Kurt Helin

Report: Knicks near deal with Brandon Jennings

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The Knicks have their backup for Derrick Rose — or starter if he can’t stay healthy.

Brandon Jennings apears headed to Madison Square Garden.

We don’t know the financials yet, but this makes sense as a deal for both sides. Jennings may be a better fit for how Jeff Hornacek wants to play than Rose.

Report: Miami Heat offer Dwyane Wade two-years, $40 million

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Dwyane Wade was reportedly reaching out to San Antonio and Chicago, while Denver wanted to be a serious player for his services.

But nearly around the league thought this was all just leverage from Wade to try to get a better deal out of Miami. You know, just like last year. According to Dan Le Batard of ESPN — who is very well connected in Miami — it worked.

In actuality, it’s likely going to be just a little under $40 million — they $39.3 if they match the offer to Tyler Johnson (more than $40 mil if they don’t), according NBC’s own Dan Feldman.

Wade has always been worth more to Miami than any other franchise. And nobody really thought he wanted to leave.

He can still ball. Wade earned an All-Star spot again last season when he averaged 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, then in the playoffs had some old-school Wade performances where he nearly single-handedly won games. However, he’s 34, has chronic knee issues (despite playing 74 games last season), and he’s in decline (Wade’s efficiency took a step back last season, he had his lowest PER since his rookie season).

With that, two years seems fair, as does the $40 million number. Wade has felt he took less in the past to help the Heat assemble better teams and he wants to be made whole, but this is more than he’s going to earn anywhere but a rebuilding team that wants him to sell tickets and little more. He gets to stay in the city where he is loved and won three rings.

Expect Wade’s team to push for more money, but then expect the deal to get done.

Report: Spurs looking to trade Boris Diaw to clear cap space to sign Pau Gasol

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Boris Diaw‘s slow motion, high-IQ game with gifted passing has been a perfect fit with the Spurs system — really, systems (plural) — over the past few years. Plus, in what can be a button-down organization, he was the guy with an espresso machine in his locker and who always gave honest answers.

Welcome to the realities of the new NBA — Diaw may be on the move so the Spurs can sign Pau Gasol. From Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Diaw’s game would fit well on a number of teams around the league. He’s a kind of point forward — he can’t run the point but he has a lot of those skills, shot 36 percent from three last season, and is one of the best passing bigs in the league. While conditioning can be an issue, he’s more nimble than he gets credit for and plays solid defense because of it.

Diaw is slated to make a very reasonable $7 million this season, with a team option for $7.5 million next season — that also will draw the interest of a lot of teams. The Spurs shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a team to take him on.

Without Durant, does Oklahoma City have to trade Russell Westbrook, rebuild?

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Oklahoma City came within a game of being in the NBA Finals, where they certainly would have been at least very competitive.

Within a year, they could be another rebuilding team in a small market.

It’s all in the hands of Russell Westbrook.

Kevin Durant has decided to play for the Golden State Warriors. There is an understandable sense of shock and betrayal by Thunder fans — they look back at the final minutes of Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals and realize that has forever changed the franchise. KD praised Oklahoma City on his way out the door, but for Thunder fans it feels like Durant went back on his words and who he said he was.

That doesn’t change the fact that in the coming weeks and months, Oklahoma City’s front office faces a very difficult decision:

Do they need to trade Westbrook? If so, then it’s time to begin a total rebuild.

The trade Westbrook question comes down to this: Does he want to stay? Westbrook is a free agent next summer. The Thunder need to sit down with Westbrook and his agent/team soon and get a sense of his plans. They can offer him a contract renegotiation and extension, something Brian Windhorst at ESPN says they will propose. They can give him three more years and add $8 million more to the deal, according to the report. However, even if he wants to stay, he will not take the extension because under the CBA he makes way more money becoming a free agent then re-signing with his team.

There is a sense from some in the league that Westbrook was always drawn to the bright lights of a bigger market, and with Durant gone he would bolt, too.

That’s not the feeling inside the Thunder front office. They have felt Durant was the one feeling the pull of outside forces to leave. Now the Thunder is Westbrook’s team, OKC believes he wants that and they can sell him on staying because and being the lone star with all the top billing.

However, if Westbrook says he’s going to take meetings with other teams next summer and hasn’t made up his mind, then the Thunder need to look at the trade market for Westbrook to get something for him now and jump start a rebuild. The Thunder would not get equal value back in a trade, but if they feel he might leave next summer they need to get some return rather than the nothing they get if he leaves as a free agent.

Westbrook would have some leverage in this trade — because he is a free agent next summer, if he tells a market “I will not re-sign with you” said team would be foolish to give up assets to get him.

If he does want a change, there are a couple of star-hungry teams that may entice Westbrook. Boston just landed Al Horford, and they are loaded with young assets and draft picks that could interest the Thunder. Put Westbrook and Horford with Isaiah Thomas and good role players, and it’s a team that could threaten Cleveland in the East.

Westbrook’s hometown Lakers is another option. The sides could exchange point guards — D'Angelo Russell — and the Lakers have other interesting young pieces that Thunder may value. Even with Westbrook and young players like Brandon Ingram, the Lakers would be a few years away (certainly they are no immediate threat to Golden State, and they would be worse than OKC with Westbrook). The pitch in L.A. is Westbrook would take over for Kobe Bryant as the face of the franchise, and this could be a very good team in a few years with other smart moves by management (Westbrook would need to decide if he trusts the current Laker management to make those moves).

There are numerous other teams that would be interested as well, from Miami through New York. Westbrook and the Thunder would have options.

Oklahoma City just hopes not to go down that road.

OKC faces other tough questions, too. The big one: Should they match offers from other teams to keep Dion Waiters (or just re-sign the restricted free agent)?

It sucks in the wake of the emotional, heartbreaking loss of Durant for Thunder fans to contemplate moving their other star, but Thunder management has no choice. Durant made his decision, and it has forced other, tough ones on the Thunder. Decisions with no perfect answer.

But in the end the call on Westbrook is clear cut: If he’s going to leave next summer, they need to get something for him while they can.

Report: Warriors, Mavericks have “agreement in principle” to send Andrew Bogut to Dallas

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Golden State has some players to move to clear out enough cap space to sign Kevin Durant. The Warriors will renounce the rights to Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes, making them both free agents — Barnes has reached an agreement to sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a $94.4 million max deal.

Andrew Bogut is going to join him in Dallas.

Not long after the Durant decision the Warriors and Mavericks started talking — Dallas wants a center, and becuse they are well below the salary cap they could absorb Bogut’s $11 million salary for next season and send nothing back. The two sides have reached an understanding, reports Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had been reporting all along this would happen.

For Dallas, it makes them a playoff team in the West, starting Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, and Bogut. For a team that started free agency being used as leverage by Hassan Whiteside, Nicolas Batum, and Mike Conley, they have landed on their feet with a solid team.

If I need to explain to you why the Warriors are doing this, you’ve been drinking too much on the Fourth.