Posted on July 1, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Free agency in the NBA in the NBA has to be the most interesting of all the professional sports. With the dollar amounts that are thrown around, trades executed, and marquee players switching teams, free agency can be pretty darn exciting.
If all the action that went down in the hours before free agency began is any indication, NBA fans are in for an exciting off-season.
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The headliner, of course, is the trade between the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. After an endless amount of speculation involving several teams, the Pacers have found a deal for Paul George they can live with accepting. Indiana is sending George to the Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Reports have had the Pacers asking for a king’s ransom for George. But since it is well-known that he wants to join the Lakers, no one wanted to pay it.
The move should make Russell Westbrook happy and the Thunder much more competitive next season. Enough to take down the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors? That remains to be seen and depends on what happens to their respective rosters.
Vegas seems to think the trade improves the roster a little. The Thunder have now gone from having 60 to 1 odds to win it all next season to 40 to 1.
The Pacers and Thunder were not the only teams making moves Friday night. Minnesota continued their roster rebuild by trading away Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz for a protected first round pick (top-14). It appears that they will be replacing Rubio in the lineup with Indiana’s Jeff Teague.
Teague is expected to sign a three-year deal for $55 million.
While Teague’s rumored deal is nice, it pales in comparison to the one Blake Griffin is expected to sign. After telling the Los Angeles Clippers he would be opting out of his contract and testing free agency, it now appears that he will be signing a five-year, $173 million deal with the Clippers.
With Chris Paul moving on to the Houston Rockets, many did not expect Griffin to come back. His recent injury history made it an interesting move by the Clippers—especially at the price they paid to keep him.
As shocking as some of the moves were, the biggest shock involved the Washington Wizards and point guard John Wall. Even though he has two-years and $37 million left on his current deal, they offered him a four-year, $170 million ‘supermax’ extension.
But Wall is one of the best young point guards in the nation. How in the world is offering him a supermax extension surprising? Well, it isn’t. But the fact that he told the team he has to think about it–now that is surprising.
If he wanted to see what other moves the Wizards were going to make his reluctance would make sense. But apparently, he really wants to just ‘think about it.’
Crazy, right? But the fun has only just begun. Andre Iguodala is scheduled to meet with the San Antonio Spurs as well as the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. Rajon Rondo is looking for a new home as is Gordon Hayward, Zach Randolph, and Paul Milsap. Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Pau Gasol are expected to resign with their teams. But with how the league tends to roll when free agency opens up there is no telling what might happen.