2012 NBA Free Agency: Flurry of activity


When the moratorium on contract talks ended on Tuesday, the proverbial flood gates opened and fans saw plenty of players relocating. Here’s my take on a few of the major moves thus far:

  • Steve Nash (Suns to Lakers): This one has to be the biggest shocker this offseason. Pretty much everyone knew Nash would leave the desert, but not once did I hear the Lakers in the conversation. The Raptors, Knicks, and Mavericks had all shown interest, but eventually it was the ability to stay close to his children in Phoenix that helped ease the exit for Nash. Not all is bad for the Suns, though. They just drafted Kendall Marshall, arguably the top PG in the draft, and now have Los Angeles’ first-round picks in 2013 and 2015 and their second-round picks in 2013 and 2014. As a team likely in transition, those types of assets should prove helpful.
  • Deron Williams (resigned by Nets): After toying with the idea of leaving Brooklyn, Williams took his money and stayed with the Nets. While $98.8 million over five years will help make that decision easier, it was the chance to play on the biggest stage (New York) at the newest, swankiest arena – the Barclays Center. The chance for endorsements also played a key role in the 28-year old’s decision to re-up with Brooklyn. While it’s not likely they’ll be able to get Dwight Howard anymore – the team also re-signed center Brook Lopez and forward Gerald Wallace to big contracts – getting Williams to return to the team was a huge coup for owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the entire organization.
  • Joe Johnson (Hawks to Nets): The Nets go all in and attempt to create their own “Big Three” with this trade. Johnson was traded for five players and a 2017 draft pick, a pretty steep price for a 31-year old shooting guard who is a bit of a “chucker,” someone who is more about volume of shots and less about quality of shots. He’ll help the team, for sure, but will they become title contenders? It might take more than this move to achieve that.
  • Blake Griffin (re-signed by Clippers): This one is important because it appears that star guard Chris Paul wants out of LA (for some reason); if Griffin had left at the end of his rookie contract, it would’ve undone all the progress made by the Clip Show this past season. In a bit of bad luck that only the Clippers would have, Griffin re-injured his left knee – the one he sprained in the playoffs – and has withdrawn from the Olympics. If the injury isn’t too serious, he should be able to rest and recover for the start of next season.
  • Tim Duncan (re-signed by Spurs): I never once thought that San Antonio would let “Timmy” go elsewhere to likely finish out his career. The former #1 overall pick may be 36, but he has still been productive the past few seasons and will probably continue to be. Last season saw a 20-game winning streak (regular season and playoffs) come to a screeching halt against the red-hot Thunder, but the team will likely compete for a top seed again in 2012-13.
  • Kevin Garnett (re-signed by Celtics): Unlike Ray Allen, who bolted for Miami, Garnett re-upped with Boston in the hopes of a few more playoff runs. While it remains to be seen if the team is actually capable of that, most people – myself included – figured that the team’s window had already shut, but they went to the Conference Finals last season. His production has gone down since his first year in Beantown, but I’m sure plenty of GMs would take his 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds, not to mention his intensity, on their team.

These are just a small handful of moves that have occurred so far in the offseason, and I’ll continue with more posts in the next few days highlighting the best and worst offseason moves.