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2011 NBA Free Agency Diary
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On December 16, 2011 @ 11:30 am In All,NBA | No Comments
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Get the very latest news, notes and rumors surrounding 2011 NBA Free Agency.
Jason Fleming – 12/16/2011 6:04pm EST
Big man Jason Smith agreed to a three-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets worth $7.5 million.
The Chicago Bulls have waived Keith Bogans and Jannero Pargo. They seem satisfied with 13 players for now.
One of center Earl Barron or forward Chris Johnson will get waived by the Portland Trail Blazers at some point soon. The signing of Craig Smith, his deal is guaranteed, means Portland has to make a cut, even with using amnesty on Brandon Roy. Both Barron and Johnson are on fully unguaranteed deals.
Bill Ingram – 12/16/2011 2:00pm EST
Michael Redd has emerged as a person of interest to teams still looking to add backcourt depth. The Indiana Pacers have reached out to Redd’s camp, prepared to move on from ongoing talks with the Memphis Grizzlies about OJ Mayo, and the New York Knicks have also reached out after losing free agent target Shawne Williams to the New Jersey Nets.
It has long been assumed that Andrei Kirilenko would be a member of the New Jersey Nets this season, owing to his native connection with Russian Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Heading into free agency Kirilenko indicated he would love to be back in Utah, but the Jazz opted to take a chance on the oft-injured Josh Howard instead. The Sacramento Kings had a lot of interest in the Russian forward, but now it appears he could, indeed, land in New Jersey. The Kings are continuing their pursuit, but both sides feel that Kirilenko has not really settled on leaving CSKA Moscow.
The other highly-coveted shooting guard who is still on the market won’t be for long, if the Denver Nuggets have their way. Arron Aflallo, who is a favorite of Nuggets head coach George Karl’s, is a restricted free agent and is really just waiting for the market to set his value. The Nuggets are prepared to match, which is also, in the grand tradition of restricted free agency, why no offers have been proffered.
Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey is one of the more highly-regarded free agents still available, and the reason he hasn’t reached a deal is reportedly because he is looking at a new contract starting at around $10 million per season. Even under the old CBA based upon a better economic time that is simply an absurd number for Stuckey, though he has improved markedly each season. It seems he could be sitting on the sidelines until a cold dose of reality kicks in.
It appears likely that the New Jersey Nets will ink free agent forward Kris Humphries to a one-year contract as they look to fill a front court vacancy without jeopardizing their 2012 cap space.
Bill Ingram – 12/15/2011 5:00pm EST
The impact free agents are slowly but surely disappearing as the end of training camp nears and teams start looking towards their first preseason game this weekend. As Alex Kennedy mentioned below, Jamal Crawford is now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, and this afternoon the New Orleans Hornets re-signed Carl Landry, the other key name that was still out there.
Interesting move by the Timberwolves today, too, adding Bonzi Wells to their training camp roster. Wells hasn’t played since his last stint with the Houston Rockets in 2008. He must have made a good impression on Rick Adelman, who is now the head coach of the Timberwolves. He also played for Adelman in Sacramento earlier in their respective careers.
Alex Kennedy – 12/15/2011 3:30pm EST
After considering a number of teams, Jamal Crawford has decided to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers. The veteran shooting guard will sign a two-year deal worth $10 million and he’ll have a player option after the first year, according to sources close to the situation. Crawford is currently leaning toward opting out after this season so he can test free agency again next summer.
Crawford turned down offers from the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings before agreeing to terms with Portland. The 31-year-old will be close to his hometown of Seattle and have the opportunity to contend with the Blazers. Sacramento was offering more money than Portland, but Crawford felt this was the better situation for him.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been recruiting Crawford for months, on Twitter and in person. Two days ago, he tweeted, “I’m doing my best to get [Jamal] to Portland.” Crawford has known Blazers head coach Nate McMillan since he was 16 years old, which also factored into his decision.
Crawford will replace Brandon Roy in Portland’s backcourt, which is ironic because the two are best friends. They’ve known each other for years and worked out together throughout the course of the lockout. Now, Crawford and Wesley Matthews will compete for the starting job.
Last season, Crawford averaged 14.2 points in 76 games with the Atlanta Hawks.
Jason Fleming – 12/15/2011 12:30pm EST
Carl Landry is off the market. According to multiple reports he signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets worth $8.75 million. That’s way more money than he was getting anywhere else for one season and as a free agent in 2012 he will probably get at least the same offers he was getting now, just with more cash already in the bank – smart move.
Right now he looks to be the backup four behind Emeka Okafor with Chris Kaman at center post-Chris Paul trade, but expect the Hornets to move one or both of those players. Given the three years left on Okafor’s contract ($40.5 million), they’d rather move him.
Shawne Williams agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with the New Jersey Nets. That’s the same money New York was offering, but the Nets offered a bigger role. They have turned their full attention to Andrei Kirilenko now.
Earl Clark agreed to a two-year deal with Orlando. He could have received more money elsewhere, but his heart was in Orlando.
Jamal Crawford seems to be leaning towards the Kings over Portland. They already were overloaded with guards, but let’s see what kind of offense they decide to run.
The Knicks may be focusing on Mo Evans now with their $2.5 million exception.
Alex Raskin – 12/14/2011 11:26pm EST
The New Jersey Nets are reportedly in “serious” talks with Andrei Kirilenko, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix wrote on his Twitter account. These negotiations aren’t too surprising given the fact that Kirilenko originally played with CSKA Moscow, with whom Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has long been associated with financially.
Obviously Kirilenko also has a history with Nets point guard Deron Williams, whom he played with in Utah. The addition of Kirilenko would support the belief that the Nets are going to more up-tempo, pick-and-roll oriented offense.
He’s known for his defense and his ability to finish around the basket, but Kirilenko surprised many by making 36.7% of his 3-point attempts last season—by far a career high. Kirilenko might not help the Nets on the boards as much as second-year small forward Damion James would, but he’d be able to defend players like Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala, all of whom will face the Nets frequently this season.
It’s hard to say what Kirilenko could get by signing with the Nets. The team has cap room, but if they’re really going to cut Travis Outlaw with the amnesty clause, why would they replace his $7 million per-year deal with another contract of equal or lesser value. This is a team that is trying to shed payroll in hopes of squeezing Magic center Dwight Howard on to the books, so Prokhorov and D-Will might just be looking for a favor from an old friend.
Jason Fleming – 12/14/2011 5:10pm EST
It’s been fairly quiet today. The hot rumor was the one Bill Ingram discussed in the NBA @ 2, about Orlando sending Dwight Howard to the Nets. New Jersey would have sent Brook Lopez to the Magic and also taken back Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon. In addition, two first-round picks would have gone to the Magic plus two or three more (five total) to Portland. In return for the picks, Portland would have sent Gerald Wallace to the Magic.
Later the Magic announced there would be no more discussions around Dwight Howard and they will not be trading him now. Which, really, is the same thing they said Monday.
In other news, the Chicago Bulls are close to a three-year deal with shooting guard Rip Hamilton rumored to be for $15 million. The Detroit Pistons agreed to a buyout of the last two years and $25 million Hamilton was owed the other day and he just cleared waivers. He has been expected to sign a deal with Chicago all along. It’s important to note here Hamilton was NOT an amnesty waiver. It seems like would be given the timing, but Detroit chose not to go that route, presumably because Hamilton gave back significant money in exchange for his free agency. The Pistons will have a cap hit for the agreed upon buyout amount for the next two seasons.
The Nets have started talking with free agent power forward Kris Humphries, having struck out on Nene and – for the time being at least – Howard. If they agree to a deal look for it to be a one-year deal at decent money; the Nets want big cap space again next summer in order to keep Deron Williams and woo another superstar.
Do the Lakers really have a shot at Chris Paul? Is that why their name has come up in the Paul rumors again? Or are they just being used as leverage against the Clippers to see if the Clips will come off their stance New Orleans can only have Eric Gordon OR Minnesota’s 2012 first-round pick (in addition to Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu) in any Paul deal? Considering the NBA’s demands in a Paul trade and how the Lakers don’t seem to have those kinds of assets it seems to be a leverage move, but we shall see.
Jason Fleming – 12/14/2011 12:13am EST
Here’s a link to the Nene story – staying with Denver for five years and $63 million. That’s a huge win for Denver. Now they can focus on keeping Arron Afflalo.
Jamal Crawford is a hot name right now, with Portland, Sacramento and New York all vying for his services. He turned down a two-year, $10 million deal from Indy earlier in the day.
The Knicks can only offer the “we spent all our cap space” exception of two years starting at $2.5 million. The Kings have plenty of cap space, but also plenty of guards.
Word is he would like Portland and Portland (especially LaMarcus Aldridge) seems to want him, but right now they can only offer the mini-MLE of three years starting at $3 million. (Another word is Crawford wants a one-year deal to hit free agency again next summer.)
That could change. If the Blazers use the amnesty provision on the retiring-due-to-injury Brandon Roy, they can offer Crawford the $5 million full MLE. However, they may not have to use the provision now. They have applied for a Disabled Player Exception for Roy, which would grant them a roster spot and the ability to offer a one-year, $5 million, as reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian. That’s right in the Crawford wheelhouse and would allow Portland to keep amnesty for a possible future use (the expectation is due to injury Roy would come off the books completely in April, one year after he last played).
If Crawford wants to sign a one-year deal, Portland seems to be the perfect choice, especially if they are granted the Disabled Player Exception. The Blazers hope to hear back from the NBA by the end of the week, so we may not get a decision from Crawford until then.
In Portland Crawford could reprise the same role he did in Atlanta as the first guard off the bench. He can score in bunches and can run the point, although his reputation as a shooter may be overstated. Compared with the incumbent starter at the two, Wesley Matthews, Crawford’s shooting percentages pale and Matthews is a better rebounder, defender, and a bigger physical presence.
Jason Fleming – 12/13/2011 5:53pm EST
The Rudy Fernandez deal also includes Corey Brewer. Both will go to Denver from Dallas for a future second-round pick, using part of the aforementioned Anthony exception.
This gives the Nuggets plenty of wing depth now, assuming they retain restricted free agent Arron Afflalo. And perhaps, eventually, restricted free agent Wilson Chandler.
Jason Fleming – 12/13/2011 4:21pm EST
Our brothers at HoopsHype have confirmed Dallas will trade Rudy Fernandez to the Denver Nuggets.
Denver can absorb his contract because they are so far under the cap, but they also have trade exceptions from the Carmelo Anthony deal they will likely use to accept Fernandez. Rudy makes $2.2 million this season, the final of his rookie scale deal, but the Nuggets have a $17.1 million TPE from the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Dallas may get a second-round pick as well, but the Nuggets are also trying to bring in Corey Brewer as well, owed $2.5 million this season.
Fernandez is not a long-term asset. During the lockout he signed a long-term deal in Spain that he will return to once the final year of his NBA contract is up.
Jason Fleming – 12/13/2011 3:31pm EST
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports free agent forward Josh McRoberts will sign a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers using the mini Mid-Level Exception. At this point it’s unclear if that’s all of the mini MLE or just a portion.
A full mini MLE contract would be worth a prorated $3.0 million in 2011-12 and $3.135 million in 2012-13.
Originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers and then traded to Indiana in the Jerryd Bayless deal. Last season was by far his best, averaging 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game (51 starts). He also shot 54.7% from th field.
Jason Fleming – 12/13/2011 11:25am EST
The Golden State Warriors have agreed to a deal with free agent center Kwame Brown for one year and $7 million. Brown earned the veteran’s minimum last year with Charlotte and played well, averaging 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
The move by the Warriors leaves them with about $3.5 million in cap space left (add that to Brown’s deal and you get the offer sheet DeAndre Jordan signed).
It also allows the Warriors to essentially move their cap space from 2011 to the summer of 2012. Brown and Louis Amundson will come off the cap and the Warriors, as of today, could be sitting on almost $13 million in cap space.
Bill Ingram – 12/13/2011 10:00am EST
The Houston Rockets are considering using the amnesty clause to waive center Hasheem Thabeet, which would leave them with no center on their current roster. The move would save the Rockets a little more than $5 million, but would really be kind of a bizarre move. The team knew he was a project (at best) when they traded Shane Battier for him at last year’s NBA trade deadline. Now they’re prepared to pay him to go away?
The Rockets were well aware of just how bad Thabeet was long before they traded for him, making the possibility of an amnesty cut truly curious. They could have kept Shane Battier, who might have helped Houston make the playoffs instead of doing the same for Memphis, and then his contract expired at the end of the season and Houston could have let him leave to gain cap space.
HOOPSWORLD talked to a wide range of coaches and scouts about Thabeet before he was drafted two summers ago, and not one person believed he was capable of being an effective NBA player. As it turns out, all of those people were right. Strange that the Rockets didn’t heed the advice of those same experts in making their decision to trade for him . . .running off their head coach in the process.
Bill Ingram – 12/13/2011 10:00am EST
Andrei Kirlenko is enjoying playing in Russia so much that he’s finding it hard to break away to join an NBA team. That said, the Sacramento Kings are pursuing the defensive-minded power forward and he has reportedly said he would welcome a contract offer from the team. Kirilenko is under contract with CSKA Moscow, but has an opt-out that’s valid for the next 30 days.
Jason Fleming – 12/12/2011 9:14pm EST
Delonte West has agreed to a one-year deal with Dallas and is apparently the replacement for J.J. Barea.
The Mavs also signed Vince carter to the full mini MLE of three years starting at $3 million per season.
Also, it looks like the Memphis Grizzlies have locked up restricted free agent Marc Gasol. He never signed the offer sheet from the Houston Rockets and will make not quite true max money. He will earn more than another team could pay him, but not true max. Houston’s offer was reportedly for four years and $55 million. The Memphis deal is rumored to be four years and $58 million.
Oh, and one more minor thing. The NBA/Hornets and the L.A. Clippers are talking about another version of a Chris Paul trade. Word is a new offer will be submitted by tomorrow at the latest.
Alex Raskin – 12/12/2011 6:40pm EST
The Clippers have entered the winning waiver bid on free agent point guard Chauncey Billups, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein wrote on his Twitter page. Billups, who was unhappy about being amnestied by the Knicks, has reportedly been resistant to sign with any team that put in a waiver claim on him because he wanted to sign with a team of his choosing such as the HEAT or another title contender. However the Clippers have already added Caron Butler this offseason to a core that includes Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, so the chance to play for the Staples Center’s “other” team might be attractive to the veteran point guard.
It’s unclear what this means as far as the Clippers’ pursuit of Chris Paul, but it probably suggests that Los Angeles has moved on and will retain many of those assets to possibly use in other deals.
Update from Eric Pincus: After debate/analysis with salary cap expert Larry Coon and confirmation directly from Clipper sources, DeAndre Jordan’s cap hold is not impacted by the Golden State offer sheet, so the team was indeed under the cap for their winning bid on Billups.
Jason Fleming – 12/12/2011 2:32pm EST
A deal that early this morning looked to be about done is now off. The Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Clippers is dead.
The deal, rumored to be Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, and Minnesota’s 2012 first-round pick, may still see life in a new incarnation. Also, there are conflicting reports about whether Eric Gordon was in the offer as well as Bledsoe.
Supposedly the Hornets – run by the NBA – wanted all of them, but the Clippers said either the pick or Gordon. Others, including our own Eric Pincus, have said Gordon is off the table.
We’ll see what happens next.
Alex Raskin – 12/12/2011 12:52pm EST
The Knicks have signed swingman Devin Green and big man Chris Hunter, interim general manager Glen Grunwald announced Monday.
The 6-7 Green hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2005-2006 season when he was a member of the Lakers. He’s spent his subsequent years in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Puerto Rico, China and Bulgaria, where he averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for Lukoil Academic last season.
Hunter originally signed with the Knicks in April of 2009, but the 6-11 former Michigan center has primarily been in the D-League since then.
The Knicks have 13 players on the active roster.
Alex Raskin – 12/12/2011 12:09pm EST
As HOOPSWORLD Senior NBA Editor Bill Ingram just wrote, the Pacers and Grizzlies have agreed on a sign-and-trade deal that sends O.J. Mayo to Indianapolis in exchange for Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush.
This is the same deal that was nearly consummated at last season’s trade deadline, but the paperwork wasn’t filed in time and both teams ended up pointing the finger at one another.
It’s unclear what McRoberts’ new contract would look like, but he is a nice pick-and-roll defender off the bench for the Grizzlies while Rush adds to the team’s depth at shooting guard and small forward.
Mayo would likely fit into the Pacers starting lineup, which has recently added veteran power forward David West.
Jason Fleming – 12/11/2011 6:48pm EST
The Golden State Warriors used amnesty on the troubled Charlie Bell, cutting his $4.1 million from their cap. They then rescinded a $1.1 Qualifying Offer to Reggie Williams. This allowed them to formally present a four-year, $43 million offer sheet to Los Angeles Clippers restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan, who signed the sheet. Once the offer makes it back to the Clips they have three days to match or not.
The Houston Rockets claimed Jeremy Lin off waivers from the Golden State Warriors. His $0.8 million deal is not guaranteed.
Gilbert Arenas was not chosen in the amnesty auction and now an unrestricted free agent. Early word is he has interest in the team Dwight Howard is traded to and New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams expressed interest in Arenas. The Magic will be on the hook for his full $62.4 million owed and any contract he signs now is on top of that amount.
The terms of Kurt Thomas’ two-year deal with Portland have not been detailed, but GM Chad Buchanan said the team did not use all their exception money and would like to sign another player. Portland was limited to the three-year “mini-MLE” starting at $3 million. If the Blazers sign another guaranteed deal it means either center Earl Barron or forward Chris Johnson – both who have fully unguaranteed deals – could be cut. Remember, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, even though injured and not playing, still count towards the roster total of 15 until exemptions are given by the league, if at all.
Jason Fleming – 12/11/2011 3:40pm EST
The Houston Rockets are preparing a four-year, $55 million offer sheet to Memphis Grizzlies restricted free agent center Marc Gasol. Once signed by Gasol and presented to Memphis, the Grizzlies would have three days to decide whether or not to match.
The Grizzlies all along have said Gasol was their top priority and they would do what it took to keep him, but is a max deal asking too much? And if it is, will they try and work out some kind of deal with the Rockets so they could salvage something?
More to come, for sure.
Alex Raskin – 12/11/2011 3:00pm EST
Veteran power forward David West has signed a two-year deal with the Pacers, ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard wrote on his Twitter account. If true, this deal would obviously end the Celtics’ pursuit of West, who they were interested in acquiring via a sign-and-trade involving center Jermaine O’Neal.
The Pacers have Tyler Hansbrough at power forward, but have been looking for a more reliable scorer at the position.
In 70 games with New Orleans last season, West averaged 18.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Alex Raskin – 12/11/2011 3:00pm EST
As expected the Knicks have signed draft picks Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson as well as veterans Mike Bibby and Jared Jeffries, interim general manager Glen Grunwald announced Sunday.
Shumpert is a 6-5, 220-pound combo guard who would enable another combo guard, Toney Douglas, to defend the point on defense while playing off the ball on offense. He was selected 17th overall after averaging 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.5 apg and 2.7 spg (sixth in the nation) last season. Shumpert was named to both the All-ACC Second Team and the All-ACC Defensive Team.
Harrellson is a bruising big man who stands 6-10, 275 pounds. The Knicks traded for his rights for his draft rights after Harrellson averaged 7.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg with Kentucky last season.
Bibby will be expected to add shooting and help initiate the offense, but his defensive liabilities are well documented and his athleticism is hardly what it once was.
Jeffries will continue his defensive role for coach Mike D’Antoni, who is willing to put the 6-10 former Indiana Hoosier against any position. Under D’Antoni, Jeffries has defended centers, point guards and everything in between.
The Knicks are still expected to sign former second-round pick Jerome Jordan. The 7-0 center had been playing in Slovenia and could develop into a decent shot blocker with some more polish.
Bill Ingram – 12/11/2011 11:00am EST
Two items of particular note outside of the fallout from the blown three-team deal involving Chris Paul:
First, if the complicated sign-and-trade that would land David West in Boston falls through, the Indiana Pacers are waiting with a sizable offer for West, who is now their primary free agency target.
Second, when the New Orleans Hornets were set to acquire Kevin Martin from the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves immediately prepared an offer for Martin. Now that Martin is no longer headed to the Hornets, don’t be surprised if the Timberwolves make an overture to Houston. Head coach Rick Adelman would love to have Martin back in his lineup.
Steve Kyler – 12/11/2011 8:03am EST
The LA Lakers have ended their pursuit of New Orleans guard Chris Paul, with sources close to the process saying the price tag to acquire Paul had become too great and that the Lakers would have had a gutted roster when it was all said and done.
Immediately after ending talks with the Hornets, the Lakers triggered a deal sending Lamar Odom, who was extremely unhappy with how things had played out with the Lakers and their pursuit of Paul. Sources said no one believed Odom, who is very emotional as a player, would be able to put this trade behind him, so the team did what they could to honor his desire to be moved.
Odom was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a 2012 first-round pick from Dallas and whats be reported to be a second-round pick, plus an $8.9 million traded player exception.
It’s unclear how the Lakers will process, but with Orlando’s Dwight Howard clearly wanting out via trade and making those demands public last night, expect the Lakers and Magic to ramp up talks in the coming days.
League sources said the Hornets have returned to the market with Paul and have initiated talks with the LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors and have a standing offer from the Boston Celtics.
Prior to consummating the their first deal with the Lakers that was shot down by the NBA, it was believed the Celtics had a deal for Paul, so much so that it was reported that Boston had scheduled a physical and MRI exam for Paul early in the week.
Its unclear how Houston will manage the blow-back from this, as both Luis Scola and Kevin Martin had been held out of practice in Houston, while talks were taking place.
League sources say new Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman had been pushing hard for the Wolves to acquire Martin from New Orleans when he landed there, its possible that the unhappy Martin could still be shipped out from Houston – its safe to say Minnesota would be at the top of the list of teams trying to obtain him.
Jason Fleming – 12/10/2011 11:30pm EST
According to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area, the Golden State Warriors will be delivering an offer sheet tomorrow to Los Angeles Clippers restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan for four years and $40 million. The Clippers had offered Jordan the same amount over five years.
The Clips will then have three days to decide whether or not to match the offer.
Given that this offer is only $2 million more annually on average, it’s a reasonable expectation to think L.A. will match.
If they do, veteran center Chris Kaman and his one-year, $12.7 million expiring are expected to hit the market and there will be plenty of suitors.
This Warriors offer is intriguing for a couple reasons. The word earlier in the day is they weren’t going to start their pursuit of Jordan officially until they were sure they had no shot at New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, rumored to be headed to the L.A. Lakers. Is this an indication that deal, at least in the point of view of the Warriors, is in the bag? Or, at least that the Warriors are out of the mix?
In a side note, it looks like the Warriors will not use amnesty on big man Andris Biedrins even though they do need to clear some more cap room to make this deal for Jordan. Instead the amnesty target looks to be Charlie Bell’s $4.1 million expiring contract. Bell, as you may have read, has had some offcourt issues and likely won’t in camp anytime soon.
Steve Kyler – 12/10/2011 8:26pm EST
The Boston Celtics are closing in on and sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans for free agent David West who would sign a new a three-year deal worth between $27 million-$29 million.
The deal as reported would send Jermaine O’Neal and his ending $6.22 million contract to New Orleans. There have been reports that the Celtics might include one of their rookies in either first-round pick JaJuan Johnson or second-round selection E’Twaun Moore – however both signed their contracts yesterday making them untradeable for 30 days.
O’Neal was presented with the idea that he could be headed to New Orleans, to which he explained he might opt to retire than go to a losing situation.
“We’ve had conversations,” O’Neal said. “You know, I’ve been around too long not to understand. Some guys get bitter about it, but this is a business.”
“There are really only three scenarios,” O’Neal said. “Either I stay here, I go to another contender, or I stop playing … If I go somewhere else, it won’t be to a losing team.”
O’Neal is building a new home in Dallas and plans to retire after this season. If New Orleans is in true rebuild mode, he may oversee final construction personal as a retired NBA player.
The Celtics very much like the Lakers and Rockets are awaiting the NBA and David Stern to approve the transaction.
Jason Fleming – 12/10/2011 8:13pm EST
Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has reported – and others have confirmed since – that Jason Richardson will re-sign with the Orlando Magic for four years and $25 million.
Steve Kyler –
The Magic had extensive contract extentsion talks with Richardson before the end of last season, so this deal really is not overly surprising. The Magic pledged then that they wanted Jason long-term, it seems they may have gotten him far cheaper than was discussed in April and May.
Jason Fleming – 12/10/2011 6:17pm EST
Dwight Howard has formally requested a trade from the Orlando Magic and apparently wants to go to the New Jersey Nets to play with Deron Williams.
Such a deal would have to be centered around fourth-year center Brook Lopez and extensive first-round draft picks. The Magic may also force the Nets to take back Hedo Turkoglu’s contract.
Howard and Turkoglu total $29.1 million and the Nets have roughly $15 million in cap space, meaning the Nets would have to pony up about $14 million in contracts to make the deal happen.
Lopez makes only $3.1 million this season and is eligible for an extension to his rookie scale deal that would kick in for 2012-13.
What’s the other $11 million? Well, one alternative for the Nets would be use amnesty on Travis Outlaw, which would open another $7 million in cap space. This move has been rumored for awhile as an option.
In addition, the Nets could send other young talent to the Magic. Anthony Morrow makes $4 million, as does Jordan Farmar.
Howard and Turkoglu for Lopez, Morrow, and draft picks? Is that enough for Orlando? Stay tuned.
Jason Fleming – 12/10/2011 3:59pm EST
The Denver Nuggets made an offer to restricted free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute of the Milwaukee Bucks this morning for four years and worth about $19 million. He made $854,389 last year.
The Bucks would have three days to decided whether or not to match the offer after they receive it, but the early word is they will match.
Mbah a Moute has averaged 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds a game for three years in Milwaukee and is known as a defensive specialist.
Jason Fleming – 12/10/2011 3:34pm EST
Spencer Hawes will sign the one-year Qualifying Offer of $4.1 million from the Philadelphia 76ers, Marc Stein of ESPN reports. Hawes will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and will be able to veto any trade this year.
Steve Kyler – 12/10/2011 1:16pm EST
The Dallas Mavericks completed their agreed sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks sending out Tyson Chandler who agreed to a four-year $58 million deal with the Knicks.
The details of the deal have the Dallas Mavericks taking back Andy Rautins from the Knicks along with a highly protected 2nd round pick from the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards take on the final year of Ronny Turiaf’s contract and are believed to have received $3 million in cash from the Knicks to offload the deal.
The Mavericks will also land a sizeable traded player exception for their troubles, north of $12 million.
The Mavericks have been linked recently to Samuel Dalembert as a possible sign and trade candidate; however the Sacramento Kings are believed to have renounced their Bird Rights on Dalembert.
Salary cap guru Larry Coon clarified that a team with cap space could trigger a sign and trade for their own free agent using cap space, they just cannot do a deal worth more than the cap space they have.
Equally, the Kings would surrender their remaining space in a trade, in exchange for a traded player exception, meaning they could only use it on future trades, not additional free agents.
The Mavericks have been linked recently to Magic star Dwight Howard and having a $12 million Traded Player Exception would go a long way towards allowing Dallas to take on an unfavorable contract like that of Hedo Turkoglu, who just happens to fit into that kind of salary slot.
Steve Kyler – 12/10/2011 1:16pm EST
While the details remain unclear, reports are surfacing suggesting that the New Orleans Hornets are seeking David Stern’s approval on a revised deal that would send Chris Paul to the LA Lakers.
Stern rejected a deal consummated earlier in the week that would have had the Lakers landing Paul while shedding several long term contracts. The Houston Rockets would have obtained Pau Gasol in the original deal with Houston’s’ Kevin Martin and Luis Scola heading to New Orleans along with Laker forward Lamar Odom and a Houston owned draft picks obtained from the New York Knicks.
Stern, who explained that the NBA’s purchase agreement with the Hornets last year put final approval for all major decisions in his hands, and that he rejected the initial deal because it did not return enough future value for the Hornets, who are up for sale.
League sources said the three-teams were told they could re-work the deal, but that any new proposal would need to bring in more youth and draft picks while limiting the long term exposure for the Hornets.
League source speculated that any revised proposal would have to include Emeka Okafor and his three years and $40 million remaining heading out and less long term money coming in.
The Lakers also hold a couple of promising young players such as Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter who will likely be added to the deal along with draft picks.
It’s likely, that if granted consent by David Stern, that a finalized deal could be submitted to the NBA for approval on Monday, with Paul landing in LA soon after the deal is accepted.
Bill Ingram – 12/10/2011 1:00pm EST
Something’s cooking in Dallas today, likely something that will make the whole Tyson Chandler departure makes sense. The predominant twitter-rumor-buzz is that the Mavs are going to wind up landing Dwight Howard, though what seems more likely is what ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting, which is that they will wind up settling for Samuel Dalembert.
On the one hand, that’s good news for Rockets fans, who were about to be doomed to watch an overpaid Dalembert try to fill Yao Ming’s enormous shoes. On the other hand, what do the Mavs want with Dalembert, who is a second-rate center even in a league largely devoid of great centers? Dallas would be better off starting Brendan Haywood, who is getting starter money, anyway.
Of course, if they can land Howard, who really does not want to be in New Jersey, that might just prove to be Mark Cuban’s version of a coup d’etat. Dallas would again be the team to beat after starting look like a team that was not interested in defending their championship.
Alex Raskin – 12/10/2011 9:12am EST
Knicks fans should temper their expectations if free agent Mike Bibby does in fact sign in New York, as he is rumored to be interested in doing. The team used the amnesty clause to rid itself of point guard Chauncey Billups and now coach Mike D’Antoni has said combo guard Toney Douglas will handle the position, adding that small forward Carmelo Anthony will initiate a lot of the offense.
That’s why it’s doubtful the Knicks would be interested in Bibby as anything but a backup, but even that might be a stretch. Not only is the 13-year veteran a liability on defense, but his Player Efficiency Rating has gone down each of the last two seasons and sat at just 10.93 at the end of last year (the NBA average is always set to 15).
Bibby can still shoot (he made 40 of 88 3-pointers in his 22-game stint with the HEAT last season), he’s unselfish (his 14.7 usage rate ranked 58th at his position) and doesn’t turn the ball over (his 10.4 turnover rate was tied for 20th among point guards last year). The real question is, at 33, how much gas does Bibby have left in the tank?
Alex Raskin – 12/10/2011 8:54am EST
The Hawks have announced the signing of forward Vlad Radmanovic, which definitely goes along with their veteran theme this offseason. The team has also added graybeard free agents Tracy McGrady and Jason Collins, who played in Atlanta during the previous two seasons, while adding Jerry Stackhouse to its training camp roster.
Radmanovic is a capable shooter (40.5% 3-point accuracy last season) and at 6-10 is capable of playing power forward or small forward. In a pinch he can fill in at center, but obviously he’s a liability on defense whenever that happens.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, per team policy.
Steve Kyler – 12/10/2011 8:45am EST
The NBA Players’ Association has warned the NBA that it plans to file a labor complaint against the NBA is if does not allow Chris Paul’s situation in New Orleans to be resolved by Monday.
Sources close to the process explained in detail what the NBA’s , namely commissioner David Stern’s , problem was with the now nixed three-team deal that would have landed Chris Paul in LA with the Lakers, Lakers forward Pau Gasol with the Houston Rockets and netting the Hornets Luis Scola, and Kevin martin from the Rockets and Lamar Odom from the Lakers.
First the deal did not improve the Hornets balance sheet. The deal had the Hornets taking on salaries beyond this year that were deemed unfavorable for the league’s plans to sell the team this year.
Tying the franchise to the last years of older players’ contracts would not enhance the franchise value after losing its face and biggest box office draw in Chris Paul.
The deal also did not remove unfavorable contracts like the remaining three years and $40 million owed to Emeka Okafor – so expect him to be included in whatever transaction gets completed.
One league source also joked that the finished deal didn’t make the Hornets bad enough to guarantee a top five draft pick of their own and the deal did not include picks likely to be in the top ten. The deal as reported included the New York Knicks pick from Houston, which would likely be a high teens low twenties pick at best.
Sources say the NBA and David Stern have no plans to block a trade for Chris Paul to the LA Lakers, simply because they are the Lakers, he is demanding that the deal that moves him improves things for the Hornets, either in dropping long-term costs or adding younger players and draft picks.
The Hornets, Lakers and Rockets have been working on a revised deal that would likely satisfy David Stern and may include a fourth team with younger assets and draft picks to toss into the mix.
All parties involved are playing this cautiously, because unlike the first deal that needed to satisfy the three teams involved, the deal must now pass the mustard for David Stern too.
Steve Kyler – 12/10/2011 8:32am EST
Like sands through the hour glass… The Dwight Howard saga in Orlando has taken another crazy turn.
Rumors surrounded Dwight all day yesterday from secret meetings with teams in Miami, to rampant rumors of a trade demand.
The latest revelation came late last night when Howard’s agent Dan Fegan revealed to reporters in a written statement that the Magic have granted Howard’s representation permission to talk with teams about the Magic’s star player naming the Lakers, the Mavericks and the Nets as the teams granted permission to speak with Fegan about Howard.
“I read reports today of a meeting between Dwight Howard, his representatives and the New Jersey Nets, which claimed, according to the story’s ‘anonymous sources’ that such a meeting violated the NBA’s tampering policies,” Fegan stated. “This story is clearly inaccurate with respect to tampering claims and other facts. Tampering doesn’t apply once a team grants permission for a player and/or his representatives to make contact with another team. ”
“The Magic have given us permission to have contact with several teams in order for Dwight to explore his options. I most definitely had contact with the teams I was granted permission. Since we had permission to have contact with several teams the report of possible tampering is undeniably false.”
The Magic spent most of the day yesterday claiming that they would file tampering charges against the New Jersey Nets if they indeed met with Howard.
Howard himself claimed there was no meeting and that he was focused on training camp and being with the Magic, so things have taken an interesting twist.
The fact that Orlando has allowed Howard’s camp to speak with other teams is a strange twist to the story and likely sets the stage for a trade in the not so distant future…
It also allows Magic GM Otis Smith plausible deniability about whether or not he’s talking to teams about Howard… he’s letting Howard’s agent do the leg work.
Jason Fleming – 12/09/2011 11:19pm EST
According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, free agent power forward David West appears headed to the Boston Celtics for three years and $27-29 million in a sign-and-trade deal for big man Jermaine O’Neal. That is a shocking move…but could it also have bearing on Chris Paul’s situation?
The Celtics have wanted Paul and offered up Rajon Rondo to get him. With West in the fold, is Paul more amenable to Boston? Stay tuned on that.
Reportedly O’Neal would be moved on in another deal…maybe in the Rockets-Lakers-Hornets blockbuster, which may be revived?
That’s a lot of power forwards in Boston – and no centers. They now would have Kevin Garnett, West, Brandon Bass (whom they acquired in the Glen Davis sign-and-trade with Orlando), and they just signed Chris Wilcox. Plus, Jeff Green is a restricted free agent. Maybe they go without a center?
In other news, New York is sending Ronny Turiaf to the Wizards for nothing and likely including cash to clear up the last bit of cap room needed to do the Tyson Chandler deal.
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 11:00pm EST
As noted below, the Suns bought out and waived Vince Carter, and the Dallas Mavericks are now working to add him to their roster. He would take the place of Caron Butler, whom the Clippers signed earlier today.
Also, with regard to Chauncey Billups, it’s clear why his camp is stating in a very clear way that he will retire rather than sign with a non-contender. His intention is to join the Miami HEAT, but he can only do that as a free agent. If any team puts in a bid for his services he will have to go to that team, and only teams that are under the cap can enter bigs. Since Miami is over the cap they can only land Billups if no one else makes an offer for him.
Yannis Koutroupis – 12/09/2011 10:34 PM EST
If the New York Knicks decide to use the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, sources close to the situation tell HOOPSWORLD that the Miami Heat will be at the top of Billups’ wish list if he clears waivers. Teams under the salary cap will be able to place bids for the veteran point guard. If no team makes a bid, Billups will become a free agent and likely try to steer his way to Miami.
Alex Raskin – 12/09/2011 10:27pm EST
The Knicks may have found a way to make room to sign center Tyson Chandler. The team is set to trade Ronny Turiaf and his $4.2 million deal, sources told the New York Post’s Marc Berman. After cutting Chauncey Billups lose with the amnesty clause, the team would have enough salary cap space to add Chandler, who is set to sign a four-year deal worth as much as $58 million. Berman writes that the Knicks would not get anything in return for this deal except for cap space.
Alex Kennedy – 12/09/2011 10:02pm EST
There’s a new addition to the sign-and-trade between the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. Not only will the Magic swap Brandon Bass for Glen Davis, they’ll also receive Von Wafer in the deal. Wafer was an unrestricted free agent, but Orlando had him added to the deal in exchange for the $1.84 million traded-player exception they acquired last season from the Washington Wizards.
Wafer will sign a three-year deal with the Magic, but the final two years won’t be guaranteed. Last year, the 26-year-old played 58 games with the Celtics. He received interest from a number of other teams before landing with Orlando.
Last year, Wafer averaged 3.2 points in a limited role with the Celtics. During the lockout, Wafer was one of the most productive players overseas as he averaged a league-leading 19.9 points with the Italian team Vanoli Cremona.
It has been a busy day for Magic general manager Otis Smith. After completing the trade with Boston, Smith used the amnesty clause on Gilbert Arenas. Now, Orlando continues to search for ways to improve their roster so that they can appease Dwight Howard and surround him with talent.
Alex Kennedy – 12/09/2011 9:39pm EST
Greg Oden has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation. After being examined by doctors this week, the Portland Trail Blazers are now saying it’s possible that he’ll miss the entire 2011-12 season.
“Following Greg’s most recent physical examination and evaluation, we’ve determined that he has suffered a setback,” Blazers team president Larry Miller said in a statement. “We’re hopeful, but are less confident that he will return to the court this season. We’ve stood by Greg from the day he was drafted and we continue to do so with this agreement.”
Oden, who is a restricted free agent, was going to sign with the Blazers for their one-year qualifying offer of $8.9 million. Now, with this last obstacle, the Blazers will restructure the deal.
Jason Fleming – 12/09/2011 8:19pm EST
Some news and notes…
Portland’s Greg Oden signed a one-year deal to stay in Portland, but it was not the $8.8 million Qualifying Offer. Apparently after his latest medical checkup the other day he suffered a little setback and whether or not he plays this season is still up in the air. According to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, the setback has to do with a “non-weight bearing ligament” and has no symptoms, but they are being cautious. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Jeff Foster is staying in Indiana on a one-year deal.
The Golden State Warriors are prepping an offer sheet for L.A. Clippers restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan in a deal that could start at $10 million per season.
Restricted free agent point guard Mario Chalmers has signed a three-year, $12 million deal to stay in Miami.
Free agent rookie point guard Julyan Stone has signed a two-year, minimum salary deal with the Denver Nuggets.
Marcus Thornton’s deal he signed with the sacramento Kings is four years for $33 million. One season less than earlier reported, but about the same dollars on average.
The Hawks have signed veterans Tracy McGrady and Jason Collins to one-year deals at the minimum.
The Warriors have cut Jeremy Lin and the Suns cut Gani Lawal in addition to Vince Carter.
Samuel Dalembert has reportedly expressed interest in Golden State, Denver and Sacramento. Not coincidentally, all of those teams have money to spend and need a center.
Eric Pincus – 12/09/2011 6:38pm EST
The Los Angeles Clippers have signed free agent forward Caron Butler to a three-year, $24 million contract. Butler was one of the team’s primary goals of the summer, filling a need at the three.
The Clippers also increased their available cap room by renouncing the rights to Craig Smith, Ike Diogu and Jamario Moon, which doesn’t necessarily preclude a return for any of the three.
The team also signed rookies Trey Thompkins (37th) and Travis Leslie (47th), both who played together for the Univeristy of Georgia.
LA is waiting on teams to give DeAndre Jordan an offer sheet. The team is rumored to have a five-year, $40 million offer on the table for Jordan.
In a related move, the Golden State Warriors waived guard Jeremy Lin, possibly to get enough cap space to give DeAndre a sizable offer sheet. The Warriors have also been linked to Samuel Dalembert.
If Jordan re-signs, the Clippers would have a stable roster of 14, with only guard Willie Warren on a non-guranteed contract. The team might still pursue trade opportunities and/or free agents if Jordan stays with the team, LA would be over the cap.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, LA would have an additional $2.5 million exception to spend if needed.
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 5:20pm EST
Rip Hamilton is being bought out by Detroit. Strong possibility he lands in Chicago if they can’t swing a sign-and-trade for Jamal Crawford.
Eric Pincus – 12/09/2011 4:57pm EST
As expected, the Los Angeles Lakers signed guard/forward Jason Kapono. The details haven’t been released but it’s expected to be a one-year deal for the veterans’ minimum. The hope is that Kapono will be a dead-eye shooter on a team with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and either Pau Gasol or Chris Paul.
The team also signed 2011 draft picks Darius Morris (41st) and Andrew Goudelock (46th), who was both picked up in the second round. Morris is a true point guard who needs to develop his stroke. Goudelock is a shooter with some point guard skills.
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 4:30pm EST
The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed free agent forward Brandan Wright. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wright (6-10, 210) is a former first round draft pick (eighth overall) and joins the Mavericks as a free agent from the New Jersey Nets. Wright was traded to New Jersey last February from the Golden State Warriors, where he began his career in 2007. He holds career averages of 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.6 minutes in 114 career games with 31 starts.
Eric Pincus – 12/09/2011 4:33pm EST
The Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets are still working towards a deal.
It’s thought that some variation on the deal rejected by the NBA might save face for everyone, the NBA and Commissioner David Stern especially.
Nothing is close but the effort is there.
Should the Lakers deal their size, sources say the team may be the piece the New York Knicks are waiting for to take on Ronny Turiaf with LA’s Sasha Vujacic Trade Exception.
Alex Kennedy – 12/09/2011 2:49pm EST
The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement with Jermaine Taylor, according to sources close to the situation. Taylor spent his first two years in the league with the Rockets and the 24-year-old is looking forward to returning to Houston
Jason Fleming – 12/09/2011 2:40pm EST
The Orlando Magic have just waived Gilbert Arenas using the Amnesty provision. This comes on the heels of them reportedly agreeing to to trade Brandon Bass to the Boston Celtics for Glen Davis in a sign-and-trade deal.
Waiving Arenas drops the Magic’s cap number by $19.3 million this year and saves them $20.8 million in 2012-13 and $22.3 million in 2013-14.
It does not make them players in free agency right now or next summer, but does get them well out of the luxury tax.
Jason Fleming – 12/09/2011 1:17pm EST
Word on the street is the New Jersey Nets are close to finalizing terms of a deal with Nene. Will Denver have any interest in making it a sign-and-trade?
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 10:30am EST
Howard Beck of the New York Times reporting that the Knicks will amnesty Chauncey Billups, trade Ronny Turiaf and sign Tyson Chandler. Billups’ agent has hinted at retirement for his client, telling teams who would bid for his services to beware. He won’t consider a non-contender.
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 10:20am EST
This could very well be a sad day for the NBA. Numerous reports out of Oregon have the Portland Trail Blazers star contemplating retirement due to the degenerative issues with his knees. Roy is a true ambassador to the game, and will be sorely missed if he truly does have to retire.
Bill Ingram – 12/09/2011 10:15am EST
It’s being reported that the NBA could soon announce a decision to reverse their stand on the Chris Paul trade involving the Houston Rockets, LA Lakers and New Orleans Hornets. The three teams involved have petitioned commissioner David Stern to let the trade go through, with the Hornets saying they won’t be able to trade Paul at all if there is a fear that the league might step in to nix the deal.
Alex Raskin – 12/09/2011 9:10am EST
The Nets have agreed to terms with power forward/center Shelden Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote on his Twitter account. The deal is for one season and could mean the end of Kris Humphries’ time in New Jersey.
Williams can still rebound (17.2 rebounding rate), but offers next to nothing offensively. Despite his size (6-9) his arms are long enough to defend most centers and he is difficult to move off the block.
UPDATE: A league source just confirmed Wojnarowski’s report that Shelden Williams will be joining the Nets.
Steve Kyler – 12/08/2011 9:18pm EST
Apparently Lamar Odom wasn’t the only one brought to tears over the news that the LA Lakers were on the eve of acquiring Chris Paul from the Hornets.
Apparently Laker forward Lamar Odom called into ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s radio show and broke down crying after the news broke he was headed to New Orleans as part of the deal.
Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that during this afternoon’s Board of Governors meeting several NBA owners were “irate” that the league-owned Hornets were being allowed to trigger such a deal and that those same owners urged David Stern to step in and block the trade.
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the NBA is applying pressure on Hornets GM Dell Demps to back out of the deal and hang on to Paul.
An additional wrinkle surfaced regarding the mechanics of the deal as reported, mainly that New Orleans would not have enough cap space to absorb all of the contracts it would be taking on.
Even with Chris Paul’s $16.535 million salary going out, the best the Hornets could do is clear themselves down to $26.8 million in cap space and that would be after renouncing every free agent whose rights they hold.
The deal as reported would have New Orleans taking on Kevin Martin ($11.519 million), Lamar Odom ($8.900 million) and Luis Scola ($8.591 million) for a total of $29.01 million – meaning the Hornets would have to shift off another $2.21 million into the deal.
As things stand today, the Hornets have Jarrett Jack ($5.00 million), Trevor Ariza ($6.790 million) and Emeka Okafor ($12.492 million) any one of which could be moved to the Lakers side of the deal to clean up the transaction.
NBA salary guru Larry Coon also suggested that Luis Scola could be shifted to the Lakers portion of the deal too.
The deal as reported is a touch more complicated tonight, and all sides of the deal are saying nothing is expected tomorrow and all of the players have been told to report to camp as required.
To say the deal is on life-support is likely an accurate description with sources close to one of the players saying it’s not likely to go down soon if at all.
Steve Kyler – 12/08/2011 7:59pm EST
As teams around the league clamored to get an offer in front of the New Orleans Hornets and after several on again off again discussions over the past two days, the New Orleans Hornets have agreed to a deal in principal that will send star guard Chris Paul to the LA Lakers in exchange for a package of assets from the Lakers and the Houston Rockets.
The deal as disclosed will send Paul to the Lakers with Houston’s Kevin Martin and Luis Scola heading to New Orleans along with Goran Dragic and a first round pick, – the Knicks picks the Rockets acquired two years ago.
The Hornets will also get Lamar Odom.
Houston will receive Lakers’ forward Pau Gasol.
The Rockets are urging free agents such as Denver’s Nene and their own free agent Chuck Hayes to hold off signing deals until things can be finalized by the league, but word is the Rockets have a hefty offer out to Nene, who is leaning towards a new deal in Denver.
At several points today talks between the Hornets and Lakers broke down, as sources say Andrew Bynum was the central player in the deal for the Hornets. It was LA who wrangled in Houston, and ultimately pulled the agreement together while being able to retain Bynum.
The Boston Celtics felt they had a deal with New Orleans at one point with reports from Boston saying the team had already scheduled a physical for Paul to join the team.
The LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors removed themselves from the discussions yesterday with a Warriors’ source saying at no point where they offered Paul directly, only in hypotheticals and they felt New Orleans was simply shopping.
The Hornets maintained for days that their best deal was through Golden State, but in the end, talks never progressed enough and the Hornets wanted closure on this issue before the opening of training camp.
The deal cannot be officiated until all players pass a physical and the paperwork on the trade is approved by the league which opens for business at 2pm EST tomorrow.
Jason Fleming – 12/08/2011 6:09pm EST
Is he or isn’t he? The latest on Chris Paul has New Orleans telling other executives he is off the table because he is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
More as it comes…
Alex Raskin – 12/08/2011 4:02pm EST
Small forward Mike Dunleavy has agreed to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, a source told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The Bucks tied with Cleveland for 23rd in the NBA in 3-point accuracy last season, so Dunleavy’s 40.2% mark from 3-point range last season would definitely be an improvement.
The deal is worth $7.5 million over two seasons and it will reportedly take up a portion of the Bucks’ mid-level exception.
Eric Pincus – 12/08/2011 3:45pm EST
Multiple reports have Caron Butler agreeing to terms with the Los Angeles Clippers for a three-year $24 million deal.
While HOOPSWORLD is waiting on confirmation, Butler would be a coup for the Clippers who need an upgrade in talent at the position and were running out of options with their alternatives (Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier and Grant Hill) heading elsewhere.
Butler was the top choice and while he’s coming off injury, the team likes the fit.
Caron would flesh out a starting lineup the team hopes to be Mo Williams, Eric Gordon, Butler, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan is a restricted free agent the team may be willing to give a sizable deal to in the $8-10 million range. Sources have the Golden State Warriors considering a $10-12 million pitch to Jordan, which could lead to Chris Kaman in the lineup and DJ in Oakland.
Alex Raskin – 12/08/2011 3:36pm EST
Restricted free agent Jonas Jerebko has agreed to a four-year $16-million deal to stay with the Pistons, according to SportandoBasket. Jerebko, who is the son of former Syracuse player Chris Jerebko, missed the 2010-2011 season with a an Achilles’ injury.
The 6-10 forward provides good energy for the Pistons and can defend both 3s and 4s. Offensively he’s a bit challenged, but there’s still plenty of time for him to develop an inside or an outside offensive game as he is only 24 years old.
Alex Raskin – 12/08/2011 3:30pm EST
Tyson Chandler’s preferred destination is rumored to be the New York Knicks, according to multiple reports, and now Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears are reporting that the team will give him a four-year, $58 million deal.
That means the Knicks will have to either use the amnesty clause on point guard Chauncey Billups or they’ll trade him to a “good” team, according to Yahoo!’s sources.
Andy Miller, Billups’ agent, has told Yahoo! that Billups is irate at the prospect of being a casualty of the amnesty clause.
Eric Pincus – 12/08/2011 2:45pm EST
Various sources are reporting that free agent guard Shannon Brown will sign with Phoenix Suns.
The Los Angeles Lakers were not expecting, nor were they inclined, to keep him.
Eric Pincus – 12/08/2011 2:33pm EST
With the multi-year agreement between the Detroit Pistons and Tayshaun Prince, the Los Angeles Clippers lost one of their primary targets. The hope is free agent small forward Caron Butler will choose to come to LA instead of the front-running Chicago Bulls, who can make a sizable Mid-Level Exception pitch but can’t out-spend the Clippers.
HOOPSWORLD had previously reported that sources indicated Prince had some misgivings about returning home to Los Angeles to play, be it with the Lakers or Clippers.
The Clippers have other options but with Shane Battier announcing his decision to play with the Miami HEAT and an unlikelihood that Grant Hill joins, the options are dwindling some.
One possibility, should the Clippers lose out on their preferred options, would be an amnesty bid on Richard Jefferson, expected to be cut by the San Antonio Spurs. The exact mechanism for the waiver process is still unclear to the teams but LA may be able to get Jefferson for as low as the vet minimum (although that really is a vague assumption).
Regardless, the Clippers have the assets to be patient. The big variable is the potential re-signing of DeAndre Jordan. The team intends to match any reasonable offer but if the Golden State Warriors offer Tyson Chandler money to Jordan, Chris Kaman may end up off the trade block and back in his starting position.
Bill Ingram – 12/08/2011 2:10pm EST
The Detroit Pistons are on the verge of signing Tayshaun Prince to a four-year contract, according to multiple reports.
Bill Ingram – 12/08/2011 2:00pm EST
Things are really getting interesting regarding Tyson Chandler, as multiple sources close to multiple teams are now telling media outlets that Chandler is imminent. The New York Knicks are talking about amnestying Chauncey Billups as a means to free up cap space and land Chandler. The Warriors have an offer on the table and are leading us to believe Chandler will take it. The Mavericks are shopping Chandler to the Magic in a sign-and-trade proposal regarding Dwight Howard (not happening), and the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets remain hopeful that Chandler will land in their camps.
Stay tuned . . .
Jason Fleming – 12/08/2011 11:52pm EST
Bill Ingram – 12/08/2011 10:45am EST
Phoenix Suns veteran free agent Grant Hill has been leaning strongly towards finishing his career in Phoenix, but according to the New York Post, the Knicks have finally persuaded Hill to join up. The Knicks have long pursued Hill, who is now said to be leaning towards finally joining former head coach Mike D’Antoni in The Big Apple. The Knicks aren’t contenders just yet, but they are immeasurably closer to that status than the Suns.
Bill Ingram – 12/08/2011 10:30am EST
This morning there is bad news for those who love hating the Miami HEAT. Shane Battier, one of the hardest-working, most dedicated players in the NBA, has reportedly chosen the HEAT as his next NBA team. At this stage of his career competing for a championship is of utmost importance to Battier, and Miami would seem to offer him his best chance to do that. The Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder were among the other teams who were interested in adding Battier to the mix.
The real winner here may be LeBron James, who could benefit greatly from the presence of Battier. More than anything, Battier’s veteran experience and leadership could help inject a much-needed dose of maturity and humility into Miami’s locker room.
Bill Ingram – 12/07/2011 11:15pm EST
To add to our growing list of committed free agents, center Jamaal Magloire has agreed to terms with the Toronto Raptors on a one-year deal. Magloire, of course, was born in Toronto, so it’s a homecoming of sorts.
Alex Kennedy – 12/07/2011 9:33pm EST
With free agency starting on Friday, players are starting to narrow down their list of potential suitors. Free agents can’t officially sign until 2 p.m. on December 9, but here are the latest notes from around the league:
• Sebastian Telfair is leaning toward signing with the Phoenix Suns, according to sources close to the situation. The Utah Jazz had also expressed interest in Telfair, but it appears he’s heading to Phoenix.
• T.J. Ford is expected to sign with the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, according to a league source. Ford will likely sign for the veteran’s minimum.
• Earl Watson was leaning toward signing with the Atlanta Hawks, but now it appears the Utah Jazz are still in the mix. Watson may decide to re-sign with Utah because they’re willing to offer him a two-year deal.
• Roger Mason Jr. is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards. Mason will likely sign for the veteran’s minimum.
Jason Fleming – 12/07/2011 5:09pm EST
ESPN is reporting and David Aldridge of NBA.com confirmed that Tracy McGrady will sign a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks for the veteran minimum of about $1.4 million.
Alex Raskin – 12/07/2011 3:59 pm EST
Ken Berger of CBSsports.com has been told by a source that the Knicks have yet to offer a trade to the Hornets for Chris Paul because they believe they can simply try to sign him in the offseason. Since extensions are not as lucrative as new contracts under the new CBA, New York is probably being smart by waiting. Of course, the Knicks also lack sufficient assets to trade for Paul.
Alex Raskin – 12/07/2011 3:55 pm EST
The Nets will meet with free agent small forward Caron Butler on Thursday or Friday, a league source told HOOPSWORLD. There was some speculation that Butler was happy to sign with either the Clippers or the Bulls (he works out in Chicago during the offseason), but apparently he’s willing to listen general manager Billy King and coach Avery Johnson.
New Jersey is still waiting to decide whether or not to use the amnesty clause on small forward Travis Outlaw, who suffered a hand injury under mysterious circumstances recently. He can begin contact drills later this month. The team’s other option at the position is Damion James, who shows promise but was limited to only 25 games because of a foot injury in 2010-2011. James’ best performance came exactly one year ago when he made five of nine shots and grabbed six boards in a losing effort.
Butler’s chances of joining the Nets are largely dependent on some of the other free agent moves they could make, such as signing Nene or Tyson Chandler.
Jason Fleming – 12/07/2011 3:40pm EST
A Chris Paul update…
Now it seems that the Warriors will not include Stephen Curry in the deal if there is no guarantee of a Chris Paul extension as part of the deal (Marc Stein of ESPN).
That’s a valid concern for the team, but it’s also an unrealistic expectation of Paul. For why, scroll down to Steve Kyler’s post about how extensions no longer make fiscal sense for the player.
For a team to expect a player in this new CBA to sign an extension for less money – even at max value – then they would receive by becoming a free agent and then signing with Bird Rights is asking too much.
It begs the question: Is the veteran extension practically dead? And if it is, then will we see stars like Paul who would in previous seasons have been traded with an extension not get traded at all because teams won’t offer enough value in return?
At one point there was talk of a Melo Rule in the CBA talks, but that didn’t make the final cut – at least not explicitly. It seems, though, the results may be creating a “Melo Rule” after all…
Bill Ingram – 12/07/2011 2:30pm EST
It’s being reported that the San Antonio Spurs will amnesty Richard Jefferson, who never quite fit in with their system as well as many expected he would. Instead of being the next championship piece he turned out be a source of constant frustration as the team struggled to work him in.
It’s a little bit of a surprise to see the Spurs decide to pay a player to go away, as that’s not consistent with their business model, but it is a clear indication that they will be in the hunt for free agent forwards Shane Battier, Josh Howard and Caron Butler, among others.
For more on how this will impact the Spurs’ cap, see Jason’s comments below!
Jason Fleming – 12/07/2011 1:44pm EST
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports the San Antonio Spurs have decided to use the Amnesty Provision on forward Richard Jefferson.
Remember, Jefferson opted out of the final year of his contract last summer to sign a new, four-year, $38.9 million contract last summer. He didn’t make the strides they expected and is still owed $30 million over three years.
It’s quite likely a team will pick him up in the amnesty auction. How about the Sacramento Kings? At $10 million annually Jefferson is overpaid, but if a team can get him in the $4-5 million range that’s a solid deal.
This will get the Spurs under the luxury tax and allow them to have the full MLE to spend (which would put them back into the tax).
Steve Kyler – 12/07/2011 1:01pm EST
You can stop waiting for that star player to agree to a Contract extension… unless that player is still on their rookie deal.
In an incredibly short-sighted move by the NBA Owners, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement radically decreases the appeal of contract extensions beyond a Players’ rookie deal.
The new deal allows veteran players to extend their deal to a maximum of four years… meaning at no time can your extension push you past four guaranteed years.
Take Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams for instance… All three have two more years left on their deals. They each hold an Opt-Out for July of 2012, but under the new CBA deal they could only agree to add two more years to their deal.
If all three opt to play out their season and hit free agency in July, they can sign new five year deals to stay with their team.
So in New Orleans, Orlando and New Jersey’s case, there is almost no reason for either player to agree to an extension – unless one of them was fearful of injury.
The best business move would be to play out the season and re-up on a new five-year deal.
That’s bad news for fans looking to get a commitment. These kinds of players could make non-binding verbal commitments, but getting any of them to sign on the dotted line is unlikely, the new CBA makes it bad business.
Steve Kyler – 12/07/2011 8:09am EST
The New Orleans Hornets are doing their due diligence on Chris Paul, but it looks like they have narrowed things into three lists… legit suitors… still in the game and outside looking in.
The Golden State Warriors look like the front runner to land Chris Paul with or without a long-term contract agreement.
The Warriors’ offer is said to include Stephen Curry, Ekpe Udoh and Warrior first round pick Klay Thompson.
This deal gives the Hornets everything they are asking for – tons of young talent on their rookie deal while maintaining almost $23 million in cap space to use on free agents.
The Warriors are also believed to be willing to Amnesty cut Andris Biedrins to create room to sign free agent Tyson Chandler, which might improve their odds of getting Paul to agree to something more than a rental.
The LA Clippers have more desirable pieces according to sources, however the Clippers are reluctant to include Eric Gordon in a deal for Paul unless it includes a guarantee he’ll stay long term with the Clippers.
The Boston Celtics have been as aggressive as anyone in trying to get Chris Paul, but even with the best of assets the Celtics are a distant third in terms of what New Orleans wants. The Celtics have been trying to construct a three or four team deal, but it seems with the Friday opening of camp looming, the Celtics may not have the pieces to sway the Hornets who want to close this out quickly.
The Lakers, Mavericks and Rockets are in the mix as part of a third tier that also includes the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks.
All five teams are in the third tier because their offers require New Orleans to take on older players with larger cap hits. The appeal of the Warriors deal is they get a lot of talent and preserve their cap space, something that matters for the bottom line of a team trying to be sold this year.
Jason Fleming – 12/06/2011 11:36pm EST
Ah yes, the Chris Paul update. Starting to feel like 2010-11 now, isn’t it? I’m having Melo flashbacks…
The latest according to multiples reports has the New Orleans Hornets ready to get this mess out of the way and they have narrowed their choices of CP3 destinations to the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
The Celtics deal would revolve around Rajon Rondo, rookie E’Twaun Moore, Avery Bradley and possibly restricted free agent Jeff Green. That would leave the Celtics with the Big Three, Paul, and little else – with no cap space to fill out the roster. Is that really a good idea?
The Clippers deal revolves around Chris Kaman, Minnesota’s 2012 first-round pick, and other pieces – likely Al-Farouq Aminu and probably Eric Bledsoe. Despite other reports, our own Eric Pincus has been adamant Eric Gordon is not available (nor should he be).
Golden State’s offer centers on Stephen Curry and includes Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh.
Apparently Paul has indicated the Clips and Warriors would increase their chances of him signing an extension – or re-signing after the season – if they also signed Tyson Chandler. Golden State has their eyes on Chandler anyway, but the Clippers already have Chris Kaman and want to retain DeAndre Jordan. The Celtics have no shot at Chandler.
Remember, the Hornets have been wanting young talent and/or draft picks. Considering Golden State’s tandem pursuit of Chandler, that has to make the Warriors the leaders in the clubhouse.
Chris Paul, Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright, David Lee and Tyson Chandler anyone? That’s a playoff team.
Steve Kyler – 12/06/2011 4:43pm EST
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith is reporting that Piston free agent Tracy McGrady may be heading to the Atlanta Hawks after failing to get a meaningful offer from the Chicago Bulls.
The Hawks are likely losing 6th man Jamal Crawford to the Chicago Bulls if both the Bulls and Hawks can work out a sign and trade deal, something both sides seem confident will occur.
Sources close to the situation say the Bulls are Crawford’s first choice, although he is interested in offers from New Orleans and Indiana, both teams have the means to acquire him without a trade from Atlanta.
The Orlando Magic were one of several teams to reach out to Crawford, however sources list the Magic as lower on the list, with Chicago sitting in the top spot.
Sources close to the process say the Bulls’ sign and trade offer is built around Ronnie Brewer and possible Bulls’ reserve big man Omar Asik. The Bulls are also said to be after Kurt Thomas to re-sign with the team, however Thomas is said to be weighing offers including overtures from the Knicks.
While there has been a lot of talk today about the L.A. Lakers landing both Chris Paul from New Orleans and Dwight Howard from the Magic, sources close to the process say that the L.A. Clippers and Golden State Warriors have a trade offer on the table for New Orleans and that even without a contract extension guarantee from Paul, both clubs would gamble on a deal.
Sources near the Hornets say that getting closure to this circus is important, but that getting the best value for Chris Paul will trump all things, even if this drags into the start of the regular season.
Steve Kyler – 12/06/2011 4:30pm EST
Dave Baumann from Bright House Sports again dropped a couple of juicy nuggets today… First reporting that Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide is retiring from his role as an executive of the team and that long-time Magic executive and current team president Alex Martin will replace him as CEO of the team.
While this move was certainly sudden, it does not necessarily change much internally as Magic president Otis Smith oversees basketball operations and Vander Weide, while actively engaged with the team, was more of a face for the franchise’s ownership group the DeVos family. Bob is Magic Chairman Rich DeVos’ son-in-law. Alex Martin for some time has overseen day to day business operations.
The second nugget that dropped was reports that Vander Weide reached out at 1am EST on Tuesday to Dwight Howard to pledge the teams support for Howard and restate the team’s commitment to building a contender around Howard. The problem was Vander Weide had a few glasses of wine and the call didn’t go over well with Howard’s camp.
The Magic are saying that Vander Weide’s “retirement” was a planned event and that Bob wanted to see the soon to be resolved labor deal through, as he was a member of the Labor Committee for the NBA as the team representative for the Magic.
Seems like an odd turn of event for a franchise trying to convince Howard to stay in Orlando to shake up things up like this. The Magic will hold a press conference tomorrow.
Sources close to the situation confirmed that Dwight Howard did meet face-to-face with team president Otis Smith, however neither side is being overly chatty about where things stand.
Eric Pincus – 12/06/2011 2:19pm EST
ESPN’s Chris Broussard has helped to create an internet firestorm with his article stating the L.A. Lakers would like to trade for both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.
Alas, there’s nothing actually new to the story that wasn’t written at HOOPSWORLD last week (Six Moves the L.A. Lakers Should Make).
The Lakers are certainly interested both. Of course they would be with just about everyone but Kobe Bryant available.
While it’s certainly possible it’s also very, very unlikely. The bait of young center Andrew Bynum may be enough to eventually land one, but even that’s assuming a lot.
They key would be finding a suitor, possibly and/or likely a third team, who would be willing to give up the right assets to acquire Pau Gasol.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were willing to give up the rights to the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft which proved to be Derrick Williams for Gasol. Word is, now that they have Williams, they intend to keep him.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak has an obligation to explore every avenue to improve the team and lock in star power beyond the Kobe Bryant era. It’s more likely Kupchak makes smaller moves and keeps at it, but there’s a reasonable chance LA lands a high quality return if they do give up Bynum.
In the meantime, Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times reports the Lakers are near a two-year minimum deal with free agent shooter Jason Kapono.
Alex Raskin – 12/06/2011 2:09pm EST
The Knicks will re-sign forward Jared Jeffries to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports, and the team is currently working out former Nets and Rockets forward Bostjan Nachbar.
The Nets are reportedly interested in bringing back Nachbar, who has played overseas the past few seasons, but the Knicks might have a better chance of enticing the sharp shooter. If the Knicks do sign Nachbar, the chances of Shawne Williams returning become slim.
Jason Fleming – 12/06/2011 12:20pm EST
The Portland Trail Blazers have come out and explicitly said they will not be using the Amnesty clause on Brandon Roy this season.
“Our plan right now is not to use the amnesty,” team president Larry Miller said Monday. “We expect Brandon to be a part of this team when the season starts.”
This is on top of news that Coach Nate McMillan named his starting lineup going into camp as Raymond Felton, Roy, Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby.
So how does this impact free agency? Two ways.
First, Roy will not be on the market for any other team, so those rumors can all now die. He also will not be traded, because no team is going to take on his contract and give up assets without him proving he’s still an All-Star. Whether he still is or is not will be proven on the floor this season, not in the media.
Second, this ensures the Blazers WILL be a luxury tax team and will be limited to the mini Mid-Level Exception of three years starting at $3 million. So cross Carl Landry, Glen Davis, Chuck Hayes, Jamal Crawford and most any other decent mid-level player off the list of players Portland has been linked to. They simply will not have the dollars to compete in the free agent market. So who is in the mix? One name I mentioned in the past and is now coming up in other circles is power forward Reggie Evans. Evans is a great rebounder, poor on offense, and always brings hustle and toughness – McMillan will like him.
Now, about that second tidbit regarding McMillan’s starting lineup… I personally don’t believe this is the correct approach. It’s unfair to Wes Matthews, who performed very well last season, to not give him a chance. Give Roy a chance to earn his job back, but don’t just hand it to him, not with the injuries and the limitations his game showed last season. Go into camp with the starter at the two undecided and let Roy and Matthews battle it out. If it’s close I can understand giving the starting job to Roy, but if Matthews is clearly outplaying him in camp it simply can’t be justified.
We’ll see how this goes, but it’s good Miller and the Blazers got that out of the way early and made a definitive statement. Now the Blazers have just three pressing matters going into camp: Greg Oden and a new contract, Nic Batum’s extension, and who gets that mini MLE.
Bill Ingram – 12/05/2011 8:40pm EST
ESPN reports that the New Orleans Hornets are very likely to go ahead and trade Chris Paul before the 2011-12 NBA season begins, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks showing the most interest. The Los Angeles Lakers have also offered the Hornets their choice of Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, though the Hornets are not particularly interested in either player. Presumably, Kyle Lowry would be at the heart of an offer from Houston, while Steph Curry is the primary piece from the Warriors. The Hawks would likely be looking to ship Josh Smith to the Hornets, along with either Kirk Hinrich or Jeff Teague. Clearly the Hornets will need a starting point guard to come back in any trade for Paul.
Alex Kennedy – 12/05/2011 8:30pm EST
Grant Hill has received interest from a number of teams, but it sounds like he wants to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. Two league sources tell HOOPSWORLD they expect Hill to remain in Phoenix and the Suns’ management believes they’ll be able to re-sign Hill. Remember, before Lon Babby was Phoenix’s President of Basketball Operations, he was Hill’s agent.
Add the Orlando Magic to the list of teams interested in Jamal Crawford. Orlando reached out to Crawford in recent days, according to sources close to the situation. The Magic want to acquire Crawford through a sign-and-trade. The Chicago Bulls are exploring that possibility as well.
The Utah Jazz seems to be shopping Al Jefferson. Several trade rumors involving Jefferson have surfaced in recent days. The 26-year-old is somewhat expendable since Utah also has Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur.
Undrafted free agents are starting to get calls from NBA teams. Former UTEP point guard Julyan Stone has received interest from eight teams, according to his camp. Former Pittsburgh swingman Gilbert Brown has heard from six teams and continues to weigh his options. Former Fresno State center Greg Smith has heard from a number of teams and received a training camp invite from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bill Ingram – 12/05/2011 4:30pm EST
It’s being reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have been hot and heavy on the trail of New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. Paul’s agent has now officially notified Hornets GM Dell Demps that his client will not sign a contract extension with the team and that a trade is probably in the best interest of both sides.
The Lakers have offered the Hornets their choice of either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, but the offer was met with a lukewarm response for the Hornets. New Orleans is said to be looking for “quality, as well as quantity.”
It would seem that any offer the Hornets entertain would need to include a young starting point guard, so don’t be surprised if we start to see talks between the Golden State Warriors and the Hornets heat up with Steph Curry at the center of the discussion.
Alex Raskin – 12/05/2011 12:49 pm EST
While being interviewed on New York’s WFAN, Nets point guard Deron Williams just put the chances of him staying with the team beyond the current season at “90%.”
Williams will obviously opt out of his contract this summer, but he has maintained there is a very good chance he would stay with the Nets as the team moves to Brooklyn next year. He previously Tweeted that he had found a home in the area.
Alex Raskin – 12/05/2011 10:45 am EST
As reported by HOOPSWORLD’s Bill Ingram last week, the Knicks have targeted former Pacers center Jeff Foster, who obviously has a long relationship with team consultant and former president Donnie Walsh. The New York Post’s Marc Berman is reporting that Walsh is actively involved in recruiting Foster, who Walsh drafted in Indiana back in 1999.
The Knicks could obviously use Foster’s defensive acumen in the middle, but it’s peculiar that the team would use its full mid-level exception on him. Foster made over $6 million last season as his rebounding rate spiked to 20.7 (seventh in the NBA). If he could replicate another season like that, $5 million would be a bargain. But at 34, can the Texas State alum stay healthy enough to make it worth it for senior vice president Glen Grunwald and the Knicks? He has missed 94 regular season games over the past two seasons.
Berman also writes that New York is interested in former Hornets center Aaron Gray, former Bobcats center Kwame Brown or perhaps swingmen Grant Hill, Bostjan Nachbar or Anthony Parker.
Alex Raskin – 12/05/2011 12:30 am EST
Free agent small forward Caron Butler will sit down with the Bulls on Monday and follow that by meeting with the Clippers, Spurs, Nets and Pistons throughout the rest of the week, a source told ESPNDallas.com’s Jeff Caplan. Perhaps just as interesting, the Mavericks have yet to show any desire in bringing Butler back after he ruptured his patella tendon in his right knee on New Year’s Day.
It’s worth noting that Butler rehabbed in Chicago during the lockout.
The Nets’ interest in Butler could be largely dependent on the health of second-year small forward Damion James and the team’s decision on whether or not to use the amnesty clause to cut their losses with Travis Outlaw. Butler represents an immediate improvement over both players, but if New Jersey plans on keeping one or both, it would just make more sense to save money for another free agent like Nene or Tyson Chandler.
Jason Fleming – 12/04/2011 8:45pm EST
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting center Greg Oden is leaning towards signing the $8.8 million Qualifying Offer from the Portland Trail Blazers and becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
As long as Oden is confident in his recovery this is the smart move. He won’t get a deal worth $8.8 million now and if he stays healthy after returning to the floor this season, it stands to reason he can get a decent free agent contract and come out ahead, but given his injury history it’s a risk.
For Portland this is not what they want. Adding $8.8 million to their salary commitments pushes them to $84.6 million on the books to 14 players, including Oden and rookie Nolan Smith. That means they have only one roster spot left, but both Chris Johnson and Earl Barron ($1.9 million combined) have non-guaranteed contracts and could be waived if necessary to clear a roster spot.
Here’s something else worth considering if Oden signs the QO: even if they use the amnesty on Brandon Roy this year, that only drops them to $68.5 million in salary commitments, and any use of the Mid-Level Exception pushes them right back into luxury tax territory. Why is that important? The whole point of using the provision on Roy – if they did – would be to get out of the tax. Sure, it would still save them huge on the tax, but if they are payers they are payers; the point would be to not be a tax payer.
Look for Portland to still see if they can come to terms on a longer term deal with Oden at a lower rate. Again, if Oden goes this route he’s going all in on his future health. It’s a risk, but he knows that better than anyone.
Eric Pincus – 12/04/2011 7:06pm EST
HOOPSWORLD has learned that Von Wafer will leave his team in Italy early this week and meet with potential NBA suitors. The Boston Celtics have expressed some interest in bringing back the free agent guard, but he’ll weigh his options and see what other opportunities await.
Sean Deveney, of Sporting News, noted in his Twitter feed that Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has enough suitors to make the Clippers nervous. He lists the Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets as teams with interest.
The Clippers are likely to wait for Jordan, a restricted free agent, to get an offer sheet. They’d have three days to match (under the new rules) and if the numbers are reasonable, they intend to retain DJ.
Should Jordan get too massive an offer, they may decide instead to stick with incumbent center Chris Kaman. Kaman is in the last year of his contract and not thrilled at the notion of splitting time in LA with DeAndre.
Chris is trade bait for the Clippers as they look to add star power and/or an elite small forward. If Kaman is sent out, the Clippers are mindful that they need a capable third big in his place. To that end, they’re not willing to overpay a role player in what could be an expensive market.
Jason Fleming – 12/04/2011 6:14pm EST
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, the Phoenix Suns have decided they will waive guard Vince Carter as early as Friday, assuming NBA business opens up that day. Carter has one year left on his contract worth $18.3 million, but if he is waived within the first 72 hours of free agency opening up the Suns will owe him only $4 million.
Carter turns 35 in January, but has career averages of 22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 37% shooting from three-point range. It’s worth noting he hasn’t hit that average in points since the 2006-07 season.
Despite his age and his declining skills, expect the market for Carter to be a solid one, especially with amounts near the full Mid-Level Exception of $5 million. Plenty of teams could still use a player like him at that price and the shooting guard market isn’t very deep. Teams like Chicago, Dallas and others will look closely at what it will take to add him.
As for the Suns, this move will drop their contract commitments from $67.8 million to $53.5 million to 10 players after they sign first-round pick Markieff Morris. It doesn’t give them cap space (the amount under the cap is less than the MLE), but it does take them well away from the luxury tax. They also have a $3.0 million Qualifying Offer to Aaron Brooks, who is playing in China until the Chinese basketball season is over. The waiving of Carter likely means they will work towards a long-term deal with Brooks when he does return, probably in March.
Readers, weigh in below in the comments. Who should pursue Vince Carter?
Yannis Koutroupis – 12/04/2011 4:24 PM EST
HOOPSWORLD has learned that undrafted rookie Scotty Hopson has received interest from a few different NBA teams, but is going to remain in Greece for the 2011-2012 season. He’ll re-evaluate his NBA options at the end of the season and look to make his debut in 2012-2013.
Steve Kyler – 12/04/2011 4:15pm EST
Earlier today Dave Baumann from Bright House Sports joined Alex Kennedy and I on my radio show in Tampa to talk about his report last night which suggested that Dwight Howard was more interested in “finishing what he started” in Orlando than forcing a trade from the Magic.
Baumman was with Howard at Rollins College yesterday where members of Dwight’s inner circle made it crystal clear that Howard knew a trade from the Magic was possible, but that his first choice would be to remain in Orlando, get some help by way of trades and make another run.
Baumann’s sources specifically named Chris Paul of the Hornets and Golden State’s Monta Ellis as players Dwight would like to see added to the roster.
There are a couple of points on this…
Golden State is said to have more than a passing interest in adding Magic free agent Jason Richardson, and with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, a sign and trade with the Warriors is possible. Its almost impossible to believe the Warriors would do a Richardson for Ellis swap straight up, but the Magic do hold the draft rights to Justin Harper and have several attractive role players.
Its long been believed the Warriors were looking to move Ellis because of his similarities to Warrior guard Stephen Curry, would the Magic be willing to take on the contract of Andris Biedrins as part of a deal? That might be what has to happen in order for the Warriors to move on a Magic offer, but it still seems far fetched to think Golden State would simply dump Ellis just to move Biedrins.
For the record Ellis has three years and $33 million left on his deal at $11 million per season. Biedrins has three years and $27 million on his deal at $9 million per season.
A deal involving say Jameer Nelson and his two remaining years at $7.8 million and a sign and trade deal involving Richardson in the $10 to $11 million per year range could get the Warriors better fitting pieces and shed significant long term debt. The deal would be a down grade in overall talent from Ellis, but would shed Biedrins and allow the Warriors to put their Amnesty exception in their pocket and maintain all of their cap room to go after a center like Tyson Chandler or Denver’s Nene.
The Magic may struggle to get New Orleans to part with Chris Paul for the kinds of players they have to offer, but Monta Ellis seems far more obtainable especially with the Warriors having eyes for Jason Richardson.
Jason Fleming – 12/04/2011 3:45pm EST
The Golden State Warriors have made center Tyson Chandler their number one target in free agency. According to Marc Stein of ESPN Chandler will also meet with the Houston Rockets and the New Jersey Nets, but it’s the Warriors who want him the most.
So what can they offer?
As it stands right now the Warriors will have $51.4 million committed to 10 players after they sign Klay Thompson to his rookie scale contract, plus they have a $1.1 million Qualifying Offer out to Reggie Williams. Taking into account two minimum salary cap holds, that leaves the Warriors with roughly $5 million in cap space. That in itself will not be enough to sign Chandler straight up.
They do have options. They can use the amnesty clause on Charlie Bell’s $4.1 million, one-year contract, or even get real crazy and use it on Andris Biedrins and the $27 million he is owed over the next three years. Clearing Bell may be enough to sign Chandler, but there would still be a threat of someone offering more. Clearing Biedrins – which at last report from Oakland seemed unlikely – would probably be enough.
The Warriors could also look into a sign-and-trade with Dallas, but the Mavericks still ideally want Chandler for themselves. What kind of deal could the Warriors offer Dallas would like? Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis probably wouldn’t be on the table, but how about Thompson and Biedrins? Would that get the conversation started?
There is a patch to get Chandler to the Warriors, it’s just not a straight line.
Bill Ingram – 12/04/2011 3:30pm EST
The Orlando Magic have been presented with a golden opportunity, one that no one imagined they would ever get. All-Star center Dwight Howard has made it clear to Magic GM Otis Smith that he wants to be in Orlando long-term, and will even sign an extension if the Magic can land one of two players:
Chris Paul or Monta Ellis.
The odds that Orlando can find an offer that would entice the New Orleans Hornets into parting with Chris Paul is extremely slim. It’s just not likely that the Hornets are going to want something like Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson in exchange for the best point guard in the NBA.
Ellis, on the other hand . . .the Magic just might be able to make something happen there.
One of the players the Warriors have targeted in free agency is Jason Richardson, someone who is technically still part of the Magic organization . . .at least in as much as they could re-sign him and trade him to the Warriors without having to worry about going over the salary cap. The Warriors will eventually have to accept the fact that running two point guards together in the backcourt is not going to be a winning scenario. It makes a lot more sense to start Richardson next to Steph Curry, which is where the Magic come in.
If the Magic and Warriors consummate a deal it would allow the Warriors to add Richardson without adding to their own cap. It would also mean – if Dwight is serious – that the Magic could keep Dwight long-term.
It’s not clear whether or not Ellis and Howard together make the Magic significantly better than they are at present . . .but if it keeps Dwight in town it’s a deal worth making for Orlando.
Alex Raskin – 12/04/2011 10:30am EST
In an interview with Yahoo! Radio (by way of NetsDaily.com), Adrian Wojnarowski said the Nets are desperate to land a big-name free agent this offseason, and former Nuggets big man Nene is at the top of their list.
“The Nets will need to attract talent here,” Wojnarowski said. “They’ve got to get guys. There’s a lot of pressure on the Nets to surround (Deron Williams) with players starting with Nene. That’s why they are determined to get him.”
Wojnarowski wondered aloud if the Nets were willing to overpay Nene to bring him to New Jersey and eventually Brooklyn, and added that the team will still pursue Orlando center Dwight Howard aggressively. He then did an interview with WFAN where he stated that Nene “impresses” Williams, who thinks the big guy would “thrive” in New Jersey.
For those asking, the Nets could easily play center Brook Lopez and Nene side by side. Lopez’s offensive strength is a mid-range jumper which usually leaves him somewhere near the high post. Nene’s game is generally cleaning up around the basket and he has the ability to defend both power forwards and centers.
Alex Raskin – 12/04/2011 10:30am EST
Former Blazers center Greg Oden hasn’t played in almost two years, but ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst is reporting that won’t stop the Miami HEAT from pursuing the former top-overall pick.
As Windhorst pointed out, Oden has a one-year qualifying offer from the Trail Blazers worth $8.9 million. That means the HEAT would have to pony up most of the $5 million mid-level exception, and that would prevent them from spending above the luxury-tax threshold for the duration of the contract.
The Blazers have the right to match any offer, but sources have told Windhorst that Oden still interests the HEAT, as does Nene, Samuel Dalembert and Kwame Brown.
Bill Ingram – 12/04/2011 10:00am EST
Are the Memphis Grizzles finally willing to do what it takes to be an elite team?
That’s the question executives around the NBA are asking as they prepare for a frantic free agency period that will start later this week.
There have been a couple of basic assumptions about the Grizzlies, based on what we’ve seen from ownership and GM Chris Wallace in the past, starting with the idea that they probably won’t match a significant offer to Marc Gasol. Sure, he’s a restricted free agency and the most highly-prized name on the market. He’s also the key to Memphis continuing their quest for legitimacy in the ranks of NBA playoff teams. But the Grizzlies play in one of the league’s smaller markets, and as such they have rarely been willing to spend the money it requires to compete in the modern NBA.
Now there are indications that they are catching up with the times. No one really believed they would offer up a max contract to Gasol, and teams like the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers were under the impression that if they made a large, front-loaded contract offer to Gasol the Grizzlies would either let him walk or agree to a sign-and-trade with one of those teams. Now it sounds like the Grizzlies may, indeed, max out Gasol, which has his previously-indecisive camp saying he wants to be back in Memphis long-term.
That signaled to many executives around the league that Rudy Gay would likely be on the block, as the Grizzlies have always been very cost conscious in the past, and would need to cut somewhere to make up for spending on Gasol. Over the last day or so, however, Wallace has been turning away offers for Gay, as well.
“We’re committed to this core. It’s obvious,” Wallace told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. We’ve stepped up and extended three of them so far. What could we have done if Rudy was healthy (last season)? You’re going to see Rudy Gay. We have no interest in trading Rudy Gay. We see Rudy as a cornerstone for this franchise.”
If the Grizzlies aren’t careful they might just be a contender this season. It seems they finally realized that spending money is just about the only way to be an elite team . . .and as we learned in last year’s playoffs, even natives of Memphis will show up to watch a good pro team play basketball.
Steve Kyler – 12/04/2011 9:45am EST
Dave Baumann of Bright House Sports in Orlando is reporting that not only is Dwight Howard prepared to stay in Orlando for the foreable future, he is also actively recruiting players such as Chris Paul to join him in Orlando.
Before you cry foul or tampering Hornets fans, the NBA is still locked out and players face no penalty for active recruiting. Once the lockout is lifted thats something else.
Magic sources told HOOPSWORLD last night that Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide has granted unlimited resources to team president Otis Smith in order to make the changes necessary to keep Dwight in Orlando. Those resources include an unlimited green light to trigger trades, even if it includes taking on long-term salary. The Magic are said to be willing to include draft picks and cash in order to make a deal.
Baumann’s report lines up with what sources in and around Dwight have been saying for months, that Dwight’s first choice is to win in Orlando but that the team needed to make the moves to prove they can.
It seems when Magic president Otis Smith meets with Howard on Monday, what he’ll hear from Dwight is if you want to keep me, go make the deals and it seems the Magic may get the verbal commitment to stay they desire before making massive changes to the roster.
Dwight Howard isn’t gone just yet… Otis Smith… your move.
Jason Fleming – 12/03/2011 8:54pm EST
Marc Stein of ESPN reports teams will be allowed to talk with and give physicals to free agents starting on Monday at 10am Eastern. This won’t lead directly to the normal crazy first week in July we are used to when players and teams come to oral agreements because there are still restrictions against that – and will remain until the lockout is officially lifted – but the level of chatter can be expected to increase pretty quick.
The final deal is expected to be presented on Wednesday, both sides will hold their separate votes on Thursday, and assuming that goes well training camps and free agency are still on track to begin on Friday.
Does that mean we will see a flurry of big-name signings on that day? Maybe. Players staying with their old teams are probably more likely to sign faster, but teams signing someone else’s free agent may not be prepared to react as quickly because they still have not seen the full details of the CBA and haven’t been able to process through exactly what that means to how they will approach free agency.
Alex Raskin – 12/03/2011 4:22pm EST
For those who think Nets point guard Deron Williams is itching to leave the Nets, it’s worth noting that he is starting to grow roots in the New York City area.
“So relieved found a house,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “Excited to get settled somewhere!”
Of course, those who think Williams wants to sign with the Knicks when he opts out of his current contract this summer still have plenty of ammunition at their disposal.
Everyone has been assuming that the Nets need another “star” player on the roster to entice Williams to re-sign this summer, but the team would probably do best to worry more about this season than the next. If the Nets are a competitive, playoff team this year—and that’s not an impossibility if they were to attract some quality veterans like Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler—Williams’ chances of leaving would start to dwindle.
Sacrificing the present for an uncertain future could ultimately doom the Nets franchise, particularly if they part with durable 23-year-old big man Brook Lopez.
Bill Ingram – 12/03/2011 10:00am EST
It’s amusing to read reports that Dallas Mavericks free agent center Tyson Chandler is looking for a max deal worth somewhere slightly north of $20 million in year one. We all realize, of course, that there is a shortage of quality centers in the NBA, but is Tyson Chandler really a $20 million player?
Chandler had a good season last year, no question about it. The Mavericks probably don’t win the championship without his presence in the middle. Let’s be clear, though . . .the Mavericks didn’t win the championship based solely on Chandler’s contribution. Chandler isn’t an NBA champion today without Dirk Nowitzki’s amazing performance and Jason Kidd’s playmaking. There are definitely questions about how good Chandler would be if he wasn’t playing with the elite playmaker that is Kidd and also if he wasn’t playing in a contract year.
Several NBA executives, in speaking with HOOPSWORLD, have openly questioned whether or not Chandler is worth the risk based on his history of missing a lot of games and not playing as hard as he might when there hasn’t been a contract on the line. There are several teams that would be very interested if Chandler’s asking price were in the $12 million range, but most are absolutely put off by the $20 million figure. . .including, most likely, the Dallas Mavericks.
Steve Kyler – 12/03/2011 7:54am EST
How come no deals?… Fans continue to ask why we have not heard any verbal commitments and the reason is pretty simple. They are not allowed.
When the NBA lifted the ban on team/agent contact, they made it clear that no offers or agreements could be made until the lockout is officially lifted. What was permitted is for very basic concepts to be discussed but teams were barred from making offers.
What has been taking place is more overview pricing where agents are setting out their expectations, and teams are clarifying their interest and intent. Pricing has been discussed from both sides, but specific contract terms are not supposed to be offered.
That hasn’t stopped agents from throwing out what their clients are seeking “four years $40 million” and teams saying “we should be able to work with that”
But the normal flurry of verbal commitments we are used to in early July are not permitted under the current situation.
There is hope that once the final details of the new NBA labor deals are complete and both sides are ready to vote that the lockout will be officially lifted before the December 9th starts of camp and free agency, mainly so December 9th isn’t a throw away day for teams, especially teams with a lot of roster spots to fill.
As one agent with several marginal players looking for homes joked “you wouldn’t believe the panic some teams have in filling out their training camp roster…”
That may work out nicely for guys seeking some guaranteed dollars, as it seems the normal non-guaranteed training camp invites may now include a little incentive money when its all said and done.
Steve Kyler – 12/03/2011 7:43am EST
Scratch Marc Gasol off your free agent wish-list, several teams that have reached out to Gasol’s agent are finding the same story. Memphis wants him back and the money Memphis can offer is going to trump any sales pitch from teams with cap-space.
There was hope that Gasol wanted out of Memphis, which many teams were hearing was a real possibility, however after several days of talks the general consensus is Marc Gasol is staying in Memphis and re-signing with the Grizzlies is simply a formality.
The only remaining wrinkle is should a bona fide championship contender come calling, but none of those have the cap space to be a real threat and Marc seems resigned that the best situation going forward is to stay with the Grizzlies.
Alex Raskin – 12/02/2011 9:39pm EST
The Knicks, HEAT, Lakers and Kings have all reached out to former Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea, according to ESPNDallas.com’s Jeff Caplan. Dallas is also interested in keeping Barea.
The Knicks’ interest in Barea is peculiar because that’s not a position the team is currently in need of. In addition to Chauncey Billups, New York has Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert who can each play at the position. But if they’re reaching out to Barea that suggests they plan on moving one of their point guards or that either Shumpert or Douglas will be spending more time at shooting guard.
Given their perceived long-term interest in Hornets point guard Chris Paul, it seems unlikely that the Knicks would want to be tied to Barea for multiple years.
Of course, the Mavericks should be VERY willing to pay Barea, especially if they can’t re-sign center Tyson Chandler. Everyone in Dallas knows what the tiny point guard did for the Mavs in the playoffs, so it would not be a surprise to see Mark Cuban match almost any offer.
Alex Raskin – 12/02/2011 9:39pm EST
The Bergen Record’s Al Iannazzone is reporting that the Nets are not alone in their pursuit of Bostjan Nachbar.
This Saturday Nachbar will use the Nets team facility to begin workouts, but he’s also received inquiries from about 10 to 12 teams, according agent Marc Cornstein. The dozen or so interested parties include the Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Sixers, Pistons and Hornets, writes Iannazzone.
Bachbar is coming off a three-year deal with Moscow Dynamo and Istanbul’s Efes Pilsen, but ultimately decided to return to the NBA even while the lockout was ragging on.
“I just went in a different direction,” Nachbar told Iannazzone. “I always knew I was going to return to Europe at some point in my career. I thought it was going to be towards the end of my career.
“When I left, I told everybody that I would try to come back one day,” he continued. “I really wanted to come back. I was never leaving to stay in Europe. I wanted to come back to the NBA. I would call it a short break from the NBA but it was always on my mind to come back.”
Nachbar has added weight (he’s about 230 pounds now) and can still handle the ball and shoot threes as he did during his NBA days. Teams that are interested in Shawne Williams (and league sources told HOOPSWORLD that the Knicks, Mavericks, HEAT and Lakers are among those teams) might also be targeting Nachbar as well.
Eric Pincus – 12/02/2011 9:05pm EST
Here’s a quick reset culling together all previously listed rumors tied to the Los Angeles Lakers as pertaining to free agents (not trade targets like Dwight Howard, etc.) . . .
J.J. Barea, Jamal Crawford, Tayshaun Prince, Grant Hill, Shane Battier, Josh McRoberts, Delonte West, Shannon Brown, Arron Afflalo, Sebastian Telfair, Mo Evans and Caron Butler.
The issue for the Lakers is they have just the mini-MLE to spend. Most of the names above will be more expensive than $3 million in the first year.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak indicated Brown is unlikely to return.
The one catch would be LA’s ability, if maintained in the new CBA, to acquire a player with their Sasha Vujacic trade exception via sign and trade.
That amount would start at a maximum of $5.575 million, without interfering with LA’s ability to also use their mini-MLE (other than luxury taxes).
Of the list above, would the Mavericks help the Lakers get Barea or Butler via S&T? Do the Denver Nuggets want to lose restricted free agent Afflalo LA when they don’t have to move him?
McRoberts, West, Telfair and Evans would be in line for anywhere between the minimum the mini-MLE.
Crawford is looking to cash in and may find a bigger offer from a team with cap like the Indiana Pacers.
If the Memphis Grizzlies or Detroit Pistons are willing to do Battier or Prince, perhaps there’s some potential there.
Hill may return to the Phoenix Suns, although nothing is locked in just yet.
Kupchak warned that he couldn’t say existing trade exceptions are even valid in the new deal until he sees the full agreement.
One certainty is that the extended free agent period that is abnormally restricting teams from entering into verbal agreements, has led to a wider net of players linked to the Lakers.
Bill Ingram – 12/02/2011 8:00pm EST
It’s no surprise to see the number of teams that have come out of the woodwork with interest in free agent swing man Jamal Crawford. The Indiana Pacers are the latest team to surface, and he is someone they would love to add. They have Shane Battier very high on their list, but Crawford is right beneath him. The advantage with Battier, of course, is that he’s an even better defender and he also brings a ton of intangibles, but Crawford would also be considered a big win for Indy.
Yannis Koutroupis – 12/02/2011 6:47am EST
A source close to Los Angeles Lakers Center Andrew Bynum has been predicting that he would end up being traded to Orlando Magic for months now and reiterated that sentiment to HOOPSWORLD today. The belief is based off the assumption that the Magic are eventually going to be willing to trade All-Star center Dwight Howard.
For the first time in three summers, Bynum was healthy and spent the prolonged offseason preparing himself for what should be the best year of his career. The source classified Bynum as “indifferent” to all the trade talk and willing to play wherever. This is the third time he’s been rumored to be the centerpiece of a package for an All-Star, previously being involved in discussions for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd.
The source also spoke highly regarding how good of a fit Bynum would be in Orlando, stating that it’s his time to be the man. Bynum voiced the desire to be more of a featured option at the conclusion of last season, but it’s going to be hard for that to happen as long as Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant are still Lakers.
The Howard saga is still in its early stages, but should start to speed up once he notifies Orlando that he is unwilling to sign an extension.
Jason Fleming – 12/02/2011 6:35pm EST
A few tiny tidbits out there this afternoon. The Sacramento Kings have apparently contacted the agent for guard J.J. Barea. Why? Not sure. Between Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons and Francisco Garcia they have plenty of guards, plus they also have a Qualifying Offer out to Marcus Thornton. Now, the truth about that is none of them are truly point guards. Is Barea? He’s not an ideal point guard, but perhaps alongside Evans it would be a good fit.
Chris Broussard of ESPN reported swingman Josh Howard’s agent has been contacted by Chicago, Washington, Boston, New Jersey, Denver, New Orleans, San Antonio and Atlanta. That’s quite the list. Coming off the serious injury there is a real question as to what Howard will bring to a new team. He’ll turn 32 at the end of the season, so how much is a decent deal? The full MLE is probably too high.
There also have been reports from various places about power forward Reggie Evans being contacted by multiple teams, of which Boston was one. Evans is just a few weeks younger than Howard, but athleticism isn’t his thing – it’s defense and rebounding. Plenty of quality teams would love to bring him in as a reserve forward, especially since he’s capable of starting if necessary.
Juwan Howard wants to stay with the Miami HEAT. He’ll be 39 in February, but he’s still quite capable of contributing in a reserve role. Staying in Miami on a minimum deal makes good sense for both sides.
Eric Pincus – 12/02/2011 5:19pm EST
As detailed earlier in the day at HOOPSWORLD (Six Moves the L.A. Lakers Should Make), the Lakers have the Sasha Vujacic trade exception set to expire on December 15th that can bring in up to $5.57 million in salary via trade.
There has been some speculation that the league may grant extensions across the board to trade exceptions to make up for lost time during the lockout. Under the rules of the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Lakers would be able to use that exception in a sign and trade.
If that holds, LA would have a tool that could help bring in a free agent for more than the full Mid-Level Exception (MLE) at a starting salary of $5 million. The Lakers also have their mini-MLE, beginning at $3 million per season.
At a press conference on Friday, General Manager Mitch Kupchak said he couldn’t elaborate on the rules of the new CBA, given that it’s not ratified and he has just an outline. If the trade exception does stand, he emphasized it cannot be used to sign a free agent.
Kupchak, a known literalist, didn’t address the possibility of using it to sign and trade for a free agent.
He also said the he does not expect Shannon Brown to return to the Lakers although remains open to it if Brown does not find a better opportunity elsewhere.3
Bill Ingram – 12/02/2011 2:45pm EST
Numerous outlets are now reporting that the Indiana Pacers have interest in Marc Gasol, and that interest is very real. A source close to the Pacers told HOOPSWORLD that they view Gasol as the one of the top centers in the game and could see him as their cornerstone going forward. Indiana also has attractive assets to trade, including a decent starting center in Roy Hibbert.
Alex Kennedy – 12/02/2011 2:45pm EST
Since Wednesday, executives have been communicating with agents and expressing interest in upcoming free agents. Teams had plenty of time during the lockout to decide how they were going to approach free agency and choose which players they were going to target. Some teams have been more active than others in recent days. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers have been working the phones and speaking with plenty of agents in the last 48 hours. Talks won’t get serious until December 9, but it’s still very interesting to track who teams are contacting.
Outside of the top free agents, there are a number of highly coveted role players that can help a team.
Grant Hill has drawn interest from a number of contenders. The Phoenix Suns want to re-sign Hill, but teams like the New York Knicks, Los Angeles and Miami Heat would all love to have him as well, according to sources close to the situation. They see him as a reliable veteran and excellent leader who can help them compete for a championship.
Maurice Evans, who displayed his leadership throughout the NBA’s labor negotiations, has received interest from a number of teams as well. The Washington Wizards acquired Evans prior to last year’s trade deadline and would love to re-sign him. He was a contributor and mentor during his brief stint in Washington and they would love to have him back. However, several contenders such as the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers have reached out to Evans’ camp as well. Don’t be surprised if teams look to sign Evans with the new mini mid-level exception.
Sebastian Telfair has received interest from the New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, according to sources. Telfair is excited for free agency because he’ll be able to choose his next destination, which hasn’t been the case early in his career. Since entering the league, Telfair has been traded multiple times, usually midseason. In fact, he hasn’t played with the same team for more than two seasons at a time and he’s had nine different head coaches. If Telfair lands in the right situation, with some structure, he could still be a significant contributor.
Von Wafer is still playing with the Italian team Vanoli Cremona and he’ll remain overseas until he has an offer from an NBA team. He’s playing extremely well in Italy, leading the league in scoring with 19.9 points per game. He’s enjoying his stint overseas so much that he may remain there if he doesn’t receive a guaranteed contract from an NBA team. The Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Hornets have expressed interest in him and the Boston Celtics would like to re-sign him. Wafer has bulked up this offseason, adding eight pounds of muscle while working hard on his game. Whether or not he gets a guaranteed offer remains to be seen.
Nate Robinson will likely be bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sources confirm that the Thunder has been trying to negotiate a buyout with Robinson for quite some time and they’ll likely waive him at some point in the next few weeks. Robinson will become an unrestricted free agent.
Alex Raskin – 12/02/2011 9:55am EST
As reported by Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Nets are not only in the running for Nene, but the chances of them landing the former Denver center are “pretty strong” according to a league source. But New Jersey GM Billy King hasn’t just targeted one player. Kerber reports that there is mutual interest between the team and former Mavericks big man Tyson Chandler and they’ve even been in touch with Kris Humphries’ agent Marc Cornstein.
Interestingly enough, Cornstein represents another former Nets player, Bostjan Nachbar, who is not currently signed overseas and has a chance of returning to New Jersey. The Nets may also have interest in Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier and Andrei Kirilenko.
Now a lot of people have been asking me when the Nets will use the amnesty clause on small forward Travis Outlaw, who will be paid $7 million per season through 2014-2015. However, by renouncing Humphries, who currently has a $6.4 million cap hold, the Nets could clear almost as much cap space. One league source told HOOPSWORLD that the Nets aren’t expected to amnesty Outlaw AND renounce Humphries unless they absolutely need the cap space.
That means the Nets have as much flexibility as any team going forward. Yes, they’ll need to add firepower to appease Deron Williams, who turned down a contract extension, but the team’s grasp on their star player isn’t as tenuous as some have suggested. As you may have seen, here is one of Williams’ latest tweets.
“Don’t know why people are tripping just bc I’m opting out doesn’t mean that I won’t resign (sic) with the nets! W/ new CBA it makes sense”
Bill Ingram – 12/02/2011 8:45am EST
The big news this morning is that Chris Paul’s agent – Leon Rose – is saying he never told the New Orleans Hornets that his client demanded a trade to the New York Knicks.
Of course he didn’t. That would be really bad PR for his client and himself. Never demand a trade, especially when your client can’t stop talking about how much he loves New Orleans and wants to play his entire career there.
And yet we have Marc J. Spears’ name on an article claiming that Rose did just that, and Spears is an All-Star in the world of NBA journalism. If Spears says someone told him Rose demanded a trade, then someone wants it out there that Rose demanded a trade.
Who stands to gain from such a rumor?
First of all, there is Rose, who gets his name out there in the internets and gets to sound like he is a guy who can get things done for his client. He also gets a lot of free publicity for Chris Paul, who now looks like the hottest commodity in the NBA. Of course, he would be that without the rumor of a trade demand. Only Dwight Howard is a bigger name in the 2012 free agency class, and nothing will change that.
Second, there is the New York Knicks, who desperately want to land Chris Paul to round out their trio of superstars. The Knicks organization knows all to well how to manipulate the media, and they also know that pressure from the media can make things happen that otherwise wouldn’t.
Clearly someone in one of those camps told Spears that Rose demanded a trade.
It’s also important to understand the importance of the language used. Rose says he never told the Hornets that his client demanded a trade. There’s a big difference between saying that and saying that his client actually is not demanding a trade. I didn’t imagine, based on Hornets GM Dell Demps’ reaction, that Rose had actually issued a demand to the Hornets. Instead Rose, or someone in his circle, told someone else (maybe even Spears directly) that they were demanding a trade.
Either way, the trade demand is issued, it’s just that by doing it through the media instead of doing it directly you can deny having made the demand directly.
I’ve known Chris Paul for a number of years . . .since before he was drafted into the NBA. I’ve talked to him many times about his desire to be in New Orleans. I’ve seen the look in his eyes when he talks about how important it is to him to bring a championship to the city and give the people there something to celebrate after the decimation of Hurricane Katrina. Chris sees himself as a son of New Orleans, even though his roots are in North Carolina.
Unfortunately, Leon Rose doesn’t share that vision. Rose undoubtedly sees what Carmelo Anthony’s camp saw, which is a golden opportunity to cash in on the bright lights and big city of New York to land a ton of sponsorship money. The NBA is a business, remember, and playing for a championship and playing in a city you love have to come second to making more money. That’s the agent talking.
Through this process remember what happened in Cleveland. LeBron James genuinely wanted to stay. He told everyone how much he loved Cleveland, that he was going to commit long-term, and the franchise took him at his word. They brought in every player he asked for and basically let him run the team.
And then he left.
Chris Paul genuinely wants to be in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean he will. His agent will use the media and use veiled threats to try and force the Hornets to send Paul to New York. We’ve seen this all happen before . . .and if it works again we will continue to see it happen over and over again.
Steve Kyler – 12/02/2011 8:43am EST
As I covered this morning in the NBA AM, New Orleans guard Chris Paul commented on the reports that he demanded a trade to the New York Knicks or that his representation suggested he would only consider a deal with the Knicks, saying he didn’t know where that was coming from.
“It is just rumors; you can’t control it,” Paul said to John Reid of The Times Picayune . “It’s always going to happen, and it’s part of the game. I’m just happy to be back with my team.”
Paul joined his Hornets’ teammates, all five of them, for an informal workout at the Hornets’ practice facility and really talked up the importance of re-signing David West… Hint. Hint.
The Golden State Warriors have apparently engaged the Memphis Grizzlies in a Monta Ellis-for-Rudy Gay trade discussion.
Reports from the bay Area say the odds of a deal going down are remote, but that Golden State is being extremely aggressive in not only trying to land a marquee big like Marc Gasol, Nene or even Tyson Chandler, but they are looking at trades for proven players as well.
Expect the Warriors to be in the mix for almost all of the named players.
Jason Fleming – 12/02/2011 12:12am EST
Want to throw out some info, something just to keep in the back of your mind. The new CBA has the MLE “apron” for teams with over $69 million in commitments. At that dollar amount the value of a given team’s MLE goes down (the calculation is that current commitments plus the MLE is limited to $74 million, but the total value of the MLE offer will not drop below $3 million (three-year deal if a team gets a reduced MLE).
So, which teams are currently limited to the “mini MLE”? Ignoring potential amnesty cuts, which could change a team’s status, here they are (assume first-round picks are included in the team’s salary total):
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
These teams will have the full MLE, a four-year deal starting at $5 million (some of these teams are under the cap but have cap holds for restricted free agents that, when combined with the MLE amount, put them over the cap, so they receive the MLE):
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
And these teams get the new two-year, $2.5 million exception, given to teams who use all their cap space to sign free agents (assuming they DO use that cap space):
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
New Jersey Nets
New Orleans Hornets
There is wiggle room in this last group depending on what each team does with their own Bird Rights free agents and where exactly they sit in relation to the cap. For example, should the Hornets use Bird Rights to re-sign David West for a deal starting at $9 million, they would have the MLE. If someone else signs West, they stay where they are.
Alex Raskin – 12/01/2011 11:25 pm EST
Are we getting closer to a resolution in the Dwight Howard saga? ESPN.com’s Marc Stein suggested just that on Twitter this evening:
“A growing number of execs starting to believe that Magic will indeed give strong consideration to doing Dwight deal before season starts.”
Of course, it was Stein and ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that previously reported the New Jersey Nets were prepared to offer 23-year-old center Brook Lopez and two first-round picks for Howard and Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu.One source told HOOPSWORLD that we shouldn’t put much weight into that particular rumor at the moment, but Orlando will definitely have an array of offers to choose from if not that. Until now the predominant thinking was that Magic G.M. Otis Smith was going to wait to trade Howard, if he was going to deal him at all. However, if the right deal arrives now and can take a bad contract off the books in the process, Smith might have no choice but to deal the franchise cornerstone.
Eric Pincus – 12/01/2011 9:25pm EST
Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News writes that Tayshaun Prince could end up a Los Angeles Clippers via sign and trade with Chris Kaman going to the Detroit Pistons.
HOOPSWORLD has reported, for years at this point, that Prince was a possibility for the Clippers. Detroit has always shown interest in Kaman, who went to school at Central Michigan.
Sources have indicated the Clippers are looking at small forward options like Prince, Caron Butler and possibly Shane Battier. LA is also in search of a top-flight player on the level of Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and/or Deron Williams.
If Goodwill’s information come to pass, the Clippers would be maintaining or even growing their cap position via trade, while filling their primary immediate roster need at small forward.
Jason Fleming – 12/01/2011 9:04pm EST
New Jersey, you are now on the clock. Deron Williams won’t be signing an extension and plans on entering free agency next summer.
“Based on the new rules, it doesn’t make any sense for him to sign the extension,” agent Jeff Schwartz told The Bergen Record. “It has nothing to do with how much he likes New Jersey. Because of the rules, he’s going to play the season out and opt out of his deal.”
So why are the Nets on the clock? Well, essentially, the 2011-12 season is now an audition for the Nets to see if they are worthy of Williams staying there when he does become a free agent. They have about $14 million in cap space after they sign first-round pick Marshon Brooks to his rookie scale deal. How they use that cap space will probably go a long way towards determining their future with Williams when the team goes to Brooklyn, or if they will be completely rebuilding next summer (as opposed to just rebuilding some).
Will they use that money in free agency? Or will they instead use it to facilitate a trade for a star? And if they do, how will the acquisition work with Williams and stud center Brook Lopez? Or will the trade cost them Lopez, who makes only $3.1 million in the final year of his rookie scale contract?
New Jersey is going to make quite a bit of noise, because they won’t sit idly by and do nothing. Keeping Williams happy is too important.
Jason Fleming – 12/01/2011 8:50pm EST
Outside of the big men, this year’s hottest free agent is….restricted free agent guard Arron Afflalo from the Denver Nuggets? According to Marc Stein of ESPN it is, and that makes a ton of sense. Afflalo is a fantastic defender, capable of creating his own shot, a good passer, and a strong leader. There is a real dearth of shooting guards in free agency as well and Afflalo stands to become the target of many teams.
But, if you want Afflalo, it’s going to cost you money. Denver will happily match any deal up to the $5 million MLE and probably take the team who convinced Afflalo to sign that offer sheet out to dinner. However, Afflalo knows Denver will pay him more and there are teams with cap space who also would be willing to offer him more.
But who? A lot of the teams with cap space – Sacramento, Toronto, Washington, Golden State – don’t really need a shooting guard. And Indiana doesn’t seem focused on that position either. It’s still more likely than not Afflalo stays in Denver – well paid – but if another team wants him badly enough they will have to give up assets in a sign-and-trade. Frankly, no other team can afford him in free agency.
Steve Kyler – 12/01/2011 8:42pm EST
Two names entered the Free Agency fray today… Hornets’ free agent Carl Landry and Denver’s Arron Afflalo.
Landry is an unrestricted free agent and according to his agent Mark Bartelstein more than a dozen teams have inquired about Carl and the Portland Trail Blazers expressed serious interest. Earlier this summer Landry expressed his interest in Portland, so it seems things are coming full circle.
“I think I can fit in with Portland,” Landry told SLAM in August. “They’re in need of a big post presence down low. I’m not taking anything away from (Greg) Oden and (Marcus) Camby. I just know what I can provide. The Blazers are a good team and I know I can help.”
“I really like Portland,” said Landry.” I’m good friends with Greg Oden, and Wes Matthews is from Wisconsin like me. There are a lot of ties there and I have no doubt that I would blend in fine.”
Landry is also one of the top targets for the Indiana Pacers who want to add another power forward to the roster, but also don’t want to add a player that removes Tyler Hansbrough from the picture in the process. Landry would be a perfect compliment to the Pacers lineup and the Pacers have serious cap money to offer, where the tax strapped Blazers would need to amensty a player (read Brandon Roy) to get under the tax to reclaim a full mid-level offer, unless a sign and trade is worked out through New Orleans.
Indiana’s roster includes several Bartlestien clients including Danny Granger, Dahntay Jones, Paul George and Brandon Rush.
You can put Denver restricted free agent Arron Afflalo at the top of almost every playoff teams wish list. Because Denver can match any offer that Arron receives, its going to take a whopper of a deal to pry him lose from Denver, but that has not stopped teams like the Lakers, Bulls, Magic and Mavericks from inquiring.
There is a chance one of those teams offers something crazy that Denver won’t do or that one of them is willing to do something around a sign and trade that Denver would be reluctant to match.
One thing is clear, the season Arron had in Denver garnered him a lot of fans in the GM world and its looking like he’ll get a nice payday for his efforts.
If The Nuggets were waiting for someone to set his value, enough teams have inquired to think that value is going to be substantially higher than the $2.9 million Qualifying Offer Denver had to issue to retain his restricted free agent rights.
Bill Ingram – 12/01/2011 8:45pm EST
Nick Young’s name started making the rounds today, as the Chicago Bulls would love to have the Washington Wizards restricted free agent. Sources close to the situation tell HOOPSWORLD that the reason there has been almost no mention of Young in free agency is because it would seem to be a foregone conclusion that he will be back in Washington. Both the Wizards and Young have every intention of him remaining on the team.
Bill Ingram – 12/01/2011 8:45pm EST
It may seem a little bit strange to some when they hear that the Portland Trail Blazers, who would seem to need a starting center, are talking to agents about players like Chuck Hayes, Carl Landry and Joel Przybilla. The reason is fairly straightfoward. They had a great deal of success playing LaMarcus Aldridge at the five last season and he has bulked up considerably over the offseason. If Aldridge can spend a significant amount of time at center then the Blazers can afford to count on Marcus Camby and perhaps Przybilla as backups while addressing a much more attainable position via free agency – namely, the power forward spot.
Landry is getting lots of calls from around the league, but he would love to land in Portland, almost as much as the Blazers would love to have him.
Bill Ingram – 12/01/2011 8:17pm EST
It seems the New Orleans Hornets thought the same thing I did when they heard that Chris Paul might not want to be there after this season: better explore other options besides the New York Knicks, who have nothing to offer in trade that helps New Orleans long-term.
Numerous are now surfacing about the Hornets listening to offers from other teams, among them a possible deal sending Paul to Golden State in exchange for a package that would include Steph Curry. That makes a lot of sense, as anything that moves Paul out of town essentially means the Hornets are building more for the long-term than the short-term, and Curry looks to be one of the young stars who could define the next generation of NBA franchise players.
Expect more teams to come forward with offers for Chris Paul if Paul does, indeed, refuse to sign an extension with the Hornets.
Jason Fleming – 12/01/2011 2:42pm EST
Here’s some more on the hot Chris Paul situation. Paul’s agent has told the New Orleans Hornets he will not sign an extension and only wants to play in New York? Well, that’s nice.
There are two ways for Paul to get to New York: by trade or signing as a free agent.
If the Hornets pursue the trade route then the Knicks, because sitting at $62.2 million, with Iman Shumpert on the books, to 10 players, need to send back salary. Paul is due $16.4 million this year (Hornets Team Salary). Assuming Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are not available – which they aren’t – then that leaves the Knicks with the ending $14.2 million contract of Chauncey Billups and the rookie scale contracts of Shumpert (once signed) and Douglas as their only real trade assets (Knicks Team Salary). Ending contracts aren’t a draw for the Hornets, but Billups has to be included, because otherwise it’s not going to happen. Draft picks won’t help either, because the earlier New York can trade a first-rounder is 2018.
Billups, Douglas, and Shumpert works. Maybe Landry Fields also, or instead of Shumpert or Douglas. That is a legal deal. But would it make the Hornets pull the trigger on an All-NBA point guard? Hardly. If the Knicks really want to entice the Hornets, they need to get a third team involved to send an asset or somehow acquire other assets on their own, but to do that they need assets to send out, which puts us back at the beginning of this conversation. This is different than last year’s Anthony situation for the Knicks because then they had several assets they could trade. Unfortunately for them, they used them all.
Then there is free agency. Paul can decline his $17.8 million Player Option for 2012-13 and become a free agent in 2012. The Knicks, as of right now, have $45.3 million on the books for that season, leaving them roughly $13 million in cap space (assuming they don’t sign anyone this year whose contract goes into next season). They could cut another $1.7 million from their cap by using the amnesty on Renaldo Balkman. As a free agent Paul would eligible for a max deal starting at $16.3 million, or if he extended in New Orleans a new deal could start at 105% of whatever his old deal was (be it from the $16.4 million of this year if he declines the option, or from the $17.8 million next year should he not decline it).
Either way, in a free agency situation Paul has to accept the will be taking less money to sign with New York than he could get elsewhere. Maybe that’s fine, but it’s also not very common. We can point to the Miami situation last summer where Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all signed for less than market value to play together (Wade actually even less than the other two), but it’s slightly different because they made that decision together. In New York Stoudemire and Anthony will be making many millions more per season than Paul.
What’s the point of all this? Only to illustrate the serious difficulties to seeing Paul in the orange and blue. It’s possible, but a lot of different things would have to fall into place for it to happen. The Knicks have to find more assets to trade; the Hornets would have to be satisfied with what New York has to offer; or Paul has to be willing to wait one season and sign for less money.
Steve Kyler – 12/01/2011 2:21pm EST
Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears are reporting that Chris Paul’s agent Leon Rose has informed the New Orleans Hornets that Paul will not agree to a long-term extension and would only consider a move that lands him in New York with the Knicks.
Chris Paul’s agent informed New Orleans officials on Wednesday that his client will not sign a contract extension and wants to be traded to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As soon as the NBA lifts its lockout restrictions, Hornets general manager Dell Demps wants to meet with Paul and hear that directive from him.
The Knicks do not exactly have favorable assets outside of the ending $14.2 million contract of Chauncey Billups. The Knicks do hold draft rights to Iman Shumpert, however because he is unsigned he holds no cap value in trade.
The Knicks do have Rony Turiaf ($4.3 million) and Landry Fields ($788K) to offer, but neither have enough value for New Orleans to consider them as anything more than throw-ins to a deal.
Bill Ingram – 12/01/2011 12:00pm EST
One of the more intriguing situations to watch over the next couple of weeks will be what happens with Marc Gasol in Memphis. A number of NBA execs have told HOOPSWORLD that Gasol is the only “max” player in this year’s free agency class, and as a restricted free agent he is the Grizzlies’ to lose. That said, sources close to the situation say that Gasol does not want to be back in Memphis despite their surprising success last season and their prospects of being even better with Rudy Gay back in the mix. Grizzlies management say they won’t re-sign Gasol unless he wants to be there, but is that really true? Will they really let the best free agent in the class walk away?
Smarter money says the Grizzlies work a sign-and-trade is they decide not to keep Gasol themselves. So think about the teams with significant assets to offer in trade, which would seem to put the Houston Rockets squarely in the front of the discussion. The Rockets have a plethora of front court players to offer in a potential sign-and-trade, something not many teams can say.
The Rockets are also intensely interested in the Nuggets’ decision not offer Nene a max contract . . .for more on that, see below.
Steve Kyler – 12/01/2011 11:27am EST
A couple of notable nuggets of news…
Denver’s Nene is most pissed at the Nuggets because he felt that they were going to extend him after standing by the organization last year, especially through the Carmelo Anthony drama. When an extension off of the $11.3 million he earned last year did not happen, Nene remained loyal however it seems the Nuggets initial offer for Nene this year is below the $11.3 he earned last year and that’s what set the 7-footer from Brazil off.
Nene’s camp is saying his value will clock in north of $13 million, and that seems to be their asking price. A few GMs said that number might be a bit too high for Nene so Denver, who can offer more years and more dollars, still remains very much in the hunt to retain him. The Nets are viewed as the primary threat to nab Nene as they have a need to add a serious player to their Deron Williams-led roster.
Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri said repeatedly yesterday that his team “respected” Nene and that phrase wasn’t accidental and that once they are permitted to sit with Nene they feel like they can make a deal. Ujiri said he understood Nene’s desire to shop his services and said he expected him to do that. If the Nuggets lose Nene, Ujiri said his club would look to its existing young players rather than dropping their ample salary cap space on this free agent class.
On The Big Three of 2012 — The New Orleans Hornets have been gauging the marketplace in terms of what deals they can make to add talent to the roster. One thing the Hornets are not doing is openly entertaining offers on Chris Paul. Sources close to the situation say the Hornets first option is to add around Paul and if that does not come to fruition trading Paul at the deadline or next summer becomes more realistic than triggering something before camp. The general sense is regardless of how free agency plays out Chris Paul will open the season in New Orleans, whether he finishes it there remains to be seen.
The Orlando Magic are not entertaining calls on Dwight Howard. One team with interest in Howard said their overtures were turned away and that noting was considered on Howard. That lines up with what Magic president Otis Smith said to reporters saying his first order of business was to talk with Dwight.
Smith did not close the door on trading Howard, but was clear that he would have to make the best decision for the franchise regardless of what Howard wants, and it seems opening camp with Howard is the only consideration on the table at this point.
League sources said expect for virtually every team in the league to make some kind of offer for Howard, but that his future in Orlando might be tied more to the trade deadline than the start of training camp.
In New Jersey, the Nets apparently offered the idea of a short term extension to Deron Williams’ camp in efforts to buy themselves some time to prove to Deron this is the right situation. Sources close to the process called the idea unlikely, saying everyone understands Deron is opting out in July and that the team may have to do a lot of romancing between now and then in order to sway Williams from testing his options.
Sources said Williams is not unhappy in New Jersey but that its been suggested that winning now matters to D-Will and that the team should approach this off-season with building a winner now in mind rather than stockpiling for the future.
Atlanta’s Josh Smith is very much in play… there have been talks of the Minnesota Timberwolves making a play at Josh and it’s been long believed that the Orlando Magic by way of Dwight Howard would love to obtain one of Howard’s best friends in trade. Sources close to the process said yesterday that moving Josh Smith or Marvin Williams in trade is very real, and that anyone short of Al Horford could be had for the right package of assets.
Bill Ingram – 12/04/2011 10:30pm EST
This morning there is bad news for those who love hating the Miami HEAT. Shane Battier, one of the hardest-working, most dedicated players in the NBA, has reportedly chosen the HEAT as his next NBA team. At this stage of his career competing for a championship is of utmost importance to Battier, and Miami would seem to offer him his best chance to do that. The Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder were among the other teams who were interested in adding Battier to the mix.
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