NBA Free Agency, And The Trade Deadline
A lot of NBA teams were not expecting a big time, splashy trade deadline. Teams didn’t want to take the risk of trading good veteran players to other teams to try and get superstar players and compete with teams like the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs, or the Cleveland Cavaliers. They all thought it was impossible no matter what you did, but now with the new blockbuster trade including DeMarcus Cousins everyone has hope. The Orlando Magic were not even close to coming near the playoffs this year, so they decided to trade Serge Ibaka to the Raptors for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round pick. Now the Raptors have a chance at competing with a injury plagued Cavs team in the Eastern Conference. Then Sacramento gave away DeMarcus Cousins and have no idea what their future holds for them. After the salary cap jumped 31 million dollars from 63 million last year, to 94 million dollars this year, franchises like the Warriors were able to create “super teams” with many superstar players on it. That will be harder to maintain now that the salary cap will not make a big jump next year, and players getting out of their rookie contracts will demand bigger and better contracts. On top of that, veteran players can ask for even more money than they used to ask for since the league raised the max contract that can be given to a player. In the offseason, a lot of teams have big cap space, more than we are used to seeing. That can cause a lot of competition between them to create new super teams, and the teams with super teams already will have a tough time juggling through their cap space in the off season and trying to keep their superstars at the same time. We had a lot of action already before the Thursday 3 p.m. deadline and i am sure we will see much more. The Boston Celtics have not been involved in trade talks recently over the year, and they have already missed out on Ibaka and Cousins. Their players are getting older and Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley’s contracts are expiring, and they will ask for more money when they are ready to renew their contracts. Boston has been in talks with the Clippers about Blake Griffin, who will be a free agent in the Summer, but a deal is very unlikely, without giving up a lot of players and picks. The same goes if they try and go after the likes of Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, or Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, and even if they do happen to get one of those players it will still be hard to rival a team with LeBron James on it. A team that wants to win now are the Los Angeles Clippers, the beginning of the season for them looked promising, until Blake Griffin went down and needed knee surgery and Chris Paul got injured as well. Also, three of their best four players are heading for free agency in the Summer, which is also bad news for the Clippers. They’ve been trying to get a deal for Carmelo Anthony without giving away one of their best players, but that is not working out right now. The Raptors and Wizards still want to add to their roster. The Raptors still have some draft picks of their own to offer and can free up a roster spot by waiving Jared Sullinger. The Wizards are still exploring the idea of trading for Lou Williams of the Lakers, for a couple of second round draft picks. These mid level teams have to fight hard if they want to be even close to contending for the title with teams like the Warriors or Cavs.