After a firestorm of free agent signings, most of the big names are already off the board. New York was unable to snare some of their more loudly rumored targets. Fred VanVleet and Gordon Hayward in specific. Guys like Danilo Gallinari, Davis Bertans, DJ Augustin and De’Anthony Melton never really entertained coming to town. No Santa Claus’, all grinches. No Hanukkah Harry’s, all Hanukkah Haman’s.
Gordon Hayward is Hornets-bound at $30 million per year— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 21, 2020
The strong lure of going home to Indiana and a persistent Knicks bid (led by Tom Thibodeau) could not override the splashiest spending of Michael Jordan's Charlotte ownership @NYTSports coverage: https://t.co/0vq3i4idkI https://t.co/q4x2LgjHCQ
The Hornets didn’t quite have enough cap space, and decided to waive and stretch Nic Batum’s $27m expiring contract over the next three seasons.
That essentially makes Hayward a $39m per year player. Hefty price tag, but I guess, whatever it takes for Michael Jordan to stick it to Danny Ainge works for me. Boston has been holding onto assets trying to come up on the right monumental trade that benefits only them and just has never been able to pull it off. So it’s funny to me that Jordan, who probably regrets not trading the Frank Kaminsky pick in 2015 to Ainge, and might also be smarting from signing Terry Rozier last year, was able to let the air out of this joke (Ainge).
Thats two consecutive off seasons where Boston loses max level free agents for nothing. After losing Kyrie Irving, the Celtics were able to sneak away with Kemba Walker, who spent eight seasons with Charlotte.
The league is technically still in a holding period, so although contracts can be negotiated, they can’t be signed and ratified until the moratorium is over. At that point, Restricted Free Agents can also begin negotiating contracts. In restricted free agency, the Knicks might be wise to throw a full max at Brandon Ingram, if not to acquire his services, at least to put New Orleans’ feet to the fire.
Around the same time as all this, incumbent Knick, Bobby Portis, took his talents to Milwaukee.
Bobby Portis is joining Milwaukee on a two-year deal, with a player option in the second season, sources said. Bucks receive a major frontcourt addition, and Portis has opportunity to play key role on a title contender. https://t.co/fr5SKO501u— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
As the situations continue to unfold, the Knicks are looking like the last team standing with cap space. It’s possible, they’ll sit fairly tight and weaponize it when a star gets their gruntle dissed. I’m sure the Pistons will draw the same exact energy that the Knicks got last year for signing several front court guys. Likewise the Hornets should get a similar puff of smoke as New York got for stretching Joakim Noah. Whatever happens, we’ll keep ya posted.