JULY 15TH: The Pistons have made the Bynum signing official, the club announced today on Twitter.
JULY 8TH: The Pistons are set to re-sign Will Bynum, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal is worth $5.75MM in total over two seasons, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (via Twitter).
Earlier today, we learned that Detroit put an offer out to the point guard and it would appear that both sides decided to move quickly towards an agreement. The 30-year-old has spent the last five years of his career with the Pistons and is coming off of a season in which he averaged 9.8 PPG and 3.6 APG in 18.8 minutes per contest.
Detroit has been targeting a number of free agent point guards, including Bynum, Jose Calderon (who has signed with the Mavs), and Chauncey Billups. The Knicks were also eyeing Bynum, but they'll have to look elsewhere for a one guard.
As teams clear cap space to finalize signings and trades, it may mean renouncing Early Bird or Bird rights to their own free agents, in order to remove cap holds from the books. Once a player is renounced, his previous team has no more claim to him that any other team — he could still be re-signed, but it would have to be done using cap space or an exception. Some of those decisions are more notable than others, but for completion's sake, we'll track the latest of these cap-clearing moves right here:
- Mo Williams is the most prominent name among the several whose rights the Jazz renounced today, according to the RealGM transaction log. Al Jefferson, DeMarre Carroll and Earl Watson, who already have deals to join other teams, are also on the list, as are the long-retired Brevin Knight and Greg Ostertag.
- Bobcats are set to re-sign Josh McRoberts, but they won't be using their Early Bird rights to do so, as they've renounced his rights, RealGM shows. The team also renounced their rights to Reggie Williams, who's heading to the Rockets, and it cut ties with DeSagana Diop, Byron Mullens and Jannero Pargo, too.
- Golden State will sign Jermaine O'Neal, so the Suns have renounced his rights, as well as their rights to Wesley Johnson and Diante Garrett, as RealGM notes.
- The Hawks have cleared out unwanted cap holds from their books, renouncing their rights to Hilton Armstrong, Erick Dampier, Devin Harris, Dahntay Jones, Randolph Morris, Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro, Josh Smith, and Etan Thomas, according to RealGM.com's transactions log.
- RealGM.com also has the Trail Blazers renouncing multiple players, including Luke Babbitt, J.J. Hickson, Eric Maynor, and Nolan Smith.
- Most interestingly, according to RealGM.com, the Bucks have renounced their rights to Monta Ellis. That doesn't necessarily preclude a sign-and-trade, but it would mean the team would have to use cap space rather than Ellis' Bird rights to accommodate a deal.
- The Pelicans have renounced their rights to Louis Amundson, Xavier Henry, and Roger Mason Jr., the team announced today in a press release.
- In order to clear cap room for their signings, the Pistons renounced Will Bynum, Jose Calderon, Vernon Macklin, Corey Maggette, Jason Maxiell, and Ben Wallace, according to RealGM's transactions log. The Pistons plan to re-sign Bynum, but removing his $6MM+ cap hold and signing him to a smaller figure using cap space makes the most sense.
- After renouncing their rights to Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom, the Clippers have also renounced Bobby Simmons, according to RealGM.com's transactions log.
Last week, we heard that the Pistons were considering a number of free agent point guards, including Will Bynum, Jose Calderon, and Chauncey Billups. Calderon has since agreed to sign with the Mavs and Billups continues to receive interest from a handful of teams, but according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter), the Pistons have an offer on the table for Bynum.
Despite committing a good chunk of their available cap space to a deal for Josh Smith, the Pistons still have room left over to hang on to Bynum's cap hold and make him a competitive offer. As Zwerling notes in his tweet, unless the veteran guard is willing to take a discount, an offer from the Pistons likely rules out the possibility of him joining the Knicks. Zwerling had written earlier today that Bynum was one of New York's targets, but the team could only offer a starting salary of up to $1.7MM, or the veteran's minimum.
Bynum, 30, has spent his last five seasons in Detroit, averaging 8.4 PPG and 3.3 APG in 282 total contests.
Let's round up the latest news, notes, and rumors out of the Atlantic Division….
- Chris Copeland's agent John Spencer isn't ruling out his client returning to the Knicks, but he expects to receive offers starting at higher than $1.75MM. As Marc Berman of the New York Post writes, after committing a portion of their mid-level to Pablo Prigioni, the Knicks only have about $1.75MM left on their MLE. Using that remaining money on a power forward like Elton Brand is more likely than a Copeland reunion, according to Berman.
- Assuming Copeland doesn't take less to remain in New York, the Pacers, Lakers, Jazz, and Nuggets are in play for him, according to Spencer.
- Agent Andy Miller tells Berman that his client, Sebastian Telfair, would "consider the Knicks very strongly." New York is eyeing another point guard and has also been in touch with reps for Earl Watson, Will Bynum, Aaron Brooks, and Devin Harris.
- The second year of the Raptors' agreement with Julyan Stone won't be fully guaranteed, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Smith notes within the same piece that it remains extremely unlikely Toronto uses its amnesty clause next week.
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge had long targeted Brad Stevens as a potential replacement for Doc Rivers, as Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe writes (subscription required). Ainge himself confirmed at this morning's press conference that Stevens was his first phone call after the Rivers transaction, tweets Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.
Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News writes that the Pistons will explore their free agent options next week with Will Bynum, Jose Calderon, and former NBA champion Chauncey Billups. While the notion of bringing back both Bynum and Calderon to Detroit may seem far-fetched, Goodwill reports that the team will explore both options and that it isn't necessarily an either/or proposition.
Billups, who at once had a strained relationship with Joe Dumars following his trade to Denver in 2008, had reportedly buried the hatchet with Dumars recently and could serve as a veteran leader on a fairly young Pistons squad if signed. Not to mention that Rasheed Wallace had been in talks to join Detroit's coaching staff last week, which could only entice the soon to be 37-year-old point guard to reunite with his former teammate. Though Billups had some setbacks with injuries in recent years, we heard earlier today that he still plans to play for at least two more seasons.
We've covered Calderon quite a bit today, though as it relates to this scenario, the fact that he shares the same agent as Bynum could be a factor should the Pistons decide to try keeping them both. While Bynum has drawn interest from the Knicks and Bulls, the Pistons should still have the ability to make the most competitive financial offer with their ample cap room.
We passed along a few free agent updates this morning, but while that may have been our first round-up of free agency notes for the day, it certainly won't be the last. Here's another set:
- Euroleague standout Bobby Brown is drawing plenty of interest from teams on both sides of the Atlantic, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). Stein names the Knicks, Clippers, and Trail Blazers as potential NBA suitors for Brown, while noting that he also has "multiple big offers" to continue playing overseas.
- One source tells Stein (Twitter link) that the Spurs and Heat are likely in the lead ahead of the Cavs and other teams for Greg Oden, though that list could continue to evolve, given the complexities of his comeback.
- The Warriors, who had previously been named as a potential suitor for Andre Iguodala despite a lack of cap flexibility, met with the free agent swingman yesterday, says Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Pistons are talking to agent Mark Bartelstein about bringing back free agent point guard Will Bynum, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The team has also talked to Bartelstein about Jose Calderon, tweets Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News.
- Although talks aren't serious at this point, the Timberwolves have exchanged text messages with Andrei Kirilenko's camp, a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).
With free agency underway, the Bulls are eyeing multiple backcourt options, exhibiting "significant interest" in Mo Williams and Will Bynum, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Chicago has begun exploratory talks with both players' reps, says Charania. As our agency database shows, Williams and Bynum are represented by Priority Sports & Entertainment and agent Mark Bartelstein.
A report last week suggested that Nate Robinson was set to part ways with the Bulls due in part to a likely reduction in playing time, with Derrick Rose on his way back to the lineup. I'd imagine that Williams and Bynum will also be seeking significant playing time, so it's not clear if Chicago will be an ideal fit.
Still, even with Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Marquis Teague on board, the Bulls could face losing Robinson, Marco Belinelli, and Richard Hamilton this offseason, so there will be backcourt minutes to be had next year, even if they don't necessarily come at the point.
The Knicks are expected to be well into the luxury tax for next season, but that won't stop them from trying to improve their team, especially given the allure of the Madison Square Garden spotlight. Here's the latest:
- The Knicks are looking for a point guard to replace the retired Jason Kidd, and have Will Bynum, C.J. Watson and Devin Harris on their radar, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post, who identifies Bynum as tops on that list. They're also looking for a backup big man, with Elton Brand and Lamar Odom under consideration, along with incumbent Kenyon Martin.
- J.R. Smith believes he'll get an offer that exceeds the maximum of approximately $5.4MM that the Knicks can give him, Berman adds. The Bucks, Pistons and Suns are considering Smith.
- The Knicks are resigned to the idea that Chris Copeland will sign elsewhere for more money, according to Berman. More than half a dozen other NBA teams are chasing Copeland. Berman believes the team may try to work out a sign-and-trade involving Copeland that would net a trade exception around $4MM, allowing the Knicks to bring aboard another player that way. The Knicks are also open to the idea of trading Steve Novak, Berman writes.
- The Knicks like Mike Dunleavy and Marco Belinelli, but they're prioritizing a point guard instead with their mini mid-level, according to Berman.
- GM Glen Grunwald and company hope proven veterans will become available in trades, and likely would be willing to part with anyone other than Carmelo Anthony for the right deal, Newsday's Al Iannazzone reports.
A source that spoke to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald expects Doc Rivers to return to the Celtics, if for no other reason than the fact that no other team will offer him the $7MM annual salary he's earning in Boston. However, if Rivers does decide to part ways with the team, Vinny Del Negro would receive serious consideration as his replacement, multiple sources tell Murphy.
"As a stopgap for that situation, sure," one source said. "Vinny would be the perfect person for what they need. All of the All-Star coaches, or whatever you want to call them, are going, and knowing how Danny [Ainge] feels about him, [Del Negro] would be a good fit."
Here's more from around the Atlantic Division on a Friday morning:
- Appearing on WFAN this morning, Nets GM Billy King said he expects C.J. Watson to opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent (link via Josh Newman of SNY.tv).
- Jason Kidd confirmed on ESPN Radio this morning that he has extended an offer to former Nets head coach Lawrence Frank to join his staff in Brooklyn (link via Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com). "The invitation is out there, so it's up to him," Kidd said.
- Even after hiring Kidd, the Nets are still a move or two away from becoming a legit contender, says Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News.
- Pacers president Donnie Walsh tells Fred Kerber and Mark Hale of the New York Post that he was "disappointed" the Nets didn't decide to hire Indiana assistant Brian Shaw.
- Yesterday, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press named the Knicks as a team with interest in Will Bynum, and today he adds another Atlantic team to Bynum's potential list of suitors: The Sixers (Twitter link). The Pacers and Lakers may also be interested, according to Ellis.
When Pistons general manager Joe Dumars traded Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson's expiring contract in 2008, the cap space it later created was ultimately used on the free agent signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon during the summer of 2009. At the time, Villanueva agreed to an offer worth $35MM over five seasons, while Gordon signed on for $55MM over five seasons. Unfortunately, Villanueva's scoring averages and minutes dipped every season since then, whereas Gordon struggled to consistently regain the form that had made him an enticing commodity in Chicago and was later traded to Charlotte. Now set to be equipped with significant cap room this offseason, Dumars implied that he'll be very conscientious about what he'll do with the flexibility:
"What we don’t want to do is use all of it for the sake of it. You want to use it wisely" (Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News relayed the quote via tweet).
Here's more from around the Association:
- Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press hears that the Knicks and Lakers have expressed interest in Pistons free agent point guard Will Bynum (Twitter link).
- Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York reports that Marcus Camby has no plans of retiring and is currently preparing to return next season with a bigger role in the Knicks' rotation.
- While the Celtics ponder over whether or not to pick up the last year of Paul Pierce's deal or buy him out for $5MM, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News heard from one Eastern Conference GM that people in Pierce's camp are readying themselves for free agency. Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus has heard rumblings that if the veteran forward is let out of his contract with Boston, he'd have interest in joining the Clippers (Twitter link).
- Warriors center Festus Ezeli underwent successful surgery yesterday to reinforce the MCL and PCL in his right knee, as per the team's official website. The timetable for recovery is expected to be a minimum of six to nine months. With Ezeli out, Andrew Bogut plagued by injuries, and Andris Biedrins seemingly lost in the fold, Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area tweets that Golden State is clearly in the market for a big man.
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.net tweets that former 2011 second round pick Davis Bertans (whose draft rights are currently owned by the Spurs) suffered a torn ACL but should be able to return later this year. The 6'10 forward is in the second of a three-and-a-half year deal with KK Partizan of the Serbian League.