We’ve heard players like Omer Asik and Marcin Gortat mentioned repeatedly as possible trade candidates for the coming season, and both players earn a spot on Sam Smith‘s list of 10 players most likely to be traded at Bulls.com. Smith also includes a few surprises among his 10 names though, including a pair of power forwards on Western Conference playoff teams: Zach Randolph and David Lee. I’d be surprised to see either player go anywhere, but as we saw a year ago with James Harden and the Thunder, contending teams aren’t always averse to moving key players.
Here are a few more Monday items out of the West:
- Asked if Xavier Henry‘s play this fall is solidifying his spot on the regular season roster, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters, including John Ireland and Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), “I would think so.”
- With CSKA Moscow set to play an exhibition game against the Timberwolves tonight, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities notes that a couple players on the Russian squad – Milos Teodosic and Sonny Weems – could interest the T-Wolves, or have been pursued by the team in the past (Twitter links).
- Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are both eligible for contract extensions this month, but the Jazz don’t necessarily have to treat them equally, writes Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune. In Kragthorpe’s opinion, Utah should extend Hayward now and wait on Favors.
- It’s not clear if Fab Melo will earn a roster spot with the Mavericks, but the young center doesn’t sound unhappy to be out of Boston. Melo tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Celtics “didn’t give [him] a chance” last season, “even in practice” (Twitter link).
If the Jazz are going to roll with a third point guard this season, it’ll be either Scott Machado or Lester Hudson, writes Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune. Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks could conceivably bring the ball up the floor, but it sounds like Utah would prefer to have another cushion at the one-guard position. “It’s always better to have a third point guard,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “A guy gets hurt, a guy gets sick … If it’s for an extended period of time, having that third point guard gives you a luxury.” Here’s more from around the Association..
- Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv spoke with an NBA GM about the 2014 Draft. The GM feels that even though it’ll be a two-player race between Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle, no one will have the fortitude to pick Randle over Wiggins, even if he outperforms him.
- George Karl says the 2012/13 was the most fun he’s ever had in coaching, so he’d like to return to the bench, even though the former Nuggets boss acknowledges to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe that he may not get another chance. “If that doesn’t happen, I think I can be OK with it,” Karl said. “I’ve had a great career and I think I’m healthy enough and energized enough to go another four or five years, and hopefully someone else out there will think the same thing.”
- Rick Carlisle is high on second-round pick Ricky Ledo, but the Mavs coach hinted that Ledo will probably spend time on assignment to the D-League this year, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along.
- Sonny Weems, who will play in Russia this season, still has his eye on an NBA deal, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
A pair of players from last year's CSKA Moscow squad have made the jump to the NBA this summer, as Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko both signed deals with the Timberwolves. Sonny Weems, however, is heading in the other direction. CSKA Moscow has officially signed Weems to a three-year deal, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
Weems, who spent three seasons in the NBA from 2008-11 with the Nuggets and Raptors, also played overseas in 2011/12, signing with Lithiuana's Zalgiris B.C. during the lockout. After averaging 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per contest over the course of 140 NBA games, Weems averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game with Zalgiris in Euroleague action.
The Knicks were said to have interest in Weems before signing Ronnie Brewer, and the Celtics also had some interest before adding Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. Weems was still seeking an NBA contract two weeks ago, but considering the amount of interested teams that decided to go in another directions, I speculated during last week's live chat that the 26-year-old could end up back overseas.
Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com reports the Knicks have interest in unrestricted free agents Sonny Weems and Maurice Evans, according to Roger Montgomery, the agent for both players. The Knicks are seeking depth at shooting guard with Iman Shumpert out until January and J.R. Smith the only rotation-caliber two-guard on the roster, but have only the veteran's minimum at their disposal, as Zwerling points out.
The Knicks could also be a candidate for Randy Foye if the Clippers consent to a sign-and-trade, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, also identifying the Suns, Bucks and Bulls as Foye suitors (Twitter link). Foye spent most of last season in the starting lineup for the Clippers, averaging 11.0 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds with a 13.5 PER.
The 26-year-old Weems spent last season playing overseas after averaging 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Raptors in 2010/11. Toronto withdrew its qualifying offer to Weems last week, making him an unrestricted free agent. Evans, who'll be 34 when the season starts, spent last season with the Wizards, putting up 4.9 PPG, 1.0 RPG and 0.4 APG in just 14.3 minutes a night.
Evans seems the more likely bet to settle for the minimum salary, as Zwerling notes. A twist to the story is that Montgomery is also the agent for Jeremy Lin, whose offer sheet the Knicks declined to match this week.
A couple more notable names came off the free agent market this morning, when Kris Humphries landed a two-year deal from the Nets and Grant Hill agreed 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.
- John Reid of the Times Picayune writes that the Hornets are interested in Ryan Hollins.
- 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.
- Mavericks VP of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says the Mavs are still interested in bringing back Delonte West, who has "other options on the table he's going through." Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News has the details.
- Raja Bell, who is attempting to work out a trade or buyout from the Jazz, hasn't heard from the Heat, but has drawn interest from six other teams, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida.
- 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).
- The Nets' next move might be signing Nazr Mohammed or Ryan Hollins as a backup center, tweets TNT's David Aldridge.
- The Clippers are also looking to add a big, and are eyeing Hollins and Darko Milicic, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- In a piece for ESPN Deportes, Andres Nocioni confirms he'll continue playing for Caja Laboral in Spain next season rather than returning to the NBA (hat tip to Sportando for the translation).
3:11pm: Kennedy clarifies (via Twitter) that the Raptors have withdrawn their qualifying offer, but not necessarily renounced their rights to Weems. I'd expect that to be the next step, but either way, Weems is an unrestricted free agent.
2:49pm: The Raptors have withdrawn their qualifying offer and renounced the rights to Sonny Weems, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter). The move makes Weems, who was initially a restricted free agent, unrestricted and free to sign with any team.
The Celtics, Cavaliers, and Grizzlies were among the teams said to have some level of interest in Weems so far this summer. I'm not sure whether the wing is still on Boston's radar, given the deals the team has agreed to so far this month, but the Cavs and Grizzlies still appear to be solid fits. Memphis is targeting players that could sign for the mini mid-level exception or less, and it's unlikely Weems receives offers larger than that.
Weems, 26, spent the 2011/12 season overseas, but played for the Raptors in 2010/11, starting 28 of 59 games. He averaged 9.2 points in 23.9 per contest for the season.
At the start of this year's free agent period, the Grizzlies were pursuing relatively big-name free agents such as Ray Allen, willing to offer the full mid-level exception. At the time, I expressed some skepticism that Memphis could offer the full $5MM mid-level if the team hoped to re-sign Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights.
Sure enough, since agreeing to terms with both Arthur and Speights, the Grizzlies have turned their focus to the $3MM taxpayer MLE, says Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to Tillery, Memphis is eyeing players like Jodie Meeks, Willie Green, and Jordan Farmar.
Green and Farmar are asking for the full mini mid-level, while Meeks and rumored target Sonny Weems could probably be signed for a little less than $3MM, says Tillery. The Grizzlies are also said to be eyeing Jerryd Bayless, who is now an unrestricted free agent, though I'd guess he'll receive offers worth a little more than the mini mid-level.
For his part, GM Chris Wallace remains confident that the Grizzlies will add a shooter and a backup point guard, despite not landing their initial targets.
"All the people we're talking to [now] have a track record," Wallace said. "Have they made All-Star teams? No. But how many free agents out there have? We were involved with Ray [Allen]. We offered him more money [than the Heat]. We were right there with Jason Terry. We've talked to a ton of people since this started."
Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago reported
earlier that the Bucks
presented Kirk Hinrich
with an offer of about $4 MM per year, while the Bulls
have made an offer somewhere between the veteran's minimum and around $2 MM per year. The proposed length of either deal is still unknown. Although the Bulls have been relatively quiet at this point during the offseason, Sam thinks that Chicago could eventually become financially viable for free agent point guards such as Ramon Sessions
, Raymond Felton
, Jerryd Bayless
, and Delonte West
, who could be available if they are not acquired during the first wave of free agent signings. Derek Fisher
and Jonny Flynn
were also mentioned as potential additions.
We are currently less than four days away from the end of the NBA's moratorium period, and here is the rest of what we've heard around the league this evening…
- Ersan Ilyasova plans to meet with Bucks owner Herb Kohl on Tuesday, which is seen as an important opportunity in the team's effort to retain the 6'10'' forward (Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times reports). Earlier this week, we reported that Milwaukee offered a deal worth around $40MM over five years.
- Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweeted that the Lakers are scheduled to meet with unrestricted free agent Jodie Meeks early next week. In another tweet, Amico says that the Celtics have reportedly stepped up their interest in O.J. Mayo, but thinks Boston would likely have to add him via a sign-and-trade.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweeted that although the Timberwolves express interest in Anthony Tolliver, the team has not made any promises. Zgoda also added via Tolliver's agent that there are five other teams that have shown interest.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer answered some questions from Cleveland fans about the Cavaliers' offseason. While the team appears committed to keeping Anderson Varejao, Boyer thinks that his name will be brought up by other teams during trade discussions. With regards to free agency, she believes that Anthony Tolliver, Sonny Weems, Jonny Flynn, and Royal Ivey could be targets.
- Ben Golliver of the BlazersEdge wonders if there are more front office changes coming after the resignation of Larry Miller, considering that the Trail Blazers still have executives held over from two prior regimes (Twitter link).
- Carmelo Anthony publicly endorsed the Knicks' efforts to recruit Marcus Camby, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday.
- Bulls forward Taj Gibson told Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago that he'd like the team to keep Omer Asik and would be ecstatic if the team somehow found a way to bring unrestricted free agent Kirk Hinrich back to Chicago. The two had been teammates during Gibson's rookie season.
- Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes about Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva as two players who will look to stake their claim as the stretch-four in Lawrence Frank's rotation. Both are in Orlando participating in summer league practices, but only Daye will compete on the Pistons' summer league team.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel talked about Jameer Nelson's return to the Magic and what it means for his leadership role moving forward.
Brandon Roy, Jason Kidd, and Jamal Crawford were among the players to reach agreements with new clubs yesterday, while Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lin agreed to lucrative offer sheets that their current teams are expected to match. What will Friday bring? Here are the latest rumors on a number of free agents still on the market:
- The Timberwolves have pushed their next discussion with Greg Stiemsma back to tomorrow while they determine the cap implications of their agreements with Brandon Roy and Nicolas Batum, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com adds (via Twitter) that Stiemsma is also drawing interest from the Trail Blazers and Hornets.
- Al Iannazzone of Newsday (Twitter link) is hearing that Randy Foye could be a possibility for the Knicks. In order to land both Foye and Jason Kidd, New York would have to sign-and-trade for one of them.
- The Nuggets continue to "grind it out" with JaVale McGee's reps, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. As Aldridge notes, whichever team loses out on Roy Hibbert between the Pacers and Trail Blazers could enter the mix in a big way for McGee.
- Anthony Randolph will meet with the Hawks this weekend and the Mavericks on Tuesday, says Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- The Nets, Mavs, Bulls, Thunder, and Cavaliers are in the running for Derek Fisher, writes Howard Beck of the New York Times.
- The Grizzlies will meet with Raptors restricted free agent Sonny Weems tonight, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Day 3 of NBA free agency is underway, and the July free agent period hasn't lacked for action so far. We'll use this space to track a number of updates on second- and third-tier free agents as the day continues. Here's the latest:
- Chauncey Billups and Spencer Hawes won't be possibilities for the Trail Blazers, says Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter links).
- The Thunder, Hornets, and Wizards have expressed interest in Roger Mason, tweets ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.
- Brandon Roy met with the Warriors in the Bay Area on Sunday, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Cavaliers and Knicks have expressed some interest in restricted free agent Sonny Weems, says Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- The Pacers may be a long shot for Jamal Crawford, but the club has "legitimate interest" in Carlos Delfino, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
- GM David Kahn and the Timberwolves like Greg Stiemsma and "talked numbers" with his agent, but no offer was made, says Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). The two sides will meet again on Friday.
- The Clippers continue to have interest in Jason Terry and J.R. Smith and are talking with both players' reps, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. I imagine the Clips view those players as alternate options if they miss out on Jamal Crawford and Ray Allen.
- The Pacers are expected to meet with Gerald Green and Ian Mahinmi in the coming days, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
- Antawn Jamison will meet with the "very interested" Bobcats on Thursday and Friday, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Jamison has previously talked about a desire to finish his career in his hometown of Charlotte.
- The Trail Blazers have reached out to Chauncey Billups, who is exploring all his options, says Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- If the Pacers decide not to match Portland's offer sheet for Roy Hibbert, they'll turn their attention to Chris Kaman and JaVale McGee, according to ESPN.com's Ric Bucher.
- J.R. Smith's brother tells Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com that he expects J.R. to return to the Knicks.
- Terrence Williams is drawing interest from the Kings, Pistons, and Suns, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
- Daniel Orton has emerged as a potential free agent target for the Thunder, tweets Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.
- The Suns are still meeting with Goran Dragic and will likely meet with him again in the next few days, tweets Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.
- Now that Deron Williams is headed to the Nets, the Mavericks will target Steve Nashand Jeremy Lin, and focus on re-signing Jason Kidd, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Dallas is not sure whether or not they'll go after Goran Dragic.