The big story is that James Posey, who was one of the most coveted free agents is now off the market. The Hornets were willing to give Posey what he asked for, and that is a 4 year, $25 million contract. The Celtics weren't willing to go that 4th year. Now that Posey is off the market, there may be more signings as the teams who were holding out and hoping to land Posey will now go to plan B and look to make a deal. This does seem to make both Chris Anderson and Janero Pargo a bit more available with their MLE wrapped up in Posey, the most they can offer is the league minimum. At least Posey didn't go to the Lakers. I don't think I could have stomached seeing him hugging Kobe before every game. With Posey off the table, the Celtics may attempt to re-sign one of their own free agents, Tony Allen. Allen's agent, Mike Higgins, said yesterday he expects the Celtics to make his client an offer. The Celtics also have swingmen J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker, both of whom are unsigned and although there were rumors that the Celtics might try to stash Walker overseas for a year, the loss of Posey may give him an opportunity to contribute right away. Ainge said that one player wouldn't replace Posey but rather that he would be replaced by committee and that he didn't have a free agent in mind.
"We go to the next options," said Ainge, who might consider adding another big man. "We're not going to sign one player that is going to replace James Posey. We're going to do it in a different way and different fashion. We are going to reallocate our dollars in different ways."
That big man may be Chris Andersen, who the Celtics showed interest in earlier. Andersen has been mentioned in rumors that Denver may be interested as well. I would love to have the Birdman in Boston. Bill Ingram of Hoopsworld reported that the Boston Celtics offered James Posey in a sign-and-trade deal to try to land land Billy Ron Artest. I don't know how much I believe that because this same Bill Ingram reported on Monday that Posey would be announcing his signing in 24 hours and was expected to re-sign with the Celtics. On the other hand, Danny made a run at Posey when the Pacers were trying to trade him and may try to get in on the bidding for him now that the Kings seem ready to move him again. The Mavs and Lakers are both making a pitch for him but to get him, it would seem that any team would have to take Kenny Thomas and his contract as well and I don't think the Celtics would want to do that.
After weeks of saying that he was deciding between Boston and Phoenix and then skipping out on a physical in Miami on Monday, and going back to saying that it was between Boston and Phoenix, Tyronn Lue signed a one year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks worth between 2 and 2.5 million. The Celtics and Suns were both offering one year minimum contracts and the Bucks obviously were willing to offer more. So, the Celtics lost 2 free agents at the top of their list on the same day. This could get depressing.
With their top free agent target off the market, the Suns are looking elsewhere for point guard help. Reports are that they are interested in Sam Cassell, Shaun Livingston and Jason Williams. Williams is good friends with Suns center Shaquille O'Neal and Cassell is a former Sun. The Suns can only offer the league minimum and so are hoping that they will find a player willing to sign for the minimum.
Not only have the Celtics not been able to land their free agent targets, they haven't been able to reach an agreement with their first round draft pick, JR Giddens. As a few more of the remaining first-round picks signed their three-year guaranteed deals yesterday, which for the most part are based on their draft position, J.R. Giddens remained unsigned with no resolution of the situation in sight. Danny Ainge said that they haven't had any conversations and that the Celtics are concentrating on other things right now like letting James Posey get away. Giddens has the same agent as Posey and House. He was also Mark Blount's agent. I really am getting to dislike this guy.
On the day that they lost James Posey to New Orleans, the Celtics made the signing of Patrick O'Bryant official. O'Bryant, a 7'0", 249lbs center, has appeared in 40 career games for the Golden State Warriors posting averages of 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. O'Bryant is scheduled to meet the Boston media in Waltham on Thursday morning at The Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint at 11:30 a.m.
One team that was hoping to land Posey made a move on Wednesday as the Cavs signed Daniel Gibson to a 5 year deal. With Gibson safely in the fold, the Cavs will turn their attention to trying to re-sign Delonte West and they hope to come to an agreement with him soon as well. Delonte is a restricted free agent so the Cavs could match any offer he might get from another team.
The Raptors made another move as they announced Wednesday they have signed guard Roko Ukic to a three-year contract. Ukic was a second-round selection (41st overall) by the Raptors in the 2005 NBA Draft. Ukic, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, played in Italy last season with Lottomatica Virtus Roma. He averaged career highs of 11.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 19 Euroleague contests.
The Star Tribune reports that the Timberwolves have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Craig Smith. The Wolves have not yet signed restricted free agents Ryan Gomes and several teams have been pursuing Gomes. Teams such as Cleveland could intensify their pursuit now that Boston free agent James Posey has signed with New Orleans. Gomes' agent likely is eyeing the full mid-level exception of $5.6 million for next season. If Gomes signs with another team, the Wolves have seven days to match the offer or let Gomes go. Many Celtics fans have hopes of seeing Gomes in Celtics green again but it is doubtful that Danny will offer the full MLE to get him. The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that Marcus Camby was blindsided, distraught, disrespected and insulted by the trade that sent him from the Nuggets to the Clippers for a second round draft pick. The Nuggets are considering Chris Anderson as a replacement for Camby.
Bull's restricted free agent Luol Deng's options are limited after the Clippers' trade for Marcus Camby. The Clippers with their cap space were considered a possibility for Deng, but Camby's salary will use up a large portion of that space. Only the Grizzlies have conserable cap space but are in cost cutting mode and are unlikely to look to sign a free agent for big bucks. This leaves three options for Deng: hit on a long-term extension with the Bulls, sign a one-year tender offer and become an unrestricted free agent in 2009, or convince the Bulls to execute a sign-and-trade. It was reported at the time that the hold up on a Kobe or a KG trade was the fact that the Bulls did not want to include Deng. If they can't come to an agreement, they may have passed up two big opportunities for nothing.
According to a source close to Dallas, the Mavericks offered 14th year swingman Jerry Stackhouse and fourth-year forward Brandon Bass for Kings small forward Ron Artest. The Kings are not expected to entertain the offer if it doesn't include Dallas small forward Josh Howard, but the inquiry certainly reveals the level of the Mavs' interest. According to the source, Howard does not appear to be available.