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.
The Thunder have jumped into the race for Pau Gasol, and while there’s conflicting information about just how strong their chances are of landing him, it seems Oklahoma City is taking a more aggressive posture than in years past to try to upgrade its team. Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:
- Negotiations between the Jazz and Kent Bazemore have moved beyond the preliminary stage, but the team and the Austin Walton client aren’t close to a deal, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders first reported Utah’s interest.
- The Blazers have had preliminary talks about a deal with Steve Blake, who’d love to play in Portland again, sources tell Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The team and the Joel Bell client are expected to continue the talks, Haynes adds.
- The Timberwolves were set to speak with the agent for free agent Dante Cunningham on Wednesday, but while the fellow client of Joel Bell has interest in re-signing with the team, the Wolves don’t necessarily feel the same way, observes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. (Twitter links).
- The Wolves have interest in signing Kris Humphries to a one-year deal, according to Wolfson and Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling (Twitter link).
- Markel Starks, who went undrafted out of Georgetown last month, will play on the Wolves summer league team, in addition to doing the same with the Pistons, reports Zach Links of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).
I appeared Tuesday on WWL radio’s Sports Talk With Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia in New Orleans to discuss NBA free agency, and already the tenor of the market is taking shape. Lucrative deals for shooting guards Jodie Meeks, Avery Bradley and Ben Gordon have dominated headlines so far, and Gordon’s deal in particular has many free agents optimistic about their own market values, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. The Raptors were already worried they were being priced out of retaining restricted free agents Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson before news of the Gordon deal hit, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link). Here’s more from around the league.
- Executives from multiple teams have been offered O.J. Mayo of the Bucks, Tayshaun Prince of the Grizzlies, Jeremy Lin of the Rockets, and Austin Rivers of the Pelicans in trade scenarios, league sources tell tell Kennedy.
- The Pacers have reached out to Rodney Stuckey, tweets Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. He’s presumably a backup plan in case the team can’t reach a deal with Lance Stephenson.
- The Warriors could have signed Stuckey, who was willing to sign with the club for the mid-level exception, but they gave that money to Shaun Livingston instead, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link).
- Spencer Hawes “likes everything about the Blazers” and is “very interested” in signing with them, a source tells The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman. Portland has made Hawes their top target among sharpshooting big men, but he’s still in no rush to come to deal, Freeman writes.
- Vince Carter is receiving a steady stream of pitches from the Heat and others, but the Mavs maintain strong interest in re-signing the swingman, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).
- The Magic claimed Willie Green off waivers Monday, and while they still had the chance to put him back on waivers before his non-guaranteed minimum salary became fully guaranteed, they didn’t do so before Tuesday’s deadline, so his money will stay on the books.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Hornets have hired Trail Blazers scouting director Chad Buchanan as an assistant General Manager, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo (on Twitter). Buchanan will serve under GM Rich Cho, who gained full control of the front office when president of basketball operations Rod Higgins resigned last month.
Buchanan was in charge of Portland’s college scouting but had a fairly uneventful June as Portland didn’t have any picks in the 2014 draft. Buchanan has long been well-regarded in the Blazers front office and was considered for the GM job a couple of years back.
Plenty of teams are hoping for a chance to pitch to LeBron James, but the Wizards aren’t one of them, as owner Ted Leonsis explained in an appearance on 106.7 The Fan today. Scott Allen of The Washington Post has the transcription.
“You’d have to have cap space and you’d have to renounce all your free agents,” Leonsis said. “Then you’d have to be able to call their agent and say, ‘Would you think he would consider coming here?’ So, I never understood the grandstanding. Some of the bloggers have said, just get in the mix and throw your name out there. OK, so you generate positive pixels and it creates these faux expectations, and LeBron is in total control of his future. LeBron will do what LeBron wants to do. We have to be able to control what we want to control, and right now our main targets are retaining our players.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:
- The Heat‘s top two targets for outside improvement appear to be Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng, but neither seem likely to end up with the team, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Deng is unwilling to take a discount to go to Miami, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, probably putting him out of reach (Twitter link).
- Hornets free agent power forward Josh McRoberts and the Blazers have mutual interest in a deal, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com hears.
- The Wizards would like to bring back free agent point guard Garrett Temple, but they face competition from the Heat, Magic and Bulls, who have also expressed interest, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Hawks are interested in re-signing Elton Brand, but the Knicks are eyeing him, too, writes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.