Saturday, July 2, 2016

Free Agency Moves and Grooves!

With July 1st arriving and drafts in the NBA and NHL over-it is time for just one thing-the nuttiness that is free agency.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost two players to the free agency pool as Timofey Mozgov signed a four year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for 64 million and Matthew Dellavedova signed a four year offer sheet worth 39 million with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Cavaliers are not expected to match the offer sheet and will then lose Dellavedova to Milwaukee.
Now,these deals cannot be officially signed until July 7th and the deals are not binding (ask DeAndre Jordan and Mark Cuban about that),but usually where there is smoke there is fire.

Mozgov was very impressive after being acquired in the 2014-15 season from Denver,but a return from knee surgery never seemed to go smoothly and the seven foot Mozgov wound up playing sparingly for most of the season and postseason.
Dellavedova didn't play a lot vs Golden State,but was a valuable backup to Kyrie Irving on the point in the Eastern Conference bracket.
The hustle off the bench made Delly a fan favorite and one of mine as well,but for just under ten million per year and J,R.Smith needing to be re-signed,one can make an excellent argument that Dellavedova would be a far too expensive luxury for the salary cap stressed Cavaliers.
Cleveland will still have Mo Williams and rookie Kay Felder to back up Irving,but it would not surprise me at all to see the Cavaliers try to sign a veteran at the position,if one can be signed inexpensively.

Meanwhile on the ice,the New Jersey Devils fresh off obtaining Taylor Hall signed two players to the team and watched another sign elsewhere on day one of the silly season.
The loss came to the defense as David Schlemko signed with the San Jose Sharks on a four year deal at 2.1 million per season.
Schlemko played very well in his only season in New Jersey,but honestly considering the length of the contract,I'm Ok with not re-signing Schlemko.

New Jersey did add two players,neither of which were massive acquisitions,but both should see plenty of ice time in the 2016-17 term.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy was brought in from ,in a stunning surprise-Pittsburgh.
Lovejoy actually will be making more than Schlemko per season,but will be on a three year contract.
The 32 year old Lovejoy played in 66 games last season and finished with four goals and six assists and a plus nine.
Lovejoy isn't a flashy addition and neither is 36 year old Vernon Fiddler.
Fiddler scored 12 goals last season for the Dallas Stars and should be a fourth line center on the checking line as well as helping kill penalties.
Fiddler's signing will likely mean that at least one or two of the Devils unrestricted free agents are unlikely to return as most of them (Bobby Farnham,Stephen Gionta,Tyler Kennedy,Tuomo Ruutu and Jordin Tootoo) are similar types as Fiddler-3rd to 4th lines that specialize in checking/penalty killing.
Neither signing will be part of the long term turnaround,but should at least help the Devils in the short term.

That finishes the day one recap of the arrivals and departures.
If I have time,I'll try to to knock out part one of my last trip....

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