Cleat Geeks

The NBA’s 1st 24

As many of you may already know, the NBA free agency period officially kicked off at 12:01AM on July 1, beginning what might be the most impactful free agency period in recent memory.

While the July Moratorium prevents free agents from officially signing contracts until July 9, there was still a lot of movement that occurred during the first 24 hours of free agency, including some surprising and some not-so-surprising moves:

LaMarcus Aldridge’s meeting with the Lakers goes “really well”

Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge goes up to shoot in front of Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Celtics won 96-78. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Los Angeles Lakers have seen their reputation as one of the NBA’s premier franchises tainted by bad free agency moves and an aging roster; however, all of that can change with the signature of LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the most sought after free agents on the market. The 29 year old big man is in the prime of his career and will be expecting big money from the Lakers, who are notorious for spending big money to recruit top talent.

Aldridge met with the Lakers the moment free agency began and, according to ESPN.com, the two-hour meeting proved beneficial for both parties. While Aldridge still has meetings lined up with the Spurs, Rockets, Mavericks, Suns, Raptors, and Knicks, it has become clear that Aldridge is leaning towards the Lakers.

DeMarre Carroll to sign with Toronto
One of the more undervalued free agents on the market, the former Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll announced on Twitter that he would be signing with the Raptors as soon as possible. According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, Carroll will sign a four-year contract worth $60 million.

Mike Dunleavy, Jimmy Butler to stay put in Chicago
With a new head coach, the Bulls have managed to retain two of their key players from last season. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Dunleavy has agreed to a three year deal worth $14.4 million, while CBS Sports is reporting that rising star Jimmy Butler will be signing the 5 year, $90 million max contract offered to him by Chicago.

Monta Ellis, Pacers close to reaching an agreement
League sources have told Yahoo! Sports that free agent guard Monta Ellis is close to reaching an agreement with the Indiana Pacers that will pay him $32 million over three years. Ellis, who met with the Pacers on Wednesday, averaged 19 points and 4 assists last season and has been looking for a fresh start ever since leaving Golden States a few season ago (mistakes made…mistakes made).

DeAndre Jordan up for grabsJordanDunk
The Clippers big man is one of the most attractive free agents on the market and he is being courted as such. Jordan’s contract demands, which reportedly consist of a four-year deal with a player option after three, are too much for the Clippers to afford, who can only offer a five year, $27 million contract.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks are very interested in the services of DeAndre Jordan, but the New York Knicks and even the Los Angeles Lakers are both in the hunt to acquire this talented free agent.

Report: Greg Monroe to sign max deal with Bucks
As expected, Greg Monroe will be signing a max contract – but it wasn’t with the team everyone expected. The New York Knicks let the talented big man slip through their fingers as he instead decided to stay in the Central Division by signing a 3 year, $50 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, with the final year being a player option. Monroe transforms the Bucks and makes them an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference; once MCW comes into his own or the Bucks sign a more-developed point guard, look for the Bucks to contend for an Eastern Conference title in the coming seasons.

Sacramento interested in signing playmakers, specifically Rondo, Lin
Last season, the Kings signed point guard Darren Collison in the hopes of shoring up their lackluster offense. Head coach George Karl is looking to sign another point guard to play alongside Collison in the backcourt and take some pressure off of their frontcourt. While Lin remains an option, the Kings are aggressively courting Rajon Rondo to come to Sac-Town and play alongside Darren Collison in the backcourt.kevinlove

Kevin Love to re-sign with Cavaliers, LeBron still holding out
As expected, both Kevin Love and LeBron James have opted out of their current contracts in an effort to get as much money as possible; however, only Kevin Love has committed to returning to Cleveland, signing a five year contract worth $110 million. LeBron James, whose triumphant return to Cleveland fell short of expectations, has yet to make a formal commitment to Cleveland.

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