Free Agency: Round One

The jury is still out

The past couple of days have been hectic to say the least. Rumors have been thrown around like copious amounts of money to average players. We here at the Beef are not in the business of rumor chasing so this article will center around commitments and agreements that have been confirmed. Basically that means we will not be discussing the players pictured above who have met with just about everyone by now. LeBron James was even treated to a cartoon by the Cavaliers in their attempts to retain him.

For more up to the minute Free Agency news be sure to follow the Beef on Twitter. Since we are a two-man operation (we are open to the idea of adding a capologist) it is the easiest way to keep up with the information we bring to you in 140 characters or less.

Why don’t we start at the top with the two-time defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. What? Why would the Lakers need to make any moves? They just won the NBA title. Well, if you are a frequent reader of this site you know that we like to discuss the glaring deficiencies of the Lake Show. Apparently the organization is all to aware of their problems as well.

Point guard Steve Blake has reached an agreement with Los Angeles on a four-year contract worth $16 million. This helps the Lakers shore up their bench woes and gives them a valuable back up point guard. Jordan Farmar’s growing disinterest in the role he has in L.A. has been much publicized so with this pick up it looks like his days in the purple and gold are close to an end. (The Pacers are said to have interest in Farmar but nothing concrete has been reported on this matter as yet.)

Easily the biggest news out of L.A. is the news that Phil Jackson has decided to return for one more season. The prospect of a fourth three-peat must have been to tempting for the Zen Master to turn down even if it means taking a considerable pay cut.

The other team that was in the Western Conference Finals has also been making moves of their own. Phoenix has extended an offer of five years and $30 million to Channing Frye which he has excepted. Also excepting an offer from the Suns is NBA journeyman, and Kobe Beef favorite, Hakim Warick. His deal is reported to be for four years and $18 million.

Milwaukee has also made some moves, John Salmons has agreed to a five-year $40 million deal. In the quickest move of free agency, the Bucks got Drew Gooden to agree to a five-year $32 million deal. These deer look to be a playoff team for several years to come.

In what may be the most pointless deal of free agency, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Darko Milicic have agreed to a four-year $20 million deal. This is a sorry consolation prize for the T-Wolves who had their sights set on Rudy Gay this summer. However, Memphis was true to its word in their efforts to keep Gay by offering him a max contract.

Paul Pierce plans to stay with the Celtics, which is no surprise to anyone.

Other than the above deals nothing much has been officially confirmed. It is important to remember, however, that these are all merely verbal agreements. Anything can still happen between now and July 8th when contracts can be signed. If you think verbal commitments are good enough just think about what Hedu Turkoglu did last year.

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