Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, NBA Free Agency: Oh My.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The crazy season has started in fine form in our favorite league.

Every year we get shocked by the contracts handed out by NBA teams, every year teams regret contracts they signed in the past, and every year teams go out and sign new contracts that have almost no chance of working out well. But the rumors are fun.  It's July in the NBA.

Some of the highlights:

The Raptors reached what looks like a good deal with Kyle Lowry to bring him back on a 4 year, $48M deal. The Raptors are doing smart things, and this move keeps their forward momentum going.  If that Brazilian guy they drafted becomes a star, Masai Ujiri should get a statue built of him in Toronto.

Pau Gasol, who has missed 55 games over the past two seasons seems to be in high demand, as several contenders appear to want him. The Bulls are interested pending their Carmelo Anthony pursuit, the Thunder are said to be a frontrunner for his services, and he has been linked with the Spurs as well.  I don't know how much money he's going to get, but it doesn't seem like he's hurting for interest.

Speaking of Melo, he's on tour, having met with the Bulls in Chicago, then off to Texas for meetings with the Rockets and Mavericks. I believe he's going to L.A. as well to meet with the Lakers. There still seems to be the sense that he winds up back in New York, but who knows?

Meanwhile, the Wolves are, presumably, waiting for Melo to make a decision before the Kevin Love trade talks ramp up again. Some of the teams courting Melo will likely return to the Wolves for Love once Anthony chooses a team. At least I hope so.  Hopefully Flip isn't so focused on a Golden State Warriors deal that he doesn't consider other options.

The Wolves, meanwhile, have been predictably quiet in free agency.  They dove into that pool last summer (to dubious effect) and given their cap and roster situation, as well as the Love uncertainty, it was expected that they wouldn't be active in the market.

In addition to resolving the Love situation (Please, Warriors, don't offer Klay Thompson!), there are several contracts the Wolves would likely be happy to get rid of, but beyond tacking them on to a Love trade, it isn't going to be easy. I'm fairly sure that they would basically give away J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved, Chase Budinger (worried about his knees), and Kevin Martin. We'll see. Once the free agency frenzy quiets down a bit, we might see more activity on the trade front.

Today in history

1187: Battle of Horns Hattin; Saladin defeats Crusaders
1754: George Washington surrenders to French 
1778: Massacre at Wyoming, PA; British kill 360 (mostly civilians)
1863: Battle of Gettysburg
1884: Dow Jones publishes first stock averages
1890: Idaho admitted to Union as 43rd state; everyone loves a potato
1898: U.S. Navy defeat Spanish at Santiago, Cuba

Today's musical birthday is Tim Smith, leader of the English band Cardiacs, born in 1961.


Enjoy your Thursday.

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