Free Agent Rumors: ‘Melo, Ariza, Stephenson

July 7 2014 at 6:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Lakers aggressively pitched to Carmelo Anthony the idea that he can be the star of the team once Kobe Bryant‘s contract expires in 2016, as Ian Begley of hears (Twitter link). ‘Melo was to have taken the weekend to make his free agent choice, but it appears he still hasn’t made up his mind. Here’s more from a wild Monday of free agency:

  • The Cavs, Lakers, Heat and Mavs are all pursuing Trevor Ariza, tweets Ken Berger of The Wizards are presumably still in the hunt, as well. The swingman is seeking salaries of $9-11MM, Berger adds.
  • The Mavs have indeed shown interest in Lance Stephenson, reversing their previous stance against signing him, reports Chris Broussard of, but it’s still very unlikely the shooting guard will end up in Dallas, tweets Tim MacMahon of The Pacers‘ recent five-year, $45MM offer disappointed the Alberto Ebanks client, who’s begun shopping for other teams, Broussard writes.
  • The Celtics are also interested in Stephenson, Broussard adds (via Twitter).
  • Marc Stein of (on Twitter) continues to hear that the Thunder are ahead of the Heat in the Anthony Morrow chase.  Along with Pau Gasol, Morrow has been a prime OKC target in free agency.
  • A Chinese team offered Sebastian Telfair a two-year, $7MM deal as word of an impending deal with the Thunder leaked, agent Joel Bell tells Shams Charania of RealGM. Telfair passed that up to strike a one-year, minimum-salary agreement with the Thunder.
  • Paul Pierce‘s representatives are telling teams that he’s looking for a two-year deal worth $9-10MM per season, according to Chris Mannix of (on Twitter). The Jeff Schwartz client is waiting to see if teams are willing to offer more money once the first-tier free agents come off the board, Mannix adds (Twitter link).
  • The Nets, Trail Blazers and Spurs have worked out free agent Ivan Johnson, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • The Hornets are among the teams set to meet with unrestricted free agent Kent Bazemore, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
  • Free agent Matt Bonner has remained in contact with the Spurs on a possible reunion and is waiting for the roster to unfold, sources tell RealGM’s Shams Charania (on Twitter).  No other clubs are in the mix for him yet.
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