Both of these topics found traction in the sidebar yesterday, but they’re worth a place on the main page in case anybody missed them.
First, as reported by HomerSolo and confirmed here by the Blazers, the team has signed Nicolas Batum. This is not a huge surprise to anyone who has been listening, but it’ll be interesting to see how it develops. I’m sure everyone from
Second, Casey Holdahl gives us some links and updates to the Luol Deng conversations. Expect this to remain a hot topic until and unless Deng signs and expect there to be similar conversations on various teams after that.
Storyteller and I were talking about this very thing over the weekend. Here’s what’s happening, folks. Deng is right smack dab in the middle of the whole “restricted free agency/qualifying offer” maelstrom we talked about a few weeks ago.
Not all contracts are created equal. Besides the obvious dollar amount there are opt-outs, front-loading, and the like which make them more or less attractive to the player or the team. I don’t know Deng and I don’t know his agent, but I don’t have to. I can guarantee you what is going on right now…a scenario which will be repeated this summer in every city with significant free agents. John Paxson has been on the phone to Deng’s agent offering him a very nice deal. Deng’s agent has politely told Paxson that they don’t want a very nice deal, they want the best deal possible (or at least a better one than the Bulls are offering). The spiel goes like this: “You have our rights now, but we are perfectly willing to sign that one-year qualifying offer. After Luol plays that year he is an unrestricted free agent. I am looking over at
Note that this dialogue would play out whether or not Deng had any intention of playing out the qualifying offer and whether or not they thought coming to