Davis, Brand, Maggette, Posey All Opt Out; Artest Stays Put

David CohenSenior Analyst IJune 30, 2008

In a stunning development the Golden State Warriors and Baron Davis could not work out an extension, so Davis has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract, giving up $17.8 million to sign elsewhere.

The Warriors were faced with a decision between him and Monta Ellis, and will now lock Ellis up long term. Davis will be heavily pursued by the Pistons. Reports are that if figures can somehow be worked out, one of his top destinations is the Knicks because of coach Mike D'Antoni.

Elton Brand will pass on $16.4 million and is now a free agent. He is reportedly working on a long term contract with the Clippers. I don't know why he would want to stay there, and if his agent is smart, he will use the Clippers as leverage.

The Heat have coveted Brand for awhile. They, along with the Bulls will look to make a big run at him. The sleeper will be the 76ers, who are around $11 million under the expected salary cap for next year and are looking for a legit scorer in the paint.

Brand's teammate, Corey Maggette, has also opted out as expected. Because most teams will have to use a lesser mid-level exception contract it is most likely teams interested in getting Maggette will need to work out a sign-and-trade with L.A. Maggette is pushing for the Magic to reacquire him and put him at the two-guard. Portland will also be a heavy player.

Celtics key role player James Posey will opt out to cash in on a title. He should get a nice raise and stay with the Celtics.

Sacramento King Ron Artest has also decided to stay with the Kings.

In other recently breaking player news, the Lakers have extended qualifying offers to both Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf.

In speculation on the verge of being news, the Knicks are reportedly working on a buyout for Stephon Marbury, and will look to replace his spot on the roster by signing free agent Chris Duhon.