Kurt Helin

New York Knicks v Portland Trail Blazers

Report: Wes Matthews reaches agreement to join Dallas Mavericks

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The Sacramento Kings have tried these last few days. They threw more money at Monta Ellis than the Pacers, but Ellis chose to go to Indianapolis.

Next they threw a boatload of money at Wesley Matthews, around $64 million.

But Matthews has chosen Dallas as his next stopping point, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com.

Free agent guard Wes Matthews spurned a large offer from the Sacramento Kings late Thursday night to accept a four-year offer from the Dallas Mavericks, according to a league source.

The exact amount of Matthews’ deal is not yet set (it will depend on the money Dallas would need to spend on LaMarcus Aldridge or, more likely, DeAndre Jordan). The Kings had offered in the ballpark of $64 million, it’s appears Matthews took less to be in Dallas, the question remains how much?

Matthews averaged 15.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season before getting injured. He is also a strong defender and was the locker room leader of the Blazers.

Matthews is coming off a torn Achilles from last March. He is reportedly ahead of schedule with his recovery, but this likely slows him at the start of next season and may linger much farther into it.

If Dallas can also land DeAndre Jordan in free agency — it’s a toss up between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas — they will have had the kind of summer that will put them back near the top of the West.

PBT Extra: Five best free agent signings in the first days of free agency

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans walks to the free throw line during the fourth quarter of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on December 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans won the game 112-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowlesges 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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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The best signing is locking up the best player for the longest time. That’s why the New Orleans Hornets locking up Anthony Davis for at least four years is a brilliant signing. Plus, he signed for the max under the salary cap structure that kicks in next year, so when the cap spikes in 2017 the Pelicans will have room to add help, to put people around Davis. With player-friendly coach Alvin Gentry, New Orleans will become a free agent destination.

I look at my top five signings to start the free agent season, and some of that is just teams just doing the right thing. The Cavaliers locking up Kevin Love. The Spurs securing Kawhi Leonard.

But you also have to love what Toronto did with DeMarre Carroll.

source: Getty Images
(Getty Images)

Report: Miami Heat’s Pat Riley will get dinner to try and woo LaMarcus Aldridge

Portland Trail Blazers
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UPDATE: Pat Riley and the Miami Heat got their foot in the door — Riley will have a dinner meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge Thursday to try and convince him to come to Miami, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

This is still a crazy longshot — they already have an arguably better version of Aldridge in Bosh — but the Heat are at least going to get to take their swings.

••••••

The Spurs are still the team to beat. The Lakers are getting a second chance to make a first impression. The Suns knocked it out of the park in their meeting and moved into contention. The Knicks never even got up to the plate.

And now the Miami Heat want to take a swing.

The Heat are trying to get a meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Adriam Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

It seems a real longshot for a couple of reasons. First off, in Chris Bosh the Miami Heat already have a player with a similar skill set and style of play to Aldridge (and Bosh is the better defender).

Second, the Heat do not have nor can they easily create cap space. The only way to make this work is a sign-and-trade. They could sign-and-trade Bosh for Aldridge, but that is basically and even swap. In theory they could sign-and-trade Wade but they would never do that (and Portland doesn’t want him). Or, they could sign-and-trade for Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and other players. Not sure Portland does that either.

But the Heat at least want to get up to the plate. That would put them ahead of the Knicks.

PBT Podcast: Talking best signings of free agency so far

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets
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The first day of free agency was a whirlwind — $1.3 billion in contracts handed out in one of the wildest, free spending sessions the NBA has ever seen. (Keep that in mind during the 2017 lockout when some owners cry poverty.)

There were great signings that were obvious, like a max deal from New Orleans to keep Anthony Davis. There were less high profile ones that were smart — Alex Ajinca for five-years, $20 million — and some others we’re not so sure about.

In this podcast PBT’s Kurt Helin andNBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down many of the signings from the first day plus of free agency, including the Monta Ellis and Arron Afflalo signings. By the way, we think the Suns overpaid for Brandon Knight.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Kings set sights on at least one of Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis, Wes Matthews

Rajon Rondo
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The Sacramento Kings made their trade to clear out cap space.

Now the Kings want to put that money to use — they want Monta Ellis. Or Rajon Rondo. Or Wesley Matthews.

The Kings, for all their dysfunction of late, are trying to be players in free agency, according to multiple reports, including Marc Stein at ESPN.

While Sacramento probably doesn’t have enough cap space to sign two of them, it is getting closer after striking a deal with Philadelphia…

The trade should allow the Kings to outbid Indiana for Ellis if they can convince the Dallas Mavericks’ leading scorer from last season to stay in the Western Conference.

The Kings are not the kind of franchise free agents are necessarily drawn to right now, not with DeMarcus Cousins calling coach George Karl a “snake in the grass” on Twitter (using emojis). If the Kings are going to land any of these guys they likely have to overpay, the extra tax of getting them to Sacramento.

The Pacers have emerged as the front-runners to land Ellis, but the Kings are looking for playmakers and Ellis showed in Dallas he was more adept than previously thought at that skill. Ellis worked well in Dallas with shooters around him on the court, the Kings don’t have the same kind of floor spacers, but if they can offer more cash than Indiana they will get Ellis’ attention.

Matthews can space the floor as a shooter, and he has told teams he is not taking a discount coming off Achilles surgery — the price to land him likely starts at $15 million a year. Dallas is considered the front-runner to land Matthews.

Rondo is the oddest case of all — does pairing Cousins, Karl and Rondo seem wise? On the court, Rondo doesn’t have the kind of jump shot that strike fear in the heart of opposing defenders, which can mess with floor spacing. Of late, Rondo’s opponents go under picks and wait for the mistakes. His defense isn’t as good as its reputation. There are not a bunch of teams bidding on Rondo after his disastrous half season in Dallas, the Kings can add him at a fair price. He reportedly still wants $10 million a season, there is no reason to pay that much.

The Kings want to be players, we’ll see if they can land he guys they want.