As the clock struck midnight last night it signaled the start of the NBA free agent period. As I went to sleep last night I was expecting to wake up to a bunch of different happening overnight, however, when I woke up and checked the internet it seemed like it was a relatively quiet night.
Marc Stein of ESPN is doing a nice job of getting to the bottom of some of the teams’ focuses in free agents. Among his findings:
- Apparently the Pistons have slid Charlie Villanueva ahead of Hedo Turkoglu on their forward wish list that they wish to pair with Ben Gordon. Also in the fold of forwards would be Paul Milsap. The Pistons may be looking for a cheaper play especially since they have the added expense of hiring a new coach.
- The Cavaliers who are in desperate need of a mobile shooting power forward eyes must have lit up when Charlie Villanueva became available. They, however, can only offer the full midelvel exception (5.6 million) which slightly lower than the 7 or 8 million the Pistons can offer. The Cavs may have to settle for someone like Linas Kleiza to fill that need.
- Look for Oklahoma City to possibly throw an offer to Jazz restricted power forward Paul Millsap that the Jazz cannot match. If the Millsap deal works out for the Thunder, it would be huge in the growth of the team. Adding Millsap to their already young core would be a perfect fit and totally stabilizes their front line.
- Marcin Gortat could be declared the big winner of this off season. Gortat despite playing limited minutes behind Orlando’s Dwight Howard showed enough during the regular season and especially during this year’s playoffs to warrant interest. The Mavericks, Knicks, Pacers and Rockets are all teams that would like to see the Polish 7 footer in their uniform next season. The Rockets GM Daryl Morey actually setting up an email address ([email protected]) for fans to send in email which Gortat will read in an attempt to woo him. You got to love that.
- Rasheed Wallace is a major power player as a free agent this year. As Ric Bucher suggested Rasheed may play a large role in ultimately decided who is playing or winning the championship this season. All the teams with serious interest in him (Spurs, Celtics, Magic, Mavericks) have legitmate chances of winning the title already. Adding him to the mix would only help.
- Jason Kidd and the New York Knicks is apparently still very much a possibility. What’s interesting about the Kidd/Knicks case is this: The Knicks have set themselves up to offer a maximum contract to LeBron James in 2010, and feel Jason Kidd would be a good recruiter of LBJ. However, in order to get Jason Kidd they may need to offer him more than a one year deal, which would tap into their 2010 funds. Sort of a catch 22.
- Grant Hill who is 36 years old is looking at this next contract he signs as the last big contract he may ever get as a player and by all accounts that is correct. Hill much like Rasheed is a player that teams with a “win now” mentality, like the Nuggets or Celtics are seriously considering.
As of now that is the latest. The Sir Charles team though will try and keep you as updated as possible and offer up our reactions as quickly as possibe if things change.