Just hours after the Sacramento Kings offered a lucrative four-year contract to Denver Nuggets free agent Andre Iguodala, that offer was pulled off the table before the veteran swingman could come to a final decision.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported late Tuesday night that the Kings had offered a four-year, $56 million deal to Iguodala. Shortly thereafter, Iguodala took to Twitter to express some apparent surprise and talked about having motivation.
Some thought it was a sign that Iguodala had accepted Sacramento's offer, but when USA Today's Sam Amick later reported that the offer had been pulled, things made more sense. Both Amick and Wojnarowski said that the Kings pulled the offer because Iguodala wasn't prepared to make a decision quickly enough for their liking. Amick also reported that the deal was actually four years, $52 million.
The move was a bit of a shock to some, although there was a belief out there that the offer was a bit too much to begin with. Over at SB Nation Kings blog Sactown Royalty, there was some speculation that perhaps the decision has something to do with Tyreke Evans:
A bit of speculation: Perhaps the Kings expected Tyreke Evans to walk, but instead he's decided to sign with the franchise? Or maybe he's decided to walk and the Kings need to match that offer, making it impossible for them to also sign Iguodala?
Whatever the case, the Kings are now out of the running and Iguodala could return to the Nuggets to discuss a five-year contract extension.
Howard finishes meetings, to take a few days to decide
Now we wait. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard finished up his free agent tour with a meeting with the Lakers on Tuesday night, and the big man has left Los Angeles for a couple of days to mull over his decision.
Wojnarowski reports that the Houston Rockets remain the frontrunner for Howard's services, but that the Lakers still have a very good shot. Mitch Kupchak, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash were the three key Lakers figures in the meeting with Howard, trying to sell him on the present and future of the team. Kupchak is "hopeful" that Howard will return to Los Angeles.
If Howard goes to Houston, the Rockets will reportedly also pursue Atlanta Hawks free agent Josh Smith. Howard and Smith were childhood friends in Atlanta, and Howard would like another big name to play with in addition to James Harden.
Martin agrees to deal with Wolves
After reaching terms on a new deal with Chase Budinger, the Minnesota Timberwolves also agreed to a four-year, $28 million deal with Oklahoma City Thunder free agent Kevin Martin. Martin spent just one year in Oklahoma City after being dealt in the Harden trade, averaging 14.0 points on 45.0 percent shooting and 42.6 percent from three.
There was a mixed reaction to this signing. At Wolves SB Nation blog Canis Hoopus, the tone was generally positive, although the realization that Andrei Kirilenko is probably gone was viewed as a bummer. SB Nation's Mike Prada really harped on the Kirilenko angle, saying the loss of the Russian veteran will be a big one and could really hurt the Wolves on defense.
Grizz come to terms on pair of deals
The Memphis Grizzlies retained two of their free agents, coming to agreements on deals with Tony Allen and Jon Leuer. The Allen deal is four years, $20 million, while ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Leuer's deal is three years, $3 million.
Allen was a key part of the Grizzlies' Grit 'n' Grind mantra last year, so retaining the defensive bulldog was a top priority. SB Nation Grizzlies blog Grizzly Bear Blues thinks giving Allen the fourth year may be a bit overkill considering his age, but if that's what was needed to be done to reach an agreement, it's okay.
Smith, Copeland being courted by other teams
The New York Knicks have some competition when it comes to retaining both J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland. Outside of the Knicks, the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons are pursuing Smith and could both make hefty offers if they so choose. It's believed that Smith would prefer to stay in New York, but a lucrative offer could sway his opinion.
As for Copeland, Stein reports that the Indiana Pacers are in hot pursuit, and that they have an offer on the table for the restricted free agent. Copeland would help bolster a Pacers bench that struggled mightily at times last season.