Less than 12 hours before the NBA free-agency period opens, Celtics Watch, Gordon Hayward Watch, and Knicks Front Office Watch have already commenced. Follow along with the rumors here, where we’ll be updating all day.
J.J. Redick Wants to Play With Chris Paul Again
Uggetti: The factions within the Clippers are beginning to distinguish themselves. After Paul power-moved his way onto the Houston Rockets, Austin Rivers conspiracies began to flourish, and even though Doc denied them all, it was both obvious and reported that he and Paul hadn’t been seeing eye-to-eye for a while.
Redick was all but gone from the Clippers even before CP3’s departure, but now, as Blake Griffin is set to visit other teams starting this weekend and DeAndre Jordan is likely somewhere in L.A. wondering where it all went wrong (it was when they locked you up in a house, DJ, that’s when), Redick seems intent on teaming up once again with CP3.
We don’t know if Paul is courting Redick, a deadly shooter who would certainly thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s system, or if Redick is merely interested in the promising situation without his former point guard’s approval or recommendation. Either way, it’s more of Daryl Morey trying to make his team better for next season, and Redick would certainly add to their arsenal. I guess this is one familiar face CP3 wouldn’t mind seeing again next season.
O’Shaughnessy: Iguodala does not have any meetings set up with his championship-winning team of four years as of Friday afternoon, Zach Lowe reported. But that "could change any minute," and both "sides are optimistic." (Iggy’s recent Twitter feed seems focused on other things, but Jay-Z’s 4:44 is to blame for that.)
Other franchises are reportedly interested in the 2015 Finals MVP, including the Timberwolves, Spurs, Clippers, 76ers, Magic, Nets, and Jazz. Some of those suitors can theoretically offer more money to the vet than Golden State can. Though, with Kevin Durant opting out and taking a $3.5 million pay cut, the Warriors don’t have to rescind Iggy’s Bird Rights — meaning, they can give a more compelling, albeit lesser, offer to their sixth man.
It originally seemed that it would be more appealing for Iguodala to stay than to seek a new situation. His focus, as he’s said before, is to "have a shot at winning titles." With the Warriors, he’s been part of the winningest three-year stretch in NBA history, and has won two rings. Returning seemed a near lock, but Chris Paul’s departure served as a reminder of the lesson we’ve been learning all year: Predictions are not guarantees.
The Brooklyn Nets are the NBA’s Most Efficient ATM
Uggetti: The Sixers have the Process. The Celtics have the Assets. The Warriors have the Championship. The Nets have the Money. As they have waded into years of residing in the cellar of the league following their disastrous trade with Boston, Brooklyn has made a living and a name in free agency by throwing copious amounts of money at restricted free agents. (Tyler Johnson, Allen Crabbe, Donatas Motiejunas all last year.) It’s a no-lose proposition for a team in an extensive rebuild, and this year, it appears they’re ready to spoil the market with some offer sheets once again.
Brooklyn has about $30 million in cap space right now, so it makes sense that they would go after the top restricted guys on the market like Otto Porter Jr., who is coming off his best season, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, an above-average perimeter defender. (Could Nerlens Noel also be a target?) By trading for D’Angelo Russell and targeting young, high-upside players in the draft and free agency, general manager Sean Marks has injected the Nets with a burgeoning identity. Restricted free agents looking for the second contract of their careers fit that description, and they’re easy to attain for a team with money and cap space like the Nets.
If the Wizards and Pistons want to match the incoming offer sheets, they’ll have to reach deep, like Challenger Deep deep, into their pockets.
New Orleans Wants to Keep Jrue Holiday
O’Shaughnessy: Holiday is about to be a paid Holiday, according to a Friday-morning report from Marc Stein indicating that teams previously interested in the point guard are now backing off. New Orleans is working to sign the 27-year-old to a "rich" five-year deal; it won’t be a maximum contract, but likely the best Holiday will be offered with his extensive injury history.
This past year for the Pelicans, Holiday averaged 15.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 67 games, the most he’s played in since 2013. He missed the season’s first 12 games, but this time, not for recurring ankle or leg issues: His wife, retired Team USA midfielder Lauren Holiday, underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor just a month after having a baby. Stein reports that the franchise’s early-season understanding of the situation strengthened Holiday’s bond with the team.
Alvin Gentry told the New Orleans Advocate earlier this week that he believes re-signing Holiday is the Pelicans’ free-agency key, in part explaining the push to finalize. "If we can get that done, which I think we will," Gentry said, "then I think we’ve got a heck of a player, and there are a few other guys I think we can add to the mix." Gentry meant on-court talent, but Holiday’s contract, which would be signed using the team’s Bird Rights, would also allow the front office to operate above the $99 million cap, granting them the flexibility of an $8.4 million midlevel exception.