MIAMI (AP) — Drama is never in short supply during NBA free agency.
This year will be no exception.
Case in point: A Utah fan has been lobbying Gordon Hayward to stay with the Jazz, citing a story this week about how the Massachusetts Legislature is aiming to raise taxes on those who make more than $1 million a year. That fan happens to be U.S. Congressional hopeful Tanner Ainge, the son of Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge.
So even family ties get crossed during free agency, which starts Saturday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern, the moment when players like Hayward, Kyle Lowry, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and many more can start officially taking meetings and hearing pitches that will ultimately help them decide where to play next season.
“You never know what’s going to happen in free agency,” Miami Heat President Pat Riley said. “We’ll see what happens on July the 1st. It’s always a pretty exciting time.”
With Chris Paul already traded to Houston, and since free-agents-to-be Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are widely believed as locks to stay with NBA champion Golden State, Hayward could be considered the top available player in free agency. He’ll meet Saturday with the Heat, a team that will have around $35 million to spend once they officially part ways with Chris Bosh and get relief from the remainder of his contract.
No deals can be executed until July 6, but it’s likely that agreements adding up to $2 billion or more will be in place by when the moratorium ends. Everyone is chasing Golden State, and Houston has fired the first big…
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