The Brooklyn Nets sign C Brook Lopez to a 4-year, $61 million extension
HAHAHAHAHAHA .... I think it's a joke that several teams were actually willing to offer Lopez max money. By agreeing to a long-term deal with Brooklyn, Lopez provides the Nets with a scoring presence inside to complement their Semi-Big Three on the wing: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace.
However, re-signing Lopez means Brooklyn now has four players under contract for the next four years who will take up the team's entire cap space; giving the Nets little to no flexibility in free agency moving forward. That's not exactly good management for a core that will be lucky to be in the top five of the Eastern Conference.
This deal also ends Brooklyn's pursuit of Dwight Howard for now, since Lopez can't be dealt until January 15th under new CBA rules.
The Houston Rockets amnesty PF Luis Scola
OK, I know Scola was set to make around $30 million over the next three years, but Houston couldn't find a way to trade him and net some assets in return? I find that impossible to believe.
The Rockets are obviously heading towards a rebuilding effort by trading Kyle Lowry and cutting loose Scola. That, or GM Daryl Morey thinks he actually has a chance to land Dwight Howard - somehow - and wanted to clear up cap space. Even if Houston wanted to save money for next offseason, why not keep Scola on the roster and then trade him for picks or just cut him next summer? I really don't get this move. At all.
The Dallas Mavericks sign C Chris Kaman to a 1-year, $8 million deal; amnesty Brendan Haywood
By amnestying Haywood, the Mavericks save nearly $38 million over the next four years and wash their hands of the terrible contract they signed him to just two summers ago. Signing Kaman to a 1-year deal allowed Dallas to make such a move and should also provide an upgrade in the middle from an offensive standpoint.
Only inking Kaman for one season also keeps the Mavericks well under the cap for next offseason, when they expect to be serious players in free agency and possibly makes runs at Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Josh Smith, or Andrew Bynum.
The Milwaukee Bucks re-sign PF Ersan Ilyasova to a 5-year, $45 million deal
Ilyasova parlayed a career year into an insane 5-year, $45 million contract to stay in Milwaukee. Congrats, Bucks ... you now have five power forwards on your roster: Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders and first-round pick John Henson. Throw Samuel Dalembert into the mix and it will be interesting how Scott Skiles decides to divvy up minutes in the frontcourt.
The one thing that Ilyasova can do that the other power forwards can't is stretch defenses due to his outside shooting. While he is only 25 years old, $45 million is a ridiculous amount to spend on him.
The Dallas Mavericks acquire PG Darren Collison and SG Dahntay Jones from the Indiana Pacers for C Ian Mahinmi
I thought drafting Miles Plumlee in the first round was going to be the dumbest thing the Pacers did this offseason, but giving away Collison for Mahinmi ranks right up there. For this to happen, Mahinmi had to agree to a sign-and-trade deal that earned him a 4-year, $16 million contract.
This is especially baffling because Indiana had enough room under its cap to sign Mahinmi without having to give up Collison. If the team really wanted to deal him, it should have been able to get better assets in return.
To summarize, the Pacers have given max money to Roy Hibbert, drafted Plumlee in the first round and gave up Collison for Mahinmi. That's a lot to spend on three centers. (In a somewhat related move, Indiana has reportedly signed D.J. Augustin to replace Collison as the backup point guard since New Orleans rescinded its qualifying offer to Augustin.)
As for Dallas, this is like stealing candy from a baby. Since the team lost Jason Kidd in free agency and was unable to sign Deron Williams or Steve Nash, the Mavericks needed a starting point guard, which they find in Collison. The cherry on top is that both Collison and Jones are in the final years of their contract, so this trade makes Dallas better for next season but doesn't hurt its future cap space. That will leave the Mavericks able to make a run at some marquee free agents next summer.
The Charlotte Bobcats sign PG Ramon Sessions to a 2-year contract
By rescinding their qualifying offer for Augustin and instead choosing to sign Ramon Sessions, the Bobcats swapped a decent NBA point guard for ... well, another decent NBA point guard. The terms of this deal have not been released yet, but Sessions doesn't really do much more for me than Augustin did. I'd rather see Kemba Walker get the bulk of playing time at the point.
The Miami Heat sign F Rashard Lewis to a 2-year, $2.8 million deal
The rich have gotten richer this offseason as the NBA Champs add another proven shooter on the perimeter. Lewis and Ray Allen will allow the Heat to stretch the floor even more next season, which will allow better driving lanes for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, or drive and kick opportunities to open, dangerous shooters.
Being signed for the league minimum is a far cry from the $23 million Lewis was scheduled to make this season before being waived by the Hornets. This is a quality pick up for Miami, especially if Mike Miller is forced to retire early.
The Philadelphia 76ers acquire SF Dorrell Wright and C Daryl Watkins; the Golden State Warriors acquire PG Jarrett Jack; and the New Orleans Hornets acquire PF Edin Bavcic as part of three-team trade
By getting rid of Jack, the Hornets clear more cap space to allow them to re-sign Eric Gordon and keep more cap flexibility. I'm not sure I like giving up Jack though, unless New Orleans really believes Austin Rivers can run the point this season. It's either Rivers or Greivis Vasquez.
Jack gives the Warriors another point guard, which they need to allow Stephen Curry spend more time playing off the ball. Wright was expendable since Golden State used its first-round pick on Harrison Barnes. The 76ers needed to find outside shooting help this offseason. which is Wright's strength.
By the way, Google image search Bavcic; he is one scary looking dude.
Nearly lost the faith last week after being convinced to bet on horrible teams like LA and Cleveland, but this week I have to say you're back Walt. It's not over yet (knock on wood) but Kansas City and Detroit were brilliant picks and after this week I'll almost be up as big as I was before last weekend's disaster. I know you were big on LA again this week, and they still might cover, but PLEASE remember poisonous teams and avoid betting them. I did the same with Jacksonville, LA, and SF this week despite favorable lines, you should do the same! Cheers!