We’re just under 12 hours away from the start of NBA free agency. 12:01 am ET, that magical moment when teams can start meeting with players and if they’re really feeling it, they can start showing up at dude’s houses, hotels, or wherever they can find them with PowerPoint presentations and giant stacks of cash.
Given the way the first few weeks of the offseason have gone, it feels like the next few days should be absolutely electric and I’m going to be just sitting here, mainlining tweets and reports about who’s meeting where.
But honestly, I’m preparing myself for a letdown. There’s no way the NBA can keep up this drama, right? There was the Paul George announcement, the trade of Jimmy Butler, the trade of Chris Paul, and then Jimmy Butler arriving in Minnesota and dropping his digits for the haters to call him. And he wasn’t joking. Check this video he posted on Instagram. He wasn’t just taking voicemails, he was taking FaceTime calls.
That’s Butler, on a plane, and on FaceTime with the caption: “taking all calls and y’all thought it was a game.”
If that truly is just a random guy he’s FaceTiming that’s one of the greatest and most insane moments in NBA history. What a time to be alive.
And speaking of time, the clock is ticking ever closer to the start of free agency. So what does that mean? Well, for Blake Griffin, it reportedly means that he’ll be meeting with the Suns tomorrow. The Suns could offer him 4 years, $130 mill and the opportunity to play with Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, and Josh Jackson. The Clippers can offer him an extra year and an extra 45 mill, though. The question is, whether they want to make that offer. And if they do, would he take it? If not, they’re in a full-blown rebuild and although Doc Rivers says he’d be open to it, you have to wonder. And for the last time, the Clippers didn’t get rid of Chris Paul, Paul got rid of the Clippers.
The Miami Heat were the last team to meet with Kevin Durant last year, but they’re expected to be the first team to meet with Gordon Hayward. And you know the Celtics want in on that action.
Want a new point guard? Kyle Lowry might be the man for you. Need outside shooting, how’s J.J; Redick grab you? The Bulls, meanwhile, would reportedly like to trade Rajon Rondo by the end of today and if they can’t, they might just waive him to avoid paying him the full $13.4 mill on the final year of his deal which kicks in at midnight.
But quietly, there’s another player with serious impact who could be on the move. The Vertical reported yesterday that Golden State’s future luxury tax could be a concern for Warriors ownership when it comes to re-signing Andre Iguodala, that other teams know that, they’re interested, and that he’ll start fielding offers at midnight. That would be big.
Not just because it could potentially mean that the Warriors would lose the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, the guy who was a monster in the clinching game this year, and is a great piece of the Warriors organization. But also it’s also significant for what it says about the future of the Warriors – that there isn’t a bottomless bank account to pay everyone and pay the luxury tax hits that come along with it, especially when Klay Thompson’s deal is up in 2019.
In the meantime, if you’re another NBA team and you’ve got cap space, you can do a lot worse than signing a guy who’s a 2-time NBA champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and an excellent two-way player. Yes, he’s 33, but the guy can still play. And bringing him in would hurt the Warriors, which is an added bonus. If you can’t beat the Warriors on the court, might as well try in free agency. And if no team can beat the Warriors right now, the luxury tax might take them down later.