Kurt Helin

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Report: Nets shopping point guard Jarrett Jack, if can’t find partner will waive him

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Jarrett Jack‘s season ended last January with a torn ACL.

He’s worked hard in rehab to make his NBA comeback next season, but that will not be in Brooklyn — the Nets are trying to trade him, but if that doesn’t happen by Thursday they will waive him and make him a free agent, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

If the Nets are unable to find a trade for Jack before his contract guarantee date on Thursday, the franchise is planning to waive him, sources said.

Jack will be owed $500,000 of the $6.3 million on his 2016-17 contract if waived by Thursday. The move will deliver the Nets $44 million in salary-cap space for the free agency period starting on Friday.

Why would a team trade for Jack? To clear their own cap space — they could trade for him Wednesday and waive him Thursday, freeing up cap space. The Nets, in turn, would get a player they want as part of their roster next season. If not, Brooklyn will take the cap space and keep it.

Jack is a solid backup point who can get a team some buckets, he averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 assists per game last season. That said, he turns 33 right as next season starts and he’s coming off an ACL injury, the market for his services is not going to be robust, but after teams work through the top free agent point guards — Mike Conley, Jeremy Lin, Deron Williams, Brandon Jennings, Matthew Dellavedova, etc. — Jack will get a call. And he’ll play well.

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


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.