NBA PM: Tyson Chandler To The Knicks?
It’s been an interesting week for the Golden State Warriors, and quite a roller coaster ride for their fans. At different times it has looked like the team could have All-Star point guard Chris Paul and NBA champion Tyson Chandler in their starting lineup on opening night, but today’s news holds a couple of lumps of coal and a “bah, humbug” on both fronts.
Depending on which reports your believe, the Warriors may or may not be willing to give up Steph Curry in a trade for Paul, but the reality is it’s a little bit of both. If Chris Paul will agree to an extension, the Warriors will part with Curry. If, however, the trade does not involve an extension for Paul, the Warriors are understandably reluctant to give up a foundational franchise piece for what could be a one-year rental. In fact, trades for Paul aren’t nearly as lucrative without that extension, whether they involve the Warriors or the Los Angeles Clippers, the Hornets’ other suitor. It’s starting to look more and more likely that Paul might end up with the Lakers, with whom he would reportedly sign an extension, even though the Hornets aren’t in love with any package the Lakers have to offer.
It will be interesting to see if the Warriors change their stance at the last minute and make a gamble on being able to convince Paul to stay long-term. A source close to the team says there is absolutely no chance the Warriors turn away a shot at Paul, even if it means giving up Curry. They certainly can’t afford to let him go to the Lakers.
The other piece that seemed to be all wrapped up for the Warriors is Chandler, who is widely viewed as the third-best player on the free agency market behind Marc Gasol and Nene. But today, Chandler, too, seems to be slipping away. Reports out of New York have Chandler agreeing to a four-year $58 million deal with the Knicks. Chandler solves all the problems for New York, assuming he can stay healthy with such a lucrative long-term contract in place. He can make up for Amar’e Stoudemire’s defensive deficiencies just as he did for Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, and he gives the Knicks a legitimate presence on both ends of the floor.
It looks like the Warriors are falling behind in that race, as well. The word is if they lose out on Chandler the Warriors will aggressively pursue Clippers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan, though he is also being courted by Houston, New Orleans and Denver.
Now let’s back up a minute. Chris Paul is the hot commodity in this free agent market, and Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick and Chris Mannix were both Tweeting this afternoon that the Houston Rockets are looking to help facilitate a trade between the Hornets and the Lakers, with Pau Gasol heading to Houston. HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus shared his take on that situation here.
Now here’s mine.
When you consider that the Rockets thought Chris Bosh was a perfect solution to their center issues two summers ago it’s not a stretch to see why they would like Pau Gasol. At least Gasol has played center, and the Lakers have had decent success with him in that position. It’s not his favorite, by any means, but he can play the five.
The rumored deal would send Luis Scola and Kevin Martin to New Orleans, along with some draft picks, and it’s hard to imagine Houston not throwing in a young point guard, as well. The Hornets believe Jarrett Jack can be their starter, but someone like Goran Dragic would be a solid backup at the position being vacated by Chris Paul. But even if this deal goes through, the Rockets are still a front court player short of being an elite team, and they just helped one of their biggest rivals get significantly better.
The solution, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, is that the Rockets will also look to sign DeAndre Jordan to a significant offer sheet, one they hope the Los Angeles Clippers won’t match. Of course, the Rockets will have plenty of competition in that area, as the Denver Nuggets are also taking a long look at Jordan. The Rockets have also been aggressive in pursuing Nene, and could open up cap space for a bigger offer as a result of the three-way with the Lakers and Hornets.
Stay tuned for more on these evolving stories . . .which seem to be evolving by the second. In the mean time, make sure you’re checking the HOOPSWORLD 2011 Free Agency Diary constantly, as it’s being updated constantly.
Indiana Pacers Making Their Move
When David Morway took over as the general manager of the Indiana Pacers in May of 2009, there were several primary objectives to be executed. First, the team needed to create cap flexibility, and second, the team needed a new identity, centered around Danny Granger and an influx of young and promising talent.
So far, so good. Gone are veterans Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford, Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster, and in their place are budding young talents like Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Darren Collison and Paul George. When head coach Jim O’Brien refused to give the younger Pacers free reign, he was replaced, and the results were immediate. After starting the 2010-11 NBA season with a record of 17-27 under O’Brien, Morway and team president Larry Bird turned the team over the assistant coach Frank Vogel, who coached them to a 20-18 record the rest of the way, good enough to make the playoffs.
The young core is in place, and the Pacers have significant cap space entering this week’s free agency period.
Now it’s time to cash in.
The first player the Pacers would like to add is Denver Nuggets free agent Nene, widely believed to be the top free agent target among those who are unrestricted. Early in the process the Pacers reached out to the Memphis Grizzlies offering a package of players for Marc Gasol in a sign-and-trade, but since then Gasol’s camp has committed to Memphis and he is no longer believed to be available. Nene would certainly be an upgrade over Hibbert, though Hibbert could also be dealt in a subsequent move.
Early on the Pacers were interested in New Orleans Hornets All-Star power forward David West, but that interest seems to have cooled. Sources close to the situation tell HOOPSWORLD that the Pacers really want to see Tyler Hansbrough log significant minutes at the four this season, and adding a player like West would likely preclude that possibility. It’s more likely the Pacers make an overture to someone like Carl Landry, who could split minutes with Hansbrough and would be happy coming off the bench.
Shane Battier was also very high on Indiana’s wish list, but he has now committed to the Miami HEAT. Jamal Crawford was also coveted by the Pacers, but sources close to Crawford say he is very likely going to be a Chicago Bull via sign-and-trade.
The Pacers are also being mentioned in connection with a trade that would land Chris Paul in Boston and Rajon Rondo in Indiana. From what we’re told, that rumor is dated, as the Pacers did what they called “due diligence” on Rondo last week and decided to pass. Additionally, Chris Paul is not willing to commit to Boston, as he (like everyone else) sees their window rapidly closing. It seems unlikely that Rondo winds up in Indiana.
NBA free agency 2011 will officially begin on Friday, and few teams will be as active in talks with key free agents as the Pacers. They have an outstanding young core and a shot at being one of the rising powers in the Eastern Conference long-term. It appears their biggest push will be to land Nene, whom they have already talked to about the big picture, and if the Nuggets don’t offer up a max contract (and they’re not expected to) the Pacers may have their first steal of free agency.
The only question is: who will be next?
It’s time for the Pacers to make their move . . .and rest assured they certainly will.
Pacers All-Star Danny Granger has been putting in the work during the offseason, looking to use the extra time off to drastically improve and expand his game. Check out what Granger has been up to and see some of the improvements in this workout video! Link HERE!
Bulls Confident They’ll Get Their Shooting Guard
The worst-kept secret in the NBA may be that the Chicago Bulls are a shooting guard away from being the favorites to win the NBA’s Eastern Conference crown . . .for the foreseeable future. As much as people like to talk about the trio of superstars in Miami and the similar project taking place in New York, no team in the East is as deep and as talented as the Bulls.
As of this writing, the Bulls are confident they have found their man.
At least, they have narrowed it down to two choices, and they are confident they will land one of them.
Reports out of Chicago earlier today had Caron Butler seriously considering an offer from the Bulls over that of the Los Angeles Clippers, but this afternoon the Clippers did, indeed reach an agreement with Butler on a three-year deal.
Jamal Crawford remains a strong possibility for the Bulls, and Crawford’s camp believes he will be in Chicago this season following a sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks for a package including Ronnie Brewer.
Finally, Orlando Magic free agent Jason Richardson could also be the ultimate solution for the Bulls, though Vince Carter could also become a possibility once the Phoenix Suns buy him out and waive him, likely on Friday.
One way or the other, it sounds like the Bulls are going to grab their missing piece, with a championship very likely to follow.
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