Links: Good Morning

by July 18, 2008

by Lang Whitaker

OK, I’m here, I’m here, you kids in the back, take a seat. Let’s get this started.

It’s Friday! Yes! And Mutoni’s still out pretending to have a cold, so I’m back writing Wire Links or something like that. After doing the one-a-day column for so long, it’s different and tough coming up with seven or eight items every day, including three or four longer pieces. Make sure you leave Mutoni a big tip when he gets back. He works hard for his money so we better treat him right.

Actually, I take that back. It’s tough coming up with that much stuff when NOTHING IS HAPPENING. Check out the transaction listings for yesterday here. That’s right, Tyronn Lue was yesterday’s biggest free agent signing. (Why in the world he voluntarily signed to play for Scott Skiles I have no idea.) Should I bang out a few hundred words about Li’l Tyronn? No, I should not. Definitely not.

I guess what we’re waiting for now is to see what happens with Josh Smith and the Hawks. With no one else left to offer him (or Andre Iguodala or Luol Deng) a big offer, these guys can’t go back to their teams and force them to give them a particular amount of money. So now it’s up to the teams to say, “Hey, we’ll give you $X for X years.” And the player can say yes and play for about five years making less than they think they’re worth, or they can take the team’s one-year qualifying offer and next summer become an unrestricted free agent. And if they do that, the teams will likely want to do a sign-and-trade to make sure they at least get something back for the player. But that’s tough because of Base Year Compensation stuff.

Some of this could have been avoided. Smith wasn’t even given a chance to sign a long-term deal last summer. And Iguodala turned down a contract extension probably worth about $55 million. Now he’ll be lucky to get that from the Sixers, because they don’t have to big against anyone else. So it comes down to whether or not he wants to stay in Philly. (Last season, another player told me, “I’d jump over Iguodala to get at $55 million.”)

So there are the scenarios, and I haven’t heard jack from any of my people who usually know about these things, which means they have no idea what’s going to happen either. So in the meantime, we sit. And wait.

I’ll be back, though, with NBA Friday and an exclusive interview with an NBA player who’s been in the news a bit lately, in a way you don’t really want to be in the news.

And before I go, here’s a video of our president’s greatest moments.