Australian NBA stars set to capitalise big off free agency frenzy

The NBA’s annual multi-billion dollar free agent market frenzy is about to erupt with Australians Aron Baynes and Dante Exum joining A-listers LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Chris Paul seeking new contracts.
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Last year NBA teams spent $US2.5 billion ($A3.4 billion) signing free agents.

James, a three-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP, is the top target.

James will test the free agent market after declining a one-year $US35.6 million contract option on Friday to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Newly minted Australian NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, who has a close relationship with James and shares the same agent, quickly went public with his campaign to entice the 33-year-old to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons, taking time out from hanging with celebrity girlfriend Kendall Jenner, posted KJ x FP on Instagram.

This free agent season may not be so bountiful for Baynes, Exum and other second and third tier players with 80 per cent of teams over the salary cap.

The Boston Celtics want to keep Baynes who was a defensive force and surprise three-point threat in their run to the Eastern Conference finals.

Baynes has also proven to be a phenomenal team-mate.

He just brings an infectiousness that I can’t describe, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

Baynes may only receive a relatively cheap deal worth around $US5 million a year.

The Celtics are also keen to re-sign defensive stopper Marcus Smart.

The Utah Jazz want to keep Exum and, as a restricted free agent, have an advantage over teams pursuing the Australian guard.

The Jazz have presented Exum with a $US6.6 million qualifying offer to stay in Utah the coming season and can match offers from rival teams.

I think everybody’s been punched in the face before of not having success, Scherzer told The Washington Post after his Brett Ritchie Jersey last start, a 1-0 loss to the Marlins. This is the big leagues; they are going to keep coming down your throat and keep attacking you.

Scherzer, Washington’s only dependable starter of late, is 4-4 with a 6.05 ERA in 10 starts versus Boston.

Porcello allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last time out in a no-decision against the Angels.

He’s 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his lone start against Washington, an eight-inning effort in April of 2015.

The Nationals (42-40) squandered an early 3-0 lead in Philadelphia on Sunday and fell 4-3 in 13 innings on Andrew Knapp’s pinch-hit walk-off home run as Washington dropped a second straight weekend series to their division rivals.

Washington managed only four hits in eight innings against the Philadelphia bullpen in the finale.

Offensively, we’ve got to do more, outfielder Adam Eaton told The Post. That’s plain and simple. We score early and then we can’t coast. We can’t take our foot off the accelerator. We Womens Aaron Hicks Jersey got to keep going.