The NBA’s free agent negotiation period opened last night at midnight, and while there has been a ton of talk, we are still waiting on the action. Free agents are allowed to verbally agree to contracts which can become official on July 10th. So far the deals are few, but the speculation is wide.
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The player the Pistons have been most closely linked to is Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Pistons are rumored to be offering in the 3 year 24 million range while other teams are said to be offering 6-7 million per season. Thomas, like the Pistons own Greg Monroe, is a restricted free agent, so the Kings would have the option to match if he signs an offer sheet. Some rumors have been thrown out about Josh Smith going to the Kings in a sign-and-trade for Thomas, and while that would be a great help to Detroit’s salary cap, it may be a long shot. The Celtics are also said to be making push for Thomas, and would consider sending Rajon Rondo back to the Kings in a sign-and-trade. Stay tuned, this one could get interesting.
The Pistons are also said to have significant interest in Trevor Ariza. Ariza has a host of suitors and could use a bidding war to grab a contract worth up to 10 million annually. The Pistons likely wouldn’t go that high, but things would get interesting if the Pistons lost Greg Monroe in free agency. His loss would open a good chunk of cap space as well as the power forward position, which could be filled by Josh Smith. This leaves a wide open small forward spot that Ariza could slot into nicely. A lot of moving parts with this one, as a well as a Washington Wizards squad that is actively trying to bring Ariza back.
Lastly, the Greg Monroe noise. The teams that have shown interest so far are Orlando, Portland, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Orlando is looking to sign Monroe to an offer sheet, while the rest could potentially be interested in a sign-and-trade. No numbers have been announced yet, but according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Monroe’s value is on the rise, and the contract should be substantial. We knew this was coming, and now it has.
The free agent market is slowly being felt out as the big stars work on their deals. Once the deals of superstars Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony get done the market will be set. The other free agents will begin to find new homes after that.
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