Grantland's Zach Lowe looked at several players who became eligible to be traded this weekend, and shares a litany of observations based on his analysis and what he's heard from around the league. Here's a look at some of his rumors:
Ryan Hollins has fallen behind Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf in the Clippers rotation, and he might be available for a team looking for cheap interior players, suggesting the Celtics, for whom Hollins played last season, as a potential suitor.
Though Odom and Turiaf are ahead of Hollins, they're still "limited players," according to Lowe, who believes the Clippers could look to upgrade their frontcourt.
An Eric Bledsoe trade "feels almost inevitable," though it doesn't have to happen this season.
Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas are the only pieces the Knicks have who are both "useful and tradeable," Lowe contends, adding that the Knicks would be reluctant to unload any of their backlog of bigs onto Eastern Conference rivals.
Earlier today, Earl Bloom of the Orange County Register touched on several aspects of the Clippers' offseason. While their summer has certainly been dwarfed by that of their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers, who added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Clips have certainly made some significant moves. Which of the Clippers' new acquisitions do you think will have the biggest impact? Vote in the poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.
Earl Bloom of the Orange County Register has a new column that touches on the Clippers' offseason following the departure of GM Neil Olshey.
Bloom believes the loss of Olshey isn't as big a blow for the future of the Clippers as it had been made out to be, praising the job Vinny Del Negro, Andy Roeser, and Gary Sacks have done in his place.
The 27-year-old was waived by the Cavs in late March and promptly picked up by the Celtics. In 39 games last year, Hollins averaged 13.4 minutes per contest and put up 3.4 PPG and 2.1 RPG. While he has always shown promise as an athletic big, Hollins' inability to rebound was rather apparent in his time with Cleveland and Boston.
So while the remaining free agents on the market aren't likely to draw a ton of interest from San Antonio, there are plenty of other potential destinations out there. Here's the latest on a few available players:
Despite indicating earlier this year that he intended to retire, Ben Wallace would like to return to the Pistons for the 2012/13 season, says Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News. The Pistons have a full roster, so they'd have to make a move to clear a spot to sign the unrestricted free agent.
The Warriors and Bobcats are still pursuing Carl Landry, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Charlotte, which could offer Landry more money, is attempting to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Hornets.
A number of teams have expressed interest in Mickael Pietrus, but the Celtics are still "very much in the picture," says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com adds (via Twitter) that Pietrus has a "huge" offer from an overseas team, but that he wants to play for an NBA contender on more than a minimum-salary deal.
A big-name free agent came off the market yesterday when the Trail Blazers matched Nicolas Batum's offer sheet. As Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes, Blazers GM Neil Olshey stressed that reports suggesting Batum didn't want to return to Portland were orchestrated by the Timberwolves and Batum's agent. "Nic never said that," Olshey said. "Let’s be very clear. Nic made a couple of comments at the behest of the Minnesota Timberwolves and his agent. That was their agenda; it was never Nicolas’s agenda."
A couple more notable names came off the free agent market this morning, when Kris Humphrieslanded a two-year deal from the Nets and Grant Hillagreed to sign with the Clippers. While a number of solid rotation players are still available, the market is rapidly thinning for teams in search of starters. As clubs continue to jockey to sign the remaining available players, we'll track many of today's free agent rumors right here:
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com clarifies that Spurs guard Patty Mills re-signed with San Antonio for the value of his qualifying offer of about $1.08MM with a $1.13MM player option for 2013-14 (Twitter link).
Jason Quick of The Oregonian says that the Trail Blazers could target free agent point guard A.J. Price (Twitter link), also mentioning that Price's agent, Jeff Schwartz, declined to comment.
The Cavaliers, Rockets, Timberwolves, Hornets, 76ers, Suns, Trail Blazers, Kings, and Raptors are all eligible to make a bid on recently amnestied Andray Blatche (Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets). Mannix also says (via Twitter) that although doesn't expect a team to bid, Blatche will draw interest as an unrestricted free agent.
Mike Trudell of KCAL-9 in Los Angeles tweets that owner Jim Buss has reiterated GM Mitch Kupchak's comments that the team would like to re-sign Jordan Hill.
The Clippers' agreement with Hill likely takes them out of the running for Marco Belinelli, but Belinelli is still drawing interest, says Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld. Pincus names the Bulls, Magic, Warriors, and Knicks as potential suitors.
Anthony Randolph has "more than piqued" the Nuggets' curiousity, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
Nuggets coach George Karl has a standing offer out to unrestricted free agent Anthony Carter to become an assistant coach under Karl whenever his playing career is over, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link). However, Carter still believes he can help a team as a third point guard and hopes to play for a couple more years, according to Tomasson.
Despite rumors of overseas interest, Sonny Weems continues to seek an NBA contract, agent Roger Montgomery tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).
After tearing his left meniscus during a Team USA practise last Wednesday, Blake Griffin was forced to remove himself from the Olympic games. The Clippers forward had successful surgery today, and is still expected to be ready in time for training camp, tweets Yahoo! Sports columnist Marc J. Spears.
The Nuggets are considering using their amnesty provision on forward Chris Andersen, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. Andersen has two years and $9MM left on his deal.
The Hornets have shown an interest in signing free agent center Ryan Hollins, tweets SI.com's Sam Amick. Hollins split his time last season with both the Cavaliers and Celtics.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times has a few Bucks related tidbits to share. A few teams have interest in the team's unrestricted free agent guard Carlos Delfino, including the Hawks. (Twitter link). Also, the Bucks could be in the market for free agent center Joel Przybilla. (Twitter link).
After fracturing a bone in his right hand during Summer League practice on Saturday, Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo surgery on Wednesday in Cleveland, effectively ending all his basketball playing activity for the rest of summer. The former number one pick and reigning Rookie of the Year is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp, tweets Yahoo! Sports columnist Marc J. Spears.
Former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni has not been contacted by the Trail Blazers to fill their head coaching position, tweets The Oregonian's Jason Quick.
The Nets are expected to re-sign Keith Bogans, tweets the New York Daily News' Frank Isola
The Trail Blazers search for a head coach has begun to heat up: Suns assistant Elston Turner (twitter link), former Knicks assistant Phil Weber (twitter link), and Hawks assistant Lester Conner (twitter link) have all been linked to the position.
NBA Agent Happy Walters' Rogue Sports acquires SFX Baseball and NFL-agency Maximum Sports to form Relatively Sports, tweets Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers had a "positive meeting" with Jamal Crawford in Los Angeles and made the former Blazer a contract offer, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Crawford is still considering a handful of other teams, however, including the Timberwolves, 76ers, Grizzlies, and Suns. Here are a few more Wednesday morning Clippers items:
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clips are willing to offer Crawford the full $5MM mid-level exception for three years. It's not clear whether or not that was the actual offer extended by the team yesterday.
The Clippers are also still eyeing Ray Allen, and like the idea of the sharpshooter playing alongside Chris Paul and opening up the court for Blake Griffin, says Turner.
Chauncey Billups is expected to re-sign with the Clips on a one-year deal that could pay him up to $4.3MM if he reaches bonuses, according to Turner.
Also in Turner's piece: The Celtics have interest in big man Ryan Hollins for the veteran's minimum.
Crawford will be offered at least three years in the deal, Turner writes, though the mid-level allows the Clippers to offer a fourth. The Celtics, Suns, Sixers, Timberwolves and Pacers have also reportedly made contact with Crawford, who averaged 14.0 points, 3.2 assists and put up a 15.7 PER for the Blazers this year.
Clippers starChris Paul identified retaining Billups as his top priority for the team, but the Lakers have also expressed interest in the veteran point guard coming off an Achilles' tendon tear. Billups put up 15.0 PPG, 4.0 APG and a 16.1 PER in 20 games this past season. The Clippers may have room for both in their backcourt rotation, with Mo Williams traded to the Jazz and Randy Foye also a free agent.
Hollins could get either the minimum or the team's $1.957MM bi-annual exception, according to Turner. Hollins split time between the Cavs and Celtics this year, averaging 3.4 PPG and 2.1 RPG.