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Free agency begins. (Updated 12:21 AM)



Didn't know I was going to be this frazzled at midnight on July 1, but here we are! As of 12:00, teams such as the Knicks are permitted to begin negotiations and reach verbal agreements with free agents. Because something derailed a trade for Andrea Bargnani Sunday night, that deal is now tied to the free agency process and the biggest thing going right now. It is:

- The Knicks and Raptors had agreed to a trade that sends Andrea Bargnani (two years, $22.3 million plus a trade kicker) to New York and Steve Novak (three years, $11 million), Marcus Camby (two years, $8.6 million partially guaranteed), a 2016 first round pick (which Denver has the right to swap), Oklahoma City's 2014 second-rounder, and a 2017 second-rounder to Toronto. Since the trade didn't get consummated before midnight, 2013 salaries go into effect, and the money switching hands is no longer balanced. Thus, the trade needs to be reconstructed, apparently with a slightly greater contribution from New York. As of now, it's expected the Knicks will achieve that by adding Earl Barron (I just typed this as "Earl Barroom" by accident, I swear) or Quentin Richardson to the deal. Either would require a minimum-salary sign-and-trade, which would in turn require consent from Richardson or Barron. The inclusion of Barron or Richardson would qualify as a free agent signing, so even if approved by both parties, it would delay the Bargnani deal until July 10 at the earliest.

There's that. That exists on top of the normal stuff we thought we'd be reading right now:

- J.R. Smith, a free agent whose early Bird rights (able to pay him a bit over $5 million a year) are owned by New York, will meet with the Knicks along with his family, presumably at midnight.

- The Knicks reportedly have interest in Aaron Brooks and Carlos Delfino, both of whom were released by the Rockets on Sunday. The interest in Brooks is apparently mutual. No word on whether Charles Dolphin likes the Knicks.

- The Knicks reportedly have interest in Tony Allen, who is meeting with the Grizzlies to open free agency.

Any of the above people could be paid with a veteran's minimum contract or part of the taxpayer's MLE, though the latter would likely be needed to bring back restricted free agents Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni. The former will hear from other teams, and the latter might, too.

This is how things are now! Check this post, this stream and/or the front page for updates.

Update (12:12 AM):

Update (12:17 AM):


Update (12:21 AM):

And the deal is...?