5:38pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
11:39am: The Blazers have struck a deal with Steve Blake, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). It’ll be a two-year deal for the biannual exception with a player option for the second season, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (on Twitter). The contract will be worth $4.2MM, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, so assuming that’s an estimate, it appears the point guard is getting the full $4,247,465 value of the biannual.
Blake, a client of Joel Bell, was reportedly enamored with the idea of returning to play in Portland, where he spent parts of four seasons with the Blazers over two separate stints. The Lakers, Heat, Wolves and Knicks have all shown interest in the 34-year-old over the course of the offseason, though Minnesota wasn’t as high on him by the time free agency started, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. While Blake spoke of his affection for the Lakers and Warriors, the two teams with which he spent last season, he’s headed back to Portland instead.
The Blazers appear to be using most of their mid-level to sign Chris Kaman, so that’s likely the extent of their free agent spending beyond the minimum salary, unless they can convince Mo Williams to sign for a salary of just 20% more than the roughly $2.77MM he earned last season. That’s the most they can give Williams, with whom the Blazers have only Non-Bird rights.
There’s strong mutual interest between the Mavs and Mo Williams, with Mavs GM Donnie Nelson having called him “the perfect fit in many respects,” reports Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. Presuming the Rockets don’t match the Mavs’ offer sheet to Chandler Parsons, Dallas would like to re-sign Vince Carter for the $2.732MM room exception, but if Carter doesn’t bite, the Mavs would strongly consider using it on Williams, MacMahon writes. There’s more on Williams amid the latest from Dallas:
- If Carter does take that room exception, the Mavs are holding out hope that they can convince Williams to sign for the minimum salary, since he lives in the area and wants to be near his family, MacMahon tweets. Portland’s deal today with Steve Blake indeed gives the Blazers less of a shot to re-sign Williams, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, but Bartelstein cautioned that there’s still a chance the combo guard stays in Portland.
- The Mavs are also targeting DeJuan Blair for the minimum, and that would be the only price they’d be willing to pay for him, MacMahon also tweets.
- Teams have been checking in with Shawn Marion, but there’s been no movement of any substance toward a deal, and the Mavs will remain in play if they miss out on Parsons, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link).
- Ivan Johnson is a part of the Mavs’ summer league team, but there’s mutual optimism that his relationship with the team will continue into the fall, MacMahon writes in a separate piece. “He’s more than just a summer league guy for us,” Mavs GM Donnie Nelson said. “We’re definitely taking a peak, and we like what we see.”
Dahntay Jones has met with the Clippers, and has received interest from the Knicks, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Here’s more from around the league:
- Zoran Dragic has signed a two-year contract extension with his Spanish League team, the Euroleague announced (H/T Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). NBA teams including the Rockets had shown interest in the brother of Goran Dragic. The original deal had a $500K NBA buyout clause for the upcoming season, although it is unclear if the extra years will feature the same flexibility.
- Free agent Anthony Tolliver has been in serious discussions with six teams, including the Clippers, Cavs, Pistons, Spurs, Wizards, and Hornets, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Suns signed a declaration that the 2014 draft pick will not play in the NBA this season, a formality that clears his rookie scale cap hold from the team’s books, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports. Bogdanovic is signed overseas and can’t opt out until at least 2016.
- LaMarcus Aldridge‘s choice to seek a new deal with the Blazers as a free agent next summer was one of two options presented him by Portland owner Paul Allen and GM Neil Olshey last month, reports Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. The Blazers brass suggested the All-Star consider a three-year, $55MM extension he could sign immediately, or wait to become eligible for a five-year, $108MM max deal as an unrestricted free agent. “I don’t want it to be perceived that I’m not happy or I’m not staying on because I’m not signing a three-year deal,” Aldridge said. “It’s just financially smarter to wait … and I’m looking forward to signing the five-year deal when the chance comes.”
- Considering the recent max offers extended to Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons, it seems certain that Klay Thompson will also merit a max deal when he becomes a free agent. Tim Kawakami of Bay Area News Group hears that the Warriors have budgeted measures to find room for the shooting guard, should he not be traded away in a deal for Kevin Love.
Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian that he won’t sign a contract extension in Portland this offseason but hopes to sign a new deal with them next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The 28-year-old big man also implied that testing free agency a year from now would be more advantageous because he could then re-sign with the Blazers for more seasons and more money at that point (Twitter links).
Aldridge specified that financial security is his top priority before making it clear that Portland is where he wants to spend the rest of his NBA career: “I’m happy to stay (in Portland), happy to be here, happy with the direction the team has gone the last year or (two)…But I just want to get a 5-year deal. I feel like that’s the best decision on my part…I want to be the (best Blazer Ever)” (All Twitter links via Freeman).
The three-time NBA All-Star has been mentioned among the marquee free agents expected to headline the summer of 2015. Aldridge’s ultimate goal of landing a five-year contract – one that only the Trail Blazers would be able to offer – presumably puts the kibosh on other teams’ hopes of either trying to recruit him or pursue an extend-and-trade for now; however, it’s more than likely that those clubs will make p once Aldridge officially hits the free agent market.
The Lakers aggressively pitched to Carmelo Anthony the idea that he can be the star of the team once Kobe Bryant‘s contract expires in 2016, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears (Twitter link). ‘Melo was to have taken the weekend to make his free agent choice, but it appears he still hasn’t made up his mind. Here’s more from a wild Monday of free agency:
- The Cavs, Lakers, Heat and Mavs are all pursuing Trevor Ariza, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Wizards are presumably still in the hunt, as well. The swingman is seeking salaries of $9-11MM, Berger adds.
- The Mavs have indeed shown interest in Lance Stephenson, reversing their previous stance against signing him, reports Chris Broussard of ESPNDallas.com, but it’s still very unlikely the shooting guard will end up in Dallas, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. The Pacers‘ recent five-year, $45MM offer disappointed the Alberto Ebanks client, who’s begun shopping for other teams, Broussard writes.
- The Celtics are also interested in Stephenson, Broussard adds (via Twitter).
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) continues to hear that the Thunder are ahead of the Heat in the Anthony Morrow chase. Along with Pau Gasol, Morrow has been a prime OKC target in free agency.
- A Chinese team offered Sebastian Telfair a two-year, $7MM deal as word of an impending deal with the Thunder leaked, agent Joel Bell tells Shams Charania of RealGM. Telfair passed that up to strike a one-year, minimum-salary agreement with the Thunder.
- Paul Pierce‘s representatives are telling teams that he’s looking for a two-year deal worth $9-10MM per season, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com (on Twitter). The Jeff Schwartz client is waiting to see if teams are willing to offer more money once the first-tier free agents come off the board, Mannix adds (Twitter link).
- The Nets, Trail Blazers and Spurs have worked out free agent Ivan Johnson, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Hornets are among the teams set to meet with unrestricted free agent Kent Bazemore, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
- Free agent Matt Bonner has remained in contact with the Spurs on a possible reunion and is waiting for the roster to unfold, sources tell RealGM’s Shams Charania (on Twitter). No other clubs are in the mix for him yet.
The Pacers are shopping big man Roy Hibbert, sources tell Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. “I would say they’ve been doing that, but quietly,” one front-office source said.
Of course, with two years and $30MM left on Hibbert’s contract, he’s not a great match for every team out there. The center was erratic in March and April as well as the postseason too, so it’s unclear what kind of return Indiana could expect from a Hibbert deal. Meanwhile, there’s still uncertainty around Lance Stephenson after the club saw their five-year, $44MM offer rejected. Dumping Hibbert’s contract could help facilitate a return for their unrestricted free agent.
“They’re open to making major changes, if they’re there,” one general manager told Sporting News. “I think they’d be disappointed to see that same core group back intact, so it is a matter of, how drastic can the changes they make be? Moving Hibbert for multiple pieces would be a pretty drastic change, but they’re asking.”
One source added that star small forward Paul George is untouchable in any deal with the Pacers while power forward David West is all but off the table. Also, in a Hibbert deal, the source says that they would prefer to send him to the Western Conference. The Blazers have been linked to Hibbert in the past but a source labeled a Portland deal as “unlikely.”
Mike Miller is scheduled to meet with the Nuggets today, reports John Martin of ESPN929.com. The article also notes that the Grizzlies made an initial offer of two-years and an annual salary between $2.4MM and $2.9MM. The Thunder, Rockets, and Trail Blazers are all reportedly interested in Miller’s services, notes Martin.
More from the west:
- The Kings are looking to clear up their overstock of power forwards through the trade market, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). The team is seeking a defender and a shot blocker to shore up their interior, and also want to free up some of the cap space tied to that position, notes Jones.
- The Suns and Eric Bledsoe‘s agent Rich Paul are in early stages of contract talks, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears also notes that many of Bledsoe’s other suitors are in a holding pattern until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal with Fenerbahce that contains an NBA out clause in 2016, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Bogdanovic was the 27th overall pick of the Suns in this year’s NBA Draft.
- The Pelicans lack of action on the free agent front is disconcerting, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune. One stopping block is the team’s need to clear enough cap space to complete the trade of Omer Asik, notes Smith.
- Jeff Withey’s minimum salary for this coming season became partially guaranteed for $100K when he remained on the Pelicans‘ roster through Saturday. It’ll become fully guaranteed if the Pelicans decline to waive him before the end of July 22nd, as our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates shows.
- The Thunder has named Darko Rajakovic as an assistant coach, the team announced via a press release. Rajakovic led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League Semifinals appearance in 2012/13. Coach Scott Brooks had this to say, “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff. His understanding of the core tenants of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.”
The Pelicans haven’t made any moves in the free agent market yet, but still have Anthony Morrow in their sights, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. New Orleans’ primary focus though, continues to be finding a trade partner to move either Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers or center Alexis Ajinca in an effort to create enough cap space to absorb center Omer Asik‘s $8.4MM cap hit, notes Reid. The article also notes that several teams remain interested in acquiring forward Ryan Anderson in a trade, but the Pelicans are still reluctant to part ways with him.
More from the Western Conference:
- Spencer Hawes was the Trail Blazers primary free agent target this summer, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Haynes reports that Portland offered the exact same contract terms as the Clippers, but Hawes found Los Angeles to be a better fit.
- Despite the reports that the Knicks are likely to retain Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers made a major impression on the free agent, reports Bill Simmons of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Simmons’ sources, it’s now a three team battle between New York, Los Angeles, or the Bulls to land ‘Melo’s shot attempts.
- Chris Bosh definitely has an interest in the Rockets and Mavs, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link). Amico also notes that Bosh has “zero knowledge” of what LeBron James is going to do in free agency.
The Jazz were looking for a sharpshooting veteran big man going into free agency, as Jody Genessy of the Deseret News heard (Twitter link), and with the team’s agreement to trade for Steve Novak, it appears that’s just what it has. Utah envisions Novak as a stretch power forward, notes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (on Twitter).
Here’s more from out west:
- The Jazz were also high on Novak’s plus-minus numbers from recent years, according to Jones (Twitter link).
- With Novak reportedly on his way to Utah, Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune looks at what the player brings to the Jazz.
- Some teams have inquired about the possibility of a sign and trade for the Suns restricted free agent P.J. Tucker, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Spears also tweets that Tucker is receiving interest from teams, but they’re hesitant to make an offer due to fears that it will be matched by Phoenix.
- Spencer Hawes passed on an offer from the Blazers on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Portland moved on from that rejection and signed Chris Kaman, according to the tweet.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The offer the Mavs are making to Carmelo Anthony involves a starting salary of slightly more than $18MM, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link). That would mean a max of $77MM over four years, though McMahon pegs the likely value of the offer at $75MM. In any case, that’s significantly less than the nearly $96MM over four years the Lakers are reportedly offering in a max deal, and about $50MM less than the five-year max that the Knicks have apparently put on the table. There’s more from MacMahon on the Mavs amid the latest from the Western Conference:
- The Mavs have confidence they’ll strike a deal to re-sign Devin Harris, presuming they don’t land Anthony or LeBron James, even if some of the inflated agreements around the league this week have pushed his market value higher, MacMahon writes. The team sees Isaiah Thomas as its primary fallback option should Harris sign elsewhere, and Dallas has also been in contact with the agent for Wasserman client D.J. Augustin, MacMahon adds.
- There are some who believe that agent Rich Paul’s talks with teams about LeBron are instead intended to pitch clubs on Suns restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, whom Paul also represents, tweets USA Today’s Sam Amick.
- The Blazers came to terms with Chris Kaman believing they wouldn’t be able to sign Spencer Hawes or Channing Frye, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
- The Warriors have officially hired Alvin Gentry, Ron Adams and Luke Walton as assistant coaches, the team announced. Gentry, who spent last season as a Clippers assistant, was a candidate for multiple head coaching vacancies this summer. Adams was an assistant with the Celtics last season while Walton was an assistant for the Lakers D-League affiliate.
- Marcus Camby, 40, still harbors aspirations of returning to the NBA after missing last year as he recovered from left foot surgery, an injury that prompted the Rockets to waive him just before the start of the regular season.