Ben Gordon Rumors

Bobcats Waive Ben Gordon

March 2 at 12:09pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

12:09pm: With Gordon being waived after the date to be playoff eligible, he’ll have to choose between going to a non-postseason team or sitting out until he hits free agency this summer, tweets Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports.

10:55am: The Bobcats have announced via press release that they have officially requested waivers on guard Ben Gordon. This move comes a day after the cutoff for players to be eligible to appear in the postseason when signing with a new team. The announcement was made by President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins. Higgins stated, With the recent acquisition of additional backcourt depth to our roster, we believe this is in the best interests of both parties. We want to thank Ben for his contributions over the past two seasons and wish him the best as he moves on in his career.

Gordon was originally acquired from the Pistons along with a future first-round draft pick on June 26th, 2012, in exchange for Corey Maggette. Gordon appeared in 94 games for the Bobcats and averaged 10.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 1.7 APG over 19.6 minutes per contest. Gordon played in 19 games this season, averaging 5.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 14.7 minutes.

The Raymond Brothers client doesn’t want to hook up with any team that wouldn’t allow him to hit free agency this summer, as he’s currently scheduled to do. The Bulls, Clippers and Rockets had apparently been dangling two-year offers (Twitter links), but with the Bulls signing Jimmer Fredette, and with the Clippers’ recent signings of Danny Granger and Glen Davis, it is unknown if they would still have any interest. The Thunder have also been mentioned as a possibility for Gordon’s services.

Western Notes: Thunder, Granger, Iguodala

March 2 at 8:44am CDT By Eddie Scarito

One of the bigger stories of the week was the Clippers signing Danny Granger for the rest of the season. Despite being in uniform he was unable to play in last night’s game thanks to a “clerical error” that accidentally listed him as inactive. But going forward, Granger should help bolster the team’s weak front line, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLos Angeles.com. Coach Doc Rivers thinks that his best fit on the team might be as a starter, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. This would allow Matt Barnes to return to a bench role and have Granger be more of a defensive asset for the first-team.

Here’s more from out west:

  • The Spurs didn’t land Granger, but Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News doesn’t think the team needs him. Instead, he points to how Boris Diaw‘s numbers and production are comparable to Granger’s.
  • Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman explores the possibility of the Thunder signing Ben Gordon if he is waived by the Bobcats. Since March 1st has passed, Gordon would be able to play for another team in the regular season, but not in the playoffs.
  • In a separate article, Mayberry looks at 15 possible players the Thunder could sign to fill their 15th roster spot.
  • The recently signed Caron Butler is expected to be in uniform for Tuesday’s game when the Thunder take on the Sixers, tweets Mayberry.
  • Suns GM Ryan McDonough says the team’s long-term approach hasn’t changed, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “We’re trying to get great players, through the draft or trade or free agency, but in the short term I think we’re ahead of what most people thought we would be. If we can use things like our cap space to help solidify our team we’ll do that, but at the same time we’re happy with the group we have”, McDonough said. Washburn also analyzes how the Suns are set heading into the offseason and some moves the team might make.
  • Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders analyzes the dividends that the signing of Andre Iguodala has paid to the Warriors.

Bobcats, Ben Gordon Talk Buyout

February 28 at 3:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:36pm: The Thunder have interest in Gordon, who continues to pursue a buyout with Charlotte, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Unlike other clubs thinking of signing him, Oklahoma City is open to giving him a deal that would allow him to become a free agent this summer, Shelburne adds (Twitter links).

FRIDAY, 10:23am: The Bulls are not expected to have interest in Gordon unless they miss out on Jimmer Fredette, according to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald. Fredette is reportedly “strongly leaning” toward Chicago.

FEBRUARY 27TH: Buyout discussions continue between Charlotte and Gordon’s representatives, but the Raymond Brothers client doesn’t want to hook up with any team that wouldn’t allow him to hit free agency this summer, as he’s currently scheduled to do. The Bulls, Clippers and Rockets are apparently dangling two-year offers (Twitter links).

FEBRUARY 21ST: 5:40pm: Gordon and the Bobcats are close to completing an agreement on a buyout, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com.

1:38pm: The Bobcats and Ben Gordon are in negotiations about a buyout of his bloated expiring deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Gordon is making $13.2MM in the final season of a five-year, $58MM contract. He was rumored to have been a part of discussions about the trade Charlotte made with the Bucks yesterday, but the 30-year-old shooting guard remains a Bobcat.

Gordon has seen action in just 18 games for the Bobcats this season, averaging 5.3 points in 14.4 minutes per contest. The career 40.2% three-point shooter has made a career-low 28.6% of his long-range attempts this year. Gordon has been in trade rumors since clashing with former coach Mike Dunlap last season.

The 10th-year veteran came to Charlotte from the Pistons in the summer of 2012 as part of a deal for Corey Maggette and a first-round pick that could become a lottery selection for the Bobcats this year. Buyout chatter has emerged surrounding Charlie Villanueva as well, meaning both key figures from Detroit’s 2009 spending spree may wind up ending their deals early.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Buyout Rumors: Bulls, Granger, Butler

February 27 at 12:47pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls don’t believe adding a 13th guaranteed contract at this point will push the team into the luxury tax, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. I examined last month how the team’s proximity to the tax could affect its roster, and Mark Deeks of ShamSports did the same, noting how a bonus for Taj Gibson could push the team over the tax line. Deeks tweeted recently that the Bulls couldn’t sign anyone for the rest of the season until April 3rd, but judging from reports linking them to Jimmer Fredette, Danny Granger and Caron Butler, it appears they don’t have to wait that long. Here’s more on a bustling post-deadline market:

  • Granger is having phone conversations today with the Spurs, Heat, Rockets, Clippers and Bulls, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Those are the teams that TNT’s David Aldridge identified Wednesday as Granger’s preferred destinations.
  • Deeks clarifies that the Bulls can sign two players for the rest of the season today and stay out of the tax if they’re confident Gibson won’t make an All-Defensive Team and trigger the bonus clause in his contract. If they wanted to play it safe in case Gibson does earn such an honor, they’d have to wait until April 3rd to hand out any contract for the rest of the season (Twitter links).

Earlier updates:

Knicks Considering Ike Diogu

February 23 at 9:37pm CDT By Zach Links

The Knicks are mulling whether to use one of two soon-to-be-open roster spots on power forward Ike Diogu, an NBA source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post.  The former lottery pick impressed the team during training camp, but was ultimately released.

The Knicks will have two open spots when Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih’s buyouts become official tomorrow.  The undersized forward, who is in the D-League with the Bakersfield Jam and averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, could be an option for the club.  It should come as no surprise that the Knicks would have interest in Danny Granger if he is bought out by the Sixers but they’ve also got interest in Earl Clark, Ben Gordon (if his buyout is completed), and Antawn Jamison.

Because the club is well into luxury tax territory and owner James Dolan is already paying 17 players this season, the Knicks may only sign one player.  With solid rebounding ability and a decent mid-range game, New York may make Diogu their pick.

Odds & Ends: Griffin, Knicks, Granger, Gordon

February 22 at 11:50pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Cavs have quietly reached out to at least one alternative candidate for their GM opening outside of interim David Griffin, reports Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. However, Lloyd says ownership is giving Griffin a fair shot at the job based on how he performs the rest of the season, and won’t be generating rumors that could distract him from the task at hand. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Knicks Coach Mike Woodson confirmed to reporters, including Newsday’s Al Iannazzone, that the Knicks have agreed with both Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih on buyouts, but wouldn’t expound on the causes for either: “I can’t say anything went wrong,” Woodson said. “They weren’t in the rotations. I’m not going to linger on it. We’re buying them out.”
  • In a separate piece, Iannazzone says that the Knicks offseason can’t be as quiet as their trade deadline was, since the team will be trying to upgrade their roster around Carmelo Anthony, whom they hope to re-sign over the summer. Iannazzone thinks that the expiring contracts for Amar’e StoudemireTyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani could become movable assets along with Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert, who have already been involved in a lot of trade speculation.
  • While Danny Granger‘s buyout is still a “distinct possibility,” nothing is imminent, as the initial trade between the Sixers and Pacers is not yet official, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.
  • On a related note, Shelburne tweets that Ben Gordon‘s buyout talks with the Bobcats are progressing slowly as well.
  • A group post at Basketball Insiders looks at players that they think should have been, but weren’t traded before Thursday’s deadline. Iman ShumpertRajon Rondo, and Pau Gasol, made the list.
  • J.J. Barea told The Star Tribune that he didn’t want any of the trade rumors surrounding him leaving the Timberwolves before the recent trade deadline to come to fruition: “You never really want to get traded. I think I’m in a good situation here, and I think we have a good group of guys with a good staff.”

Central Notes: Deng, Pacers, Bulls

February 22 at 12:13am CDT By Cray Allred

Anthony Bennett appears to have turned around his season, averaging nearly 20 minutes per game this month for the Cavs, with a boost in production. “I’m just more relaxed on the court, going out there not really thinking about too much, not thinking about the plays or who needs to get the ball where. I just need to go out there play my game, play hard, rebound and then things will start flowing,” Bennett said, according to Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto SunHere’s a look at what else is happening around the Central Division:

  • Cavs guard Jarrett Jack was a heavily discussed trade candidate as the trade deadline came and went, but tells Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer that the rumors didn’t affect him much. 
  • In the same piece, Luol Deng said that all of the contract talk from this year has been “exhausting,” and that his perspective on the Cavs is incomplete as he heads toward free agency, when he will decide whether to stay with the team that traded for him earlier this year: “It’s just the same thing everybody wants. The guy who brought me here [former GM Chris Grant] is not here, and now we have [current GM David Griffin] and Griff is an interim. Those two guys are who really brought me here. I really don’t know if Griff is going to be the GM or what’s going on. I know the direction the organization is going and how everything has been set up. I’ve been happy with that from day one.”
  • The Bulls might be interested in adding Ben Gordon if the Bobcats buy out his contract as expected, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Gordon was an impact player for Chicago in his first five seasons in the NBA.
  • Speaking of the pool of players being bought out or waived, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that any player added by Chicago won’t wind up a forgotten man on the end of the bench, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.
  • The Pacers are sad to lose former face of the franchise Danny Granger after Thursday’s trade with the Sixers, but the team isn’t questioning the front office’s championship-or-bust mentality that brought about the trade, writes Mark Montieth of NBA.com.

Bobcats, Bucks Close To Gary Neal Swap

February 20 at 11:28am CDT By Charlie Adams

11:28am: Caron Butler and Ben Gordon could also be involved, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

11:10am: Charlotte is trying to sell Milwaukee on the idea that acquiring Sessions makes it easier for them to trade Luke Ridnour, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

10:59am: The proposed deal would send Sessions to the Bucks, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Sessions, making $5MM, earns more money than Neal’s $3.25MM, so apparently Kohl would have to get involved.

10:56am: The Bobcats and Bucks are nearing an agreement that would send Neal to Charlotte, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Still, Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl would have to sign off on an increase in team salary as part of the deal, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 6:45am: The Bobcats are trying to convince the Bucks to take on Ramon Sessions in return for Neal. 

11:06pm: While they may be looking for a shooter, the Thunder’s interest in Neal could be overstated, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick also confirms interest in Neal from the Bobcats. 

4:39pm: Woelfel adds the Suns, Wolves and Kings to the list of suitors for Neal (via Twitter).

1:15pm: The Bucks have progressed with several teams on the Neal front, but they’re still holding off on agreeing to a deal, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 12:29pm: The pursuit of Neal is the only active discussion the Bobcats are engaged in, with talks for Evan Turner having flamed out early, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

TUESDAY, 8:24pm: The Bobcats and Thunder are both interested in acquiring sharpshooting Bucks guard Gary Neal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com and Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links). Stein reports that Neal has been being openly shopped by Milwaukee since January, and we heard on Friday that the fourth year guard is unhappy with the Bucks. A recent Woelfel piece labeled Brandon KnightGiannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton as the only untouchable assets on the Bucks roster, so it’s not a surprise the club is open to moving Neal.

After a solid postseason performance with Spurs en route to finals loss versus Miami, Neal signed with Milwaukee on a two-year, $6.25MM deal. While he hasn’t put up extraordinary numbers so far this season, he’s proven throughout the course of his career that he can be a good shooter capable of putting up solid numbers on some nights.

Charlotte has been very active so far this deadline. News broke earlier today that they were close to a deal with the Bucks that would’ve brought in Neal and Caron Butler, but the alleged move fell through at the last minute. It’s unclear if a new deal would involve Butler, but reports have indicated the Bobcats are willing to give up a draft pick for the right price.

Neal’s other potential suitor, the Thunder, are said to be looking for a shooter. Neal would certainly welcome a move to Oklahoma City since we’ve heard reports suggesting he wants to play for a contender. The Thunder would have to send some salary out in return however, since trading for Neal would put the team over the tax line.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Nelson, Sixers

February 16 at 12:16pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

This Thursday’s trade deadline is an important date for many teams in the league. The right moves can not only help a franchise in their quest to make the playoffs this season, but also influence what a team can do in the off-season personnel wise. But it’s nine days later that is a potentially even more significant date for the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. March 1st is the date that players have to be waived by in order to be eligible for another team’s playoff roster, a date informally known as the buyout deadline. Winderman believes that since the Heat don’t have much to offer other teams in potential deals, the team will be more active in looking to pick up a player who has been waived, similar to them picking up Chris Andersen last year. Winderman also opines that any deadline moves the Heat might make would be salary dumps with avoiding luxury tax penalties in mind. Potential waiver candidates to keep an eye on are Caron Butler, Keith Bogans, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, and Chris Kaman, according to the article.

More from the east:

  • Despite the team being in re-building mode, veteran guard Jameer Nelson remains committed to the team, and wants to be a member of the Magic for his entire career, writes Jared Zwerling of The Bleacher Report. Nelson, who is a free-agent after the season says his first choice is to re-sign with Orlando.
  • The Sixers‘ focus leading up to the trade deadline is to acquire as many draft picks as they can, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The franchise wants to move Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young for future compensation, but that’s not a given, since the team has been impressed with how the trio have developed this season. With the most cap space in the league, Pompey says that the Sixers would consider adding an expiring contract from a team looking to dump salary, but that would only be if a draft pick was included. The holdup is that the team wants first-rounders, preferably lottery picks, which teams are reluctant to part with. According to the article, the Sixers should be one of the most active teams this week, but will probably have to wait until the final hours before the deadline to accomplish anything.
  • Knicks fans are already talking about the summer of 2015 and the team’s potential free agent targets. One of those mentioned was LaMarcus Aldridge, but he might not be a fit if the team holds onto Carmelo Anthony, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Anthony and the Knicks have been much more effective when ‘Melo is at power forward, which would make the pairing difficult. Anthony could switch back to small forward, but he has expressed that his preference is to stay at the four.

Odds & Ends: Cavs, Jackson, Gordon, Ennis

February 12 at 11:41pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Cavs have won four straight since firing former GM Chris Grant. One of interim GM David Griffin‘s priorities was to improve the rumored chaos in the Cleveland locker room according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (via Twitter). Amico says that Griffin told both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters they would not be traded, and urged the team to have fun and avoid stress (Twitter link), which could explain some of the team’s sudden positivity. Here are the rest of the notes from around the league:

  • Mark Jackson took some critical comments made earlier by Warriors owner Joe Lacob in stride, per Tim Kawakami of Bay Area News Group. Jackson said he “understands” why the owner is disappointed with the team’s performance, adding, with a laugh: “I stopped reading [Lacob's comments]. I was getting depressed.”
  • Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders said he wouldn’t be surprised if Ben Gordon wound up on the Suns before the upcoming trade deadline, in response to a tweeted question he received (Twitter link). This would fall in line with the Suns’ reported preference of landing a perimeter player.
  • Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim doesn’t think consensus top-10 draft prospect Tyler Ennis will enter the draft this summer, per Seth Davis of SI.com. “I think he knows and his father knows that he’s a really good college player. He has to become a better shooter and get stronger to go to the next level,” said Boeheim. “He’d go in the first round, but look at the number of first-round picks who are already out of the league in the last two years. It’s a huge number.” (hat tip to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv)
  • Representatives from the Bulls attended a Eurobasket game to get a look at Nolan Smith, per David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The 25-year-old point guard spent two years with the Blazers, and was expected to join the Celtics for training camp this summer before heading overseas. Smith has averaged 9.9 minutes per game in his NBA career, and declined in nearly every statistical category last year.
  • Free agent Brian Cook is attempting to make an NBA return, according to a source for Shams Charania of RealGM.com (via Twitter). The 33-year-old has nine years of NBA experience, but he hasn’t played in the NBA since splitting time with the Clippers and Wizards in the 2011/12 season.