NBA Off-Season: July 1

The Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes went underway as he met with the Chicago Bulls today. Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Derrick Rose were present, as was coach Tom Thibodeau who was in the van that transported Melo. Thibodeau has also been close to Melo’s agent for years, with some experience working with the prolific scorer on Team USA.

LeBron James wants a short-term max contract, King James seeking only 1-2 years.

Dwyane Wade is rumored to get a 4-year deal, making $12 million in the first year. This would be a massive pay cut.

Chris Bosh is rumored to get a 5-year deal, making $11 million in the first year. This would also be a massive pay cut.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving agreed to a 5-year extension.

Jason Kidd is the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, replacing Larry Drew.

As for the Brooklyn Nets, they receive a pair of  second round picks and are expected to hire former Grizzlies coach, Lionel Hollins.

Detroit Pistons sign shooting guard Jodie Meeks away from the Lakers, and small forward Cartier Martin from the Hawks. These two additions ranked 11th & 18th in 3-point % last season.

New Orleans Pelicans trying to extend shooting guard Anthony Morrow, Pistons hopeful to pry away another shooter, as are the Bulls who are fully focused on improving the offense (Melo sweepstakes, drafted Doug McBuckets, and possibly bringing Euro-league MVP Nikola Mirotic on board).

Toronto Raptors are likely to keep point guard Kyle Lowry. He is out of Miami’s price range, however the Lakers could push strong for him.

Luol Deng is also out of the Heat price range, his likely destinations are either with the Lakers or Mavericks.

Indiana Pacers made a movie to pitch to Lance Stephenson, showing appreciation in an effort to re-sign the breakout guard.

Washington Wizards focusing on re-signing their own, center Marcin Gortat and small forward Trevor Ariza. Cleveland likes Ariza a lot.

The likely dilemma Pau Gasol will face, choosing between the Los Angeles Lakers or the Dallas Mavericks.

Spencer Hawes is a rare breed, a 7-footer that can shoot from out. As part of a pitch to bring him to Portland, the Blazers want to involve the veteran as being vocal in team meetings and taking a leadership role.

Shaun Livingston is a point guard that played well last season after starting his career with knee injuries. The Sacramento Kings are in talks with the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo, if that doesn’t pan out this is their plan B target.

Isaiah Thomas is fielding calls, one of which he played for last season in Sacramento. The Kings may be covering their bases, but Thomas has the option to sign anywhere he desires. The Celtics’ are in the hunt for his services so a sign & trade for Rondo could come to fruition although doubtful. Boston just drafted a new backcourt and still has restricted free agent, Avery Bradley on the roster. For the record, Thomas is a point guard that averaged 20 points per game last season.

Don’t expected restricted free agents to go anywhere unless they are absolutely overpaid: Eric Bledsoe of the Suns, Gordon Hayward of the Jazz (biggest threat Cleveland), Chandler Parsons of the Rockets (assuming they don’t land Carmelo Anthony, he has tons of suitors). All restricted free agents have received numerous calls on day one of free agency, their respective teams have the option to match any offer sheet

However, restricted free agent Greg Monroe of the Pistons might be pried away, considering they have Josh Smith and Andre Drummond down low. Detroit is also interested in point guard Isaiah Thomas, perhaps a swap could be in the works there.

Paul Pierce has more than a fair share of suitors, he is expected to hang around in Brooklyn.