2016 NBA Free Agency: Everything You Need to Know from Day 7

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 8, 2016

Apr 5, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe (23) high fives team mates after scoring against the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-107. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's 2016 free-agency class is thinning out. 

Of our Big Board's top 20 players, just LeBron James and J.R. Smith remain uncommitted, and it's tough to see either one leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even looking at the top 50 free agents, only 10 have yet to agree to new deals. 

The news isn't coming quite as quickly these days now that we're a full week into free agency. But the rumor mill never stops churning. 


LeBron James (No. 1 Free Agent)

Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates during the NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

James hasn't yet signed a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that shouldn't be even remotely concerning to the defending champions. He's not going anywhere else after delivering a title to Northeast Ohio, and it's not the least bit worrisome that he's taking his sweet time before putting pen to paper. 

If another team calls and asks about him, it just won't work. ESPN.com's Marc Stein made that perfectly clear well before the moratorium was over: 

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Teams are still calling to check on the unsigned LeBron James, but I'm told agent Rich Paul politely informs them James is staying a Cav

For all intents and purposes, James is a Cavalier. It's only a matter of time before that becomes official.


J.R. Smith (No. 19 Free Agent)

June 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) speaks to media following the 93-89 victory against the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Despite serving as a mercurial presence for the vast majority of his professional career, Smith became a stable presence for the Cavaliers in 2015-16. Night in and night out, he was a reliable source of perimeter shooting and intense defensive effort, providing a spark during both the regular season and ensuing playoff run. 

According to NBA Math's total points added, James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson were the only three Cleveland players who added more value, though Kyrie Irving likely would've joined them had he been healthier throughout the year. Even so, that doesn't take away from Smith's accomplishments.

Since becoming a champion and displaying his shirtless torso to the world, the shooting guard has opted out of his contract, forgoing $5.4 million to pursue a larger deal as an unrestricted free agent. But he's shown no indication he wants to leave his new home. 

"This is where I want to be," he told Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes in mid-June. "The fans love me; I love them and my teammates."

Since then, silence. We're still waiting for the first indication he'll either re-sign or take a bigger deal in a new location, though the former should remain the odds-on favorite.


Tim Duncan (No. 22 Free Agent)

May 12, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) fights for position with Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the first quarter in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The world is still waiting to hear if this legendary big man is ready to retire. 

His legacy is secure, given his gigantic statistical totals, enduring ability to affect games, literal handful of rings and widespread status as the greatest power forward of all time. Even before the 2015-16 campaign, we had him as a lock among the top 10 players in league history. 

Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy reported we'll likely learn his choice over the weekend, and we still haven't had a significant update since The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski indicated he was leaning toward retirement. Nonetheless, one unexpected organization is making a concerted effort to keep Duncan around for another year:

San Antonio Zoo & Zoo School🦏 @SanAntonioZoo

Yes Timmy, it's true. Free zoo visits for the entirety of your next contract if you come back! #Spurs https://t.co/rNepPoNEyV

Do it for the panda bears, Timmy.


Allen Crabbe (No. 24 Free Agent)

May 11, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe (23) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the second quarter in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

"He is gradually embodying everything the league values in three-and-D specialists: a multiposition wing with an improving defensive IQ, plus the ability to stroke triples and move the ball without committing a ton of unforced errors," Bleacher Report's Dan Favale wrote about Allen Crabbe, calling the restricted free agent one of the hidden gems left on the market. 

The Portland Trail Blazers should want to retain him. And according to Wojnarowski, they do. 

"By all indications they want to keep him," he explained during an interview with John Canzano of the Oregonian. "They developed Allen Crabbe. He's become a very good bench player. Will he be a starter? That remains to be seen...I would be very surprised if one way or another if Allen Crabbe is not back with the Trail Blazers and not playing for them next season." 

Now, they'll have to prove it.

Per Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets have submitted an offer sheet, and Crabbe signed it:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Sources: Portland RFA Allen Crabbe has signed a four-year, $75M offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets. Bonuses could reach $83M.

Now we wait to see whether the Blazers will match. But after they failed to land Pau Gasol, they still have plenty of money to spend, and no one fits their schemes better than their own restricted free agent.


Jared Sullinger (No. 25 Free Agent)

Mar 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce (34) in the first half during the NBA game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

On July 6, Jared Sullinger tweeted out a message that could only be interpreted one way: 

Jared M.X. Sullinger @Jared_Sully0

Change is coming 😊

Unless he's subscribing to Jarrett Jack's school of sending tweets that clearly mean something that's later treated as coincidence, the restricted free agent is indicating he's going to sign an offer sheet with a new team in the near future.

Except...that hasn't happened. 

Since Sullinger's cryptic message, we've heard nothing about where he might go. No team has emerged in pursuit of his defensive rebounding, mid-range jumper and improved point-preventing skills. Speculation reigns supreme. 

At least we can be reasonably confident he won't remain with the Boston Celtics.

Someone will pay him more than the $3.3 million qualifying offer extended by the C's, and it likely won't be his old organization. With Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Mickey and the newly signed Al Horford all under contract for 2016-17, there's simply not a need for additional frontcourt depth.


Quick Updates on Other Notable Free Agents

Nov 21, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Bucks 124-83. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
  • According to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, the Golden State Warriors could re-sign Marreese Speights on a minimum contract. 
  • Larry Sanders, who hasn't played professional basketball since December 2014, could be interested in a return and has piqued the interest of multiple teams, per Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy
  • The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks have looked into signing Drew Gooden, as reported by ESPN.com's Marc Stein.      


Full Recap of Day 7 Deals

Below, you can see every deal signed on Day 7, sorted by the amount of money committed over the length of the contract: 

  1. Boban Marjanovic signed an offer sheet with the Detroit Pistons for three years and $21 million, per ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Also per Stein, the San Antonio Spurs will not be able to match. 
  2. Festus Ezeli signed with the Portland Trail Blazers for two years and $16 million, per The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.
  3. Dewayne Dedmon signed with the San Antonio Spurs for two years and $6 million, per The Vertical's Shams Charania
  4. Marshall Plumlee signed with the New York Knicks for three years and an undisclosed amount of money, per the Associated Press' Michael Scotto
  5. Rodney McGruder signed with the Miami Heat for three years and an undisclosed amount of money, per The Vertical's Shams Charania
  6. Nicolas Brussino signed with the Dallas Mavericks for three years at the NBA's minimum salary, per Sportando's Orazio Cauchi and ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon
  7. Marcelo Huertas signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for two years and an undisclosed amount of money, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski
  8. Ian Clark signed with the Golden State Warriors for one year and an undisclosed amount of money, per The Vertical's Shams Charania
  9. Marcus Thornton signed with the Washington Wizards for one year at the NBA's veteran minimum, per Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy and Sportando.   


Adam Fromal covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @fromal09

Unless otherwise indicated, all stats are from Basketball-Reference.com or NBAMath.com.