Goran Dragic Rumors
January 28 at 10:01pm CST By Alex Lee
With seven NBA games on the docket for Monday night, here are some odds and ends from around the Association:
- J.J. Redick has made Orlando his home and hopes to stay, he told Michael Scotto of RealGM. But Redick also realizes that trade speculation is inevitable and therefore has stayed in close contact with his agent and the Magic general manager Rob Hennigan.
- Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge provides a transcript of an interview of Neil Olshey in which the Blazers GM discusses his team's roster and potential future moves.
- Andrei Kirilenko handpicked Minnesota as his destination this offseason because he found the roster intriguing as well as conducive to his game. Unfortunately, due to the Timberwolves' long list of injuries, Kirilenko has yet to find out if his vision was as good as it seemed this offseason, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- Danny Ainge said that he fully expect Rajon Rondo to be ready for training camp come October, tweets Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. How realistic that truly is will go a long way in determining the Celtics' next move.
- Despite sitting at 15-30 and in last place in the Pacific division, the Suns have a reason for optimism in Goran Dragic, writes Derek Page of HoopsWorld. Dragic, Page says, is the most important piece of Phoenix's rebuilding plans.
- We've already heard that Marreese Speights could be moved before the trade deadline despite rumors that the Cavaliers have coveted him for years. The Plain Dealer rounds up some Speights-related buzz, linking to a Sam Amico article that says whether the team keeps Speights depends on whether it can do so without sacrificing its financial flexibility. Amico, of Fox Sports Ohio, says that Speights will likely opt out of his deal after the season and seek a payday.
- Sean Deveney of Sporting News addresses several popular rumors that are floating around the NBA of late, the most notable of which include Rudy Gay, Paul Pierce and Pau Gasol.
December 11 at 11:21am CST By Luke Adams
Most players that signed new contracts over the summer will become eligible to be traded as of this coming Saturday, so Grantland's Zach Lowe took the opportunity to take a look around the league at some potential trade candidates. Here are a few of the highlights from Lowe's piece:
- Even though the Rockets didn't expect to land Jeremy Lin this summer, and didn't expect to acquire another star ballhandler in James Harden, it's still "extremely unlikely" that they'd move Lin.
- There's no indication that the Hornets would consider dealing Ryan Anderson, who Lowe clarifies (via Twitter) becomes trade-eligible this month rather than next month, as we'd previously thought.
- Teams around the league are eyeing the Suns to see if they can extract some value there, but Phoenix almost certainly won't move Goran Dragic and can't trade amnesty pickup Luis Scola. Lowe also notes that "you can count on zero hands" the number of clubs interested in acquiring Michael Beasley.
- It's not out of the question that Courtney Lee could become a trade candidate if the Celtics are seeking a big man.
- Jason Thompson is "coveted around the league" due to his reasonable long-term salary, and is blocking Thomas Robinson in Sacramento, so the Kings could attempt to gauge his value.
- The Mavericks may be a buyer rather than a seller, but they'll be wary of adding any salary that would affect their cap flexibility next summer.
- The Sixers will be in the market for a big man once trade talks pick up.
- Rival executives are wondering if it's too early for GM Neil Olshey and the Trail Blazers to explore the trade market for LaMarcus Aldridge.
October 28 at 3:55pm CST By Michael Pina
The Suns are an interesting team this season, with some observers thinking they'll be one of the worst teams in basketball, and others having faith that they'll fight for a playoff spot. Here's a look at a few recent articles about the team that should give us a clearer view of where they are, and where they're headed.
- In their first post-Nash season, the Suns will hand the keys over to Goran Dragic with the hope that he can run the same up-tempo style of offense, writes Paul Coro of AZCentral.com.
- According to Coro, incoming forward Luis Scola is happy to be in Phoenix, and believes the team has a good mixture of experience and skill to be competitive.
- This offseason the Suns made it clear they weren't afraid to make a financial splash, offering Eric Gordon a maximum offer sheet that was eventually matched by New Orleans. Apparently, they were also very interested in the recently traded James Harden, tweets Coro.
October 19 at 11:11am CST By Luke Adams
A Thursday morning report about the possibility of the Lakers pursuing LeBron James in the summer of 2014 resulted in Jim Buss saying the Lakers are indeed hoping to make a splash in '14, and LeBron brushing off the speculation. While everyone wants to talk about the possibility of LeBron eventually heading west, there are other stories coming out of the Pacific Division, so let's round those up right here:
- The summer's biggest trade acquisition, Dwight Howard, appears set to make his Lakers debut on Sunday against the Kings, according to Marc J. Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Suns aren't expecting offseason signee Goran Dragic to replace Steve Nash's production, as coach Alvin Gentry tells Derek Page of HoopsWorld: "We don’t really talk to him about replacing Steve. We could go through
the whole league and they couldn’t replace Steve.... We all know what Steve brought to our team but now
we’re trying to get ourselves in a situation where Goran can step into a
role, where he feels confident in what he’s doing and he can become the
best Goran Dragic. That’s what we’re trying to get him to do, which
would be pretty good."
- While Kings president Geoff Petrie says James Johnson's perimeter game needs to improve, he thinks Johnson, acquired this summer from the Raptors, "has the potential to really help us defensively," as he tells Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
- In looking back at the Warriors' offseason, ESPN.com's John Hollinger (Insider link) says Draymond Green was one of his favorite players in the draft, but he's not a huge fan of the team's Carl Landry signing.
October 4 at 7:13pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Dwight Howard engaged in a post-practice interview with the local media, admitting that he's "still trying to get his legs up and get in some shape" and also elaborating about the different options on offense that he has with his new Lakers teammates. In response to recent comments made by Shaq about being subordinate to Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez, Dwight replied, "I don't care what (he) says...He's done. He's gone. It's time to move on." (Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports). Ken Berger of CBS Sports further discussed the chance for Howard to put his recent past in Orlando behind him through his new challenge in Los Angeles. Here's what else is brewing out of the Pacific Division tonight...
- Lakers guard Steve Blake returned from injury and practiced today, says McMenamin. The back up point guard was originally projected to have a three week recovery after puncturing his foot, but was given full clearance to play just ten days after his injury.
- Clippers forward Blake Griffin appears to have fully healed from his knee surgery in July, reportedly moving well during scrimmages and connecting on some signature dunks (according to Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld). Pincus also gives his impressions from DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Lamar Odom from scrimmages and also mentions that while Chauncey Billups isn't ready to play yet, the activity level and mobility that he displayed is a good indication that he is progressing along nicely with his rehab.
- Tim Kawakami of Mercury News tweets that Warriors center Andrew Bogut looked good during his individual workout today, going through a 40-45 minute session with the team trainer after practice.
- In this report from CSNBayArea.com, Klay Thompson talked about his goal to improve his efficiency this season as he embarks on his sophomore year in the league. Coach Mark Jackson also spoke confidently about the young shooting guard, saying that Thompson is "going to get his shots." In the miscellaneous section, Jackson seemed non-committal on who the Warriors' starting small forward will be at this point.
- Newly acquired Wesley Johnson has shined during Suns team scrimmages, writes Paul Coro of AZCentral.com. Aside from more observations from practices, Coro also says that Goran Dragic may continue to do more work during the team's two-a-day session on Friday, and that Jermaine O'Neal will withdraw from tomorrow's practice because of soreness.
September 25 at 3:08pm CST By Luke Adams
While very few teams still have cap space available as the 2012/13 season approaches, there are a number of clubs in good position to clear a ton of money from their books next summer. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld takes an early look at which teams have the least guaranteed money on their cap next summer and beyond, and notes that many of the teams in the best position are in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons, Bobcats, Hawks, Cavaliers, and Wizards all only have between $17MM and $22MM in guaranteed money on their caps for 2013/14, though many of those numbers will increase when rookie-contract options are exercised.
Here are a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference on a Tuesday afternoon:
July 5 at 12:47am CST By Luke Adams
12:47am: The deal is for four years and $30MM, with $1MM bonuses if Dragic makes the All-Star team, says Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
12:00am: Shortly after agreeing to send Steve Nash to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal, the Suns have filled their opening at point guard with unrestricted free agent Goran Dragic. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that the Suns and Dragic have agreed to a four-year contract worth $34MM. According to SI.com's Sam Amick (Twitter link), the fourth year is a player option.
Dragic was said to be seeking
a contract worth $10MM annually, and while he won't quite receive that much, an annual average value of $8.5MM is pretty impressive for a player with 36 career starts. The 26-year-old had a breakout season in 2011/12, averaging 16.3 PPG and 7.3 APG in the second half when Kyle Lowry
, who had a bacterial infection, was sidelined or playing reduced minutes.
With Dragic out of the picture, the Rockets have offered a contract to Jeremy Lin, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The offer was expected to be a backloaded one for three or four years. If Lin signs that offer sheet and the Knicks match it, Lowry will be the only starting-caliber point guard left on the Rockets' roster, putting the team in an interesting bind, since Lowry is reportedly unhappy in Houston. For their part, the Knicks are expected to match after losing out in the Nash sweepstakes.
For Phoenix, meanwhile, the agreement means a former Sun will return to the team -- it was just a little more than 16 months ago that the Suns shipped Dragic and a first-round pick to Houston in exchange for Aaron Brooks. Now, Dragic is headed back to Phoenix, and it appears Brooks will be on his way out.
The move is the third major agreement for the Suns today. Besides the Nash deal, they also agreed to terms on a three-year contract with Michael Beasley. Dragic also represents the Suns' second major point guard addition of the offseason, as the club drafted Kendall Marshall 13th overall last Thursday.
July 4 at 10:32pm CST By Luke Adams
Happy Fourth of July to all of our American readers! Even though it's a holiday, we're expecting more free agent developments, so we'll be providing our usual updates all day long. Here are a few of Wednesday's more minor free agent rumors, with the latest items added to the top of the page throughout the day....
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweets that Grant Hill will either join Steve Nash in signing with the Lakers or retire.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic tweets that the Suns are unwilling to offer Goran Dragic the $10MM per year he is reportedly seeking.
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) hears that negotiations between JaVale McGee and the Nuggets are "going well."
- Alexey Shved will travel to the U.S. next week to visit the Timberwolves, Cavs, and Grizzlies, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. All three teams have offered deals, according to Shved's agent, though the Cavs said earlier this week they hadn't made an offer.
- The Suns are pushing for a commitment from Michael Beasley today and are meeting with Raymond Felton tomorrow, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- Having become an unrestricted free agent yesterday, Courtney Lee will probably find a four-year, $25MM+ contract, says Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. However, Kyler notes that the Rockets, who still hold Lee's Bird Rights, may have the framework in place for a five-year, $32MM deal.
- Mike Naiditch, the agent for Greg Stiemsma, tells Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the Celtics and Timberwolves are his client's top two choices.
- Four teams have called to express interest in Mickael Pietrus, but the Celtics aren't one of those four, says Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, adding that Pietrus "desperately" wants to re-sign with Boston.
- While their top target is Ray Allen, the Grizzlies are "casting a wide net" in free agency, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. GM Chris Wallace says the team has talked to "about 15 players" already. Randy Foye and Kirk Hinrich are believed to be among Memphis' other targets, according to Tillery.
July 4 at 8:45pm CST By Sean Highkin
8:45pm: CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports (via Twitter) that the Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with Dragic's camp and will be making him an offer tonight. He adds in another tweet that the Mavericks, Raptors, and Suns are also pursuing Dragic and that he is still "far apart" in talks with the Rockets.
8:41pm: With Deron Williams re-signing with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and Steve Nash's stunning trade to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier today, the Rockets' Goran Dragic is arguably the best point guard remaining in free agency. ESPN.com's Marc Stein tweets that, following the Nash trade, the Phoenix Suns will be aggressively pursuing Dragic.
July 4 at 4:08pm CST By Luke Adams
The Raptors continue to try to acquire Kyle Lowry from the Rockets, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Raps appear to be fading in the Steve Nash sweepstakes, but even if they're able to land Nash, the team will still have interest in trading for Lowry, says Stein.
Toronto has been linked to Lowry multiple times this offseason, and Stein notes that the Raptors were talking to Houston about acquiring the point guard during the draft. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun speculated earlier today
that the Raptors could turn their focus back to Lowry or Goran Dragic
if their pursuit of Nash falls short.
It's unclear how motivated Houston is to move Lowry at this point, or what it would take to acquire him. Reports have suggested he's unhappy with the Rockets and would like to be dealt, but the team also seems to be far apart on a new deal for Dragic. It's hard to imagine the Rockets would let both point guards go -- even if they made an aggressive offer for Jeremy Lin, the Knicks could, and probably would, match it.