We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com.
Do you think the NBA isn’t doing enough to prevent teams from tampering during free agency? — Greg Dizon
The rules against tampering have been flaunted for years, but everyone in the process has gotten more brazen after seeing how little enforcement there is. ESPN’s story this week cited several executives and agents who admit that discussions sometimes begin in May at the draft combine. This year may have been a tipping point, as a string of high-profile signings were announced shortly after the official start of free agency on June 30. The league heard complaints from its owners and issued a stern warning about following the rules prohibiting early contact. We’ll find out next summer if anything has changed.
Oklahoma City seems to have accepted that Paul will be on the roster when the season starts. The Heat were reported as the only interested suitor, and it appears they aren’t that interested without significant draft compensation. Paul has three years and $124MM remaining on his contract, which is scary for a 34-year-old with a history of injuries. The trade market may open up if he gets off to a strong start, and injuries to contending teams can create opportunities. The danger is that if he gets hurt or appears to have lost a step, OKC could be stuck with that contract through 2022.
Joe Johnson has been the dominant player in the BIG3. Should we expect him to get another NBA opportunity? — KGL, via Twitter
Johnson had another outstanding performance last night with 21 points and four steals in front of a supportive Utah crowd and has clearly been the best player in the summer three-on-three league. But there’s a big difference between that and NBA basketball, and Johnson wasn’t all that effective with the Rockets at the end of the 2017/18 season. Johnson is 38 and has been out of the league for a full year. He might get a chance to play limited minutes for a contender sometime during the season, but expectations should be kept in check.