Month: December 2019

Potential Mavs, Heat Trade Hits Snag

11:59pm: Tim Cato of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the deal is off from the Mavs’ perspective. It’s up to the Heat to salvage the deal, possibly with another team, Cato adds.

As detailed below, Miami’s acquisition of Butler is dependent on the team being able to send salary to a third team, so it’s hard to imagine the Heat not figuring it out with some team, but they’re losing leverage and don’t have a ton of assets left to sweeten the deal.

10:21pm: There’s a “glitch” in the agreement between the Mavericks and Heat, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who tweets that Miami is reluctant to part with Jones and Dallas is telling people that the deal is off.

The Mavericks maintain that they thought they were getting Olynyk and Jones in the deal, but the Heat don’t want to give up Jones and say they must part with Dragic to make the math work, tweets Stein. As noted below, the Heat would have to send out at least one more player to an Olynyk/Jones package to make the trade work financially.

There’s an expectation that the deal is far enough down the road that things will get ironed out, says Weiss. The Heat’s acquisition of Butler hinges on sending out other salaries, so Miami will be very motivated to get it done. However, as Nahmad points out (via Twitter), it will be tricky for the Heat to stay under the tax apron without moving bigger salaries.

10:01pm: The Mavericks and Heat have changed the framework on their part of the sign-and-trade deal that will send Butler to Miami, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links). Rather than acquiring Dragic, Dallas will land Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones, Stein reports.

According to Stein, the Mavs are “huge fans” of Dragic, but didn’t want to surrender flexibility to make additional moves by acquiring his contract.

“In analyzing it, his salary was too high based on other things they’re trying to do,” Dragic’s agent Bill Duffy tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Due to the change, the Heat aren’t quite sending out enough salary to make the deal work, so another outgoing piece will be required, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad.

8:42pm: Goran Dragic will become part of the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade deal with the Heat sending the point guard to the Mavericks, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. No major compensation will head from Dallas to Miami, as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Mavs will technically have to send something out and it will likely be cash or a heavily-protected first-round pick.

Miami is sending Josh Richardson to the Sixers in exchange for Butler, who will ink a four-year max deal with a starting salary of approximately $32.7MM. The Heat needed to send out additional salary as part of the agreement to make up for the gap between Richardson’s salary ($10.1MM) and Butler’s new starting salary.

The move to send Dragic to the Mavs had been speculated throughout the day with salary cap guru Albert Nahmad (Twitter link) among those reading the tea leaves. Dragic will join Rookie-of-the-Year award winner Luka Doncic in Dallas’ backcourt.

Knicks, Bobby Portis Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Knicks will add Bobby Portis on a two-year deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Portis will make $31MM over the length of the deal.

Washington is rescinding its qualifying offer for Portis, according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz (Twitter link). The move will allow him to sign with New York without the threat of Washington matching an offer sheet.

Portis re-signing with the Wizards was unlikely given his salary expectations. There was always a sense that Washington would have to choose him or Thomas Bryant when prioritizing a big man to re-sign. Bryant agreed to a three-year deal with the Wizards earlier in the day.

Portis and Jabari Parker came to the Wizards in the Otto Porter Jr. trade. Parker is also considered unlikely to return to the team.

New York has now agreed to deals with three power forwards. In addition to Portis, the team agreed to sign Julius Randle to a three-year, $63MM deal and Taj Gibson to a two-year, $20MM pact

The Knicks are projected to have approximately $27.5MM in cap room after today’s agreements, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

No Deal Yet For Thunder, Nerlens Noel

9:29pm: Three hours after having apparently committed to the Thunder, Noel has asked for time to re-evaluate the deal, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the two sides continue to discuss options.

6:29pm: The Thunder are re-signing free agent center Nerlens Noel to a deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The terms of the agreement are not yet known.

Noel will enter his second straight season with the organization, coming off a campaign which saw him average 4.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per contest. He appeared in 77 games, the most of his five-season NBA career.

Prior to joining the Thunder in the summer of 2018, Noel held brief stints with the 76ers and Mavericks. He was the No. 6 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft after spending one year at Kentucky.

Knicks’ Mills Issues Statement On Free Agency

After months of speculation that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could be headed to New York this summer to join the Knicks, the two star free agents only delivered on half of that scenario — they’ll move to New York, but they’ll join the Knicks’ cross-town rivals in Brooklyn.

Having missed out on their top free agents, the Knicks have reached agreements so far with Julius Randle and Taj Gibson and still have about $40MM+ in cap room available. With fans expressing disappointment in the Knicks’ summer, the team’s president of basketball operations Steve Mills issued the following statement tonight:

“While we understand that some Knicks fans could be disappointed with tonight’s news, we continue to be upbeat and confident in our plans to rebuild the Knicks to compete for championships in the future, through the draft, targeted free agents, and continuing to build around our core of young players.”

The Knicks’ original statement, before it was amended and re-issued, ended by saying the team would rebuild its roster “through both the draft and targeted free agents,” without mentioning the “core of young players” (Twitter link via Steve Popper of Newsday).

Nets Sign DeAndre Jordan

JULY 6, 10:51pm: The signing is official, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

JUNE 30, 8:57pm: In an unexpected turn of events, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Jordan will sign a four-year, $40MM deal with the Nets. It’ll be fully guaranteed, with no options, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

Brooklyn doesn’t have the cap room necessary to complete such a deal while also signing Durant and Irving to max deals, but according to Woj and Ramona Shelburne (via Twitter), KD and Kyrie have agreed to accept less than their respective maxes in order to accommodate Jordan’s deal.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter), the Nets could potentially include unlikely incentives in Durant’s and KD’s contracts to help create extra cap room while still giving them a shot to earn up to their maxes.

JUNE 30, 4:05pm: In addition to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets have also agreed to a deal with free agent center DeAndre Jordan, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

While Jordan is hardly the biggest free agent to commit to Brooklyn today, he’s a coup for a club that didn’t have much cap flexibility after agreeing to sign Durant and Irving.

The Nets also reportedly agreed to terms with Garrett Temple on a deal that looks like it’s worth the room exception. As such, Jordan could end up being a minimum-salary signing, unless Brooklyn is able to create additional cap room by trading or waiving another player.

Jordan, who will turn 30 in July, averaged 11.0 PPG, 13.1 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 69 total games for the Mavericks and Knicks in 2018/19. He was sent from Dallas to New York in the deadline deal that saw Kristaps Porzingis land with the Mavs.

Rather than buying out Jordan, the Knicks hung onto him, thinking that his presence might help lure his good friend Durant to New York. While the thinking was right, it’s New York’s other team that will deliver on that idea, as the duo is set to join the Nets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Kawhi Leonard Won’t Hold Meetings On Sunday

Free agent Kawhi Leonard has decided not to hold any meetings with interested teams on Sunday night, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. 

Leonard’s process is expected to ramp up in the coming days, Haynes adds, with the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors widely considered to be the front-runners for his services.

Leonard spoke with former Lakers president Magic Johnson earlier on Sunday and had a positive discussion, according to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. He’s currently in Southern California preparing for free-agent meetings this week.

Sunday marked the first official day of free agency, where players could reach verbal agreements with interested teams during the moratorium period. Contracts can be officially signed when the moratorium ends on July 6.

Heat Finalizing Sign-And-Trade For Jimmy Butler

The Heat are finalizing a deal to acquire free agent swingman Jimmy Butler via a sign-and-trade deal with the Sixers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Philadelphia is receiving Josh Richardson as part of the agreement, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Butler will sign a four-year, maximum-salary contract with the Heat, reports Charania (via Twitter). The new deal will pay him just shy of $141MM.

Meanwhile, the 76ers will receive no additional salary back from Miami in the sign-and-trade agreement, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Philadelphia will use its remaining cap room to sign Al Horford to a lucrative four-year deal.

While Richardson is apparently the only player going to Philadelphia, the Heat will need to trade away more players to make the deal work from their end. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), acquiring a player via sign-and-trade will trigger a hard cap at the tax apron ($138.9MM) for Miami, and team salary would be way over that hard cap after swapping Richardson for Butler.

[UPDATE: Mavs to acquire Goran Dragic as part of Butler sign-and-trade]

Once the dust settles and the details are sorted out, the Heat will be adding the sort of impact player to their lineup that they’ve long sought. In fact, as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer points out (via Twitter), Miami made a player for Butler last fall using Richardson as bait before the Timberwolves decided to send him to Philadelphia instead.

In 65 total games for the Wolves and Sixers last season, Butler averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.9 SPG with a .462/.347/.855 shooting line. While his numbers dipped a little in Philadelphia, Butler averaged at least 20 points per game in each of the previous four seasons before 2018/19, making the All-Star Game in all four of those years.

With Butler headed to Miami, it will be worth watching the Clippers and Rockets to see what their next moves are. Houston had long projected confidence that it could land Butler via a sign-and-trade of its own, while the Clips had reportedly hoped to pair Butler and Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Knicks To Sign Taj Gibson

The Knicks have agreed to a deal with Taj Gibson, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link). The contract will be for two years and $20MM.

The 10-year veteran spent the last two seasons in Minnesota on a $28MM deal that the club signed him to during the summer of 2017. He played in all but 12 games for the Wolves over his two seasons with the team.

After the agreement, the Knicks are looking at approximately $41MM in cap room. It was previously announced that the team will ink Julius Randle to a three-year, $63MM pact.

Free Agency Rumors: Leonard, Oubre Jr, Looney, Bullock, Green

Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had a positive conversation with star free agent Kawhi Leonard and his uncle Dennis Robertson on Sunday, Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times report.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka reached out to Leonard at the start of free agency, according to the report, with Los Angeles focused on adding Leonard to a roster that already includes star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Leonard’s camp originally requested that the Lakers only send owner Jeanie Buss to any potential meeting, but the group is now considering adding Pelinka to the equation, according to Ganguli and Turner. It’s widely believed that the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors are the front-runners for his services.

Here are some other free agent rumors tonight:

Latest On Kevin Durant

The Knicks were not prepared to present Kevin Durant will a full-max contract offer, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Owner Jim Dolan had concerns about Durant’s Achilles injury.

New York now has Julius Randle locked in on a three-year deal. The Knicks were long rumored to be the favorite for Durant’s services, though rumblings began to surface during the postseason that the Nets were contenders. Durant will take his talents to the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge.

[RELATED: Kevin Durant To Sign With Nets]

Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman met with the Warriors GM Bob Myers today and delivered his decision to leave Golden State, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com relays via Twitter. The remainder of the contenders were informed later on in the day and Woj adds that the teams feel Durant handled the process well.

Durant’s deal with the Nets could end up being a sign-and-trade, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).

There’s no word on whether the Warriors would want a player back or simply to open up a $30MM trade exception (as CBA rules state the amount would be his previous salary). Golden State could then absorb a player in a trade without having to worry about matching salary. Such an arrangement would likely involve the Warriors including an asset, as the Nets could easily carve out the required cap room to sign Durant outright.