Los Angeles Clippers sign SF Caron Butler to 3-year, $24 million contract
It was no secret that the Clippers were looking for an upgrade at small forward, and they found their man in Butler. He ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee and is coming off major surgery, but that happened nearly a year ago, so he should be back to full strength. Butler will provide Los Angeles with another perimeter to scorer to complement Eric Gordon on the wing and Blake Griffin inside.
Miami Heat sign SF Shane Battier
This is a huge addition for a Miami team needing to upgrade their talent off the bench and find players willing to succeed in their complementary roles to LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Battier is the consummate glue guy and will provide the Heat with a defender, winner, three-point shooter and terrific locker-room presence. Miami's goal is to win the NBA Title this season and signing Battier takes them one step closer to accomplishing that feat.
Detroit Pistons re-sign SF Tayshaun Prince to 4-year, $27 million contract
I thought for sure Prince was going to move on in his career and not want to return to a Pistons team that seems to be in rebuilding mode. Financially, this was probably the best deal he was going to get as other teams were reportedly offering him a shorter deal. Prince must be happy in Detroit; otherwise he wouldn't have signed this deal rather than taking less money from a contender.
Detroit Pistons re-sign F Jonas Jerebko to 4-year, $16 million contract
Jerebko missed all of last season with injury but showed enough in his rookie season to warrant this type of contract extension. He is an energy player who can do multiple things on the floor and is worth the investment for Detroit.
Phoenix Suns sign SG Shannon Brown to 1-year, $3.5 million contract
The Suns were looking for a shooting guard since declining the option on Vince Carter's contract and found a cheap, 1-year deal with Brown. Brown will compete for playing time with Josh Childress and Mickael Pietrus and could end up winning a starting spot. With Aaron Brooks trapped in China, Brown will also be able to serve as the backup point guard to Steve Nash.
Portland Blazers re-sign C Greg Oden to 1-year, $8.9 million contract
This is Oden ultimately opting to accept the qualifying offer on the final year of his rookie contract, and is not surprising at all. It was doubtful that any team was going to try and steal him away with a long-term deal since the big man has been riddled with injury since arriving in the league. Oden now has one year to prove he is healthy and be a contributor in Portland.
Atlanta Hawks sign G/F Tracy McGrady to 1-year deal worth league minimum
For a Hawks team that is massively over the cap and losing their sixth man, Jamal Crawford, this deal makes a lot of sense. McGrady had a rejuvenation of his career last season, showing he was healthy and still had some gas left in the tank. He will ultimately replace Crawford as the team's top reserve on the wing and comes at a cheap rate.
Milwaukee Bucks sign SF Mike Dunleavy to 2-year, $7.5 million contract
In trading Corey Maggette and having Chris Douglas-Roberts and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as free agents, the Bucks were searching for a veteran small forward. Dunleavy is still a serviceable player at this point of his career, but injuries are always a concern, since he has only played more than 70 games once in the past five seasons. Dunleavy will likely serve as Carlos Delfino's backup until first-round pick Tobias Harris is ready to be a contributor at the NBA level.
Los Angeles Lakers sign SG Jason Kapono to 1-year deal worth league minimum
The Lakers did just lose Shannon Brown to Phoenix, so maybe Kapono can serve as a backup to Kobe Bryant. MAYBE. I wouldn't expect him to be a major contributor for L.A. this season.
My criteria for this mock is what I would do at each pick, not what I think will actually happen. I still try to tie the picks to reality as much as possible, but this far out, it just isn't realistic to try and make predictions. When the rumor mill really starts plugging away, I'll make some real guesses.