NBA roundup: Kidd agrees to sign with Knicks
—Free agent Jason Kidd is leaving the Dallas Mavericks for the New York Knicks, according to an ESPN.com report.
In a surprising turn of events, the veteran bolts at a time when earlier reports suggested he was close to a verbal agreement on a three-year deal worth $9 million to stay with the Mavericks. After discussions with both teams on Thursday, Kidd opted for a similar deal with the Knicks.
No contract can be officially inked until July 11, which is the first day new NBA contracts can be signed.
If Kidd leaves, it will add to what has been a frustrating few days for the Mavs. Prized free agent target Deron Williams re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Terry agreed with the Boston Celtics and Steve Nash was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd finished a three-year, $25 million deal this season.
—Jameer Nelson is staying with the Magic, the free-agent point told the Orlando Sentinel.
Nelson said he has agreed with Orlando on a new contract, but didn’t reveal the length or terms.
Nelson, 30, averaged 11.9 points and 5.7 assists per game last season. He was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, but was traded to the Orlando Magic, where he has played for the past eight seasons.
—Free agent guards Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups have both agreed to sign with the Clippers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Crawford is expected to sign a four-year deal worth more than $20 million, while Billups is expected to get a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.3 million with bonuses.
Neither player can actually sign until July 11, when the league lifts its moratorium on new business.
—Restricted free agent Jeremy Lin has received an offer from the Houston Rockets, following his Wednesday visit, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.
The Chronicle didn’t give details, but a New York Post report, citing a league source, said the Rockets were planning to offer Lin a backloaded deal worth roughly $30 million. The deal would pay Lin $5 million in the first season, $5.2 million in the second, and increase to as much as $10 million per year in the third and fourth seasons.
The Knicks may be hesitant to match a heavily backloaded contract, according to ESPN.com.
—The Houston Rockets are about to trade point guard Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for a future lottery pick, according ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Lowry averaged 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers per game prior through the All-Star break, but saw his season end with an abdominal injury that required surgery.
—Free-agent forward Michael Beasley has given a verbal commitment on a three-year, $18 million deal with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN.com.
Beasley can’t actually sign until July 11, when the league lifts its moratorium on new business.
The Suns were one of five suitors in pursuit, and they also agreed to send Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade deal.
Later Wednesday, the Suns agreed to a four-year, $30 million contract with free agent guard Goran Dragic, according to ESPN.com. The Suns also offered New Orleans shooting guard Eric Gordon a maximum $58 million over four years.
—If free agent Ray Allen leaves the Boston Celtics, it will likely be for the team that ended his season.
Allen met with the NBA Champion Miami Heat Thursday, and he’s being recruited by MVP LeBron James, who recently tweeted a photo of Allen in a Heat uniform. The discussion will likely center on whether Allen is willing to accept less money and a lesser role on the defending NBA Champions.
He was also scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, but that meeting was canceled after the Clippers agreed to a multiyear deal with free agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Allen hasn’t ruled out retuning to the Celtics, who have made a two-year, $12 million offer.
In other news, free agent agent Brandon Bass has agreed to a three-year deal to return to the Celtics.
— Re-signing Deron Williams has already proved beneficial to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets sold about 500 season tickets on Tuesday after the team re-signed Williams on Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
According to the report, the sale of those season tickets translated into a one-day, seven-figure take.
Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark told the Daily News it was the best day he could remember in his seven years with the Nets.
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