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Mickael Pietrus is the newest member of the Boston Celtics. The 29-year-old swingman, released last week by the Phoenix Suns, signed a one-year contract just minutes after clearing waivers, according to Boston.com. He announced his decision on Twitter:
I have decided to be part of The Boston Celtics Family.— Mickael Pietrus (@MickaelPietrus) December 24, 2011
Pietrus won't play in the season opener on Sunday but is expected to join his teammates Tuesday in Miami after taking a physical on Monday. He will earn the veteran's minimum in Boston in addition to the guaranteed $5.3 million owed by the Suns.
For a while it looked like the Suns might trade Pietrus to another team in the Atlantic Division, but a deal with the Toronto Raptors fell through due to concerns about his knee, which was surgically-repaired in July.
"We are very excited to be able to add Mickael to our team," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge in a statement released by the team. "His skills as a perimeter defender and an outside shooter provide great versatility to the roster."
Pietrus is a nice addition for the Celtics, especially following the unexpected loss of Jeff Green for the season. Even though his knee may be a concern -- he missed the final 12 games of the 2010-11 season before undergoing surgery in July -- he's worth the risk given the minimal investment. The Raptors, on the other hand, would have been on the hook for his entire salary.
For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog.
The New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies have swung a Christmas Eve deal, sending Quincy Pondexter to Memphis for Greivis Vasquez, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Both players were first-round picks in the 2010 NBA Draft — Pondexter went 26th, while Vasquez was the 28th selection — and back-ups for their teams in the 2010-11. Pondexter averaged 2.8 points per game and 1.3 rebounds per game for the Hornets, while Vasquez scored 3.6 points per game and dished 2.2 assists per game for the Grizzlies. Vasquez also came on for Memphis in the playoffs, memorably hitting a three-pointer to send the Grizzlies to a second overtime in a Western Conference Semifinals game against Oklahoma City.
The move gives New Orleans additional depth at point guard after Chris Paul's departure, as Vasquez is likely to back up Jarrett Jack. Likewise, Pondexter gives Memphis depth in its frontcourt after an injury to Darrell Arthur.
The Jazz traded Mehmet Okur to the Nets for a 2015 second round pick and trade exception, giving the Nets a short-term replacement for injured big man Brook Lopez.
Chuck Hayes does not have a heart problem and has been cleared by the renowned Cleveland Clinic to play, the forward's agent Calvin Andrews announced on Thursday. That would be in direct conflict with a Sacramento Kings announcement this week that said Hayes failed a physical. On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee's Ailene Voisin cited anonymous sources who said that Hayes was diagnosed with pericarditis, or enlargement of the sack surrounding the heart.
Whether the Kings will consider signing Hayes after all remains to be seen, though if they do, the decision to void his deal before getting a corroborating exam is mighty curious. Hayes is an unrestricted free agent; he played for the Houston Rockets last season. On Wednesday, the Rockets signed center Samuel Dalembert to replace Hayes; Dalembert played in Sacramento last season and appeared set to re-sign with the team on Wednesday before the Kings announced that they had rescinded their offer.
The deal is said to be for two years though the exact value was unknown.
Fox Sports Florida had reported on Tuesday that Dalembert was about to re-sign with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings issued a press release on Wednesday saying they had withdrawn their offer to Dalembert.
The Rockets thought they had their new man in Pau Gasol, whom they briefly had the rights to via a trade with the Lakers involving Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets. When that trade was vetoed by David Stern, the Rockets turned to Plan B and Dalembert.
Houston has a tall task in replacing center Yao Ming, who retired last season.
Derrick Rose has agreed to a five-year extension worth roughly $94 million to remain with the Chicago Bulls, sources told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The deal is expected to become official either late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.
This extension, which has been discussed for some time, begins with the 2012-13 season, and will keep him in a Bulls uniform through the 2016-17 season. While the recent CBA negotiations resulted in players giving up a share of the league's revenues, Rose is one player who will actually earn more as a result of the new CBA. Johnson explains:
The extension is for roughly $10-11 million more than Rose would've been eligible for under the previous collective bargaining agreement. However, a new rule, which has been nicknamed the "Derrick Rose rule" rewards players who outperform their rookie scale contract. Rose qualifies for one of the three stipulations by virtue of becoming the youngest most valuable player in NBA history last season.
Rose was just 19 years old when he was drafted, and he turned 23 this past October. He'll be just 28 years old by the time he reaches free agency for the first time in his career, putting him in line for at least one more mega-contract.
Rose earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2008-09, was named an All-Star reserve in 2010 and was voted an All-Star starter in 2011. He's improved every year he's been in the league, reaching new heights last year after developing a consistent three-point shot -- the one component of his game that was lacking. He averaged 25.0 points and 7.4 assists last season while leading the Bulls to a league-best 62-20 regular-season record. Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before falling 4-1 to the Miami Heat.
Just going up on ESPN online: Sources say Nuggets and restricted free agent Arron Afflalo agree to five-year deal in excess of $43 million— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 20, 2011
Afflalo will remain the Nuggets starting shooting guard. He's been with the Nuggets since the 2009 season. Prior to being traded to the Nuggets, Afflalo spent two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Last season on the Nuggets, Afflalo averaged a career high 12.6 points per game with 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
A lot of teams had interest in Afflalo -- Stein reports the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month tried and failed to engage the Nuggets in sign-and-trade talks -- but in the end Denver made it a priority to keep him.
"I think Arron has become our most intangible glue guy," Nuggets head coach George Karl told the Denver Post a few weeks ago. "When we evaluate why we lost in the playoffs, free throw shooting was No. 1 and not having Arron Afflalo was probably No. 2."
San Antonio Spurs forward Antonio McDyess will call it a career, as most expected he would, according to a report by Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News. He had said he would retire after the Spurs' first-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last year, and he has followed through on that.
McDyess was scheduled to be owed $5.2 million if he elected to play next season. Half of that total is guaranteed to him. With him retiring, the Spurs will not owe him the other half of that salary.
McDyess averaged 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 19 minutes per game for the Spurs last year, the 16th of his career. A former No. 2 overall pick and rising star, McDyess' rise was stunted by several knee injuries. Recently, though, he came back and was a solid contributor to some very strong Detroit Pistons teams before playing for San Antonio the last two years.
For more on the Spurs, visit Pounding the Rock.
It was rumored this weekend, and on Monday, it's official: Baron Davis will sign with the New York Knicks in 2011-12. The Knicks announced the news on Twitter. According to the New York Times' Howard Beck, Davis will sign for the veteran's minimum salary of $1.4 million.
Initially there had been reports that Davis would assume the Knicks' "room exception" and sign for $2.5 million, but it seems Davis took less, leaving the exception available for another free agent, and giving the Knicks more flexibility going forward, should they want to add another veteran.
For the Knicks, then, it's a low-risk investment in a backcourt that sorely needs a veteran presence like Davis. Baron's been injured for much of the past few seasons, but when he's healthy and motivated, he can be effective on a playoff team. And for Davis, himself, he's able to join a contender for the year, while still making the entire salary he was owed in Cleveland ($13.9 million in 2011/12) before the Cavs chose to amnesty him.
In other words, at least for now, everybody wins here.
Nick Young will sign his qualifying offer from the Washington Wizards on Monday, reports Michael Lee of the Washington Post, returning the guard to the 'Zards for the 2011-12 season at a price of $3.7 million. Because the Wizards had extended Young the qualifying offer, the guard was a restricted free agent this offseason. In July 2012, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
The Wizards don't expect to make too much noise in the East this season, as the club remains in the throes of a rebuild centered around point guard John Wall. The team added first-round picks Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, and will continue to see how JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche work out up front. Young should be the team's No. 2 or No. 3 scorer, depending on how much veteran Rashard Lewis plays over Vesely and Singleton.
For more on the Wizards, visit Bullets Forever.
The New York Knicks will apparently have a big-name point guard in the 2011-12 NBA season — it just won't be Chauncey Billups. ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Baron Davis will join the Knicks, with a deal possibly coming on Sunday.
Davis, who was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, was waived by the Cavaliers under the amnesty provision of the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement. He cleared waivers and was eligible to sign with any team in the NBA.
Davis has had injury problems in his last few seasons after developing into one of the league's best point guards in the middle of the decade with the Golden State Warriors, but he averaged 13.9 points per game in just over 25 minutes per game in limited action with Cleveland in 2011, and remains a large, physical defender when he is healthy.
For more on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting.
In what will surely prove to be the most important move of the 2011 NBA free agency period, the Indiana Pacers have agreed to trade Brandon Rush to the Golden State Warriors for Louis Amundson, according to Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick.
Rush gives the Warriors another guard who can back up shooters Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, though he has been no better than merely solid through his NBA career. Amundson could be another hard-working forward for a Pacers team that has been stocking up on them with Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph, and new signing David West.
Rush will be playing for his second NBA team, joining the Warriors after three seasons in Indiana. Amundson is significantly better-traveled: the Pacers will be his sixth team, and he will be beginning his sixth NBA season.
Former New Jersey Nets forward Travis Outlaw has been claimed off amnesty waivers by the Sacramento Kings, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Terms of the Kings' bid for Outlaw's services have not been disclosed.
Outlaw signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Nets as a free agent in July 2010, and that contract was widely panned even before Outlaw shot 37.5 percent from the field and scored 9.2 points per game in nearly 30 minutes a night with the Nets in the 2010-11 season. Outlaw was waived by the Nets under the amnesty clause of the new NBA collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, clearing cap room for a New Jersey team that may be trying to make space for Orlando center Dwight Howard.
For more on the Kings, head to Sactown Royalty.
The Los Angeles Lakers signed power forward Troy Murphy on Saturday to bolster their front court depth, presumably. The outside-shoing big man had a forgettable year last season, but has shown he can be a presence in the past.
Murphy agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers on Saturday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Terms of the deal weren't announced, but considering it's only a one-year deal, the Lakers probably didn't have to break the bank to add him.
The 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds through his 10-year career, but last year was forgettable at best for the outside-shooter. Split between the New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics, Murphy averaged a paltry 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds through 35 games as a bit player in both team's rotations.
The Lakers lost power forward Derrick Caracter to a torn meniscus last week and traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks after the Chris Paul trade he was supposed to be involved in was vetoed. Los Angeles did sign Josh McRoberts to a deal earlier in free agency, but Murphy could be a solid insurance option as well if he's able to revert to his old form.
Rodney Stuckey has agreed to a 3 year, $25 deal to stay with Pistons, league source confirms to Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 17, 2011
Stuckey was originally drafted by the Pistons in the 2007 NBA Draft with the 15th overall pick out of Eastern Washington. Stuckey became the starting point guard in the 2008 NBA season when Chauncey Billups was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Despite his run-ins with head coach John Kuester, Stuckey has shown gradual improvement each season with the Pistons. He now represents a young asset on the Pistons roster, as well as having shown the ability to play both guard positions. Rookie Brandon Knighton however, could play in as the point guard of the future depending on the speed at which he develops.
Smith averaged 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game for the Hornets last season. He scored a career-high 20 points against Washington in the one of the six games he started.
This will be the 25-year-old's fourth NBA season out of Colorado State. Smith was drafted by the Miami Heat but traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Daequan Cook on draft night. After two seasons in Philly, Smith was traded to New Orleans as part of the a four-player deal.
According to his agent, Smith decided to stay with the Hornets due to his appreciation for coach Monty Williams' staff. The seven-footer is expected to be a reserve playing at the forward and center positions.
For more on the New Orleans Hornets, visit At The Hive.
Richard Hamilton was surprisingly bought out by the Detroit Pistons earlier in the week as the veteran agreed to being paid $8 million in lieu of his team paying the total $21 million left on his contract. The man better known as Rip agreed to the lesser buyout so that he could pick his new team: the Chicago Bulls.
Hamilton could have disagreed to being bought out and either forced the Pistons to use the team's amnesty provision, thereby allowing Detroit to wipe his contract from the salary cap (though Hamilton would have been paid the remainder of his contract). He's instead made up the difference by agreeing to terms with the Chicago Bulls on a 3-year, $15 million contract.
Hamilton expects to be a factor in the playoffs for the Bulls, according to his comments in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"When you get into the playoffs, you know what I like to do, and I know what you like to do," Hamilton said when asked if he could lift the Bulls past the Boston Celtics and Heat. "It's a dogfight. Now we're going to see who is going to out-will each other. I've been there. I love it. I live for it. I'm excited to get back there."
For what it's worth, Hamilton's signing with the Bulls earned the Bulls solid marks in Tom Ziller's Winners And Losers of NBA Free Agency post on Friday morning.
Andrei Kirilenko is one of the best remaining free agents following the first official week of NBA free agency, but the Russian forward is still currently biding his time in Russia as he heals from a broken nose. The veteran defender is drawing considerable interest from the NBA as of late, however, as the New Jersey Nets and Sacramento Kings have both popped up recently.
The Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, are reportedly setting their sights on the veteran after adding stopgap starter Shawne Williams on Thursday. The Nets used their amnesty provision on Travis Outlaw to remove his contract from the books, clearing $7 million from the team's salary cap.
The Sacramento Kings are also interested. Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie went on the record with the Sacramento Bee earlier this week to discuss his current situation.
"He's still in Russia and he's playing for CSKA (Moscow) and he's under contract over there," Petrie said. "He's in a little bit of a different place in that he's making a significant amount of money right now and when and if he chooses to come back to the NBA at this point we'd still be more than interested in talking to him. But it's still from what I can tell in a holding pattern."
Kirilenko said earlier this month that he'd listen to offers from the NBA, but would be hesitant to leave Russia as his children are enrolled in school and he enjoys his role with CSKA Moscow. The allure of a bigger contract in the NBA could convince him to return stateside, however, where he could enjoy a bit of a resurgence in the right circumstance.
Most top-drawer NBA free agents have been locked up, but a few intriguing players remain on the table.
Howard had recently been reported to be considering the Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards. Howard spent the last season and a half in D.C., though he played little due to injury. The Dallas Mavericks had sent his expiring contract to the Wizards in the 2010 trade that brought Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Big D.
Howard will compete with C.J. Miles for minutes at small forward; the Jazz's 2010 and 2011 draft picks Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks should be slotted in at shooting guard. The Jazz are in an interesting spot, with young prospects Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Hayward and Burks on the roster along with veterans Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Devin Harris and now Howard. One would expect a number of moves before the March 15 deadline to free up the roster a bit.
For more on the Jazz, visit SLC Dunk.
The New Jersey Nets have had a markedly uneventful free agent period, and Thursday's moves -- while necessary -- won't raise too many eyebrows. The Nets announced on Thursday that the team has waived Travis Outlaw under the amnesty provision, meaning the remainder of his contract will come off of the club's salary cap sheet. Outlaw signed what was widely considered a ridiculous five-year, $35 million contract with the Nets in July 2010. He did not impress with New Jersey in the 2010-11 season, to say the least.
The Nets also announced Outlaw's immediate replacement: Shawne Williams, who had a fine comeback season with the New York Knicks last season. The Knicks were looking to retain Williams once they lost out on Jamal Crawford (who choose a $5 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers instead of New York's $2.5 million "room exception"). But the Nets swooped in and added the small forward, whose contributions are primarily of the shooting from the corners variety.
For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily.
Instead of seeking a medical retirement for 27-year-old two-time All-Star Brandon Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers will waive the injured wing under the amnesty clause, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Roy announced his retirement last week due to continued knee problems -- he's had three knee surgeries in 18 months. The Blazers had said they'd seek a medical retirement, which would remove Roy's cap hit from the books beginning in the 2012-13 season.
Instead, Wojnarowski reports, the team will waive Roy before Friday's deadline to immediately clear his large salary off of Portland's books. Roy is due $64 million over the next four years, and he'll get paid either way. The biggest wrinkle in the amnesty waiver is that another team can now claim him by bidding on a portion of his contract, as the L.A. Clippers did for Chauncey Billups. That team could then attempt to convince Roy -- who clearly still had something in the tank last April in the NBA playoffs -- to return to the court in time.
For more on Portland, visit Blazer's Edge.
Carl Landry seemingly had a few offers as a free agent in this lockout-shortened offseason, but the veteran decided to re-sign with the New Orleans Hornets. The 6-foot-9 power forward played in 23 games for the Hornets last season after being traded mid-season from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Marcus Thornton.
Landry's agreement was first reported by Jimmy Smith at the New Orleans' Times-Picayune, but ESPN's Marc Stein added some details on the contract. The one-year deal will reportedly pay Landry $9 million to be the team's only power forward, at least as far as the current roster is concerned.
Landry is just the tenth established player on the Hornets' roster following Wednesday's trade of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers. The team invited quite a few players from the NBA Development League to fill in during training camp, but if the Hornets don't make multiple moves soon, it seems that a few of them will end up sticking.
If nothing else, Landry should be afforded plenty of opportunities to return to his Houston Rockets form, when he was seen as one of the best sixth men in the league. It seemed Landry might've had to take on a sixth-man role for the Hornets this year, too, but David West going to the Indiana Pacers earlier in free agency alleviated that situation while opening the door for Landry to return.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to waive Baron Davis under the amnesty clause, the team announced on Wednesday night. Davis is out for at least two months with a back injury, and is owed about $27 million dollars in guaranteed money. Additionally, the Cavaliers picked up Kyrie Irving in the 2011 NBA Draft, and expect the rookie to compete right away.
In a statement, the team thanked Davis while announcing the decision to waive him. ESPN's Marc Stein also noted the addition of Irving made Davis, and his large contract, expendable.
Yet the overriding sentiment within the organization calls for handing the keys of the franchise to Irving right away. With Ramon Sessions on the books in Cleveland for two more seasons at a cap-friendly salary and Daniel Gibson coming off his best season, letting Davis go now eases a potential backcourt logjam.
For more on the Cavaliers, head over to Fear the Sword.
The New Orleans Hornets have agreed in principle to trade All-NBA point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for a package including stud shooting guard Eric Gordon, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The package will also send veteran center Chris Kaman, young forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the unprotected 2012 first-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Hornets.
The Hornets are currently owned by the NBA. One week ago, the Los Angeles Lakers had reportedly reached a deal with New Orleans' front office to send CP3 out West. But late Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern spiked the deal, arguing that the Hornets were more valuable with CP3 on the roster.
With this deal, the Clippers -- who have All-Star Blake Griffin, signed free agent Caron Butler, acquired Chauncey Billups from amnesty waivers and retained center DeAndre Jordan -- will be vaulted into the playoff picture. It's unclear how long CP3 is willing to commit to the Clippers, as he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012. It's unlikely that L.A. would be willing to give up so much without an assurance that Paul would stick around for a while.
The Charlotte Bobcats have won the Reggie Williams sweepstakes, landing the wing on a two-year, $5 million contract, according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Williams had begun the free agent period with restricted status, meaning that the Golden State Warriors could match any offer sheet signed by the scorer. But the Warriors rescinded that offer sheet on Sunday to make room for a huge offer to restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers ended up matching the Jordan offer, meaning that the Warriors had given up matching rights on Williams for no good reason. That could also mean that Golden State had little intention of keeping Williams; their loss is Charlotte's gain. The scoring-starved Bobcats will be getting a lovely shooter, as Williams finished No. 9 in three-point percentage last season (42 percent) while taking three per game. He's averaged better than 16 points per 36 minutes in a year and change of play with well above-average efficiency.
For more on the Bobcats, visit Rufus On Fire.
Dwight Howard trade rumors have not been quite as rampant as the issues circulating around moving Chris Paul, but the Orlando Magic big man is certainly a hot commodity as the truncated training camps mosey into full gear. The latest reports indicate that the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as trade partners in what looks to be a four-team deal that would allow Howard to end up with the New Jersey Nets.
The Magic would send the albatross contract of Hedo Turkoglu, along with Chris Duhon, to New Jersey while receiving future draft consideration, according to the ESPN tandem, while Portland would receive multiple first round picks for their role in the trade.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller talked about the Nets' need for Howard now, as opposed to later, as they attempt to become a power in the East.
The Nets are in a pickle, considering that Deron Williams is months away from unrestricted free agency and the team as constructed is heading for a sub-.500 season. (The team went 7-18 after the All-Star Game.) The Nets have relatively little in the pipeline: Derrick Favors and the draft pick that became Enes Kanter were sent off for D-Will, and while a bad season would give the Nets a good pick in a great draft, selling Williams on, uh, John Henson or Perry Jones could be a quixotic effort. The Nets need to ensure that Williams re-signs; to ensure that Williams re-signs, the Nets need to get better now.
The New Jersey Nets are renewing their strong push to land Dwight Howard in a trade with the Orlando Magic, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The latest talks center around a four-team deal that would allow the Magic to pick up another strong asset in addition to Brook Lopez, who the Nets are offering at the core of their package.
Howard has been granted permission by the Magic to speak to the Nets, Dallas Mavericks and L.A. Lakers. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2012. He hasn't been shy about flirting with the idea of leaving Orlando, with a reported trade request to the Nets the most obvious sign.
The Nets still have plenty of cap space on account of striking out in the team's pursuits of Tyson Chandler and Nene. Chandler signed with the New York Knicks on Saturday, and the Denver Nuggets held on to Nene on Tuesday.
For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily.
Nene will return to the Denver Nuggets on a five-year, $67 million deal, Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri confirmed Tuesday evening to David Aldridge. After Marc Gasol re-signed with the Grizzlies and Tyson Chandler landed with the Knicks, Nene was the top remaining free agent on the market.
No fewer than six other teams were chasing him at one point or another. The Rockets were certainly interested after their offer sheet for Gasol was matched by the Grizzlies, but in the end Nene's decision came down to the Nets and Nuggets. The Nuggets were always in position to offer the biggest package, as they were the only team who could guarantee a fifth year as well as offer the largest raises from one season to the next.
"We've been grinding all along," Ujiri said. "Nene was our guy and we stayed the course and got through it. Nene wanted to stay home. He wanted to test free agency, but at the end of the day he wanted to stay home and play for the Nuggets. Nene will be a good player for us for a long time."
Ujiri also said that the Nuggets have made recent progress trying to re-sign restricted free agent Arron Afflalo. "We're moving, and it's going good," he said. "He's our final piece. We're going to close and try to make sure we get that done. He's a huge part of our team."
Jamal Crawford has rejected a two-year, $10 million offer from the Indiana Pacers, a source tells Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. The deal would have paid Crawford $5 million in 2011-12 with an opt-out clause to allow him to test free agency next summer, Marc Stein reported earlier Tuesday. So where will the 11-year veteran end up? SI.com's Sam Amick has the latest:
Source says Jamal Crawford is now considering offers from New York, Portland and Sacramento.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 13, 2011
I'm doing my best to get @JCrossover to Portland Rip City.— Lamarcus Aldridge(@aldridge_12) December 13, 2011
Crawford is ranked No. 17 in SB Nation's list of Top NBA Free Agents. For context of what kind of offer he might receive, he was ranked two slots below Grant Hill, who signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal to remain in Phoenix, and two slots above J.J. Barea, who signed a four-year, $19 million deal with the Timberwolves.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty, for the latest on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting, and for a look at the Trail Blazers, visit Blazers Edge. For the latest news and rumors league-wide, follow our comprehensive NBA Free Agency StoryStream.
The Dallas Mavericks completed Tuesday's rumored deal, agreeing to send Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets for a future second-round pick, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. On NBA Draft Night 2011, Fernandez was involved in the three-team deal between the Mavericks, the Nuggets and the Trail Blazers. The Blazers sent Fernandez to the Mavericks to acquire Jordan Hamilton, who was then flipped to the Nuggets.
Fernandez is entering his fourth NBA season. At Portland, he averaged 10.4 points per game as a rookie, then 8.1 and 8.6 the past two seasons. Fernandez came to the Mavs via a three-team trade during the 2011 NBA Draft.
Brewer spent last season with the Mavericks after four seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He's averaging 8.9 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game as a pro following his college career at Florida.
The Mavericks will receive Denver's second-round pick in 2016, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
(Note: This post has been edited. In its original form, it incorrectly stated that Jordan Hamilton was traded to the Mavericks.)
Josh McRoberts will join the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year contract, reports Yahoo! Sports. The deal will use the Lakers' mini mid-level exception, worth $6.1 million for the two seasons. (The Lakers had only the mini mid-level to work with on account of being well over the luxury tax threshold, even after the salary camp dump that was the Lamar Odom trade.)
The Lakers lost Odom in that trade after a trade for Chris Paul that wouldn't sent the reigning Sixth Man of the Year to the New Orleans Hornets fell apart. Odom backed up Pau Gasol at power forward and has over the years played plenty of small forward; McRoberts will be useful only at power forward and, in a real pinch, center.
McRoberts averaged 7 points and 5 rebounds per game last season in 22 minutes for the Indiana Pacers. A second-round pick out of Duke in 2007, he will double his career earnings in 2011-12. Kudos to him.
For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll.
The Paces and Grizzlies love to talk about swapping Memphis shooting guard O.J. Mayo and Indiana forward Josh McRoberts, even though they never do it. The Grizzlies tried to ship Mayo to Indy last season before the trade fell apart at the deadline when it wasn't submitted on time.
Rumors of a deal resurfaced this offseason, but those talks appear to be dead, too, according to the Indianapolis Star's Mike Wells.
Memphis has decided not to trade guard OJ Mayo, according to sources.— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) December 13, 2011
The deal would have been a sign-and-trade because McRoberts is a free agent this offseason. As noted by Memphis Flyer's Chris Herrington, the Grizzlies' reason for the trade (instead of just signing McRoberts outright) would be to stay away from paying the luxury tax.
As Mike Prada has pointed out previously in this space, Mayo had a bit of a rough go in Memphis a year ago:
Mayo had an up-and-down year for Memphis last season, losing his starting spot, getting in trouble for gambling on the team plane and nearly getting dealt before eventually settling into a sixth-man role. McRoberts had arguably the best season of his career for the Pacers last season.
Even so, the Grizzlies appear to have decided that the shooting Mayo provides will be important to a team with a young stable of unproven guards. Kudos to him.
Mark Jackson has apparently just added a bit of depth to his forward line. According to Yahoo! NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, passing along the info via twitter, Brown has agreed to a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors. Wojnarowski says in another tweet that Brown's deal is worth $7 million.
While Kwame Brown never lived up to the promise he had as a No. 1 overall pick, he's still developed into a useful role player who is solid on the boards. The Warriors needed all kinds of help coming into the new season, but their biggest need by far is interior defense and rebounding. Brown should help improve the team a bit in both areas.
After a relatively unsuccessful stint with the Detroit Pistons, Brown had a solid 2010-11 season with the Charlotte Bobcats. Appearing in 66 games, Brown made 50 starts, averaging 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
For more on Brown and the Warriors, visit Golden State of Mind.
Andrei Kirilenko remains in Russia playing for CSKA Moscow, but Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee cites sources who indicate that Kirilenko would be interested in joining the Sacramento Kings, who are said to be among a handful of teams seriously in the mix for the one-time All-Star.
Kirilenko, 30, will be looking for a three-year deal worth $26.5 million, according to ESPN's Chad Ford. Ford also lists the Utah Jazz, Kirilenko's incumbent team, and the New Jersey Nets as being interested, but not at that price. The Nets remain in the Nene derby, which -- along with the Chris Paul trade saga -- seems to be holding up other league transactions.
Kirilenko remains a strong defender, though his long-range shooting is below-par for a small forward and just OK for a power forward. Were he to join the Kings, it'd be expected that he'd battle with John Salmons for the starting small forward spot.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
Marc Gasol announced on Twitter on Monday that he had reached a tentative agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies on a new contract. Gasol, who had restricted status and as of Sunday was reportedly close to signing a hefty offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, was rated as SBNation.com's No. 1 2011 free agent.
The terms of Gasol's deal with Memphis are not yet known, though only the Grizzlies could offer the center a five-year deal. In three years with Memphis, Gasol has been a rock, averaging more than 2,500 minutes per season and performing at a high level (a PER of 17.6).
Memphis has otherwise had a quiet offseason. Free agent Shane Battier left for the Miami Heat, and there were rumors Monday that the Grizzlies were working on a deal to send O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers for forward Josh McRoberts (a restricted free agent) and possibly Brandon Rush.
Update: Gasol agreed to a four-year deal worth $58 million, according to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal. He will earn $12.5 million in 2011-12, with 12.5 percent raises the next three years. The most any other team could have offered was four years and $55 million ($12.5 million with 4.5 percent raises each year).
For more on the Grizzlies, visit Straight Outta Vancouver.
Delonte West will join the Dallas Mavericks on a one-year deal, according to Tzvi Twersky of SLAM. West, a combo guard with seven years of experience, played for the Boston Celtics last season, but appeared in just 24 games due largely to injury.
A career 37 percent three-point shooter, West has experience both starting and coming off of the bench. In Dallas, it appears that along with fellow new arrival Vince Carter he'll replace J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler. Barea signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, Stevenson remains a free agent and Butler has signed with the L.A. Clippers. The Mavericks also acquired Rudy Fernandez in June, but is said to be looking to move his contract to free up cap space.
West was ranked as the No. 36 free agent in SBNation.com's 2011 rankings.
For more on Dallas, visit Mavs Moneyball.
The Los Angeles Clippers have matched the Golden State Warriors' four-year, $43 million signed by restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Jordan had signed the Warriors' offer on Sunday after rejecting the Clippers' offer for $40 million over five years.
The move came on the heels of L.A.'s winning bid in the Chauncey Billups' amnesty auction. Under a salary cap loophole, the Clippers were able to bid for Billups by being under the cap due to Jordan's tiny salary cap hold, even though the Warriors' $10 million offer sheet was on the table. The Clippers reportedly did not amnesty any players on Monday to make room.
Jordan averaged seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game last season. To sign Jordan to the offer sheet, the Warriors waived Jeremy Lin and Charlie Bell, the latter under the amnesty provision, and rescinded the team's qualifying offer to Reggie Williams, making the small forward an unrestricted free agent.
The Los Angeles Clippers offered the winning bid in the amnesty auction for Chauncey Billups. Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news; ESPN's Marc Stein later reported that all 30 teams were notified of the Clippers' winning bid just after Billups' waivers were set to expire at 6 p.m. ET.
The New York Knicks placed Billups on amnesty waivers on Saturday to make room for a Tyson Chandler sign-and-trade deal. Billups was reportedly angered; he and his agent Andy Miller made it clear that they were not happy with the situation, and the veteran guard threatened retirement if any team picked him up off of waivers. If he had cleared waivers, he could have become an unrestricted free agent. The Miami Heat were said to be pushing hard for him.
The Indiana Pacers will waive James Posey under the amnesty clause, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Posey is due just $7.6 million for the 2011-12 season. He will still get paid, but his salary will come off of the Pacers' salary cap sheet.
The Pacers had plenty of cap space as free agency opened on Friday, but used $10 million of it on free agent power forward David West, who agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with Indiana on Sunday. After waiving Posey, the Pacers should have roughly $18 million to play with under the cap, and $6 million in additional salary needed to reach the payroll floor.
For more on the Pacers, visit Indy Cornrows.
Chauncey Billups will clear amnesty waivers at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, provided no teams under the salary cap make a bid to take over a portion of his 2011-12 contract. ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the Charlotte Bobcats are indeed considering such a bid.
The Bobcats have about $10 million in cap space, having made only minor moves since the NBA lockout was lifted on Friday. Billups was waived under the amnesty clause by the New York Knicks on Saturday so that the team could acquire Tyson Chandler in a sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks. (The Knicks also lost Andy Rautins and Ronny Turiaf in the move.)
The Bobcats have two young point guards in D.J. Augustin and rookie Kemba Walker. Billups could be a good mentor for the pair, but he seems far more interested in becoming a free agent and signing with a new team, perhaps the Miami Heat.
For more on the Bobcats, visit Rufus On Fire.
Nene has spent the last week paring down his list of suitors in free agency. According to Ken Berger at CBSSports.com, the Brazilian center will decide between playing for the New Jersey Nets and his former Denver Nuggets for the upcoming season.
The Nets were reportedly closing in on a deal with Nene before the weekend began, offering him a contract supposedly worth at least as much as the 4-year, $58 million contract that Tyson Chandler signed with the New York Knicks. The Houston Rockets pursued the center as well, and could potentially jump back in the sweepstakes should they miss out on getting Marc Gasol.
As Nene's incumbent team, the Nuggets can offer a fifth year and more money than any other franchise in the league. He has said that success will play a large role in his decision, however, and a Nets squad featuring Deron Williams may be more attractive.
The Indiana Pacers were very close to acquiring O.J. Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies at the NBA trade deadline last season, but a deal was nixed at the last minute. Now, they appear close to acquiring him again. The two teams are discussing a deal that would send Mayo to Indiana for free-agent forward Josh McRoberts and guard Brandon Rush, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
The deal is not that different from the one at the trade deadline last year. The two sides had agreed to swap Mayo for McRoberts then, but didn't submit the deal in time to commissioner David Stern. The only differences are that McRoberts must be sign-and-traded because he is a free-agent and that Rush is now in the deal.
Mayo had an up-and-down year for Memphis last season, losing his starting spot, getting in trouble for gambling on the team plane and nearly getting dealt before eventually settling into a sixth-man role. McRoberts had arguably the best season of his career for the Pacers last season.
Derrick Rose was eligible to sign an early contract extension thanks to a new rule that allows rookies to get more money sooner if they reach certain performance benchmarks, and it appears he will sign that extension soon. Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said he is finalizing a five-year, $94 million contract extension for the 2011 MVP, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
Rose is able to get a higher maximum contract because of a new rule that allows players to make a maximum of 30 percent of the salary cap if they either win an MVP award, get voted as an all-star starter twice or be named to two all-NBA teams in their first four years in the league. Rose is the only member of the class of 2008 currently eligible to receive this contract.
If the New Orleans Hornets trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, will Eric Gordon be headed to the Crescent City? That question is at the center of conflicting reports from Yahoo! Sports on ESPN.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Monday that Gordon was not included in the deal as under review by the NBA, which owns the Hornets. That report matched a Los Angeles Times report on Sunday that did not include Gordon in the package.
ESPN's Chris Broussard followed Woj's report by saying not only that Gordon is included in the deal, but that the Clippers are trying to keep Gordon's name out of reports to prevent a Lamar Odom situation, should the trade fall apart. (The L.A. Lakers had to trade a disgruntled Odom on Saturday after he was shaken up by reports he'd be traded to New Orleans; the Lakers' deal for CP3 was blocked by the league office.)
We should find out whether Gordon is heading to N.O. soon enough.
To make room for a massive four-year, $43 million offer sheet for Los Angeles Clippers' restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan, the Golden State Warriors announced they had rescinded the team's qualifying offer to restricted free agent small forward Reggie Williams. That makes Williams an unrestricted free agent, which changes the calculus on his market status quite a bit.
Restricted free agents typically have a tougher time drawing quick deals on the market, though Jordan would be an obvious exception. Incumbent teams can match offer sheets signed by restricted free agents, which makes teams hesitate to present offers that don't have a strong chance of success.
But with his unrestricted status, Williams could soon draw interest from teams like the Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic and even the Washington Wizards. (Let's just throw the entire Southeast division in there.) Williams is primarily a scorer and a shooter. He backed up Dorell Wright in Golden State last season.
For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State Of Mind.
The contract that unrestricted free agent J.J. Barea will receive from the Minnesota Timberwolves is worth $19 million over four years, reports ESPN's Marc Stein. Barea spent the past five seasons with the Dallas Mavericks; NBA.com's David Aldridge reported that the Mavs, seeking to maximize 2012 salary cap space, offered Barea only a one-year deal at an unspecified amount.
The Wolves have rookie Ricky Rubio and veteran Luke Ridnour at the point guard position, and Wayne Ellington at two-guard. It's conceivable that Minnesota could play small two-point line-ups at times, but Ridnour will be considered to be on the block at this point. Ridnour is due $12 million over the next three seasons.
The Timberwolves have just under $5 million in salary cap space after accounting for Barea. They have been mentioned in rumors for Jamal Crawford, another combo guard, albeit one in his 30s with a stronger scoring streak than any of Minnesota's current backcourt players.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are close to reaching a four-year contract with unrestricted free agent J.J. Barea, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com. Barea, who has spent his entire five-year career with the Dallas Mavericks, averaged a career-high 9.5 points in 20 minutes per game last season.
A combo guard whose diminutive size forces him to largely play the point, Barea had a few nice postseason performances for Dallas in 2011. But overall, he shot poorly in the playoffs, just 41.9 percent from the floor and 32 percent on three-pointers. He did become a more dependable playmaker in 2011, working the pick-and-pop with Dirk Nowitzki cleanly. That could translate to Kevin Love in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves brought over once-heralded prospect Ricky Rubio to play the point this season, and Luke Ridnour -- signed in 2010 -- is the other incumbent point guard on the roster. The team is light at two-guard, so it's conceivable that new coach Rick Adelman could pair up two of his PGs at times.
For more on the Wolves, visit Canis Hoopus.
Late Sunday, it appeared that a proposed trade to send All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers would not result in stud shooting guard Eric Gordon being sent back to the Crescent City. But according to an ESPN report Monday, Gordon may have replaced Eric Bledsoe in the deal. The Hornets would also receive Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' unprotected 2012 first-round pick, conveyed to the Clips back in 2005.
Gordon and the pick would make this a great package for the Hornets, though the 10,000 New Orleans season ticket holders -- a point of pride for the league -- may have to wait for on-court success. Gordon is a dynamic talent who averaged 22 points per game last season. He has one year left on his rookie deal, and is actually eligible to sign an early Bird extension this offseason.
The Los Angeles Clippers are close to a deal to acquire Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornets, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Talks progressed Sunday, and by the end of the way the Clippers were prepared to send Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' unprotected first-round pick in the stacked 2010 NBA Draft in exchange for CP3.
The Clippers acquired the Wolves' pick in a 2005 trade for Sam Cassell. Minnesota has won 32 games over the last two seasons combined, and is expected to be in the lottery once again.
The deal is notable in that it includes neither of the Clippers' two brightest young stars: Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon. Griffin is the reigning Rookie of the Year and an All-Star; Gordon is a 20-point scorer with a deadly stroke and surprising athleticism.
The NBA blocked a deal reached last Thursday that would have sent CP3 to the L.A. Lakers for Lamar Odom and three players from the Houston Rockets (Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic). Pau Gasol would have gone to Houston in that scenario.
For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.
The Memphis Grizzlies will match a four-year, $55 million offer sheet handed out by the Houston Rockets for restricted free agent center Marc Gasol, team owner Michael Heisley told David Aldridge of NBA.com. Heisley said that while he has not yet officially received the offer sheet, he will match it.
"We’re keeping Marc," Heisley said. "We can’t afford to let him go … Marc and his agent have to decide what they want to do. But we would definitely match that if that came up to us."
Heisley said the Grizzlies actually offered Gasol more money than the Rockets did, so it would only make sense that the Grizzlies would match the Rockets' offer. Gasol averaged 11.7 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies last year, but was also the team's defensive anchor and one of its strongest passers.
For more on Gasol and the Grizzlies, be sure to check out Straight Outta Vancouver.
Los Angeles Clippers restricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan has signed a four-year, $43 million offer sheet with the Golden State Warriors, his agent tells Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The Clippers will now have three days to match the offer or they will lose him.
Jordan averaged just 7.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season, but good centers are hard to find, and Jordan is just 23 years old. The Warriors are certainly paying him for future production rather than past production. Jordan developed a good rapport with Blake Griffin in the Clippers' frontcourt last season, so there's a chance the Clippers match.
To clear enough cap space to make the offer, the Warriors released Charlie Bell using the one-time amnesty clause and rescinded their qualifying offer to Reggie Williams, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Bell had one year and $4.099 million left on his contract.
The Orlando Magic chose to use the amnesty clause on Gilbert Arenas, making him a free agent after he went unclaimed. Teams had the chance to pick Arenas up after the Magic chose to amnesty him, but instead he'll be able to control his own destiny and head wherever he so desires.
The report comes from ESPN's Marc Stein, who adds Arenas is hoping to reunite with Dwight Howard eventually.
NBA teams just notified that Gilbert Arenas, released by Orlando via the amnesty clause, has cleared waivers and becomes free agent. So no cap-room teams chose to bid on Arenas and he's free to negotiate w/anyone. Told he hopes to land on same team that trades for Dwight
The three-team deal that would have landed the Rockets Pau Gasol is dead, and Houston have moved on by targeting the NBA's other Gasol brother. Houston will offer a max-contract offer sheet to the Grizzlies Marc Gasol, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Here are the details from Woj:
The Rockets are working to sign Marc Gasol to a 4 year, $55M offer sheet, sources tell Y! Memphis would have 3 days to match, or lose him. Memphis is probably inclined to match the sheet, but if not, they can work a sign-and-trade with Rockets to get something for Gasol.
The Grizzlies will have three days to match the offer, which they will likely be interested in doing given Gasol's importance to the team's trip to the postseason and first-round upset of the Spurs last season. If not, Memphis could work out a sign-and-trade with Houston so as not to lose Gasol for nothing.
Gasol averaged 11.7 points, seven rebounds and almost two blocks per game as the starting center in Memphis last season. Yes, "max-contract" is a bit intimidating next to those stats, but to put this deal in perspective, it's still smaller than the deal the Knicks just handed Tyson Chandler.
The Rockets have made it a clear offseason priority to upgrade in the middle after franchise center Yao Ming retired and Chuck Hayes left via free agency to the Sacramento Kings.
UPDATE: David West will officially sign a deal with the Pacers, according to multiple reports, including Yahoo! Sports's Adrian Wojnarowksi, after a sign-and-trade between the Hornets and Celtics fell apart. Woj added, "Celtics simply couldn't make 3 way deal with Hornets and Jermaine O'Neal contract."
Agent Lance Young confirms David West agrees with Indiana on two-year, $20 million deal: "David is ready to help them win a championship."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 11, 2011
More details below from the initial news:
Pump the breaks on the David West to Boston talk. The sign-and-trade between the Celtics and Hornets is reportedly dead, according to TNT's David Aldridge. This coincides with Marc Stein's ESPN.com report that West is close to a two-year deal with the Pacers.
According to Stein, the Pacers have stepped in to offer West a deal worth $20 million as talks stalled this week between the Celtics and Hornets. More from Stein:
It was not immediately known if the Celtics would try to salvage their West deal with the New Orleans Hornets. The Pacers, sources say, also have Carl Landry and Andrei Kirilenko alongside West at the top of their frontcourt wish list.
Also via Stein, the Pacers are reportedly trying to clear space in their frontcourt by discussing a sign-and-trade with the Grizzlies that would swap Josh McRoberts for O.J. Mayo. The two teams discussed this deal at the trade deadline last season, but it fell apart right at the deadline.
For the latest news and rumors, follow our comprehensive NBA Free Agency StoryStream.
DeAndre Jordan will sign the Golden State Warriors' offer sheet worth $40 million over four years, reports Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area. Jordan is a restricted free agent, and as such his incumbent team -- the Los Angeles Clippers -- will have three days to decide whether to match the contract.
The Clippers had offered Jordan a five-year deal worth $40 million before free agency officially began on Friday, but Jordan declined and entered the market. His average annual salary will be $2 million higher as a result.
The Clippers cannot sign Jordan to an altered deal once the center signs Golden State's offer sheet, which allows the Warriors to determine the structure and any performance incentives. Steinmetz reports that the Warriors will not be forced to use the amnesty clause on Andris Biedrins to make room for Jordan; by waiving Jeremy Lin on Friday and using the amnesty clause on Charlie Bell (due $4 million this season), the Warriors can make room for Jordan.
If the deal is structured normally, Jordan's 2011-12 salary would be right around $9.4 million. The Warriors will not need to retract the team's qualifying offer to Reggie Williams to make room for Jordan.
For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State Of Mind.
When the NBA lockout began, few players had a more natural fit with a European club than Andrei Kirilenko and CSKA Moscow, a powerhouse club in his native Russia that he'd played for before joining the NBA in 2001. As a free agent, Kirilenko did not have to include an NBA opt clause in his contract with Moscow ... but he did to give himself the option to return to the States.
He hasn't yet exercised that right, as he currently remains with CSKA as NBA teams make pitches. Perhaps the most aggressive of those teams is the Sacramento Kings. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports that the Kings, who have plenty of cap space left over after re-signing Marcus Thornton and landing Chuck Hayes, are among the teams interested.
The Kings added Hayes at power forward and traded for John Salmons to fill the small forward spot in June, but Kirilenko could be a valuable piece at either position. Salmons can also play shooting guard (where Thornton is slotted as the starter), and Hayes has experience at center.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
Dwight Howard gave the Orlando Magic a list of three teams he'd like to be traded to ahead of his 2012 free agency: the New Jersey Nets, L.A. Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Despite its exclusion from that list, the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson reports, the Chicago Bulls would like to get a chance to make a pitch for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
The Bulls have young pieces like Joakim Noah that could pique the Magic's interest, but the team would first have to convince Howard to open up his list a little. He reportedly requested a trade to the Nets (who will move to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season); New Jersey has offered Brook Lopez and two first-round picks. Orlando is said to be cool on that offer. The Lakers would be assumed to make Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol available in a Howard deal, though a Saturday trade sending Lamar Odom to the Mavericks could leave the team with a hole at power forward if the team deals for Howard.
For more on Chicago, visit Blog-A-Bull.
The L.A. Lakers will trade reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a 2012 first round draft pick and a portion of the Mavs' recently acquired trade exception, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Odom rumor first surfaced after the Lakers' attempted trade for Chris Paul fell apart on Saturday, two days after NBA commissioner David Stern blocked L.A.'s three-team deal for CP3 that included sending Odom to the league-owned New Orleans Hornets.
Odom was disconsolate on Thursday, and spent just 15 minutes at the open of Lakers' training camp on Friday. It's unclear whether the Odom move opens up an avenue for the Lakers to acquire Dwight Howard; if not, it will look a whole lot like the league screwed up enough that the Lakers had no choice but to give up Odom for very little.
Odom makes $8.9 million, so he'll soak up most of the Mavericks' traded player exception, with is worth roughly $13 million. The Mavericks executed a sign-and-trade sending Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks on Saturday, which created the exception. The Mavs had been reported to be interested in pulling free agent Samuel Dalembert with a portion of the exception, but it's unlikely the remaining $4 million left on it will be enough. (The Mavericks could sign Dalembert to the mid-level exception and sign-and-trade for another free agent, if it becomes an issue.)
Odom had played for the Lakers since 2004, and has spent 11 of the 12 NBA season playing in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly pulled out of the three-team deal that would've netted them Chris Paul, instead opting to send one piece in the reported trade, Lamar Odom, to the Dallas Mavericks. Odom was all set to be dealt to the New Orleans Hornets as part of a three-team deal for Paul that also included the Houston Rockets. Instead, it appears Odom will be heading to Dallas, slotting into the Mavericks' trade exception.
The report comes from ESPN's Marc Stein.
So to recap: Lakers take Odom out of three-team CP3 deal and deal him to Mavs into new DAL trade exception created in Tyson Chandler deal. Sources say Lakers will receive unspecified draft considerations from Dallas for the rights to Odom, who slots in Mavs' new trade exception.
It was also confirmed by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Mavericks acquired the trade exception by way of a three-team deal involving Tyson Chandler on Saturday.
One can take a guess at why Los Angeles is sending Odom away -- a near-necessity after the Chris Paul ordeal -- but the consensus seems to be the Lakers are setting themselves up to make a deal for Dwight Howard.
The Orlando Magic are in the midst of a saga that may eventually lead to their superstar, Dwight Howard, leaving the team before the 2011-12 NBA season even starts. But Orlando is doing other things while Howard trade rumors swirl, and the Magic have reportedly signed guard Jason Richardson to a four-year contract, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski reports the deal is worth $25 million.
Richardson came to Orlando in a mid-season deal with Phoenix in 2011 that swapped him for Vince Carter, and was expected to provide scoring and shooting for a Magic team with NBA title dreams. But while Richardson scored nearly 14 points per game with the Magic, Orlando was knocked out the 2011 NBA playoffs in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks.
The trade that was supposed to send Mickael Pietrus to the Toronto Raptors from the Phoenix Suns in what seemed to be a salary dump has been canceled. Pietrus apparently has yet to recover from the knee injury he suffered against the Raptors all the way back in March of last season.
The forward's agent, Bill McCandless, confirmed to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that the trade has been canceled for the time being.
McCandless said the trade has been "postponed" and that Pietrus did not fail his Friday physical exam. He said the Raptors medical staff determined that Pietrus needed two to four more weeks to be cleared for play. Toronto will likely move another direction to fill the roster slot.
Toronto's doctors flagged something they saw in Pietrus' MRI exam on his right knee, which underwent minor surgery this summer after he missed the final 12 games of the last Suns season too.
Pietrus will now return to the Suns and continue to rehabilitate his knee. It's unclear whether he's in future plans for Phoenix.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will apparently return to the Milwaukee Bucks this season after testing the market for a quick minute as a restricted free agent. The Denver Nuggets submitted an offer sheet on Saturday afternoon, but reports indicate that the Bucks decided to match it shortly thereafter.
The Bucks will match the Nuggets offer sheet, reportedly to be worth just over $19 million for four seasons, according to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The defensive-minded forward was originally extended an offer of $1,091,100 to make him a restricted free agent, thus allowing the Bucks to match any offer being submitted to him by a rival NBA team.
Mbah a Moute is limited quite a bit as far as his offensive game is concerned, but he makes up for that on the defensive side of the ball. SB Nation's Tom Ziller still wasn't excited about his prospects on the open market, however, as he pointed out while breaking down the top NBA free agents.
But where it looks like Green is not a good offensive player and may never be, it's pretty much certain that Luc is a bad offensive player and will likely always be. He has little range, no dribble-drive game to speak of and impossibly light playmaking ability. He's basically a smaller Chuck Hayes. I do not recommend that he puts that on his CV.
Nevertheless, it seems that Mbah a Moute will be rewarded for his ability as a defensive stopper by Scott Skiles and the Bucks front office. Kudos to him.
Chauncey Billups has been a team player during every stop of his NBA career, but that appears to be over following Saturday's official announcement that he's been waived by the New York Knicks as they used their new amnesty provision. Billups followed up on some pointed comments earlier in the week with even more comments that indicate he's apparently ready to take on a different role in the league.
In an apparent effort to make sure teams don't claim him off of waivers, thereby taking away the possibility of picking his new team on his own, Billups went on the record with Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm tired of being the good guy," Billups told Yahoo! Sports by phone on Saturday afternoon. "I'm tired of being viewed as the guy. After a while, you just kind of get taken advantage of in these situations. I've been known as a leader, and I am a leader, but a leader can be as disruptive as he can be productive, especially when you carry a strong voice and people rally around you. This is about me now. This is about me, and teams should know that right now."
The amnesty provision allows teams under the salary cap to submit bids and claim players released by other teams. Billups obviously doesn't want that, however, as he'd rather go somewhere to win.
"I want my freedom. My goal is to control my own destiny. And as you've seen in my career, I've never been in a position to do that. I know some teams out there are saying, ‘Oh, Chauncey will be great in mentoring' and I'm tired of that. I've got a few good years left to play, and I'm not trying to come in and sit on the bench, or be a mentor. I'm not going to be that guy. I want to go somewhere and win. I want to choose."
Considering the veteran point guard is getting over fourteen million dollars to not play for the Knicks this season, one might think he wouldn't be in such a bad mood. It remains to be seen if teams will take heed of the veteran's apparent heel turn and allow him to choose his next team, but that process should be interesting as well.
Tyson Chandler is the newest member of the New York Knicks. By the time the sign-and-trade deal reported earlier Saturday involving the Dallas Mavericks became official, it was expanded to include the Washington Wizards, who received Ronny Turiaf, a 2013 second-round pick and cash considerations from New York along with a 2012 second-round pick from Dallas.
"This is an important day for the New York Knicks," Knicks Interim GM Glen Grunwald said in a statement released by the team. "Signing a player of Tyson's caliber, with championship experience, to this roster, is an opportunity we could not pass up. His stellar play last season earned him league-wide recognition and helped lead his team to an NBA Championship."
Chandler's deal is believed to be worth $58 million over four years. He's averaged just 8.3 points per game over his 10-year career, but he's being paid for what he brings on the other end of the court.
"Tyson will be the anchor to our defense," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "The trio of Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson makes one of the most formidable frontlines in the entire league."
The deal to send Turiaf to Washington, which New York needed to do in order to clear the cap space necessary to acquire Chandler, was originally expected to be a separate transaction. By combining the trade, the Wizards were able to acquire even more assets.
"Ronny brings us a tough, inside presence and we're looking forward to adding his defense and tenacity to our frontline," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld in a statement released by the team. "This trade brings another solid veteran to our team along with additional assets in the form of draft picks and allows us to maintain our financial flexibility moving forward."
In addition to receiving Chandler, the Knicks received rights to Ahmad Nivins and Giorgos Printezis. Nivins and Printezis were second-round picks in 2009 and 2007, respectively, and have never played a single minute in the NBA. Their inclusion in this trade is simply a way to balance the books. The Mavericks received Andy Rautins from the Knicks and a 2012 protected second round pick from the Wizards.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is a restricted free agent, allowing the Milwaukee Bucks to match any offers other NBA teams send the defensive specialist during the lockout-shortened free agency period. Mbah a Moute's first offer, submitted on Saturday, has apparently been sent from the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets sent an offer sheet that would pay Mbah a Moute a bit more than $19 million over the course of the next four seasons, according to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. The Bucks would have a chance to match the offer, but Hochman's source said that might not happen.
The Nuggets opened training camp on Friday with just 11 players, including two rookies considered long shots to make an NBA opening-day roster, after losing the majority of their roster in the offseason. Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith are playing in China this season while Nene, perhaps the team's best player last season, is exploring his free agency options along with Nuggets restricted free agent Arron Afflalo.
The Bucks will have three days to match the Nuggets offer if they're so inclined. As pointed out in our free agency preview, they're likely to be inclined -- but Denver's offer might be a bit more than they're willing to pay.
Curry has been linked to the Heat for quite some time -- he nearly signed with the club last season after he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who acquired him in a late-season trade with the New York Knicks. His conditioning -- or lack thereof -- apparently prevented that from happening, but the 29-year-old center has reportedly lost 50 pounds since tipping the scales at 350 pounds March.
Whether his weight loss is exaggerated or not remains to be seen, but the Heat apparently believe he has something to offer despite appearing in a grand total of 10 games (and zero in 2010-11) over the last three seasons.
The terms of Curry's contract have not been released, but it'd be shocking if he signed for longer than one year, and it wouldn't be a surprise if his contract isn't fully guaranteed until the end of training camp.
For more on the Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier.
Tyson Chandler is joining the New York Knicks, but he's not leaving the Dallas Mavericks empty-handed. The Knicks and Mavs agreed to a sign-and-trade, Howard Beck of the New York Times has confirmed, sending Chandler to New York and Andy Rautins to Dallas. More importantly, the Mavs will also receive a trade exception, which gives them the option of making another lopsided trade sometime in the next 12 months.
If you recall, the Mavs (as well as the Lakers and Nets) have been granted permission by the Magic to speak with Howard about a potential trade. It's not clear what players the Mavs would offer Orlando to make that deal happen, but the trade exception can only help.
Chandler signed a four-year deal worth $58 million. As Seth from Posting and Toasting breaks down, the Knicks had to do some juggling to clear the cap space to sign Chandler, namely dumping Chauncey Billups with the amnesty clause, trading Ronny Turiaf to the Wizards for a trade exception and withdrawing a qualifying offer to Derrick Brown.
The Knicks are expected to officially introduce Chandler at a 2 p.m. ET press conference.
For more on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting.
Dwight Howard and his agent can talk to three teams -- the L.A. Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets -- about a potential trade with the Orlando Magic, report Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski and SI.com's Sam Amick. There had been massive confusion late Friday as to whether the Magic had indeed allowed Howard to engage other teams in potential deal-making.
Of course, Orlando could elect to reject offers from those teams and either keep Howard for the balance of the 2011-12 season or trade him to a team that the All-Star center is not particularly excited about. The Magic have been said to be cool on the Nets' offer of Brook Lopez and two first-round picks. L.A. is believed to be dangling center Andrew Bynum. A potential Dallas package in a complete mystery on account of the Mavericks having so few high-interest young pieces.
It would probably be a superb idea for the Orlando Magic brass to quiet down and huddle up for a moment, lest things get anymore foolish. Let's rundown what's happened in the past hour or so to try and get an idea of what's going on here.
First, Dwight Howard's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Magic had given him permission to speak to three teams, including the New Jersey Nets. Shortly thereafter, Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins shot down the report, saying Howard had been given no such permission. Now this, passed along by Sam Amick.
Magic folks might want to get on the same page here. @RicBucher reporting that Orlando GM Otis Smith said he did give permission.
So the GM says Howard has been permission and the CEO says he hasn't. Remember earlier when I said this saga had already gone off the deep end? We've passed the pants on head stage and moved straight to lampshade on head territory. And we still have no idea whether Howard has permission to speak to other teams.
Back with more when it becomes available, hopefully after the Magic huddle up.
Late Friday night, Dwight Howard was reportedly given permission to speak to three different teams about a trade. The news came from Howard's agent, who also said the New Jersey Nets were one of those teams. The report was logical and made plenty of sense: most expected Howard to be dealt at some point, and this would be another step in the process.
Except the report wasn't true, if Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins is to be believed. Martins told Sam Amick no such permission was given, and we're back to square one.
Story to come on SI.com, but Orlando CEO Alex Martins disputes the claim of Dwight Howard's agent that permission was given to talk to teams
And this is where we all dance around with our pants on our head. Nobody knows what's going on, a general manager and agent are fighting in the media, and Howard is still hanging out in limbo. Yet somehow, this still looks better than the Chris Paul debacle, so that's a plus.
Dwight Howard has been given permission to speak to three teams in an effort to explore a trade, according to a report on Friday night. Trade rumors involving Howard had been swirling ahead of the free agency period, coming to a head on Friday morning as allegations of tampering emerged. However, the New Jersey Nets, the team alleged to have met with Howard before the free agency period began, were one of the teams reportedly granted permission to speak to him on Friday.
The report comes from Adrian Wojnarowski, who spoke to Howard's agent on Friday.
The agent for Dwight Howard, Dan Fegan, tells Y! Sports that Orlando has given Howard permission to talk to three teams. The Nets are one of three teams that Howard has permission to speak, but Fegan says Howard did not attend a meeting with Nets officials.
It's unknown which two teams were also granted permission to speak with Howard.
There had to be more to the story than David West simply being close to a deal with the Boston Celtics. The reports didn't add all the way up, though West's signing does make sense. The logistics of it all, however didn't. And as it turns out, West would be part of a larger sign-and-trade, should he come to terms with the Celtics.
As @Daldridgetnt reports, David West close w/ Celtics. Y! Sources say sides working on a sign-and-trade for a 3-year, $27-29M deal. Celtics likely send Jermaine O'Neal and another player to New Orleans in sign-and-trade, sources said. Hornets would move players elsewhere.
And now it all makes sense. The Celtics were going to have to unload something to make the deal work, and a sign-and-trade seemed like the logical next step.
Now, whether this hinders the Hornets plans to unload Chris Paul remains to be seen. New Orleans is back in talks to get a deal done, perhaps with the Lakers and Rockets again, albeit in a restructured way that will placate the league. It's unclear if taking on O'Neal's salary and perhaps the salary of another player affects those plans.
David West is reportedly close to a deal with the Boston Celtics, but there are more questions than answers at this point. Though he was injured last year, West was expected to command a premium on the free agent market, and it's unclear how the Celtics could afford him. But according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, the two sides have been engaged in talks and are close to a deal.
Aldridge adds the market has been slow to jump at the chance to sign West, perhaps because of the injury.
West, 31, was expected to be one of the top free agents in this year's class, but he is coming off of a torn ACL suffered late last season in a game against Utah. West has diligently rehabbed his injury in North Carolina last summer, but teams have been slow to make significant offers to him.
Still, for this to work straight-up, West would have to be taking a significant cut. Other options include, perhaps, using a mid-level exception, if the Celtics can, or a sign-and-trade, among other things. But for now, we're all stuck with a report that a deal is close while wondering if West is only part of the picture here.
Shane Battier is one of the cool kids, apparently. So Battier did what all the cool kids are doing now, announcing where he'll be playing this season on Twitter. It wasn't quite The Decision, and there wasn't much drama, but made it official and signed with the Miami Heat on Friday.
Your first dead giveaway was probably this tweet in the morning.
Let's Go #Heat!!!!!
Some 12 hours later, Battier said he was signed, sealed, and would be delivered to South Beach.
It's official. I just signed on the dotted. Excited to be a Heat. Miami, thank you for our welcome, we'll do our best to make you proud!
So there you have it. An inside look at free agency, courtesy of Shane Battier. The terms of his deal were not disclosed.
Jeff Green will remain a Boston Celtic after signing a one-year deal, according to head coach Doc Rivers. Green joined the Celtics in a midseason trade that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Terms of Green's one-year deal were not disclosed.
The report comes from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN, who has a guess about the numbers involved in the agreement.
#Celtics Doc Rivers said Jeff Green is here, on 1-year deal. Most likely, it's the $5.8 M qualifying offer
Green played a limited role with the Celtics following the trade, averaging just 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in just over 23 minutes per night. His scoring production fell by just about five points per game as he played 14 minutes less per night. Green was a restricted free agent following the season.
On a wild and woolly first day of the 2011 NBA free agency period, a few teams kept their own players on small deals.
FOXSports.com's Chris Tomasson reports that the Miami Heat re-signed restricted free agent Mario Chalmers to a three-year deal worth $12 million. Chalmers was the team's best point guard in the playoffs last season, but that's not saying much. But instead of letting Chalmers test the market, Miami locked him up quickly.
Daequan Cook will remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a two-year, $7.5 million, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman instead pegged the number at $6.5 million over two seasons. Cook is used sparingly by Thunder coach Scott Brooks, but he's one of the best shooters in the league.
Spears also reports that the Indiana Pacers will retain big man Jeff Foster on a one-year contract. Foster is an expert rebounder and defensive roleplayer who had drawn some interest around the league. This will be Foster's 13th season with the Pacers.
Marcus Thornton will re-sign with the Sacramento Kings on a four-year deal worth $33 million, reports SI.com's Sam Amick. Previous reports had indicated that Thornton's deal would be worth $40 million over five seasons.
The Kings acquired Thornton in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets that sent Carl Landry to the Crescent City at last season's trade deadline. Thornton averaged 21 points per game with the Kings, and Sacramento finished the season strong, going 8-7 down the stretch.
Thornton, 24, is a small two-guard with defensive deficiencies, but he has a killer scoring streak and is expected to help carry the offensive burden on a team that stars inefficient shot-takers Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings also drafted Jimmer Fredette in June, and with Evans and Thornton, the BYU legend expects to take the bulk of the team's backcourt minutes.
For more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty.
Thaddeus Young and the Philadelphia 76ers are working on a contract worth $42 million over five years, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer had previously reported that Young and the Sixers were hoping to reach a deal as soon as possible to allow the forward to join training camp.
Young, entering his fifth season, is a restricted free agent, which means that he could have signed an offer sheet with any other team, but that Philadelphia would have had the option to match and keep the forward. Instead, Philly made it rather clear in the run-up to free agency that Young was a priority and that any offer would be matched.
Young was a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award last season as a combo forward off of Doug Collins' bench. After a rough start to his pro career amid wild instability in Philadelphia, Young blossomed under Collins.
For more on Young and the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers.
The Detroit Pistons are releasing shooting guard Rip Hamilton and buying out the remaining two years and $25 million left on his contract, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press. The Pistons are not using the amnesty clause to release Hamilton, Ellis reports. Rather, they are negotiating a buyout.
Hamilton fell out of favor with the Pistons last year after being one of the franchise's core stars. He helped organize a boycott of then-coach John Kuester after he received a series of "DNP-CDs" over the course of the season. Still, due to his pedigree, several contenders will likely be interested in his services.
It remains unclear why the Pistons negotiated a buyout with Hamilton instead of releasing him with the amnesty clause. Perhaps the logic is that Hamilton can now choose his team instead of being cast into the amnesty waiver process.
The Chicago Bulls pulled guard Keith Bogans off of the practice floor on Friday as training camps opened for the first time this season, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The nature of the Bulls' precautionary measure isn't known, but the report sparked immediate trade speculation.
The Bulls have been markedly absent from free agent talk as the NBA erupted into a frenzy on Thursday. Chicago was believed to be targeting a veteran small forward like Grant Hill or Caron Butler to relieve pressure on Luol Deng, but those two players signed with the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers, respectively. The Bulls have also been mentioned as suitors for Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson.
Bogans is seen as the weak link in the Bulls' rotation, with many fans pushing for the team to upgrade the shooting guard spot.
For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-A-Bull.
On Friday, reports suggested that the Orlando Magic were considering filing tampering charges against the New Jersey Nets after an alleged meeting between All-Star center Dwight Howard and Nets' owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King in Miami this week. Howard, who can become a free agent in 2012 and has not committed to staying with Orlando, denied those reports later on Friday.
In the past, the league has threatened massive fines and forfeited draft picks to teams found to have tampered with players under contract. The last high-profile tampering case came a year ago as the Cleveland Cavaliers sought to prove that management with the Miami Heat made illicit contact with LeBron James well ahead of his free agency in July 2010. But no charges were brought, and the investigation fizzled out.
Gilbert Arenas was released from the Orlando Magic on Friday via the new CBA's amnesty clause. He was set to earn $62.4 million through the 2013-14 season.
The Sacramento Kings continued a busy first day of free agency by signing big man Chuck Hayes to a four-year, $21 million contract.
Glen Davis' new contract with the Orlando Magic is worth $26 million over four seasons, according to Yahoo! Marc Spears. The Magic acquired Davis in a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics by shipping out power forward Brandon Bass, who was due $8 million over the next two seasons.
As the Magic is in a bit of roster turmoil given Dwight Howard's potential 2012 free agency and the swirling trade rumors, it's unclear whether Davis will be the team's starter at power forward or a reserve, which is the role he filled in Boston for four seasons playing behind Kevin Garnett.
The deal adds about $2 million to Orlando's cap figure, which was already high. But the Magic are also waiving Gilbert Arenas via the amnesty clause, which could give the team some room to operate under the luxury tax threshold.
For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
The Sacramento Kings have re-signed guard Marcus Thornton to a five-year, $40 million deal, according to a report.
The Golden State Warriors will offer restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan a contract starting at an annual salary of $10 million, according to Yahoo! Sports. The L.A. Clippers can match any offer sheet that Jordan signs owing to Jordan's restricted status. The Clippers had previously offered Jordan a five-year deal worth $40 million. The Warriors can only extend a four-year offer.
With a four-year deal starting at $10 million with the maximum allowed 4.5 percent raises, the Jordan contract from the Warriors would be worth $42.7 million.
Tyson Chandler and Nene, two unrestricted free agents leading the center corps in this year's class, have been offered contracts in excess of $50 million, with a higher starting point for the 2011-12 season. The Warriors would be expected to use the amnesty clause on Andris Biedrins to make room for Jordan under the salary.
For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State Of Mind.
Thaddeus Young and the Philadelphia 76ers are working on a contract to keep the young forward in the City of Brotherly Love, reports Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While terms are still being hammered out, Fagan reports that Young is opposed to letting his restricted free agency linger and cut into valuable training camp time before the Sixers' season opens on December 26.
NBA free agency officially opened at 2 p.m. ET on Friday. Teams were allowed to discuss contracts with free agents before then, but the league told teams not to make specific offers or agreements. (That seemed to stop exactly no one.)
Young served as a combo forward off the bench for Sixers coach Doug Collins last season, and became a legitimate candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. At just 23 years old, he served as one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2011 free agent class.
For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers.
The New Jersey Nets are offering unrestricted free agent center Nene a four-year deal worth $60-65 million, report Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The deal would be worth near Nene's maximum player contract under league rules, but the Denver Nuggets -- the Brazilian's incumbent team -- have the ability to offer a fifth season in any contract and larger annual raises.
It's unclear whether Denver -- or any other suitor, including Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets -- are willing to go that high for the veteran. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star tweeted soon after Yahoo!'s report broke that the Pacers won't go that high for Nene.
The Nets are also involved in the chase for Dwight Howard as reports surfaced Thursday that the All-Star would soon ask for a trade to New Jersey to join Deron Williams. It's unclear how a Nene contract would impact that decision; the Brazilian is an attractive player, but at this pricetag may be too steep for the Orlando Magic or a third team in a Howard deal.
For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily.
The Boston Celtics have completed a trade to acquire Brandon Bass from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Glen Davis, who is an unrestricted free agent, reports Comcast SportsNet New England. That means that the deal will be a sign-and-trade, with Davis' starting salary being anywhere from $2-6 million under loosened trade rules. Bass is due $4 million this season.
Bass is a power forward who shoots the outside jumper well. Bass averaged a career-high 11 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, playing 26 minutes per game in a mostly starting role. He has shot over 40 percent on long two-pointers in each of the past four seasons.
In Boston, barring other trades, he'll back up Kevin Garnett at power forward. The Celtics also have decisions to make on restricted free agent Jeff Green (a combo forward) and guard Delonte West. Boston has been involved in Chris Paul trade rumors, as well, with Rajon Rondo presenting the bait.
The New Jersey Nets appear to be "closing in" on signing free-agent center Nene to a contract, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The Nets lost out to the Knicks in the Tyson Chandler sweepstakes and have now zeroed in on signing the former Denver Nuggets' center, Bondy reports.
It remains unclear how much the Nets would offer Nene, but it would likely be at least as much as the four-year, $58 million contract the Knicks reportedly gave Chandler. Nene is arguably the top free-agent center on the market, as he's one of the league's most efficient and versatile centers, as well as a tough guy in the paint. The Nuggets are one of many other teams who have reportedly expressed interest in signing Nene to a long-term deal.
NBA.com's David Aldridge reported Friday that the Orlando Magic are pursuing tampering charges against two teams for alleged contact with All-Star Dwight Howard, who remains under contract through the 2011-12. SI.com's Sam Amick reports that the two teams in potential trouble are the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets.
The Nets' role, Amick reports, comes from a purported meeting on Thursday between Howard and New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Under traditional league rules, team officials are not allowed to speak to players under contract with another franchise without explicit permission. One assumes that though the NBA was under a lockout until late Thursday, those rules remained in place. If Prokhorov did meet with Howard without permission from the league or the Magic, NBA precedence suggests massive fines and even draft picks could be the penalty.
The nature of the Rockets' alleged tampering remains unknown.
For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
The New Jersey Nets appear to have vaulted to the front of the Dwight Howard trade sweepstakes, but the Orlando Magic don't seem all that enamored with what the Nets are offering. New Jersey's offer centers around big man Brook Lopez and multiple draft picks, but the Magic aren't interested now, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com.
The Magic, the source said, will not allow a repeat of the Shaquille O'Neal departure from Orlando to Los Angeles in 1996, when O'Neal walked as a free agent and the Magic were left with nothing. If the organization ultimately decides it has no choice but to trade Howard, it will do so. But the Magic will decide where he goes. The source said a reported proposed package by the Nets of center Brook Lopez and Draft picks for Howard is not at all interesting to the Magic.
The Nets have their own draft pick to offer this year, but did trade away a pick they acquired from the Golden State Warriors in order to acquire Deron Williams. Besides Lopez, it remains unclear what other assets might be appealing to the Magic.
Grant Hill has elected to sign a one-year, $6.5 million deal to remain with the Phoenix Suns, according to a report.
Mario Chalmers was a restricted free agent during this lockout-shortened offseason, but the Miami Heat guard didn't exactly take much time testing the market. The de facto point guard for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company agreed to a new contract on Friday shortly before contracts were able to officially be signed.
Chalmers agent, Sam Goldfeder, told ESPN.com that the two sides had reached an agreement on his client returning to the Heat on Friday morning. Terms of the deal were still being worked out, however, so the exact details are still up in the air at this point.
Chalmers ranked as the 23rd best NBA free agent according to SB Nation's brilliant Tom Ziller, but not exactly because he's a top talent:
Chalmers finds himself this high on the free agent list only because there is a dearth of point guards available (what's new?), because his infinitesimally small role with the Heat likely underrates his production potential and because he's a fine ballhawk.
The Heat also locked up James Jones for another season on Friday, making Chalmers the third signing for Miami as free agent Shane Battier announced he would also be joining the squad for the upcoming season.
For more on Chalmers and the Miami Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.
The Boston Celtics are in talks to execute a sign-and-trade deal that would send free agent Glen Davis to the Orlando Magic for power forward Brandon Bass, reports the Boston Herald (via CelticsBlog). Davis has spent his entire four-year career in Boston, and is one of a number of scoring power forward on the market.
The Magic's plans for Dwight Howard remain unknown, and the Celtics have consistently been tied to Chris Paul rumors, renewed now that the league has blocked the New Orleans Hornets' attempted trade with the L.A. Lakers. The terms of Davis' potential new contract are also unknown, but Bass is due $8 million over the next two seasons, making him a very affordable contributor.
Trades and free agent signings can officially be consummated beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Friday. The NBA lockout was lifted late Thursday, opening the door for the return of normal business.
With Dwight Howard's departure from Orlando imminent in some people's eyes, the Orlando Magic are contemplating filing tampering charges against two teams for illegally contacting Howard, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge. It remains unclear which two teams the Magic may be targeting.
Several teams have expressed interest in Howard, with the New Jersey Nets vaulting to the head of the list after the Los Angeles Lakers' trade for Chris Paul was vetoed by commissioner David Stern. NBA teams are not allowed to contact Howard while he is under contract for the Magic. Of course, back-channel deals do still happen, and many still believe the Miami Heat tampered in acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Howard is under contract with the Magic until 2012, but Orlando is exploring trade options so they do not lose Howard for nothing next summer.
Small forward James Jones has signed a three-year deal to remain with the Miami Heat, according to reports.
The Phoenix Suns will trade Mickael Pietrus to the Toronto Raptors for a conditional second-round draft pick in a salary cap dump, reports the Toronto Star (via SB Nation Arizona). Pietrus, a Guadeloupean-born French citizen, was sent to Phoenix in the Jason Richardson-Vince Carter-Hedo Turkoglu trade last season, but played rarely. He is due $5.3 million this season, and will become an unrestricted free agent next season.
The Raptors are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, and before the trade sat right at the NBA's payroll floor, giving the team about $11 million in cap space.
Nearly half of that will be sucked up by Pietrus, which makes it plainly obvious that Toronto has no interest bidding on any of the top-tier or even mid-rung free agents. The Raptors could have plenty of space in 2012, though, and delaying the team's entrance into free agency is likely to be smarter than blowing it in vain this year.
Tyson Chandler will indeed sign a free agent contract with the New York Knicks on Friday, reports Howard Beck of the New York Times. Beck reports that to make space under the salary cap for Chandler, the Knicks will waive Chauncey Billups under the amnesty clause ratified as a part of the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Knicks will also trade center Ronny Turiaf to an unnamed team.
Chandler helped the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA championship last season, and has spent time with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats. The Knicks were believed to be skipping the 2011 free agent period to save room for the 2012 class, which includes coveted point guard Chris Paul and center Dwight Howard. Apparently, that has gone out of the window; there's no way that the Knicks can fit anything close to another star player under the salary cap without trading Carmelo Anthony or Amar'e Stoudemire or said star taking an incredible haircut.
For more on the Knicks, visit Posting And Toasting.
As NBA free agency arrives, the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets look to be in great position to make moves that will pay off for years and kick-start the teams' borough rivalry.
Dwight Howard will ask the Orlando Magic to trade him to the New Jersey Nets, who have re-emerged as the top suitor for the All-NBA center, reports ESPN's Chris Broussard. He reports that the Nets continue to offer Brook Lopez and two first-round picks, but didn't indicate whether the Magic had become more willing to listen to offers.
The re-emergence of the Howard rumors come as the L.A. Lakers' trade for Chris Paul was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern. The Lakers were expected to target Howard in addition to Paul, and could push for the center with renewed vigor now that it appears CP3 won't be put on the table any time soon.
Howard can become a free agent in July and has indicated fairly openly that he will at least consider signing with a team in New York or Los Angeles. The Nets are scheduled to move to Brooklyn ahead of the 2012-13 season.
For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily.
And here come the Houston Rockets! After reports on Thursday morning indicated the Rockets may be the third team in a potential trade package that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, it appeared the Hornets and Lakers were prepared to go it alone. But now, the Rockets are reportedly back in the "done" deal that will send Paul to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the trade package sends players every which way and is as follows.
Hornets working to finalize details on 3-team deal to send Chris Paul to Lakers, Gasol to Rockets and Odom, KMart, Scola to NO, sources say.
So, the centerpieces of the deal appear to be Paul and Gasol, who are headed to the Lakers and Rockets, respectively. New Orleans will, essentially, get back Odom, Kevin Marin and Luis Scola in return, cashing in on assets with both Houston and Los Angeles.
The rumored Chris Paul trade is "done," according to a report on Thursday afternoon. Within the last hour, reports emerged indicating the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers were close to a deal, and that New Orleans had begun informing teams Paul was on his way out. The deal will reportedly send Paul to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
According to CBS' Ken Berger, the deal is complete.
Chris Paul to the Lakers is "done," league executive briefed on the deal tells @CBSSports.@WojYahooNBA says it's for Bynum and Odom.
However, Wojnarowski clarified moments ago, saying the deal was for Gasol and Odom.
The deal is the first blockbuster in what's sure to be a wild free agency period. In trading Odom and Gasol, if the reports are correct, Los Angeles has kept pieces around to continue to maneuver, perhaps for Dwight Howard.
The New Orleans Hornets are near a deal that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers for
Andrew Bynum Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, according to a report on Thursday. Trade talks involving Paul have heated up ahead of the NBA free agency period, and it appears this may actually be happening.
According to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets appear to be in the final stages of a deal. So close, in fact, that New Orleans is reportedly telling teams it's done.
The Hornets have started to inform teams that they're sending Chris Paul to the Lakers for Bynum and Odom, league sources tell Y! Sports.
Woj later corrected himself, saying it was Gasol, not Bynum, in the rumored deal.
Correction: The proposed deal to the Lakers is Chris Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, source says.
Earlier, the Hornets and Lakers were reportedly searching for a third team, perhaps the Houston Rockets, to bring into any potential trade scenarios. But now, it appears the Lakers and Hornets are set to go it alone in what has to be one of the bigger blockbusters in a while.
UPDATE: There are conflicting reports about this information, as ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports the Cavaliers have not yet made a decision on whether they will release Baron Davis.
Once the league's new collective bargaining agreement is official, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to use its amnesty clause to release veteran point guard Baron Davis, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports.
The 32-year-old Davis was acquired along with a 2011 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers last February in exchange for forward Jamario Moon and guard Mo Williams. In 15 games for the Cavaliers, including nine starts, Davis averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 assists in just over 25 minutes per game.
Cleveland used the first-round pick acquired from the Kings to select point guard Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Davis is slated to earn $13.95 million in 2011-12 with a player option for $14.8 million in the 2012-13 season. Under the amnesty clause, Davis would still receive that money, but the two years and $28.75 million left on the contract would be removed from the team’s payroll for salary cap and tax purposes.
For more on the Cavaliers, visit Fear The Sword.
Chauncey Billups' days in New York appear to be numbered, and it's only a matter of how, not if, he is removed from the Knicks' roster. If Billups is released via the amnesty clause, there is one key contender who is interested in his services: the Miami Heat. That's according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
Heat in a tough spot financially but sources say the team is hoping that if amnestied Billups will push to play in Miami.
The tricky thing is that the Heat are over the salary cap and have already signed Shane Battier, so they will not have much left to offer Billups. A team under the salary cap could also swoop in and take Billups, even though Billups has indicated no desire to play for a rebuilding team. If Miami could pull it off, Billups would certainly be an upgrade over the existing Heat point guards.
Billups currently has one year and $14.2 million left on his contract with the Knicks.
Free agent forward Mike Dunleavy will sign a two year, $7.5 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Detroit Pistons will keep Swedish forward Jonas Jerebko on a four-year, $16 million deal, according to reports.
Caron Butler, who suffered a season-ending injury in December and watched the Dallas Mavericks win a championship without him, has signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a report by David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com. Butler chose the Clippers over teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls, who had less money to offer, but could have brought him closer to a championship.
Butler was having a pretty good season for the Mavericks last year before suffering a knee injury after just 29 games. The Mavericks plugged Shawn Marion into his starting spot and were able to win the NBA Finals. Overall, the 31-year old Butler averaged 15 points a game while shooting a career-high 43.1 percent from three-point range last year.
The Clippers are hoping Butler can solidify the small forward slot and provide experience and toughness to help guide their young roster. He will likely replace Ryan Gomes in the starting lineup.
As noted previously, the New York Knicks' reported pursuit of Tyson Chandler is only possible if the team finds a new home for Chauncey Billups, who will be paid $14.2 million in the final year of his contract. Several possibilities have been discussed, one of which would involve the Knicks using the amnesty clause to release Billups from their salary cap. If that's the path the Knicks choose, it appears he won't be happy with it.
Agent Miller on Billups: "He has no intention of being open-minded about any possible situation where a team would claim him off waivers [...] unless it's a team he chooses himself. Buyer beware."
If the Knicks use the amnesty clause to release him, only teams under the cap would be able to bid on him, which means, in all likelihood, he would end up on a rebuilding team.
Shannon Brown will reportedly sign a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. He spent the last two seasons backing up Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The latest Chris Paul trade rumor involves the Los Angeles Lakers, and this time, it doesn't involve prized Lakers center Andrew Bynum. The Lakers are discussing a three-team trade with the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would send Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and likely a bunch of young pieces to New Orleans, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
The Lakers would do this and then potentially offer Bynum to the Orlando Magic in a package for Dwight Howard, uniting Howard, Paul and Kobe Bryant, according to Mannix. The Hornets do not have much interest in the 31-year old Gasol, according to Mannix, and are trying to find a third team to deal him to for younger pieces. The Rockets were after Denver Nuggets center Nene, but have interest in Gasol, according to Mannix.
It remains unclear exactly what young pieces would head back to the Hornets in such a scenario.
It's looking more and more like Tyson Chandler will be playing for the New York Knicks next season. Chandler has a "98 percent" chance of going there, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, and the Golden State Warriors, who offered Chandler a contract, have conceded defeat, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
The two major questions now are: how does Chandler get on the Knicks, and what does this mean for the Knicks' pursuit of Chris Paul. For the Knicks to create enough cap room to sign Chandler, they must do something with point guard Chauncey Billups. One scenario described by Wojnarowski has Billups being sent to the Dallas Mavericks in a sign-and-trade for Chandler. If that cannot happen, the Knicks could trade him into a team with cap space or use the amnesty clause to release him.
As for the Knicks' plans to pursue Paul, this would definitely put a dent in it. The Knicks would now no longer have the cap room to sign Paul next summer, according to Wojnarowski, and would also have very few tradeable assets. Stein indicates the Knicks have even thought about dealing Amar'e Stoudemire in an attempt to land Paul. That might be their only chance to make something work, and it would be a radical move.
Tayshaun Prince will re-sign with the Detroit Pistons on Friday. His new deal will be worth $27 million over four years.
The New York Knicks have reportedly jumped in the lead for the services of Tyson Chandler, according to Ken Berger at CBSSports.com citing multiple league executives as sources. The deal could be worth four years starting at $14 million per season. The deal would obviously increase the rebounding prowess to a maligned frontcourt, as well as potentially help lure Chris Paul from New Orleans. According to Berger, the Knicks may use amnesty to waive Chauncey Billups' contract and try to deal Ronny Turiaf to make room for Chandler.
The Golden State Warriors are reportedly making a push for the big man as well, reportedly offering a 4-year, $60 million deal. Both the Warriors and the Knicks both finished in the bottom third of the league last season in rebounding differential, and would certainly benefit from a presence like Chandler.
With the reluctance of the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors to include their prized young talent in a deal for Chris Paul, the Boston Celtics may be back in the lead for Paul's services, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Celtics' offer is centered around point guard Rajon Rondo, and that offer is becoming more enticing since the Clippers and Warriors seem reluctant to deal Eric Gordon and Stephen Curry, respectively.
The Celtics' offer currently centers around Rondo, but includes other parts, Wojnarowski reports.
The Celtics have relentlessly pursued Paul and have presented the Hornets with as many as eight different scenarios that would bring them some combination of Rondo, Jeff Green, two future No. 1 picks and additional talent from third teams, sources said.
The Celtics have also tried to recruit a third team, with the Indiana Pacers being the one most recently discussed. As Ken Berger of CBS Sports notes, the presence of Green may be problematic, since he can veto a trade if he accepts the Celtics' qualifying offer instead of negotiating a new contract.
According to Matt Steinmetz at CSN Bay Area, citing multiple sources, the Golden State Warriors have made a contract offer to free agent big man Tyson Chandler. The offer is reportedly worth more than $60 million over a four-year period. To be able to afford Chandler under the salary cap, the Warriors would have to use the amnesty clause on Andris Biedrins, who has $27 million remaining on his contract.
Chandler is arguably the best free agent in this year's class, and there's no team that needs him more than the Warriors. They were dead last in rebounding differential last season and tied for 27th in points allowed. Chandler's interior defense and rebounding was key to the Dallas Mavericks' title run last season, and it's the area in which the Warriors are in need of the most help.
Eddy Curry, who has become a punchline in NBA circles for his inability to stay in shape, will to receive another chance to play in the league. The Miami Heat are expected to sign Curry on Friday, according to a report by Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
Curry has not been a factor in the NBA since the 2007-08 season, when he played 59 games for the New York Knicks. In fact, he has appeared in a total of 10 games in the last three years combined. But the Heat have monitored Curry for several months now and believe he's in good enough shape to return to the court.
The terms of Curry's contract remains unclear, but it's hard to believe he will receive anything more than the veteran's minimum, assuming he receives anything more than a training camp invitation at all.
Free-agent small forward Shane Battier announced he is signing with the Miami Heat, saying so on his Twitter account on Thursday morning. The announcement confirms a report by Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears earlier. Battier split time with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies last season and is expected to provide shooting and defense to the Miami roster.
This was a exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season"
Battier, who turned 33 in September, averaged 7.6 points per game while shooting 38 percent from three-point land last season. His presence was one of the major reasons the Grizzlies were able to go on such a strong late-season run.
We might be able to cross Eric Gordon off the list of players dangling as trade bait in an effort to secure Chris Paul. According to a report on Wednesday, Gordon has been told he is not in the Los Angeles Clippers' proposal to the Hornets for Paul.
The report comes from Adrian Wojnarowski. It's the second report of a player whose name is not in a proposal for Paul, though nobody is quite sure what packages include which players.
Clippers management has assured Eric Gordon that he will not be included in any trade package for Chris Paul, league source tells Y!
Earlier, Stephen Curry's name was eliminated from the Warriors proposal for Paul. At this point, it's a process of elimination expedition to figure out who could be going where, in the event the Hornets find a proposal they like.
Tracy McGrady has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. McGrady was a free agent ahead of the 2011-12 season after a one-year stint with the Detroit Pistons. The terms of the reportedly agreement have not yet been reported.
TNT's David Aldridge also confirmed the news, though he used softer language than the ESPN report.
Source confirms ESPN report on Tracy McGrady, saying it's "likely" TMac signs 1 yr deal with Hawks. Good for both parties; he could help ATL — @daldridgetnt via Twitter
McGrady has bounced around the league recently, spending time with the New York Knicks following a midseason trade before joining the Pistons. Prior to his New York stint, McGrady spent the better part of six seasons in Houston, though the end of his tenure with the Rockets was plagued by injuries.
As of right now, the Golden State Warriors do not plan to part with young point guard Stephen Curry in a trade offer for Chris Paul, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. That means that trade talks between the two sides are "cooling" at this time.
The refusal to include Curry, a third-year guard that is arguably the Warriors' top trade asset, may stem from the reluctance of Paul to sign a long-term extension with the Warriors. Paul has reportedly indicated that teams who go after good friend Tyson Chandler stand a better chance of keeping him, but with the new CBA rules in place, it's far more lucrative for him to wait until after the 2012 season to sign a new deal with whomever he plays with this season.
Caron Butler, an unrestricted free agent who last played for the Dallas Mavericks, has narrowed his potential landing spots to four, reports ESPN's Chris Broussard. Two contenders -- the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs -- are reportedly offering their full mid-level exceptions worth a 2011-12 salary of $5 million. The L.A. Clippers and New Jersey Nets are, according to Broussard, offering deals starting around $7 million.
In related news, the Spurs will reportedly waive small forward Richard Jefferson using the amnesty clause, taking his $10 million salary off of the salary cap sheet. That could free up space for Butler. The Nets are also widely expected to waive Travis Outlaw, though a training injury suffered by that small forward could complicate matters.
On Wednesday afternoon, Butler tweeted that he had just completed a "great visit" with the Spurs.
Richard Jefferson became the first casualty of the NBA's new amnesty clause that allows teams to release a player and have his salary removed from their cap. The Spurs have elected to release him and take the three years and $30 million they owe Jefferson off their cap number, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Jefferson was acquired by the Spurs from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009. His first season was a disappointment, as he had his lowest scoring average since his rookie year and struggled to adjust to San Antonio's system. Last season was better -- he shot less, but was more efficient and finished fifth in the league in three-point shooting -- but he was not good in the playoffs against the Grizzlies. He had signed a new four-year contract after his first season.
The Spurs made the move in order to clear up enough cap space to use their mid-level exception, Wojnarowski reports. They have spoken to Caron Butler and Josh Howard, with Butler proclaiming that the Spurs were a "first-class organization" on his Twitter account. Wojnarowski reports that Butler is the Spurs' "top target."
For more on the Spurs, visit Pounding The Rock.
If the Golden State Warriors or L.A. Clippers trade young studs for Chris Paul, they'll have no guarantee he will re-sign next summer. Given that, isn't the risk of losing it all too much to bear? Plus: the spinning Lakers get desperate.
A contingent from the Indiana Pacers visited unrestricted free agent center Nene on Tuesday, reports Sam Amick of SI.com. Nene, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Denver Nuggets, met with the Houston Rockets on Monday, and is said to be coveted by the New Jersey Nets and Golden State Warriors, as well.
The Pacers have enough cap space to land multiple high-priced stars, and have been mentioned in the wide-ranging Rajon Rondo trade rumors emanating from Boston. Nene will be looking for a lucrative deal, but has also indicated he will value winning highly. The Pacers did make the NBA playoffs last season, but only as a No. 8 seed. (That's better than the Warriors and Nets, of course; the Rockets had a better record than the Pacers but missed the playoffs, and now we're really splitting irrelevant hairs.)
Nene averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. He is one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history, largely because a ridiculously high share of his shots are dunks.
For more on the Pacers, visit Indy Cornrows.
The Golden State Warriors are one of three teams now at the center of Chris Paul trade rumors, as multiple reporters led by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski listed the W's, Boston Celtics and L.A. Clippers as the clubs in serious talks with the New Orleans Hornets for the services of the All-Star point guard. SI.com's Sam Amick reports that for the Warriors' part, the team's three most recent lottery picks have been included in the offer for CP3.
Those picks would be stud guard Stephen Curry, defensive big man Ekpe Udoh and 2011 pick Klay Thompson. Udoh showed promise late last season after starting his rookie campaign injured, and Thompson enters a league coveted athletic wing. Curry, of course, is one of the league's hottest young guards, a killer sharpshooter who has erased questions about his point guard abilities in short order.
Amick also reports that the Warriors would need to waive Andris Biedrins and sign coveted free agent center Tyson Chandler -- a close friend of CP3's -- to have a reasonable belief that Paul could be retained beyond the 2011-12 season.
The parameters of any such deals aren't remotely clear, though John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweeted early Tuesday that "good offers" were coming in for the All-Star point guard. One would imagine that guards like Rajon Rondo, Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon could be in play for New Orleans.
CP3 had reportedly informed the Hornets in recent days that he had no intention of signing a contract extension, and that if he were traded he'd like to go to the New York Knicks. It has been reported that Paul would like to join his friends Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the Big Apple; if he is traded to New York before the in-season deadline, he'd be eligible for a larger contract as a 2012 free agent. But Wojnarowski reports that if the Warriors or Clippers sign free agent Tyson Chandler, he could change his mind on staying long-term. Paul and Chandler had previously played together in New Orleans.
If CP3 won't agree to an extension with one of New Orleans' preferred trade partners, it's unclear whether those teams will offer enough to pull the point guard. Stay tuned.
For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.
So much for the new amnesty clause rules affecting things for the Washington Wizards. The team still plans on holding on to Rashard Lewis, according to a report by Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
Lewis is currently owed $22 million this year and $23 million on a partially-guaranteed contract in 2012-13, so the Wizards could save lots of money and not worry about being under the salary floor if they were to use the clause on him. However, according to Lee, they value Lewis as a player and want to keep him:
Cutting Lewis would’ve placed the Wizards well below the projected salary floor of $49 million and forced the team to use the savings to sign players from what is considered a weak free agent class. But the Wizards weren’t holding on to Lewis strictly for financial purposes. Lewis, 31, is healthier after recovering from tendinitis in his right knee for much of last season and still just two years removed from his all-star prime.
With a young team, the Wizards are hoping Lewis' professionalism rubs of on the team.
Reggie Williams, a restricted free agent small forward from the Golden State Warriors, has drawn interest from the Charlotte Bobcats, Williams' agent Herb Rudoy told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
As a restricted free agent, Williams is likely to return to the Warriors, as Golden State will have three days to match any offer sheet that the forward signs. But Golden State could be looking toward bigger fish, with eyes reportedly on Tyson Chandler and Nene. The Warriors let two restricted free agents -- Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson -- leave the team a year ago.
Williams is a scorer and shooter, both of which are much needed in Charlotte. The Bobcats' leading scorer figures to be one of D.J. Augustin, rookie Kemba Walker or import Corey Maggette. Williams could help balance the floor, as Maggette isn't known for his outside jumper and Augustin and Walker rely on their quickness, not range. (That's theoretical on Walker, based on his college performance.)
For more on the Bobcats, visit Rufus On Fire.
New details on the amnesty clause, which allows a team to waive one player and remove them from their salary cap, have emerged, and they could affect the strategy of several teams in free agency. One key change is that the contracts will count towards the new 85-percent salary floor, according to Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated.
That could potentially change the plans for several teams that have low payrolls. The Washington Wizards, in particular, are an interesting case study. The Wizards have Rashard Lewis on the hook for $22 million this season and $23 million in 2012 (though only $10 million is guaranteed), but have so far said they have no plans to use the amnesty clause on him. One reason was because the Wizards would be far below the salary floor if they did so. However, with the new provision, that is no longer the case, as Bullets Forever notes.
This could also affect teams like New Jersey (whih could use the clause on Travis Outlaw), Indiana, Denver (Al Harrington) and Sacramento (Francisco Garcia). All could open up more cap room without fear of dipping below the salary floor.
In addition, Lowe reports that teams cannot trade for a player, then use the amnesty clause on them. Finally, teams cannot use the new stretch provision, which extends the years on a player's cap hit while making each of those years less taxing, on players they claim through the clause.
Brandon Roy will remain a member of the Portland Trail Blazers for at least the start of training camp, team management told the media on Monday. Blazer's Edge has the rundown. John Canzano of The Oregonian had reported earlier that the Blazers had already made the decision to use the amnesty clause on Roy to wipe his $64 million in salary over four years off of the team's cap sheet. But Blazers' management spoke with Roy and his agent, and said they are eager to see the two-time All-Star back on the court.
Portland coach Nate McMillan indicated that if Roy looks as good as he says he feels when camp open, he'd be the starting two-guard for the team, possibly pushing Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews or Gerald Wallace to the bench.
Roy has had three knee surgeries since April 2010. He played a limited role on the team last season, and struggled to fit in as the Blazers made a playoff run. He did have a miraculous playoff win against the Dallas Mavericks in the postseason, however.
The Los Angeles Clippers are determined to keep restricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, and have apparently made a formal offer to him, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That offer is for five years and $40 million.
However, it appears unlikely that Jordan will accept the offer. That's because Jordan is "destined" to sign an offer sheet with another team, which would force the Clippers to match, Wojnarowski reports. With several teams having lots of cap room and in need of a center, it's likely that someone will put together an offer more lucrative than the one the Clippers proposed. In that case, the Clippers would then have three days to match if they want to keep their young center.
Jordan is seen as mostly a dunker on offense at this point, but he has improved his rebounding and defense and is still just 23 years old.
For more on DeAndre Jordan, read our NBA free agency profile of him. For more NBA free agency rumors, visit that StoryStream. For a complete NBA free agency preview, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation and SB Nation Los Angeles.
As Chris Paul trade rumors reach a fever pitch, David Stern's problem gets bigger and bigger. If the NBA-owned Hornets deal CP3 to a major market, how can Stern keep a straight face when talking to small-market owners about competitive balance?
If you're curious as to why the Dallas Mavericks are letting Tyson Chandler flirt with other teams instead of dropping an offer no other team can match, CBS Sports' Ken Berger proffers a potential answer: the reigning NBA champions are looking to maintain enough salary cap space in 2012 to sign Deron Williams to max contract.
That may seem crazy given that on Monday Williams told the New York media that he feels that there's a 90 percent chance he'll re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets in 2012. But Berger says that the Mavericks are banking on the Nets struggling in 2011-12 without a big acquisition like Dwight Howard or Nene.
Williams is from Dallas.
As for Chandler, Berger reports that serious interest has been registered by the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Nets. New Jersey, then, could deal a double-blow to Dallas by picking up Chandler and watching he, Brook Lopez and Williams return the team to its former glory.
Trade rumors circling around New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul, who can become a free agent in 2012, could be resolved before the team's opener as the franchise's management seeks to avoid a repeat of the months-long Carmelo Anthony drama, report Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN.
ESPN reports that Paul met with New Orleans GM Dell Demps on Monday, where the All-Star reportedly continued to decline an offered extension, instead opting to hit free agency in July 2012. CP3, a six-year veteran, has never been a free agent.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the Hornets are owned by the league and overseen by a president, Jac Sperling, who was appointed by NBA commissioner David Stern.
ESPN reports that in addition to the L.A. Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, L.A. Clippers, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have expressed interest in making a CP3 deal happen. But it's unclear what if any assets those teams will relinquish without an assurance that Paul will sign a new deal in the offseason or agree to an extension upon being traded.
For more on the Hornets, visit SB Nation's At The Hive.
Nene, the Denver Nuggets' free agent center, will meet with Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale and general manager Daryl Morey in the Mile High City on Monday, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The Rockets need a center to replace the retired Yao Ming; Chuck Hayes, at 6'6 a power forward who has nonetheless answered the bell for Houston at center in the past, is an unrestricted free agent.
Nene isn't expected to remain with the Nuggets; the two sides failed to reach a contract extension agreement in June before the NBA lockout hit. While Denver can offer Nene a five-year deal worth more than anything another team can offer, the Brazilian has said team success will play a large role in his decision.
Denver made the playoffs last season in spite of the midseason Carmelo Anthony trade. Houston finished with a 43-39 record, but missed the postseason.
For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake.
Chris Paul has been at the center of trade rumors since the day the NBA lockout ended, but most of those rumors have centered in New York City. Monday's news takes us cross-country, as one report has the Lakers getting involved in the CP3 sweepstakes.
Here's Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski adding a twist to the story:
The Lakers and Hornets talked several days ago, league sources told Yahoo! Sports, but it was one of those circuitous conversations that left the sides unclear what it would take to get a deal done, and the talk ended with no formal offers. The Lakers and Hornets expect to speak again this week, sources said. The prospect of Pau Gasol as the primary player going to the Hornets won’t be acceptable, sources said. The Lakers will ultimately be willing to let New Orleans pick its player in the deal – Bynum or Gasol – but New Orleans is determined to get quality, and quantity, in a deal.
The question, of course, is whether Chris Paul would be willing to sign an extension in L.A. The assumption is that Chris Paul wants to play in a major market for a championship contender, but Kobe Bryant's not getting any younger, and especially if the Lakers give up Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol in a trade, it's an open question as to how long they'll qualify as true contenders. One thing's for certain, though: Chris Paul could certainly help the cause.
Nick Young has drawn interest from the Chicago Bulls and at least four other teams as a restricted free agent, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. The Washington Wizards can match any offer sheet Young signs with another team, and the team has indicated it would like to keep the four-year guard in house.
Young, a USC product, is known primarily for his explosive scoring; he averaged a career-high 17.4 points per game last season in starting 40 games in 64 appearances. Young was at his best in January and February, over which he averaged 20 points on efficient shooting. Over the rest of the season, his shooting was less sharp, though he is a career 38 percent three-point shooter.
The other teams Lee reports have expressed interest in Young include the shorthanded Denver Nuggets, the Phoenix Suns (who will be cutting Vince Carter loose), the starved-for-scorers New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings.
For more on Young's free agency and the Wizards' offseason, visit SB Nation's Bullets Forever.
Tyson Chandler finds himself in the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, the first day NBA teams are allowed to speak directly with free agent players. Chandler attended Sunday night's San Francisco 49ers game and, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, will meet with the Golden State Warriors this week.
Stein reports that Chandler, an unrestricted free agent who helped the Mavericks to the NBA championship last year, will also meet with the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets before the free agency period officially starts on Friday.
The Warriors would need to drop salary before fitting Chandler under the salary cap, assuming the center wants something close to market value (eight figures annually). Luckily, with the amnesty clause, Golden State can do just that. Dropping Latvian center Andris Biedrins via the amnesty clause and renouncing the rights to all of the team's free agents other than Reggie Williams would get the Warriors' salary down to $42 million, where they could easily fit Chandler and a few other small pieces.
Vince Carter is not currently listed among the top NBA free agents, but the Phoenix Suns swingman will likely end up on that list before training camps open on Friday. The 34-year-old veteran has probably seen better days, but it's likely he could still contribute in the right situation.
The right situation might not be in Phoenix, however, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein -- at least not under his current contract.
Vince Carter isn't a free agent yet, but sources close to the situation say the eight-time All-Star will be thrust onto the open market shortly after the end of the lockout.
Based on an amendment in his contract obtained by ESPN.com, Carter must be waived by the Phoenix Suns within 72 hours of the official start of free agency or his $18 million salary for the 2011-12 season becomes fully guaranteed.
If Hill is waived prior within the first three days of the season, the Suns will only owe him $4 million, a 14-million dollar discount that the Suns might be able to use to re-sign Grant Hill and other potential free agents. ESPN reports that the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are all interested in signing Carter once he becomes a free agent.
The Los Angeles Lakers expect reserve guard Shannon Brown to get a better offer as an NBA free agent than what the Lakers will offer, general manager Mitch Kupchak told the Orange County Register's Kevin Ding at a media session on Friday.
Brown is an unrestricted free agent coming off of a tough season. He played just 19 minutes per game behind Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake, and for the second straight season had shooting rates well below average (48.2 percent effective field goal percentage, 51.8 percent True Shooting). He is essentially an inefficient scoring guard who can dunk rather well and has a striking resemblance to singer Chris Brown, to whom he is not related.
In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Lakers picked up guards Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock. Fisher, Blake and Bryant remain under contract, as well. The Lakers will have use of the mini mid-level exception (worth a max of three years, $9.3 million), sign-and-trade deals and the veteran's minimum at their disposal, as well.
Chris Paul wants to be traded to the Knicks, according to a Yahoo! Sports report on Thursday. This week, he informed the New Orleans Hornets that he won't sign an extension now or next summer. Now it's up to New Orleans to trade him.
Rajon Rondo trade rumors have been a hot topic the last couple of days as the Boston Celtics point guard has been rumored to be involved in trades to both the New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder in the past couple of days. The Boston Celtics did what they could to squash those talks for the time being, however, when they met with the media on Thursday morning.
Team president Danny Ainge and head coach Doc Rivers held a press conference in Waltham, Mass. -- the site of the Celtics training camp -- and the inevitable happened when a reporter asked the looming rumors.
"I'll talk to Rondo. Rondo will be fine," team president Danny Ainge said. "Rondo knows that we love him. He's excited to come back and play basketball. He gets a lot of attention. He's a great player. There's a lot of people that call me and ask me about Rondo. How these rumors get out is unfortunate but we didn't leak those rumors out and we'll deal with it. He'll be fine."
Ainge eventually said he wasn't trying to trade Rondo, but Rivers discussed how those sort of rumors might be brought up.
"There's a reason when whatever this thing leaked out, it was all over the news," Doc Rivers said. "It's because the players they were talking about are both really good. Rondo has established that with his play. He is a great basketball player and he does so many things for our team. He should be flattered, in a way, that this is news."
As short as it's planned to be, the NBA offseason should still be plenty interesting.
Nene has never been regarded as a superstar around the NBA, but a great season last year has him being talked about as one of the top NBA free agents of this lockout-shortened offseason. The Brazilian big man has plenty of suitors, too, if he doesn't return to the Denver Nuggets.
The New Jersey Nets are one of the teams interested -- because they're interested in everyone worth their salt -- but the key will be to see who meets with Nene first when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 9. That decision, apparently, won't be made anytime soon.
"That will go down to the wire," a source close to Nene said.
The Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers were among the teams that reached out to Nene's representatives Wednesday, the first day teams were allowed to contact agents to discuss potential deals.
Yahoo! Sports reports that it could take upwards of $13 million per season to sign Nene, but for a team that wants to win this year, he's one of the best options on the board.
The Los Angeles Lakers have coveted Andrew Bynum ever since they took a chance on choosing the young phenom in the 2005 NBA Draft with the 10th overall pick. The front office has apparently loosened its grip on the center, however, as they look to improve on their roster as the current NBA trade rumors heat up.
It's no surprise to anyone that the Lakers will be one of the primary suitors in a possible trade for Howard, and a person with knowledge of the team's strategy told CBSSports.com that executive Jim Buss finally has dropped his opposition to trading center Andrew Bynum "for the right deal."
That's code for "a deal for Dwight Howard," and it's clear from those familiar with Howard's thinking that he'd like to join the Lakers. Bynum may or may not be on the Magic's list of suitable replacements for Howard in a potential deal that also would have to include young players on rookie contracts and draft picks.
It's obvious that very few players would be able to pry Bynum away from the Lakers, but it makes sense that Howard would be one of those players.
Tyson Chandler was a key to the Dallas Mavericks championship season last year, but the center has indicated that he doesn't think they will elect to retain his services for this season. If Chandler finds himself on the open market, he immediately becomes one of the NBA's top free agents -- and therefore, the New Jersey Nets are interested.
The Nets have been involved in numerous NBA trade rumors as they look to build a powerhouse around Deron Williams, but if they are unable to lure Dwight Howard via trade this season, it sounds like Chandler is definitely on their radar.
"There's mutual interest," one source close to the situation with Chandler said last night while another described the two-way interest as "strong."
Chandler has had injury issues in the past, but ended last season with the league's best true shooting percentage while cutting down on his turnovers and continuing to be a solid force on defense and the boards. Depending on the price tag, he should definitely be able to help out the Nets next to Brook Lopez.
For those NBA teams that miss out on signing center Nene, there might be a nice prize still waiting for teams to make a run at. Center Tyson Chandler expects that he will move on from the Dallas Mavericks and be with a new team once training camp begins, reports ESPN's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein. As Chandler remarked:
"I really think I'm going to be on a new team come training camp," Chandler told ESPN.com in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "I'm really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me."
It had widely been expected that Chandler would re-sign with the Mavericks, but it appears that the Mavericks have other priorities than signing the big man to a long-term deal.
After being acquired in a 2010 trade, Chandler played just one season with the Mavericks. In 74 games, he averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 74 games. He finished third in the 2010-2011 NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting, behind Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett.
Carl Landry, an unrestricted free agent whose career has fallen off since being traded by the Houston Rockets in 2010, is drawing interest from the Indiana Pacers among other teams, according to reports.
SI.com's Sam Amick reports that Landry's camp has heard from the Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and incumbent New Orleans Hornets since the NBA opened up communication lines between teams and player agents.
In addition, Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that Pacers execs spoke to Landry's agent on Wednesday.
The Pacers have loads of cap space. Tyler Hansbrough would be the presumptive starter at power forward without a free agent or trade acquisition; Josh McRoberts, the other option, is a free agent. Landry has come off of the bench plenty during his NBA career, most successful in the early part of the 2009-10 season in Houston before the Rockets traded him for Kevin Martin. The Sacramento Kings traded him a year later for Marcus Thornton.
The Indiana Pacers, long considered to be a top suitor for West, reached out to the former All-Star, as did the Hornets, reports Amick. But the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards also expressed interest as the NBA allowed teams to begin communication with agents and players ahead of the scheduled December 9 start of free agency.
West missed the end of the 2010-11 season and playoff after tearing his ACL late in the season. He's been primarily a skill player instead of an athletic power, but how his knee responds will be a big factor in how productive he is heading through his 30s.
Smith talked to the media after the NBA announced that team executives could begin talking to players and agents in anticipation of the start of free agency on December 9. Howard can't become a free agent until July 2012, but rumors have swirled after the center made comments about his uncertainty on whether he'll commit to Orlando. The Magic, no doubt, have a maximum-value extension available whenever he wants to sign it.
Smith didn't exactly say he plans to put Howard on the market, and said that he wants to take to the star about the issue instead of reading the media tea leaves. But he was candid in saying that all options would remain open.
"I think you have to look at everything," Smith told the Orlando Sentinel when he was asked if he'd consider trading Howard. "I don't think you can take anything out of consideration."
For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
Caron Butler, who missed the second half of the Dallas Mavericks' championship season after a New Year's injury, has drawn early free agent interest from six teams including the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, reports CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
In addition to the Bulls and Heat, the New Jersey Nets, L.A. Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks have expressed interest, Berger says. Butler, a scoring small forward whose defense has traditionally been respected but far from elite, will turn 32 before the playoffs. He made $10.5 million last season.
The Mavericks have a high payroll and a bigger priority in Tyson Chandler, though no one would be surprised to see Dallas make a push to retain Butler; Mark Cuban has never been shy about having a massive payroll, and the more punitive luxury tax rates negotiated into the new collective bargaining agreement don't go into effect until 2013.
Butler was named to the 2007 and 2008 East All-Stars as a member of the Washington Wizards.
What awesome NBA free agents are available before the 2011-12 season begins? What awful NBA free agents are also available? Our comprehensive ranking of the top 79 players available will tell you all you need to know (provided you do not need to know everything).
Rajon Rondo trade rumors seem to be the big thing as NBA free agency kicks off in earnest this week, at least if Tuesday night's barrage of reports are any indication. The Boston Celtics point guard is the topic of quite a few interesting proposals, apparently, and will likely be involved in quite a few more in the weeks ahead.
Rondo could be deal to the New Orleans Hornets in a trade that would net Boston fellow point guard Chris Paul, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. It's unclear whether the Hornets would be interested in dealing their star player straight up for Rondo, but there have apparently been discussions regarding the trade.
The Celtics also attempted to send Rondo and Jeff Green to the Oklahoma City Thunder following last season, Broussard also reported late Tuesday, for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder ultimately turned that deal down, however, a move that SB Nation's Welcome To Loud City agrees was the right one.
The Pacers and Celtics have discussed the preliminary framework of a deal, but two sources said Indiana would need a third team to provide Boston with the talent it wants to do a deal. The Celtics are likely trying to gather the necessary pieces to make a bid for Ainge's ultimate target: New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, sources said.
With so much smoke surrounding Rondo, a trade would seem to be imminent. Considering there wasn't a lot of alternatives to talk about during the months-long lockout, however, all of these talks could have simply been a way to get through the doldrums of the work stoppage.
We may have our first significant Dwight Howard trade rumor of the NBA season. The New Jersey Nets are "preparing" to offer center Brook Lopez and multiple first-round picks to the Orlando Magic for Howard before he becomes a free agent next summer, according to a report by ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford.
The Nets' "dream scenario," according to Stein and Ford, is to acquire Howard in a trade to pair with Deron Williams before he becomes a free agent next season. Howard is still with the Magic, but with several bad contracts and a declining roster, most believe he is looking for a new team after this season. The Magic may look to trade Howard and get something back for him before he potentially leaves in free agency.
ESPN also reports that the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are Howard's preferred destinations, which makes a trade risky for the Nets. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Howard can not receive more than a one-year extension on his current contract. That means he too could bolt the Nets after being acquired.
For more NBA trade rumors and NBA free agency updates, visit this StoryStream.
Nene wants to leave the Denver Nuggets and has six suitors in serious play, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Those six teams -- the Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat -- are at varying levels of ability to actually sign him outright, however, which may require the Nuggets to be involved.
Berger reports that the Warriors are interested in improving the team's frontcourt, and would use the amnesty clause on disappointing and expensive Latvian center Andris Biedrins to fit Nene on the cap sheet. The Nets could find room by waiving Travis Outlaw, and the Pacers have as much cap space as anyone in the NBA.
If you wondering how the Heat can manage to add Nene via sign-and-trade or by signing him outright without the Brazilian taking a massive paycut, you are not alone. Houston and Dallas have young prospects, at least.
Paul Millsap could one of the hotter names on the trade rumor mill once NBA free agency begins December 9 and league business returns to normal. The Utah Jazz traded for power forward Derrick Favors at the 2011 trade deadline in the Deron Williams blockbuster, have Al Jefferson under contract and picked big man Enes Kanter No. 3 overall in the June draft. Millsap has strong value as a productive power forward on a fair contract.
The Indianapolis Star's Mike Wells reports that the Indiana Pacers talked to the Jazz about Millsap before the NBA Draft and could do so again. The Pacers have been expected to be one of the teams going after free agent David West if the New Orleans Hornets don't make a strong move to retain the two-time All-Star.
Millsap is more than four years younger, though, and nearly as productive. Indiana has intriguing prospects up and down the roster, and the Jazz will have incentive to slash payroll with such a young core, so it seems like a natural fit if Indiana's West pursuit falls through.
NBA free agency is scheduled to begin on December 9. While the class certainly lack in stars when compared to the famous 2010 and 2012 derbies, there's value to be had. See the full list of free agents who played in the NBA last season below, broken down by status.
Offer sheets signed by these players can be matched by the incumbent team. An asterisk denotes that a player remains under contract overseas and may not be interested in or able to return to the NBA this season.
Aaron Brooks*, PHO
Arron Afflalo, DEN
Daequan Cook, OKC
Dante Cunningham, CHA
DeAndre Jordan, LAC
Derrick Brown, NYK
Gary Forbes, DEN
Greg Oden, POR
Hamady Ndiaye, WAS
Hamed Haddadi, MEM
Jeff Green, BOS
Jonas Jerebko, DET
Larry Owens, WAS
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, MIL
Marc Gasol, MEM
Marco Belinelli, NOH
Marcus Thornton, SAC
Mario Chalmers, MIA
Nick Young, WAS
Othyus Jeffers, WAS
Patrick Mills*, POR
Reggie Williams, GSW
Rodney Stuckey, DET
Sonny Weems*, TOR
Spencer Hawes, PHI
Thaddeus Young, PHI
These free agents are free to sign with whatever team has the salary cap space or exception to do so. An asterisk denotes that a player remains under contract overseas and may not be interested in or able to return to the NBA this season.
Aaron Gray, NOH
Acie Law, GSW
Al Thornton, GSW
Alexis Ajinca, TOR
Andrei Kirilenko*, UTA
Anthony Carter, NYK
Anthony Parker, CLE
Antonio Daniels, PHI
Ben Uzoh, NJN
Brandan Wright, NJN
Brian Cardinal, DAL
Brian Scalabrine, CHI
Carl Landry, NOH
Carlos Arroyo, BOS
Caron Butler, DAL
Chris Quinn, SAS
Chris Wilcox, DET
Chuck Hayes, HOU
Craig Smith, LAC
D.J. Mbenga, NOH
DaJuan Summers, DET
Damien Wilkins, ATL
Dan Gadzuric, NJN
Darius Songaila*, PHI
Darnell Jackson*, SAC
David West, NOH
Delonte West, BOS
DeShawn Stevenson, DAL
Dominic McGuire, CHA
Earl Boykins, MIL
Earl Clark, ORL
Earl Watson, UTA
Erick Dampier, MIA
Etan Thomas, ATL
Francisco Elson, UTA
Garrett Temple, CHA
Glen Davis, BOS
Grant Hill, PHO
Hilton Armstrong, ATL
J.R. Smith*, DEN
Jamaal Magloire, MIA
Jamal Crawford, ATL
Jamario Moon, LAC
James Jones, MIA
Jared Jeffries, HOU
Jason Collins, ATL
Jason Kapono, PHI
Jason Richardson, ORL
Jason Smith, NOH
Jeff Foster, IND
Joe Smith, LAL
Joel Przybilla, CHA
Joey Dorsey, TOR
J.J. Barea, DAL
Josh Howard, WAS
Josh McRoberts, IND
Josh Powell, ATL
Julian Wright, TOR
Juwan Howard, MIA
Kenyon Martin*, DEN
Kris Humphries, NJN
Kurt Thomas, CHI
Kwame Brown, CHA
Kyrylo Fesenko, UTA
Leon Powe, MEM
Malik Allen, ORL
Marcus Banks, NOH
Mario West, NJN
Marquis Daniels, SAC
Maurice Evans, WAS
Melvin Ely, DEN
Michael Redd, MIL
Mike Bibby, MIA
Mike Dunleavy, IND
Mustafa Shakur, WAS
Peja Stojakovic, DAL
Pooh Jeter*, SAC
Rasual Butler, CHI
Reggie Evans, TOR
Roger Mason, NYK
Ronnie Price, UTA
Samuel Dalembert, SAC
Sasha Pavlovic, BOS
Sebastian Telfair, MIN
Shane Battier, MEM
Shannon Brown, LAL
Shawne Williams, NYK
Shelden Williams, NYK
Solomon Jones, IND
Steve Novak, SAS
T.J. Ford, IND
Tayshaun Prince, DET
Theo Ratliff, LAL
Tony Battie, PHI
Tracy McGrady, DET
Troy Murphy, BOS
Tyson Chandler, DAL
Vladimir Radmanovic, GSW
Von Wafer, BOS
Willie Green, NOH
Yi Jianlian*, WAS
For full NBA free agency coverage, follow our StoryStream.
Andrei Kirilenko, an unrestricted free agent who has spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz, signed with CSKA Moscow in his native Russia during the NBA lockout, and has been one of the best players in the 2011-12 Euroleague season so far. Now that the NBA lockout has ended, the question of whether Kirilenko will leave Moscow -- he does have an opt-out clause -- or stay put has risen.
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that, per Kirilenko's agent Marc Fleisher, the forward will weigh his options before making a decision either way.
Agent Marc Fleisher on Kirilenko's future: "He and I have decided to evaluate the NBA interest versus what he has over there and then a decision will be made."
The New Jersey Nets have been a popular suggestion as Kirilenko's potential NBA landing spot, thanks to the team's gaping hole at small forward, the possibility the team loses its power forward Kris Humphries in free agency and Kirilenko's relationships with Deron Williams and Mikhail Prokhorov.
Samuel Dalembert is one of the many solid big men available in NBA free agency when the period begins on December 9. The 7-foot Haitian-born center is among the league's best rebounders and shotblockers, and while his offense is as stunted as it's always been, the value of defense at his position is huge.
The Sacramento Kings traded for Dalembert a year ago, and the center meshed well with young big man DeMarcus Cousins, who slotted at power forward but could be a center long-term. With the Kings rebuilding and Dalembert hitting age 30, returning may not be in the cards. That's opened up free agent speculation over the past year.
"I'm keeping all my options open, but Miami could be a good fit for me," Dalembert said.
Why is that?
"If you look at the playoffs with Dallas, you saw what Tyson Chandler did," Dalembert said, referring to the 7-foot-1 center who helped the Mavs beat the Heat in six games for the title last June. "He was basically a key ingredient for them to win a championship. And Miami didn't have somebody like that. Somebody able to stop (foes from) getting second shots and somebody able to rebound and finish. I could fill that role and be an asset for that team."
Dalembert goes on to cite the New York Knicks and Yao Ming-less Houston Rockets as potential fits, as well. Dalembert seems like a prime candidate for the $5 million mid-level exception included in the lockout deal, though the Kings could also be open to using him in a sign-and-trade.
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