Kurt Helin

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Report: Frustrated Dwyane Wade opens up bidding to teams other than Heat

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Haven’t we seen this movie before?

Dwyane Wade has taken pay cuts in the past to help the Miami Heat land other players, but now is tired of that and wants to be made whole. The Miami Heat are in a tight financial spot this season, trying to retain free agents such as Hassan Whiteside while going after Kevin Durant. Wade is a free agent and wants what he sees as his due, too — if not from Miami then from someone else.

So Wade has opened bidding beyond just Miami, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that Wade’s representatives have made it known to multiple teams over the past several days that he will be on the market. Some teams have been skeptical, wondering whether Wade would seriously consider leaving the franchise where he has played 13 seasons and won three titles.

The Heat and Wade had several contentious weeks last year before they agreed on a one-year, $20 million deal for this past season.

PBT Podcast: Sean Deveney of Sporting News stops by for NBA free agency preview

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Friday starts the most unpredictable free agency period any of us have ever seen. There have been important, intense free agencies in recent years, but even when we were waiting for LeBron’s decisions we understood the basic structure and patterns of free agency.

Not this time around. Thanks to an unprecedented $24 million spike in the salary cap, we are just days away from the most unpredictable, head-scratching free agency in NBA history. It’s far more than just the summer of Kevin Durant.

Sean Deveney of The Sporting News stops by to break down free agency with Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. They talk Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Hassan Whiteside, and the other big names available. Plus there are discussions of what teams from Golden State to Boston may do this summer.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out our new PBT podcast homepage and archive at Audioboom.com.

Report: Dwight Howard has July 1 meetings with Boston, Atlanta

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Boston is in need of star players, even ones past their prime. At this point Danny Ainge will talk to anyone.

Atlanta is Dwight Howard‘s hometown.

The center is a free agent come July 1 and he is setting up meetings, too. The two on the list so far are named above, reports Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.

The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics are the first known teams to secure face-to-face recruiting meetings with free-agent big man Dwight Howard, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that Howard is likely to meet with as many as five teams in free agency, with a return to the Houston Rockets widely seen as unlikely after Howard declined his $23.2 million player option for next season.

Unlikely? That’s putting it kindly after the Rockets hired Mike D’Antoni as coach.

A number of other teams may look to talk to Howard once they lose out in the Hassan Whiteside sweepstakes — he is the much hotter target at center. Teams such as the Heat and Mavericks, among others, who are targeting Whiteside likely have Howard as a fallback.

Boston is going to go after every star on the market. Atlanta is more complicated, in the past Howard has been resistant to a return home (many players are leery of the off-the-court distractions and demands that come with playing in their hometown). However, Howard may be more open to the idea as his other options shrink.

Howard averaged 13.7 points a game on only 8.5 shot attempts per game, and added 11.8 rebounds a night. He played good defense, although not at the pre back surgery levels. Howard hopes to get a max contract, which will start at $30.8 million for him (with the projected salary cap of $94 million).

Teams will be hesitant to pay that much. However, more important to some than the money is the years — with Howard’s history of back issues, many teams are hesitant to offer a contract even three years in length.

However, as the options for other teams shrivel up in free agency more and more will take a second look at Howard. And when he signs a lot of people will shake their head at the contract.

Report: Miami Heat nearing contract extension with Erik Spoelstra

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Pat Riley has his protegé’s back — Erik Spoelstra is not going to be a lame duck coach.

He was entering the final year of his contract, but management is working out an extension for Spoelstra, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Miami Heat are progressing on completion of a multiyear contract extension for two-time championship coach Erik Spoelstra, league sources told The Vertical.

Owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley have been eager to secure Spoelstra beyond the final year of his contract in 2016-17, assuring that one of the league’s elite coaches never reaches the free-agent market.

Stunning stat of the night: Spoelstra has been the Heat coach for eight years, making him the second longest tenured coach in the NBA (behind only Gregg Popovich).

This is a smart move by the Heat; Spoelstra is a smart, quality coach who gets the most out of his players. Miami was 48-34 last season with a roster that was challenged by injuries — such as losing Chris Bosh after the All-Star break — and yet made the second round of the playoffs (where they went seven games against Toronto). There are few better in the league than Spoelstra and the Heat should take care of him.

Reports: Utah Jazz interested in smart targets of Solomon Hill, Luol Deng

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There are few organizations making smarter moves consistently right now than the Utah Jazz. They have a fantastic young roster, and they made a great trade before the draft giving them depth at the point with George Hill (who fits what they need).

Who are they targeting in free agency? They are not big game hunting, but they are targeting guys who would fit with their growing young core. That starts with stretch four Solomon Hill, reports Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Utah Jazz have expressed interest in acquiring Indiana forward Solomon Hill once the free agency period opens on Friday at midnight, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned….

Hill distinguished himself this season as a versatile talent, capable of being a go-to perimeter defender, and an offensive threat. He established himself as a key member of Indiana’s rotation off the bench, and played arguably the best basketball of his career in the postseason.

Hill is an unrestricted free agent because Larry Bird vastly underestimated Hill and did not pick up his player option before last season. When Hill blossomed as the season wore on, that mistake became more and more glaring.

Utah has Derrick Favors at the four, but Hill would be a fantastic change of pace off the bench, he can play some three behind Gordon Hayward, and he would fit the age and style of their young players. If Hill doesn’t pan out, the Jazz could go with a veteran.

He played well for Miami at the four last season, he’s gritty and tough, and would provide a veteran, professional mindset off the bench.

The Jazz seem to be thinking chemistry and about the long term — both very good signs.