Posts Tagged ‘Free Agency’

The Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine agreed to a five-year, $215.2-million maximum contract, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The deal contains a player option in the fifth year.

LaVine made his second straight All-Star team this past season. He averaged 24.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 67 games for the Bulls, helping the team reach its first postseason since 2016-2017.

The 27-year-old has spent five seasons in Chicago since being dealt to the Bulls in the Jimmy Butler trade in 2017.

Chicago also reportedly added center Andre Drummond on a two-year, 6.6-million deal.

Bradley Beal isn’t leaving the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards re-signed the All-Star guard to a five-year, $251-million contract as free agency opened Thursday, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beal declined his $36.4-million player option for the 2022-23 campaign before inking the new mega-deal with Washington.

The Florida product has spent his entire career in the nation’s capital.

Beal has averaged 22.1 points, 4.2 assists, 4.1 boards, and 1.1 steal over 10 seasons with the Wizards. He finished second in the NBA scoring race in 2020 and 2021.

Washington has been reshaping its roster around Beal this offseason. The club reportedly acquired guard Monte Morris and wing Will Barton from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for sharpshooter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and guard Ish Smith.

The Wizards also added veteran guard Delon Wright on a two-year, $16-million contract, his agent told Wojnarowski.

The Milwaukee Bucks are re-signing forward Bobby Portis to a four-year, $49-million contract, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Portis has played the last two seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 13.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. The journeyman has provided the team with an offensive punch and deft shooting touch, making 42% of his 3-pointers with the Bucks.

The Arkansas product has started 120 games across seven seasons in the league after being drafted with the No. 22 pick in 2015.

The Portland Trail Blazers and guard Anfernee Simons have reached an agreement on a four-year, $100-million contract, Simons’ agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Simons had a breakout campaign last year, more than doubling his scoring from 7.8 to 17.3 points per game. The 23-year-old stepped into the Blazers’ starting lineup admirably following Damian Lillard‘s abdominal injury absence. He averaged 23.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per contest while shooting 42.3% from distance as a starter.

He struck a career-high 43 points in a Jan. 3 win over the Atlanta Hawks, going 9-of-16 from the 3-point line to help Portland withstand a 56-point outburst from Trae Young. He set his previous personal best as a rookie in 2019 when he dropped 37 on the Sacramento Kings in the final game of the regular season.

The former 24th overall pick was a restricted free agent this offseason coming off his fourth NBA campaign. Though his year was cut short due to a knee issue in late March, he’s expected to suit up alongside Lillard in Portland’s starting backcourt to begin the 2022-23 season.

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a three-year, $20.1-million pact with free-agent center JaVale McGee, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

McGee’s new contract will reportedly contain a player option in the final season.

The Olympic gold medalist and three-time NBA champion spent 2021-22 with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game, mostly in a reserve role. In 12 playoff games, McGee registered just 6.8 points and four rebounds per contest but led all postseason performers with a 70% field-goal percentage.

The 34-year-old will be playing in his 15th NBA campaign in 2022-23.

The New York Knicks are signing top free-agent guard Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million contract, his agents told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal will include a player option for the fourth season.

It was reported on Wednesday that Brunson would field meetings with the Knicks, Mavericks, and Miami Heat once free agency opened on Thursday evening.

The Knicks had been seen as front-runners for Brunson since Dallas’ season ended in the Western Conference finals. New York recently hired Brunson’s father, Rick, as an assistant coach, and the team’s president, Leon Rose, was once an agent for both Brunsons.

The 6-foot-1 guard had a breakout 2021-22 campaign, averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game while dropping 21.6 points per contest in the postseason.

Brunson fell to the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, despite winning the national championship at Villanova and being named an All-American his final year in college. He immediately outperformed his draft position, starting 38 games as a rookie.

With Mavericks star Luka Doncic dealing with an injury to begin this year’s playoffs, Brunson came up huge in a six-game first-round series victory over the Utah Jazz. He averaged nearly 28 points per game and put up a signature 41-point performance in a narrow Game 2 victory.

The 25-year-old’s ability to get to the basket offensively and make perimeter shots at an efficient clip will assist a Knicks team that ranked 26th in points and dead last in assists last season.

Nazem Kadri is set to cash in after enjoying a career year right before entering unrestricted free agency. Even though his value is at an all-time high, his No. 1 choice would be returning to the Colorado Avalanche.

“How could it not be?” Kadri said on Sportsnet’s Real Kyper and Bourne.

He added: “The Kroenkes have been great supporters of mine and made it clear to me that they’d like me to stay also, but we understand that there’s a business aspect involved. We’re going to try to work together.”

Kadri set personal bests in assists (59) and points (87) in just 71 games and came up four goals shy of matching his career high of 32. He was excellent during the postseason, too, registering 15 points in 16 games. Kadri also scored the overtime winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in his first contest back from thumb surgery.

Even though he’s set to enter his age-32 campaign, Kadri will be a hot commodity on the open market.

“I’ve shown what my worth is, and I’m just looking forward to watching this all develop,” he said.

Kadri’s previous contract paid him $4.5 million annually, but he’s expected to receive a sizable raise – whether it be from Colorado or another team.

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be in jeopardy of losing two franchise icons to unrestricted free agency this offseason.

Evgeni Malkin and the Pens have not been talking regularly after engaging in initial discussions when the club’s season ended May 15, sources told The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. Numerous agents and some people within the organization reportedly believe it’s unlikely Malkin returns.

Meanwhile, the Penguins have offered Kris Letang a three-year contract, but the star defenseman wants a five-year deal with a cap hit north of $8 million per year, Yohe reports.

It was previously reported Malkin is willing to take a pay cut after earning $9.5 million annually on his last contract, but how much remains to be seen. Letang, meanwhile, is seeking a raise after making $7.25 million per year on his previous deal.

Both players are still playing at a high level despite being in their mid-30s. Malkin, who will turn 36 in July, recorded 42 points in 41 games in 2021-22 after missing the first half of the campaign due to offseason knee surgery. Letang, who turned 35 in April, finished seventh in Norris Trophy voting after posting a career-best 68 points.

Malkin, the 2012 Hart Trophy and 2009 Conn Smythe winner, ranks third in franchise history with 1,146 points in 981 games. Letang leads all Penguins defensemen with 650 points in 941 contests. Both players have spent 16 years with the team and have won three Stanley Cup titles.

The Penguins have $23.2 million in projected cap space, per CapFriendly, but Rickard Rakell and Evan Rodrigues are also UFAs, while Kasperi Kapanen and Danton Heinen are RFAs.

One way Pittsburgh can clear cap space is by trading a defenseman, and Marcus PetterssonBrian Dumoulin, and John Marino are all candidates, according to Yohe. Pettersson, who has three years remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $4.025 million, is reportedly the most likely to go. The organization believes 22-year-old Pierre-Olivier Joseph is ready for a full-time NHL role, and he and Pettersson both play the left side.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green thinks the Los Angeles Lakers would need more than Kyrie Irving to beat the reigning champions.

“They could contend, but they won’t beat us,” Green told Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw.

The Lakers are reportedly the “most significant threat” to land Irving if he decides to depart the Brooklyn Nets. The 30-year-old has a $36.5-million player option for the 2022-2023 season.

However, L.A. currently lacks the financial flexibility to give Irving anything close to the value of his player option, as the franchise can only offer the $6-million taxpayer exception.

Irving and Lakers superstar LeBron James played three seasons together with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2017. The tandem led the Cavs to their lone championship in 2016, defeating Green and the Warriors in a famous comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

The Warriors have bested the James-Irving pairing in the past, winning championships in 2015 and 2017.

Irving requested a trade in the summer of 2017 and was shipped off to the Boston Celtics. He said in May that the Cavaliers would have won more championships if he stayed with James in Cleveland. James and the Kyrie-less Cavs were swept by the Warriors in 2018.

“With LeBron, if you give him someone like Kyrie … they’ll have a chance because of the way Kyrie can score the basketball,” Green added. “LeBron will only put him in position to do that. Kyrie has not proven to be a great leader. LeBron will put an umbrella over that.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs for the second time during LeBron’s tenure this past season, finishing 33-49.

AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa recently spoke with TV Insider about the Forbidden Door, her title reign, and former WWE Superstar Paige.

While speaking about Paige, Rosa said that she has so much experience, and if she came to AEW, everybody would benefit from it.

“She has so much experience,” praised Rosa. “She has been wrestling since a young girl. I met her mother a few years ago at an independent show. She is a wrestler’s wrestler. She would bring something different to the women’s division as a wrestler or even if we needed a general manager. If she came to our door, I think everybody will benefit from it. If anyone comes to wrestle me. I’m open to any challenge. Whoever wants a piece of me, you know where to find me. If not, I’ll send you my number right now.”

WWE decided not to renew Paige’s contract when it expires in July. Paige last competed inside of a WWE ring at a live event on December 27, 2017, where she suffered an injury in a six-woman tag match. Paige would then officially announce her in-ring retirement, on the April 18, 2018 episode of “SmackDown.”

During her in-ring tournament, Paige had assumed several roles for the WWE including being the General Manager of “SmackDown” and the manager of the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane).