At midnight, July 1, NBA teams were officially allowed to speak to free agents. Several deals have already been signed. See who is heading where below.
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With Dwight Howard off the market, Andrew Bynum suddenly found himself the most sought after player in free agency. The former two-time NBA Champion signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers after missing the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury.
The Cavs offered the former All-Star, a two-year, $24 million contract, but have only guaranteed one year and $6 million of the deal. The remaining $5.5 million of the first year is incentive based, and Cleveland hold a team option, worth $12.5 million for the second year in 2014-15.
It was a smart move by the Cavs when you consider Bynum’s injury riddled career and the rumors that he does not take his rehabilitation seriously. Holding the team option for the second year of the deal also leaves Cleveland with options and cap space for the bumper 2014 free agency class. Many sources report that the Cavs are already planning a run at prodigal son LeBron James in 2014. Plus, if Bynum can return to anything close to All-Star form, Anderson Varejao and his expiring deal could become a valuable trade asset.
The move also makes sense on the court. Cleveland are hoping to make the playoffs next season and a Kyrie Irving and Bynum one-two punch could be deadly in the weaker Eastern Conference.
Cleveland also added point guard Jarrett Jack on a four-year, $25 million deal. Jack will try and duplicate the impact he had for the Warriors last season when he was Stephen Curry’s backup. This season he will be supporting Irving and hoping to give the Cavs some scoring and leadership off the bench.
After missing out on Bynum, the Dallas Mavericks have signed former Milwaukee guard Monta Ellis to a three-year deal that could be worth up to $30 million depending on how Dallas’ salary cap takes shape as they finalise several deals.
Ellis joins a rejuvenated Mavericks backcourt, which also recently signed Devin Harris and Jose Calderon, and was in desperate need for some scoring punch after losing OJ Mayo and Darren Collison in free agency.
The Brooklyn Nets have added to their already impressive free agency campaign by signing Andrei Kirilenko from the Minnesota Timberwolves
The move has raised eyebrows around the league after Kirilenko opted out of a $10 million player option with the Wolves to sign for $3 million in Brooklyn. Couple that with the Nets already enormous payroll and many have been left questioning the worth of the new CBA agreement – which heavily punishes teams which breach the salary cap.
The Salary Cap for the 2013-14 NBA season has been set at $58.679 million and the tax threshold at $71.748 million. After the Kirilenko signing the Nets salary tops a whopping $102.967 million, and will cost them a staggering $85.34 million in luxury tax penalties.
After losing Howard to the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers responded by bringing in a quartet of new faces. Joining the Lakeshow next season will be centre Chris Kaman, for $3.1 million, guards Nick Young, $1.1 million, Wesley Johnson $1 million, and former fan favourite Jordan Farmar, $1 million.
The Lakers have been looking to cut salary in order to avoid the luxury tax and these small contracts, coupled with amnestying Metta World Peace, will help.
By only signing players to one-year deals the Lakers will enter the 2014-15 season with only have $10 million in committed salary, and primed for a run at a big name free agent.
The Detroit Pistons have added some reinforcements to their backcourt, signing 2004 finals hero Chauncey Billups on a two-year, $5 million contract, and re-signing Will Bynum to a two-year, $5.75 million deal.
The Birdman, Chris Anderson has re-signed with the Champion Miami Heat for $1.7 million, one-year deal. The Heat were able to get Anderson below market value thanks to the $4.36 million check the Denver Nuggets will be writing him after they amnestied him in 2012.
Marresse Speights inked a four-year, $26 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.
The Bucks have traded Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the Sacramento Kings for future draft picks.