Once the Gordon Hayward domino fell, NBA free agent moves began clicking into place. On Wednesday one of the runner-up teams for Hayward -- the Miami Heat -- reacted by locking up The Dion Waiters to a 4-year, $52 million deal. Waiters bet on himself that summer by taking a short deal to prove his worth (despite the insane money being thrown around in 2016). It paid off big time. Miami is also reportedly close to a deal with James Johnson.
The busy Thunder finished their work by locking up Andre Roberson on a 3-year, $30 million deal, yet another bargain for an elite wing defender (albeit one who cannot shoot a lick). OKC's shooting problems will be real, but this might be a top-5 defensive club this season. That plus Russell Westbrook is dangerous.
The Pacers waived Monta Ellis to free up space. The Warriors signed Nick Young. The Jazz began talking to the Celtics about perhaps turning the Hayward signing into a sign-and-trade for Jae Crowder. Wait --
The Warriors signed Nick Young? The WARRIORS signed NICK YOUNG?
Yes, the Warriors signed Nick Young, perhaps just so Kevin Durant could get away with making fun of him on Twitter.
Cavaliers franchise owner Dan Gilbert dismissed his respected, LeBron-approved GM David Griffin just before the draft. Gilbert's grand plan: hire Chauncey Billups to run the front office as president of basketball operations. A perhaps weak part of that plan: lowball the holy Hades out of Billups. Shelburne and Spears reports Gilbert offered about $1.5 million per year at first, bumping it to $2 million, or 50 percent of what most folks in that position make, once Billups declined. Billups this week declined to stay with ESPN and play in the BIG3. "Nice work, Dan Gilbert," he said sarcastically.
Winners and losers from the day Gordon Hayward made us sit around and stare at our phones. (Like this is different from any other day.)
Did the Jazz really lose Hayward in 2014 when they played hardball in restricted free agency?
There are rumblings that the Celtics will chase Marc Gasol in the trade market.
Derek Helling with a strong case that analytics is completely reshaping the NBA right now.
Kristian Winfield on the trouble with the NBA's new East-West imbalance.
Joe Mullinax on what Memphis and Zach Randolph meant to each other.
Superstar basketball players with uncommon names sparking huge adoption of said name has always been fascinating to me. As such, I'm very into this story on the generation of kids named after Shaq from Alex Prewitt.
Speaking of which, there will be a reality show about the Balls produced by Facebook. That sentence was hard to write on several levels.
These entries come in threes: Zach Baron on the genius of LaVar Ball.
Billy Hunter vs. the NBA players' union is headed to trial. Here's a refresher on what's at stake.
And finally: LeBron beatboxing with his daughter. Glory be to nature's drum machine.