Marc Stein of ESPN.com has posted his latest Weekend Dime column, which features updates on a variety of trade-related topics from around the NBA. Here are the highlights:
- GMs around the league view the Celtics as likely to make a move. They have interest in J.J. Redick, and executives speculate that they may finally decide to move Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo.
- Some GMs believe a three-team trade is possible that would send Pierce to the Grizzlies, Rudy Gay to the Lakers, and Pau Gasol to Boston.
- After their trade with the Cavs this week, the Grizzlies' roster is down to 11 players and they have 14 days to sign at least two players to meet the minimum requirement of 13. Memphis looked at Delonte West but decided against signing the veteran guard, Stein reports.
- Stein notes that Memphis received three separate trade exceptions in the trade. Marreese Speights landed them an exception worth $4.2MM, while Wayne Ellington's was worth $2MM and Josh Selby's was worth $762,195.
- Although the Cavaliers think highly of Speights and have wanted him for years, the forward is already drawing interest from other teams and could be moved before the February 21 trading deadline. Stein identifies Daniel Gibson and Omri Casspi as the other two Cleveland players most likely to be traded.
- The Suns are said to be shopping Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat, and Luis Scola in light of the team's struggles this season. It should be noted that Scola, having been claimed after being waived with the amnesty clause, cannot be traded until after this season.
- Stein's column also featured a Q&A with 28-year-old former lottery pick Rashad McCants, who is playing with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League in hopes of eventually making another run at an NBA career.
Even after pulling off one deal that used up a chunk of their leftover cap space, the Cavaliers are still aggressively exploring the trade market, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. Of course, as Amico adds, about 20 other teams are doing the same thing, and there's no guarantee the Cavs will make another move before February 21st. Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Association:
- When weighing trade possibilities, Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey is looking for players who are good influences in the locker room as well as good fits on the court, as he tells Ian Thomsen of SI.com.
- Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien isn't expecting the Grizzlies to make another deal before the trade deadline, tweets Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- The Mavericks' D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, officially announced today that they've added former UNC standout Rashad McCants. We heard yesterday that McCants may be on his way back to the Legends.
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld examines the teams that will have the most cap flexibility going forward.
- Robert Dozier, who was in camp with the Heat during the preseason, has signed with the Alaska Aces in the Philippines, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that former Timberwolves first-round pick Rashad McCants might be on his way back to the D-League's Texas Legends. The 28-year-old, who averaged nearly 20 PPG in China this year, played for the Mavericks affiliate in their debut season. Here's more on the T'Wolves and the rest of the Northwest..
- The Thunder will pursue small forward Pete Mickeal when his contract with FC Barcelona is over, according to a report from TuBasket.com passed along by HoopsHype. Mickeal was drafted by Dallas in the second-round of the 2000 Draft but was waived that summer.
- The T'Wolves were in on Australian center Aron Baynes early on before the Spurs scooped him up, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. San Antonio won out thanks to their personal connections with the big man in conjunction with their offer of a guaranteed deal.
- The Raja Bell saga has gone on for months in Utah but his reps are hopeful that a settlement can be struck at some point, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. The Jazz and Bell haven't made much progress on a buyout over the last month.
It's already been a busy day of basketball news and rumors overseas, so let's check in on some of today's international stories relating to former or future NBA players….
- Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com writes that former Cav and Laker Christian Eyenga has been formally announced as the newest addition for China's Shanxi Brave Dragons. Eyenga was bought out of his D-League contract to clear a path to China last week.
- Within the same piece, Pastuszek provides a couple more CBA updates, noting that Rashad McCants may be released soon by the Foshan Dralions and that Blake Ahearn is off to a good start with the DongGuan Leopards.
- Back in December, we heard that ex-Knick Renaldo Balkman was likely on his way to the Philippines. Now, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando confirms (via Twitter) that Balkman has officially joined Philippines' Petron Blaze Boosters.
- Following up on a tweet by Djordje Matic, Sportando reports that Australian big man Aron Baynes is close to signing a multiyear deal with the Spurs. However, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that it may happen next year instead. I'd be a little surprised if the Spurs used their final roster spot on Baynes now rather than maintaining some flexibility, but we did hear a month ago that a pair of Western Conference clubs were keeping tabs on the Euroleague standout — it appears one of those teams was the Spurs.
- Despite recent rumors that he could be on his way to the NBA this season, Bobby Brown tells La Gazzetta Dello Sport (English link via Sportando) that he's committed to remaining with Siena.
- Solomon Jones, who was cut in October by the Suns, is drawing interest from a Chinese team, according to a Hupu.com report (passed along by HoopsWorld).
10:56am: Sean Williams has also signed with a Chinese team, joining McCants on the Foshan Dralions, according to Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com (via Twitter). Williams was waived by the Rockets earlier this summer and drew some interest from the Timberwolves and Knicks, but didn't land an NBA deal.
10:20am: Gilbert Arenas has officially signed with the Shanghai Sharks, the team announced on its website (Chinese link). Reports earlier this month indicated that Arenas had agreed to sign with Yao Ming's Sharks, after a verbal agreement with the Guangdong Southern Tigers fell through.
While Arenas is the biggest name heading to China this week, he's not the only former NBA veteran signing overseas. According to a NetEase report (translation via HoopsHype), forward Ike Diogu has signed with Guangdong, with the team waiving Derrick Caracter to clear room. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was in camp with the Suns last month before being released.
Another 2005 lottery pick will also be playing in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets that Rashad McCants will join the Foshan Dralions. According to Stein, McCants' scoring ability has kept him on the radar of NBA teams, though the former UNC standout hasn't appeared in an NBA game since the 2008/09 season. The Pacers were one club that displayed some interest in McCants before he landed his deal in China, tweets Stein.
Arenas, Diogu, and McCants will all be eligible to return stateside and catch on with an NBA team before the playoffs begin, since the CBA regular season ends in February.
Let's round up a few Friday afternoon odds and ends from around the NBA….
- The Magic will hire former Hornets assistant James Borrego as an assistant coach for the coming year, according to an Associated Press report (link via The Sporting News).
- In a piece for the Detroit Free Press, Patrick Hayes of PistonPowered wonders if it makes sense for the Pistons to clear a roster spot to bring back Ben Wallace. That, of course, assumes that Wallace wants to continue his playing career.
- Former UNC star and NBA lottery pick Rashad McCants failed his physical with French team SIG Strasbourg, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Strasbourg was set to sign McCants, but will now take another look at the market for other options.
- Joe Johnson talked to SI.com's Zach Lowe about finding out about being traded to the Nets, the team's expectations for 2012/13, and his contract.
- The Warriors have hired Ellen Warner as the team's VP of Development, according to a team release. Warner will oversee planning, design, and construction of the club's proposed San Francisco arena.
After previously looking at the biggest winners and losers of the NBA offseason, SI.com's Zach Lowe ran down the most intriguing teams of the summer. Among them are the Nets, who have unquestionably upgraded their roster in the short-term, but may have hampered themselves in the long run. The Nets now have roughly $65MM committed annually to four players across the next four years and may not be able to build on their roster if they can't swing a deal for Dwight Howard in January. Here's more from around the Association..
- A source told HoopsHype (via Twitter) that the Lakers are working out Rashad McCants and 2009 second-round pick Patrick Beverley today. Beverley, 24, was named MVP of the Eurocup last season.
- Jodie Meeks' agent, David Bauman, says that his client won't sign for a minimum contract, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times. Bauman added that there are four or five teams looking at Meeks, including the Lakers.
- Even though the Blazers have ushered in a rebuilding period, guard Nolan Smith isn't sold on the perception that Portland will be lottery-bound for the second-straight year, writes Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. Smith also supported Kaleb Canales returning as head coach but expects him to stay on with the organization in an important capacity regardless.
- Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com likes the Jazz's hire of Dennis Lindsey as their next General Manager and tip his cap to the organization for conducting a swift and productive search for Kevin O'Connor's replacement.
We'll track today's notable international and D-League-related transactions here:
- After playing just one game for Piratas de Quebradillas in Puerto Rico, Rashad McCants was waived, according to Sportando. McCants is hoping his play in Puerto Rico will help propel an NBA comeback, but he's now been waived twice this week.
- The D-League's Idaho Stampede have waived another comeback-hopeful, Antoine Walker, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The team needed to add a player to the roster using Walker's spot while he tends to personal matters, says Spears. The Stampede could add Walker back to the roster this weekend (Twitter link).
- Derrick Caracter has been waived by the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, adds Spears. Caracter, who played 41 games for the Lakers last year, was waived this year before his contract became guaranteed for the season.
Aaron Brooks' Guangdong Southern Tigers are making a run at the Chinese Basketball Association title, delaying his return to Phoenix. When his season in China ends, Brooks will find himself in a situation similar to Wilson Chandler's in Denver and Patrick Mills' in Portland, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic outlines. I expect the longer Brooks remains in China, the less likely he is to play in the NBA this year, since he'll be a restricted free agent again this summer if he sits out the season.
Here are a few more Thursday links from around the Association: