Dancing With Noah

Just messing around, getting triple doubles

Leave the Mess, they should see this

If my head and all the gooey contents inside it happen to spontaneously explode and splatter across the white walls of my apartment or the dual monitors of my cubicle, I ask my friends, family and colleagues to please leave the remnants as a reminder/tribute/warning sign to an accelerated NBA free agency period.

As a Junky, it’s in my genes to shoot up free agent gossip with a great big syringe. The machine’s already been kicked into gear by people who move in the shadows and go by names like “unnamed sources” and apparently Chris Broussard knows a lot of these people. It’s impossible to tell if this will be a good or bad experience for NBA teams. I see two possibilities (although other outcomes are likely):

  1. Good for the teams! Hooray! Instead of signing players in July, general managers get five full months to plan on white boards and balance sheets! How could this be bad? NBA teams typically start negotiating with players on July 1st and following a week-long moratorium, are able to sign players on or around July 8th. From there, the market shakes out LeBron James signing first and the rest of the league following suit. Of course, players and teams have likely been flirting behind the scenes (moving in shadows and shit) so it’s not like July is speed dating for players and teams. That being said, the first ten days of July are when the action goes down. One could infer that teams having an extra few months to consider the vast combinations of players and contracts would be more than a good thing; it’d be a great thing. A big part of the new CBA was helping the owners and management help themselves. The amnesty clause is the poster child of the league, owners and players acknowledging the need for the occasional do over. Of course, not all (likely) amnesty casualties are the result of owners and management making bad decisions, but it provides teams a one-time out and is GMs admitting, “Hey man, sometimes we fuck up too.” While the negotiations haven’t been allowed until now, front offices and coaching staffs had to have been discussing potential free agents …. right?
  2. The second possibility? Well, if front offices have consistently made shitty decisions when they haven’t been under the gun or navigating through a brand new set of contracts and rules, then how well do you expect them to perform under duress? Sure, they may have had a few more months to try and put the puzzle together, but without contact with agents or players, how well could it possibly have gone; especially when you consider no one knew what kind of salary cap structure to expect. I don’t believe that NBA GMs have an easy job. It’s not easy to assess how human beings are going to perform in new surroundings in a new system with new co-workers and a new boss. Shit can and does go wrong; that’s life in my office, your office and theirs. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge, stinking bagful of excruciatingly shitty decisions to be made over the next three weeks.

Where does that leave us? It leaves us with question marks. We’ve got to rely on guys like Broussard and Danny Ainge to provide us with information we can trust, but we can’t trust them so we’ve got to speculate and that leads to rumors and bad information. We’re already struggling beneath the weight of Dwight Howard and Chris Paul rumors—and they’re not even free agents; but I guess that’s what happens when the top free agents are Nene, David West and Tyson Chandler.

No, my head probably won’t explode, but with a new CBA set to change the way teams do business (supposedly), an amped up free agency period and a shortened season, we’re slap dab in the middle of an NBA transformation and only God (if he’s watching) and Henry Abbott really know what’s going to happen.

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