John Salmons

Heat Acquire Goran Dragic

7:38pm: The trade is now official, the Pelicans and Suns have announced. New Orleans acquired Norris Cole, Shawne Williams, Justin Hamilton and cash considerations from Miami, the Suns get John Salmons from the Pelicans and Danny Granger from the Heat, and Miami garners Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic from the Suns. Phoenix also received Miami’s 2017 first-round pick (top seven protected) and Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick as part of the deal. Phoenix is waiving Salmons, per the Suns’ official press release.

3:36pm: The expectation is that the Heat will offer Dragic a five-year max deal this summer, according to Ramona Shelburne of (Twitter link).

2:48pm: There are other components to the trade agreement, which also involves the Pelicans, as we explain here.

2:09pm: The Suns will get Danny Granger and 2017 and 2019 first-round picks with protections for Dragic, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic (on Twitter).

Granger, 32 in April, has averaged 6.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG for the Heat this season since coming back from a hamstring injury.  Of course, the draft picks are the center of the deal for Phoenix and not the veteran forward.  Granger is earning $2.1MM this season and he also has a player option for the same amount in 2015/16.

1:49pm: The Heat and Suns have agreed to a deal that sends Goran Dragic to Miami, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link).  The Heat have long coveted Dragic and view him as just the sort of player they need to make a playoff push, Chris Mannix of SI tweets.

The Heat currently stand at 22-30 with a leg up over the likes of the Nets, Celtics, PIstons, and Pacers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Suns, Heat, Pelicans Agree To Trade

4:46pm: John Reid of The Times-Picayune has Cole going to New Orleans in the deal. In his summary, it’s Cole, Hamilton and Williams to the Pelicans and Salmons to the Suns. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the Suns getting Miami’s 2017 and 2021 first-rounders, Salmons and Danny Granger (Twitter links). Miami’s 2017 pick is top-seven protected and the 2021 selection is unprotected, Coro notes. However, there’s confusion even among some executives, according to Ken Berger of (Twitter link).

4:17pm: Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has Hamilton headed to the Pelicans and not the Suns (Twitter link).

2:28pm: Cole and Salmons are part of a larger deal involving Goran Dragic, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Cole, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks go to Phoenix for Dragic and Zoran Dragic, while Salmons goes from New Orleans to Phoenix. Shawne Williams head to New Orleans (All Twitter links).

2:17pm: The Pelicans are acquiring Norris Cole from the Heat, a source tells Brian Windhorst of (Twitter link). John Salmons is headed to Miami, according to Ken Berger of (on Twitter).

Grizzlies, Celtics Close To Deal For Jeff Green

SUNDAY, 12:03pm: The Clippers are working to find a third team to help deliver Boston an expiring deal to go along with a second-rounder that the Celtics want in the Clippers/Rivers deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

6:43pm: Stein is also reporting that Smith is headed to Memphis, and adds that the Grizzlies are sending a second round pick to the Pelicans (Twitter link). Washburn says Rivers will likely be moved in a separate deal (Twitter link). Wojnarowski notes the Celtics don’t want to take back any salary beyond this season. (Twitter link).

6:00pm: Officials in the Clippers’ front office and coaching staff are pushing Doc Rivers to bring Austin to Los Angeles, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link).

5:39pm: The Clippers are the likely destination for Rivers, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).

5:21pm: The Celtics are attempting to find a trade partner for Rivers, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link).

5:05pm: Salmons was originally going to be included in the trade, but Boston made a push to acquire Rivers instead, John Reid of The Times Picayune reports. This wasn’t the first time the two sides had discussed a deal for Rivers, Reid notes, as New Orleans had conversations with the Celtics last summer about a potential trade involving Rivers, but talks broke off without a deal getting done. The Pelicans, who have been struggling to get consistent play at small forward, pushed to get Pondexter in the deal, Reid adds.

4:36pm: Rivers is reportedly headed to Boston, but he may not stay with the team, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reports (Twitter link). Whether this means the Celtics intend to waive Rivers or trade him is unclear.

2:15pm: The three sides have agreed to terms, Stein maintains (on Twitter), but it appears there are still some moving parts involved. It’s unclear if they will push the trade through today or wait until Monday when the league office reopens, Stein adds.

2:09pm: Boston would also get a future first-rounder, Stein reports (Twitter link).

1:50pm: The current deal being discussed involves Green heading to Memphis, Prince and Rivers to Boston, and Pondexter to New Orleans, Stein tweets. Stein makes no reference to Smith, who was previously reported by Wojnarowski to be involved, nor any draft picks changing hands.

SATURDAY, 1:42pm: New Orleans is going to send Austin Rivers to the Celtics as part of the proposed deal, Marc Stein of reports (Twitter link).

10:04pm: Russ Smith is also heading to Memphis in the proposed deal, Wojnarowski tweets.

8:44pm: The third team involved looks to be the Pelicans, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter links). In this proposed three-way deal, Green would go to Memphis, Prince, John Salmons, and a first-rounder from Memphis to Boston, and Quincy Pondexter would head to New Orleans, Wojnarowski notes. The Grizzlies are discussing various deals involving Pondexter with other teams, Wojnarowski reports, but their focus is on including him in a trade for Green.

FRIDAY, 5:06pm: The Celtics are continuing with their rebuilding process, and the next player on the list to be dealt is Jeff Green, who is likely on his way to the Grizzlies, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Memphis is offering Boston Tayshaun Prince and a first round draft pick in return, Wojnarowski notes. There also appears to be a third team involved in the deal, Wojnarowski adds.

Memphis has been actively trying to acquire either Luol Deng from the Heat, or Green from Boston over the last few days. When the Grizzlies couldn’t make any headway on nabbing Deng, they zeroed in on Green over the last 48 hours and sold Boston on deal, Marc Stein of reports (Twitter link). Boston had initially been asking for two first-rounders in return, Wojnarowski tweets. The Clippers had also inquired about Green, but they didn’t have the expiring contracts that Boston was looking for to make a trade work, Ramona Shelburne of reports (Twitter link).

In 33 games this season, the 28-year-old Green has averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 33.1 minutes per game. His career numbers over six seasons are 14.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His career slash line is .440/.340/.788.

Prince is a 12-year NBA veteran, and is averaging 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 25 appearances (9 starts) this season. The 34-year-old’s career numbers are 11.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG. His career shooting percentages are .455/.367/.758.

Southwest Notes: Chandler, Pelicans, Blue

Tyson Chandler said Tuesday that he feels “indebted” to the Mavs for bringing him back to the team, observes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Mavs owner Mark Cuban hinted that he intends to keep Chandler around after his contract expires at season’s end, as Tim MacMahon of notes.

Here’s the latest out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Spurs worked out Vander Blue last week before Blue committed to a camp deal with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Blue was a part of San Antonio’s summer league team in July.
  • Cuban is excited about the Mavericks 2014/15 campaign, Price writes in the same piece linked above. Cuban said, “I am so fired up, you have no idea. You know how important I think chemistry is, so just being able to get a feel for how all the guys get together and how they get along [is important]. Everybody’s fired up, everybody pushing each other. Dirk Nowitzki has got a big old smile on his face, so it’s exciting.”
  • The small forward position looks to be the Pelicans‘ weakest link heading into training camp, John Reid of the Times-Picayune opines. That’s why newly signed John Salmons has a chance to make an impact this season, and he’ll compete for a starting job with Darius Miller and Luke Babbitt, notes Reid.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Pelicans Sign John Salmons

AUGUST 26TH: The deal is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 25TH: The contract Salmons initially signed with the Pelicans wasn’t approved by the league, so the veteran re-signed a new contract with New Orleans for the same amount last Friday, reports Pincus (on Twitter). The reason for the league’s disapproval is unknown, but Pincus hypothesizes there could have been an issue with the deferral structure.

AUGUST 12TH: Salmons has finally signed his deal, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The team has yet to make an official announcement. It’s indeed for $2MM, all of which will count against the cap for the Pelicans this year, even though $500K of the payout is deferred, as Pincus adds in a second tweet.

JULY 14TH: The Pelicans will ink a deal with swingman John Salmons, whom the Hawks waived last week after acquiring him from the Raptors, tweets Marc Stein of New Orleans appears to be choosing a deal with him over Omri Casspi, whom the Pelicans are reportedly likely to release after the trade that brings him and Omer Asik to New Orleans is finalized. It’ll be a one-year, $2MM deal for Salmons, reports Chris Haynes of (Twitter link). Presumably, it’ll come out of the team’s $2.732MM room exception.

The Joel Bell client split this past season between the Kings and Raptors, receiving a similar amount of playing time with both teams. He averaged 5.2 points in 22.1 minutes, but his 38.7% three-point shooting was a career high outside of his 41.7% mark in 2008/09.

The 34-year-old’s name was reportedly a part of predraft trade talks between the Raptors and Grizzlies, but Memphis apparently wasn’t too motivated to advance the discussion further. It seems like he’ll nonetheless stand a decent chance of starting at small forward for New Orleans, which renounced its rights to incumbent starter Al-Farouq Aminu and has little other means to acquire a replacement.

Hawks Waive John Salmons

FRIDAY, 7:53am: The Hawks have indeed waived Salmons, the team announced via press release. The release states that the team officially made the move Thursday, so the guaranteed portion of Salmons’ salary remains only $1MM.

THURSDAY, 1:49pm: Atlanta continues to explore its options regarding Salmons, Vivlamore writes in an updated version of his story, noting on Twitter that the possibility of trading Salmons still exists.

1:36pm: The Hawks will waive John Salmons by the end of today, a source tells Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Today’s the last day the Hawks can waive him before his $1MM partially guaranteed salary becomes fully guaranteed for $7MM, as our schedule of contract guarantee dates shows.

The Joel Bell client agreed to delay that date from July 1st before the trade that sent him from the Raptors to the Hawks became official, and while that seemingly gave Atlanta a window to see if it could flip the 34-year-old swingman, it appears no such swap is in the works. Salmons will almost assuredly clear waivers and become a free agent in two days, and while he no longer boasts a double-digit scoring average, as he did for four straight seasons earlier in his career, he remained a part of the rotations in Sacramento and Toronto this past season, splitting the year between both the Kings and Raptors. He averaged 5.2 points and shot 38.7% from three-point range in 22.1 minutes per game overall in 2013/14.

The move will free up cap flexibility for the Hawks, who’ve pursued Luol Deng, among others, so far this month. It’s flexibility that Atlanta’s likely been planning for all along, since they weren’t expected to keep Salmons from the moment they acquired him.

Raptors, Hawks Exchange Salmons, Williams

TUESDAY, 7:13am: The Raptors and Hawks officially announced the trade overnight before the July moratorium began. Williams and the rights to Nogueira go to Toronto while Salmons and a 2015 second-rounder go to Atlanta.

NBA: Charlotte Bobcats at Atlanta HawksMONDAY, 10:00pm: The snag in the trade has been resolved.  The Raptors will also send a 2015 second-round choice to Atlanta in the deal, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

The Raptors should end up with a $2.133MM trade exception for Salmons, Pincus tweets.

8:06pm: The Hawks still aren’t expected to keep Salmons past the new deadline, a league source tells Charania (on Twitter).

8:04pm: The Hawks won’t release Salmons today, and both sides have agreed to extend the waiver deadline to July 10th, a league source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 8:25pm: The Hawks will indeed waive Salmons tomorrow, Wojnarowski reveals in his full story.

7:37pm: The Raptors have agreed to send John Salmons to the Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams and the rights to Lucas Nogueira, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Marc Stein of ESPN first revealed that the two sides were in advanced discussions of such a deal (Twitter link).

Salmons’ $7MM contract is only partially guaranteed for $1MM if he’s waived by the end of tomorrow, as Chuck Myron explained in our recap of upcoming guarantee dates. Given Atlanta’s reported interest in a run at a Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James pairing, it’s probably only a matter of time until Salmons finds himself a free agent. In 78 games for the Kings and Raptors last season, Salmons averaged just 5.0 points per game while shooting 36.8% from the floor.

Williams is a few years removed from his prime, but it’s unlikely the Hawks are giving up the former stud point guard and rights to Nogueira, a 2013 first-round selection, just to get $7MM off of their books. It’s possible, and maybe even likely, that this move is a precursor to a bigger deal, suggests Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). The trade should be finalized sometime tomorrow, tweets David Aldridge of TNT, giving Atlanta the window required to shed Salmons’ contract before it becomes guaranteed.

Western Notes: Nuggets, Lakers, Prince, Wolves

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly shares the belief of former GM Masai Ujiri that, while having a marquee player is ideal, it’s possible to construct a team that goes deep into the playoffs without one, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe details.

“Watching the playoffs, I do think there is an increasing sense of parity,” Connelly said to Lowe this morning. “We lack that superstar, but we also think a couple of our younger players could really step their game up. I like our roster as I wake up today. It’s a roster that should restore a playoff spot. But we also want to maintain flexibility so that we can make moves. All of our assets are movable.”

There’s more on the Nuggets from Lowe’s piece among the latest from the Western Conference:

  • The Nuggets have been planning to discuss an extension with Thad Foucher client Kenneth Faried, and it appears they’ll waste no time in doing so. Connelly tells Lowe that he’ll meet with Faried’s representatives next week, just as Faried’s extension eligibility window opens (Twitter link).
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak downplayed the idea that he’ll allow the team’s free agent signings to influence whom the club hires as coach, as Dave McMenamin of notes amid his piece on the team’s hopes for a splashy acquisition.
  • The Grizzlies were never that keen on rumored talks with the Raptors involving Tayshaun Prince and John Salmons, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes in a subscription-only piece.
  • Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders isn’t anxious to use the $5.305MM mid-level exception likely to be available to the team this summer, observes Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press“We will wait,” Saunders said. “Right now, there are not a lot of guys that are out there … that I think are better than players we have on the team. We aren’t just going to spend it just because we have it. If someone pops down and we think it’s worth it, we’ll do it.”
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone insisted Thursday night that the team’s decision to draft Nik Stauskas at No. 8 isn’t an indication that they’ve lost faith in fellow shooting guard Ben McLemoretweets Jon Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom.

Raptors, Grizzlies Talking Prince, No. 22 Pick

12:25pm: If the deal happens, Chad Ford of (on Twitter) believes that the Raptors will target Clint Capela at No. 22.  The Spurs have been hoping that he’d slide to No. 30.

11:18am: Stein now hears (Twitter link) that the deal would more likely send the No. 37 pick to Memphis along with Salmons for Prince and the No. 22.

11:14am: The Raptors are in the hunt to acquire the Grizzlies’ No. 22 pick in tonight’s draft but would have to take back Tayshaun Prince to make something happen, tweets Marc Stein of The potential swap would send John Salmons and the No. 59 pick to Memphis for Prince and the No. 22 pick (link).  Stein says that Toronto could be making the deal with guard Tyler Ennis in mind, though they already own the No. 20 selection.

The No. 22 pick wouldn’t guarantee the Raptors that they’ll land Ennis – the Syracuse guard is currently projected to go No. 21 to the Thunder by DraftExpress – but it’d give them a puncher’s chance for sure.  Prince, who is a shell of the player he once was, is slated to earn $7.7MM in the final season of his deal.  Prince averaged 6.0 PPG with 3.1 RPG last season and posted a career-low PER of 8.2.

Raptors Plan To Waive Salmons

The Raptors will waive John Salmons if they can’t find a trade suitor for the veteran guard by June 30, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. That is the date that Salmons’ contract becomes fully guaranteed, going from a $1MM cap hit to a $7MM figure. The Raptors are interested in moving both Salmons and Tyler Hansbrough, whose contract is also partially guaranteed at $1MM until June 29. A source tells Wolstat that it is unlikely Toronto finds a willing partner (Twitter link).

The Raptors could snag an asset from a team looking to shed cap space by acquiring and then waiving Salmons, or they could save the $6MM by cutting him themselves. Toronto is preparing to try and re-sign Kyle Lowry, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The point guard already has suitors lining up, and Toronto might need to use any savings they can manage to make their offer sweet enough to keep him around.