Plenty of teams are hoping for a chance to pitch to LeBron James, but the Wizards aren’t one of them, as owner Ted Leonsis explained in an appearance on 106.7 The Fan today. Scott Allen of The Washington Post has the transcription.
“You’d have to have cap space and you’d have to renounce all your free agents,” Leonsis said. “Then you’d have to be able to call their agent and say, ‘Would you think he would consider coming here?’ So, I never understood the grandstanding. Some of the bloggers have said, just get in the mix and throw your name out there. OK, so you generate positive pixels and it creates these faux expectations, and LeBron is in total control of his future. LeBron will do what LeBron wants to do. We have to be able to control what we want to control, and right now our main targets are retaining our players.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:
- The Heat‘s top two targets for outside improvement appear to be Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng, but neither seem likely to end up with the team, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Deng is unwilling to take a discount to go to Miami, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, probably putting him out of reach (Twitter link).
- Hornets free agent power forward Josh McRoberts and the Blazers have mutual interest in a deal, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com hears.
- The Wizards would like to bring back free agent point guard Garrett Temple, but they face competition from the Heat, Magic and Bulls, who have also expressed interest, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Hawks are interested in re-signing Elton Brand, but the Knicks are eyeing him, too, writes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
1:27am: Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey will meet with Lowry in Philadelphia later today, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo (on Twitter).
1:03am: The line of teams chasing Kyle Lowry is so long that the Raptors are now said to be weighing whether to offer a fifth year to clinch his re-signing, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. As Stein reported earlier tonight, the Raptors are pitching a deal with an average annual value of $12MM/year, so a five-year deal would be quite a get for the 28-year-old.
The Heat have been known to be fans of Lowry and really appeared to ramp up their pursuit early Tuesday morning. A source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) that Miami reached out to his agent, Andy Miller, and the sides are planning to talk in the morning.
In addition to the Heat, the Raptors will have to contend with the Lakers, Rockets, and Mavericks, who all reached out to Lowry tonight, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
The Mavs are prioritizing a meeting with Carmelo Anthony before locking in a date with LeBron James, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. That speaks to the belief around the league that LeBron is staying in Miami, Berger adds. There’s more on the Mavs within the latest from the Southwest Division:
- The Mavericks were the first team on the phone with Luol Deng‘s representatives tonight, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
- The Mavs‘ first face-to-face meeting tonight is between owner Mark Cuban and point guard Devin Harris, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
- Rockets GM Daryl Morey has traveled to Philadelphia to meet with free agent guard Kyle Lowry tonight, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Coach Kevin McHale is also there for the pitch, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
- Andray Blatche has been telling people around the league that he may end up with the Pelicans, sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard the Nets big man linked to New Orleans.
Pau Gasol won’t be having any in-person meetings tonight, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The big man will be taking calls at his home in Los Angeles instead. The market for him will take shape over the first week of free agency as Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their choices. Of course, many free agents will find themselves in a holding pattern until those two decide on where they’ll sign. In the meantime, here’s more news from the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers registered interest in Carmelo Anthony tonight and will be meeting with him on Thursday, a source tells Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- Spencer Hawes is a free agent target for the Clippers, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Clips targeted him at the trade deadline.
- The Clippers are interested in bringing back Darren Collison, Glen Davis, and Danny Granger in that preferred order, Markazi also reports (on Twitter).
- One of the top off-season priorities for the Clippers is upgrading at small forward and they will reach out to Paul Pierce and Trevor Ariza, Markazi tweets. Clippers coach/president Doc Rivers will recruit his former pupil Pierce while Chris Paul will work on his former teammate Ariza (link).
- The Lakers like Ariza, Kyle Lowry, Luol Deng, and Chandler Parsons, but won’t offer any of them deals longer than one or two years, tweets Mark Medina of the Daily News.
- The Kings will look to add a point guard even if they re-sign restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter) says the Suns and Hawks will be interested in Pau Gasol. The Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, Mavs, and Rockets are also expected to pursue the Spaniard. There should be plenty of options out there for Gasol but Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter) hears that the Thunder are unlikely to be in the running. Here’s more from around the league..
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (on Twitter) hears that MarShon Brooks is the only definitive Lakers free agent not returning. Everyone else has a chance to return depending on who else is available.
- The feeling from NBA sources is that this free agency period could be “uneventful” for the Jazz outside of Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
- The Clippers remain interested in re-signing Glen Davis and his reps have talked with the club, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- Wizards coach Randy Wittman and VP Ed Tapscott are slated to visit their free agent forward Trevor Ariza in his hometown of Los Angeles tomorrow, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
- Meanwhile, Drew Gooden expects to re-sign with the Wizards on a minimum salary deal, a source tells Spears (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Al Harrington is one of the Wizards’ summer league coaches and still wants to play.
- After extending a qualifying offer to Avery Bradley, Danny Ainge made it clear that the the guard “is a big part” of the Celtics‘ future, writes Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com.
- Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle looks at the pitch that the Rockets plan on making to Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James‘ agent, Rich Paul.
- Euroleague point guard Bo McCalebb is officially free agent, his agent Eric Fleisher told Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter). There is no buyout of any kind that needs to be addressed, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets.
9:52pm: Spears has retracted his report and says that he was duped by someone posing as a Raptors exec (Twitter link).
9:38pm: Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) hears that the Raptors will offer a deal worth $14.5MM per year to Kyle Lowry after free agency officially opens early Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) continues to hear that the offer will carry an average annual value of $12MM per season.
We heard earlier today that some in the Raptors organization are concerned that teams will make offers to Lowry that they’ll be unable to match, but an AAV of $14MM+ could scare every other suitor away. The Rockets and Heat are known to be rather fond of the point guard after he had a career resurgence in Toronto last season. Whether it’s $12MM or $14.5MM a year, it sounds like the Raptors have every intention of keeping their point guard for next season and beyond.
David Blatt‘s hiring as Cavs coach elicited conversations between Kyrie Irving and the team that were more positive in tone than any others to date, a source tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cavs officials are heading to Irving’s home in New Jersey to present a max extension offer to Irving as soon as the extension window opens tonight, as Broussard notes, confirming a report from earlier this month (Twitter link). Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- The Nets and Bucks won’t be able to trade with each other during 2014/15 as a result of the Jason Kidd deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter).
- Some in the Raptors organization are concerned that teams will make offers to Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez at figures that Toronto is unwilling to match, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
- The Raptors failed to waive Tyler Hansbrough by the Sunday guarantee date listed in his contract, so his partial guarantee of $1MM for next season has become a fully guaranteed $3,326,235 salary.
- The Wizards had been making Martell Webster available in trade talk before his back surgery, which likely torpedoed movement toward any deal, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
- Washington reciprocates Garrett Temple‘s interest in returning, sources tell J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, who deems the point guard’s return to the Wizards as likely.
- Soon-to-be restricted free agent Ekpe Udoh has changed agents, going with Brandon Grier and Michael Silverman of Athlete Management Group, USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets. The Bucks big man had previously been with Chris Luchey of CGL Sports.
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri is likely to make a strong push to re-sign Kyle Lowry just as free agency begins tonight to prevent the Heat and Rockets from having a chance to jump in, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Here’s more free agency chatter with 11 hours left to go until negotiations can begin:
- Pau Gasol will meet with the Thunder, Bulls and Warriors, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who suggests the big man hasn’t ruled out a meeting with Lakers brass, either.
- Chandler Parsons would be on board with a sign-and-trade to the Wolves if the money is on the mark, a source close to Parsons tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Minnesota reportedly has interest in Parsons as a fallback trade target in a Kevin Love swap.
- The Rockets, Mavs, Lakers, Clippers, Cavs, Raptors, Suns and Pistons are all suitors for Trevor Ariza, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter link).
- The Rockets and Mavs are gearing up to sign Jordan Hill, as are the Lakers, Hill’s incumbent team, Wojnarowski tweets.
- The Magic are likely to make a play for Rodney Stuckey, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes.
- Kent Bazemore is anticipating interest from the Suns, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter).
- Matt Bonner is interested in a return to the Spurs, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News observes (Twitter link). “I’d love to be back, especially if everybody is coming back.”
- Damian Lillard would like to see the Blazers go after Channing Frye, Vince Carter, Spencer Hawes and Ariza after re-signing Mo Williams, the point guard tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Carter would be open to signing with Portland, Haynes hears.
If they are unable to land Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, the Lakers are also expected to have a strong interest in Wizards free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Pistons center Greg Monroe, and Suns forward Channing Frye, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
More from out west:
- Potential suitors are beginning to line up now that the Rockets have declined their team option on Chandler Parsons. Teams that are potentially interested in pursuing Parsons are the Timberwolves, Bulls, Mavericks, and Lakers, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Houston will have the opportunity to match any offer sheet that Parsons signs.
- Spears also notes that if the Timberwolves aren’t able to work out a trade that sends Kevin Love to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, then Minnesota might attempt to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets for Parsons.
- Former NBA player, Tyler Honeycutt is weighing overseas offers versus making an NBA comeback, reports David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link). He has already auditioned for the Jazz, Rockets and Warriors.
7:10pm: Bucher has retracted the story via his Twitter feed, saying the information he obtained from sources was incorrect (All Twitter links).
FRIDAY, 6:02pm: An agreement in principle on the trade is “imminent,” reports Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. Bucher also backs off the assertion that a Bosh return to Toronto was a definite part of the deal, now saying that Bosh and the Raptors intend to meet to “gauge his interest” in returning.
9:55pm: Norris Cole would head to the Raptors in this scenario, too, Bucher hears (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 9:42pm: The Raptors are seeking to send Kyle Lowry to the Heat in a sign-and-trade that would also involve Chris Bosh opting out and heading back to Toronto, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher tweets. The soon-to-be free agent Lowry and the Heat reportedly have mutual interest, even though Lowry has expressed a strong affection for Toronto.
The notion that Bosh, who would be a free agent should he opt out of his deal, would head back to the team where he began his career, seems an odd one, especially given Bosh’s strong desire to remain in Miami. Still, it’s apparently questionable whether he’d want to remain with the Heat if LeBron James left.
It’s not truly surprising that the Raptors would envision trading Lowry for Bosh, given that Bosh is a perennial All-Star and Lowry has never been selected for the game. Still, the notion that the Raptors are attempting to make the move, even as they’ve professed allegiance to Lowry time and again, indicates that they’re willing to be bold and leave no option unexplored this summer.