Miami Heat Rumors

Ryan Hollins To Sign With Kings

September 17 at 7:13pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Ryan Hollins has agreed to a deal to sign with the Kings, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Exact contract details aren’t yet known, but it is a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal according to Spears. The Lakers, Bulls, Heat, and Spurs had also expressed interest in the twenty nine year-old seven-footer out of UCLA. This will bring Sacramento’s preseason roster count to 19.

As for what he brings to Sacramento, Hollins will compete with Reggie Evans and Sim Bhullar for minutes as DeMarcus Cousins‘ backup. He offers the Kings high-percentage shooting, defense, and rim protection, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors points out in his Free Agent Stock Watch article on the veteran center.

Hollins spent last season with the Clippers, where he appeared in 61 contests, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG. His slash line was .736/.000/.625. In eight seasons in the NBA, Hollins’ career numbers are 3.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG.

And-Ones: McGuire, Heat, Garnett

September 16 at 9:26pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here is what’s going on around the league on Tuesday night:

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Thompson, Moore, Oden

September 16 at 6:32pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Klay Thompson was one of many Warriors players who expressed support for Mark Jackson in the days leading up to Golden State’s firing of its former coach, but the extension-eligible Thompson tells USA Today’s Sam Amick that he’s optimistic about working with Steve Kerr. It was tough seeing Coach [Jackson] go, but at the end of the day the front office did what they felt would be best for us to win,” Thompson said. “They’ve made great moves in the past, so no reason not to trust them on this move. I’ve talked to Steve and he seems really good, like a guy who is really going to open it up for us. I’m excited to work with him.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The salary in the second season of E’Twaun Moore‘s deal with the Bulls will become guaranteed if he remains on the roster beyond a certain date in July 2015, writes Shams Charania of RealGM.
  • Executives with two NBA teams were optimistic that Greg Oden could still prove a useful NBA player after seeing him with the Heat last year, as they told Michael Wallace of ESPN.com. Still, his chances of finding work in the NBA anytime soon are in serious doubt as he faces a felony domestic violence charge stemming from an incident last month, as another exec tells Wallace.
  • The Celtics have hired Scott Morrison, the longtime coach at Lakeland University in Canada, to coach their D-League affiliate, the team announced.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Rumors: James, Chalmers, Nets, Bosh

September 15 at 8:46pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Wizards struck a deal with one wing player for training camp, as Xavier Silas has agreed to spend the preseason with Washington for the second year in a row, and the team is nearing a deal with Damion James, another wingman, as Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post confirms, echoing the report we passed along earlier today from J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Here’s more from the East:

  • Heat GM Andy Elisburg called Mario Chalmers before he re-signed with the team this summer to assure him that he was still in their plans and that they just needed to see what LeBron James would decide before circling back to them, as Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick writes. Before that, Chalmers had been full of doubt about his free agency, as he tells Skolnick. “I didn’t think I’d be back,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t think that at all. I didn’t even think the Heat would want me back, to be honest. That’s how I felt like my playoff performance was, that they didn’t want me back, they wanted to go another direction. So that was in my mind, too, but I was, like, if it happens, it happens.”
  • Deron Williams told reporters including Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that he hasn’t spoken with Jason Kidd since the former Nets coach left Brooklyn for Milwaukee. “I think it surprised everybody,” Williams said. “I don’t think anybody saw that coming. It was out of nowhere. I don’t even know enough about the situation. I’ve heard a lot of things, as you guys probably have, so I don’t know exactly what happened, but we’re excited about Lionel Hollins being our next coach and we wish J-Kidd the best of luck in Milwaukee, but we’re excited about Lionel.”
  • Hollins told reporters including Tim Bontemps of the New York Post that Kevin Garnett will be the Nets‘ starting power forward this season (Twitter link). All indications have been that the veteran big will play this season, and this should put to bed rumblings of an early retirement for good. The coach said that retirement hasn’t even been a point of discussion with Garnett, tweets Bondy.
  • In a mailbag answer, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel suggests that the Heat will have overpaid for Chris Bosh if he doesn’t return to the player he was in Toronto. Miami inked Bosh to the second-biggest contract of the summer once LeBron decided to head back to Cleveland.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Multiple Teams Interested In Ryan Hollins

September 15 at 6:09pm CDT By Cray Allred

Free agent Ryan Hollins has had contract talks with the Lakers, Kings, Bulls, and Spurs as a potential signing, the center told SiriusXM NBA Radio (transcription via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). The seven-footer has also been in talks with the Heat, the only team previously linked to his services this summer.

Aside from the Kings and Spurs, each of the teams considering Hollins as an addition are limited to offering the minimum salary. It would be shocking for Sacramento to exercise their biannual exception to spend more than the minimum, however, since the team has been working to stay beneath the luxury tax line for 2014/15. Hollins’ name is among a handful of big men drawing interest from many of the same teams looking to fill out their frontcourt depth. Gustavo Ayon and Emeka Okafor are other frontcourt pieces generating interest from overlapping teams, but an overseas commitment and injury concerns make the paths for both to land on an NBA team more complicated than that of Hollins, respectively.

It’s unclear if Hollins is close to reaching an agreement for guaranteed money, or if he’s facing the prospect of competing through training camp on a non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contract. While unspectacular, Hollins is a proven commodity, playing a very specific and useful role, as Chuck Myron detailed in our Free Agent Stock Watch article on the veteran center. The Stealth Sports client has career averages of 3.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Heat, Ferry

September 14 at 6:40pm CDT By Zach Links

The Heat may take a step back this season, but on an individual level, Mario Chalmers‘ father says that his son is excited about his role for the coming season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “As sad we all are to see LeBron [James] go, Mario’s excited to go back to his natural position. He loves being a playmaker. And there will be more opportunities to score,” said Ronnie Chalmers.  Here’s more out of the Southeast Division..

  • Despite the controversy surrounding the Hawks and the racist comments made by owner Bruce Levenson and GM Danny Ferry, Atlanta will continue to be a free agent destination, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com opines.  Blakely believes that the organization will distance themselves from the incident and people involved as quickly as possible, and players will use the departures of those involved as justification for signing with the team.
  • The Heat are still looking at backup veteran centers, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter).  Miami recently signed undrafted power forward Khem Birch but their search for size is not yet through.
  • The Hawks‘ issues are a matter of league-wide importance, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.  Beyond the very obvious problems with what went on in Atlanta, former union executive director Charles Grantham wonders aloud if teams are sharing negative information on their players to reduce their worth.  Ferry reportedly received negative information on Luol Deng from another club and then mentioned it on the now infamous conference call.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Heat Sign Khem Birch

September 14 at 11:23am CDT By Chuck Myron

SEPTEMBER 14th, 11:23am: The signing is official, the team announced.

8:24pm: Birch’s deal is partially guaranteed, agent Mike George confirms to Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com.

SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1:22pm: Undrafted power forward Khem Birch will join the Heat on a camp deal, reports Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link). Birch will almost certainly be making the minimum salary should he stick until opening night, just like Andre Dawkins, who also appears headed to Miami, as another report indicated within the hour.

The Wizards were also high on Birch, Wolstat tweets, and it wouldn’t be surprising if still more teams were pursuing the former UNLV standout who entered this year’s draft as the No. 42 prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com rankings. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had him going at No. 58 in his final 2014 mock draft, so he sits at or near the top of the best undrafted talent still available from this year’s class.

The 6’9″ Birch made his mark on the boards in a breakout campaign for the Runnin’ Rebels this past season, averaging 10.2 rebounds in 31.4 minutes per game. He grabbed 5.7 RPG in 19.5 MPG with the Wizards summer league team in July.

Miami’s roster is poised to swell to 19 with the addition of Birch and Dawkins, one shy of the preseason limit. Reports have linked the Heat to several veteran shooting guards and big men in recent weeks, but it appears as though Miami is close to finishing its offseason pickups.

And-Ones: Lakers, Bosh, Collier

September 13 at 12:47pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kobe Bryant will return to the Lakers starting five this season, but his supporting cast hasn’t improved much. In his pre-season rankings, Adi Joseph of USA Today predicts that Los Angeles will take a step back in the win column, and finish with a record of 22-60 and end up in the NBA Draft Lottery for the second-straight year.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Undrafted free agent Devon Collier turned down an NBA camp invitation to accept a deal with Israeli team Bnei Herzliya, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
  • Now that LeBron James is in Cleveland and Chris Bosh has become the highest-paid player with the longest contract on the Heat, it’s time for him to become a more vocal locker room voice, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.
  • Alessandro Oliveira has joined the Nets as assistant trainer, replacing Nixon Dorvilien, who followed Jason Kidd to the Bucks, the team announced (twitter link).

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Latest On Zoran Dragic

September 12 at 8:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 8:36pm: Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic adds the Cavs to the list of teams interested in Dragic, and reports that Dragic’s current salary is approximately $1.4MM. It would take upwards of $2MM in annual salary to pry the younger Dragic guard from his current club in Coro’s estimation, considering the earnings and covered living expenses provided by his current team. The Arizona Republic scribe pegs Dragic’s NBA escape clause at $1.1MM, which lines up with an earlier report that the buyout exceeds $971K.

WEDNESDAY, 7:49am: The Suns, Pacers and Kings are the teams most aggressively going after Dragic, Stein tweets, expanding on his report about Phoenix’s heavy pursuit from a few days ago. Talks are expected to intensity now that Dragic’s World Cup obligations are over, Stein adds (Twitter links). Phoenix, Indiana and Sacramento all have the capacity to exceed the minimum salary.

TUESDAY, 4:51pm: The Heat, Magic, Spurs and Mavs are maintaining dialogues with Spanish-league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote earlier this week that the Suns were one of the three teams with the most interest in signing the 25-year-old, but it’s not clear if they remain in the running. The Pacers, too, have appeared to be in pursuit of Dragic of late, while the Rockets were reportedly the leading contender for him in May.

Several NBA teams scouted Dragic in the World Cup the past couple of weeks, Charania writes, a run that ended when his Slovenian team lost this afternoon to Team USA. New teams are inquiring about him with each passing day, the RealGM scribe adds. Dragic is the younger brother of Goran Dragic, who appears poised to opt out his deal next summer and hit free agency, and teams are already lining up to try to poach Goran from the Suns.

Zoran Dragic averaged 10.6 points in 20.3 minutes per game for Unicaja Malaga this past season but he reportedly possesses a strong desire to come to the NBA. He’d have to sign with an NBA team by Oct. 5th, according to Charania, and cover a buyout greater than the equivalent of $971K to break free from Unicaja Malaga this year, as Stein wrote in his report this week. That would appear to give the Spurs and Magic an edge on the Heat and Mavs, since Miami and Dallas can’t exceed the minimum salary and thus can’t give him more than the Excluded International Player Payment Amount of $600K toward his buyout.

Hawks Rumors: Wednesday

September 10 at 4:07pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports uncovered the recording of the meeting in which Hawks GM Danny Ferry made his fateful remarks about Luol Deng. We’ll pass along the revelations from that story amid the latest news surrounding the Hawks controversy, with any additional updates throughout the day at the top:

4:07pm update:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver cited Ferry’s otherwise upstanding track record in telling USA Today’s Sam Amick that he doesn’t think the Hawks should fire Ferry. “It’s a question of context,” Silver said in part. “… These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I’m saying is – and frankly my opinion — is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I’m being asked my view, I’m saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don’t think it’s a terminable offense.”

1:54pm update:

  • Ferry read more statements in the meeting that impugned Deng’s character, as Wojnarowski transcribes. “… For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, ‘That absolutely was not me. I can’t believe someone said that,”‘ Ferry said on the recording. “But talking to reporters, you know they can [believe it].”
  • Ferry’s report also brought up concerns about Deng’s focus, Wojnarowski reveals. “… Good guy in Chicago,” as Ferry is heard saying. “They will tell you he was good for their culture, but not a culture setter. He played hard and all those things, but he was very worried about his bobble-head being the last one given away that year, or there was not enough stuff of him in the [team] store … kind of a complex guy.”
  • Wojnarowski suggests that the remarks Ferry made on the recording were his own, and not words he read from a report, as Ferry has claimed. However, that’s merely based on Wojnarowski’s own observation.
  • Co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. had sought Ferry’s ouster even before Ferry’s racially charged remarks in June that sparked the controversy, Wojnarowski writes. Gearon made an immediate audible reaction to Ferry’s comments about Deng, comparing them to the inflammatory remarks that led to Donald Sterling’s exit from the Clippers, as the Yahoo! scribe notes. An email Gearon sent in reaction to the one with racial overtones that prompted outgoing controlling owner Bruce Levenson to sell the team was more matter-of-fact, and it didn’t entail the sort of dramatic reaction that Gearon had to Ferry’s comments, Wojnarowski shows.
  • The league office is “livid” with Gearon, Wojnarowski writes, though the precise reason for that anger isn’t entirely clear.
  • The Hawks offered Deng a two-year, $20MM deal and a one-year, $10MM arrangement, and Ferry was the team’s greatest supporter for signing him, Wojnarowski hears. The salaries Atlanta offered are similar to the ones Deng will receive on his contract with the Heat.
  • Ferry has his boosters around the league, but many find him distant and unsympathetic and find it difficult to work with the Hawks front office, according to Wojnarowski.
  • The conversation covered many free agent targets, including Carmelo Anthony. Ferry said that Anthony “can shoot the [expletive] out of it, but he screws you up in other ways,” as Wojnarowski transcribes, though Ferry also saw value in giving him a lucrative deal.
  • At least one civil rights leader expressed frustration when the Hawks called off a meeting that was set for today with civil rights leaders in Atlanta, Charles Odumap of The Associated Press reports. The Hawks called the meeting a “priority” and indicated their intention to reschedule in a press release today.