Month: February 2024

Timberwolves Sign Brandon Roy

JULY 31ST: The Timberwolves have officially signed Roy, the team's PR Twitter feed announced today. The Wolves are currently introducing the former Blazer at a press conference.

JULY 27TH: With most of their other roster moves finalized, the T-Wolves are finally set to make Roy's contract official early next week. According to the team's PR Twitter feed, Minnesota will introduce Roy next Tuesday at a press conference.

JULY 5TH: Brandon Roy has reached a verbal agreement with the Timberwolves, reports Jason Quick of The Oregonian (via Twitter). Roy will receive a two-year, $10.4MM deal from the Timberwolves, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. The former Trail Blazers star retired just prior to the start of the 2011/12 season due to a degenerative condition in his knees. Roy, soon to be 28, announced in June that he would make a comeback in the NBA as his health had improved enough to attempt a return. Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com correctly predicted the deal to be for two years with protection in case Roy's knees impede his ability to play (on Twitter).

The former Washington star had recently narrowed down his list of potential teams to include the Mavs, Warriors, Timberwolves, Pacers and Cavs. Roy had met with the Warriors over the weekend and sought a second meeting with the guard even though they had concerns about his health and asking price. Similarly, the Mavs planned to make a big push for the former All-Star but seemingly never came to fruition given the team's attention to more pressing needs over the past few days. As a result of Roy signing with another team, the Trail Blazers will receive a set-off amount that will reduce their financial obligation to the guard. The set-off amount figures to total a little more than $2MM in 2012/13.

Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld credits Timberwolves assistant Billy Bayno for attracting Roy to Minnesota as the two worked together in Portland and built a strong relationship. Look for the veteran shooting guard to be able to contribute 20 minutes per night as Roy adjusts to the grind of playing at the NBA level. During his final season with the Trail Blazers, Roy averaged 12.2 PPG, 2.7 APG and 2.6 RPG in 47 games.

Pacers In Talks With Craig Smith

In a search of a new contract, unrestricted free agent Craig Smith has engaged in preliminary talks with the Pacers about signing in Indiana, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (via Twitter). Nothing is imminent at this point, says Haynes.

Smith, 28, has played for the Timberwolves, Clippers, and Trail Blazers in his six-year NBA career, and is coming off a one-year, minimum-salary deal in Portland. If he were to sign with the Pacers, or any other club, he'd likely be in line for a similar contract — given his six years of experience, his minimum salary for 2012/13 would be $1,069,509.

In 47 contests with the Blazers, Smith set career-lows in PPG (3.3), RPG (2.3), FG% (.504), and PER (13.6). However, the 6'7" forward has proven to be a useful part-time contributor in the past, posting a .556 FG% and 16.4 PER in 356 games from 2006/07 to 2010/11.

Extension Candidate: Andrew Bynum

It's impossible to discuss trade rumors involving Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum without noting that both players have just one year remaining on their contracts, and will be eligible for free agency next summer. Typically, when we hear about potential new destinations for either star center, we hear that any team acquiring either player would want a long-term commitment before making a deal.

As we've written many times, star players like Howard and Chris Paul are extremely unlikely to sign in-season extensions, since they'd only be able to add three new years rather than the five they could sign for in free agency. But there are certain instances when signing an extension could make more sense for a star player than signing a free agent contract. And as Larry Coon writes in an Insider piece for ESPN.com, Bynum may be one player that fits that bill.

If Bynum were to wait until next summer to sign a five-year contract, it would mean the following:

  • He would have to stay relatively healthy this season to avoid hurting his stock, something he hasn't always been able to do.
  • His maximum first-year salary for 2013/14 would be $17,733,450, 105% of his 2012/13 salary.
  • He would become a free agent again in the summer of 2018, at age 30.

None of those factors on their own should scare Bynum off of waiting until next summer to sign a new contract, but as Coon explains, there are alternatives that could better suit the 24-year-old. If he were to sign an extension immediately, for instance, he'd eliminate the potential injury risk involved in playing out the season.

Coon proposes that Bynum's best bet may be signing a three-year extension with a player option for the final season. In that case, the Lakers center could hit free agency in the summer of 2015, at age 27, when he has ten years of NBA experience. This would allow for the following:

  • By signing a five-year deal in 2015 (or 2016), Bynum could ensure he's locked into a long-term contract before the league or players' union has the opportunity to opt out of the current CBA in 2017. A new CBA could potentially be less favorable for maximum-salary players.
  • Because Bynum would be a 10-year veteran in 2015, signing at that point would allow him to earn a first-year salary worth the maximum salary for players with 10+ years of experience, which will almost certainly be higher than the $20,393,468 he'd earn in that season if he were to sign a five-year deal in 2013.
  • Signing a five-year deal in 2015 and including a player option for the last season would allow Bynum to opt out in 2019 and perhaps sign one last long-term contract at age 31. As Coon notes, due to the over-36 rule, players who are older than 31 can't sign full five-year deals, so age 31 represents the last opportunity for a maximum payday.

For Bynum, there are pros and cons to signing an extension in the near future, and it's certainly not out of the question that he'll decide he's better off waiting until next summer to ink a five-year max deal that would pay him over $100MM. But whereas it makes little sense for players like Howard and Paul to agree to extensions, there are reasons to believe it could be in Bynum's best interests.

So when we hear that Bynum and the Lakers could be discussing a potential contract extension, don't assume it's a bluff to accelerate Howard trade talks with the Magic. If they don't believe they'll land Howard, locking up Bynum for three more years is the best move the Lakers could make, and it might just be Bynum's best move too.

Sixers Sign Maalik Wayns

TUESDAY, 10:32am: The Sixers have officially signed Wayns, the team announced today in a press release.

MONDAY, 8:50am: The 76ers and Maalik Wayns have agreed to terms on a contract that will earn him an invite to training camp, according to Terry Toohey of the Times Herald. Having played his college ball at Villanova, Wayns is a local product that went undrafted after entering the draft following his junior year.

According to Toohey, Wayns' deal is similar to the one Lavoy Allen signed a year ago when the Sixers selected him in the second round. The contract will include a small guarantee, and figures to pay Wayns the rookie minimum if he earns a spot on the team's roster.

Wayns, 21, averaged 17.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in his final season at Villanova. Wayns played for the Magic in the Orlando Summer League and was slated to play for the Warriors in Las Vegas before a groin injury made him unavailable. The 6'2" guard also worked out for the Sixers in the weeks leading up to June's draft.

Magic, Mavs Met To Discuss Howard Trade

The Magic and Mavericks met to discuss a possible Dwight Howard trade last week, and "will probably talk again," Mavs GM Donnie Nelson tells Mike Fisher of FOXSportsSouthwest.com. The Mavs have taken a back seat to teams like the Nets, Lakers, and Rockets in Howard trade rumors this year, but have expressed "repeated interest" in the star center, tweets Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.

Still, acquiring Howard this offseason or before the trade deadline seems very unlikely for the Mavericks. According to Nelson, "there's just not much there," which isn't surprising — while the Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum and the Rockets could offer a combination of potential lottery picks and young, affordable players, the Mavs don't have a ton of attractive assets outside of a few expiring contracts. If Orlando was unmoved by the Lakers' and Rockets' offers, I can't see the team being too tempted by a package from Dallas.

As I suggested when I outlined the Howard situation last week, the Mavericks' best chance of acquiring D12 is in free agency next summer. If Dwight isn't traded to the Lakers or Nets, there's a very good chance he chooses to sign with the Mavs as a free agent, rather than re-upping with the Magic or (if he's traded to Houston) the Rockets.

Extension Candidate Series

With most of the summer's big free agents off the board, the next few big names to sign contracts may not be players on the open market, but rather players signing extensions with their current teams. Players heading into the fourth and final seasons of their rookie contracts are eligible to sign extensions, as are a number of veterans. We'll be taking a look at some of those guys in Extension Candidate pieces.

This list of our Extension Candidate posts can be found at any time under the "Hoops Rumors Features" menu on the right sidebar. It will continue to be updated as we examine players that might be in for long-term deals in the near future. Here are the extension candidates we've previewed so far, in alpabetical order:

Odds & Ends: McGuire, Wafer, Hinrich, Magic

The Metropolitan King County Council took the initial step towards bringing an NBA arena to Seattle, according to the Associated Press.  Investor Chris Hansen's $490MM plan calls for nearly $300MM in private funds and $200MM in public contribution.  Here's tonight's look around the Association..

Josh Howard Rumors: Monday

Last night, we heard that Josh Howard was close to making a decision on his free agent destination, having narrowed his options to five teams: the Jazz, Pacers, Knicks, Nets, and Warriors. While we wait to see where the veteran forward lands, there are a few rumblings today detailing how serious a couple of his suitors are. Let's round those rumors up right here….

  • A source very close to Josh Howard told Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter) that nothing is imminent between the forward and the Knicks.
  • The Warriors' interest in Howard is very minimal, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Sulia link). Golden State is still prioritizing power forwards, with Carl Landry atop the team's wish list. If the Warriors were to shift their focus to small forwards, they would target players that could also play the four, and Howard probably doesn't fit that description.
  • Howard feels some loyalty to the Jazz, since they took a chance on him last year, so Utah is "near the top of his list," says Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune (Sulia link). It's also worth noting that, since they have his Non-Bird rights, the Jazz can offer Howard a first-year salary up to $2.58MM without using a mid-level exception.

Southeast Notes: Bobcats, Wizards, Meeks, Jardine

Earlier today we learned that the Bobcats missed out on free agent forward Carl Landry, whom they've been eyeing for quite some time.  Ultimately, the player regarded as the best remaining free agent decided to ink a two-year, $8MM deal with the Warriors.  A sign-and-trade with the Hornets was a rumored possibility but that proved to be difficult after the club renounced his rights.  More from the Southeast division..

  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter) says there is no telling if the Bobcats will bring in another power forward after missing out on Landry.  It's possible that Charlotte will stand pat and instead go with the bigs that they already have.  That strategy would mean that the club is betting heavily on Tyrus Thomas bouncing back after he averaged 5.6 PPG last season.
  • The Wizards, along with the Lakers and Bucks, are among the frontrunners for free agent Jodie Meeks, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.  “There are five or six teams, but those three are at the forefront right now because I’ve been talking to them the most," said the soon-to-be 25-year-old.  Kennedy adds that Meeks seems likely to sign this week.
  • Scoop Jardine, who broke his right foot three days before the draft, will likely receive an invitation to training camp with the Bobcats, a source told John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  The guard was hardly a lock to be drafted before the injury but was said to have impressed the Sixers.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Hill, Warriors, Howard

The famed "Princeton Offense" has powered a number of NBA teams, most notably Mike Bibby's Kings and Jason Kidd's Nets, in recent years, and Kobe Bryant is now pushing for the Lakers to use it this season, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  Bryant hopes that it will help create space for him on the floor by keeping defenses honest.  "There's so many threats, so many options, it's very tough to defend. Against the type of defenses that teams play nowadays, they load up on one side and are constantly coming with help from the weak side. The Princeton offense makes it very, very tough to lock in on one particular player," Bryant said.  Here's more on the Lakers other items out of the Pacific..

  • Jordan Hill's contract with the Lakers will pay him $3.5MM in each of the next two seasons, according to HoopsHype (via Twitter).  The big man's deal was initially reported to be in the neighborhood of $8MM.
  • Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter) estimates that the Warriors have about $3.15MM below the tax line to sign Brandon Rush if the first year of Draymond Green's deal is pegged at $800K.  Green agreed to a three-year, $2.6MM contract with the final year ($900K) partially guaranteed, but the exact breakdown is not known.
  • Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com explains why he believes the Lakers should continue their pursuit of Dwight Howard.  Lakers fans by-and-large seem to be sick of the prolonged "Dwightmare" but Kamenetzky argues that from a basketball standpoint, there's no reason to close the door on the deal.
  • Suns forward Jared Dudley (via Twitter) watched Jermaine O'Neal work out and insists that the free agent will get signed if he has the chance to audition for an NBA team.  Recently, we learned that the Bucks had an eye on the veteran.