Miami — The rumor mill is in overdrive, with nuggets such as these: LeBron James has looked at schools in Los Angeles, he’s not particularly fond of Houston and he’s hugging restaurant diners in Miami.
Ah, free agency is back.
It technically starts Sunday at 12:01 a.m. EDT in the East, 9:01 p.m. Saturday out West, but is already well underway everywhere in the sense that everybody is talking about what might happen.
James is once again the biggest domino that will fall; he might opt out of his contract, but that doesn’t mean he’ll leave Cleveland – and he might opt in for nearly $36 million next season, but that doesn’t mean he’s certain to be staying, either.
Boston guard Kyrie Irving has a word for these days: Pre-agency.
“That’s actually a title to describe what’s going on now,” Irving said. “But yeah, we know that 12 a.m. July 1st, that’s when it just starts getting nutty.”
James is hardly the only person who will create that nuttiness.
Paul George has a decision to make about his future; stay in Oklahoma City or move on, with the Los Angeles Lakers believed to be his dream destination.
San Antonio has big decisions to make about Kawhi Leonard; they can take a risk and keep him for the final year of his contract, offer him a new deal or trade him elsewhere.
And what happens in their cases will surely impact what James does, much in the same way the Chris Bosh decision in 2010 helped really pave the way for him to go to Miami.
Thing is, nobody knows what’ll happen. Hence, the intrigue.
“That’s the challenge in this league,” James said during the NBA Finals, when his Cavaliers were swept by Golden State.
“I think every GM and every president and every coaching staff is trying to figure out how they can make up the right matchups to compete for a championship and win a championship.”
The Los Angeles Lakers will have about $61 million in cap space; half the league might not have any.
So this summer, with cap space for most teams at a premium, the biggest moves might have to come through trades.
Silver’s contract extended
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has received a five-year contract extension, a reward for accomplishments that include rapid growth in the value of franchises and attendance records around the league being set annually.
Board of Governors Chairman Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Raptors announced the deal, one that keeps Silver under contract through the 2024 NBA Finals.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Spurs promote Hammon
Becky Hammon is moving up San Antonio’s coaching ladder.
The Spurs announced Wednesday that they have promoted Hammon, and that she will fill the spot vacated by James Borrego on the team’s roster of assistant coaches.
Borrego left the Spurs to become the new coach of the Charlotte Hornets.