|Andrew Bynum to Cleveland is just one of the many free-agency moves taking place this month. (philly.com)|
The month of July has been a storm of news, rumors and changes in the NBA. I did my best to provide a little bit of news and opinion now that the dust has cleared. Anything that took place before July 7th can be found in the first part here.
- Andrew Bynum signed on with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a two year deal worth $24 million. Only $6 million is guaranteed for his first season, the second year is a team option. Bynum must reach a number of health benchmarks in order to earn the other $6 million he's owed in year one. It's a great deal for both sides as the Cavs are getting a supreme center talent, when he's healthy, and Bynum joins a young promising squad destined for a playoff appearance. Winning is good for both parties.
- Chauncey Billups returns to the Detroit Pistons in a two-year deal worth roughly $5 million. Billups returns to different scenery in the Motor City, the place where he became an NBA Champion in 2004. He teams up with Josh Smith who inked his own four-year, $54 million deal with the Pistons. The two join a young roster that includes Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight. All showed signs of brilliance last season. Can the two veterans mesh chemistry together for a run in the powerful east?
- Eric Bledsoe was the main piece in a three-team deal that brought him and Caron Butler to Phoenix as the newest members of the Suns. Jared Dudley heads to Los Angeles and joins the Clippers. Bledsoe becomes the man in Phoenix on a team still rebuilding. The Suns are desperate to move past the Steve Nash era and start a new beginning by releasing new jerseys which feature a new logo this season. This deal gives them their point-guard of the future.
- The Knicks will give Metta World Peace a shot in New York. They bring it in for two seasons, the second equipped with an option, for just over $3 million over both seasons. The idea of Carmello Anthony, JR Smith and World Peace on the floor at the same time makes coach's hair gray, but excites fans like me hoping for chaos in the Garden this season.
- This brings me to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets made Jason Kidd their head coach, brought in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and continued to pile on the luxury tax. Andre Kirilenko signed with the Nets for a bargain of $3.18 million per year. Kidd will have Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brooke Lopez, KG, Pierce, the Jet and AK47 to play with in his first season at the helm. Not a bad box of toys to play with.
- I know this, Nets-Knicks games have taken on a whole new meaning and it's only the second season of the rivalry.
- JJ Redick leaves Milwaukee and joins 'Lob-City' (Los Angeles Clippers) who inked Redick to a four-year deal nearing $28 million. The Clippers now have shooters Dudley, Redick, Barnes and Jamal Crawford surrounding Chris Paul and the inside game of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers also, for now, have retained Lamar Odom. The Clippers are my favorite to win the Western Conference and their ability to score points in bunches should put fear in opponents this season. Darren Collison also joins the party, adding a veteran presence that allows CP3 to take the bench and breathe easy knowing the point-guard responsibilities are in capable hands.
- Help me out on Brandon Jennings, because I have no idea what's going on with him and the Bucks. The offer that was made to Jennings wasn't up to his standards and he remains a FA.
- Monta Ellis hurried out of Milwaukee and singed with the Dallas Mavericks for $25 million over three years. This is a significant pay cut compared to the $36 million offered by the Bucks that Ellis turned down.
Again, feel free to chat and inform me about significant moves I've missed. I know I didn't get everything.