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Duke in the NBA: Free agency update

The NBA's annual moratorium has officially passed and now players are free to sign their free agent contracts.

As we passed along last week, both J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy had no problems finding new contracts during the moratorium, and now both players have officially inked their new deals. With contracts now official, Redick revealed to USA Today that he felt the need to sell himself to contenders rather than being courted by teams himself. Ultimately he agreed to a four-year, $27 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. Dunleavy, who is believed to have signed for roughly $6 million over two seasons, was called "a priority... from the second free agency began," by Chicago general manager Gar Forman in the team's official press release.

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The only other former Blue Devil to put pen to paper this week was Josh McRoberts. After starting 19 of 26 games after being acquired by the Charlotte Bobcats, re-signing McRoberts was a priority. A two year, $5.5 million offer later and McRoberts is back in Charlotte for the upcoming season. The second year of the contract is a player option that McRoberts can choose not to exercise if he puts together a solid campaign in 2013-14.

McRoberts was only half of the Duke duo that the Bobcats hoped to lock up this offseason. The other player, Gerald Henderson, has yet to find middle ground on a suitable deal with Charlotte and may not agree to a deal with his former employer at all even though there is mutual interest between the two parties. A restricted free agent, the Bobcats can match any offer made to Henderson by another team, but Charlotte is hesitant to pay Henderson the $7.5-8.5 million he could command on the open market. Yahoo! is reporting that the Bobcats are now talking about sign and trade scenarios that would give the Duke guard the contract he deserves and Charlotte some compensation for losing one of its top players.

Elton Brand, who is expected to take his time in making a decision on who he will play for next season, has reportedly crossed out his hometown New York Knicks from his list of potential destinations. The Knicks may have fallen out of the running for Brand because they can only offer $1.7 million to the power forward this season. The Dallas Mavericks, Brand's most recent team, seems to be more focused on re-signing another one of its free agents, former North Carolina big man Brandan Wright. Even without the Knicks and Mavericks, Brand reportedly has multiple suitors and should have no problem finding a home for the coming season.

Nolan Smith, who injured himself playing summer league for the Boston Celtics, has a timeline for a return from his leg injury.

The former Duke guard is still expected to join the Celtics for training camp, where he'll try to impress new head coach Brad Stevens and earn a spot on the roster. Stevens knows Smith from the 2010 national championship game in which a Smith-led Blue Devil squad knocked off Stevens' Cinderella Butler team.

The market for Dahntay Jones has been mostly quiet, though the Knicks could have interest in the defensive-minded small forward after losing Chris Copeland to the Indiana Pacers this offseason. The market for Jones could heat up once top remaining small forward Andrei Kirilenko signs with a team.

Corey Maggette has recently talked about his willingness to accept a minimum salary to play for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Though Maggette likes the idea of playing in gold and purple, there is no report linking the Lakers to the free agent small forward. If the Lakers did add Maggette, he'd be the second Blue Devil on the roster, along with rookie Ryan Kelly.

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A former Lakers guard, Chris Duhon, is still not drawing significant interest on the free agent market. His tier of guards probably won't see contract offers until the top tier has all signed with their new teams.

Lance Thomas, who spent the last two season in New Orleans, is now a free agent after being waived to make room for the Pelicans to sign center Greg Stiemsma. Thomas' agent John Spencer says his client will still play in the Las Vegas Summer League for New Orleans along with Austin Rivers starting July 12, and could still re-sign with the Pelicans even after being waived.


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