Free Agency begins with a bang, Especially in Brooklyn
Midnight reared it's head and the madness known as NBA free agency began. Usually we expect to hear from the most watched, coveted players on the list starting to draw us in with their decision making process. Reading every quote, and studying every cryptic statement. Well that was pretty much taken care of to some degree, as the top guy in free agency All-star point guard Deron Williams made it clear from the start he was only choosing between two teams. In 2013 Williams will either be the face of the newly formed Brooklyn Nets, or another piece to the championship formula in Dallas with the Mavericks. He wants to make sure his NBA career is set before he starts his Team USA activities in Las Vegas and then London. If you think you know which team he'll choose, think again. Last night NBA insider Chris Broussard talked to Williams, and he expressed how torn he is over his choice. Which will most likely be made Monday.
If you thought the Nets turned down the spotlight level this easy, think again. Another elite player made his mark with his decision making or rather indecision making process during the early hours of July 1st. The funny thing is he isn't even a free agent. 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard who opted-in for just one more year with the Orlando Magic, recently met with newly appointed Magic GM Rob Hennigan and as a result of the meeting expressed his desire to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. This along with a Orlando Magic black mail allegation from Howard himself, has stirred up the NBA off season. The Howard vs Orlando drama has been cooking for some time now, and as ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard stated Howard had grown increasingly disgruntled with the Magic organization. GM Hennigan however is not in a rush to make a deal, and has reportedly began discussions. However talks are not definitive, and it looks like Brooklyn will most likely wait for Howard. How long of a wait is the question.
In other key off season stories, Celtics Forward Kevin Garnett dismissed all talks of retirement. The 17 year pro, agreed to a 3 year/34 million dollar deal with the Boston Celtics. This deal not only up lifts the team, but the city of Boston as well who feared the end of the big three. That scenario can still prove to be true, as free agent guard Ray Allen has yet to speak on which team he is leaning towards. The 16 year pro loves Boston, and the Celtic organization. However age and time could drive him to join the team many feel he may, in the 2012 NBA Champions Miami Heat. Heat President Pat Riley hasn't been shy about the fact that he is targeting Allen, and Finals MVP Lebron James expressed his hopes for the legendary scorer in a Heat uniform next season via Twitter. There is no doubt that the addition of Ray Allen to the Heat would greater improve chances of repeating, but his heart may still be in Boston.
In another key situation 2-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is a free agent. Teams such as the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, and several others have been pin pointed to be on Nash alert. Nash has stated joining a team for less money if it meant being on a Finals ready team is a possibility. However he has stated that money does have an impact in his decision making. How big of an impact ? I don't know. Before free agency began the Suns drafted in the point guard position, and are moving as if they are ready to move on. That could cement Nash's departure from Phoenix. But Nash is still talented, healthy enough to play at an elite level, and seeing old timers such as Jason Kidd (who is also among the free agents) get a ring before the end of his long career must certainly have been an inspiration.
As we continue to keep a close eye on the player movement in free agency, it can only get more exciting from here. There are many more free agents to keep tabs on such as Jeremy Lin, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, and many more. The NBA off season is now in full swing, and I will continue to bring coverage of free agency, and later on USA basketball.