Justin Holiday

Central Rumors: Pistons, Cavs, Bulls, Mirotic

The Pistons are considering free agents like Jonas Jerebko and Anthony Tolliver for one of their open roster spots, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). Ellis adds that the team has also engaged with a handful of other players as it weighs how to fill that spot.

Having traded away Marcus Morris and lost Aron Baynes in free agency, the Pistons could use some frontcourt depth, but their ability to add another free agent is somewhat limited. Having already used their full mid-level exception, Detroit could make an offer with its $3.29MM bi-annual exception, but otherwise could only offer the minimum.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met with assistant GM Koby Altman for dinner on Monday night to discuss the future of the club’s front office, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). After losing David Griffin, the Cavs pursued Chauncey Billups to fill their head front office position, but haven’t been linked to any candidates since Billups turned them down. It’s possible Altman – who has essentially been the acting GM this offseason – will be offered the permanent job at some point, though that’s my speculation.
  • The Bulls remain optimistic about getting a deal done with restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic, per GM Gar Forman (link via Sam Smith of Bulls.com). “We want Niko back and we think Niko wants to be in Chicago,” Forman said. “Usually when you have those two things, at the end of the day there’s usually a way to get something done.”
  • Forman also discussed the Bulls‘ rebuilding process, expressing no regrets at moving Jimmy Butler last month, per Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.
  • The Bulls continue to operate as an over-the-cap team, having signed Justin Holiday to a deal using part of their mid-level exception ($4.6MM of $8.4MM), tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Chicago could create between $25-30MM in cap room by renouncing Mirotic’s cap hold and various exceptions – including the trade exception from the Butler deal – but there has been no reason to do that so far, since the club hasn’t made any big-money acquisitions.

Bulls Sign Holiday To Two-Year Deal

JULY 10th, 5:01pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

JULY 2nd, 9:17pm: The Bulls have agreed to sign shooting guard Justin Holiday to a two-year, $9MM deal, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

The 3-and-D specialist had been previously linked to the Timberwolves and Knicks but settled on the team that he played for in the latter half of the 2015/16 campaign.

In 82 games with New York last season, the 28-year-old posted a career high of 7.7 points per. He’ll slot in to a Bulls team that looks considerably different than the one he left in 2016.

These days, gone are organization cornerstones Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler, replaced by Fred Hoiberg and – as of the 2017 NBA Draft – a roster in the midst of a rebuild.

Western FA Notes: Muhammad, Holiday, Young

A theme is developing in Minnesota as head coach Tom Thibodeau slowly molds the young Timberwolves into a modern day version of his old team. Consider Justin Holiday the latest former Bulls rotation piece that the T-Wolves have expressed an interest in, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders writes.

Holiday would join Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson with the Wolves, should the organization seek to sign the 28-year-old 3-and-D specialist.

The Bulls and Knicks, the team with whom Holiday averaged 7.7 points per game for in 2016/17, are both said to be interested in retaining the swingman’s services.

There’s more today as free agency rolls along:

  • The Timberwolves will likely have to renounce Shabazz Muhammad in the wake of today’s two-year, $28MM agreement with Taj Gibson, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. He adds that Muhammad’s representatives have been notifying teams that he is now an unrestricted free agent (Twitter link).
  • Nick Young has emerged as a candidate for the Warriors‘ $5.2MM exception, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Pelicans can offer more playing time and a larger role in the offense, notes David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link), but Young may opt for the chance for a ring.
  • Gordon Hayward will meet with Jazz officials in San Diego, not Utah, on Monday, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Coach Quin Snyder, GM Dennis Lindsey and team president Steve Starks will be among Utah’s delegation.
  • The Rockets‘ interest in Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert is “basically dead,” according to Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The teams had trade discussions regarding Shumpert on Saturday before Houston signed Tucker.

Free Agent Notes: Waiters, Gallinari, Holiday

With the Knicks, Bulls, and Kings all reportedly expressing interest in unrestricted free agent Dion Waiters, Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra are headed out west to Los Angeles to meet with the guard, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays. The duo want to convey to Waiters that the team is still very interested in retaining his services, even though it is in no position to make a large lucrative offer until Gordon Hayward decides among offers from Miami, the Celtics, and the Jazz, Jackson notes.

On the second day of free agency, here’s the latest news and notes from around the league:

  • Last summer’s free agent spending frenzy has taken its toll on this year’s crop of players on the open market, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (on Twitter). There are still approximately 100 players who are unsigned and cap space is quickly drying up around the league, the scribe adds.
  • The Clippers are set to meet with unrestricted free agent Danilo Gallinari this evening in Los Angeles, TNT’s David Aldridge reports (via Twitter). The Nuggets also remain a potential landing spot for the forward, though, Denver is currently “all in” on signing Paul Millsap, Aldridge adds.
  • The Knicks are among several teams that have contacted unrestricted free agent Justin Holiday and New York has strong interest in re-signing the guard, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). It was reported earlier today that the Bulls have a contract offer on the table for Holiday, so the Knicks will certainly have some competition for his services.
  • There is mutual interest between unrestricted free agent point guard Shelvin Mack and the Knicks, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake City Tribune relays (via Twitter). In 55 appearances for the Jazz last season, Mack averaged 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 21.9 minutes per outing. His slash line on the campaign was .446/.308/.688.
  • The Thunder appear to be committed to re-signing Andre Roberson, per a tweet from ESPN’s Royce Young. The scribe notes that it’s a “virtual lock” that Roberson will return to OKC in 2017/18.

Central Rumors: Shumpert, Korver, Bulls, Forman

While trade talks between the Cavaliers and Rockets involving Iman Shumpert appear to have lost momentum, Cleveland continues to try to find a landing spot for the swingman, indicating that there are other possible trade partners, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. According to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, the Raptors, Timberwolves, Lakers, and Kings have expressed some level of interest in Shumpert, though it’s not clear how many of those clubs remain in pursuit.

As we wait to see if the Cavs can find a taker for Shumpert, let’s round up a few more Central notes and rumors…

  • The Cavaliers have made a contract offer to Kyle Korver, according to Vardon. The terms of that offer aren’t known.
  • After a Saturday report indicated that the Bulls have conveyed interest in Justin Holiday, Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link) hears from a source that Chicago is one of the teams that has made Holiday a contract offer. The Knicks haven’t formally put an offer on the table for Holiday, but the situation is fluid, says Berman.
  • The Bulls may end up re-shuffling their front office this offseason, a source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Cowley, GM Gar Forman could be the odd man out if the team restructures its management hierarchy, while John Paxson‘s brother Jim Paxson – the Bulls’ director of basketball operations – may take on more responsibilities.

Central Notes: Shumpert, KCP, Holiday

The reported agreement between the Pistons and Langston Galloway has some speculating that the team may be willing to let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leave as a restricted free agent, though, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press notes that the signing won’t necessarily affect Detroit’s dealings with the shooting guard (Twitter links). The Pistons will likely make additional roster moves in order to retain Caldwell-Pope, Ellis opines. By using more than $5.192MM of their mid-level exception to ink Galloway, the Pistons will have a hard cap of $125.266MM for the 2017/18 league year, which could create problems if another team gives Caldwell-Pope a maximum salary offer sheet.

With free agency well underway, here’s more of the latest news and rumors from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers are reportedly seeking to move Iman Shumpert via trade and several teams have had discussions with Cleveland regarding the shooting guard, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype relays (via Twitter). The team reportedly wants to clear Shumpert’s salary of $10,337,079 off its books for the coming season.
  • The Bulls have expressed interest in signing unrestricted free agent Justin Holiday, Kennedy relays in a separate tweet. The Knicks, Mavs and Wolves are also among those interested in the swingman’s services.
  • The Bulls primary focus for this offseason and beyond is to land a top four pick in next June’s NBA Draft in order to have a shot at selecting Michael Porter Jr., Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times relays. “We’re not going to be throwing huge money at people right out of the gate,’’ VP of basketball operations John Paxson told reporters earlier this week. “We have to be disciplined and patient. You need the right veterans, guys who are good teammates and supportive of the young guys and can teach them how to be pros. If there was a young player who we thought fit our future, we would certainly look at that.’’

Paul Millsap To Meet With Timberwolves

Free agent big man Paul Millsap is set to meet with the Timberwolves today, reports Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). It’s one of two reported meetings for Millsap, who is said to be sitting down with the Suns on Sunday.

Millsap, 32, would be a fascinating addition for a Timberwolves team that has already added Jimmy Butler this offseason and is poised to finalize a contract for point guard Jeff Teague as well. However, taking into account Butler’s salary and Teague’s three-year, $57MM agreement, it doesn’t appear Minnesota would be able to offer Millsap a max contract. Still, if the veteran big man decides he wants to join the Wolves, the team could dump some salary or Millsap could accept a more modest starting salary.

[RELATED: Timberwolves agree to sign Jeff Teague]

Minnesota was named in a Friday night report as a possible frontrunner with Millsap, along with the Nuggets. Phoenix and Sacramento are also believed to be in the mix for the four-time All-Star, who appears increasingly unlikely to return to Atlanta.

The Timberwolves are actively scouring the free agent market for roster reinforcements, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that the team has also inquired on Justin Holiday.

Knicks Rumors: Ujiri, Griffin, Carmelo, Mills, KP

Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri was immediately identified as the Knicks’ top target to replace Phil Jackson when the Knicks parted ways with Jackson earlier this week, but it appears Ujiri won’t be going anywhere. As Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com writes, the Knicks are no longer expected to ask for the Raptors’ permission to speak to Ujiri.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, one league source said that the Raptors would have asked for multiple draft picks, including a first-rounder, as compensation if the Knicks wanted to hire Ujiri. As such, the team appears to have shifted its focus to David Griffin and other candidates. Shelburne cites sources who say that Griffin has spoken to the Knicks, and is expected to have more discussions when New York moves to the next level of its search process. The club is currently assembling a list of candidates for the job.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • An NBA source tells Berman that the Knicks are unlikely to do anything with Carmelo Anthony until a new president of basketball operations is hired.
  • Current GM Steve Mills is expected to remain with the team no matter who is hired as president, according to Berman.
  • In a separate piece for The New York Post, Berman breaks down the free agency landscape for the Knicks, noting that the team may have more options with Jackson out of the picture.
  • According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), Isiah Thomas isn’t considered a candidate for the Knicks’ job, but still has owner James Dolan‘s ear as an advisor. Kyler adds (via Twitter) that Ujiri and Thunder president Sam Presti were considered “pie-in-the-sky” candidates.
  • While the pre-draft Kristaps Porzingis rumors were viewed by some observers as Jackson sending a “message” to the young big man, several members of the organization besides Jackson were in favor of a trade, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Still, the possibility of a Porzingis trade will likely die if the team can get back on the same page with him.
  • The Knicks have strong interest in bringing back Justin Holiday, and some members of the organization consider George Hill a free agent of interest, according to Begley. Both Begley and Berman also identify P.J. Tucker as a probably free agent target for the club.

Mavs Serious Contenders To Sign Jrue Holiday, Justin Holiday

The Mavericks have emerged as serious contenders to sign point guard Jrue Holiday in free agency, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter links). Fischer reports that Dallas is also a contender to sign free-agent-to-be swingman Justin Holiday, which would allow the Holiday brothers to play on the same team.

A report in early March quoted Justin Holiday as saying that it would be a “dream come true” to play with his younger brother Jrue. With both players set to hit the free agent market this summer, it appears they’ll get a chance to make that dream a reality, though there’s certainly no guarantee that a team making a strong offer to one brother will want to add the other as well.

The Mavs, however, would make some sense as a destination for both Holidays. Dallas has long been in the market for a point guard in the future, having struck out on top free agents at the position – including Mike Conley in 2016 – for the last last several years. Jrue Holiday would be a nice addition to the Mavs’ backcourt, while Justin could help fill a hole created in the team’s rotation when Justin Anderson was traded to Philadelphia.

[RELATED: 2017 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Dallas Mavericks]

It remains to be seen whether the Mavs will have the cap room necessary to accommodate both Holidays, though the club could get creative to make some space. Currently, Dallas has about $60MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18, which doesn’t include Nerlens Noel‘s cap hold worth nearly $11MM, Dirk Nowitzki‘s team option worth $25MM, or a handful of other non-guaranteed salaries.

The Pelicans are expected to aggressively try to retain Jrue Holiday, so the Mavs will have some competition from at least one division rival for the veteran point guard.

Knicks Target Tucker, Cunningham, Simmons

The Knicks are putting together their free agent shopping list with an eye toward players who can contribute on offense and defense, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

One of those players is Raptors small forward P.J. Tucker, who previously played for coach Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix. Hornacek describes Tucker as an intense defender and a leader in the locker room. He could also give the Knicks a 3-point threat, shooting 35.7 from long distance this season, including 40% after a midseason trade to Toronto.

Another target is Pelicans small forward Dante Cunningham, who was the top 3-point shooter in New Orleans this year at 39.2%. Cunningham is also a solid defender and helped the Pels to a 13-8 record when he played at least 28 minutes per game.

Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons has fans in the Knicks organization, but he will be in demand around the league. Simmons is a restricted free agent, so San Antonio can match any offer he receives.

New York will enter free agency with about $19MM to spend, although that number could change significantly if efforts to trade Carmelo Anthony are successful. In addition to adding talent this summer, the Knicks are hoping to retain shooting guard Justin Holiday, who played all 82 games and averaged 7.7 points per night in his first year with the team.

The Knicks may also reopen trade talks for Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, Begley adds. New York and Minnesota discussed a deal involving Rubio at the trade deadline, and Knicks officials might still be interested.

New York will be looking for more players in the mold of Courtney Lee, who was their lone success among last summer’s major moves. Lee, who is signed for three more seasons, believes the Knicks worked out many of their problems late in the season and are headed in the right direction. He also defended center Joakim Noah, who became a lightning rod for criticism after signing a four-year, $72MM contract.

“Joakim had a lot of injuries that people weren’t aware of during the season,” Lee said. “I know how tough he is and how prideful he is and I’m looking forward to him coming back 100 percent healthy and doing what he does for us on the court. I know he will come back strong and help lead for us.”

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