Things we learned from the 1st day of Free Agency:
1) Question: If I asked anyone in America before Day 1 of free agency, "Who from the 2003 super-class will sign first?" I'm guessing that few, if any, would have smiled and said, "Darko!" Yes, Darko just got... FOUR MORE YEARS! The NBA is funny, because back in March... even Darko thought he would be returning to Europe.
Don't worry, Darko played really well at the end of last year. He hit double figures 9 out of the last 15 games, and even got 9 rebounds or more 3 out of his last 15 games. Let's also not forget though, that almost none of these games were remotely close, as the T-wolves somehow, remarkably, only won 2 games after February 3rd. Yes, they went 2-30 to end the season... but don't worry, Darko is back!!!!
2) If you are over 6 foot 10 inches tall, and are able to either a) walk and chew gum or b) you can tie your shoes, you are probably going to be a very rich man.
On the first day of free agency, while most of the media was focused on LeBron's meetings, the more interesting thing was this:
Darko - 4 years, $20 million.
Drew Gooden - 5 years, $32 million (yes. The same Drew Gooden who has passed between 6 teams in 3 years, the same one who gets confused by being required to play any defensive system.)
Amir Johnson - 5 years, $34 million - (Yes, the same Amir Johnson that played 4 seasons in Detroit, only to be traded to Milwaukee, then after playing on Milwaukee's summer league team, was traded to Toronto in a package deal for Carlos Delfino. The best part of the article (written last summer) , is how the article states how "Just as importantly, his contract expires next summer and his presence continues to give Colangelo some financial flexibility next summer." Well... there goes the financial flexibility! You just gave Amir a bunch of money for getting 6.2ppg, 4.8 rebs, for his 17 minutes per game!
I think this is only the beginning though... part of the reason Milwaukee parted ways with Amir was their acquisition of Hakim Warrick (at least according to the article above)... but he's a free agent too.... and reportedly receiving a LOT of interest!
The scary thing is... Brendan Haywood, the most talented, traditional center (not counting Bosh or Amare) in Free Agency 2010 is still available. What does Haywood get? $10 million? A Max deal???
3) A valuable use for Twitter.... Free Agency has made Twitter a very valuable resource, especially if you are reading Cleveland beat writer Brian Windhorst. My favorite tweet from today was "Knicks, like Nets, said they felt meeting went well. Knicks also rented a van to haul presentation gear in."
Which begs the question: What in the world is in the presentations for LeBron that requires a VAN's worth of equipment???
Is the presentation in 3-D? Does the presentation include a personal robotic butler that goes inside the van? Does the presentation include celebrities that are kidnapped and placed in the van? Does the presentation include a visual light display like the one in Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Does the presentation include super-models that jump out of cakes? Does the presentation include NBA trade scenarios? Did the Knicks/Nets use the van just to transport super-computer Deep Blue, so Deep Blue could give its advice to LeBron? Please, someone tell me what goes on in these presentations, and what in the world you need more than 3 laptops for!