Eric Bledsoe is the top remaining player still unsigned, though as a restricted free agent the Suns have the right to match any offer sheet that Bledsoe agrees to. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at why Bledsoe hasn’t received any offers, and examines the player’s options going forward. Bickley also opines that Bledsoe is risking alienating the fans in Phoenix by turning down the Suns’ four-year, $48MM deal.
Here’s more from around the league:
- George Karl told Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune that the Wolves can’t afford to pass on trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, if the Cavs are truly offering that package (via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer’s tweet). Karl coached through a tumultuous season with the Nuggets when Carmelo Anthony eventually received his desired trade to the Knicks.
- Every year when the dust settles and the free agent signings begin to wind down there are winners and losers. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today weigh in on this year’s successes and disappointments.
- The Thunder‘s Josh Huestis might become the NBA’s first domestic “draft-and-stash” player, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. If Huestis does skip signing with the Thunder and heads directly to the NBA D-League, it could signal a major shift in the future of the D-League and how it’s utilized, notes Mayberry.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s rebuilding plan might not be popular in Philadelphia as the losses keep piling up. Jason Wolf of USA Today profiles the GM, as well as takes a look at the moves he’s made so far in his efforts to retool the franchise.
- The Jazz are interested in signing free agent Toure’ Murry, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Falk notes that Murry might be waiting for an offer from the Heat. The Knicks had also expressed interest in bringing Murry back, but currently have a logjam in the backcourt.
Cray Allred contributed to this post.
With Carmelo Anthony set to re-sign with the Knicks, New York can now focus on setting up a supporting cast to play alongside him. One name they’re interested in re-signing is Toure’ Murry, tweets Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal. Here’s more from around the East:
- Phil Jackson is said to be willing to include Iman Shumpert as part of a deal to dump the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, or J.R. Smith, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
- There is a gap between what the Cavs can offer and what Mike Miller is seeking, but not enough to end their talks, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- In contrast to an earlier report of the Hornets interest in Lance Stephenson, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets that Charlotte has shown no such signs.
- The Heat are now open to bringing free agent Mario Chalmers back at the right price, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinal. Miami drafted point guard Shabazz Napier, and was reportedly looking to sign-and-trade Chalmers before LeBron James elected to take his talents away from South Beach.
- The Hawks have re-engaged talks with Luol Deng, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. We heard earlier that the two sides had reached an impasse on salary for the veteran small forward.
- Kent Bazemore was in contract discussions with the Lakers when he agreed to join the Hawks, but Atlanta’s urgency precluded Los Angeles from re-signing the guard on their time table, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
- Trevor Ariza received the same offer from the Wizards as he agreed to with the Rockets, but the difference in taxes between Washington and Houston will save him approximately $3MM, tweets Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
- Ariza asked for an annual salary of $10MM to stay with the Wizards, sources tell J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Michael says that Washington declined to meet Ariza’s demands in order to maintain cap space in 2016, when Kevin Durant will become a free agent.
Charlie Adams contributed to this post.
Carmelo Anthony will meet with the Knicks in Los Angeles today after he finishes his visit with the Lakers, report Chris Broussard and Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Marc Berman of the New York Post had speculated that an L.A.-based meeting between Carmelo and the Knicks could take place, since Anthony, team president Phil Jackson and coach Derek Fisher all have homes in the area. Here’s more on ‘Melo and other news from the third day of NBA free agency:
- The Bulls floated a $16MM annual salary figure to Anthony during their meeting on Tuesday, a source tells Berman for the same piece.
- The Lakers had planned to largely to hold off and hoard cap flexibility for the summer of 2015, but the team has shifted gears and become more “proactive” this summer, Berman also hears.
- Trevor Ariza told agent Rob Pelinka to try to work out a deal with the Wizards before he explored options with other teams, reports Michael Lee of The Washington Post. The Wizards are confident in their ability to re-sign the small forward and don’t plan on any major moves until they strike a deal with Ariza. Still, Broussard counts the Wizards among the teams with interest in fellow small forward Luol Deng (Twitter link), so it seems the team has a contingency plan.
- The Pacers reportedly reached out to Rodney Stuckey, but Broussard hears Indiana has no plans to pursue the combo guard (Twitter link).
- It’s unlikely that the Heat will wind up with as much as $12MM in money to spend beneath the cap, as they’ve reportedly been telling free agents, observes Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick (on Twitter). They’ll probably remain above the cap, according to Skolnick, leaving the $5.305MM mid-level exception as their most lucrative tool.
- The Clippers have strong interest in Toure’ Murry, tweets Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal, and they’ve spoken with Jordan Farmar, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
Teams must decide today whether to tender qualifying offers to their players eligible for restricted free agency or lose the right to match offers from other teams. We’ll round up all of today’s qualifying offer decisions here:
- The Pacers declined to tender a qualifying offer to Lavoy Allen, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Still, there’s mutual interest in a new deal, Buckner adds (on Twitter).
- The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Mike Scott, notes Mark Deeks of ShamSports (on Twitter).
- No surprise here: Chandler Parsons got his QO from the Rockets, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.
- The Pacers won’t extend a QO to Evan Turner, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- Kevin Seraphin officially got his qualifying offer from the Wizards, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com.
- As expected, the Warriors won’t extend a QO to Jordan Crawford, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Hawks have extended a qualifying offer to Shelvin Mack, a source tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
- The Bucks have told forward-center Ekpe Udoh he will not be tendered an offer thus making him an unrestricted free agent, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).
- The Grizzlies have passed on making a qualifying offer to Ed Davis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Davis was reportedly a favorite of former CEO Jason Levien, but with Zach Randolph having agreed to an extension, it appears that Davis isn’t quite as highly valued in Memphis as he once was. His qualifying offer would have been worth $4,268,609, a slightly smaller amount than he was originally in line for, as I explained.
- No shock here, but the Pistons extended a qualifying offer to Greg Monroe, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, preserving their right to match offers for the fifth-rated player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings. The qualifying offer is worth nearly $5.5MM, but he’ll command much more than that.
- The Pelicans will not give Darius Miller a qualifying offer, reports John Reid of The Times Picayune. The offer would have been worth more than $1.115MM.
- The Spurs have tendered a qualifying offer to Aron Baynes, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (on Twitter). It’s worth more than $1.115MM, the same amount as Miller’s would have been.
- The Knicks have elected not to make a qualifying offer to Toure’ Murry, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). They’d like to re-sign him nonetheless, Stein adds in a second tweet, but other teams have interest, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt says (on Twitter). The offer would have been worth more than $1.016MM.
- Othyus Jeffers and Robbie Hummel won’t receive qualifying offers from the Wolves, the team announced (on Twitter). The offers would have been for amounts slightly greater than $1.148MM and $1.016MM, respectively.
Toure’ Murry is set to hit free agency in July, and even though he made barely a ripple for the Knicks this season after making the team out of training camp, he’s drawing interest from the Bulls, Warriors and Nets, among others, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Murry would become a restricted free agent if the Knicks extend a qualifying offer worth more than $1MM, about $200K more than he would make on the minimum salary next season. Rival suitors are hoping Knicks president Phil Jackson, who wasn’t around when the team signed Murry and elected to keep him past the leaguewide guarantee date, finds the qualifying offer too high and allows Murry to become an unrestricted free agent, Begley notes.
Murry averaged 2.7 points in 7.3 minutes per game in 51 appearances this past season, his first in the NBA after going undrafted out of Wichita State in 2012. The guard spent his first year after turning pro in the D-League, notching just 8.3 PPG in 23.4 MPG for the Rockets affiliate. Still, Murry beat out a handful of veterans with NBA experience in Knicks training camp this fall as owner James Dolan pushed for more youth on the team. The Knicks chose in December to retain Murry instead of Chris Smith, the brother of J.R. Smith, angering the former Sixth Man of the Year.
The Bernie Lee client took home the rookie minimum salary of $490,180 this year, making him cheaper than veteran options, but his minimum would be $816,482 next season, a relatively significant jump. Chicago, Golden State and Brooklyn no doubt have Murry fairly low on their wish lists, but even a modicum of interest at this point in the offseason indicates that there’s a chance he’ll make more than the minimum next season. It appears at least that, unlike this past summer, he’ll receive offers for guaranteed salary. There’s probably a decent chance he’ll become sign-and-trade fodder should the Knicks attempt to construct a larger swap with one of the teams that likes his game.
Amar’e Stoudemire envisions remaining with the Knicks organization beyond his playing career, as we noted last night. Still, the 31-year-old hopes he doesn’t leave the court anytime soon, telling Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling that he wants to “play until I can’t walk any more.” Stoudemire says he wants to stay on the Knicks roster, which is indication that he intends to opt in for next season. That wouldn’t be at all surprising, but it sounds he’d also like to re-sign with the club in the summer of 2015. Whether the Knicks will have mutual interest remains to be seen, of course. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- A source tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com that new Knicks president Phil Jackson is high on Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, Cole Aldrich, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure’ Murry. Carmelo Anthony is on that list as well, and Jackson has already publicly expressed his regard for the star.
- The Pistons have denied that Isiah Thomas is a candidate to run their basketball operations, but MLive’s David Mayo wouldn’t be “thoroughly and completely shocked” if Thomas ends up in that role, as Mayo writes in his latest mailbag column.
- The Sixers and Pacers had nearly identical records over a seven-year span from 2005/06 through 2011/12, but the teams have taken drastically different paths since, notes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. The Pacers have distinguished themselves primarily because of their success uncovering gems in the draft, Cooney argues, suggesting much is at stake for the Sixers come June.
Knicks owner James Dolan joined Michael Kay and Don La Greca on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM earlier today, and when asked about the team’s 2013/14 season, the Knicks owner responded that he’s been “horrified” (Neil Best of Newsday relays via Twitter). New York hopes that Phil Jackson‘s stewardship as president of basketball operations will bring a significant step towards success, as Dolan likened hiring Jackson to “…bringing in Albert Einstein to do your math homework.”
Later on during his radio appearance, the Knicks owner also reiterated that Jackson has full power over basketball decisions. The most important decision arguably involves Carmelo Anthony‘s future, and interestingly enough, Dolan added that if Jackson were to allow Carmelo to leave this summer, he’d give his blessing: “It’s (Phil’s) decision, that’s my agreement with him” (Twitter links via ESPN New York’s Ian Begley).
Here’s the latest out of the Big Apple, including more from Begley:
- When he had been tied to the potential GM opening in Seattle last year, Jackson previously convinced Steve Kerr to become the team’s head coach; those plans fell through once the purchase agreement of the Kings fell apart, reports Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo Sports.
- Dolan attempted to dispel speculation that Jackson would eventually coach the Knicks, telling Kay: “At the moment, it’s not in the cards.”
- Based on his early assessment of the roster, Jackson reportedly likes Carmelo, Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, and Cole Aldrich, a source tells Begley. Jackson also likes the youth of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure’ Murry.
- Jackson also dropped in on The Michael Kay Show later on, saying that there’s “hope and strong reason” that Carmelo would re-sign with the Knicks.
- Per source, Jackson is strongly committed to implementing the triangle offense and will shape the roster with that in mind, adds Begley.
- Steve Mills sat silently for more than 45 minutes during Jackson’s introductory press conference, notes Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. Per Botte, NBA sources initially expected Jackson to consider bringing in another general manager to handle day-to-day work with Mills, specifically involving trade calls and talks with agents.
- Dolan told Michael Kay that his relationship with former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas doesn’t involve discussions about basketball, relays Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
The D-League is producing more and more success stories, and Terrence Williams hopes to be the next to benefit from showcasing his talents there, writes Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. Williams has a 50-point game in his pocket, and hasn’t scored fewer than 20 points over his last four games. The NBA veteran has struggled to earn a roster spot or consistent playing time since showing some promise in 78 games as a rookie with the Nets in 2009/10. While his athleticism has never been in doubt, Williams now says he is in a better place mentally: “It’s unfortunate that I’m here, but it is fortunate for me to be humbled. I needed this.” Here is all of the recent D-League movement from around the league:
- The Mavs have assigned both Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo to their D-League affiliate Texas Legends, per a press release from the team. Ledo is moving back down less than 24 hours from his recent call-up, and Larkin is likely only being moved for a one-game stint.
- The Knicks’ PR account tweeted the announcement that Toure’ Murry has been recalled from the D-League. Since playing 27 minutes in a December loss to the Raptors, the rookie guard averaged just 8.9 minutes per contest in January, as limits to J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton‘s playing time due to performance and injury, respectively, were relaxed.
- The Warriors are expected to send both MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore to the D-League, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Brooks came to the Warriors in the recent trade for Jordan Crawford, and Bazemore has been a end-of-the-bench player in his two years with the club.
Rajon Rondo says he hasn’t put much thought into the notion of becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2015, but it nonetheless intrigues him like “college recruitment” did, as he told reporters, including Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Rondo recently indicated he’d like to remain with the Celtics long-term, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a certainty he’ll end up doing that. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Knicks coach Mike Woodson is comfortable with traditional lineups and says that’s part of the reason the team traded for Andrea Bargnani this past summer, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Still, Woodson isn’t so sure he’ll stray from small-ball even when Bargnani returns from an elbow injury.
- The Celtics will assign 10-day signee Vander Blue to the D-League, Danny Ainge says, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com (Twitter link). Unless they merely plan to send him down for tonight’s game and let him go, since today’s final day of his contract, this appears to signal that the C’s will give him another 10-day deal, though there’s still no decision about that, Blakely notes (on Twitter).
- The Knicks have sent Toure’ Murry to the D-League, the team announced via Twitter. Murry will play with the Erie BayHawks tonight and return to the Knicks on Saturday, the team also tweets.
- The Blazers have dropped Dorell Wright from their rotation, but he’s not pouting, and he’s still glad he signed with Portland this summer after spending last season with the Sixers, as he tells Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. “I’d rather be here, winning, out the rotation right now and back in the rotation later, than in Philly, cold, muggy and ugly,” Wright said. “I’ll take this any day.”
- Khalif Wyatt and the Guangdong Southern Tigers have parted ways, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. The shooting guard spent camp with the Sixers. Royal Ivey, who spent last year with the Sixers, is replacing him.
Sundiata Gaines is headed to the D-League, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. The three-year NBA veteran has appeared in 11 games with Besiktas Milangaz in Turkey this year and was in camp with the Pacers in the fall of 2012. The 6’1″ guard’s most memorable contribution to the NBA was a buzzer-beater for the Jazz in 2010, though his best season was in 2011/12, when he started 12 games for the Nets. Here are more comings and goings from the D-League:
- The lack of a one-to-one relationship with their affiliate might be one reason why the Wizards are unlikely to send Otto Porter to the D-League, even though coach Randy Wittman says an assignment is possible, writes J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- The Knicks followed through with their plan to recall Cole Aldrich, Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Tyler from the D-League today, the team announced (Twitter link). New York sent the trio down on Wednesday merely to practice with the team’s affiliate, which is stationed at the Knicks training facility this week.
- The Rockets have recalled Isaiah Canaan from the D-League, the team announced via Twitter. Canaan is undergoing rehab for a strained hamstring, as Jason Friedman of Rockets.com notes, so it doesn’t sound like he’ll see action for the big club (Twitter link).
- Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks says the team will send Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva to the D-League to play this weekend, tweets Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, confirming a report from Reggie Hayes of The News-Sentinel.