July 4, 2007

More free agent news!

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Only this time it’s the NBA we’re talking about. While deals can’t be officially announced or finalized until July 11, plenty of action is still taking place on the front lines with GMs scrambling to find the missing pieces to championship hopes, or even just stop-gap replacements for the departed.

The Raptors kicked everything off by agreeing to a four-year, $24 M deal with sharpshooter Jason Kapono. If anything, this move should signify the end of the MoPete era in Toronto. Also, don’t you think that’s a bit high of a price for someone with only one real skill?

According to one source, Chauncey Billups had agreed to stay in Detroit for the next five years to the tune of $60 M. The fifth year would be a team option. Then, a mere after the report hit the wire, Billups’ agent came out saying that the news of the deal was “a vicious rumour.” That may be a bit of an over-statement but, it’s not like Chauncey was seriously going to anywhere anyway. Would he really?

Interesting fact: Chauncey Billups was the first ever Raptors point guard to dunk. You learn something new every day.

Rashard Lewis has packed his bags and apparently has no desire to play with rookie phenom Kevin Durant as well as the number five pick, Jeff Green, in Seattle. It was announced yesterday that Lewis will sign a max contract in Orlando but this isn’t too much of news as it was widely speculated as his destination. The real shocking news from the land of Epcot is that the Magic have removed their qualifying offer from Darko; this means that the former number two pick (over Wade, Bosh, Melo and others) will become an unrestricted free agent. The sad news is that only three teams have the amount of cap-space to take him in, unless he’s willing to settle for a team’s mid-level exception. Poor Darko.

Vince Carter and his faulty heart will be staying in the swamp. My guess is that he’s waiting for Jay-Z to move the team to NYC and become a hot-bed for players. Either that or he was too lazy to go look for another team to sulk around on.

With the Kobe and KG sagas still around as well as Phoenix’s desire to get out of the luxury tax, there could still be some big moves on the horizon. I’m personally waiting for Darko’s decision.

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