Month: June 2017

Free Agency Rumors: Pierce, Green, Dragic

The Wizards have a phone conversation scheduled with free agent forward Paul Pierce at 12:01 a.m. ET, a league source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Here’s more from a busy night around the league:

  • One GM told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter) that the three-year, $46MM deal that Chandler Parsons signed in 2014 will set the market for wings this year.  That will apparently have an impact on guys like Danny Green, Khris Middleton, and DeMarre Carroll.
  • The Heat placed a call to Goran Dragic shortly after midnight on the East Coast, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter).  However, the guard is in Slovenia where it’s early in the morning and Shelburne seems to be implying that he was not awake to receive the call.
  • The Cavs have reached out to the reps for forward Tayshaun Prince, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.  The Cavs feel that Prince could help shore up their wing depth.  Prince, 35, played for the Grizzlies, Celtics, and Pistons last season and averaged 7.5 PPG and 3.6 RPG.
  • The Mavericks and Rockets were the first two teams to reach out to Patrick Beverley, sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

Cavs, Wizards Pursue Mike Dunleavy

11:39pm: The Cavs are indeed in pursuit, as well as the Wizards, but the Bulls are still the favorites, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

9:26am: LeBron James would like the Cavs to sign Mike Dunleavy, but the small forward is highly likely to re-sign with the Bulls, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). James, though he’s opting out of his deal, has been very much engaged with Cavs management about the roster and is expected to re-sign. Dunleavy is also reportedly drawing interest from the Clippers.

Chicago apparently wants Dunleavy back, though there’s a limit to how much the Bulls would pay the client of outgoing Wasserman agent Arn Tellem. The Bulls are also highly likely to retain Jimmy Butler, whom they’ve made a maximum qualifying offer. Should Butler end up signing for the max, it’s likely the Bulls will have already exceeded the projected $81.6MM tax line even without a contract for Dunleavy.

The Cavs will probably end up paying an even heavier tax burden, and they’ll almost certainly be limited to offering Dunleavy the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception. The Bulls have Early Bird rights to Dunleavy, so they’ll likely be able to pay him as much as about $6MM next season if they want to.

Blazers Unlikely To Sign-And-Trade LaMarcus Aldridge

The Blazers are unlikely to agree to any sign-and-trade deals involving LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Jabari Young of CSNNW.com.

The Blazers can give Aldridge more money than any other club out there with a five-year, $108MM deal.  It stands to reason that Aldridge would want that contract, but not necessarily with the incumbent Blazers, as we have heard in recent days.  However, for the time being, the Blazers have not shown a willingness to play ball.

Aldridge has been heavily connected to the Spurs as well as the other two Texas teams, the Mavs and Rockets.  The big man will meet with all three of those clubs this week, plus the Lakers, Suns, Raptors, and Knicks.  Meanwhile, executives believe that the Lakers are looking to clear space in order to offer deals to both Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan.

Free Agency Rumors: LeBron, Cavs, Leonard

A league source told Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group that the Cavs “do not value” pending free agent J.R. Smith.  LeBron James reportedly wants the Cavs to re-sign the guard, so one has to wonder if that could outweigh the team’s reservations about him.  Vardon adds that it is not known if the Cavs will immediately submit offers to James, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson when the clock moves past midnight. Here’s more as we get set for the start of free agency..

  • There’s a growing belief that Thompson’s postseason performance coupled with his ties to LeBron could earn him a max contract or something close to it, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes.  Lloyd also writes that the Cavs were aware that Iman Shumpert would be seeking a ~$10MM per year deal this summer when the acquired him.
  • Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is on track for five-year, ~$90MM max deal after San Antonio takes care of other free agency business, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News tweets.  It was previously believed that Leonard was in line for a lucrative four-year deal rather than five.
  • Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will join the team’s recruiting contingent in Wednesday’s meetings with DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweets.
  • James Harden will join coach Kevin McHale, GM Daryl Morey and executive VP Gersson Rosas in the Rockets‘ meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge Tuesday night in Los Angeles, a source tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Knicks‘ selection of Kristaps Porzingis may scare free agents away, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.  “They took a Latvian guy who may or may not be good,’’ an individual connected to a free agent said. “It’s very strange. They should’ve taken more of a tried-and-true guy, even a Justise Winslow. Top free agents are looking at winning now. It’s fun to go the playoffs and have a chance to compete for the Finals. They’re not going to win this year.’’

Salary Cap Projection Leaps $1-2MM

The salary cap will be at least $1MM and as much as $2MM higher than the most recently projected figure of $67.1MM, as the union revealed at a recent agents summit, two sources told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The tax line, which had been projected at $81.6MM, is also now expected to be significantly higher, Berger hears. The league will set the official numbers on July 8th, the final day of the July Moratorium, Berger notes.

Teams like the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, Pistons, Suns, Rockets, Bucks stand to benefit from the increased cap, Berger posits, mentioning the Nets, Bulls and Thunder as teams that the higher tax line figures to help. I’d speculate that the Hawks, who may well have to use cap space to re-sign Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, and the Warriors, who already have more than $81.6MM in guaranteed salary, stand to benefit as much as any teams. Of course, the maximum salaries are tied to the salary cap, so as the cap goes up, so do they.

The NBA sets the cap based on basketball related income, so it appears the league collected more money than it thought it would. The higher figures for 2015/16 won’t necessarily affect the projected spikes for 2016/17 and beyond, Berger writes.

Eastern Rumors: Knicks, Millsap, Wade

Madison Square Garden named long-time talent agency executive David “Doc” O’Connor as its next chief executive, as The Associated Press writes.  O’Connor comes from CAA, the same agency that represents Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Paul George.  O’Connor will officially join the Knicks on July 15th. Here’s more out of the East..

  • Paul Millsap‘s possible price range of $17-$19MM would be too high for the Knicks, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets.  The Knicks are said to be eyeing the Hawks free agent.
  • Heat people are optimistic a deal will get done with Dwyane Wade, even though Wade is expected to at least consider other options, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  Meanwhile, two Wade associates cite the Lakers as his top choice other than the Heat.
  • The Celtics are expected to show interest in free agent forward Amir Johnson and they could also pursue a reunion with former Celtic Gerald Green, Chris Mannix of SI tweets.
  • Pending free agent Rodney Stuckey will have at least two “serious” suitors besides the Pacers when he hits free agency tonight, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com tweets.  The guard is very much interested in staying with the Pacers, but Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com (on Twitter) hears that his asking price might be around $6MM.  He hears that roughly six teams have expressed interest.
  • There’s mutual interest between the Pacers and Lavoy Allen, but the two sides won’t have deep discussions until the Pacers see what kind of money they have available, Agness tweets.
  • Free agent guard John Jenkins has signed with Relativity Sports, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  The Hawks guard, who appeared in just 37 games the past two seasons after playing in 61 contests as a rookie in 2012/13, left BDA Sports Management earlier this month.

Pacific Notes: Calipari, Lakers, Chandler, Love

Despite his denials, people close to Kentucky coach John Calipari tell Stefan Bondy of the New York Post (on Twitter) that he wants another shot at the NBA as a coach/GM.  This week, Coach Cal was heavily connected to the Kings‘ head coaching job but both sides have since denied such talk.  Of course, Calipari’s last run in the NBA with the Nets did not go well.

  • Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) has heard rumblings of both Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love joining up with the Lakers.  Both players are represented by Excel Sports Management.
  • Even if the Lakers roster were to consist of just Kobe Bryant and no one else, the Lakers could not afford both DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge at their market value, Larry Coon of CBA FAQ writes.  On Tuesday, it was reported that the Lakers could be trying to corral both players this summer.
  • It was reported on Tuesday afternoon that Jim Buss would not be in attendance for the Lakers‘ pitch meeting with Aldridge, but plans have changed and he will in fact be there, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  The meeting will also include Bryant, team president and governor Jeanie Buss, GM Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.

Demetris Nichols Drawing Interest

Demetris Nichols has had discussions with teams about a potential NBA return, a league source told Shams Charania of RealGM.  The Grizzlies are among the interested clubs and the T’Wolves and Pelicans have also inquired on him.  Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter) says that Nichols’ agent has cast a wide net and the T’Wolves haven’t gone much further than a basic inquiry yet.

Nichols, the Euroleague’s reigning leader in three-point shooting percentage, played two seasons in the NBA between 2007 and 2009 without a great deal of success.  However, Nichols is coming off a season in which he shot 57.5 percent from three-point range with CSKA Moscow, albeit in limited playing time.  The 6’6″ guard has played for the Cavaliers, Bulls, Knicks, in the D-League, and several overseas clubs. In the D-League, Nichols was a former First Team All-D-League selection.

Qualifying Offers: Tuesday

Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..

Earlier Updates:

  • The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources.  In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
  • The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).  Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
  • As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.

Cartier Martin Opts In With Pistons

JUNE 30th: Martin has officially opted in, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

JUNE 1st: Cartier Martin is picking up his minimum-salary option for next season, letting the Pistons know of his decision last week, a league source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The small forward who turns 31 in November will draw a guaranteed salary of nearly $1.271MM for next season.

The decision is no surprise after Martin saw little playing time in his sixth NBA season this year. Coach Stan Van Gundy only called on him to appear in 23 games for an average of 8.6 minutes per night after signing him to a two-year deal last summer. It was somewhat surprising to see Van Gundy commit guaranteed money for as many as two seasons to the journeyman, though Martin had a career mark of 38.3% from behind the arc as of last summer, and that surely played into the ASM Sports client‘s deal. Martin didn’t show off that sort of accuracy in limited chances this season, making only six of 33 three-point attempts.

Martin’s option pickup, once official, will leave the Pistons with still only about $29MM against a projected $67.1MM cap. That doesn’t include a new deal for Reggie Jackson, whom the Pistons seem intent on re-signing, or one for Greg Monroe, should he surprise and choose to remain in Detroit.

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