Lakers To Acquire Roy Hibbert

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

5:37 pm: Pacers are finalizing the terms to trade Hibbert to the Lakers and the center has been informed he’s heading to Los Angeles, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Wojnarowski confirms (Twitter link) that the Lakers will absorb Hibbert’s $15.5 salary into their cap space and will likely send a combination of second-rounders and rights to overseas prospects to Indiana. The final issue being worked on is fitting Hibbert’s 15% trade kicker into Lakers’ cap room, Wojnarowski tweets.

5:04 pm: The Pacers and Lakers are discussing a deal involving center Roy Hibbert, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The framework of the deal is done, according to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), and the teams are finalizing the assets involved. He notes that Hibbert would be valuable as a defensive anchor for a young team (Twitter link). A source told Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, “It’ll get done after [July] 9th.” (Twitter link). The Pacers will likely get cash and a draft pick, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, who adds that the teams are still sorting out the details.

Along with his salary, the center will receive a $2.3MM bonus that will drop the Lakers’ cap room to about $4.7MM, according to former NBA executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The Pacers are expected to cover that bonus. Los Angeles can either absorb Hibbert into its cap space or do a sign-and-trade involving Jordan Hill if he and the Pacers are interested, notes Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Hibbert exercised his player option and will earn more than $15MM next season. The Pacers are hoping to trade him and adopt a faster style of play. Hibbert has spent seven seasons  in Indiana after being drafted out of Georgetown. His scoring average of 10.6 points per game last year was the lowest since his rookie season. He will be a free agent next summer.

Spurs To Sign LaMarcus Aldridge

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The Spurs and unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge have reached an agreement that will bring the talented forward to San Antonio, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). The arrangement will be for four years, and approximately $80MM, Wojnarowski notes, almost assuredly a max deal. The pact also includes a player option for the final season, the Yahoo! scribe relays.

The deal between San Antonio and Aldridge brings his nine year career with the Trail Blazers to a close. The 29-year-old appeared in 71 games for Portland during the 2014/15 campaign, averaging 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 35.4 minutes of action per contest. His shooting numbers last season were .466/.352/.845. Aldridge’s career numbers through 648 games, all with the Blazers, are 19.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.9 APG, with a slash line of .485/.276/.796.

The departure of Aldridge doesn’t come as surprise to the Blazers, who were informed by the forward on Friday night that he had narrowed his choices down to either the Spurs or the Suns, Wojnarowski tweets. A source told David Pick of Eurobasket.com as early as Wednesday that Aldridge would sign with the Spurs and turn down the hard-charging Suns (Twitter links), though he continued to take meetings in the days that followed. Aldridge had two sit-downs with the Lakers, and also met with the Heat, Rockets, Raptors, and Mavs during the free agent process. He cancelled a scheduled meeting with the Knicks, who never appeared to be serious contenders to land the big man.

Aldridge’s signing will have an impact outside of lining the forward’s pockets and giving the Spurs a new star to pair alongside Kawhi Leonard, who reached an agreement on a five year, estimated $90MM contract of his own with the team on Wednesday. Popovich, who has mulled calling it quits when Tim Duncan decides to hang up his sneakers and retire, is now looking to coach for the four remaining years on his contract, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. San Antonio is now aggressively pursuing unrestricted free agent David West as it reloads for 2015/16, tweets Wojnarowski.

Phoenix is likely heartbroken over missing out on the star forward, as it had reportedly made a strong impression on Aldridge, and he would have been the star the team so desperately seeks to acquire. The Suns would have instead focused on trying to convince Kevin Love to come to Arizona if Aldridge had simply stuck to his pledge of a year ago to re-sign with the Blazers, Jake Fischer of SI Now relays (via Twitter). Love has reportedly agreed to a five-year deal for about $110MM with Cleveland. While the agreement cannot be finalized until July 9th, it would indeed have been a shocking turn of events for Love to spurn the Cavs for the Suns, so Phoenix will have to settle for Tyson Chandler as its lone coup on the big man market.

Eastern Notes: Seraphin, Watson, Winslow

Free agent Kevin Seraphin is getting interest from the Wizards, Lakers and Suns, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. Spears adds that the Spurs would also be interested in the forward’s services if they fail to land David West. Seraphin signed the qualifying offer from Washington last offseason, which allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • C.J. Watson will make $5MM in each of the next three seasons after reaching an agreement to sign with the Magic, but in the final season of the deal, only $1MM of his salary is guaranteed, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Watson is expected to lead the bench unit and be the primary backup to Elfrid Payton.
  • The Wizards had shown interest in Watson before he agreed to his deal with Orlando, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweets.
  • The Knicks are getting a bargain in their agreement with Kyle O’Quinn, opines Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. O’Quinn’s new contract is worth $16MM over the next four years. The statistician projected that the 25-year-old would get a contract of $27MM over three years.
  • The Heat reportedly turned down the Celtics’ proposal of four first-round picks and two second-rounders for the rights to Justise Winslow and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel ponders whether the team made the right call by keeping the Duke product on its roster.  The Celtics have a bounty of future first-rounders, as our Draft Pick Tracker page indicates.  The exact draft picks that Boston was offering has not been disclosed, but with the Heat owing three of their future first round picks to the the Sixers and Suns, the team could have certainly used the extra assets. Given the situation, Winderman argues the rejection of the offer further proves how valuable Miami views Winslow.

Kings To Sign Kosta Koufos

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The Kings will sign Kosta Koufos to a four-year deal worth $33MM, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal will include a player option after the third season that will allow him to return to free agency during the summer of 2018, Stein adds (Twitter link).

The center had previously received interest from the Mavs, Magic, Celtics and Lakers in addition to the Kings. Koufos is the second center the team has added this offseason. Sacramento drafted Willie Cauley-Stein with the No. 6 overall pick in this year’s draft. The moves seem to be correspond with DeMarcus Cousins‘ insistence to play more minutes at the power forward position. The team now has the depth to accommodate such an arrangement. The signing also gives Sacramento a back-up plan if the Cousins-George Karl relationship is found to be unsalvageable and the team opts to trade the 24-year-old. Koufos previously played under coach Karl for two and a half seasons as a member of the Nuggets.

Koufos averaged 5.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game last season. The 26-year-old was the ninth best center defensively, according to ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus.

Central Notes: James, Jackson, Bucks

LeBron James won’t begin contract talks with the Cavaliers until negotiations with Tristan Thompson are completed, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Cleveland is trying to reach a new deal with the 24-year-old, but talks are currently stalled. Thompson and the Cavaliers discussed a deal this week worth more than $80MM.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Free agent guard Reggie Jackson was part of the crowd for the Pistons‘ summer league opener today in Orlando, writes Terry Foster of The Detroit News. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said there is no indication Jackson is negotiating with other teams and the team hopes to meet with him soon to work out a new contract. He took Jackson’s presence today as a positive step. “It is a sign he wants to be here,” Van Gundy said.
  • After they agreed to terms with Greg Monroe earlier this week, Zach Lowe of Grantland believes the Bucks will look to trade away one of their frontcourt players.
  • The agreement between Khris Middleton and the Bucks came together so fast that other teams didn’t even get a real chance to speak with the 23-year-old, Lowe writes in a separate piece.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

Magic To Sign C.J. Watson

8:20pm: The final season is partially guaranteed for $1MM, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.

8:57am: The Magic and Watson have reached an agreement on a three-year, $15MM deal, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter).

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

12:09am: The Magic are nearing an agreement with unrestricted free agent C.J. Watson, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). It’s unclear as to the length and amount of the arrangement the two sides are discussing, though the guard is intent on securing a deal for the mid-level exception, as J. Michael of CSNWashington.com relayed earlier this week. Watson would provide backcourt depth behind Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton.

Watson, 31, appeared in 57 contests for the Pacers during the 2014/15 season, averaging 10.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 24.9 minutes per night, and owned a slash line of .434/.400/.826. His career numbers are 7.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG, while shooting .425/.383/.806.

The Wizards, Clippers, and Mavericks were all reported to have interest in Watson. The point guard had expressed a desire to return to the Pacers back in April, saying, ”Hopefully I’ll be back here. I like it in Indy. I love the team and the atmosphere of the city. We’ll see what happens. It’s not really in my hands. So we’ll see.

Western Notes: McDaniels, Boozer, Suns

The Rockets‘ plan is to match any offer sheet that K.J. McDaniels signs and potentially look at trade opportunities, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The shooting guard previously expressed his desire to remain in Houston.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

Knicks To Acquire O’Quinn In Sign-And-Trade

The Knicks have agreed to acquire Kyle O’Quinn via sign-and-trade with the Magic, according to Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). The deal will be for $16 over four years, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The contract contains an opt out after the third season, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Orlando will receive cash considerations as well as the rights to swap a second-round draft pick in 2019, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Magic had the right to match any offer sheet that O’Quinn signed since they extended a qualifying offer to the 25-year-old.

The big man averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in  16.2 minutes per game with Orlando last season. Although he started his NBA career as a center, O’Quinn played over two-thirds of his minutes at the four spot last season, per Basketball Reference.

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Hughes, Kanter, Durant

The Blazers will miss LaMarcus Aldridge‘s production but not his ego, writes Jason Quick of The Oregonian. Quick contends there was a “general exhaustion” with Aldridge in Portland, citing frequent attempts to sit out games with minor aliments and a failure to get over long-ago incidents. The columnist notes a growing rift between Aldridge and Damian Lillard caused by Aldridge’s insecurity. He also believes the Blazers are in good hands with Lillard as the new team leader.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Kim Hughes, the assistant coach who said Aldridge would leave Portland, was fired today, Quick writes in a separate story. “We can confirm Mr. Hughes is no longer with the team,” said Neil Olshey, Portland’s president of basketball operations. Team officials were reportedly “enraged” by the comments from Hughes, who has served as the Blazers’ big man coach for the past three seasons.
  • Aldridge admired the Spurs for years before today’s decision to join the organization, according to Ben Golliver of SI.com. Aldridge accumulated a slew of individual honors during his nine years in Portland, but only advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs once. That one trip to the second round ended with a sweep by San Antonio. “They never stop playing,” Aldridge said at the time. “If you guard their first option, they’ve got a second option. If you guard their second option, they’ve got a third option. They’re persistent. They’re not going to change. They’re going to run their stuff over and over and over. Once you mess up, they’re going to make you pay.”
  • The Aldridge decision could have far-reaching draft implications for the Blazers, according to Mike Tokito of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Portland owes a first-round pick to the Nuggets, but the Blazers will keep that over the next two seasons if they miss the playoffs. After that, the obligation will become two second-rounders.
  • Thunder free agent center Enes Kanter could become a target for the Blazers, tweets Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. He notes that Portland needs a center and has the cap space to throw a big offer at Kanter.
  • The Thunder’s Kevin Durant is reporting progress on the foot injury that cost him most of last season, according to Andy Vasquez of The Record (Twitter link). “Going well,” Durant said of his rehab. “I’m jumping when I’m shooting. Not quite running and cutting yet but I’m almost there … I’m excited.”
  • The Jazz are delaying the signing of first-round pick Trey Lyles to give themselves more cap room for possible transactions, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. There are also some minor details the sides are working out (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: McGee, Crawford, Hibbert, Cousins

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers plans to talk to free agent center JaVale McGee today, reports Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports. L.A. is seeking a replacement for DeAndre Jordan, who announced Friday that he will sign a four-year deal with the Mavericks. The Clippers have approximately $2.2MM in exception space available over the league minimum salary of $1.4MM, according to Wojnarowski. McGee, 27, has been a free agent since being waived by the Sixers in March.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers may try to trade Jamal Crawford in their quest for a new center, according to speculation from one executive who spoke with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Crawford will make $5.675MM next season.
  • It’s unlikely that the Clippers can swing a three-team deal to land Roy Hibbert, according to Broderick Turner and Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times. There have been discussions about a trade that would send a newly signed Jordan to Dallas, a newly signed Monta Ellis to the Pacers and Hibbert to Los Angeles. However, it seems unlikely that Dallas would agree to help a potential rival for a playoff spot.
  • The Lakers haven’t tried to reopen trade talks for Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, tweets Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. He notes that Sacramento isn’t interested in dealing Cousins, despite reported discussions between the teams last month.
  • The Kings‘ reported interest in Denver guard Ty Lawson was exaggerated, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Trade rumors surrounding Lawson have intensified since the Nuggets drafted Emmanuel Mudiay. Free agent point guard Rajon Rondo announced Friday that he intends to sign with Sacramento.