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Green stays in Golden State as NBA free agency opens: reports


Four-time champion Draymond Green will stay with Golden State while reigning NBA champion Denver lost guard Bruce Brown to Indiana according to multiple reports as NBA free agency dealmaking began Friday.

Brown has agreed to a two-year deal worth $45 million with the Pacers while the Warriors kept Green on a four-year deal worth $100 million, according to ESPN and The Athletic.

Just before the free agency negotiating period began, the NBA announced the salary cap for the 2023-24 season would be $136.021 million per club with minimum payroll at $122.418 million and the salary tax starting at $165.294 million.

Free agency talks were not permitted until Friday under NBA rules, which also outlaw the signing of new deals until Thursday, leaving only media reports to provide the first clues at moves by NBA clubs for next season.

Brown, 26, scored a career-best 11.5 points a game for the Nuggets in their championship run, playing a career-high 28.5 minutes a game.

Green, a 33-year-old forward, opted out of his deal but the Warriors had made it clear they wanted back the stalwart rebounder and defender.

The deal reportedly brings Green $22.3 million next year, saving the Warriors salary tax money.

Eight-time All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, traded from Brooklyn to Dallas last February, agreed to a three-year deal worth $126 million to stay with the Mavericks.

Portland, still wondering about the eventual fate of star Damian Lillard, are keeping forward Jerami Grant on a five-year deal worth $160 million, ESPN and The Athletic said.

Kyle Kuzma agreed to re-sign with Washington for $102 million over four years, guard Coby White agreed a three-year deal for $40 million to stay in Chicago and guard Caris LeVert is staying with Cleveland on a two-year deal worth $32 million, ESPN and The Athletic reported.

Harden’s fate unknown 

Philadelphia All-Star guard James Harden has opted into his $35.6 million contract for next season with the 76ers but ESPN and The Athletic report it was done so the team can work on a trade deal.

Harden, the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player and a three-time scoring champion who turns 34 in August, could wind up on his fourth team in as many seasons after being traded from Houston to Brooklyn in 2021 and being dealt from the Nets to the 76ers in 2022.

The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks reportedly have interest in Harden.

What the Sixers can obtain in return on any Harden deal is crucial since reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid will need more talent around him if he hopes to spark a Philadelphia title run.

ESPN reported the 76ers will not sign Tyrese Maxey to a contract extension this summer, hoping to keep extra salary cap space for 2024 and keep Maxey in a key role.

The Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 NBA champions, have two key free agents in Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez and keeping them might be crucial to hanging onto Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek superstar center who could become a free agent in 2025.

The Bucks had last season’s best record in the NBA but lost to Miami in the first round of the playoffs.

Fred VanVleet, a 29-year-old point guard who helped Toronto win the 2019 crown, is expected to draw major interest from the Houston Rockets, who have plenty of space under the salary cap to spend on talent.

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