The deadline for teams to sign rookie scale extensions with their eligible players is two weeks from today, and while only six players came to deals last time around, that number has the potential to be much larger this year, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein has more on many of those extension hopefuls that adds to the storylines we’ve been following throughout the offseason:
Iman Shumpert and the Knicks are also discussing an extension, Stein writes, countering a report from a few weeks ago that indicated that the sides hadn’t engaged in talks and that New York was content to let the swingman hit restricted free agency next summer.
Klay Thompson’s camp is considering the idea of going after an offer sheet similar to the one the Mavs gave Chandler Parsonsif Thompson and the Warriors don’t come to an extension this month, Stein hears. Parsons’ near-max deal runs three years and includes a player option and a 15% trade kicker. Rival GMs have expressed admiration for its structure and Rockets GM Daryl Morey pointed to the difficulty that trading such a contract would entail shortly after he decided against matching it. The player option would allow Thompson to hit unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2017, which is when Stephen Curry‘s deal is set to end, as Stein points out.
The Lakers have attempted to trade for Thompson in the past, Stein notes, though he doesn’t make any suggestion that they’re planning an aggressive push for the shooting guard if he becomes a restricted free agent next summer.
The Sixers might be the only franchise that is against revamping the NBA Draft lottery system, Tom Moore of Calkins Media writes. For any resolution to pass the league requires 75% of the teams to vote yes, which equates to 23 teams. Philadelphia’s Managing Owner Josh Harris commented on the possible change, saying, “It’s a change that flattens the lottery system. It would be a little bit worse for Philadelphia in the short run but long run, since we expect to be a consistent playoff or deep-caliber-playoff team, it’s actually better for us.” GM Sam Hinkie also added, “We are cognizant of being a good member of the league, but at the same time balancing that with what’s the right thing for Philly and the Philadelphia 76ers. We’re trying to draw that line the best we can.”
Here’s more from the east:
One of the main Celtics storylines this season will be whether or not GM Danny Ainge will trade Rajon Rondo. Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders believes that in addition to Rondo proving himself healthy prior to the trade deadline, the main determining factor will be the play of rookie Marcus Smart. Smart is expected to see major minutes early in the season with Rondo out for at least the first two weeks with a broken hand.
It isn’t likely that the Knicks will keep both Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. past this year’s trade deadline, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops writes in his team preview. New York has a logjam at the shooting guard position, and though the team would prefer to unload J.R. Smith, other teams around the league are wary of taking on a player whom many think of as undisciplined, opines Scotto.
One of the main reasons that Danny Granger chose to sign with the Heat was their offensive system, Yi Tao of NBA.com writes. “I studied how hard it is to guard the three-point line when they’re moving the ball and spacing and everybody’s touching the ball,” Granger said. “It’s a very difficult offense to guard so now that I’m in it, I’m trying to learn it and hopefully I’ll be very efficient in it.”
It’s media day for 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams, thus making it one of the busiest news days on the NBA calendar. We’ll round up the latest from the Atlantic Division amid the rush:
Evan Turner‘s contract with the Celtics is for two seasons and he’ll make $3.278MM this year, the value of the taxpayer’s mid-level exception, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). It’s fully guaranteed with no option clauses, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The C’s still have the capacity to give out an additional $2.027MM via their mid-level, but by keeping Turner’s money to the equivalent of the taxpayer’s amount, Boston isn’t subject to a hard cap of $80.829MM this season, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (on Twitter).
Carmelo Anthony acknowledged that he would have had a better chance to win if he’d signed elsewhere, but told reporters, including Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com that it “wouldn’t have felt right” if he had left the Knicks for another team (Twitterlinks).
It doesn’t look like the Knicks are going to grant an extension to Iman Shumpert, but the fourth-year guard doesn’t seem dismayed, as Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays (on Twitter).
Lionel Hollins made his mission statement for the Nets clear when chatting with reporters late last week, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post writes. “I’d like us to be tougher,” Hollins said. “[Be] more aggressive, compete harder every moment that they’re on the court, persevering through everything. “I want them to be tougher mentally. There’s a lot that goes into being a good team, and that’s the type of foundation that we’re gonna lay.”
Earlier tonight, we learned that the Knicks have yet to reach out to Iman Shumpert about a contract extension as the Halloween deadline draws near. The news wasn’t terribly shocking for a couple of reasons. One, president Phil Jackson has his eye on bigger fish down the line and an extension for Shumpert would hinder their financial flexibility. Two, Shumpert’s name was all over the pages of Hoops Rumors last season. The old regime viewed him as a trade chip and, apparently, the new front office feels similarly.
The Knicks have reportedly been dangling Shumpert throughout this offseason as well and while the offers weren’t great, that could change very quickly with a strong start to the season. It’s not difficult to imagine things falling into place for the guard considering what he has been able to do when healthy and his eagerness to play in the triangle offense.
“There’s constant action going on,” Shumpert said of the Zen Master’s offense in August, according to Howie Kussoy of the New York Post. “I think I’ll be able to capitalize off that and I’ll be able to use my athleticism a lot more than standing in the corner.”
By the same token, one has to wonder if the Knicks might finally be ready to commit if Shumpert takes a significant step forward this season. Cap flexibility is important, but the Knicks might want to have the first right of refusal on Shump more than they realize right now. The Knicks might also come to the table with agent Happy Walters in the next four weeks and change to work out a deal after all, even though it appears to be something of a longshot at present.
How do you see things shaking out between the Knicks and the 24-year-old guard?
Iman Shumpert is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract and the Knicks have yet to reach out to discuss a new deal, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. The guard is eligible to sign a rookie scale extension between now and Halloween, but as of today it doesn’t sound like there will be any treat for the 24-year-old.
The feeling, Begley writes, is that the Knicks are content to let Shumpert enter next summer as a restricted free agent. The Knicks want to maintain as much financial flexibility as possible for the summers of 2015 and 2016 and a Shumpert extension would eat up cap space. Meanwhile, with a one-year, $3.7MM qualifying offer, New York can match any offer that comes his way.
The Knicks, of course, may not reach the point where they would consider a QO for Shump. The 2011 first round pick was the subject of trade rumors for much of last season and a source tells Begley that the Knicks shopped him through the summer. Things could change over the next few weeks, but it sounds like Shumpert will have to continue to deal with an uncertain future at MSG.
The United States defeated Puerto Rico by a score of 112-86 in their final home exhibition game prior to the FIBA World Cup. Stephen Curry was the high scorer with 20 points, and James Harden added 13 for Team USA.
Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:
The Knicks already have the D-League rights to Thanasis Antetokounmpo, as Gino Pilato of D-League Digest clarifies in an update to an earlier report. Pilato had originally indicated that the Sixers retained his D-League rights because he played for their affiliate last season, but this year’s D-League rule changes give the Knicks his D-League rights because they selected him in the NBA draft this summer, as Pilato explains. Antetokounmpo, the 51st overall selection, has reportedly agreed to sign with the D-League and play for New York’s affiliate.
C.J. Miles will be asked to do a lot more than the Pacers anticipated when they signed him as a free agent back in July, writes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. In the wake of the potential season-ending injury to Paul George, and the departure of Lance Stephenson to the Hornets, Miles will need to pick up a sizable portion of the scoring load, opines Montieth.
The Knicks have a logjam at the shooting guard position with J.R. Smith, Tim HardawayJr, and Iman Shumpert, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. In the article, Begley examines the pros and cons of each player starting versus coming off of the bench. Smith weighed in on the situation, saying, “That’s for the coach to decide. All we’ve got to do is play. Whatever they decide, we’ve got to just live with it. Hopefully everybody could put their egos aside and come together for one common goal.”
Miami is remaining non-committal about bringing back free agents Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, as Jackson writes in the same piece. The agents for both veterans tell Jackson that the Heat have been in contact regarding their clients, but that they are receiving interest from other teams as well.
The Hornets didn’t necessarily sign Brian Roberts for the room exception, as originally thought, when they made his deal official Wednesday, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. It appears as though they have enough cap space to use on Roberts and preserve the exception to use on someone else, should they choose.
President Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills have mentioned the Knicks’ surplus in the backcourt, with Mills saying last week the Knicks are “heavy” at shooting guard. What they can get in return for Smith, Shump, and Larkin remains to be seen, however.
The Knicks tried to include Shumpert in deals earlier in the offseason in an effort to unload the contracts of Andrea Bargnani ($11.5MM) and Amar’e Stoudemire ($23.4MM) but no deal materialized for either player. Smith has a player option in his contract for $6.4MM for the 2015/16 season and is coming off of a down year. Larkin was recently acquired from the Mavericks in the trade that also netted Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert.
The Knicks have four shooting guards on the roster as of today and they also haven’t ruled out re-signing free agent PG/SG Toure’ Murry.
With Carmelo Anthony set to re-sign with the Knicks, New York can now focus on setting up a supporting cast to play alongside him. One name they’re interested in re-signing is Toure’ Murry, tweets Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal. Here’s more from around the East:
The Hawks have re-engaged talks with Luol Deng, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. We heard earlier that the two sides had reached an impasse on salary for the veteran small forward.
Kent Bazemore was in contract discussions with the Lakers when he agreed to join the Hawks, but Atlanta’s urgency precluded Los Angeles from re-signing the guard on their time table, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Trevor Ariza received the same offer from the Wizards as he agreed to with the Rockets, but the difference in taxes between Washington and Houston will save him approximately $3MM, tweets Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
Ariza asked for an annual salary of $10MM to stay with the Wizards, sources tell J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Michael says that Washington declined to meet Ariza’s demands in order to maintain cap space in 2016, when Kevin Durant will become a free agent.
10:23am: Hardaway’s name has come up in talks regarding Stoudemire, but the Knicks remain disinclined to include the guard in any trades, a source tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
8:47pm: Jackson has contacted the Sixers attempting to unload Stoudemire’s contract, but Philly wants an asset in return for absorbing the bloated deal, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman thinks the inclusion of Iman Shumpert might get the deal done, but New York would prefer to retain the young guard. Contradicting earlier reports, Berman also hears Jackson would like to hang on to Bargnani this season since he thinks the sharp shooting center could excel in the triangle offense.
2:26pm: The Knicks are actively shopping Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani as they attempt to find trade partners willing to provide the team the cap space necessary to make significant free agent acquisitions, reports Moke Hamilton of SNY.tv. Knicks president Phil Jackson turned down an offer for Bargnani and Tim Hardaway Jr. before the Tyson Chandler trade, confident that he could find a deal involving Bargnani that wouldn’t force the team to part with Hardaway, according to Hamilton.
New York is trying to open up roughly $40MM in cap flexibility to re-sign Carmelo Anthony and build around him, and that’s been part of Jackson’s pitch to the star forward, Hamilton writes. Stoudemire is set to make $23.4MM for the coming season while Bargnani is in line for $11.5MM after they both opted in for 2014/15. Clearing Stoudemire’s salary without receiving salary in return would instantly give the Knicks the kind of flexibility they’re after, but such a trade is unlikely to surface. Bargnani would also be difficult to move, but less so.
Trading one or both of them in a deal that nets cap flexibility would also help the Knicks if they don’t re-sign Anthony. New York would still be capped out if ‘Melo signs elsewhere, which would leave the Knicks with only the $5.305MM mid-level exception as their most significant tool on the free agent market.