Good morning, Boston Celtics fans!
Welcome to July, and welcome to free agency!
As of midnight this morning, could begin negotiating, but no one can sign a contract until July 10 – thank you, NBA! Ten full days of rumors, speculation, and LeBron James / Carmelo Anthony adulation!
It’s 12:01 on the East Coast… NBA free agency is officially underway! pic.twitter.com/AcMjHJMMJi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2014
What a surprise – ESPN includes pictures of four players, and three just happen to play for the Heat. The only team in the NBA worth caring about, ya know! Let’s get you started out slowly with this “NBA Free Agency For Dummies”-style piece by the Associated Press:
Attention, shoppers! Free agency in the NBA is open, and LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are available. Players and teams could begin negotiating just past midnight EDT on Tuesday morning, though contracts can’t be signed until July 10, after next season’s salary cap has been set.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who joined together in Miami in 2010 and have led the Heat to two championships and four straight NBA Finals, all became free agents. Though many expect that trio to stay with the Heat, Anthony could be persuaded to leave the New York Knicks for a team he believes gives him a better chance to compete for a championship. He was visiting Chicago on Tuesday, and Houston and Dallas also could try to pry the 2012-13 scoring champion away from the Knicks, who can pay him around $30 million more than any team under NBA rules.
Longtime stars Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol also are free agents, along with players such as Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Indiana’s Lance Stephenson, who are coming off their best seasons in the league. It’s the most anticipated free agency class since 2010, when James led a class that included Wade, Bosh, and other All-Stars such as Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson.
For those of you with a lot of free time on your hands the next few days, you might want to keep Sekou Smith’s Live Blog open in a browser. I know I will, as along as I am at a computer. Or perhaps you just want a convenient timeline of NBA-related Tweets? Hoops Hype to the rescue! They don’t call him Trade Danny for nothing! Read here to see what options Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics have as free agency gets under way. For those of you who are more interested in the players that Boston Celtics currently have, instead of the ones the team wants to have, the team introduced Marcus Smart and James Young Monday – here’s a snippet:
From the beginning of the press conference, Marcus Smart said all the right things. In his first sentence, he said he will be “willing to do whatever it takes to shut down my opponent or at least try.” He later heaped praise on Brad Stevens, pointed out an empty 18th banner as motivation to win a championship, lauded Rajon Rondo as “the ultra competitor” and said he teared up while learning everything Boston sports teams meant to the city during last year’s Marathon Bombing.
Young said all the right things, too, but Smart reached rare levels of praise-dispatching that his fellow draft pick could not match. As the the press conference continued, Smart used more creative ways to show respect for his new organization. He even used a question about winning the U-19 world championship as an opportunity to discuss Celtic Pride.
Excellent! Finally, I’ll close today with the biggest WTF moment of this NBA offseason:
Is there a bigger DB in professional basketball than Jason Kidd? Hate to say it, Bucks fans, but I hope your team doesn’t win a single game this year. You deserve better.
Keep tuning into us all day and on Twitter @houdiniceltics – let the games begin!