NBA Free Agency Notes: Rockets Fail To Make Big Moves
In Houston, Brian Smith writes a "bad summer keeps going backward for the Rockets," as the team "whiffed big time" on free agent F Jimmy Butler, who was acquired by the Heat in a sign-and-trade with the 76ers. The Rockets "failed to make even a Sunday splash." Yesterday was "yet another reminder that so much can change so fast in this crazy league." The Rockets "looked slow on the trigger and out of the big-name race" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/1).
A NEW ERA: In Utah, Brad Rock notes with Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey being promoted to Exec VP/Basketball Operations and Justin Zanik moving to GM, signing free agent F Bojan Bogdanovic was "obviously a collaborative effort." Whoever has been "pulling the strings has done it with panache." In the last two weeks, the Jazz have acquired G Mike Conley and Bogdanovic, with the latest move being "widely hailed as a picture-changing addition." Next season is "far away, but this summer has been one of the most significant in team history" (DESERET NEWS, 7/1).
GOING FOR IT: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes the Mavericks signing F Kristaps Porzingis to a five-year, $158M deal is "insane." Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban had "no choice" but to sign Porzingis to a max contract. The Mavericks are a franchise that Cuban, thanks to Dirk Nowitzki, "made relevant in the NBA." They are "not the Lakers, Celtics or any celebrity franchise." So, when a player like Porzingis "actually lands on your team, you have no choice but to keep them and to accept the risk no matter the insanity" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/1).
DIFFERENT LOOK: In Philadelphia, David Murphy writes the 76ers are going to "look different, much different, than any incarnation of the team" seen over the last couple of seasons. It is going to "take a lot more than an hour to fully digest the series of moves" that GM Elton Brand and his front office "pulled off on the first day of NBA free agency," notably signing F Al Horford and losing Butler to the Heat (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/1).