While the Jazz and Gordon Hayward fell short of agreeing on a contract extension last week, both Hayward and the franchise are still interested in getting something done eventually. Hayward told Jody Genessy of the Deseret News: “(Not reaching an agreement) in no way changes the way I feel about Utah at all…I love being here. I love playing for them…Hopefully (an extension) will get worked out next summer.”
Utah GM Dennis Lindsey had this to say about Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein and future negotiations: “Mark’s been one of the best agents in the business because he negotiates hard. He was fair. He played by the rules. He’ll continue to play by the rules. We’ll be fair as well, and we’ll come back and start talking in July…Just because (Hayward) said no to our last offer, his character hasn’t changed. He is an outstanding person…He’s someone we can see being in a Utah Jazz jersey until he retires. That’s our hope. We think we’re great fits.”
We have a handful of miscellaneous news and notes to pass along tonight, and you can read them below:
- ESPN LA’s Arash Markazi weighed in on some of the rumblings which suggest that Steve Nash could eventually wind up in Toronto, saying that a deal between the Raptors and Lakers makes sense but isn’t sure if something gets done. Markazi opines that L.A. would like to clear Nash’s salary off their books while the Raptors would enjoy increased ticket sales by bringing the Canadian legend back to his home country (All Twitter links).
- Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld tweeted a list of players who may be traded this season, including: Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Evan Turner, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass, and Gerald Wallace.
- Kennedy also shared what 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams told him about his chances on winning the Rookie of the Year Award: “I think I have a pretty good chance at it. I’m just going to go out there, play my game and hope for the best” (Twitter link).
- Entering tonight’s game with a record of 1-2 before their win against the Wizards, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade acknowledged that some minor chemistry issues are affecting the team (Michael Wallace of ESPN.com). More specifically, Wade had this to say: “Let me give you an example…If you’re in a relationship with a woman for a long time, you start getting comfortable. You stop doing the little things that you should do, that you did in the beginning. It’s just like a relationship. We got a little comfortable. Now we have to get back on that edge a little bit.”
- Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes that Knicks forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin will have their own individualized schedules as far as playing or sitting out games, a decision meant to preserve the health of both in the long run.
- Mavericks point man Jose Calderon appears to be regaining his groove after a sluggish start to the season, writes Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram.
Zach Lowe’s latest piece for Grantland is a lengthy one, as he breaks down all 30 NBA teams by tiers heading into the 2013/14 season. Amidst his evaluations of each club, Lowe also includes several tidbits related to teams’ trade options and cap situations. The entire piece is worth checking out, if only to see where your favorite team lands, but we’ll round up a few of the more interesting notes right here:
- While the Spurs didn’t shake up the roster much this offseason, they’re in good position to make an in-season trade if need be, says Lowe. San Antonio has a couple movable expiring contracts (Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner), as well as a number of prospects stashed overseas.
- Lowe believes Zach Randolph will finish the year with the Grizzlies, but notes that Memphis’ front office is willing to make bold moves and probably recognizes that Randolph’s trade value will be highest this season.
- The Rockets are a a “very strong bet” to make a trade or two during the season.
- Both the Wizards and Pistons are among the candidates to make an in-season panic trade, due to increasing pressure to make the playoffs. However, Detroit may not have a ton of appealing trade bait unless the club is willing to dangle Greg Monroe, according to Lowe.
- With Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay both potentially entering contract years, the Raptors could end up being deadline sellers if they get reasonable offers and aren’t in position to reach the postseason.
- Although they have plenty of assets of value, the Cavaliers‘ trade options will be somewhat limited if they intend to keep their books clean in the hopes of landing LeBron James next summer.
- Moving even one mid-tier salary during the season could create “serious cap flexibility” for the Kings.
- The Sixers figure to gauge the market value for veterans Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young before the deadline.
- While a Rajon Rondo trade isn’t entirely out of the question, it’s much more likely that the Celtics attempt to move players like Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, and Kris Humphries, writes Lowe.
- In Lowe’s view, “everyone is available” on the Suns, except for perhaps Eric Bledsoe and the team’s rookies.
The Timberwolves appear ready to finalize deals bringing Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer on board, but those aren't the only outside free agents the team targeted. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), Minnesota has emerged as the frontrunner to sign Ronny Turiaf. I can't imagine Turiaf will earn more than the veteran's minimum, so he shouldn't affect the Wolves' cap outlook if a deal is reached. Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Martin, who trains with Brewer in Florida, was very involved in lobbying Brewer to sign with the Timberwolves, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter).
- Several teams are courting Mo Williams, so there's no guarantee he lands with the Hawks if Atlanta declines to match Jeff Teague's offer sheet, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- According to Martell Webster, he received interest from the Cavaliers, Bucks, Knicks, Clippers, Blazers, and Pelicans ("big-time") before re-signing with the Wizards (Twitter link via Michael Lee of the Washington Post).
- Grantland's Zach Lowe examines seven teams that could use their amnesty provision within the next few days.
- Brandon Bass brushed off questions about a potentially uncertain future with the Celtics, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes.
After ACL surgery ended Rajon Rondo's season, Celtics president Danny Ainge insisted that he wanted to see how his team responded before deciding what sort of roster moves to consider. The Celtics have been on a tear since then, but Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa have also seen their seasons end prematurely due to injuries, leaving the team with a dearth of healthy bodies. While we wait to see wait Ainge and the C's have up their sleeves before Thursday, here are the latest rumblings from out of Boston:
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com isn't convinced that Kevin Garnett could be persuaded to waive his no-trade clause, even if it meant joining a team like the Clippers. According to Stein, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported last night on SportsCenter that Chauncey Billups believes his friend's position on not waiving his no-trade clause is firm.
- Even if Garnett were to agree to a deal, the Clippers aren't willing to include both Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan in their proposal, according to Stein. The ESPN.com scribe cautions that it could be posturing on the Clippers' part, but one source says the Clippers feel like that's too much to give up for a 36-year-old who may not play much longer.
- Outside of weighing possible deals involving Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics have also explored possibilities that include Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Fab Melo, and Avery Bradley, but have only received lukewarm interest, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. I imagine plenty of teams would like to get their hands on Bradley, but perhaps the Celtics' asking price is exorbitant.
- One opposing executive on the Celtics, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: "[They] are one of the more active teams out there talking, but they really don’t have a lot of great options. They don’t have a lot to trade."
- Bulpett reports that the Clippers have yet to make a formal offer for Garnett. He also adds that Ainge doesn't feel any pressure to do anything more drastic than to add a player or two. "I love how hard our guys play and compete," Ainge said. "They do need some support with some extra bodies for the rest of the year. I definitely need to do that, to add some players to our roster. But that’s all that we need to do."
The Celtics have been, by far, the most active team in trade rumors since yesterday evening, with news of talks about sending Kevin Garnett to the Clippers coming on the heels of the Rajon Rondo/Dwight Howard rumor. In the meantime, Garnett has said he's not waiving his no-trade clause, telling reporters he wants to "live and die green." Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has strongly denied any Rondo/Howard discussion. Still, it appears it will be quite a ride for Boston fans between now and Thursday's trade deadline. Here's the latest:
- Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reported earlier that the Celtics are offering Jeff Green and Brandon Bass in a deal to acquire Josh Smith, but A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com tweets that the C's don't have a lot of interest in a two-for-one deal like that, since injuries have left them shorthanded.
- Likewise, Boston would probably have to give up more players than it gets in a deal with the Lakers involving Rondo and Howard, as Blakely points out. The CSNNE.com scribe hears the Celtics and Lakers have had discussions with each other, but not about a Rondo/Howard deal.
- With regard to a Rondo-for-Howard swap, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweets that "something's going on there," adding that all he knows for sure is that the Celtics are trying everything right now. Had Garnett consented to a trade, the Celtics would have "aggressively" pursued a deal to send Paul Pierce away, too, Amico writes.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times has some updates in his latest notebook column on where the Milwaukee Bucks stand in several trade discussions leading up to Thursday's deadline:
- The Bucks are considering making an offer to the Hawks for Josh Smith, writes Woelfel. Smith has been most openly courted by the Nets and Celtics, with Brooklyn reportledly offering MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries and Boston offering Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. However, Woelfel believes that the Bucks' package could be equally attractive if they include Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings. They could also make Ersan Ilyasova available in a package for Smith.
- Woelfel writes that the Bucks are open to trading anyone on their roster and no one is off limits, although Ellis and Samuel Dalembert are the two players GM John Hammond would most like to move. Woelfel points to Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy as two other potentially attractive assets with expiring contracts.
- Woelfel contradicts a previous report by ESPN on the status of Jennings, writing that the Bucks never made him a formal offer of a contract extension before the October deadline. Jennings is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer.
- Forward Drew Gooden is no stranger to the trade deadline, Woelfel writes. The 11-year veteran has been traded five times during the season in his career.
In 2011/12, the Celtics were up and down over those first two months, compiling a 16-17 record in the first half of the lockout-shortened schedule. For the rest of the season, Boston went 23-10, locking up another Atlantic Division title. A year later, the Celtics are approaching the midway point with a mediocre 20-20 record, but if their track record is any indication, it's not time to panic yet. Here's the latest out of Boston:
- While the Celtics are always aggressive about pursuing possible deals, it's not likely they consider moving Paul Pierce unless they get an All-Star-caliber player in return, says Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.
- When discussing trades with the C's, most teams are looking at guys like Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Bass, according to Kyler. However, none of those players is an attractive enough trade chip to bring back a significant return.
- Celtics president Danny Ainge tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that he's not expecting to make a big splash before the deadline: "Realistically, I don’t see major changes coming. Of course we’re trying to get better, and any deal that was available that could help us, you obviously do that. But we’re not just trying to make any deal. We’re not selling the team off or anything like that. We’re trying to win with what we have right now. That’s got to be our first objective."
10:35pm: Sam Amick of USA Today says that "Cousins is not going to the Celtics" and that teams who have been asking about his availability continue to being rebuffed (Twitter link).
7:08pm: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) says that while nothing is imminent, Boston is one team to keep an eye on around the trade deadline.
6:51pm: Blakely writes that although it's unlikely that Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, or Paul Pierce will be moved, there has been "growing" interest in Courtney Lee, who may be expendable with the return of Avery Bradley to the Celtics' lineup. Blakely also mentions forward Brandon Bass as another player who could possibly be on the move.
6:45pm: A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com tweets that the decision to waive Joseph and Varnardo may have opened the door to what could be a blockbuster deal, according to a league source. One name that has repeatedly been mentioned in speculative trade talk has been Kings' center DeMarcus Cousins (Twitter link).
5:10pm: While rounding up today's list of waived players, ESPN's Marc Stein also tweeted that forward Kris Joseph and center Jarvis Varnado had both been waived by the Celtics today.
The 6'7 Joseph had been selected by Boston as the 51st pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, appearing in six games this season and averaging 1.2 PPG in 4.0 MPG. Varnado had only played in five games, averaging 1.2 PPG in 3.6 MPG.
With the roster now at 13, ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg speculates that the Celtics could target a veteran big man and a backup ball-handling guard to fill the two newly created roster spots. Forsberg also mentions that those potential moves could depend on the big man's asking price.
JULY 14, 1:05pm: The signing is now official, according to the team.
JULY 5, 7:38pm: Bass' deal with the Celtics is worth $20MM, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
2:59pm: Brandon Bass will be returning to Boston, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that Bass and the Celtics have agreed to a three-year contract. Bass had opted out of the final year of his previous contract last month in search of a multiyear deal.
When the Celtics kicked off the offseason by agreeing to re-sign Kevin Garnett and committing their mid-level exception to Jason Terry, it became clear that the team didn't intend to renounce its free agents and make use of its cap space this summer. As such, re-signing their own free agents makes the most sense for the Celtics, so Bass' return is no surprise. The C's are also said to be closing in on a deal with Jeff Green.
Bass, 27, averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game for the Celtics in 2011/12. He reportedly drew interest from the Pacers, Nets, Mavericks, Heat, Knicks, and Hawks this week.