Posey agrees to four-year deal with Hornets
LAS VEGAS -- The reigning NBA champions are about to lose their glue guy.
James Posey, arguably the most coveted unrestricted free agent left on the market, agreed to a four-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday worth an estimated $25 million, according to his agent Mark Bartelstein.
"It was a really tough decision for him," Bartelstein said. "Boston was an incredible experience for him every way you look at it. If he was going to leave Boston, he wanted to make sure it was for a team that would compete for championship immediately and the Hornets certainly are in that world."
Because of future luxury-tax concerns, Boston was apparently reluctant to offer Posey, 31, more than a two- or three-year deal starting at the league's midlevel exception (just under $5.6 million) in spite of Posey's considerable contributions to the Celtics' first championship since 1986.
Picking Up Posey
James Posey played a crucial role in the Celtics' playoff run to the NBA title last season, especially in the NBA Finals. Posey peaked scoring-wise in the championship round and helped spread the floor with his 3-point shooting.
|Round||PPG||3-pt FG pct.||FT pct.|
Losing Posey "is not good, you know?" Boston's Kevin Garnett told ESPN The Magazine's Sam Alipour. "Him and [Eddie House] were big big parts of why we won. Hopefully, we'll continue to try to get E-House and [retain] the majority of our team.
"But I wish [Posey] the best. Posey's a personal friend, and I'll be rooting for him -- other than when they're playing against us. [The Hornets] are getting a great leader, obviously a great 3-point shooter, but really a great leader on the floor."
Getting Posey is a huge coup for the Hornets, who are coming off a breakthrough season and increasingly billed as a future power in the West with quality starters such as David West, Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic surrounding face of the franchise Chris Paul.
But the Hornets went into the summer desperate to fortify their thin bench and import a proven winner like Posey, who has won two rings in the past three seasons with the Celtics and Miami Heat.
Shortly before the draft, the Hornets traded away their only draft choice, the 27th overall pick, to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for $3 million in cash with the stated purpose of using that money toward a proven player in free agency who could help them win right away.
With the money they received from Portland, combined with the savings that came from not having to shell out guaranteed money to a first-round draft pick, the Hornets were able to offer a generous enough deal to bring Posey to New Orleans.
Marc Stein covers the NBA for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- OKC's Morrow (MCL sprain) out 4-6 weeks
- Kobe salutes Nash: Ailing PG gave it his all
- Magic's Oladipo to have facial fracture surgery
- Toss up: Fans to rule on LeBron's chalk ritual
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
FREE AGENCY 2008
The NBA offseason has been busier than expected, thanks in part to Elton Brand's joining the 76ers. Keep up with the latest moves. Transactions
News• George's deal with Mavs made official
• Brown returns to New Orleans to back up Paul
• Veteran Finley re-signs with Spurs
• Nuggets re-sign Smith to multiyear deal
• Miles signs with champion Celtics
• George, Mavs agree to two-year deal
• Clips re-sign free-agent center Paul Davis
• Iguodala signs six-year deal with Sixers
• Sources: 76ers, Iguodala agree to multiyear deal
• Hawks match Grizzlies' $58M offer, retain Smith
• Heat's Williams reaches terms with Clippers
• Bobcats' Boykins signs European contract
• Restricted free agent Williams re-signs with 76ers
• Cavs shore up backcourt, sign ex-Grizzly Kinsey
• Arroyo signs with Maccabi Tel-Aviv
• Ex-Clipper draftee Skinner signs deal with team
• Bulls sign Deng to six-year extension
• Sources: Deng, Bulls on verge of deal
• Hawks sign ex-Magic G Evans to contract
• Sources: Okafor, Cats agree on new deal
• Nets lose Krstic to Moscow team
• Clippers sign swingman Davis from Heat
• Vujacic officially signs multiyear deal with Lakers
• Agent: Brown, Pistons agree to deal
• Warriors re-sign Biedrins to 6-year, $62M deal
• Sources: Biedrins, Warriors agree to 6-year deal
• Wolves agree to deal with Gomes
• Lakers, Vujacic agree to 3-year, $15 million deal
• Ellis inks $67 million deal to stay with Warriors
• Summer star Roberson signs with Knicks
• Andersen bolts Hornets to return to Denver
• Telfair re-signs with Timberwolves
• Childress leaves NBA for Greece
• Spurs re-sign Kurt Thomas
• Suns sign ex-Warrior Barnes to one-year deal
• Turiaf to play for Warriors
• Jazz, Williams agree to 4-year extension
• Sources: Clippers, Azubuike agree to offer sheet
• Bucks add veterans Allen, Lue
• Posey agrees to 4-year deal with Hornets
• Arenas signs six-year deal with Wiz
• Mason's hard work pays off in contract with Spurs
• Wright re-signs with Mavericks
• Clippers officially sign Davis to multiyear contract
• Family ties: Brent is 3rd Barry to play for Rockets
• Warriors ink forward Maggette to deal
• Magic sign, introduce ex-Warrior Pietrus
• Nets agree to terms with forwards Najera, Hayes
• Sixers give frontline big boost, sign Brand to deal
• Agent: Bucks to sign Bogut to $60M extension
• Diop rejoins Mavs on 5-year, $31M contract
• Gasol in Memphis: Marc, not Pau, signs contract
• Kings re-sign point guard Udrih to five-year deal
• Heat sign 3-point specialist Jones to 5-year deal
• Sources say Brand will sign with 76ers
• Sources: NBA cap at $58.68 million
• Sources: 76ers confident of getting Brand
• Sixers making run at Brand
• Hawks free agent Smith visits 76ers
• Brand opts out, and Clippers await decision
• Calderon reaches agreement on new Raps deal
• Wizards hang on to Jamison
• Reports: Arenas agrees to six-year contract
• For 2nd year in row, Cats, Okafor to discuss deal
• Artest not opting out of final year of deal
• Paul agrees on four-year, $68M deal
• Davis leaving Warriors for Clippers
• Free Agents: 2008 | 2009 and 2010
Analysis• Hollinger: Hornets pay heavily for Posey's ring
• Martin: Najera's 3-point skills help seal Nets deal
• Stein: Which teams in hot pursuit of free agents?
• Adande: Why Brand left the Clippers
• Broussard: Crushing blow for Clippers
• Arnovitz: Clipper Nation in world of hurt
• Adande: Brand's departure is business as usual
• Hollinger: Brand new Sixers are East challengers
• Hollinger: Five big questions on free agents
• Stein: Davis verbally agrees to go to Clippers
• Broussard: The Clippers' other free agent
• TrueHoop: What is Corey Maggette Worth?
Podcast• Stein on Elton Brand and Baron Davis
• Hollinger on players who may switch teams
• Broussard on the money given to Arenas
• Sheridan on Brand, Davis, Artest and Smith
Video• Bucher on how the Brand deal got done
• Bucher on the latest NBA news
• Arenas agrees to six-year extension