Capela Saga Dominates Free-Agency
As the NBA Summer League enters its playoff tournament, free-agency continues to remain in the headlines with key signings.
With LeBron James going southern California, the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to remain relevant and avoid entering a rebuild phase just months from reaching the NBA Finals.
Channing Frye, who was traded from Cleveland to the Los Angeles Lakers last season, has agreed to return to the Cavaliers. He signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal Saturday.
Shabazz Napier, free-agent point guard, agreed to a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. Napier averaged 8.7 points in 20 minutes per game last season with the Portland Trailblazers.
Another move was made Saturday. Forward Jabari Parker decided to leave the Milwaukee Bucks and signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.
Parker was a restricted free-agent, but Milwaukee rescinded his qualifying offer.
Point guard Isaiah Thomas went from one of the best at his position to first name in trade talks over the last year. After finishing a strong year with the Boston Celtics during the 2016-17 season, including a deep playoff run which he led, he was traded to Cleveland for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Thomas spent most of the 2017-18 season recovering from hip surgery. When he returned, he was greeted with boo’s from Cavaliers fans and eventually traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where things didn’t improve for him.
With LeBron’s arrival to the Lakers, Thomas again found himself on the outside looking in. As a result, he agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum Thursday.
Thomas finished fifth in MVP voting in 2017.
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler turned down a four-year contract extension last week that was close to $100 million. The refusal, however, doesn’t mean that Butler is looking to sign elsewhere. If he has another All-star caliber season, he would be able to make more money next season as the league’s salary cap is expected to rise.
Free-agent guard Wayne Ellington re-signed with the Miami Heat for one-year, worth $6.27 million.
Other players who can make an impact are still available.
Restricted free-agent point guard Marcus Smart has yet to resign with the Boston Celtics. He recently met with two teams in Las Vegas and plans to meet with two more teams.
Center Clint Capela and the Houston Rockets remain deadlocked after Houston’s initial offer was turned down. The offer was in the four-year, $60 million range, but Capela is seeking a deal similar to the four-year $100 million contract center Steven Adams has with the Oklahoma City Thunder.