Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves

Report: Gary Neal agrees to one-year, $2.1 million deal with Wizards

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Washington has done pretty well for itself this summer despite Paul Pierce leaving for the Clippers (which he might regret right about now).

They already had Otto Porter — who is ready for a step into the spotlight — reached a deal with solid veteran Jared Dudley, and they drafted for the potential future on the wing with Kelly Oubre. They can keep playing smaller at the four (as they did with Pierce in the playoffs), and they will have depth.

Now they’ve added more help on the wing with veteran shooter Gary Neal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

J. Michael at CSNWashington.com explains how they filled a real need with this signing — and in a way that doesn’t hurt plans down the line.

Neal fills a glaring hole behind Bradley Beal at shooting guard, giving the Wizards a 6-4 career 38.1% shooter from three-point range. The deal also meets a key requirement for the Wizards: short-term and no impact on the salary cap for 2016 when they want maximum money available to pursue Kevin Durant.

The Wizards still have their mid-level exception to use. More than that, they have been shopping Nene around the league and as other teams miss out on their free agent targets those talks may gain more traction.

Report: DeAndre Jordan agrees to four-year, $80 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five
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DeAndre Jordan is choosing his native Texas — and a more featured role in the offense — over staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.

He has chosen to play for thee Dallas Mavericks, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.

Soon a number of others confirmed the deal, including Marc Spears of Yahoo confirmed this news. Some reports said both the Mavericks and Clippers were informed of the decision.

This, along with the signing of Wesley Matthews, will constitute another huge off-season for the Mavericks and make them one of the top teams in the West.

Chandler Parsons, who helped recruit Dwight Howard to Houston when Parsons was a Rocket, has been glued to the hip of Jordan for days trying to sway him toward Dallas. That guy should be a college coach someday the way he recruits.

This is a massive blow to the Clippers, a team that up until a few days was confident that Jordan would return. Doc Rivers built up Jordan’s career — got him to focus on his strengths, put him in better spots on the floor, built up the confidence that Vinny Del Negro had torn down — but Rivers could not convince Jordan to stay. Chris Paul tried to contact him and smooth over their relationship, but that also ended up not being enough.

Los Angeles does not have much cap space left to replace Jordan, just mid-level exception money of around $5.5 million (once Jordan signs). That got them Spencer Hawes a year ago, and we all saw how that worked out. The Clippers may try to get Dallas to do a sign and trade to create a trade exception, and they may try to trade for another center (such as Nene, who would fit in that slot), but they are not gong to land anyone of near the same quality.

Jordan was named first-team NBA All-Defensive Team this past season, he led the NBA in rebounding at 15 a game and he averaged 11.5 points a game on a league-best 71 percent shooting.

Jordan doesn’t feel he gets enough recognition for these kinds of accomplishments — for example, he’s never made the All-Star Team — in part because he has played behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (plus he and the ultra-competitive CP3 have had rough patches). In Dallas, Jordan would be the No. 2 option (at least that’s what they told him), and he would get the recognition he seeks from their marketing efforts, plus he’d be going home to Texas.

Jordan is leaving almost $30 million on the table (the Clippers offered five years, $109 million, a max offer), leaving Los Angeles (where he likes living) and leaving a sure fire contender with the Clippers.

But what he really wants is in Texas

Report: D’Andre Jordan informs Knicks they are out of running

DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler
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This is about as surprising an announcement as the coming “LeBron James has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers” one.

DeAndre Jordan is not going to be a Knick.

Jordan as been choosing between going home to Texas and joining the Mavericks or staying put with the Clippers for a while now, so Jordan’s people let the Knicks know where things stood, allowing them to get on with their Robin Lopez contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Knicks will now finalize their four-year, $54 million deal with Lopez (because of a league-wide moratorium, no contract can be signed until July 9). This is a quality pickup for the Knicks. It gives them a solid big man in the paint who can defend the rim, is strong on the offensive glass, and while he will not score much he stays in his lane on that end and basically only finishes near the rim. If Knicks fans are balking at the price tag for Lopez (an averaged of $13.5 million a year) remember that the salary cap is about to spike by about $40 million over two years — this deal is going to look like a steal in a couple years. Howard Beck of Bleacher Report put it well on Twitter.

PBT Extra: Free agent signings we didn’t love

Brandon Knight
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There is certainly truth in the idea that there are no terrible contract decisions being made this summer — even if you overpay a guy who doesn’t fit, in two years when the salary cap is $108 million instead of $69, you’ll be able to move the problem pretty easily.

That said, there are certainly contracts that have been handed out that left me shaking my head a little.

A couple of those are in Phoenix, where I’m not the Brandon Knight fan their front office seems to be. That said, in this market even if these deals are misses, they are correctable ones.

 

It’s only a phone call, but Lakers reportedly talk to Rajon Rondo

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans
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So far, the only serious suitor Rajon Rondo has seen in the wake of his disastrous time in Dallas has been the Sacramento Kings. And after talking to Rondo and hearing his requests, the Kings decided to try and overpay both Monta Ellis and Wesley Matthews. (To no avail, Ellis is headed to Indiana and Matthews to Dallas.)

But Rondo’s phone has rung again — the Lakers have touched base, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

I don’t think we can say enough, this is just a phone call. It is nothing more than that right now.

The Lakers have two potentially very good young guards in Jordan Clarkson and the just drafted D’Angelo Russell. While the Lakers keep selling fans on speeding up the rebuild process by landing a superstar, the team remains on track to put together the kind of talented young roster that in a couple years could be attractive to those kinds of free agents. (Although, trading away their pick for next season in the Steve Nash deal certainly slows things down.)

I’m not sure bringing in Rondo helps that process. He and Kobe Bryant may get along because they are both uber competitive, but Rondo’s lack of a reliable jump shot has made him defendable, and his defense is good but not as good as its reputation. Look at it this way: During the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks had better numbers when Raymond Felton was on the court than Rondo.

I don’t think the Lakers are all that serious here. That said, if they could get Rondo on a short deal for less than $7 million a season, they might think about it.