Day 1 of the NBA free agency period has wrapped up, with many more decisions looming.
Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin are off the board, and Kevin Durant is known to be going back to Golden State – even though in his case, no deal is in place quite yet. Jrue Holiday got a massive five-year deal, J.J. Redick got the biggest salary by far of his career to go to Philadelphia and Joe Ingles is staying in Utah.
At least $769 million worth of new deals have been struck, and most of that money has gone to guards. The run on small forwards and power forwards, for the most part, hasn’t even started yet.
With Curry sealed up back to Golden State (and with Durant presumably not looking anywhere else), the top player left on the market may be Gordon Hayward, who heard the sales pitch from Miami on Saturday, and will get to hear Boston’s offer on Sunday.
Indiana center Myles Turner was in Orlando on Friday night, awoke from a nap and saw the news.
His reaction: “Wow,” Turner said.
Seeing Paul George get traded by the Pacers didn’t surprise Turner, the talented youngster who essentially now becomes the face of the franchise. But seeing him get traded to Oklahoma City for former Gonzaga standout Domantas Sabonis did catch the 21-year-old Turner by surprise.
“The Thunder, of all people,” Turner said on NBA TV during the broadcast of Saturday’s Indiana-Orlando summer league game. “You hear the rumors of the Celtics, the Lakers, Cavs … it was surprising.”
The entire league expected George to be on the move after he informed the Pacers of his plans to leave as a free agent next summer. That forced Kevin Pritchard, who was recently elevated to take over basketball operations after Larry Bird’s abrupt resignation, to find a trade before losing him for nothing.
“The future’s here,” the 6-foot-11 Turner said.
Gordon Hayward is saying hello to Miami.
Ricky Rubio is saying farewell to Minnesota.
Hayward’s meeting with the Heat started Saturday morning at the team’s arena, where signage showing Hayward in a Miami uniform was displayed outside the arena and caught the attention of many fans.
A number of Heat players and staff were involved in the welcome to Hayward, including Hassan Whiteside and captain Udonis Haslem. Assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Juwan Howard were not with the Heat summer league team in Orlando for the start of play there, remaining back in Miami to be part of the Hayward pitch.
Rubio, meanwhile, posted a message on his social media accounts thanking Minnesota for his time there. The Timberwolves traded him to the Utah Jazz on Friday, a move that could have some effect on Hayward’s looming free-agent decision.
Rubio paid tribute to late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, and added “I didn’t know much about Minnesota, and now I’m proud to call it home.”
Point guards are cashing in so far in NBA free agency – and Day 1 is still a long, long way from complete.
Stephen Curry got $201 million from Golden State, Jrue Holiday got $126 million from New Orleans, Jeff Teague $57 million from Minnesota, Patty Mills $50 million from San Antonio and Shaun Livingston $24 million from the Warriors on Saturday.
Add that up, and that’s nearly a half-billion dollars in commitments to those five point guards alone.
And that doesn’t take into account the $168 million, four-year extension offer John Wall is considering from Washington.
Nor does that factor in the maneuvering Houston pulled off earlier this week, swinging six trades to land All-Star Chris Paul in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Among the top point guards still available, at least for now: Kyle Lowry, Derrick Rose and George Hill.
Jrue Holiday has agreed to terms on a new five-year, $126 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, who kept the point guard they wanted to initiate offense for All-Star big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Agent Jason Glushon said early Saturday that the final year of the deal is at Holiday’s option, adding that incentives could push the contract’s total value to $150 million.
ESPN first reported that the Pelicans and Holiday had a deal.
Holiday averaged 15.4 points in 67 games with the Pelicans last season. In eight NBA seasons in Philadelphia and New Orleans, Holiday has averaged 14.3 points and 6.2 assists.
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