Rumor: Kevin Durant could sign with Warriors

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The Warriors are 30-2 and atop the NBA world.

They could get even better next season.

Golden State didn’t extend the contracts of Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, and the salary cap is skyrocketing. Those factors will give the Warriors plenty of flexibility.

They might use it to try signing Kevin Durant.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

At this point, everything is speculation.

When you talk to some executives, a name that has been thrown will shock people – Golden State.

Now, this is not something coming out Durant’s camp.

There are those around the league that think Golden State is a possibility.

Klay Thompson‘s dad, Mychal Thompson, said last spring the Warriors would pursue Durant. Perhaps, that alone has driven the speculation Durant could sign with Golden State. Or maybe the executives Broussard cites have additional information.

Either way, it certainly seems possible.

The Warriors have eight players under contract for next season: Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut,Andre Iguodala,Stephen Curry,Jason Thompson,Shaun Livingston andKevon Looney. Add a first-round pick (which we’ll pencil in at No. 30) and roster charges, and that’s a team salary of $84,501,199.

With a projected salary cap of about $90 million and Durant’s max starting  salary around $30 million, that won’t cut it.

Livingston ($3 million guaranteed) and Jason Thompson ($2.65 million guaranteed) have partially guaranteed contracts. But waiving those two would still leave significant outlays on the books. Golden State would probably need to trade those two and Bogut to clear enough cap space to sign Durant outright.

If they trade Bogut, Livingston, Jason Thompson and their first-round pick without taking any salary in return and renounce all their free agents, the Warriors would likely have about enough cap room to offer Durant the max (though it’s close enough that it depends exactly where the cap lands).

That’d leave a stripped-down roster of Durant, Curry, Green, Klay Thompson and Iguodala, but that’d be an incredible lineup. Golden State would happily start there and figure out the depth and center questions later.

The Warriors could also try swapping Barnes for Durant in a dual sign-and-trade. That’d trigger a hard cap, but that’s the least of the complications. Durant, Barnes and the Thunder would all have to agree. But at least that route could allow Golden State to re-sign Festus Ezeli.

If the Warriors want to keep Barnes while adding Durant, they could ask Oklahoma City how many draft picks they’d have to attach to a sign-and-trade package of Bogut, Jason Thompson and Livingston. Again, that’d leave Golden State hard-capped, but it’d at least be possible – depending on the exact luxury-tax line – to re-sign Barnes.

The Warriors have been down this road before. They made a strong impression on Dwight Howard in 2013, when they didn’t come close to having enough cap space to sign him. They ended up trading substantial salary to the Jazz and signing Andre Iguodala.

Golden State has the ambition necessary to make this happen.

But that’s a long way from saying Durant is interested, and that’s really what matters most.

Report: Bucks nearing four-year, $38 million offer sheet with Matthew Dellavedova

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 31: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks for a pass while under pressure from Khris Middleton #22 and Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 31, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bucks defeated the Cavaliers 96-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Win a championship, and teams will try to poach your players.

After decades of watching from a distance, Cleveland is learning first-hand.

Timofey Mozgov left the Cavaliers for the Lakers, and now Matthew Dellavedova could be headed to the Bucks.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

I love the fit. Dellavedova can play with Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom the Bucks plan to start at point guard. Dellavedova should guard opposing point guards, and Milwaukee’s length behind him will protect him when his aggressiveness goes awry. Offensively, Dellavedova can be both a complementary ball-handler when Antetokounmpo needs help and a spot-up shooter when the Greek Freak is running the show.

The biggest downside to this deal: Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, and Cleveland might match.

The capped-out Cavs have no way to replace him with a comparable player. They can scrape by with Mo Williams (who opted in) and second-round pick Kay Felder behind Kyrie Irving. But that’s a downgrade for a team trying to win right now.

The only cost to matching is Dan Gilbert’s money. The luxury-tax bill alone will be huge, but at least there’d be no real detriment in team-building.

Dellavedova can’t sign an offer sheet until July 7, and the Cavaliers would have three days to match. That gives them time to figure out just how costly it would be — what J.R. Smith will command, which veteran point guards might take the mid-level exception or less to join a contender and, importantly, what LeBron James suggests they do.

Report: Evan Fournier re-signing with Magic on five-year, $85 million contract

Evan Fournier
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
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The Magic’s last few months — dumping Tobias Harris and Channing Frye; trading Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova for Serge Ibaka, who’s headed into unrestricted free agency in a year; trading for Jodie Meeks; signing D.J. Augstin — have been confounding, to say the least.

But here’s a move that’s clear and logical.

The Magic announced their desire to re-sign Evan Fournier, and they’re doing it — at great value.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

I thought Fournier might have gotten a max offer sheet, which would have been worth more over four years — projected to be $95 million — than he’ll get in five with Orlando. This is a steal by the Magic.

Fournier is a sweet-shooting wing who can also attack the rim and has shown glimpses of doing more as a playmaker. And he’s just 23.

How Evan Turner will make more per season than Fournier, I won’t understand.

On top of it, Fournier’s cap hold is just $5,720,513. The Magic can use the rest of their cap space then exceed the cap to re-sign Fournier. You’d think by granting them such flexibility, he’d get more money.

Orlando did great here.

Report: Trail Blazers giving Evan Turner four-year, $70 million contract

Boston Celtics Media Day
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Chandler Parsons spurned the Trail Blazers for the Grizzlies.

So, Portland has moved to its consolation prize: Evan Turner.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

That’s a whole lot of money, but this is a product of the salary cap exploding and the scarcity of productive wings on the market. Portland just locked up a capable one when other teams will get shut out.

Turner should help keep the ball moving, and his size allows him to be a decent team defender. But there are holes in his game — outside shooting, foul-drawing, speed — the modern game is built to expose. Turner views it differently, and apparently so do the Blazers.

July 1 NBA Free Agency Tracker: All the latest signings, news, rumors in one place

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Welcome to the wildest NBA off-season anyone can remember.

Thanks to the new television deal the salary cap is spiking by $24 million. Look at it this way, last season the cap was $70 million, next season the salary FLOOR teams must reach is estimated to be $84.6 million. Throw in some quality free agents — Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley — and some question marks (we’re looking at you Dwight Howard) and things will be fast and wild.

We will keep this post continually updated for the first 24 hours of free agency so you can keep up with everything.

DEAL REACHED 4:24 PM: I like this move for New Orleans — they have signed Solomon Hill to a four-year contract. He will likely come off the bench, but he can play some stretch four next to Anthony Davis at the five for the Pelicans and make them a much more dangerous team. This is a good get.

DEAL REACHED 4:10 PM: Matthew Dellavedova has signed a four-year, $38.5 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks. Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, meaning come July 7 the Cavaliers will have three days to match that offer, or Delly will be coming off the bench for the Bucks.

DEAL REACHED 3:35 PM: The Orlando Magic were going to have to pay to keep Evan Fournier after his breakout season, and man is that the case.

DEAL REACHED 3:30 PM: This may pass the Mozgov deal as the most stunning of free agency so far: Evan Turner just got four years, $70 million from Portland. Turner is a nice player, Portland has money to spend, but this feels a lot like overpaying.

DEAL REACHED 3:17 PM: It looks like Chandler Parsons is headed to Memphis — which means Mike Conley will stay there and the Grizzlies just got better. Adrian Wonarowski with the news:

DEAL REACHED 3:10 PM: The Bucks have reached a three-year, $30 million deal with forward Mirza Teletovic, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. I like this for the Bucks — Teletovic averaged 12.2 points a night in 21 minutes off the bench for the Suns, and shot 39.7 percent from three. This is the kind of bench player the Bucks could use.

3:07 PM: Out of virtually every free agent meeting you hear things went “well” (nobody wants to repeat the LaMarcus Aldridge/Lakers PR disaster of a year ago), but the notes that there was a connection between Dwight Howard and the Hawks out of their meeting seems genuine. That could come together.

2:29 PM: Be careful reading much into it, but Andre Iguodala tweeeted this.

DEAL REACHED 2:25 PM: Philadephia has agreed to terms with Jerryd Bayless, three years and $27 million. That’s a fair price for a backup combo guard who can get them 10 points a night (10.7 a game last season) and will knock down midrange jumpers. This is the kind of deal the Sixers should get while they bring the young core along.

1:53 PM: Austin Rivers has a couple meetings coming up, with the Knicks and Trail Blazers. Of course, Doc Rivers might yet overpay to keep his son in Clippers’ colors.

1:24 PM: Interesting note on Hassan Whiteside‘s max deal — it’s not a guaranteed max. The two sides negotiated a second plan where Whiteside takes less if the Heat can convince Kevin Durant to come to Miami.

1:07 PM: Wow, this is a shocker — O.J. Mayo has been “dismissed and disqualified from the league for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.” He is kicked out of the league, but he can reapply for reinstatement in two years.  Mayo had a rough season for the Bucks, playing in just 41 games and shooting 37.1 percent last season (he missed the end of the season with a broken ankle). He was a free agent, this is a rough time for this to come down on him (although he brought it upon himself).

The NBA will not say officially why he was booted from the league, but it has to be testing positive for a “drug of abuse,” a list that includes meth, cocaine, heroin, LSD and others. Back in 2011 Mayo served a 10-game suspension for a PED violation, however, this ban cannot be for that under the terms of the CBA (he would have had other suspensions before reaching this threshold). This is not unprecedented, remember Chris Andersen — the Birdman — was suspended back in 2007 but was reinstated two years later and went on to win a ring with the Heat.

12:58 PM: The Hornets have kept Nicolas Batum, but that meant losing Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson via free agency. They are in negotiations right now to keep Marvin Williams.

12:57 PM: In case you were worried Kris Humphries wouldn’t be back in the NBA…

12:50 PM: The Warriors just ended a more than two-hour meeting with Kevin Durant. It takes a lot of time for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steve Kerr all to beg. The Clippers are up Friday night, the Spurs and Heat are on Saturday for KD.

By the way, Andre Iguodala was in the meeting with KD. Interesting. He was rumored to be one of the guys who would be traded if the Warriors land KD, apparently not.

11:53 AM: http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-pacers-nearing-deal-with-al-jefferson/

This is reportedly a three-year, $30 million deal, which adds some front line bench scoring to the Pacers.

11:42 AM: The Sixers have reached a deal to bring in Jim O’Brien as an assistant coach under Brett Brown. Good hire.

DEAL REACHED 11:12 AM: As had been expected, the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal reached terms on a five-year, $128 million max contract. They had been talking since free agency opened.

10:51 AM: When Dwyane Wade put out feelers to other teams about leaving Miami, those other teams were understandably skeptical. We saw this movie last year, he used other teams as leverage against Miami. But this time, he may be serious (although I’ll beleive it when I see it).

10:36 AM: The Sacramento Kings are talking with Dion Waiters, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That is a bit of a risk by the Kings, but they need shooting are in a position where they need to take risks. Dave Joerger is good with challenging personalities.

10:29 AM: Mike Conley has always been most likely to re-sign in Memphis (if they offered the fifth year of a max deal) and he has been talking with Chandler Parsons about joining him there, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Parsons met with the Grizzlies. By the way, there is zero chance they would team up in Dallas.

DEAL REACHED 10:15 AM: Jeremy Lin is going back to New York… Brooklyn that is. As had been rumored, Lin has reached a three-year, $36 million deal with the Nets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is a good fit, the Nets need a point guard and someone who can sell tickets, and with the Nets Lin will get the ball in his hands and be asked to create and attack.

DEALS REACHED 9:53 AM: A lot to catch up on this morning:

Report: Pistons, Andre Drummond nearing five-year max contract

Hassan Whiteside says he’s re-signing with Heat

Report: Nicolas Batum agrees to five-year, $120 million contract with Hornets

Report: Lakers re-signing Jordan Clarkson to four-year, $50 million contract

Report: Pistons signing Ish Smith to three-year, $18 million contract

Report: Magic signing D.J. Augustin

2:24 AM: There’s been conflicting reports about who was meeting with Chandler Parsons when, but the Trail Blazers just got done with their meeting and threw a max offer down on the table, according to Sam Amick of the USA Today.

2:12 AM: With Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah the Knicks do not yet apparently have enough players with worrisome injury histories to reach their quota, they are talking to Eric Gordon (most recently of the Pelicans), according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

I’ll need to see the terms of the proposed deal, but the Knicks training staff should get a raise.

DEAL REACHED 2:05 AM: DeMar DeRozan said he was only going to meet with Toronto, that he wanted to stay. Not a shock then that the two sides have reached a deal, something first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today.

1:57 AM: There were fewer deals in the opening hours of free agency Friday than there were a year ago, and on the Vertical’s live show Adrian Wojnarowski had an interesting explanation for why: The league had called around to GM’s Friday asking about all these meetings that were set before players and teams could talk. While a number of deals were reached in the first hours of free agency, teams wanted to hold off on announcing them to avoid the appearance of tampering. That makes a lot of sense.

1:41 AM: The meeting between Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat has ended without a formal deal being reached. Dallas and Portland still will get chances to woo him.

1:21 AM: Chandler Parsons will meet with the Portland Trail Blazers and they will offer him a max contract ($26 million a year for him).

DEAL REACHED 1:13 AM: And it’s done (well except that the papers can’t be signed until July 7), the Lakers got their man in 7-foot Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov for an average of $16 million a year, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

What surprises me most here: How does Mozgov fit in with the up-tempo style Luke Walton wants to play? This is going to play poorly with Lakers fans but it’s a decent short-term fit — with their young, more athletic players they needed a rim protector, a guy who can set screens and do the dirty work. I’m not sure I’d want to give him four years — it basically kills the idea of offering two-max players next summer — and that’s a lot of cash for a big the numerous small-ball teams in the West can marginalize. I don’t think this deal is horrid, but I don’t think it’s good. And it will fall to whoever takes over Lakers basketball operations after Jim Buss to clean it up.

1:11 AM: In addition to Mozgov, the Lakers also have reportedly reached out to Evan Turner, and there is mutual interest.

1:07 AM: Chandler Parsons is going to meet with Memphis and Portland in the next 24 hours, and despite missing more than 60 games the past two seasons with knee injuries, he is expected to be offered a max contract by at least the Blazers ($26 million for him). I’d say that is unprecedented, but Wesley Matthews got nearly the same thing coming off an Achilles injury the season.

12:40 AM: The Brooklyn Nets need a point guard, and while they are going to go after Jeremy Lin they also will take a look at Brandon Jennings, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.

12:32 AM: Did not see this coming — Timofey Mozgov may be the Lakers’ big fish. The Lakers and Mozgov are in “advanced discussions” about a four-year, $65 million deal for the old-school big man, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. My initial reaction is: That is vastly overpaying a guy who doesn’t really fit well in Luke Walton’s preferred up-tempo style. That soft weeping you here is Lakers’ Nation.

12:23 AM The Washington Wizards are nearing a max deal of five years, $128 million with Bradley Beal. While that is a lot of money for a guy who will be battling stress fractures his entire career (and have reduced minutes to prevent issues) if the Wizards didn’t max him out they’d lose him for nothing. The Wizards did what they had to do here. The two sides will reach a deal but he will sign that last, giving the Wizards about $30 million in cap space to chase other free agents.

12:14 AM: The first of many, many signs about how overheated this market will be.

12:08 AM: Who was Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak’s first call at midnight? Timofey Mozgov, the old-school center of the Cavaliers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. Not exactly what Lakers fans were hoping for this summer.

12:06 AM: We knew that the Knicks wanted Joakim Noah and he wanted them, no surprise the two sides are meeting already. But man, this seems like a lot of money and a lot of guaranteed years for a guy battling injuries.

12:02 AM: The Houston Rockets have a midnight meeting with coveted swingman Kent Bazemore (who would be a fantastic fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system). James Harden is reportedly at the meeting.

12:01 AM: The Dallas Mavericks are waiting their turn to meet with Hassan Whiteside, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. The Mavs are one of the favorites, along with the Heat, to land Whiteside, and they will offer him a max contract (Whiteside has said he wants to make a quick decision).

Midnight: IT’S ON!