Tag: Atlanta Hawks

DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Henderson, Bismack Biyombo

Report: Bismack Biyombo agrees to two-year deal with Raptors


Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent center Bismack Biyombo has agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract with the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Biyombo joins forward DeMarre Carroll as the second free agent to agree to a deal with the Raptors this week. Together, Biyombo and Carroll – who agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal – are expected to play a part in reshaping the Raptors’ defense next season.

Bringing in Biyombo will certainly help defensively. He’s undersized at the center position, but is an active rebounder who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work down low, and has a knack for blocking shots.

Two years for $6 million in total is a bargain for the Raptors for someone who can provide you with 20 solid minutes off the bench — as long as he’s not expected to score.

Biyombo has played all four of his NBA seasons in Charlotte, and averaged 4.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots in 19.4 minutes per game for the Hornets last season. Toronto is looking to improve a defense that finished the year ranked 23rd in efficiency.

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)

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: Lakers and Knicks didn’t offer Greg Monroe maximum contracts (update: agent says otherwise)


Update: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Look, I don’t know. David Falk has incentive to say his client had more max offers. The Knicks and Lakers have incentive to say they missed on Monroe due to their own financial decisions rather than on-court ineptitude.

Either way, I think it would have been reasonable for the Knicks and Lakers to offer or not offer Monroe the max. And if they didn’t offer the max, they surely came close.


Are the Lakers and Knicks striking out in free agency?

Or are they just being patient?

Score one for patience with Greg Monroe, who agreed to a three-year max contract with the Bucks.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Monroe plans to join a young core of talent with the Bucks, who made a strong commitment to Monroe after the Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks didn’t offer full maximum contracts, league sources said.

I think Monroe is worth a max contract to the Bucks and most teams with cap space this summer and a need for a center.

But the Lakers and Knicks, who have cap space and need centers, are different.

Part of the appeal of signing Monroe now is not having to compete for free agents with the huge number of teams that will have max cap space next summer. The Lakers and Knicks don’t have to worry as much about that, though. They can secure meetings with most, if not every, major free agent due to their prominent markets.

They can aim higher.

Presumably, they have more info about 2016 free agents than I do. If they think they have a legitimate chance at LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Al Horford or some other star, it’s fine to bid less for Monroe.

But here’s what confuses me with the Knicks: There were multiple reports of them being close to signing Monroe. Maybe those reports were just incorrect. If so, ignore this. But if they accurately reflected the Knicks’ perception, that’s troubling. Did they not realize Monroe would get a max offer elsewhere? If so, that’s a bad misread of the market, and that’s a bad sign going forward.

Lakers and Knicks fans should cautiously accept their teams missing on Monroe. But at a certain point, the Lakers and Knicks need to sign someone better to justify it.

Lakers, Knicks struggle on hectic first day of free agency

150702 philjackson

There were clear winners on the first day of NBA free agency, where an estimated $1.3 billion in contracts were handed out. The Cleveland Cavaliers are getting the band back together, reaching deals with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. The Golden State Warriors kept Draymond Green in house. The Toronto Raptors impressed and signed DeMarre Carroll. The Pelicans re-signed Anthony Davis and Omer Asik. The Phoenix Suns landed Tyson Chandler and re-signed Brandon Knight, then impressed LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs also impressed LMA and they re-signed Danny Green at a great price. The Hawks retained Paul Millsap.

As Knicks rookie Jerian Grant said: “Is this free agency or Oprah? You get a max, you get a max, you get a max…”

Yet, the Lakers and Knicks were left standing there, empty handed.

Early in day two of free agency, the Knicks landed Arron Afflalo, a nice pickup but not the game changer their fans have been hoping to see.

These are two of the games biggest brands, in the nation’s two largest markets, both with plenty of cash to spend on free agents, yet both looked woefully behind the times and unable to adjust to the new realities of the NBA.

It is just one day and both will get chances at other big names — the Knicks have long been linked to Greg Monroe, and the Lakers had the opportunity to pitch him as well (update: Monroe chose the Milwaukee Bucks). DeAndre Jordan and others are still on the board.

But both franchises are learning hard lessons.

Free agents now want more than off-the-court opportunities, they want to see a path to winning. Fast. They can live and work out in Los Angeles in the summer if they want the perks of the city, they want to be shown the analytics of how this team can help them win on the court. Now. Social media has altered the world of off-the-court endorsements, being in a big market isn’t as big an advantage as it once was. Today’s free agents want to know how the team can help them grow their brand by landing them on the biggest NBA stages — the playoffs, The Finals, prime-time games on Christmas Day, All-Star Games.

And right now, the Lakers and Knicks are bad basketball teams.

David West was blunt about it talking about the Knicks.

Those struggles on the court permeate the teams’ big pitches to free agents.

The Lakers were one of the co-frontrunners to land LaMarcus Aldridge heading into free agency, and they got the first meeting with the All-Star forward. But their most dynamic speakers are the people on the business side of the equation, Aldridge was left wanting on the basketball side. From a source that spoke to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

Aldridge considered the Lakers to be part of a “two-horse race” with the San Antonio Spurs and “wanted to be wowed” but was actually turned off by the lack of analytics on the basketball side of their presentation, according to the person….

The Lakers also contended that their analytics outline would have been stronger if they had a better roster last season. The team privately expressed envy that Houston’s presentation could be boasted by stats and on-court analysis of a team with James Harden and, indeed, Dwight Howard.

The Rockets are also far more invested in those analytics. Meanwhile, the Lakers are trying social media campaigns that both seem dated and that the NBA made them take down anyway.

To a degree, this is the impact the other 28 NBA owners wanted with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement — they wanted to take away as much of the inherent advantages of big, profitable franchises as they could. They made the price for continually exceeding the luxury tax so onerous — not just financially, but taking away sign-and-trades and limiting cap exceptions to big-spending teams — that everyone is far more on the same financial playing field.

The Lakers and Knicks have seemed slow to adapt to that new reality. Around the league, they are seen as two teams less willing to embrace the analytics that have driven teams like Golden State, San Antonio and Miami in recent seasons. Both Lakers coach Byron Scott and Knicks head honcho Phil Jackson have at points dismissed the value of the three-point shot. You can try to defend the context of those statements, but the impression was left of two dinosaurs trying to win their same old-school way.

The reality is that rebuilding can be slow and hard. The Lakers can point to an excellent young core of players — D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson — and try to paint a picture of how there is hope for the future of the franchise in their hands. It’s a good picture — but players like Aldridge, at age 30, are not going to wait around for that moment. They want to see good basketball teams now. The Lakers and Knicks are just not that.

Free agency is far from over; all is not lost with either of these franchises this summer. As noted before, Monroe is certainly in play, and with the cash to spend the Lakers and Knicks are going to get the attention of other quality players still on the market.

But day one was rough in Los Angeles and New York.

Who is left on the board after wild first day of NBA free agency?

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

That was insane.

NBA teams agreed to $1.3 billion in contract money in the first 24 hours of free agency, in what was as hectic a first day as anyone can recall. The CBA worked as the owners intended — small market teams did just as well (actually, much better) than the big markets and most free agents took the extra money and security their current teams could offer. Guys stayed home (19 out of 26 guys did not change teams of the early signings).

So who is left on the board as we head into Day 2? Here are the biggest names out there still.

LeBron James — Like he’s leaving Cleveland. He’s a free agent in name only.

Marc Gasol — He also is out there in name only, the Grizzlies will have a deal with him by the end of the day. It’s just that the deal is being worked out in Spain, in between tapas and siestas, so it’s moving at a different pace.

LaMarcus Aldridge — He has a couple more meetings on Thursday, including with the Knicks and Raptors, before sitting down and figuring out where he wants to play next. The Spurs remain the front-runners, they impressed him with their pitch, plus he gets to go home to Texas and step straight on to a contender. However, Portland, Phoenix and everyone but the Lakers are still holding out hope.

DeAndre Jordan — The athletic center has had a few meetings, and it is thought to be a 50/50 decision between the Mavericks and Clippers. In Dallas he gets to go home to Texas and be a bigger part of the offense; but the Clippers offer more money, he likes living in Los Angeles and playing for Doc Rivers, plus they are legit title contenders.

Greg Monroe — Maybe the most open name on the board. The young center played for relative peanuts last season to get this moment, and the Knicks and Lakers are both very interested. However, both Portland and Milwaukee have made strong impressions and are in the mix. He’s going to get a max, he just has to decide where he wants to play.

Dwyane Wade — He and the Miami Heat need each other, and they are reportedly closing in on a deal. There isn’t much of a market outside Miami for his skills, unless he wants to take less money than he felt insulted by when the Heat offered it.

Robin Lopez — He has had interest from a number of teams, but for the Knicks and Bucks the veteran big man is kind of Plan B after Monroe. Lopez is going to get paid then bring solid defense and a hatred of mascots to wherever he chooses.

Wesley Matthews — He tore his Achilles last season and, while reportedly ahead of schedule on rehab, teams can’t expect him to be right for at least half if not all of this next season. That said, he has shown zero interest in taking a discount — he wants $15 million per year or more. Dallas is considered the front-runner for maybe the best “3 and D” guy in the league (because he can do more than just that), but other teams such as the Kings are interested.

Tobias Harris — With Orlando striking out on Paul Millsap (who stayed in Atlanta) it may take a max offer to get the Magic not to match (Harris is a restricted free agent). The Pistons, Lakers, Knicks and others have reportedly been interested, but will any of them put that much money on the table for the young forward?

Monta Ellis — The Pacers meet with Ellis on Thursday, and that may be a match. The Pacers need shot creation and playmaking, plus they have the money to pay. The Kings also are said to be interested, and more may come calling.

Other names on the board: Lou Williams, Rodney Stuckey, Jared Dudley, Ed Davis, Kosta Koufos and Patrick Beverley (he’s restricted, the Rockets can match any offer).