Month: February 2017

Celtics Rumors: Thomas, Bradley, Bazemore

The term “fireworks” has been a popular one to describe the offseason ahead for the Celtics, and with July 4th approaching, it seems like the appropriate time to set some off. Here’s the latest on Boston’s initial forays into free agency:

  • The Celtics were the first team on the horn with restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas when free agency started, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). President of basketball operations Danny Ainge made the call.
  • Restricted free agent guard Avery Bradley has received calls from the Celtics and 76ers since free agency started, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).
  • Unrestricted free agent Kent Bazemore received a personal call from Celtics coach Brad Stevens after midnight, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). The Mavs and Hawks are also showing interest.

Lakers Call LeBron James’ Agent

The Lakers called LeBron James‘ agent Rich Paul early this morning, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter).  James, of course, will not be taking face-to-face meetings with teams at this time and is allowing Paul to handle talks with teams.

While there is a growing belief in league circles that James will wind up returning to the Heat, that’s not going to stop teams from building ambitious plans to make a run at the top player in the NBA.  James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh will field pitches from other clubs this week, but they’ll reportedly wait to hear what Pat Riley has in mind before getting in advanced talks with anyone else.

Bosh and Wade might take pay cuts to make things work in Miami, but James reportedly is only interested in a max deal.

Pacific Rumors: Gasol, Clippers, Lakers, Kings

Pau Gasol won’t be having any in-person meetings tonight, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The big man will be taking calls at his home in Los Angeles instead. The market for him will take shape over the first week of free agency as Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their choices.  Of course, many free agents will find themselves in a holding pattern until those two decide on where they’ll sign. In the meantime, here’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers registered interest in Carmelo Anthony tonight and will be meeting with him on Thursday, a source tells Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Hawes is a free agent target for the Clippers, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  The Clips targeted him at the trade deadline.
  • The Clippers are interested in bringing back Darren Collison, Glen Davis, and Danny Granger in that preferred order, Markazi also reports (on Twitter).
  • One of the top off-season priorities for the Clippers is upgrading at small forward and they will reach out to Paul Pierce and Trevor Ariza, Markazi tweets. Clippers coach/president Doc Rivers will recruit his former pupil Pierce while Chris Paul will work on his former teammate Ariza (link).
  • The Lakers like Ariza, Kyle Lowry, Luol Deng, and Chandler Parsons, but won’t offer any of them deals longer than one or two years, tweets Mark Medina of the Daily News.
  • The Kings will look to add a point guard even if they re-sign restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

Bulls, Mavs, Wolves Eyeing Chandler Parsons

The Bulls and Mavs are among the teams to register interest tonight in Rockets’ restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  The general rule of thumb, Stein says, is that any team interested in Carmelo Anthony also seems to be interested in Parsons.  Meanwhile, Stein adds that the Wolves continue to monitor the forward in the event that the Rockets decide to make a run at Kevin Love.  So far, Anthony has been the Rockets’ focus.

We heard earlier tonight that the Cavs are also eyeing Parsons.  In the last three years with the Rockets, Parsons has averaged 14.1 points per night and shot 47.3% from the floor.  The former second round pick played more minutes than any member of the Rockets last season.  The Rockets presumably want to keep Parsons, but they also have their eye on bigger fish – like Melo – this summer.

Jazz, Suns Planning To Offer Hayward, Bledsoe

While many teams will wait for their restricted free agents to receive offers from other clubs, the Jazz and the Suns aren’t quite that patient.  Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) hears that in the next day or two, the Jazz will make an offer to Gordon Hayward while the Suns will offer guard Eric Bledsoe.

The team has made it clear it will match any offer for Bledsoe, so he seems destined to remain in Phoenix, in spite of interest from the Lakers and Mavs. He’s No. 4 in the latest edition of the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings.

The Jazz are also prepared to match any offers that Hayward might get, which might explain their willingness to just wrap him up early in the process.

Heat Eyeing Marion, Carter, Blake

The Heat will pursue Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, and Steve Blake this summer, sources tell Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Marion, 36, wants to continue living in Dallas after his playing career is through, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that will retire in Dallas. Carter, 37, was mentioned as a possibility for Miami earlier today along with the Thunder, Blazers, Raptors, and the incumbent Mavericks. The Knicks and Wolves appear to have interest in Blake, too.

The Mavs have been worried that interest from other teams in Carter and Marion would compromise their cap space. The Warriors don’t seem to have keeping Blake a high priority, despite the way he quickly warmed to the franchise. Blake can also envision a return to the Lakers, who traded him to Golden State at the deadline.

Miami’s star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have given team president Pat Riley a window of time to upgrade the team, and it appears Riley’s first forays will be with veterans. Blake, at 34, is the youngest of the three free agents that Deveney reports the Heat have an eye on.

Qualifying Offers: Monday

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.

Free Agent Rumors: Lakers, Gasol, Davis, Ariza

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter) says the Suns and Hawks will be interested in Pau Gasol.  The Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, Mavs, and Rockets are also expected to pursue the Spaniard.  There should be plenty of options out there for Gasol but Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter) hears that the Thunder are unlikely to be in the running.  Here’s more from around the league..

  • Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (on Twitter) hears that MarShon Brooks is the only definitive Lakers free agent not returning.  Everyone else has a chance to return depending on who else is available.
  • The feeling from NBA sources is that this free agency period could be “uneventful” for the Jazz outside of Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
  • The Clippers remain interested in re-signing Glen Davis and his reps have talked with the club, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
  • Wizards coach Randy Wittman and VP Ed Tapscott are slated to visit their free agent forward Trevor Ariza in his hometown of Los Angeles tomorrow, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
  • Meanwhile, Drew Gooden expects to re-sign with the Wizards on a minimum salary deal, a source tells Spears (Twitter link).  Meanwhile, Al Harrington is one of the Wizards’ summer league coaches and still wants to play.
  • After extending a qualifying offer to Avery Bradley, Danny Ainge made it clear that the the guard “is a big part” of the Celtics‘ future, writes Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com.
  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle looks at the pitch that the Rockets plan on making to Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James agent, Rich Paul.
  • Euroleague point guard Bo McCalebb is officially free agent, his agent Eric Fleisher told Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).  There is no buyout of any kind that needs to be addressed, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets.

Latest On Raptors, Kyle Lowry

9:52pm: Spears has retracted his report and says that he was duped by someone posing as a Raptors exec (Twitter link).

9:38pm: Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) hears that the Raptors will offer a deal worth $14.5MM per year to Kyle Lowry after free agency officially opens early Tuesday morning.  Meanwhile, Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter) continues to hear that the offer will carry an average annual value of $12MM per season.

We heard earlier today that some in the Raptors organization are concerned that teams will make offers to Lowry that they’ll be unable to match, but an AAV of $14MM+ could scare every other suitor away.  The Rockets and Heat are known to be rather fond of the point guard after he had a career resurgence in Toronto last season.  Whether it’s $12MM or $14.5MM a year, it sounds like the Raptors have every intention of keeping their point guard for next season and beyond.

Cavs Eyeing Marcin Gortat, Chandler Parsons

The Cavs are expected to make a run at Chandler Parsons and Marcin Gortat once free agency begins tonight, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.  Parsons, of course, is a restricted free agent.

There appears to be mutual interest in a return between the Wizards and Gortat.  In fact, the Wizards are so intent on keeping the 30-year-old that coach Randy Wittman and senior vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard are traveling to his native Poland to convince him to re-sign.  Gortat, who was traded to the Wizards in a surprising October deal, enjoyed a strong debut season in the nation’s capital, averaging 13.2 PPG with 9.5 RPG.

In three years with Houston, Parsons has averaged 14.1 points per night and shot 47.3% from the floor.  He’s proven himself to be one of the most valuable players selected in the 2011 draft, despite slipping out of the first round.  Parsons played more minutes than any member of the Rockets last season.  The Rockets presumably want to keep Parsons, but they also have their eye on bigger fish this summer.

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