Less then one month after the Boston Celtics captured their 17th NBA Championship, many teams around the league are already beginning to try and make some adjustments so that they can put themselves in contention for a title run. Many teams have begun to sign their lottery draft picks and several free agents are close to signing multi-year deals with new teams.
It is expected that the Golden State Warriors will sign Corey Maggette to a five year deal estimated right around $50 million dollars. Last season, Maggette averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the struggling Los Angeles Clippers. At 6-foot-6, great speed and a soft perimeter touch, he would fit right into Golden State coach Don Nelson’s run and gun style of play.
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to make moves, freeing up salary cap space which many suspect is so that they can make a strong offer to Elton Brand to come and play for them. On Tuesday the 76ers traded away forward Rodney Carney, a future first round draft pick and reserve forward Calvin Booth to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a future second round draft pick and $2.8 million dollars. The Sixers now have another $2 million in salary cap space to add to the $11 million in space available that they hope will land them the post player in Brand that they desperately need to become a contender in the East.
First round draft pick O.J. Mayo (third pick overall) signed a multi-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Grizzlies pulled off an eight player trade the night of the NBA draft to acquire the rights to the third pick and land Mayo. Memphis also announced the signing of Darrell Arthur, the 27th overall selection of this year’s draft.
The number one and two picks of this years’ NBA Draft have been in the spotlight in the early action of the NBA’s summer league games. Michael Beasley (2nd pick in the draft) scored 28 points in the first game of the summer season for the Miami Heat but then followed it up with only a 9 point outing in the second game a night later. Derek Rose of the Chicago Bulls (1st pick in the draft) scored 10 points in his NBA summer league debut against Miami and Beasley and then followed it up with 9 points in his second game against the Indiana Pacers.
In other league news, the NBA set the new salary cap at $58,680,000 for the 2008-2009 season. This year’s cap went up by more than $3 million dollars over last season’s, which was set at $55.630 million. The minimum team salary for 2008-09 was 75 percent of the cap, or $44.010 million.