Free Agency...Gasol, Miller Update
By Randy Renner
After an opening flurry of deals and rumors flying all over the place things have quieted down a little in free agency as everyone seems to be in a holding pattern waiting on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to decide what they're going to do.
The Thunder are caught up in this too because the decisions of James and Anthony will likely have an impact on what Pau Gasol and to a lesser extent Mike Miller end up doing.
Miller told a Memphis radio station last week he hoped to have an agreement in place with someone by Friday or Saturday. Now here it is Sunday and we hear Miller is going to have a sit down with representative of the Denver Nuggets.
Last week Miller said he had finished up his meetings with teams, the Nuggets have now worked their way into the conversation so apparently Miller isn't happy with the offers he's received so far.
He was hoping to remain with the Grizzlies but also wanted a long-term deal, at least three years and preferably four. The Grizzlies are balking at that and so are the other teams he's talked to including the Thunder.
OKC is believed to be trying to hold the line at a two year deal so the books can be kept as open as possible for when Kevin Durant's contract comes up again.
As you know the since the Thunder are over the salary cap they can only offer the mid-level exception, about $5.3 million in the first year. They also have a non-taxpayer exception available at about $3.3 million.
And they still have the $6.5 million trade exception available from the Kevin Martin deal with Minnesota but a trade or sign and trade would have to be involved to get that.
Complicating the possible offer to Miller is Gasol. The Thunder have the same options with him. Gasol is thought to be the priority but his decision likely won't come until James and Anthony and maybe even Chris Bosh have made theirs.
So it is still a very fluid situation that has never-the-less become bogged down and even though the Thunder aren't involved in the pursuit of James or Anthony their decisions will impact the Thunder.
The Thunder's Summer League team will try to rebound today from yesterday's disappointing blowout loss to Memphis.
The Thunder turned the ball over a ridiculous 27 times and that destroyed any chance of winning the game.
But you had to love what you saw from rookie Mitch McGary and from Perry Jones III. Today the Thunder will take on the Philadelphia 76ers and Nerlens Noel who had a huge game in his injury delayed debut yesterday.
Tipoff is set for 4pm Oklahoma time and you can see it on NBA-TV.