And-Ones: Turner, Whiteside, Parsons, Rubio

In an interesting interview with Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Evan Turner explained how he ended up reaching an agreement with the Trail Blazers earlier today, expressing confidence that he’ll be a great fit in Portland. Turner suggested that he’d “play in Boston every single day of the week” if all other factors were equal, but the Celtics would have only have offered him about half what the Blazers did, and the C’s likely would’ve reduced his role as well.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Hassan Whiteside‘s max salary isn’t set in stone yet, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald, who tweets that the young center would be willing to take a little less if Kevin Durant wants to sign with the Heat.
  • Chandler Parsons called his decision to sign with the Grizzlies the toughest of his life, calling Portland “incredible” and citing Memphis’ coaching staff as a major factor in his choice. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com has the quotes from Parsons.
  • Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press is skeptical that the Timberwolves will trade Ricky Rubio this summer, tweeting that head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to work with the point guard. Krawczynski expects Rubio to be on Minnesota’s roster when training camp rolls around.
  • Dubbed last week as the favorites to reach a deal with Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez, the Nets are are still trying to get a deal done with Rodriguez, but sources tell Mike Mazzeo and Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that an agreement looks “unlikely.”
  • The Thunder issued a press release today confirming the hiring of Adrian Griffin as an assistant on Billy Donovan‘s staff, as was reported last month. Vin Bhavnani and former NBA guard Royal Ivey also received promotions and are now assistant coaches, per the team.

Nets, Justin Hamilton Agree To Deal

The Nets and Justin Hamilton have agreed to a two-year deal worth $6MM, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports on Twitter. The contract is fully guaranteed as Hamilton’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

Richard Mackson /USA Today Sports Images

Richard Mackson /USA Today Sports Images

Hamilton is a 7’0″ center who last played in the NBA for the Wolves during the 2014/15 campaign. He spent last season playing for Valencia Basket of the Liga ACB in Europe.

Before signing the big man, Brooklyn only had nine players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Hamilton is the second player whom the team has agreed to a deal with since free agency began. The team agreed to terms with Jeremy Lin early today.

Knicks, Grizzlies Targeting Eric Gordon

7:43pm: The Grizzlies only have about $8MM+ in cap room, but would make an effort to clear more space if Gordon decides he wants to sign with the team, tweets ESPN’s Marc Stein.

6:58pm: Gordon is expected to finalize an agreement tonight, according to Scott Agness of VigilantSports (Twitter link), who says Gordon’s choice is down to the Knicks and Grizzlies.

1:42am: The Knicks are reportedly nearing an agreement with one of the top free agent bigs on the market, Joakim Noah, and have now identified a top perimeter target as well. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), the Knicks are focusing on Eric Gordon and are discussing the parameters of a possible contract.

Marc Berman of The New York Post reported earlier in the evening that Derrick Rose has reached out to Gordon in an attempt to recruit him to New York. A source informed Berman that the idea of pursuing the veteran shooting guard is gaining traction within the organization.

Gordon, 27, is a talented scorer when he’s healthy, having averaged 16.6 PPG with a .383 3PT% over the course of his eight-year NBA career. However, in those eight seasons, he has played just 417 total games, or about 52 per year. During his five seasons in New Orleans, Gordon never played more than 64 games in a season, having dealt with multiple injuries.

While Gordon’s injury history will likely scare some potential suitors away, those health concerns could also help keep his price down. Even if they finalize a deal with Noah, the Knicks should have in the neighborhood of $15MM in cap space available to address their backcourt or wing spots.

The Magic are also expected to have interest in Gordon, along with the Rockets, Pelicans, and Grizzlies.

Latest On Dwyane Wade

7:08pm: Wade is in contract talks with the Knicks and Bucks, sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Wade has a meeting scheduled with the Bucks that will take place sometime next week, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on Twitter. A meeting with the Knicks could take place next week as well, Windhorst adds.

Sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that Wade wants to be compensated for the pay cuts he took in Miami. The Heat remain optimistic about bringing Wade back and their plan is not to replace him with Durant should the 2013/14 MVP sign with Miami. If that happens, the team would look to trade Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts in an attempt to financially take care of Wade.

The Knicks likely won’t have the cap space necessary to provide Wade with his desired contract, after agreeing to sign Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72MM deal, as Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. Of course, Noah’s deal won’t be finalized until after the moratorium, so the possibility of the big man agreeing to take less with the intent of bringing Wade to New York exists.

Wade seems like a strange fit for the Bucks, but he did play his college basketball at nearby Marquette University. Still, after agreeing to sign both Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic, Milwaukee will likely have to make a corresponding move to offer Wade a sizable contract.

9:26am: Dwyane Wade‘s contract standoff with the Heat has given other teams hope of signing him, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Several GMs believe the situation in Miami is becoming serious and have submitted multi-year offers to Wade’s representatives. Some are planning phone calls with Wade today in an effort to get him to end his 13-year association with the Heat (Twitter link).

Miami has been unable to give Wade a firm offer because of the uncertainty surrounding free agent center Hassan Whiteside and the team’s pursuit of Thunder free agent Kevin Durant. The Heat resolved the Whiteside situation early this morning when the parties agreed on a four-year maximum deal. They will meet with Durant on Sunday.

It was reported earlier this week that Wade became frustrated after his initial talks with Miami and instructed his agents to contact the Spurs and Mavericks about his possible availability. Wade also had contentious talks with the Heat last summer before agreeing to a one-year deal worth $20MM. The 34-year-old averaged 19.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 74 games this season.

Western Rumors: Anderson, Rockets, Bazemore

The Rockets are scheduled to meet with Ryan Anderson on Saturday morning, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The Kings are also still in the mix for Anderson, writes James Ham of CSN California — Sam Amick of USA Today adds (via Twitter) that Sacramento reached out to the veteran forward right when free agency opened last night. According to Amick (via Twitter), Anderson still has at least four serious suitors, including Houston and Sacramento.

Here are several more free agent rumors and updates from across the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves have expressed “strong interest” in Kent Bazemore, according to Michael Scotto of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Minnesota is in the market for a veteran wing, having reached out to Luol Deng as well. Of course, the Wolves also made an effort to trade for Jimmy Butler during last week’s draft.
  • The Jazz are scheduled to have a second meeting today with free agent sharpshooter Jared Dudley, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links). Jones cautions that both sides still have multiple options in play, with Dudley generating “real interest” from the Suns too.
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets that he keeps hearing the Kings don’t intend to sign Rajon Rondo.
  • With his free agency underway, Trail Blazers RFA Allen Crabbe has changed his representation, hiring Aaron Mintz and Ty Sullivan of CAA Sports, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs have expressed some interest in free agent big man Willie Reed, sources inform Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Dewayne Dedmon, a Magic restricted free agent, has drawn interest from the Warriors, a source tells Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

Grizzlies, Mike Conley Agree To Five-Year Deal

The Grizzlies and Mike Conley have agreed to a max contract that will pay the point guard $153MM over the next five seasons, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The deal will be the largest in league history.

Justin Ford / USA TodaySports Images

Justin Ford / USA TodaySports Images

Stein previously reported that Conley and the Grizzlies would have an agreement in place by Saturday morning. Memphis was Conley’s likely landing spot all along, but the point guard had concerns about the team’s roster and wanted to see the front office be aggressive in its attempts to upgrade it. The team’s chances of re-signing the 28-year-old likely increased as a result of signing Chandler Parsons, as the duo reportedly spoken to one another about teaming up in Memphis.

The Mavericks appeared to be Memphis’ biggest threat in the Conley sweepstakes, but after Hassan Whiteside re-signed with Miami, it seemed unlikely that the Ohio State product would wind up in Dallas. The Rockets, Pelicans, Nets and Lakers were also identified as challengers to steal Conley away from the Grizzlies. All five teams will have to look elsewhere for a point guard in free agency.

Hawks, Dwight Howard Agree To Three-Year Deal

5:55pm: Howard’s three-year deal is fully guaranteed, with no option years, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Spears adds that the Hawks increased their initial offer by about $7MM.

5:40pm: The Hawks and Dwight Howard have struck a deal, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to terms on a three-year contract. The pact will be worth $70.5MM, per Charania. It’s a homecoming for Howard, who was born and raised in Atlanta.Dwight Howard vertical

Howard, 30, met with the Hawks shortly after free agency began today, and multiple reports indicated that the team made a strong impression on him during that meeting. The former first overall pick was expected to meet with the Celtics and reportedly had interest from at least a couple other teams, but got an offer he liked from Atlanta and decided to take it.

Howard made 71 appearances for the Rockets in 2015/16, averaging 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.63 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game. He shot 62% from the field, but just 48.9% from the free-throw line.

The eight-time All-Star declined his 2016/17 player option with the Rockets last month, opting to hit the open market instead of returning to Houston. Howard would have earned more than $23MM in 2016/17 if he had picked up the option, and essentially matched that yearly figure on his new deal — of course, Howard’s agreement with the Hawks will pay him that amount annually for the next three years, rather than just for one year.

The Hawks’ agreement with Howard doesn’t necessarily take the team out of the running for Al Horford. ESPN’s Marc Stein Stein first reported on Tuesday that Atlanta would seriously consider Howard as a free agent target if the team was unable to wedge its way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. According to Stein, the Hawks planned to go after Howard with the idea of playing him alongside Horford in their frontcourt.

Still, Horford is being heavily recruited by the Celtics and other clubs, and is expected to get a max deal, so he may land elsewhere. If Horford does leave Atlanta, Howard at least represents a viable replacement at center for the Hawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Al Horford, Celtics

The Celtics will meet with Al Horford later tonight in Atlanta and the team intends to put a max offer on the table, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston HeraldIsaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder will be among the attendees present at the meeting, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders and Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter links).

Danny Ainge seems confident about his chances of signing Horford, as Evan Turner told Himmelsbach (full-length piece). Ainge told Turner that he was interested in having Turner re-sign with the team, but Boston was going to go after Horford and Kevin Durant before making an offer to the versatile wing. Turner worked out with Kyle Korver on Thursday and Korver told him that Horford would be re-signing with Atlanta. However, earlier today, Turner received a text message from Korver, asking him to call, and Turner had a sense that something had changed, Himmelsback writes. The Hawks signed Dwight Howard to a three-year, $70MM deal today, so perhaps the franchise was under the same impression.

Horford reportedly met with the Rockets earlier today and it’s unclear if any other teams have sat down with the former Florida Gator. Horford reportedly would like to stay in Atlanta and the team would like to bring the big man back. However, the team’s reluctance to offer a fifth year may drive Horford to sign elsewhere, as Zach Lowe of ESPN.com previously reported.

The Celtics have a meeting lined up with Durant on Saturday and if they can sign Horford, that would make Boston a more desirable destination for the 2013/14 MVP either this summer or next, Bulpett adds. Boston has relatively easy path to opening up enough cap space to sign both Horford and Durant to max contracts. The team would simply need to decline Jonas Jerebko‘s and Amir Johnson‘s respective team options and renounce the rights to both Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller.

Horford would be a perfect fit in Boston, as one anonymous coach told Bulpett.  “Look at what they were trying to do with [Jared] Sullinger, and now put a guy in that spot who can make the shots. That would change their offense big-time,” the coach told Bulpett.

In addition to the Celtics, Hawks, and Rockets, Horford is receiving interest from the Thunder, Lakers, Magic, Pistons, Wizards, and Nets. The Heat were reportedly interested, but they are likely out of the running after agreeing to re-sign Hassan Whiteside.

Nuggets, Darrell Arthur Reach Agreement

5:40pm: Arthur’s three-year deal will pay him $23MM, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Dempsey suggests (via Twitter) that Arthur accepted a bit less money to stay in Denver, suggesting the power forward had a bigger offer on the table from another team.

5:32pm: The Nuggets have agreed to terms on a new contract for Darrell Arthur, reports Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (Twitter link). According to Dempsey, the two sides are in agreement on a three-year deal.

Arthur, 28, appeared in 70 games for Denver during the 2015/16 campaign, recording 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 45.2% from the field. He declined his player option for 2016/17, which was worth a little less than $3MM, but had previously indicated that he wanted to remain with the Nuggets even if he decided to opt out of his contract.

It’s been a quiet free agent period so far from the Nuggets, who haven’t been linked to any notable free agents since the new league year begins. Their agreement with Arthur doesn’t represent a huge splash, but it allows the team to retain a veteran who was a key part of the rotation last season.

The Wizards were among the other clubs expected to have interest in Arthur.

Magic To Sign Jeff Green

After acquiring one former Thunder forward in a trade last month, Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan has now agreed to sign another former Oklahoma City frontcourt player. According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link), the Magic have reached an agreement on a one-year, $15MM deal with Jeff Green.Jeff Green vertical

[RELATED: Magic to re-sign Evan Fournier]

Green, who will turn 30 in August, appeared in a total of 80 games this past season for the Grizzlies and Clippers, averaging 11.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.7 APG. The veteran forward, who started his career with the SuperSonics a year before they became the Thunder, heard from the Clippers last night, but their interest in re-signing him didn’t materialize into a deal.

Signing a one-year contract this summer will allow Green to reach the open market again in a year, when the salary cap will easily exceed $100MM. If he has a strong season in Orlando, Green could parlay his performance into a more lucrative multiyear deal next time around.

The Magic have been very active so far this offseason, sending Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and the rights to Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City for Serge Ibaka. Orlando followed up that move by acquiring Jodie Meeks in a deal with the Pistons, then reaching long-term agreements with D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier in free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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