Eric Freeman

  • LaMarcus Aldridge solidifies Spurs' contender status, eases transition to future

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 hrs ago

    Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs, now quite clearly the biggest winners of the 2015 NBA free agency period. As reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, four-time All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will join the five-time champions on a four-year, $80-million contract with a player option for the final season. While the Portland Trail Blazers were expected to lose Aldridge, the Spurs beat out a host of suitors, including the de facto runner-up Phoenix Suns.

    Aldridge confirmed the news in a tweet Saturday:

    I'm happy to say I'm going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I'm excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.

    Put more bluntly, Aldridge was considered the top player on the free-agent market for good reason. He has consistently been one of the best scorers in the NBA, rebounds well, and plays a style that would have allowed any new team to depend on him without totally overhauling its system.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    - - - - - - -

  • Rajon Rondo gets a shot to rebuild his reputation with the ever-confusing Kings

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 18 hrs ago

    Rajon Rondo's 2015 free agency was always less about finding a long-term home than it was figuring out which NBA team allowed him the best chance to avoid taking a serious paycut while simultaneously finding a chance to rebuild his waning reputation. For the eternally enigmatic 29-year-old point guard, that pursuit almost assured that he was going to end up with the Sacramento Kings. As reported by Yahoo's Marc Spears, Rondo will join the Kings on a one-year, $10-million deal that frees him up to pursue new opportunities when the cap rises in 2016.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Kings fans, here is Rondo's shot chart from last season. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/hrhzNjoXAh

    It's a predictable move for a franchise that seems addicted to instant gratification. Perhaps the Kings will eventually learn that constructing a quality team requires more than chasing after one.

    - - - - - - -

  • Where do the Clippers go without DeAndre Jordan?

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 21 hrs ago

    The Los Angeles Clippers learned Friday that the line between contention and also-ran status can be all too thin. With dynamic center DeAndre Jordan on his way to the Dallas Mavericks on a four-year, max-level contract below the Clippers' own offer, the West's No. 3 seed, a team that looked like a potential title favorite for a few weeks in April and May, now has serious questions about its ability to defend anyone, let alone compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland Cavaliers. No team with stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will ever be seriously lacking, but the loss of Jordan puts the Clippers threatens to cap the Clippers' expectations for next season and beyond. Worse yet, it's not clear where they can turn for replacements and reinforcements.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Free-agent roundup: Day 2 brings Wade resolution and Aldridge adjustments

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    In case you missed these reports ...

    • The biggest news of the day found Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade, a surprise free agent after opting out of his contract Monday, coming back to the club at one year for $20 million. That's a hefty price for a 33-year-old guard without much three-point prowess, but Wade has sacrificed max-level money several times in the past for the good of the franchise. This deal also allows the Heat to avoid the public relations nightmare of offering the best player in franchise history (adjusted for seasons played, at least) a relatively low salary while still keeping them in play to add free agent Kevin Durant next summer.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Several more Wednesday's deals are worthy of attention.

    Suns clear cap space, break up Morris twins

    Elsewhere

  • Report: Wes Matthews to join Dallas Mavericks on four-year deal

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    One of the more intriguing situations of the 2015 free-agency season appears to be near a resolution. David Aldridge reported late Thursday night that injured unrestricted free agent shooting guard Wesley Matthews, most recently of the Portland Trail Blazers, has agreed in principle to a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN.com's Marc Stein added that the dollar amount will not be finalized until the Mavericks finish their attempts to sign power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center DeAndre Jordan, the latter of whom appears to have narrowed his choice to the Mavs and Los Angeles Clippers.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Free-agent roundup: Opening days don't get much more hectic

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    In case you missed these reports ...

    Well, then you missed one of the busiest days in the history of NBA offseasons. Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki said it best:

    Over/under of how many what the ... moments you had since free agency started! I say 10....

    After a relatively normal opening few hours in which several key free agents reached mostly expected agreements, the NBA exploded with a flurry of activity that started Wednesday morning and ended ... well, it probably hasn't yet, but we have to publish this article at some point. The deals came in rapid succession, so here's a brief rundown of the biggest ones to get you up to speed.

    Somehow, there were many more deals of note on Wednesday.

    The Kings flail yet again, hand Sixers more assets

    Pelicans keep Asik and Ajinca in the frontcourt

    Grizzlies land Brandan Wright, who could finally see real playing time

    Celtics hold onto, add yet more hustle-minded players

    OKC retains Singler for five years

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Warriors keep Draymond Green in a lucrative, necessary deal

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The loudest, most versatile member of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors is not going anywhere. In news that should surprise no one, restricted free agent Draymond Green will return to the Warriors for five years at approximately $85 million. The news was first reported by Yahoo's own Marc Spears, and Sam Amick of USA Today added that the new contract is fully guaranteed with no player or team options. Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group has since updated the figures to $82 million with a starting salary of $14.26 million.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Green celebrated the contract with a call to his mother:

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Paul Pierce gives Clippers another scoring option, championship pedigree

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Los Angeles Clippers entered this offseason with two clear priorities — re-sign center DeAndre Jordan and add a veteran small forward. While the former still needs to be achieved, Doc Rivers has already locked up his top option for the latter need.

    As reported by Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers have agreed to terms on a three-year, $10-million deal (including a third-year team option) with veteran wing and Los Angeles native Paul Pierce, who played under Rivers for nine seasons from 2004 until 2013 as a member of the Boston Celtics. The two won a championship together in 2008, and they will certainly hope to match that achievement alongside stars Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jordan, should he spurn the active pursuit of the Dallas Mavericks and others.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Report: Paul Millsap returns to Hawks for three years, $58 million

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    After losing starting wing DeMarre Carroll to the Toronto Raptors earlier Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks wasted little time in locking up their best available free agent for at least a few more seasons.

    As first reported by Shams Charania of RealGM.com, the Hawks will re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Paul Millsap, an All-Star in each of his first two campaigns with the club, for three seasons at a total of $58 million. David Aldridge of NBA.com added soon after that the third year of the deal will be a player option, which could free up the 30-year-old Millsap to sign one last big contract after the salary cap rises in the summer of 2016.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Millsap also expressed his excitement over the new deal on Twitter:

    - - - - - - -

  • Free-agent roundup: Opening hours bring few deals, more negotiations

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    In case you missed these reports ...

    The NBA's 2015 free agency period began at 12 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and several franchises wasted little time in locking up star players to long-term deals and pursuing many of the biggest names on this offseason's market. Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski reported the two biggest stories of the night — New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis agreed to a massive five-year, $145-million max-level extension to start in the 2016-17 season, while the San Antonio Spurs agreed in principle to a five-year, roughly $90-million max-level deal with 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

    Bucks don't wait to match, keep Middleton

    Plus, Milwaukee can now swiftly move on to other matters as the franchise attempts to build on last season's surprising playoff berth. It's hard to imagine a better start to July for the Bucks.

    Nets stay the course with Lopez and Young

    Elsewhere