Nine years after leading the North Carolina men’s basketball team to a national championship, Marvin Williams is thrilled to return the Tar Heel state as a member of the Hornets, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press. Meanwhile, at the introductory presser, head coach Steve Clifford said that while he views the 6’9″ Williams as a combo forward, he believes his best position is at the four. Here’s more out of the East..
- Maverick Carter, LeBron James‘ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in his inner circle. “This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”
- Should the Cavs trade for Kevin Love? Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sure thinks so. “There’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy. I’d trade for Kevin Love,” Krzyzewski said on the John Feinstein Show, according to the Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press. “That’s not saying anything bad about any of the other (players reportedly involved in a trade). Love’s an all-star. He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the floor,” Coach K said.
- The Wizards still have $4.3MM of their Trevor Ariza trade exception after using some of it on Kris Humphries, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Speaking of that sign-and-trade deal for Hump, the Wizards sent a 2015 second-rounder to the Celtics. It’ll be top-49 protected, according to Pincus (link).
- Sixers second-round picks K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant, and Jordan McRae are out to show they were draft steals, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I definitely feel like I can play in this league,” said McRae, who spoke with Hoops Rumors before the June draft. “Just getting a chance to play against guys like [Bulls rookies] Tony Snell, Doug McDermott, it was just playing hard against them and see where I stack up.”
JULY 21ST: Micic told Aco Lazarević of MVP.rs that the deal isn’t quite done yet, though he confirms he’s in the process of finalizing it (translations via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia and Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, on Twitter).
JULY 15TH: Sixers second-round draft pick Vasilije Micic has an agreement to play for Bayern Munich in Germany, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The Serbian point guard was the 52nd selection in this year’s draft.
Remaining overseas was the likely outcome for the 20-year-old, who’s played the past few seasons with KK Mega Vizura in his native Serbia. Philadelphia will have no shortage of rookies for the coming season, even without No. 10 overall pick Dario Saric, who’ll also stay in Europe.
Ten-year NBA veteran Dahntay Jones is set to work out for the Knicks and Sixers this week, and in addition to a reported meeting with the Clippers earlier this month, he also worked out for that team, too, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports. The shooting guard and Mark Bartelstein client is close with former Nuggets teammate Carmelo Anthony, though New York’s addition of Jones would only add to a logjam at the two-guard that Knicks GM Steve Mills has already publicly acknowledged.
The Knicks are apparently discussing trades involving J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to clear up that position, as we noted Sunday. New York also worked out Jones this past February, seemingly the closest brush that the now 33-year-old had with the NBA last season after the Bulls waived him early in the preseason. Still, that was before the arrival of Knicks team president Phil Jackson, and what attracts the team to Jones now is his competitiveness and leadership, according to Isola.
The Knicks, now as they were in February, are limited to the minimum salary, and the Clippers are similarly hamstrung. The Sixers have ample cap room to use on Jones, but it’s nonetheless unlikely that he’ll warrant any better than a guaranteed minimum-salary contract. He’s averaged 5.6 points in 16.3 minutes per game over his career, and put up 3.4 PPG in 13.0 MPG in 2012/13, his last NBA season.
Eric Bledsoe is the top remaining player still unsigned, though as a restricted free agent the Suns have the right to match any offer sheet that Bledsoe agrees to. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at why Bledsoe hasn’t received any offers, and examines the player’s options going forward. Bickley also opines that Bledsoe is risking alienating the fans in Phoenix by turning down the Suns’ four-year, $48MM deal.
Here’s more from around the league:
- George Karl told Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune that the Wolves can’t afford to pass on trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, if the Cavs are truly offering that package (via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer’s tweet). Karl coached through a tumultuous season with the Nuggets when Carmelo Anthony eventually received his desired trade to the Knicks.
- Every year when the dust settles and the free agent signings begin to wind down there are winners and losers. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today weigh in on this year’s successes and disappointments.
- The Thunder‘s Josh Huestis might become the NBA’s first domestic “draft-and-stash” player, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. If Huestis does skip signing with the Thunder and heads directly to the NBA D-League, it could signal a major shift in the future of the D-League and how it’s utilized, notes Mayberry.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s rebuilding plan might not be popular in Philadelphia as the losses keep piling up. Jason Wolf of USA Today profiles the GM, as well as takes a look at the moves he’s made so far in his efforts to retool the franchise.
- The Jazz are interested in signing free agent Toure’ Murry, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Falk notes that Murry might be waiting for an offer from the Heat. The Knicks had also expressed interest in bringing Murry back, but currently have a logjam in the backcourt.
Cray Allred contributed to this post.
The 76ers are wise to try and emulate the Spurs, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Like the Spurs, the Sixers are putting emphasis on continuity, as evidenced by their commitment to reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams amidst trade speculation. Of course, they also have a Gregg Popovich disciple in coach Brett Brown. Here’s tonight’s look at the Eastern Conference..
- Despite the loss of Paul Pierce, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that Kevin Garnett likes the direction of the Nets and is “excited” about joining them for the upcoming season. That would indicate that Garnett, who is under contract for $12MM this season, won’t be retiring. That jives with a report from Tim Bontemps of the New York Post earlier today.
- Knicks president Phil Jackson indicated to reporters today that he won’t be spending much more this summer after re-signing Carmelo Anthony, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday.
- Despite all of his idiosyncrasies, Paul George believes the Pacers will be a stronger title contender with Lance Stephenson back in the fold, writes Michael Marot of The Associated Press. “It’s all on Lance’s plate,” George said. “I didn’t have to deal with this because I was a restricted free agent. It’s really up to Lance, but I will say I do want him to come back.”
The first domino that was LeBron James‘ free agency decision certainly set off the chain we anticipated, with a flurry of activity taking place over the last two days. Here’s a rundown of the league’s action this evening:
- James hopes that his player option for the second year of his Cavs contract can be worked out quietly in the offseason, sources tell Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Of course, a stress-free contract renewal for James would be the first of his career.
- Paul Pierce‘s first choice wasn’t to sign with the Wizards, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. Pierce was more interested in joining the Clippers or returning to the Nets, but became more intrigued by the Washington roster as time went by this offseason.
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey told reporters including Jody Genessy of Deseret News that Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors will both have a voice regarding Utah’s decision making (Twitter link).
- Tom Moore of Calkins Media wonders if the Sixers might end up leveraging their abundant cap space to take back one of the Knicks burdensome contracts in exchange for draft compensation.
- Jason Kidd tells Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has been working closely with Bucks GM John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway despite reports he was looking for front office power in the process that brought him from Brooklyn to Milwaukee. “We’re a family,” said Kidd. “Being able to talk to them every day about things, they have ideas, I share some of the things I think about. We’re still learning each other, how we want to play. A lot of things get misinterpreted with me, I guess. I’ll leave it at that.”
FRIDAY, 12:19pm: The Rockets and Sixers are currently in talks about a Lin deal, but no agreement has been reached, a source tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link).
WEDNESDAY, 11:55pm: The Rockets have a deal in place to send Jeremy Lin to the Sixers if Houston is able to sign Chris Bosh, league sources tell Mitch Lawrence of New York Daily News. The trade would give the Rockets needed cap flexibility in their attempt to make room for Bosh.
The Sixers were reportedly open to such a trade, but wanted to receive a first rounder from Houston as part of the agreement. Lawrence doesn’t report the specifics of compensation, but it seems likely Philadelphia’s demand has been met. That’s speculation on my part, since the Sixers would appear to have more leverage considering the Rockets are being squeezed into a three-day window to have any chance of securing Bosh alongside Chandler Parsons, who agreed to sign a max offer sheet with Dallas that Houston will have 72 hours to match or decline.
The move would work in conjunction with Houston’s pending agreement to send Omer Asik to the Pelicans, which still depends upon New Orleans’ ability to clear salary before taking back the big man’s contract. Lin and Asik have identical contracts that include a balloon payment exceeding the cap hit in the final year, which is the approaching 2014/15 season.
After Carmelo Anthony had meetings with New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, a source tells Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report that Anthony was most impressed with the Bulls’ pitch (Twitter link). Despite the reported strong impression, ‘Melo is still deciding between the aforementioned three teams, says Zwerling, who adds the superstar forward remains intrigued at the notion of teaming up with Kobe Bryant as well the prospect of playing under the bright lights in New York again. More out of the Big Apple..
- The Mavericks and Rockets are out of the running for Anthony, a source tells Sam Amick of USA Today. ‘Melo hasn’t given the pair of Texas teams any formal notice saying as much, but the source suggests the Knicks, Lakers, and Bulls are the only teams the superstar is considering.
- The rumored conversations between the Knicks and Sixers about a deal that would send Amar’e Stoudemire to New York haven’t been able to gain any traction, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
- Shedding Andrea Bargnani‘s bloated contract would likely cost the Knicks two first-round picks, multiple league executives tell Berger. Given that the Knicks don’t own their 2016 pick, Phil Jackson would likely have to part with Tim Hardaway Jr. to obtain another one.
JULY 9th, 11:26pm: The team announced that Hawes has officially signed the contract. No mention of a sign-and-trade was mentioned in the release.
7:27pm: Doc Rivers is trying to arrange a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers for Hawes, which would preserve the Clippers midlevel exception which the team would then use to target Paul Pierce, tweets Wojnarowski.
JULY 4th, 6:26pm: Free agent Spencer Hawes has reached agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources have told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The deal is for four-years, $23MM, according to Wojnarowski’s tweet. Hawes was one of the more desirable big men on the market after a season that saw him average 13.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 1.2 BPG while splitting time between the Cavaliers and the Sixers.
According to Wojnarowski’s article, Hawes was determined to sign with a contender, and he had visited seriously with the Suns and Trail Blazers before settling on the Clippers offer.
The Clippers had recruited Hawes hard for the full midlevel exception and worked with his agent, Greg Lawrence of Wasserman Media Group, on a deal that includes a player option for the fourth year and a 15 percent trade kicker, sources told Wojnarowski.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Wizards have spoken with Luol Deng, but remain committed to re-signing Trevor Ariza, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Here’s more from the East:
- Washington is prepared to offer Ariza a raise from last year’s $7.7MM salary, but not upwards of $9MM, which is what the small forward is reportedly seeking, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Both Ariza and the Wizards have anticipated waiting until LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony make their decisions before any progress for Ariza can be made.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com tweets that Ariza is assured of receiving more more money from another team, but that the Wizards hope he will want to remain in Washington for less.
- The Bulls are now being linked as suitors for Ariza by Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
- The Rockets are weighing whether to match Chandler Parsons‘ offer sheet with the Mavs, or pursue Ariza at a lower price, tweets Broussard.
- The Celtics like the newly acquired Tyler Zeller, but don’t have long term plans for Marcus Thornton, whom they acquired in the same three-team trade, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Washburn says it’s likely Boston will deal away Thornton’s contract or let it expire.
- Before the Celtics agreed to take part in today’s swap, the Cavs reached out to the Magic and just about every other team in the league as they sought a third team to take Thornton in a three-team deal with the Nets, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie acknowledged that his team is in position to help other clubs with its ample cap flexibility, pointing to that as a way to faciliate trades, as he told Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News as part of a Q&A.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.