Eric Bledsoe Rumors
April 22 at 12:33pm CST By Luke Adams
In his latest NBA AM piece for HoopsWorld, Steve Kyler focuses on the playoff point guards that may be heading for free agency once their respective seasons end. Kyler has tidbits on those players, as well as notes on Eric Bledsoe and Phil Jackson, so let's check out the highlights:
- Chris Paul is essentially a lock to re-sign with the Clippers and he'll have a "tremendous amount of input" in the team's roster moves and overall direction.
- The Hawks will extend a qualifying offer to Jeff Teague, and while the club plans to keep its options open, it's unlikely that Teague will end up leaving Atlanta.
- Jerryd Bayless is expected to decline his player option in search of a longer-term contract.
- There's mutual interest in a new deal between Jarrett Jack and the Warriors, and the team will have Jack's Bird Rights, but the Warriors figure to be well into the tax unless they can make a cost-cutting move or two, which could complicate negotiations.
- If Chauncey Billups doesn't return to the Clippers, retirement is more likely for him than signing with another club.
- The Bucks will definitely match almost any offer sheet signed by Brandon Jennings, though if he receives the max from a rival suitor, Milwaukee will "have to seriously look at that."
- While Bledsoe is expected to be an offseason trade candidate, Clippers sources are adamant that they don't need to make a decision on Bledsoe until the summer of 2014, or at least next year's trade deadline.
- With a handful of head coaching jobs already opened up, Jackson's name will pop up frequently in the next several weeks, but Kyler hears that the odds of the 11-time champion accepting a coaching job aren't great.
April 21 at 5:02pm CST By Zach Links
Chris Paul has kept mum on his future so far, but he may have dropped some very telling hints when speaking to reporters this afternoon. The Clippers star remarked that guard Eric Bledsoe is likely going to wind up elsewhere next year because the club won't have enough money to sign him, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The way that Paul spoke of Bledsoe's future leads Markazi to believe (link) that Paul intends on staying in L.A. for the long-term. It's also worth noting that Bledsoe isn't a free agent this summer - he's under contract next season for $2.6MM. However, the Clippers are expected to shop him when/if Paul re-signs (link). Here's more out of the Pacific..
- An NBA owner expressed his doubts to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about Sacramento's bid for the Kings, saying, "The check's in the mail, and that's not good enough. The check's got to arrive." Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson nonetheless believes most owners were "blown away" by the competitiveness of the city's offer, as well as the fast pace at which its come together.
- Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News (on Twitter) notes that the three-year, $28MM extension that Stephen Jackson signed with the Warriors is just expiring now after four trades and one release.
- Ike Diogu began the season in training camp with the Suns and played 41 games with the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China. Now, he's headed to Puerto Rico to play with Leones de Ponce, Sportando's Emiliano Carchia reports.
March 12 at 8:56am CST By Luke Adams
Zach Lowe of Grantland leads off his weekly Tuesday column with a lengthy look at the Jazz, a team he calls "the most interesting franchise in the league right now." As Utah approaches an offseason in which it could potentially open up about $30MM in cap space, Lowe shares a few notes of interest on the club:
- A desire to qualify for the postseason this year played a part in Utah's stasis at the trade deadline, according to Lowe. The team's longtime owners, the Miller family, prefer to avoid being in the lottery, so the Jazz weren't about to give up Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson in a deal that would seriously downgrade this year's roster.
- According to Lowe's sources, the Raptors and Pistons were among the teams with whom the Jazz engaged in trade discussions prior to the deadline.
- Had the Jazz been more aggressive about shopping Jefferson and/or Millsap last spring, they could likely have acquired a high first-round pick for Millsap, sources tell Lowe. However, Lowe notes that it's unclear whether that pick would have been attached to an unwanted contract.
- Lowe expects the Jazz to sign-and-trade one of its big free agents this summer, though the new CBA and the number of teams with cap space figures to cool the sign-and-trade market a little.
- League sources who talked to Utah in advance of the deadline say that the Jazz presented themselves as willing to take a step back next season and land a high pick in a loaded 2014 draft. The influence of new GM Dennis Lindsey played a role in that stance, says Lowe.
- Talks between the Clippers and Jazz about Eric Bledsoe and Millsap never got too serious, according to Lowe.
- Since the point guard free agent market isn't expected to be too strong this summer or next, Lowe expects the Jazz to continue exploring trades for a point guard.
March 9 at 8:02am CST By Sean Highkin
The Utah Jazz did not move Paul Millsap before the February 21 trade deadline, but Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports that they discussed deals for the forward with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers, neither of which ended up coming to fruition.
Kennedy tweets that the Jazz and Pacers discussed a trade that would have sent Millsap and Alec Burks to Indiana for Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson. In a separate tweet, Kennedy reports that the Jazz and Clippers discussed a trade of Millsap and DeMarre Carroll for Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom.
Millsap, 27, is averaging 15.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
February 26 at 12:28pm CST By Luke Adams
Here's the latest from around the Western Conference, where the Lakers are three games back of the Rockets for the eighth seed and three and a half back of the seventh-place Jazz:
- Although his plan was being openly questioned in NBA circles eight months ago, GM Daryl Morey continues to build the Rockets into a team with strong long-term potential, observes Grantland's Zach Lowe. Within his piece, Lowe writes that Morey and assistant coach Kelvin Sampson were both fixated on acquiring James Harden, and that the team would like to add a defense-first wing to the roster.
- The Clippers were "closer than people think" to acquiring Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan last week, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News questions whether the Mavericks ought to try to build a team around Dwight Howard, even if the All-Star center is willing to sign in Dallas this summer.
- Although Dirk Nowitzki indicated recently that he hopes to play for a few more years, his focus for now is more on the short term, as he tells Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. "[Mark Cuban]’s obviously said his bank’s open, so we’ll see what happens this
summer," Nowitzki said. "It’s going to be a big summer for us. We want to get back to
winning ways. We always competed and were part of the playoffs, so we’ll
see what happens this summer. It’s going to be a big summer for this
- The Thunder decided to bring back Derek Fisher for the stretch run because they know exactly what they're getting in the veteran point guard, writes Susan Bible of HoopsWorld.
February 25 at 4:00pm CST By Luke Adams
The most intriguing game on tonight's schedule happens out west, where the Lakers are in Denver as they try to get back to .500 for the first time since they were 15-15 at the end of December. While we wait to see if the Nuggets can keep the Lakers below .500, let's check out a few Western Conference links....
- If a big-name trade candidate becomes available this summer, the Warriors should be in the mix, says Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com, pointing out that Golden State will have young talent, draft picks, and big, expiring contracts to offer.
- As Derek Fisher prepares to join the Thunder for the rest of the season, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News points out (via Sulia) that even when it became clear Oklahoma City wouldn't be re-signing Fisher last summer, the team had nothing but praise for him.
- When Thunder GM Sam Presti spoke on Friday about the trade that sent Eric Maynor to the Trail Blazers, he mentioned the trade exception acquired by Oklahoma City in the deal. But the Thunder also acquired the rights to Georgios Printezis, and Wendell Maxey of Ridiculous Upside thinks the club should strongly consider eventually bringing him stateside.
- By keeping Eric Bledsoe through the deadline, the Clippers are now expected to have a backup plan this summer if Chris Paul unexpectedly decides to sign elsewhere. But assuming Paul re-signs, the team will have to decide what Bledsoe's long-term future holds, writes Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- In a lengthy piece on players and teams who are "on notice" after the trade deadline, Grantland's Zach Lowe explores the Jazz's decision to keep both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson last week.
- Following up on Dirk Nowitzki's comments about wanting to play beyond his current contract, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wonders how much of a bargain Nowitzki would give the Mavericks in his next deal.
February 21 at 12:09pm CST By Luke Adams
12:09pm: Sources tell Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter links) that Garnett seems "dead-set" on remaining with the Celtics as long as Paul Pierce is there and they're a playoff team. While the Clippers will keep working the phones, a trade would be a surprise, says Markazi.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com adds that one person involved in previous Clippers/C's talks hasn't detected a renewed push to revisit talks (Twitter link).
11:08am: Bulpett clarifies in a second tweet that some members of the Clippers' front office are in favor of revisiting talks with the Celtics, while others aren't so sure.
11:03am: On Tuesday night, we heard that the Clippers and Celtics had shut down trade talks involving Kevin Garnett, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, and anyone else. Although reports since then have suggested it may be a quiet deadline for the Clips, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald is hearing word of a "new push" from L.A. to do something with the Celtics (Twitter link).
As we've noted previously, Garnett would have to waive his no-trade clause if the Celtics hope to include him in any deal. KG has publicly said he has no intention of doing that, but the Clippers are believed to be perhaps the one team that could convince him otherwise. Of course, it's worth mentioning that Bulpett's tweet didn't specifically mention Garnett, but I'd be surprised if the two teams were discussing an entirely new deal.
February 19 at 11:06pm CST By Luke Adams
Last night, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that many teams around the NBA are convinced that the Hawks will move Josh Smith by Thursday's trade deadline. Stein cited the Celtics as one team with interest, but wrote that he couldn't see them giving up Paul Pierce in a deal for Smith. We'll likely hear a few more rumors and rumblings on Smith today, so we'll round all those up in one place, with the latest updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that although the Suns have been in touch with the Hawks regarding Smith, a deal is very unlikely.
- The Hawks called the Clippers and asked about acquiring Eric Bledsoe
in a Smith trade, but the conversation was short, according to Broussard, who says the Clips aren't really interested
in Smith (Twitter link).
- Broussard adds in a second tweet that Smith heading to the Suns in a package headlined by Marcin Gortat is "unlikely."
- Most of the offers the Hawks have received so far for Smith have been underwhelming, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
- Several members of the Warriors organization tell Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Sulia link) that they think Smith would be an ideal fit in Golden State. However, the club wouldn't want to give up Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes for a free-agent-to-be, so a trade is "improbable at best."
- In talks with the Bucks, the Hawks' primary target is believed to be Monta Ellis, according to Stein (via Twitter).
- While the Nets continue to pursue Smith, the Hawks don't have interest in any offer that sees them take on Kris Humphries, tweets
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. There aren't many clubs interested in
acquiring Humphries in a three-way deal either, says Windhorst.
- One team close to the situation predicts that the Nets will ultimately land Smith in a three-team deal, according to Stein.
- Stein adds that the Suns and Bucks are also viewed as strong suitors for Smith. However, with both clubs, there are doubts about whether the veteran forward would be willing to re-sign as a free agent this summer.
- The Rockets are fans of Smith, but are more likely to pursue him this summer than this week, says Stein.
- ESPN.com's Chris Broussard tweets that the Wizards have made all but three players (John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Nene) available in talks for Smith.
- The Timberwolves still aren't believed to be in the mix for Smith, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- Sources tell John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Hawks approached the Sixers about trading Smith for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. However, it seems Philadelphia wasn't interested.
February 19 at 10:04am CST By Luke Adams
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
February 19 at 9:37am CST By Luke Adams
In his latest piece for CBSSports.com, Ken Berger echoes a rumor we've heard recently, writing that concerns about increasing luxury-tax penalties may make teams reluctant to deal this week. While there may be something to that idea, I'd be surprised if we don't end up seeing a handful of trades consummated by Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm CST. And Berger also shares the latest on a few possibilities, so let's round up the highlights from his column:
- The Clippers are willing to listen on Eric Bledsoe inquiries, but are reluctant to move him as long as there's even the slightest doubt that Chris Paul will re-sign this summer.
- Talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett are dormant for now. Rival execs believe that Danny Ainge recognizes that if he trades Garnett, he'll probably have to trade Paul Pierce as well, and vice versa. If the C's don't blow things up, moving Jason Terry to get under the luxury tax will also be a consideration.
- Other teams who could attempt to get under the luxury tax: The Bulls, by moving Richard Hamilton, and the Warriors, who could try to deal a couple of minimum-salary players like Jeremy Tyler, Kent Bazemore, or Charles Jenkins.
- Bergers suggests that Eric Maynor, who we heard is being shopped by the Thunder, could be a fit for the Jazz, but Utah is "consumed with the dilemma" of whether to trade Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. I'm sure if Oklahoma City approached the Jazz with an offer, they'd listen, but it doesn't sound like a priority for Utah at the moment.
- The Timberwolves are aggressively shopping draft picks in an attempt to acquire wing help. We heard a similar report from Adrian Wojnarowski last night.