The ultimate breakdown of 2014 NBA Free Agency


By JT.

NOTE: Naturally there are a few Free Agents who are yet to sign… Notably Eric Bledsloe & Greg Monroe. They’ll be included at a later date.

LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers - two-years, $42.1 million

Yes, the Miami Heat are a first class organisation. Yes, Dan Gilbert is a cretin. But LeBron James absolutely made the right choice here.

The future was murky in Miami (I mean seriously, trying to entice him back with the additions of McRoberts and Granger was laughable), but in Cleveland, with Irving and Wiggins and several other intriguing young pieces, the potential is off the charts.

It will take some time before the Cavaliers are truly ready to contend, but they will get there and they will be scary. A great, great move for LeBron and the NBA.

(Obviously the narrative will change here if Wiggins is traded for Love. If it does go down they’ll be a contender right out of the gate.)

Chris Bosh - Miami Heat - five-years, $118 million

The general consensus seems to be that the Miami Heat have recovered well from LeBron’s departure and can still contend in the east.

I don’t buy it.

This move reminds me of the Cavs in 2010 when LeBron left and they kept operating like nothing had changed.

With this roster, built around Bosh, I see a 6-7 seed and first round ouster.  In the shitty east. So is it really worth the outlay?

Denial is a funny thing.

Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat – two-years, $34 million

I know he did them a favour by opting out and taking a bit less but these ‘payment for past performance’ contracts never end well. Like, never.

Luol Deng – Miami Heat – two-years, $20 million  

This would all make sense if Dwyane Wade could be counted on. He can’t. So I don’t see the point.

Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks – five-years, $124 million

Carmelo Anthony earlier this year: “I don’t care about the money, I just want to win.” Sure, bro.

With or without Melo the Knicks are going to stink (seriously, who on that team can defend?).

Patty Mills – San Antonio Spurs – three-years, $12 million

Huge props to the Spurs for stepping up and paying Patty his worth despite the injury. A lesser organisation might have played hardball and forced him in to a smaller contract. There’s no doubt the injury cost him money (probably $3-4 million over the life of the contract) but a $4 million per year deal is still a good get for Patty and commensurate with his talent and play over the last season. Well deserved, mate!

Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks – three-years, $25 million

Talk about a haircut. You gotta love the big German.

Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors – four-years, $48 million 

A no-brainer, for both sides.

paugasolbullsPau Gasol – Chicago Bulls – three-years, $22 million

My issue with the Bulls is this - all of their key additions over the last few years (Gasol/Dunleavy/Hamilton/Boozer) have been guys that were past their prime and had an injury history. I’m just sayin’.

Nevertheless, this will be a formidable team and a genuine contender if, and that’s a very big ‘if’, everything breaks right and Derrick Rose is healthy.

Marcin Gortat – Washington Wizards – five-years, $60 million

It seems that $12 million per is the going rate for a 7-footer who can walk and chew gum at the same time. Glad it’s not my team, though.

Chandler Parsons – Dallas Mavericks – three-years, $45 million

A great acquisition for the Mavericks. Yes, they steeply overpaid, but to pry him loose they had to. And they couldn’t keep swinging and missing on all their free agent targets. A frontline of Parsons, Nowitzki and Chandler, with Monta Ellis on the perimeter, makes for a dangerous team.

Boris Diaw – San Antonio Spurs – four-years, $28 million 

Considering how he played in the playoffs, it’s hard to criticise this deal (except for its length). He’s a unique player who fits perfectly in the San Antonio system.

Lance Stephenson – Charlotte Hornets – three-years, $27 million

The third year is a team option so it’s definitely a risk worth taking for Charlotte.

Man, the Hornets have some talent now in Walker, Lance, MKG, Vonleh, Big Al and Zeller. With an improved roster, a good coach in Steve Clifford and a defensive identity (which Lance will enhance) they could be the third/fourth best team in the east.

Gordon Hayward – Utah Jazz – four-years, $63 million

Utah couldn’t let him walk for nothing so they had to match Charlotte’s bloated offer sheet.

I like their young core of Hayward, Favors, Exum and Hood, but I don’t buy this narrative that Exum and Burke will be able to function together. That won’t work for Dante. It’s clear, they’re both point guards, but only one of them looks like a game-changing star. At some point it’s going to become blatantly obvious (if it isn’t already) that the team needs to be turned over to Exum, and Burke will either have to back him up or be moved.

Mike Miller – Cleveland Cavaliers – two-years, $5.5 million

I’m not a fan of LeBron bringing his chronies in. Miller’s made of tissue paper.

James Jones – Cleveland Cavaliers – one-year, $1.4 million

Now that’s just silly. Make no mistake about who is running the Cavs now.

Trevor Ariza – Houston Rockets – four-years, $32 million 

I probably would have swallowed hard on the Parsons contract because he’s a better player than Ariza, but with the aim of maintaining flexibility I can understand why Morey moved on. At some point though you’ve got to bed down your team and stop star chasing.

Darren Collison - Sacramento Kings – three-years, $16 million

I don’t like it. The Kings are in desperate need of three things (especially from their point guard) – defense, a pass first mentality and shooting. Collison is none of these things and he’s now your starting point guard. They’re a mess.

And this is clear evidence that Patty Mills lost money because of the injury. (Note: it did come out that several teams had prepared big offers to Patty but pulled it at the last moment when news of his injury surfaced.)

Paul Pierce – Washington Wizards - two-years, $11 million

Like most people I thought Pierce was headed to the Clippers to reunite with Doc Rivers, so this one came out of left field.

Turns out, Ariza’s departure was a good thing for the Wizards. Instead of overpaying and locking in Ariza for 4-5 years, they get Pierce, who is still a very good player, on a short term deal and they can now try and work in their youngsters Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. And the added bonus – it also opens up the possibility that they could make a run to bring Kevin Durant home in 2016. Don’t rule it out.

Health permitting the Wizards will be dangerous in the east.

Chris Kaman – Portland Trail Blazers – two-years, $9.8 million 

I just don’t know why anyone would bother with this guy. He’s injury prone, shot happy and completely useless on the defensive end. He’s done as a relevant NBA player.

Steve Blake – Portland Trail Blazers – two-years, $4 million

I don’t think they’re in a position to be settling for washed up dudes like Kaman and Blake in crucial back-up spots.

Isaiah Thomas - Phoenix Suns - four years, $27 million

Goran Dragic. Eric Bledsoe. They draft Tyler Ennis. I don’t get it.

Jordan Hill - Los Angeles Lakers - two-years, $18 million

Who would have thought the Lakers would ever have to stoop to these levels (i.e. grossly overpaying someone just so they can hopefully transition from bad to mediocre).

Nick Young – Los Angeles Lakers - four-years, $21.5 million 

Throwing the fans a bone with this one. Is it logical, though?

Carlos Boozer – Los Angeles Lakers – one-year, $3.25 million (Amnesty waiver)

Ok, so they get a flashy name on a cheap deal and someone who can make them slightly better next season. But, they’re still a bad team who won’t make the playoffs in the west. And Boozer is abysmal defensively. And this will take away minutes from their prized rookie Julius Randle. And it will probably guarantee that they don’t have a first round pick in next year’s draft (it’s owed to Phoenix if it falls outside the top 5). How the mighty have fallen, hey.

Spencer Hawes – Los Angeles Clippers – four-years, $23 million 

I can see the benefit because a) they were way too thin upfront last season and b) Hawes can space the floor and allow Griffin to own the middle. But at what point are they going to start acquiring guys who can actually defend?

Channing Frye – Orlando Magic – four-years, $32 million

A deal like this was inevitable for Frye given the current love affair with stretch bigs. His quick release and smooth stroke make him deadly from beyond the arc, but there’s not a whole lot there beyond that. Regardless, his shooting and veteran presence should help this young Magic squad.

Marvin Williams – Charlotte Hornets - two-years, $14 million 

$7 million per year for this guy? That’s $3 million more than Patty Mills. What’s he ever done, besides be a massive disappointment?

Jodie Meeks – Detroit Pistons – three-years, $19.5 million 

I know shooting is important, but sheesh, that’s an overpay. Van Gundy’s strategy is clear – surround Drummond with shooters, similar to what he did in Orlando with Howard. But again, that’s a lot to pay for a one trick pony.

Caron Butler – Detroit Pistons – two-years, $9 million 

Stan’s lost his mind.

Vince Carter – Memphis Grizzlies - three-years, $12 million 

Disappointing, if that’s their only move.

Avery Bradley - Boston Celtics – four-years, $32 million

I could see him eventually living up to this contract but it’s very risky given his injury history. Ainge has a nasty habit of overpaying - see Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry.

Nikola Mirotic - Chicago Bulls – three-years, $16.6 million

That’s a lot to pay for an unknown. All indications are he should succeed at this level, but you never know.

Shaun Livingston – Golden State Warriors – three-years, $16 million 

Not bad. He’s a good ball handler and stout defender so that will ease the burden on Curry. One problem though – he can’t shoot (he made one three-pointer last season) so that’s going to be problematic in postseason play.

chirsandersonChris Andersen – Miami Heat – two-years, $10 million 

Bringin’ back the band. You know my thoughts on it.

Mario Chalmers – Miami Heat – two years, $8.3 million

I would have let him go.

Udonis Haslem – Miami Heat – two-years, $5.6 million

I know they had to make him whole after the opt-out but that’s a waste of a roster spot.

Josh McRoberts – Miami Heat – four-years, $22.7 million  

It’s not an overpay but it’s not pretty either.

Danny Granger – Miami Heat – two-years, $4.2 million 

2011 Danny Granger ain’t walkin’ through that door.

Jerryd Bayless – Milwaukee Bucks – two-years, $7 million

I mean, did they learn nothing from the O.J. Mayo signing?

Patrick Patterson – Toronto Raptors – three-years, $18 million 

He’s a good player, probably underrated, and can function pretty well as a stretch four. $6 million per seems a bit steep but I think he’ll live up to it.

James Johnson – Toronto Raptors – two-years, $5 million 

Worth a gamble.

Greivis Vasquez – Toronto Raptors – two-years, $13 million

A handy player but more than $6 million per year is a bit rich.

Jordan Farmar – Los Angeles Clippers – two-years, $4.2 million 

With Chris Paul’s injury history it’s essential that the Clippers have a quality back-up behind him. I don’t think Farmar fits that bill.

Kris Humphries – Washington Wizards – three-years, $13 million 

Insurance for the inevitable Nene injury.

DeJuan Blair – Washington Wizards – three-years, $6 million

They’re really beefing up that frontcourt. Nice move.

Thabo Sefolosha - Atlanta Hawks – three-years, $12 million

Bit of an overpay but a solid acquisition nonetheless.

Anthony Morrow – Oklahoma City – three-years, $10 million

He can shoot, but that’s it.

Sebastian Telfair - Oklahoma City Thunder – one-year, $1.3 million

If I were Kevin Durant I’d be unimpressed with the Thunder’s offseason. They have some flexibility but they’re not using it. They’re cheap.

2016 is not too far away, you guys.

Brandon Rush – Golden State Warriors – two-years, $2.5 million 

A good deal if he can stay on the floor.

Ben Gordon – Orlando Magic – two-years, $9 million 

He has barely played in three years and he was kicked off the Bobcats last season prior to the playoffs. This is nuts!

Rodney Stuckey – Indiana Pacers - one-year, $1.2 million

What a bizarre world the NBA is. Some guys are signing lucrative deals which make no sense at all (see above), and then a guy like Stuckey who is actually pretty decent can only get the minimum. It’s crazy.

This pick-up is a nice recovery from losing Lance, but they’re still a lesser team without Lance.

C.J. Miles – Indiana Pacers – four-years, $18 million 

And who exactly were they bidding against?

Anthony Tolliver – Phoenix Suns – two-years, $6 million 

You won’t get much out of him.

Luke Ridnour - Orlando Magic – two-years, $5.5 million

Does this guy ever want to play for a winner? He always signs on with terrible teams.

Devin Harris – Dallas Mavericks – four-years, $16.5 million

He should probably be their starter ahead of Felton.

Rashard Lewis – Dallas Mavericks – one-year, $1.4 million


Richard Jefferson – Dallas Mavericks – one-year, $1.4 million


D.J. Augustine – Detroit Pistons – two-years, $6 million

He earned it.

kirkhinrichKirk Hinrich – Chicago Bulls – two-years, $5.6 million 

A helpful player, if he’s a back-up.

Glen Davis – Los Angeles Clippers – one-year, $1.2 million


PJ Tucker – Phoenix Suns – three-years, $16.5 million 

That’s a bit much but a good story nonetheless.

Jimmer Fredette  - New Orleans Pelicans – one-year, $1 million

Not a great situation for Jimmer, but beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.

Kent Bazemore – Atlanta Hawks - two-years, $4 million 

The numbers that he put up in Los Angeles last season were a mirage. I hope this doesn’t mean less time for Schroder.

Matt Bonner – San Antonio Spurs – one-year, $1.4 million 

I thought the Spurs would’ve moved on.

Alan Anderson – Brooklyn Nets – two-years, $2.6 million 

I wouldn’t like to be a Brooklyn fan next season. Or beyond.

Ed Davis – Los Angeles Lakers – two-years, $2 million

Worth a flyer.

Xavier Henry – Los Angeles Lakers – one-year, $1 million

A bargain if he can stay healthy. That’s the problem though.

Wesley Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers – one-year, $1 million 

There’s not much substance to his game.

Ryan Kelly – Los Angeles Lakers – two-years, $3.3 million

I haven’t seen him play much so I’ll reserve judgement.

Trevor Booker – Utah Jazz – two years, $9.7 million

You could do worse.

Jeff Adrien – Houston Rockets – one-year, $1.1 million

Nice pick-up.

Joey Dorsey – Houston Rockets – two-years, $2 million 

Having cleared the decks, they need bodies.

Ish Smith – Houston Rockets – one-year, $1 million

See above.

Jannero Pargo - Charlotte Hornets – one-year, $1.4 million 

He’s lucky to still be drawing NBA checks.

Jason Smith – New York Knicks – one-year, $3.3 million 

A good player but he can’t stay on the floor.

Brian Roberts – Charlotte Hornets - two-years, $5.5 million

Not sure what he’s done to warrant an almost $3 million per year contract.

John Salmons - New Orleans Pelicans – one-year, $2 million 

Who cares.

evanturner1Evan Turner – Boston Celtics – (terms not known, believed to be a portion of the mid-level exception)

He really got exposed in Indiana last season. He’s just not that good.

Gee, the C’s are going to be brutal to watch again. If they don’t trade Rondo before the February deadline, I’ll be shocked.

Aaron Brooks – Chicago Bulls – (terms not known, believed to be a one year minimum deal)

If Thibs can turn D.J. Augustine and Nate Robinson into helpful players, there’s no reason he can’t do the same with Brooks.

Drew Gooden – Washington Wizards – (terms not known, believed to be a one year minimum deal)

Nice recovery from Gooden. He played himself out of the league by not understanding his limitations (he thought he was a scorer), but when Washington threw him a lifeline late in the season he pulled his head in and accepted the role of defender/rebounder off the pine. He has a place in this league so long as he stays in his lane.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Episode 202 – The Endless Summer League


On today’s episode, Believe The Hype’s US Correspondent Jamieson Welsh joins Tom & Benyam from Summer League in Vegas. The guys chat about, Summer League MVP Glen Rice Jr, his team-mate Otto Porter & what they mean to the short-term future of the Washington Wizards, the Chicago Bulls & Sacramento Kings impressive tourneys, the Lakers coaching situation & more!

Also, Jamieson catches up for exclusive interviews with Tony Snell, Jordan Clarkson, Nik Stauskas, Ray McCallum & Kyle Anderson. These interviews appear in the episode.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread@benyamkidane &@theejamieson and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode.


Aussie Update – Volume 25


By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.

* In an exclusive interview with NBA Australia, Patty Mills talks about free agency, re-signing with the Spurs, his injury, touring Australia, and more.

* Ben Simmons dominates again this time at the Nike Peach Jam, proving beyond doubt that he is the best player in the Class of 2015.

* An unnamed college coach on Ben Simmons: “He’s Scottie Pippen.”

* Cameron Bairstow scored 18 points, grabbed eight boards and hit a three-pointer to seal the game as the Bulls beat Philly at the Las Vegas Summer League. He also shined in their game against Minnesota.

* In Utah’s final Summer League game against the Blazers Dante Exum had 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals at +17, including the game winning points and game sealing steal with 1.9 seconds left.

* After struggling in a loss to the Spurs Dante Exum revealed his frustration about playing off the ball in a postgame interview. He is unequivocally a point guard so it’s going to be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

* The Patty Mills/Aron Baynes videobomb went viral.

* After an impressive showing with the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas Chris Goulding is on the verge of completing a move to Spanish ACB club CAI Zaragoza.

* The Boomers squad has been announced for the FIBA Basketball World Cup which will be held in Spain from 30 August to 15 September.

* Dante Exum chats to True Hoop’s Kevin Arnovitz.

* Dante Exum on The Jim Rome Show.

* An SBNation feature on Dante Exum.

* Some behind the scenes footage of Dante Exum in Las Vegas.

* Thon Maker was named the U17 MVP at the 2014 Summer Jam.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

Off Season Instagrams – Dwyane Wade


After LeBron James announced he’d be taking his talents back to Cleveland for the next two seasons… The Miami Heat’s future was sent in a tailspin… No more ‘King’.

Dwyane Wade’s having nothing of it… So, along with Pat Riley signing Luol Deng as the team’s starting small forward, Wade’s looking for a new partner to help him finish those highlight lobs that we’ve all become accustomed to as regular viewing during regular season Heat basketball.

So, today on the recruitment drive, Wade hit up Seaworld to check out the much hyped LePorpoise James.

I think Miami have found their new highlight machine.

Episode 201 – That Vegas Show


On today’s episode, Believe The Hype’s US Correspondent Jamieson Welsh joins Tom & Benyam from Summer League in Vegas. The boys chat about some of the players who have impressed so far, Jabari Parker vs Andrew Wiggins, the impressive youth movements in the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers & Cleveland Cavaliers.

Also, Jamieson catches up for exclusive interviews with Anthony Bennett, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Kendall Marshall, James Ennis, Cameron Bairstow & Brock Motum. These interviews appear in the episode.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread@benyamkidane & @theejamieson and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode.


Joel Embiid hits up Kim Kardashian on Twitter

Joel Embiid 2

After his failed free agency recruitment of LeBron James via Twitter, the hilarious Joel Embiid didn’t let that slow his Twitter game one bit.

Having just signed up with Adidas, Embiid was feeling pretty ‘happy with it’ and took to Twitter to get the attention of Kim Kardashian.

After discovering that she is in fact married, Embiid, the gentleman that he is, quickly rebuffed his advances.

After this latest failed Twitter foray, Embiid decided that perhaps it was time for another self-imposed ban. A ban that I 100% do not agree with, more Embiid on Twitter for everyone, all day erryday.



Jamieson Welsh – Fox Sports Radio (15th July)


#BTHype’s US Correspondent Jamieson Welsh jumps on with Steve Bortstein at Fox Sports 1340 AM 93.9 FM New Mexico to talk the latest news out of the NBA.

Today, Jamieson chats LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, what journalists & media members that have come out of this looking good & what this means for the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers & Miami Heat. Furthermore, Jamieson chats about Carmelo Anthony returning to the New York Knicks, Chandler Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks, Emmanuel Mudiay, Summer League & more!

 Jamieson Welsh is a #BTHype US Correspondent & will be covering games across the West Coast for this season. Follow him on Twitter:@theejamieson