NBA Commissioner David Stern performed the duty of introducing the first-round draft picks in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
The draft was kind of a warm up for the much awaited start to free agency where superstars like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer.
“I think it’s going to be unlike any other July 1 we’ve ever seen before, and unlike any other we’ll ever see again,” Stern said.
Stern is a veteran of other free agent spectacles like the one in 1996, when Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal were free, along with a host of All-Stars. Back in those days the maximum salaries of the players were not fixed like today.
“But none this crazy,” Stern said remarking on the current hoopla surrounding he free agency.
Explaining all the craziness this time around some of the experts have said that the frenzied heights are a result of the moves made in the last two years which were inspired by plans for this summer.
LeBron James is the biggest fish that every team is aiming to net. They are doing everything it can to deal off salaries and open up cap space to get itself a maximum salary slot. On Thursday too Chicago too were reported to be dealing Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards, along with its No. 17 pick.
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Hinrich, who has been forecasted to leave the loop for a long time. Hinrich’s remaining $17 million was seen as an obstacle by the Bulls who are aiming for James or even Bosh. With his move the Chicago Bulls would get to convert his money into more cap space for James or Bush.
Ill now no one can say with absolute totality that these moves would help in landing LeBron James. Neither the Bulls nor the Knicks have any clue to it.
For a long time shedding money has been the ritual in the league. Just a day before the deal, draft, Pat Riley dispatched Daequan Cook with Miami’s No.18 pick to Oklahoma City, for a second-round pick. But Riley is still short of $17 million to offer Wade a maximum salary deal, while also luring two marquee free agents to South Beach at top dollar.
“They’re trying to get the big free agents to come to Miami, so it was a smart move,” said Durant, in town to work for NBA TV. “And we like having draft picks, so it was a good move for us.”
David Stern had earlier ran into Kevin Durant at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
“Not a bad player,” Stern said, off to the side, after saying a quick hello to Oklahoma City’s budding superstar. “I think he’s got a future. Maybe not in TV. But definitely in our game.”