Kurt Helin

PBT Extra free agency preview: What shooting guards may be on move? Kent Bazemore? Dwyane Wade?

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There are a couple interesting players at the top of our list of best free agent shooting guards — except they aren’t going anywhere.

DeMar DeRozan is only meeting with the Raptors, and the Wizards will match any offer for Bradley Beal.

When you’re talking about players who could be on the move and really help teams the most likely name is Kent Bazemore (who is going to take his time and not make a decision until after the Fourth of July). Dwyane Wade is threatening to leave Miami, but we saw this movie last year and the sense is this is just him looking for leverage.

I take a look at all of it in this latest PBT Extra video.

After not finding trade partner, Nets place Jarrett Jack on waivers

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The Nets shopped around the idea that another team could save just shy of $6 million in cap space by trading for then waiving Jarrett Jack, but there have been no takers.

So the Nets will save that money themselves — they have waived Jack, the team announced.

The Nets are now on the hook for Jack’s $500,000 buyout, unless a team snaps him up off waivers. This will give the Nets a little more money to spend in free agency.

And it is possible a team just picks him up off waivers (taking on his $6.3 million contract for next season). 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.

There are two issues: He’s coming off ACL surgery, and he turns 33 right as next season starts.

He’s going to get picked up as a backup point guard, but more likely teams will wait to see how the market shakes out then try to get him on an even more favorable deal (for them).

 

PBT Extra free agency preview: Thin point guard class adds to Mike Conley’s leverage

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When we broke out the top five point guards on the market, we noted that there is an All-Star level player in Mike Conley and then the talent pool drops off quickly.

But there are some interesting players on the market — what teams will want Jeremy Lin and how much are they willing to pay him? Can the Mavericks keep Deron Williams? Will teams pay much for Rajon Rondo, or did they see him hunting stats last season in Sacramento and still have doubts?

I talk about all this in this latest PBT Extra.

There’s not a lot of great talent (which is why after the market settles, expect trade rumors for ones like Ricky Rubio to surface again) but there are some interesting questions and fits in this group.

 

Report: Mavericks get first meeting with Hassan Whiteside, will offer max

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Hassan Whiteside = max player.

That is reality. Go ahead and say he’s not “worth” it if you wish, but a player’s worth can be different than his value. Whiteside’s athleticism and rim protection are rare and valuable skills — it’s basic supply and demand, there are not other guys like Whiteside. Add to that an NBA free agent market flooded with cash and you get a guy valued by teams as a max player. Whether he is “worth” it or not.

Whiteside is also a max player because the Mavericks got the first meeting with him and will offer him that, Tim MacMahon of ESPN said on the radio in Miami, as transcribed by HeatNation.com (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

In a radio interview yesterday, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com said that the Dallas Mavericks will be getting the first meeting with Whiteside when the clock hits 12:01 a.m on July 1st….

“Absolutely, no questions asked. The financial negotiations with the Mavericks will take all of one second. Max. One second max for the max,” MacMahon stated emphatically. “If you’re going to try and recruit Hassan Whiteside you can haggle about money, but he’s gonna cross you off his list and move on,” said MacMahon.

After the DeAndre Jordan situation last summer, Mark Cuban isn’t going to mess around with his top target (he didn’t mess around with Jordan either, but he is still stung by how that went down).

Also looming out there are the Lakers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, and Rockets, among others, all of whom would offer a max salary to Whiteside.

The question becomes, will Pat Riley and the Heat offer that much? They had hoped to get a little hometown discount with him (because the Heat need to resign him and Dwyane Wade, plus have a Kevin Durant meeting). That’s not happening. If the Heat offer Whiteside a max he likely stays — he’s comfortable with the franchise that took a chance on him and his return to the NBA, and he likes living there (plus no state taxes). But there will be no hometown discount. The Mavericks are setting the bar.

Reports: If Hawks hesitate on fifth year, Thunder among teams lined up to poach Al Horford

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The Atlanta Hawks are the kind of franchise that sometimes has to overpay to get or keep elite talent. The Hawks may not like to picture themselves that way, but that is the reality of things.

Enter free agent Al Horford.

The four-time All-Star may have spent his entire nine-year career in Atlanta, but that doesn’t exclude the Hawks from needing to overpay to keep him. Horford is an obvious max player — and the second best player available when free agency starts July 1 — but the Hawks are going to have to offer the fifth year of guaranteed money to keep him. It is the one thing Atlanta can do no other team can, his other suitors can only offer four years. Will Horford be overpaid and not nearly as valuable at age 35 in the final year of the deal? Yes. But the Hawks have to do it anyway, or they lose him and have to start a rebuild.

But the Hawks are hesitating, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.

The Hawks are reluctant to offer Horford the fifth year only they can dangle, and if they hold firm, they are at grave risk of losing him for nothing, per league sources. (Watch out for the Pistons on Horford; with Wednesday’s trade of Meeks, they are one tiny move away from being able to fit his max. They are working to schedule a meeting with Horford over the first 48 hours of free agency, sources say. Horford’s fit alongside Andre Drummond is another question entirely.)

It’s not just the Pistons, the Thunder may make a pitch to Horford to come to them and win, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

As they prepare to make their pitch to Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been making calls around the league looking to clear a massive amount of salary-cap space in a move rival executives believe is an effort to go after free agent Al Horford in addition to Durant, multiple sources told ESPN.

Horford played for Thunder coach Billy Donovan at Florida, where they teamed up to win two national titles, and they remain close. The Thunder have an opening at power forward after trading Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic last week.

To sign Horford likely would mean the Thunder having to move Enes Kanter — and they are willing to do that because they understand that’s the kind of bold move and sacrifice needed to keep a star like Durant and win a title.

Would the Hawks do something that bold?

If not the Thunder or Pistons, Horford will have other options — the Wizards, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, and Warriors have all been rumored as potential suitors.

If the Hawks lose Horford in free agency, they might as well also let Kent Bazemore go (he’s also a free agent), then trade Paul Millsap and start the rebuild. Refusing to offer Horford the fifth year is just a team trying to be safe and thrifty. Which would be very Atlanta Hawks.