NBA opportunities are dwindling for free agents, allowing clubs from overseas to jump into the game. Here's the latest international news on players with NBA ties:
- A Chinese team has offered Bobby Brown a deal that would net him $1.2MM, reports Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. Agent Aaron Mintz has met with the Knicks, and though New York can only give him a minimum-salary deal, Brown has told Zwerling he'd prefer the Knicks to China (Twitter links).
- Former Knicks small forward James White has drawn interest from China as well, and he's still thinking about signing to play there, Zwerling tweets.
- A source tells Sportando's Emiliano Carchia that Mickael Gelabale will sign with Russian team BC Khimki (Twitter link). Shams Charania of RealGM.com tweeted earlier today that Gelabale was set to finalize a lucrative deal overseas. The 30-year-old swingman returned this past season to the NBA after an absence of nearly five years, but interest from NBA teams dissapated this summer, prompting him to return overseas, according to Charania (Twitter link).
- Charania noted in his tweet that Gelabale wouldn't sign with Olympiacos in Greece, as Lefteris Moutis of Eurohoops.net reported. One part of Moutis' report appears to be true, however, as Carchia hears that Olympiacos is no longer likely to sign Cartier Martin, who appeared this week to be close to a deal with the club (Twitter link). Martin spent 2012/13 with the Wizards.
- Agent Alexander Raskovic tells Carchia that Vladimir Radmanovic is still intent on remaining in the NBA and won't return to Europe this season. Raskovic said as much in June, and it doesn't appear that a lack of an NBA deal nearly a month into free agency has prompted Radmanovic to change his mind.
The Wolves announced that they have waived center Greg Stiemsma and forward Mickael Gelabale. Both moves have been expected for some time.
Both players had contracts for the 2013/14 season that were said to become guaranteed if they were still on the Wolves’ roster at the end of the month. Stiemsma was set to earn $2.69MM next season while Gelabale would have made $916K. According to the Hoops Rumors schedule of guarantee dates, Stiemsma would have had his contract locked in on July 17th while Gelabale would have been guaranteed on the 22nd.
Stiemsma, a former Celtic, averaged 4.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 15.9 minutes per game last year. Gelabale, who spent several years overseas, scored 5.0 PPG in 17.9 minutes per contest.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities has plenty on all things Timberwolves in his latest dispatch, including a look at the itinerary for president of basketball operations Flip Saunders that sheds some light on the team's order of free agent priorities. Here's what Wolfson is sharing:
- The team's top targets appear to be Mayo, Redick and Martin, Wolfson tweets.
- Saunders will meet with O.J. Mayo, and he could meet with Andre Iguodala as well, since agent Rob Pelinka has them together in Los Angeles. Iguodala, though, is probably out of the team's price range, Wolfson writes.
- Saunders will then see Wasserman Media Group clients J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy Jr. Dorell Wright will likely meet with Saunders as well. Finally, Saunders will take his reported meeting with Rick Adelman favorite Chase Budinger, who's strongly interested in signing with the Bucks.
- Kevin Martin is on the Wolves' radar, too, according to Wolfson. If Saunders can't land him or any of the above targets, he'll turn to Marco Belinelli.
- Though it's more likely that Andrei Kirilenko will sign elsewhere, he'll still consider re-signing with Minnesota, a source tells Wolfson. The team made phone calls and held meetings last night, but it did not reach out to Kirilenko, Wolfson tweets.
- Owner Glen Taylor's strong preference is to stay out of the luxury tax, and it's likely the team will remain below the tax line, but if Saunders can make a "can't miss" proposition to become a tax team, Taylor may consent to doing so.
- We'd heard that the team plans to waive Greg Stiemsma before his non-guaranteed contract becomes fully guaranteed later this month, and Wolfson says the same is true for Mickael Gelabale, though Wolfson believes the team may try to find trading partners for them in the meantime.
- J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour and Derrick Williams are the others on the team's trading block.
- The team has not reached out to Carlos Delfino, Wolfson reports via Twitter.
Yesterday, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders made multiple radio appearances, stressing that he wouldn't trade Kevin Love and that the team wasn't about to just give anyone away in order to move up in the draft. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities has more today on the T-Wolves' offseason plans, so let's dive in and check out the highlights from Wolfson's latest Scoops column….
- The Wolves still have "strong interest" in drafting Victor Oladipo, but Oladipo's representatives have been reluctant to set up a workout for their client until the club shows it has the ability to trade into the top five, says Wolfson.
- While the Wolves appear unlikely to pursue Kevin Martin, who Rick Adelman coached in Houston, O.J. Mayo remains a "big-time free agent priority" for the team, according to Wolfson.
- Wolfson passes along a recent quote from Andrei Kirilenko, in which Kirilenko discusses his $10.22MM player option, adding that it sounds as if the veteran forward is seriously considering opting out. According to Wolfson, the Wolves would like to bring back the Russian, but aren't in love with the idea of paying him $10MM+.
- Restricted free-agent-to-be Nikola Pekovic will meet with Saunders in Italy this weekend.
- The team option the Wolves hold on Dante Cunningham is essentially a lock to be exercised, says Wolfson.
- As I noted in Hoops Rumors' timeline of contract guarantee dates, Greg Stiemsma's and Mickael Gelabale's deals for next season don't become guaranteed until July 17th and July 22nd, respectively. Wolfson points out that both players could be useful trade chips in the next few weeks, since their deals are essentially set to expire in July.
The Trail Blazers and Timberwolves seem to share a link greater than just their placement together in the Northwest Division. They were at opposite ends of a tug-of-war over restricted free agent Nicolas Batum last summer, around the same time former Blazers star Brandon Roy came out of retirement to sign with the Wolves, a move that cost Portland owner Paul Allen $17MM in insurance money. Earlier this season they "amicably" resolved a dispute over a trade the two clubs made back in 2010. Both clubs are in the news again, with news involving Roy and former Blazer and current Wolf Chris Johnson. Here's what we know:
- Wolves coach Rick Adelman hasn't been expecting Roy to return this season, but after spending the last two weeks hard at work in practice, Roy will ask Adelman if he can return to game action, reports Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Roy, who says his oft-injured right knee is improving, will almost certainly hit free agency this summer, since he's played only five games this season and his deal is non-guaranteed for 2013/14. He suggested earlier this year that he'd retire if he couldn't come back healthy by the end of this season.
- Johnson and Mickael Gelabale also have non-guaranteed deals with the Wolves for next year, and they appear to have a shot at returning to the club, notes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. "This summer will be big for them," Adelman said. "We like them both."
- The Blazers will send their first-round pick to the Bobcats if it's not in the top 12, and as our updated tentative draft order shows, Portland is in line for the No. 12 pick, separated by three games from the Mavericks for the No. 13 spot. Despite the motivation to lose and improve the team's chances of keeping its pick, Blazers coach Terry Stotts insists that's something his squad won't do, as The Oregonian's Mike Tokito observes. "We've played every game to try and win," Stotts said. "The draft picks — I just think you start doing that you're (messing with) basketball karma or whatever. I think you gotta be true to the game and true to your players, and that's never been a concern of mine or our team."
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com hears more and more that the Maloof brothers could keep the Kings rather than sell the team to the Sacramento-led group if the NBA declines the Seattle bid, adding that it's not a total longshot at this point. Howard-Cooper also says that whether the possibility could drag on into this summer or next season, the Maloofs may step back and re-assess their options (All Twitter links). Interestingly enough, Aaron Bruski of USA Today tweeted that league sources "have maintained without any equivocation that the Maloofs will not own an NBA franchise next season."
We've got more to share out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Howard-Cooper reiterates that he's not saying the above scenario will happen, but it's still a possibility. He also clarifies that the Maloofs keeping the Kings would be a way for them to start a bidding war and evaluate at the type of offers they can receive (Twitter links).
- Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle says that Brandon Rush plans to do some light running and jumping in three weeks, and that the Warriors guard/forward should be ready by the start of the 2013-14 training camp (Twitter links).
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that he thinks Mike D'Antoni's job is safe for next season at least, being that the Lakers coach is still owed a lot of money and hasn't had a healthy roster.
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press writes that Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has a tough challenge of trying to evaluate upcoming free agents Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson without enough playing time to find for them.
We rounded up several items on the Timberwolves this morning, but after a day when the team inked Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale for the rest of the season, letting Louis Amundson go at the same time, there's plenty more to report from Minnesota. Here's the latest:
- Nikola Pekovic is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, but he's talking like he'd welcome a return to the Wolves, as Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press documents. "I like everything about Minnesota," the 27-year-old center said. "First of all, I like the team. I think we can do a lot when we're healthy. I like the coaching staff."
- Walters also notes that commissioner David Stern and Wolves owner Glen Taylor met to discuss Taylor's potential successor. Negotiations with the unnamed investor are going slowly, Taylor said.
- GM David Kahn says Johnson has the edge on Gelabale to stick with the team next season, the Star Tribune's Kent Youngblood notes. That makes sense, since we heard earlier today that Kahn and Johnson had discussed adding 2013/14 to the rest-of-season deal the big man signed today.
- Rick Adelman hints that the team isn't done after today's moves, as Youngblood details in the same piece. "We felt these guys were young, they came in and did a good job, and they give us bodies at the spots we need," the coach said. "[But] we'd better be hoping to do something. We have to improve this team."
The Timberwolves have re-signed Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale to rest-of-season deals, and have released Louis Amundson to make room on the roster, according to Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter). The T-Wolves had been carrying all three players for a total of 16, thanks to an injury exception, but were now required to reduce the roster to 15.
Johnson and Gelabale had both received a pair of 10-day contracts from the Timberwolves, so the team needed to either sign them for the remainder of the season or lose them. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reported earlier today that the club had been discussing a deal with Johnson that would keep him under contract for the 2013/14 season as well.
Unlike some players on 10-day deals, both Johnson and Gelabale have seen a good deal of playing time since joining the Wolves. Johnson, 27, has averaged 8.6 PPG and 3.6 RPG while shooting 75.0% from the floor in seven games with the team, while Gelabale has appeared in each of the Wolves' 10 games since he first signed with Minnesota, averaging 6.5 PPG on 54.3% shooting.
As for Amundson, he hadn't been a huge part of the T-Wolves' rotation this season, appearing in just 20 games. He was on a one-year, minimum-salary contract, so even though Minnesota will be on the hook for his remaining salary, the cap hit won't be excessive.
2013/14 Timberwolves season ticket holders appear to be in line for a 10% discount, as the T-Wolves continue to slip further out of playoff contention. As Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities writes in his latest Scoops column, the marketing department that promised a 10% discount if Minnesota failed to reach the postseason should have also offered a money-back guarantee if the team doesn't make a deadline trade, since that seems like a near certainty. Here are the latest Wolves rumblings from Wolfson:
- Following up on Chris Sheridan's report on Luke Ridnour's availability, Wolfson confirms that the Jazz like Ridnour. However, Wolfson thinks a package that includes Raja Bell and one of Utah's first-round picks is more likely than one that features Alec Burks.
- Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed that GM David Kahn has engaged Brandon Roy's agent in talks about a possible buyout. Roy's contract could also be used for salary-matching purposes in a trade.
- Taylor also said the T-Wolves were never too involved in Rudy Gay talks, and said other trade discussions are "slow-going" at the moment.
- Chris Johnson's and Mickael Gelabale's 10-day contracts expired overnight, but both players are expected to be retained for the rest of the season. The Wolves are talking to Johnson about a deal that would keep him around for 2013/14 as well.
- If Johnson and Gelabale are both re-signed, Louis Amundson appears to be the odd man out. Minnesota has been allowed to carry 16 players temporarily after receiving an injury exception, but will have to reduce that number to 15.
Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press has several updates on Wednesday concerning the Minnesota Timberwolves: