MIAMI – At this time four years ago, NBA free agency was a circus. LeBron James was joining Twitter and Chris Bosh was offering regular updates on his free-agent wooing.
It’s a touch different this time around.
Teams are holding their cards very close in most cases, Miami’s Big 3 of James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade are basically silent on their plans and the overwhelming majority of free agents don’t seem to be anywhere close to finding a team for next season.
Then again, no one can sign until Thursday. Here’s a primer on where things stand:
Tour de Melo
He’s in Chicago, he’s in Houston, he’s in Dallas and on Thursday, Carmelo Anthony visited Los Angeles.
While in L.A., the Knicks offered Anthony a maximum contract of five years and $129 million, according to multiple reports.
The Knicks can pay him about $34 million more than any other team can because he’s their free agent. Anthony could make his decision early next week.
The Sacramento Kings got some much-needed depth at point guard and a possible backup plan if they lose starter Isaiah Thomas.
The Kings and Darren Collison agreed to a three-year contract worth about $16 million, a person familiar with the deal said. Collison averaged 11.4 points and 3.7 assists in 25.9 minutes last season, primarily as Chris Paul’s backup.
Besides the Miami trio of James, Bosh and Wade, there are still tons of quality players out there. Pau Gasol is getting interest from a number of teams, including Oklahoma City. Lance Stephenson is negotiating with Indiana, which probably still remains the frontrunner to retain the guard. Greg Monroe and Chandler Parsons are expected to get nice pay raises next season, and Luol Deng seems like he’d fit with a number of teams who have some money to spend.
Big 3 update
The first two days of free agency came and went without really a peep from the Heat or any of their players from the last four runs to the NBA Finals. The Big 3 are all tweeting, sure – but it’s almost entirely limited to the World Cup or their kids. No hints on basketball moves, yet. And Pat Riley has remained quiet, like always.
Clearly, teams aren’t waiting around for the Heat to make moves, but there’s still a sense that when the Miami dominoes start moving, things leaguewide will start happening in a hurry. As for James, he posted a vacation photo of himself smiling and standing among family Thursday afternoon at an undisclosed location.
Cavs court King
A person familiar with the discussion says Cleveland met with the agent for LeBron James about the superstar’s possible return to the team he left four years ago.
Cavs officials and Rich Paul visited this week as James was on vacation.
Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks agreed on what could be the final contract for the big German.
A person with knowledge of the deal said that Nowitzki would get a three-year contract worth roughly $30 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.