Bulls, Cavs Angling For Love, Nuggets In Mix

July 22 at 3:40pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:08pm: The general belief is that the Wolves asked for Joakim Noah when they held preliminary talks about Love with the Bulls prior to the draft last month, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Presumably, Chicago rebuffed Minnesota on that point.

3:40pm: Dieng’s name hasn’t come up in talks with Cleveland, and neither has Martin’s, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Krawczynski cautions that Martin’s name was indeed a part of talks with the Warriors earlier in the offseason (Twitter links).

2:44pm: Gorgui Dieng‘s name has also come up in talks between the Cavs and Wolves, sources tell Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link).

2:11pm: Cleveland’s search for non-guaranteed contracts are in fact in an effort to sweeten their offer for Love, Wojnarowski writes in a full story, as they would provide cap relief for Minnesota once waived. The Cavs are also dangling future first-round picks in search of an experienced center, sources tell Wojnarowski, though it’s unclear if that, too, is related to Love. Wojnarowski is among the reporters contending that the Cavs are willing to put Wiggins in the deal, a point of frequent debate.

The Nuggets also remain in play for Love, according to Wojnarowski, and their package is Minnesota’s favorite outside of Cleveland’s and Golden State’s, if the Warriors were to relent and offer Klay Thompson. Denver reportedly offered multiple packages in June, but it’s unclear what the Nuggets have on the table now. The Wolves are insisting that teams take on J.J. Barea as part of any Love trade, and possibly Kevin Martin, too, Wojnarowski adds.

1:15pm: The Wolves also like Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, but their priority remains acquiring Wiggins if possible, Wolfson tweets.

12:57pm: The Bulls are indeed making another push to get involved in the Love sweepstakes, report Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The general belief is that the Wolves would seek Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and other assets from Chicago, according to Stein and Windhorst. The Bulls and Warriors were seemingly Love’s top two destinations when he made a push to be traded in May, but Chicago put any pursuit of him on the backburner while it chased Carmelo Anthony.

Still, the Cavs remain in the lead for Love and are increasingly optimistic that they can find a package that will work for the Wolves, Stein and Windhorst write. Their offer would center around Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick, Stein and Windhorst hear, echoing a report last week from fellow ESPN scribe Chris Broussard and perhaps signaling a renewed willingness from Cleveland to part with Wiggins.

11:09am: The notion of including Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love appears to be a matter the Cavs have tabled for now, but Cleveland remains in daily contact with the Wolves, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Wolves are ready to pull off a deal, but the Cavs are reticent to trade future first-round picks, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears (Twitter link). Minnesota is interested in the protected 2015 first-round picks the Cavs have coming from the Heat and Grizzlies, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

The Bulls could find themselves in position to acquire Love, especially given the presence of Nikola Mirotic on the roster, if the Cavs won’t give up the picks the Wolves want, sources also tell Woelfel (Twitter link). As Mirotic was finalizing his buyout from Real Madrid of Spain, he reportedly wanted the Bulls to assure him that he wouldn’t be traded, though it’s unclear if Chicago ever addressed that issue.

The Cavs are on the prowl for non-guaranteed contracts that they can flip and use as trade ballast in subsequent deals, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Cleveland remains under the cap, so it isn’t subject to a two-month waiting period that would prevent it from immediately aggregating salary it received via trade in another swap. It appears as though the Cavs are going after these contracts at least in part to help build their portfolio for a Love trade, though that’s just my speculation.

Bulls Sign Aaron Brooks

July 22 at 2:47pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls have signed point guard Aaron Brooks, the team announced on its website. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported a few days ago that the sides were close to a deal, not long after Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com indentified mutual interest. It’ll have to be a minimum-salary arrangement, since the Bulls are capped out and already spent their room exception on Kirk Hinrich, and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune wrote last week that it would be for the minimum.

The Creative Artists Agency client split last season between the Rockets and Nuggets, turning in a strong performance for an injury-ravaged Denver team down the stretch. He averaged 11.9 points. 5.2 assists and 2.3 turnovers in 29.0 minutes per game over 29 appearances.

Brooks, 29, will vie with Kirk Hinrich to become the primary backup to Derrick Rose, with former Bulls point guard D.J. Augustin having signed with the Pistons for three years and $6MM. The six-year veteran Brooks started all 82 games for the Rockets in 2009/10, so he gives the Bulls a trusty insurance policy at a low cost should Rose once more be injured.

Bulls Sign Doug McDermott

July 22 at 2:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls have signed No. 11 overall pick Doug McDermott, the team announced via press release. The sharpshooting forward from Creighton will likely receive a salary of nearly $2.278MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows.

Chicago acquired the rights to McDermott on draft night in a trade with the Nuggets. McDermott was a consensus All-American during each of his final three seasons with the Blue Jays, and he averaged 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds with 44.9% three-point shooting from behind the arc this past season. His defense is a concern, but his ability to stretch the floor with his shot certainly isn’t, as Cray Allred of Hoops Rumors examined when he compiled McDermott’s Prospect Profile.

The timing of the announcement is somewhat curious, since McDermott’s name surfaced in a report earlier today as a player the Wolves are high on as the Bulls make another run at trading for Kevin Love. The Bulls will have to wait 30 days to trade McDermott after having signed him, but they could have traded his rights immediately had they held off on officially coming to terms.

Nets Sign Bojan Bogdanovic

July 22 at 2:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Nets have signed draft-and-stash prospect Bojan Bogdanovic, the team announced via press release. It’s a three-year, $10.1MM deal, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), so it’s likely the team is signing him for the full value of the taxpayer’s mid-level exception. That’s the framework that Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com outlined when it appeared, as Tim Bontemps of the New York Post reported, that the sides were close to a deal. Youngmisuk also said the deal would include a player option, though it’s not entirely clear if that’s indeed a part of the arrangement.

Bogdanovic has spent the past three seasons playing for Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey after he became the 31st overall pick of the 2011 draft. The Nets acquired his rights on draft night, and struck a deal to sign him a year ago. Complications regarding his buyout from Fenerbahce caused that agreement to come apart, but this time, the Nets were able to make it official.

The 25-year-old Bogdanovic averaged 13.4 points and 35.0% three-point shooting this past season in Turkey. He’s not to be confused with Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Suns drafted 27th overall in June, and who signed with the same Turkish team earlier this month.

Warriors Sign Brandon Rush

July 22 at 1:34pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 22ND: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 16TH: The Warriors and Brandon Rush have reached agreement on a two-year deal with a player option for the final season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). It’ll be worth a total of $2.5MM, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link), a number that Woj confirms in his full story. It would nonetheless seem logical that the precise value is $2,416,649, which would be his minimum salary for this coming season and 2015/16, since capped-out Golden State is without its biannual exception this year and already committed nearly all of its mid-level to Shaun Livingston.

Rush is coming off a two-year deal worth $8MM that he signed with the Warriors in 2012, after shooting 45.2% from three-point range off the bench in 2011/12 for Golden State. He only appeared in two games the following season, suffering a torn ACL, and the Warriors shipped him to the Jazz for this past season, a year in which he saw a career-low 11.0 minutes per game.

The Mark Bartelstein client seemed on his way out of Utah late last season, and the Jazz recently renounced his rights. Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke highly of Rush in advance of a workout he staged for multiple NBA teams, and it appears the Golden State brass saw enough to convince them to bring the 29-year-old back to the Bay.

And-Ones: Kings, Turner, Mudiay, Union, Bulls

July 22 at 12:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told Grantland’s Zach Lowe that the two keys to his rebuilding strategy are to surrender nothing of lasting value in exchange for capable veterans like Rudy Gay and to be willing to take quality players on inflated contracts.

“There are players that are being paid more than the league thinks they should be paid,” D’Alessandro said. “We see those contracts as an opportunity. Our first question is, ‘Do we like the player?’ If we do, then can we use a contract the league doesn’t look favorably on as an opportunity to make our team better?”

We passed along more on the Kings from Lowe this morning, and we’ve got plenty from around the rest of the league here:

  • The Celtics had been in contact with Evan Turner almost every day between the start of free agency and Monday, when they reached agreement on a deal, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t the first well-regarded high school player to turn pro overseas rather than play in college, but his $1.2MM pact with Guangdong of China makes him the most highly compensated ever to have done so, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Three candidates remain for the players association’s vacant executive director position, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. The job has been open since the union ousted Billy Hunter at the All-Star break in 2013 and installed Ron Klempner in an interim capacity. It’s unclear whether Klempner is one of the finalists.
  • Cameron Bairstow‘s deal with the Bulls is for three years, starting at the minimum salary, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. That means the team used all but a sliver of its remaining cap space to sign the rookie out of New Mexico, whom the Bulls picked 49th overall in last month’s draft. The first season of Bairstow’s contract is the only one that’s fully guaranteed, Johnson adds.
  • Chris Andersen‘s two-year deal with the Heat is for a total of $10.4MM, all of which is fully guaranteed, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

Players Who’ve Signed Qualifying Offers

July 22 at 10:02am CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Seraphin is by no means an exceptional NBA player, but Friday he did something that only 16 others have done since the implementation of rookie scale contracts in 1995: he signed his qualifying offer. Usually, the one-year qualifying offer is a mere placeholder for negotiation between a team and a restricted free agent, a vehicle for the club to retain its right to match offers from other teams. Still, a few players have gone ahead and taken the qualifying offer out of a desire to hit unrestricted free agency as soon as possible. A larger group among the 17 who have signed qualifying offers did so because there was no better offer on the market, and presumably Seraphin is among them.

Occasionally, a marquee restricted free agent will threaten to sign a qualifying offer to attempt to spook his team into a more player-friendly negotiating stance, lest the team lose the player to unrestricted free agency a year later. A report suggested that Greg Monroe might have done so this month, but rarely does this tactic come to fruition. The most sought-after restricted free agent to sign his qualifying offer was probably Ben Gordon in 2008, though it’s worth noting that the strategy seemed to work for him, as he fled for a lucrative deal with the Pistons the next summer.

Most players who sign qualifying offers don’t stick with their teams for long. Spencer Hawes is the only player to sign a contract with the same team with which he signed a qualifying offer the year before.

Not every player who receives a qualifying offer is coming off a rookie scale contract. Any player with three or fewer years of NBA experience is subject to restricted free agency if his team tenders a qualifying offer. In some cases, players have signed qualifying offers and have still been eligible for restricted free agency the next offseason. The Lakers carried two such players in 2012/13. Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris had signed qualifying offers in 2012 to remain with the team for that season, though the Lakers declined to tender qualifying offers to either of them in 2013.

With the help of RealGM.comShamSportsStorytellers ContractsPatricia Bender’s database and our own archives, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of players who’ve signed qualifying offers since 1995, including information on the next NBA deal each player signed. They’re listed in reverse chronological order below:

  • Kevin Seraphin signed a qualifying offer of $3,898,692 from the Wizards on 7/18/14.
  • Ivan Johnson signed a qualifying offer of $962,195 from the Hawks on 9/18/12. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Devin Ebanks signed a qualifying offer of $1,054,389 from the Lakers on 8/13/12. He signed a non-guaranteed training camp invitation from the Mavs on 9/13/13, but he didn’t make the opening-night roster.
  • Luke Harangody signed a qualifying offer of $1,054,389 from the Cavaliers on 7/3/12. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Darius Morris signed a qualifying offer of $962,195 from the Lakers on 7/2/12. He agreed to sign a non-guaranteed training camp invitation from the Sixers on 9/12/13, but he didn’t make the opening-night roster. He later surfaced on a 10-day contract with the Clippers, signed 1/6/14.
  • Nick Young signed a qualifying offer of $3,695,857 from the Wizards on 12/19/11. He was traded to the Clippers 3/15/12, and signed for one year, $5.6MM with the Sixers on 7/6/12.
  • Marco Belinelli signed a qualifying offer of $3,377,604 from the Pelicans on 12/13/11. He signed for one year, $1.957MM with the Bulls on 7/24/12.
  • Spencer Hawes signed a qualifying offer of $4,051,024 from the Sixers on 12/10/11. He re-signed with the Sixers for two years, $13.1MM on 7/12/12.
  • Raymond Felton signed a qualifying offer of $5,501,196 from the Hornets on 9/23/09. Signed with the Knicks for two years, $14.56MM on 7/12/10.
  • Ben Gordon signed a qualifying offer of $6,404,750 from the Bulls on 10/1/08. Signed with the Pistons for five years, $58MM on 7/8/09.
  • Robert Swift signed a qualifying offer of $3,579,131 from the Thunder on 9/11/08. Has not signed another NBA contract.
  • Mickael Pietrus signed a qualifying offer of $3,470,771 from the Warriors on 10/1/07. Signed with the Magic for four years, $21.2MM on 7/10/08.
  • Melvin Ely signed a qualifying offer of $3,303,813 from the Hornets on 10/2/06. He was traded to the Spurs on 2/13/07, and agreed to sign for two years, $1,893,739 (minimum salary) with the Pelicans on 9/13/07.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic signed a qualifying offer of $3,166,155 from the Thunder on 9/19/05. He was traded to the Clippers on 2/14/06, and agreed to sign for five years, $30.247MM with the Lakers on 7/12/06.
  • Stromile Swift signed a qualifying offer of $5,993,105 from the Grizzlies on 9/30/04. Signed with the Rockets for four years, $22.4MM on 8/2/05.
  • Michael Olowokandi signed a qualifying offer of $6,061,214 from the Clippers on 9/23/02. Signed with the Timberwolves for three years, $16,226,100 on 7/17/03.
  • Rasho Nesterovic signed a qualifying offer of $2,436,813 from the Timberwolves on 8/25/02. Signed with the Spurs for six years, $42MM on 7/16/03.

Note: Retired team names (Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, Seattle SuperSonics) have been updated to the current names to avoid confusion. 

Emmanuel Mudiay To Play In China

July 22 at 9:32am CDT By Chuck Myron

9:32am: Mudiay’s one-year deal is worth $1.2MM, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). He’s nonetheless carrying a significant amount of insurance to hedge against future NBA earnings, which stand to be much greater, Wojnarowski also tweets.

8:50am: Highly touted 2015 NBA draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay will spend the 2014/15 season in China after signing with Guangdong of the Chinese Basketball Association, the team announced (translation via Evan Wang of Hupu.com on Twitter). Mudiay recently decided to forgo what would have been his freshman season at Southern Methodist University to pursue professional opportunities abroad.

The 6’5″ point guard is the No. 2 prospect for next year’s draft in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com rankings, and he’s No. 3 in the 2015 mock draft that Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress put together. He’ll follow a path that Brandon Jennings and others have traveled as premiere high school prospects who played international pro ball rather than attend college. Mudiay can’t play in the NBA this season because the league requires that players from the U.S. be at least one year removed from high school.

The move shows the growing influence of the Chinese league, which is rivaling Europe, long the primary hub of basketball outside North America, as a draw for the top international talent. Several NBA veterans have dotted Chinese rosters in recent years, so it seems as though Mudiay will get a taste of the competition to come once he heads to the NBA.

Pistons To Sign Spencer Dinwiddie

July 22 at 9:12am CDT By Zach Links

TUESDAY, 9:12am: The third year isn’t guaranteed, MLive’s David Mayo writes.

MONDAY, 7:22pm: The Pistons and second-round pick Spencer Dinwiddie have agreed to a three-year deal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter).  Dinwiddie was selected with the eighth pick in the second round (38th overall).

The 21-year-old was viewed as a possible lottery candidate before his knee injury last season and was still projected as a late-first round choice by DraftExpress.  The former Colorado standout might be limited in his first NBA campaign, but president/coach Stan Van Gundy and the rest of the front office obviously sees a high ceiling for the shooting guard.  Last season, Dinwiddie averaged 14.7 PPG and 3.8 APG while shooting 41.3% from downtown and 85.7% from the charity stripe.

Latest On Josh Smith

July 22 at 8:21am CDT By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 8:21am: The Smith talks were serious between the Kings and Pistons, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, contradicting part of Wojnarowski’s report. Lowe also suggests there’s a decent chance that they pick up again at some point.

MONDAY, 1:05pm: Van Gundy has told Smith that reports about trade talk with the Kings have been inaccurate and assured him that he’ll begin this coming season with the Pistons, barring an unexpected turn of events, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Kings had called about Smith, but Detroit never heard an offer it liked, and the discussion never reached a serious stage, sources tell Wojnarowski. Smith likes the idea of remaining with the Pistons, Wojnarowski also hears.

SATURDAY, 2:49pm: A source tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that there are “no legs” to reports suggesting that the Kings and Pistons are discussing a deal involving Smith.

THURSDAY, 8:59am: The idea of a Smith deal didn’t intrigue Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, who says it seems like coach Mike Malone is the catalyst for the talks. Stein noted Malone’s fondness for defense in story, one in which Stein also points to Smith’s defensive capabilities as one of the reasons the Kings are pursuing him. Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy didn’t give Smith any promise that he wouldn’t trade him when they met recently, but while Van Gundy is open to trading the forward, he wants value in return, Goodwill also tweets.

8:14am: The Pistons and Kings are once more discussing trade scenarios involving Josh Smith and are on the hunt for a third team to make a deal work, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sacramento remains interested in the 28-year-old forward, as the Kings brass is fond of his defensive capabilities and intrigued by the idea of acquiring a player of his talent without giving up a piece of the team’s core, Stein hears.

The teams reportedly had talks last month before the Pistons put a stop to them, and the framework involved then would have seen Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry off to Detroit, Stein adds. It’s unclear whether any of that trio are subjects of the latest conversations, but Terry is seemingly agitating for an exit for Sacramento, having spoken of his fondness for the Mavericks and criticized Kings teammates DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in a recent interview. The Kings would rather trade Terry than let him buy his way out of his contract, according to Stein.

Smith signed a four-year, $54MM contract with the Pistons a year ago, but the team’s decision to line him up next to Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond was ill-fated, and it’s left the club with a dilemma involving Monroe’s restricted free agency. The Pistons had serious talks with the Blazers about a sign-and-trade that would have sent Monroe to Portland, but the Blazers dropped out of the running for Monroe when they struck a deal with free agent Chris Kaman, Stein reports.

Smith has appeal to the Kings based on his relationship with Rajon Rondo, whom the team has long coveted, as Stein points out. Smith would love to play with Rondo, having called him “my best friend” in an interview this spring in which Smith said he and Rondo have had multiple conversations about the possibility of becoming teammates. The Celtics point guard is poised to become a free agent next summer.