Phoenix Suns

Atlantic Notes: Carroll, Crowder, Stauskas

DeMarre Carroll said the Raptors “blew me away” when the team came to meet him to make the pitch that ultimately yielded their four-year, $60MM deal, and he canceled meetings with the Pistons, Suns and Knicks, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. The Pistons were willing to give the forward $14MM a year, but Toronto countered with its offer to outbid them, a source said to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

Here’s the latest out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks were one of the teams in pursuit of Jae Crowder before he re-signed with the Celtics, league sources told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Sixers planned to select Nik Stauskas with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but were beaten to the punch by the Kings, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Philly ended up selecting Elfrid Payton before dealing him to the Magic for the draft rights to Dario Saric, Pompey adds. The Sixers are poised to acquire the shooting guard from Sacramento.
  • Philly GM Sam Hinkie‘s waiting game may end up working to the Sixers‘ advantage, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. With the NBA salary cap set to increase over the coming seasons, there will be far more teams with cap space than without, and Philadelphia’s stockpiling of draft picks and young assets could give the franchise an advantage, Sielski notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors: Friday

LaMarcus Aldridge checked in third when we did our last Free Agent Power Rankings in June, but he seems to have the league on a string now with LeBron James almost assuredly going back to Cleveland and Kawhi Leonard already reportedly committed to the Spurs. Aldridge reportedly met with the Lakers for a second time and the Heat for the first time Thursday, when he apparently canceled a meeting with the Knicks. We’ll use this post to track the client of Arn Tellem and Thaddeus Foucher today, with any new information added to the top:

  • The Spurs and the Suns have solidified themselves as the favorites to land Aldridge, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets.

11:45am update:

  • Spurs president/coach Gregg Popovich would like to have another meeting with Aldridge, and the team is confident that the power forward will choose San Antonio, as John Canzano of The Oregonian hears (Twitter links).

11:00am update:

  • Rival executives believe that Riley told Aldridge that he should sign a short-term deal if he goes elsewhere with the idea that the Heat would come calling again next summer, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.

9:51am update:

  • The Spurs are in the lead for Aldridge, with the Suns second and the Mavs a “darkhorse of sorts” in third, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. The Lakers, Rockets and Raptors don’t seem to have moved any closer, Amick adds, having heard that the Heat‘s meeting with Aldridge was “much ado about nothing” other than a nice dinner.

8:45am update:

  • Aldridge is genuinely torn and will need some more time to decide, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). The Spurs and Suns are the front-runners, the Blazers are trying for a Hail Mary, the Mavericks are still in pursuit, the Lakers are flailing and the Knicks are in the green room, as Shelburne succinctly puts it (on Twitter).
  • The meeting between Aldridge and Heat president Pat Riley went longer than expected Thursday, but the Texas teams (presumably meaning the Spurs and Mavs, though he’s met with the Rockets) remain out front for him, reports Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers apologized to Aldridge for not giving him more of a basketball focus in their initial meeting, which was more than an hour old before GM Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott spoke, according to Shelburne (Twitter link).
  • The presentation the Lakers made was a good one, but the team doesn’t believe Aldridge was wooed by it, sources tell Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Free Agent Rumors: Stoudemire, Hill, Butler

The free agent signing period is now in its second day, and here are the latest rumblings from around the league:

  • The Clippers, Rockets, Mavericks, Lakers, and Suns all have expressed interest in signing Amar’e Stoudemire as a backup big man, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link). Stoudemire is only interested in signing with the Clippers if DeAndre Jordan departs and he could become the starter, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • The Mavs will shift focus to pursuing unrestricted free agent Jordan Hill if the team misses out on signing Jordan, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Having missed out on Greg Monroe, one of their prime free agent targets, the Knicks have been in contact with Hill’s representatives, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes.
  • Caron Butler, who was waived by the Bucks shortly after they had acquired him from the Pistons, is on the Knicks‘ radar thanks to his shooting ability and potential fit in the triangle offense, Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets. The Cavaliers have also been in constant contact with Butler, though no signing appears imminent, notes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Unrestricted free agent Quincy Acy is garnering interest from the Magic, Kings, Pelicans, Hawks, and Spurs, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter).
  • Free agent Gigi Datome is split on whether to return to the NBA next season or to play in Europe, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The forward’s primary concern is playing time, not money, adds Himmelsbach.
  • The Mavs are back in play for J.J. Barea after he was leaning toward signing with the Heat Wednesday, TNT’s David Aldridge relays in a series of tweets. The point guard is seeking a three-year deal, Aldridge adds. Dallas is optimistic it can land Barea but is waiting for other free agents to make their decisions first, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (on Twitter).
  • Unrestricted free agent Joel Freeland said that he will sign with a European team if he doesn’t agree to an NBA contract by July 10th, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (via Twitter).
  • Center Kosta Koufos has received interest from the Mavs, Lakers and Kings, Kennedy tweets. The Bucks had shown interest as well, prior to signing Greg Monroe, Kennedy adds.
  • Free agent forward Derrick Williams is scheduled to meet with the Knicks and Mavericks today in Los Angeles, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets.
  • The Pistons and Suns both made hard pushes to sign DeMarre Carroll, who instead inked a deal with the Raptors, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link). Carroll was blown away by Toronto’s offer, its environment, and is a big fan of coach Dwane Casey, Arnovitz adds.

Suns, Pistons Agree To Three-Player Trade

3:31pm: Detroit hasn’t made a final decision on Granger yet, but he’ll most likely be waived, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets.

2:34 pm: The Suns and Pistons have agreed to a trade that sends Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Detroit in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). The deal would clear nearly $8.423MM in additional cap flexibility for Phoenix as it chases LaMarcus Aldridge.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

However, the Suns still have about $57MM in commitments against a cap projected between $67.1MM and $69.1MM, and with Aldridge, for whom Phoenix reportedly emerged as a strong contender, in line to make some $19MM on a max deal next season, it appears as though Phoenix still has more cap clearing to do, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Wojnarowski point out (Twitter link). Wojnarowski mentions Markieff Morris, who’ll make $8MM next season, and P.J. Tucker, who’s set for $5.5MM, as possible targets for other cap-clearing moves.

The trade with the Pistons by itself breaks up the Morris twins just months after they signed rookie scale extensions with designs on staying together. Marcus Morris instead ends up in Detroit’s frontcourt, as the Pistons use more of their cap space on complementary players after reaching agreement with Aron Baynes earlier today. The deal was made by Detroit to land Morris, who is expected to be the starting small forward next season, Ellis tweets. Morris appeared in 81 games last season for the Suns, including 35 as a starter, averaging 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. His slash line was .434/.358/.628.

Bullock will compete for a roster spot with Cartier Martin, Quincy Miller, and Adonis Thomas, relays Ellis (Twitter link). He has never made more than 43 appearances in a season since entering the league with the Clippers, who selected him with the No. 25 overall pick back in 2013. Bullock appeared in 11 games for Phoenix after arriving via trade from Los Angeles, averaging 0.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per contest.

Granger may not be thrilled with the trade, especially since it takes him away from the Suns’ vaunted training staff, who have been working 16.8 to get the veteran healthy and back on the court. The 32-year-old managed 30 appearances for the Heat last season, and zero with Phoenix after it had acquired him via trade. Granger’s career numbers are 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, with a shooting line of .434/.380/.848.

Latest On LaMarcus Aldridge

9:48am: Hughes, the Blazers assistant who said the team expected Aldridge to depart, has no knowledge of Portland’s free agent dealings, as The Oregonian’s Jason Quick hears (Twitter link).

8:29am: The Raptors did well in their meeting with Aldridge, but it’s unlikely he picks them, TNT’s David Aldridge tweets.

THURSDAY, 8:22am: Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes told WTHI-TV of Terre Haute, Indiana, on Tuesday that the team expected Aldridge to leave, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian transcribes (video link; scroll ahead to 2:05 mark).

“Well, people don’t realize we just went young,” Hughes said. “We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn’t been declared yet, but I’m sure he won’t come back. We will go young.”

5:22pm: The Suns have emerged as contenders along with the Spurs to land Aldridge, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.

3:53pm: The Blazers aren’t to be counted out for Aldridge yet, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who indicated in his last tweet that Aldridge was staying in touch with his incumbent team.

3:44pm: San Antonio impressed Aldridge the most, with the Rockets a close second, Wojnarowski hears (Twitter link).

3:36pm: The Lakers are out of the running for Aldridge, who disliked the basketball portion of the team’s presentation, Bresnahan reports (Twitter link). Aldridge was “floored in a good way” by Houston’s analytics and their on-court projections as he met with them, Bresnahan adds in a second tweet. Aldridge didn’t hear the answers he wanted to hear from Bryant during the Lakers meeting, Bresnahan also hears (Twitter link). Moreover, Aldridge wanted more of a basketball focus to the meeting, Wojnarowski tweets.

3:01pm: The Suns’ deal with Tyson Chandler piqued Aldridge’s interest, as USA Today’s Sam Amick hears. Phoenix wouldn’t have the cap space for both, so it would have to clear salary. Marc Stein of ESPN.com suggests that Portland might have interest in a sign-and-trade of Aldridge involving Eric Bledsoe, given that GM Neil Olshey drafted Bledsoe (Twitter links), though the latest report on Bledsoe indicates that the Suns will not deal him.

2:44pm: Aldridge won’t be re-signing with the Blazers, a source close to his situation tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, identifying the Spurs, Lakers, Mavs and Rockets as front-runners (Twitter link). Still, the Spurs made a “powerful” presentation to Aldridge today and their status as the favorites remains unchanged, according to what Wojnarowski is hearing (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 12:11pm: The Spurs are the front-runners for LaMarcus Aldridge as they meet today, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, and some executives around the league are starting to think that the All-Star will sign with San Antonio, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). The Lakers didn’t make a strong impression on Aldridge in their meeting overnight, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com heard that it went “really well,” as we passed along earlier. Kobe Bryant told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he also believed the meeting went well, but the Lakers star came away without a firm belief of what the notoriously fickle power forward would do (Twitter link). Aldridge was “engaged” but “noncommittal” in the meeting, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times hears (Twitter link).

San Antonio is meeting today with the client of Arn Tellem and Thaddeus Foucher, and the general feeling around the league is that the team’s deal with Danny Green and trade agreement that sends out Tiago Splitter and his salary are positives for the team’s pursuit of Aldridge, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (on Twitter). The Blazers are apparently unlikely to sign-and-trade Aldridge, so clearing cap room is key.

The Rockets, Suns, Mavericks, Raptors and Knicks are also on Aldridge’s list of meetings, as TNT’s David Aldridge reported. Aldridge’s meeting with Houston has apparently already happened, with the Rockets still seemingly unlikely to reel him in, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Harris, Barea, Matthews

Jamal Crawford (Clippers), Jon Leuer (Suns) and Anthony Tolliver (Pistons) had their salaries fully guaranteed when they remained on their respective rosters Tuesday, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates indicates, along with Robert Sacre (Lakers) and Chris Kaman (Blazers), as we previously noted. Matt Barnes (Grizzlies) joins that group today, while Langston Galloway (Knicks) and Markel Brown (Nets) pick up partial guarantees of $220K and $100K, respectively. Cory Jefferson was originally thought to have a partial guarantee coming his way if he stuck on the Nets roster through today, but he’ll remain non-guaranteed until July 15th, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Magic would not be willing to match a max salary offer sheet to restricted free agent forward Tobias Harris, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe relays (Twitter link). The Hawks could be a potential suitor, though Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders noted previously that Atlanta’s level of interest in Harris was dependent on how the team’s pursuit of its own free agents, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap, went. Millsap is reportedly set to ink a three-year, $58MM pact with Atlanta, and Carroll is on his way to the Raptors after inking a four-year, $60MM contract.
  • Free agent point guard J.J. Barea is leaning toward signing with the Heat, David Aldridge of TNT tweets. Barea appeared in 77 games for the Mavs last season, averaging 7.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 17.7 minutes per contest.
  • The Raptors and the Mavericks are still battling over free agent Wesley Matthews, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Toronto is still in on Matthews despite signing Carroll, Stein notes.
  • The Wizards have expressed interest in free agent swingman Alan Anderson, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Suns, Tyson Chandler Agree To Deal

The Suns have agreed to a deal with Tyson Chandler, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). It’ll be a four-year contract worth $52MM, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chandler will attend the team’s pitch meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter link).

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The Mavs and Bucks seemed like the teams with the best shot at the Jeff Schwartz client initially, but they faded, which was seemingly a positive sign for the Lakers and Clippers, who were other reported suitors. Instead, the Suns swoop in and score one of the league’s premiere defensive centers. Chandler, who turns 33 in October, no doubt saw the Suns’ renowned training staff as a draw, though that’s just my speculation.

Dallas wanted to bring back Chandler if it missed out on DeAndre Jordan, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported this spring, but that won’t be happening now, applying greater pressure on the Mavs to reach a deal with Jordan. The Suns are using most of their cap space on Chandler, so a pursuit of Aldridge or any other marquee free agent will be difficult barring a salary-clearing trade. Phoenix is also re-signing Brandon Knight to a five-year, $70MM deal using his Bird rights.

Suns To Re-Sign Brandon Knight

1:57pm: The Suns won’t be trading Bledsoe even though they’ve secured a deal with Knight, as a source strongly emphasized to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).

1:48pm: The Suns and Knight have reached agreement on those five-year, $70MM terms, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports confirms (Twitter link).

10:52pm: If the Suns re-sign Knight, they would seriously consider trading Bledsoe, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

5:46pm: Brandon Knight, who will become a restricted free agent on July 1st, will sign a five-year, $70MM contract with the Suns, reports Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, who cites a league source. Of course, it is illegal for sides to have discussed a dollar amount and length of a potential deal before July 1st, but that doesn’t mean negotiations didn’t happen.

Knight, 23, was traded to the Suns in February in a multiple-team deal. He has expressed interest in re-signing with the Suns and mentioned that he was looking for that to happen swiftly. The Suns, reportedly, want to bring him back, and Knight told them that he has no issues sharing duties with Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt. Interestingly, Knight’s reported deal worth $13MM annually for five years are the exact terms the Suns gave Bledsoe last September.

Knight was averaging 17.8 points per game and 5.4 assists per game before the Bucks dealt him to the Suns. He then played 11 games for the Suns, averaging 13.4 points per game and 4.5 assists per game. After suffering an ankle injury March 9, Knight missed 16 of the Suns’ final 17 games. He underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in April.

Raptors, Lakers, Mavs, Bucks Eye Iman Shumpert

1:03am: The Suns have liked Shumpert for a while and might get in the mix for him, too, Kennedy adds on Twitter.

12:05pm: The Raptors also have interest, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

11:35am: The Lakers, Mavericks and Bucks are interested in Iman Shumpert, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The shooting guard will become a restricted free agent Wednesday after the Cavaliers tendered a qualifying offer to him on Monday. Six teams have already expressed interest in Shumpert and league executives believe he’ll command a deal that will pay him better than $8MM a year, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported, and as we passed along in our Offseason Outlook for the Cavs.

Cleveland GM David Griffin has expressed interest in keeping his team together, and LeBron James would reportedly like the team to re-sign Shumpert. Inking him to a new deal or matching an offer sheet from another team would add to the projected tax bill for the Cavs, who’ve already had internal discussions about a $100-110MM payroll, with tax payments perhaps exceeding $75MM, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported.

Free Agency Rumors: Boozer, Williams, Heat

The latest free agent news..

  • The Nets, Mavs, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, and Spurs are in on veteran big man Carlos Boozer, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com tweets.
  • In addition to the incumbent Kings (whose interest was previously reported), the Wizards, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, Suns, and Knicks are expected to show interest in forward Derrick Williams, Broussard tweets.  Williams can become a restricted free agent this summer if the Kings tender him a qualifying offer worth $4,045,894.  The former No. 2 overall pick averaged 8.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 74 games last season.
  • The general sense among teams around the league is that Kyle O’Quinn will be able to draw $4-5MM salaries on his next deal and Shane Larkin $2-3MM on his, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. Sources tell Kyler that Gerald Green could be had for around $5MM a year, or slightly less on a deal that runs three or four years.
  • The Mavs, Pacers, Grizzlies, Clippers, and incumbent Suns are the teams showing the most interest in high-flying big man Brandan Wright, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweets.
  • Jamario Moon is looking to make an NBA comeback and has signed with Hazan Sports Management, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.