NBA Free Agency Tracker: July 19th

Feb 8, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) talks with guard Dion Waiters (3) during the first half against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) talks with guard Dion Waiters (3) during the first half against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Free Agency continues to  roll along though fewer free agents are moving daily.  The Houston Rockets were idle, but the movement of big stars continues to have far reaching effects.

As NBA Free Agency draws near to 3 weeks of activity there are less than a handful of big name free agents unsigned and two are from the NBA Championship squad. Another has been cut loose due to a lack of early response and several lower tier players remain.

July 19th provided just 2 moves but one may have major repercussions as it may point to actions of what a certain team is planning to do

The Oklahoma City Thunder rescinded their initial qualifying offer to Dion Waiters  of $6.8M making him an unrestricted free agent. Though Waiters could have accepted the offer he chose to hold out presumably awaiting bigger deals. Now that OKC have back tracked it does tend to point to an earlier assessment this writer thought could happen which is the potential for GM Sam Presti to lock in Russell Westbrook to an extension similar to what the Houston Rockets did with James Harden. Obviously the Thunder can’t afford to lose 2 top 5 talents (Durant and Westbrook) without gaining anything in return, so this move makes logical sense.

Many pundits have assumed Westbrook would be traded with the Boston Celtics seemingly the leading candidate. I on the other hand felt Westbrook is more the type of player who take Durant’s departure personally and it would mean he would be more likely to stay in Oklahoma City.  Taking the available salary left on the table with Durant’s departure and the money from the Waiters initial deal OKC could extend Westbrook with a solid contract. Let’s also not forget Blake Griffin is a free agent this coming summer and is from Oklahoma. Locking in Westbrook could enhance the lure for Griffin to want to return home.

The only other deal occurring on July 19th was Mike Miller re-upped with the Denver Nuggets to a 2-year $6M deal. Given he’ll be utilized to offer veteran leadership to the youngsters his deal seems extremely efficient. He might not be able to offer the same on court services as Luol Deng but then again Miller’s deal is a far cry from Deng’s 4-year $80M deal.

Though the list grows shorter, especially of top talent, the following is a list of some free agent the Rockets will be mulling over:

LeBron James remains the only super star on the board.

Top talent remaining:

  • J.R. Smith
  • Dion Waiters

Next tier:

  • David Lee
  • Alan Anderson
  • Gerald Green

Lower Tier:

  • Ty Lawson
  • Jason Thompson
  • JJ Hickson
  • Markel Brown
  • Eric Moreland
  • Bryce Cotton
  • Jorge Gutierrez
  • Jeff Ayres
  • Henry Sims
  • Dorell Wright
  • Tony Wroten
  • Ryan Kelly
  • Lou Amundson
  • Ronnie Price
  • PJ Hairston
  • Tyler Hansbrough
  • Donald Sloan
  • James Anderson
  • Robert Sacre

Youthful Tier:

  • Norris Cole
  • Tyler Zeller
  • Donatas Motiejunas
  • Shane Larkin
  • Cleanthony Early
  • Thomas Robinson
  • Kevin Seraphin

Vets Tier:

Kevin Martin

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SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely check the NBA Free Agency Tracker (updated daily)

Next: NBA Free Agency Tracker

and the Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams entering Free Agency:

Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

Along with articles covering the draft:

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

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