up two future First Round picks, two future Second Round picks and cash from the Lakers so at least this was a step towards rebuilding one of the oldest teams in the league.

Since the Nash trade was announced yesterday afternoon we have seen the Suns come to contract offer agreements with Michael Beasley of the Timberwolves, Goran Dragic of the Rockets (and ex-Sun) and Eric Gordon of the Hornets. Additionally it is expected that Grant Hill will follow Nash to the Lakers and Aaron Brooks may be heading to either Dallas or Houston in a free agency move.

Suddenly the Suns, one of the oldest teams has now become one of the younger teams. The starting lineup may look like this on Opening Day:

PG Goran Dragic (26 years old)

SG Eric Gordon (23 years old)

PF Channing Frye (29 years old) if his shoulder is healthy or Markieff Morris (22)

SF Michael Beasley (23 years old)

C Robin Lopez (24) or Marcin Gortat (28)

There could potentially be 4 starters under 25 and all 5 under 30 years old, which includes 3 lottery picks and a #15 pick. Three of the last 4 years the Suns have missed the playoffs, have the Suns suddenly become a playoff team without even playing a game yet with the current lineup.

On to the rest of the NBA:
A couple of non-moves that were pretty much certain before the free agency opened are Deron Williams with the Nets which almost seemed like a given once the team traded for SG Joe Johnson. Kevin Garnett re-signing with the Celtics, Chauncey Billups re-signed with the Clippers and Jameer Nelson re-signing with the Magic. It is also expected that Tim Duncan will re-sign in San Antonio.

The major moves; Nash to the Lakers in a sign and trade, Jason Kidd to the Knicks, Jeremy Lin to the Rockets, Jason Terry to the Celtics and Brandon Roy to the Timberwolves.

The final category is the unsigned, I cannot go through all of the free agents still available but I will hit on a couple of bigger names: Aaron Brooks (rumored to be looking at Dallas or Houston), Randy Foye, OJ Mayo, Raymond Felton and Kirk Hinrich.

The two (and a half) MAJOR players left undecided in this period of trades and free agency-

Dwight Howard, who has stated he wants to go to the Nets but with bringing on Johnson and re-signing Williams the Nets are in a tough position to even field a full team next season.

Ray Allen, who seems to be wanted by almost every team in need of a PG or a solid backup and this includes the Heat and Mavericks. With KG staying with the Celtics it is quite possible that he may return to Boston. Though I do want to bring up that LeBron seems almost certain that Allen will be in South beach next season that he tweeted a picture of Allen in a Heat uniform yesterday.

Pau Gasol, he has been named in so many trade rumors his head has to be spinning, while I am a lifelong Suns fan and have grown up disliking the Lakers I truly feel bad for him. I do not even want to go in to where he may end up next season because it is quite possible he could end up on any team if a trade suddenly goes down.

I want to add in an afterthought category, those players who are officially free agents but may never sign with another NBA team again:

Greg Oden- Two numbers come to mind- 24 years old but 4 knee surgeries

Gilbert Arenas- Agent 0, who is a University of Arizona product, is down to 2 options… retire or sign a deal for the veteran minimum with a team close to the Luxury Tax cap

Tracy McGrady- Rumor is that the Magic are considering McGrady to get Howard to re-consider staying in Orlando, if this does not happen he may be done or like Arenas look to sign with a Luxury Tax team for the vet minimum

Baron Davis- Having torn both the ACL and MCL may have ended his career. Following his May surgery he is expected to be out for at least one year recouping.

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