The way teams discuss their own pending restricted free agents is under fire from the National Basketball Players Association, which has officially taken the position that the traditional “we’ll match any offer” comments so often made by NBA executives are a circumvention of the salary cap in their intent to discourage potential rival bidders, Marc Stein of ESPN.com writes. The league had issued a memo back in November warning teams that, while the NBA itself doesn’t agree with the NBPA’s stance on the matter, league officials see enough potential merit in the union’s stance to advise those who continue with match-any-offer comments that they could be opening themselves up to legal action, Stein notes.
The ESPN scribe’s sources informed him that this impetus stems from Klutch Sports agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini, who urged the NBPA to challenge the way that teams have historically dropped none-too-subtle hints about their plans to match offers in an attempt to depress the market for restricted free agents. This movement stems from the willingness of new NBPA head Michele Roberts to aggressively speak up for the players, Stein adds. It’s not too surprising to see Paul and Termini at the center of this, given that they represent Eric Bledsoe, whose restricted free agency dragged on for months last year after the Suns pledged to match any offer. The duo also represent Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Norris Cole, all of whom could become restricted free agents this offseason.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Unrestricted free agent Amar’e Stoudemire said that he’d love to return to the Mavericks next season, but is also potentially interested in returning to play for the Suns or Knicks, Jared Zwerling of BleacherReport tweets.
- Euroleague guard Daniel Hackett intends to void his contract with Emporio Armani Milano in order to pursue an NBA contract, David Pick of Eurobasket.com relays (Twitter link). The 27-year-old out of USC went undrafted back in 2009.
- The Blazers held workouts on Friday for Gary Bell Jr. (Gonzaga), Seth Gearhart (Rice), Jelani Hewitt (Georgia Southern), Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), and Thomas van der Mars (Netherlands), the team announced.