Roundup of activity from the busy first night of free agency
The first few hours of free agency get wilder than a Las Vegas pool party — every team who has interest in a player brazenly makes calls if not outright shows up on their door steps. Usually it takes a few days at least for deals to be sealed — outside of the obvious ones with mutual interest — but teams start the process in the first hours.
Here is a wrap up of what went down when free agency opened (it’s not a complete list, but it will get you started for a Tuesday morning).
• Kyrie Irving agreed to a five-year, $90 million extension with the Cavaliers.
• Just a reminder that Carmelo Anthony meets with the Bulls Tuesday, the Rockets and Mavericks Wednesday, and the Lakers Thursday. As of now he has no other meetings scheduled. He has said he wants to make a decision early next week.
• Just how busy is the first night of free agency? Mark Cuban said he and the Mavericks made 20 calls to touch base with players they are interested in.
• One of the most active teams according to reports was the Lakers (they have a lot of roster space to fill). They reportedly reached out to, among others, LeBron James (no meeting yet), Carmelo Anthony (meeting Thursday, but more likely a courtesy than anything else), Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas and Chandler Parsons, as well as their own free agents Nick Young and Jodie Meeks. There may have been others. However, until the Lakers land a superstar like LeBron or ‘Melo they will only offer one- or two-year contracts, which is going to limit who they can actually attract. They called Kent Bazemore again, they can get him on that kind of deal.
• Speaking of Pau Gasol other teams that reached out to him besides the Lakers were the Mavericks, Bulls and Warriors. Gasol expects to let the Miami and Carmelo Anthony situations play out then see what teams make him offers. He’s going to be patient.
• Luol Deng has a lot of teams queuing up for his services, at the front of the line are the Heat, Hawks, Clippers and Mavericks. Like Gasol, he likely is in the green room until after the Miami/'Melo situation plays out.
• Paul Pierce has a lot of options as well: Brooklyn wants him back but Doc Rivers and the Clippers are making a big push (they need a three, Jared Dudley did not exactly pan out in that role). Other teams who called Pierce are reportedly Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks and Rockets. The Nets plan to let the market set the price for Pierce then see if they want to match.
• The Kings want to keep Isaiah Thomas but it’s not going to be easy, as we told you a number of teams have interest including the Pistons, Mavericks and Lakers. Boston also reached out to him already.
• Spencer Hawes was contacted by the Cavaliers (coach David Blatt wants a big who can space the floor as he had in Europe) as well as Portland.
• Trevor Ariza has Wizards coach Randy Wittman about to arrive in Los Angeles to pitch him about staying in our nation’s capital right after midnight. Ariza got a lot of other phone calls including Phoenix, Miami, Dallas, Utah, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Clippers.
• Dallas called Chandler Parsons, the Rockets restricted free agent. The Rockets want to keep him, but the Parsons sweepstakes will heat up when Carmelo Anthony makes a decision and teams that miss out will start to look at their other options, including Parsons. Other teams that called Parsons include the Lakers, Bulls and Timberwolves.
• Brooklyn free agent point guard Shaun Livingston got calls from Sacramento, Charlotte, Minnesota, Orlando and San Antonio. Brooklyn is likely to lose him because being so far over the luxury tax line they are limited in what they can offer here.
• The Pacers pitched Lance Stephenson with a movie about his journey to the NBA and the Pacers. It may have been a nice start, but now they get down to the money.
• The Spurs want to keep him but the Blazer may make a run at Boris Diaw.
• Speaking of what the Blazers want it’s a stretch big so they are looking at Spencer Hawes and Josh McRoberts, too.
• I wouldn’t expect Mike Miller to leave the Grizzlies.