The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
Back in 2012, Deron Williams flirted with going back home to Dallas to sign with the Mavericks. But the Brooklyn Nets, who had recently traded for Williams, could offer more years and money. In the end, the call of extra financial security became too much for Williams to turn down. The Nets have been kicking themselves ever since, as Williams’s play has dropped off and he’s no longer one of the elite point guards in the NBA. But Williams and the Nets have reached a buyout agreement on the remaining two years and $42 million that he was owed, and rumor has it he’s finally headed to his hometown to play on a two-year, $10 million contract.
When DeAndre Jordan signed a four-year, $87 million contract with the Clippers, there were a lot of rumors about what happened, where Mark Cuban was, who was with Jordan at his home and what was going on inside his residence. Redick told the story about what happened, and according to him it was simply to deliver the contract to DeAndre, not for the purposes of making a pitch. Apparently, Jordan was at a point where he didn’t need to hear a pitch from the team and was simply ready to sign. That didn’t stop Blake Griffin from tweeting out a funny picture that fueled the rumors, however.
When the whole situation with Jordan started to break on the Internet, with rumors that the Clippers were barricaded inside his home and visual images of Cuban driving around Houston, desperately trying to figure out where Jordan lived to try to intercede, longtime fans of professional basketball were reminded of the situation with Antonio McDyess and the Phoenix Suns in 1999. For those that don’t remember, McDyess was traded by the Denver Nuggets to the Suns for the 1997-1998 season prior to being a free agent. But during his free agency after the 1999 lockout ended, he met with the Nuggets at a Colorado Avalanche game and was preparing to leave the Suns out in the cold, figuratively and literally.
It’s well known that Jimmy Butler bet on himself when he turned down the Bulls’ four-year, $44 million extension offer prior to the beginning of last season. He made a great gamble, and is walking away with a five-year, $90-plus million deal to stay where he always wanted to be in the first place. It isn’t surprising to learn what helped raise Butler’s game from good to great; Butler drove to the basket more frequently, scored more points per drive and shot a much higher percentage on catch-and-shoot three pointers. But according to Ian Levy, there are still several ways that Butler can still improve on his game. That’s a pretty exciting notion for Bulls fans.
The Portland Trail Blazers are flush with cap space after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to the Spurs and Wesley Matthews to the Mavericks, and are finding interesting ways to spend their money. They’ve agreed to a max offer sheet with Thunder restricted free agent Enes Kanter, confusing things for the Thunder. While they have no intention of letting Kanter get away, they’re very close to the tax, and this deal would cost them nearly $40 million. The thought process is that they’d still match this offer, but then turn around and try to find ways to shed money off their payroll. But the move is a head-scratcher for Portland, who have Chris Kaman, Meyers Leonard, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh and Mason Plumlee on the team for next year.