A.J. Price Rumors
March 29 at 8:56am CST By Luke Adams
The Lakers announced yesterday that Metta World Peace underwent successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will miss six weeks. Whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs, World Peace's season could be over, and Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wondered yesterday if the veteran forward has played his last game as a Laker.
World Peace isn't necessarily in the final year of his contract, since he has a player option for next season. However, if he exercises that option, he becomes a prime candidate to be amnestied. If he declines the option, he'll hit unrestricted free agency. Either way, the man formerly known as Ron Artest may sign a new contract before he plays in his next NBA game.
A number of players are in the same situation as World Peace, with potential free agency looming and an injury keeping them off the court. Here are a few guys who we may not see play for their current teams again, and whose free agent stocks could be affected by their current injuries:
- Leandro Barbosa (Wizards): If you'd forgotten Barbosa was on the Wizards' roster, you're probably not alone. Acquired for salary purposes in the deal that sent Jordan Crawford to Boston, Barbosa is on an expiring minimum-salary contract, and his ACL/MCL injury may hurt his chances of signing another deal this offseason. Having suffered the season-ending injury in February, he probably won't be healthy in time for fall camps.
- Rodrigue Beaubois (Mavericks): Eligible for restricted free agency this summer, Beaubois underwent surgery on his hand last week, and is unlikely to return this season. I doubt the Mavs will make him a qualifying offer, and there's a good chance he doesn't return to Dallas.
- Andrew Bynum (76ers): As well-documented as any non-Derrick Rose injury this season, Bynum's ongoing knee troubles will certainly hurt his earning potential in free agency this summer, and may also ensure he never plays a game with the Sixers.
- Richard Hamilton (Bulls): While Hamilton remains optimistic that he'll play again this season, his ongoing health problems will likely lead the Bulls to part ways with him this summer. Hamilton's $5MM salary for 2013/14 is partially guaranteed, so he figures to receive a $1MM buyout and hit the free agent market.
- Sasha Pavlovic (Trail Blazers): Pavlovic's quad injury has kept him out of action for more than a month, but even if he were healthy, he doesn't appear to be part of the Trail Blazers' plans. Although he's under contract for two more seasons, both years are non-guaranteed, so he may find himself seeking a new deal this July.
- A.J. Price (Wizards): Price earned 22 starts this season for the Wizards, so perhaps the team will have interest in bringing him back next year. He's eager to return to the court to try to improve his free agent stock, but for now, groin issues are keeping him out indefinitely.
- Brandon Roy (Timberwolves): All the time Roy has missed this season with knee problems ensured that the second year of his contract with the Timberwolves became non-guaranteed, and there's virtually no chance the Wolves will retain him and his $5.33MM salary. If Roy is forced to call it a career at season's end, it would be an unfortunate way for him to go out, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we're headed.
- Brandon Rush (Warriors): After going down during the season's first week, Rush underwent knee surgery in January that ended his year. Fortunately for him, he's got a $4MM player option for 2013/14, so he figures to be returning to the Warriors rather than looking for work next year.
- Jason Smith (Hornets): Out for the season with a torn labrum, Smith, like Hamilton, has a partially guaranteed contract for 2013/14. The price to keep him wouldn't be exorbitant - $1MM of his $2.5MM salary is guaranteed - so we'll have to wait and see what the Hornets decide.
- Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace (Knicks): A pair of aging Knicks bigs on expiring contracts, it would be a little surprising to see both Thomas and Wallace playing in the NBA next year, even if they return in the playoffs. Even if Thomas and Wallace wanted to extend their playing careers, their latest foot issues would raise red flags for any interested teams.
- Elliot Williams (Trail Blazers): Unlike some other players on this list, Williams is no lock to receive an NBA contract, especially if he can't show that he's healthy before the fall. That's probably why, even after surgery on his achilles, he talked about wanting to return to the court in '12/13 and auditioning in the Summer League.
March 28 at 8:38pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Bucks take on the Lakers tonight in a battle of teams currently occupying eighth place in their respective conferences, and while it seems the Lakers are the only team in the matchup that has to worry about making the postseason, the Bucks aren't moving any closer to clinching their spot. Milwaukee lost to the ninth-place Sixers last night, and Philadelphia could move within six games of the Bucks if the Lakers win tonight. Of course, six games back with 11 to play is quite a hill to climb, but the Bucks would surely feel more confident if they could break their four-game losing streak. Here's more on another team that's backsliding and more from around the East:
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
- While it appeared to be a near-lock that the Thunder would receive the Raptors' 2013 first-round pick, Toronto's recent slide may improve their odds of keeping it, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. The pick is protected from 1-3 and 15-30, and if the Raptors keep losing, it's not out of the question that they finish with the league's fourth- or fifth-worst record, says Wolstat. As our tentative draft order shows, the Raps are currently tied for the NBA's ninth-worst mark.
- A.J. Price has been out for more than two weeks with a groin strain, and with just 11 games left in the season for the Wizards, the point guard is worried he won't get another chance to improve his free agent stock, as J. Michael of CSNWashington.com details. "It adds to the frustration but what can you do? What can you do? Injuries are part of the game. Just trying to get myself back to form as quick as possible so I can showcase what I can do for everybody and make a statement," he said."I’m really trying to get back on the court."
- John Wall, heading into a summer when he'll be eligible for an extension from the Wizards, has been drawing plenty of praise of late, observes USA Today's Sean Highkin.
- If Jimmy Butler continues to show the improvement he's displayed of late, the Bulls could have a tough decision in the summer of 2014, when Luol Deng will be a free agent and Butler will be eligible for an extension, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
December 9 at 12:15pm CST By Chuck Myron
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports via Twitter that Ben Uzoh is working out today for the Wizards, who will be without point guard A.J. Price for four to six weeks because of a broken hand, as Michael Lee of The Washington Post reveals. Shaun Livingston is the only healthy point guard left for Washington, which is at the 15-man roster limit, meaning someone would have to be waived if Uzoh is to be signed. That would most likely be Earl Barron, who's on a non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary.
Uzoh, who was in training camp with the Nuggets, is currently with the D-League's Springfield Armor. He's appeared in 60 games over the past two seasons with three NBA teams, including a 16-game stint with the Raptors last year in which he started eight contests and averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game.
Lee, when he reported the news of Price's injury, didn't expect the team to sign another point guard, instead believing Washington would simply shift more ball-handling duties onto Jordan Crawford. The Wizards are already on the hook for the partial guarantee of $300K on the contract of Jannero Pargo, whom they waived to sign Livingston. They're paying the same amount to point guard Shelvin Mack after cutting him loose at the end of training camp. The team has had issues at point guard all season long in the absence of John Wall, who has no timetable for his return from a left patella injury.
The Wizards, who are over the cap, have $3.1MM of their mid-level exception and their full $1.957MM bi-annual exception at their disposal if they want to add someone for more than the minimum salary. Yet given the dearth of intriguing options on the list of available free agent point guards, it seems unlikely they'll have to dip into either exception.
July 24 at 1:14pm CST By Luke Adams
1:14pm: The Wizards have officially signed Price, the team announced in a press release. The deal is for one year, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
11:04am: Looking to land a point guard to back up John Wall, the Wizards have agreed to sign A.J. Price, reports Michael Lee of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Terms of the deal aren't yet known.
A former second-round pick, Price has spent the first three years of his career with the Pacers. The 25-year-old has averaged 6.0 points and 2.0 assists in 14.9 minutes per game in 150 career contests. Because he has only been in the NBA for three years, Price was eligible for restricted free agency this summer, but after he posted a career-low 3.9 PPG and .339 FG% in 2011/12, the 6'2" guard did not receive a qualifying offer from Indiana.
As our Free Agent Tracker shows, the Wizards have been all but inactive on the free agent market this summer. Before Price, Washington's only other free agent activity had involved re-signing Cartier Martin for less than $1MM.
July 17 at 8:42pm CST By Luke Adams
A couple more notable names came off the free agent market this morning, when Kris Humphries landed a two-year deal from the Nets and Grant Hill agreed to sign with the Clippers. While a number of solid rotation players are still available, the market is rapidly thinning for teams in search of starters. As clubs continue to jockey to sign the remaining available players, we'll track many of today's free agent rumors right here:
- Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com clarifies that Spurs guard Patty Mills re-signed with San Antonio for the value of his qualifying offer of about $1.08MM with a $1.13MM player option for 2013-14 (Twitter link).
- Jason Quick of The Oregonian says that the Trail Blazers could target free agent point guard A.J. Price (Twitter link), also mentioning that Price's agent, Jeff Schwartz, declined to comment.
- The Cavaliers, Rockets, Timberwolves, Hornets, 76ers, Suns, Trail Blazers, Kings, and Raptors are all eligible to make a bid on recently amnestied Andray Blatche (Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets). Mannix also says (via Twitter) that although doesn't expect a team to bid, Blatche will draw interest as an unrestricted free agent.
- Mike Trudell of KCAL-9 in Los Angeles tweets that owner Jim Buss has reiterated GM Mitch Kupchak's comments that the team would like to re-sign Jordan Hill.
- John Reid of the Times Picayune writes that the Hornets are interested in Ryan Hollins.
- The Clippers' agreement with Hill likely takes them out of the running for Marco Belinelli, but Belinelli is still drawing interest, says Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld. Pincus names the Bulls, Magic, Warriors, and Knicks as potential suitors.
- Mavericks VP of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says the Mavs are still interested in bringing back Delonte West, who has "other options on the table he's going through." Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News has the details.
- Raja Bell, who is attempting to work out a trade or buyout from the Jazz, hasn't heard from the Heat, but has drawn interest from six other teams, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida.
- Anthony Randolph has "more than piqued" the Nuggets' curiousity, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- Nuggets coach George Karl has a standing offer out to unrestricted free agent Anthony Carter to become an assistant coach under Karl whenever his playing career is over, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link). However, Carter still believes he can help a team as a third point guard and hopes to play for a couple more years, according to Tomasson.
- Despite rumors of overseas interest, Sonny Weems continues to seek an NBA contract, agent Roger Montgomery tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).
- The Nets' next move might be signing Nazr Mohammed or Ryan Hollins as a backup center, tweets TNT's David Aldridge.
- The Clippers are also looking to add a big, and are eyeing Hollins and Darko Milicic, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- In a piece for ESPN Deportes, Andres Nocioni confirms he'll continue playing for Caja Laboral in Spain next season rather than returning to the NBA (hat tip to Sportando for the translation).
July 8 at 9:43pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Pacers will renounce their rights to A.J. Price, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. The Pacers had tendered a qualifying offer of about $1.09MM to Price, but presumably that deal is now off the table. The move should have a neglible effect on Indiana's ability to match the Blazers' offer sheet to Roy Hibbert and go after other free agents.
June 29 at 10:43pm CST By Luke Adams
With the NBA's 2012 free agent period just two days away, teams continue to extend qualifying offers to free agents in order to make them restricted. If a qualifying offer is not tendered to a player eligible for restricted free agency, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Players who are tendered qualifying offers have the option to accept the one-year contract and hit unrestricted free agency a year from now, but the primary purpose of the offers are to ensure that the player's team can match any offers for him this summer. We'll track today's qualifying offer updates right here, with the latest added to the top of the page....
- The Cavs have made a qualifying offer to Luke Harangody, according to the joint Twitter account of Plain Dealer writers Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jodie Valade. The tender is expected to be around $1.05MM.
- The Jazz have tendered Jeremy Evans a qualifying offer, tweets Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune. The offer should be about $1.05MM.
- The Bobcats have extended qualifying offers to D.J. Augustin and Derrick Brown, the team announced. Augustin's should be for $4,385,416, with Brown's valued at $1,085,120.
- The Cavs extended a qualifying offer to Alonzo Gee, writes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The tender is thought to be $3,342,175.
- The Celtics have extended a qualifying offer to Greg Stiemsma, tweets Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link). It should be worth $1,054,389.
- The Lakers have extended qualifying offers to both Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (via Twitter).
- Sonny Weems, who spent the season overseas, has received a qualifying offer from the Raptors, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. It should be worth about $1.09MM.
- The Grizzlies have extended qualifying offers to Darrell Arthur ($3MM) and Marreese Speights ($4.39MM), tweets Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. O.J. Mayo and Lester Hudson did not receive qualifying offers from Memphis.
- The Raptors have tendered Jerryd Bayless a qualifying offer, says SI.com's Zach Lowe. Bayless failed to meet the starter criteria, so he should receive a QO of about $4MM.
- The Pacers have extended qualifying offers to Roy Hibbert, George Hill, and A.J. Price, according to RealGM's transactions log. Hibbert's offer will be for about $4.39MM, Hill's for $2.27MM, and Price's for $1.09MM.
- The Bulls have officially extended Omer Asik a qualifying offer, according to RealGM. It's worth about $2.32MM.
- Courtney Lee has received a qualifying offer from the Rockets, according to RealGM. Since he met the CBA's starter criteria, it should be worth about $4.39MM.
- The Sixers have tendered a qualifying offer to Lavoy Allen, according to RealGM. The 23-year-old should receive an offer worth about $962K.
May 12 at 9:37pm CST By Ryan Raroque
- The Knicks will be looking for another point guard to partner with Jeremy Lin, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Among Berman's list of targets are Kirk Hinrich, Gary Neal, Derek Fisher, A.J. Price, Jannero Pargo, and Jonny Flynn. He also mentions Ramon Sessions, Raymond Felton, Goran Dragic, Andre Miller, Jameer Nelson, and Steve Nash, but I think that the names on this latter list would only be sought after if contract talks with Lin were to somehow fall apart.
- After recently having his interim tag removed, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald has a lot of work cut out for him in the upcoming months, says Al Iannazzone of Newsday. He also adds that with the mid-level likely committed to Lin and no first-round pick, Grunwald will have to be creative with trades and free agency in order to address their back court needs. In another article, Iannazzone goes over the five biggest questions facing the team moving forward.
- Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News speculates that Jason Terry could be on his way out if Deron Williams lands with the Mavericks (subscribers only).
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld engaged in his weekly NBA chat with fans. Here are some of his notable thoughts: the Magic may try to package their #19 pick along with Jason Richardson or Chris Duhon to create cap relief, Austin Rivers' game is comparable to Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford, and predicts that Dwight Howard will wind up signing with the Nets eventually.
- Bob Young of the Arizona Republic offers his input on the chances of reportedly interested teams in their pursuit of Steve Nash. Phoenix, Toronto, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, and Portland are given consideration.
- John Rohde of NewsOK explores how the support of his Thunder teammates has played a pivotal role in Eric Maynor's road to recovery from a torn ACL.
March 9 at 7:14pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Lakers are about to tip off their game with the Timberwolves tonight, and they catch a break, as Kevin Love is out with back spasms. Still, on the heels of ugly losses to the Pistons and Wizards in their last two outings, the Lakers must know they can't take any team for granted. There's been talk of a deal between the Lakers and Rockets for Pau Gasol today, but for now nothing appears imminent. In the meantime, here's the rest of what's going on in L.A.:
March 8 at 4:32pm CST By Luke Adams
The Timberwolves and Trail Blazers may be discussing a deal involving Jamal Crawford and Luke Ridnour, while the Pacers also have some interest in Crawford, as we learned yesterday. This morning, we also heard that the T-Wolves appear to be the frontrunner for the Blazers shooting guard. We'll continue to track the latest updates on the Crawford sweepstakes here throughout the day, with the newest additions up top:
- Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge reports that the Pacers and Blazers have discussed Crawford, with Portland asking for A.J. Price and a first-round pick. A source tells Golliver that "the first team to give Portland a first round pick for Crawford will have him" (Twitter links).
- The Blazers' asking price for Crawford includes a first-round pick in addition to either Ridnour for the Wolves or Eric Bledsoe for the Clippers, says Ken Berger of CBS Sports. That could pose a problem for the Clips, who have already traded both first-rounders they owned for 2012.
- Timberwolves GM David Kahn is downplaying the team's interest in making a deadline deal, says Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Kahn says the Wolves are "not looking to address anything this season" and that he doesn't mind having three point guards in Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, and Ridnour. The GM did leave the door open slightly though, noting that there's still an "eternity" until next Thursday's deadline.
- Asked if he was feeling affected by the trade rumors, Crawford told Haynes: "I wouldn't say me so much me, but the people around me for sure. Because decisions like that just don't affect you, they affect everybody."