Good afternoon, folks. Over 200 NBA players are set to become free agents once the clock strikes 6:00 pm EST today. Let’s talk NBA offseason.
The NBA decided to bump up the start time for its now famous media frenzy that is summer free agency. Instead of the normal midnight start time – where deals were breaking at 2:30 in the morning – it is now a media spectacle for fans to enjoy. National reporters such as Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) and Shams Charania (The Athletic) have already begun to break some of the new signings such as Kemba Walker to Jack’s Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets. And that was a full 24 hours before the official start time. About 40 percent of the league is set to be a free agent in some capacity this summer – many of them high-level All-Stars. My phone might run out of battery after the first hour.
With all this said, I hope everyone is excited for some NBA news today. I’ll be in control of the site all day bringing you the free agent signings the minute they happen. Of course, I’ll only be focusing on the former Kentucky players (and you can check out who is set to be a free agent in my preview pieces here and here). There are even some fringe NBA players such as the Harrison twins and Isaiah Briscoe that could hope to find new homes this summer, too.
I’m particularly interested to see what happens with Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is going to be a wildcard free agent. I’m not sure even he knows what his market is right now. He’ll receive interest from several teams, but the amount of money and the length of the deal is the intriguing aspect. How will teams view his injury going forward? Can he be an All-Star level player again? With Golden State, we never got the full Cousins experience post-Achilles tear. We don’t really know what to expect from Cousins when he finally does get back onto the court.
As for Cauley-Stein, the Kings recently extended him a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. His agent has already expressed his client’s need for a “fresh start” and the feeling between player and franchise appears to be mutual. Although, there wasn’t any reason for the Kings to not offer the QO. They can trade Cauley-Stein later or just decide to not make him an offer. Either way, they’ll have priority over signing him before any other team.
It’s going to be a crazy afternoon. Hopefully, we can learn the future of some former Wildcats sooner rather than later.