Tag: free agency

Steve Nash, Grant Hill

Who will Heat target in free agency? Just about everyone.


The party is still going on in Miami — they will be parading through downtown with the Larry O’Brien trophy on Monday and a whole lot of people are going to be “sick” from work to get down and be part of the festivities.

But in the Miami front office, there is no break. They likely will have five or six roster spots to fill for next season with guys like Ronny Turiaf, Dexter Pittman and others becoming free agents (I do not think Mike Miller is going to retire and leave $13 million on the table). Tweaking the roster starts with the draft on Thursday (No. 27 pick) and then their real work beings when free agency opens on Sunday.

Who are the Heat expected to target in free agency? Just about everyone, especially centers and knockdown shooters.

You know they will approach Ray Allen and Jason Terry. The Heat want a more traditional point guard so Steve Nash and Andre Miller will get a call. They need a big and Chris Kaman and Jermaine O’Neal are out there. They’ll probably even call Grant Hill.

But it comes with a catch — Miami has the mini mid-level of $3 million for one of those guys and after that it’s veteran minimum deals.

So, who wants to take a big pay cut to chase a ring? Shane Battier did that last year and after a lackluster season he stepped up big in the finals.

Nash has talked about wanting a ring, would he go to Miami… where they already have a couple serious ball handlers in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade? Would Allen become Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston and jump to the Heat? Not sure I see either of those, and the buzz is Andre Miller wants to get paid. You can question everyone on that list.

But know that Pat Riley is going to use his “come win a ring” sales pitch on everyone he thinks could help. And someone key is going to say yes.

Report: Deron Williams will only choose between Dallas and Brooklyn

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

They are the obvious choices, and now, it would appear, they are the only choices.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports:

When NBA free agency begins at midnight July 1, Brooklyn Nets star guard Deron Williams will be choosing from a two-team list that only features the Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com on Saturday night that, while this summer’s No. 1 free agent remains “up in the air” about which team he’ll ultimately chose, Williams already has made the decision to narrow his list of potential destinations to those two franchises.

via Deron Williams only interested in signing with Brooklyn Nets or Dallas Mavericks, sources say – ESPN New York.

This has seemingly been the case for a while, but having it confirmed by a source so close to the Mavericks in Stein is significant. Typically a lot of action in terms of both free agency and trades is held up for the biggest move. Teams want to make sure they’re out of the running for a star before making moves for the future. Knowing that it will definitely be one of those two teams makes life easier for the other franchises, of which Stein lists the Blazers, Rockets, Suns, and Lakers as interested parties.

The smart money’s on New Jersey. Which, you know, isn’t that smart at all.

The Nets can offer the most money and years by re-signing Williams under the new CBA, and their move to Brooklyn means more financial opportunities for the All-Star. Stein also reports Williams was scouting a locker at the new Barclay Center on a tour this week. There is every reason to believe that Williams will re-sign with the Nets and make Brooklyn his home, sending Dallas in a drastic new direction for the future.

Some helpful information about the Nets team Williams is so sure of:

  • They went 22-44 last year, but that’s OK, because it’s an improvement on the 24-58 record they had the year before. I mean, not much of one, but still!
  • Their next best player at the moment is a center with a severe foot injury that limited him all last season and has significant rebounding problems.
  • Their next best player would be Gerald Wallace, but he’s opting out into free agency. But that’s OK, because there’s a good chance he’ll re-sign. At age 30.
  • They only have six players on roster for next year (assuming they re-sign Lopez in restricted free agency for eight figures), but that’s OK, because one of them is Johan Petro for $3.5 million.
  • Their front office has swung out in the past two years in luring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard to their team, but that’s OK, because they traded their first-rounder to bring in Gerald Wallace who’s now a free agent last year.

Look, I’m not throwing this stuff out there to bag on the Nets. I want the Nets to be good. It’s good for the league. A New York-Brooklyn rivalry featuring multiple stars would be great for the league. Prokhorov being in the limelight would be hilariously good for the league. But Williams has stated he wants to contend. So why is this team even an option?

I know, I know. Dwight Howard. The plan, apparently, is for the Nets to sign Williams, then sign a bunch of free agents that Orlando wants, then trade those pieces plus Lopez who the Magic are “eh” about in order to get Howard. And that could happen. But is that going to be enough? Do they have anything resembling a supporting cast? Even if Wallace re-signs, is that enough? Is Williams, Howard, Wallace, and a poor supporting cast going to be better than what the Knicks have, let alone Miami?

But that’s where Williams’ mind is at. Dallas represents challenges, too, but it also features Dirk Nowitzki and an owner and management team with a proven track record that won the title a year ago.

Either way, there isn’t a perfect choice. At least Williams can limit that choice down to those two teams, though.

Report: Bulls considering moving Joakim Noah or Luol Deng for pick and cap exception

Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng

The Bulls are in a lot of trade conversations, which is kind of weird. The team was the No.1 overall seed in the playoffs despite Rose having missed all that time, and Rose was the number one, no questions asked, absolute reason the Bulls fell to the Sixers. Why would they mess with what’s working so well? But for whatever reason, either their people, or the people they’re talking to, are very chatty right now.

The newest one is a doozy. The New York Daily News reports the Bulls are seeking a trade for Luol Deng or Joakim Noah in exchange for a lottery pick and a trade exception. Yeah. A trade exception. From the NYDN:

The Bulls want to give Omer Asik and Taj Gibson new deals, so they’re exploring ways to trade Luol Deng and/or Joakim Noah to teams that can send them a trade exception and a No. 1 pick.

via After coaching a dynasty with the L.A. Lakers, Pat Riley is looking to do the same as president of the Miami Heat – NY Daily News.

Now, it’s  possible that this is the Bulls’ approach. Here’s why. If Bulls ownership is looking to cut future salary to ensure their ability to get under the luxury tax to avoid the repeater tax in 2015, they can get Asik and Gibson for cheaper deals overall than Deng and Noah. Deng’s got $27 million owed over the next two seasons, Noah is owed $48 million over the next four. Moving either one and having Asik and Gibson could help them keep the core together and avoid the repeater tax, especially if they amnesty Carlos Boozer.

Why would Bulls ownership just eat the Boozer salary in an amnesty situation? Wouldn’t that just equal the repeater penalty? Not necessarily. Remember that once Boozer hits waivers, any team can bid for part of his salary, which comes off what the Bulls have to pay him. Boozer has enough value that you just know a team would make a bid of up to half his remaining salary and still be getting a bargain. That, plus losing Noah and Deng’s money, would give the Bulls an out from the repeater tax, and some flexibility if they want to make another move.

That said… really?

Deng’s a top-five defender in this league, an NBA All-Star who’s shot has been on fire the past two seasons and plays perfectly next to Rose. Noah is a sparkplug center with versatility who you can lean on when someone’s missing or you need a play. You’re going to give that up for the subs and cap relief? It’s hard to believe, but one thing we’ve already seen is the league acting really weird in regards to that repeater tax. The Lakers and Mavericks have both been casting a wary eye towards it.

It could win up reshaping the league, and the Bulls could be a victim. For now, though, throw this one in the “probably not” pile.

Report: Hornets will match any offer for Eric Gordon

New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns

One of the ways people found to discredit the Hornets’ trade of Chris Paul to the Clippers (as opposed to trading him to the Lakers for three old guys, one of whom is a space cadet) was the question of Eric Gordon’s free agency. Either he wasn’t good enough as a return trade piece, or if he was, the Hornets wouldn’t be able to keep him in restricted free agency. Which is a little nuts.

First off, players, especially stars, almost always re-sign with their team coming off their rookie contract. The money and years is pivotal for establishing the raise structure and financial security. It’s just what’s done. It’s exceptionally rare that a quality player with significant money on the table walks away from the extra year and raise structure he gets from re-signing.

Second, the Hornets have the ability to match in restricted free agency. From there it just comes down to whether his injury history indicates that there would be a reason not to match. The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that that amount is apparently “more money than anything, ever” and that anything below that, the Hornets are matching and keeping the shooting guard.

But all indications point toward the Hornets making a concerted effort to re-sign their restricted free agent, shooting guard Eric Gordon.

New Orleans appears ready to match any offer Gordon might get on the open market, even if means extending him a maximum-money contract of five years worth $80 million.

via Trade gives New Orleans Hornets salary cap room for free-agent shopping | NOLA.com.

Honestly, given his injury history and everyone’s assurance that the Hornets will match, especially after clearing off that dead weight from their cap in the trade with Washington (thanks, Wiz! Enjoy Trevor Ariza’s 3-point percentage!), it’s likely that the Hornets get a break on him. They may not have to put the full max down for him. If so, great. If not, they’ve got a star shooting guard to pair with Anthony Davis and whoever they get with the No. 10.

That’s a foundation you can build on. This isn’t rocket science. It’s nice to talk about Indiana or whatever, but the most likely scenario in all circumstances is Gordon playing in the green and gold next year. He’s not going anywhere.

Jeff Green’s agent says things are going great for Jeff Green on the free agent market. Yeah.

Jeff Green

You have to be rooting for Jeff Green. The Oklahoma City scapegoat before Russell Westbrook took over the mantle, Green was traded to Boston with huge expectations, and before he could settle in, a serious heart condition that proved to be life-threatening ended his season and put his life in danger. Now he’s on the comeback trail. There’s every indication that Green will return none for the worse, ready to hit threes and probably not rebound, but make big plays (people tended to underrate his ball pressure skills on the perimeter).

One person who’s going to make sure everyone knows how great Green’s doing? His agent, David Falk who released a slew of advance reviews to S.com of Jeff Green like he’s selling the summer blockbuster.

“Audiences are thrilled! They say ‘Jeff Green’s Comeback’ is ‘Inspirational!’ – Bismarck Independent Christian Monitor, and ‘an action-packed ride that rivals ‘Die Hard!’ – the Hutchinson Free Conservative Report. ‘The most fun I’ve had with a combo-forward since Anthony Randolph!’ raves the Beaumont County Clerk’s Office.”

From SI.com:

Because Green became an unrestricted free agent in December after Boston withdrew its $9 million qualifying offer, teams are already calling Falk’s office to discuss his possible exodus from Beantown. Free agency negotiations won’t officially begin until July 1, but Falk said he has already had exploratory discussions with “12 to 14 teams.”

While there is a strong mutual interest in Green returning to the Celtics, Falk said it’s far from certain that it will turn out that way. Boston has nine unrestricted free agents in all, most notably Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. And judging by his view of the free agent market on the whole, Falk — who is best known as the longtime agent of Michael Jordan and an influential advocate of the league’s stars for the last 30 years — will be driving a hard bargain as always.

“With the possible exception of (Brooklyn point guard) Deron Williams, I think that Jeff will probably be the No. 1 unrestricted free agent on the market,” Falk said. “It’s not like we have LeBron (James) and (Dwyane) Wade and all these guys floating around.

“I’d be very surprised if Deron Williams winds up anywhere besides Dallas or New Jersey (Brooklyn). So the next guy in the pecking order is Jeff Green.”

via Jeff Green garnering plenty of interest while ex-team contends for a title – Sam Amick – SI.com.

Woah, woah, there, David. Don’t blow all your promotional budget in the first three weeks! Saves something for the Oscar push!

But you know what? Green can play. He needs to rebound better. He needs to find a solidified spot on the floor, a role with a team. But he can play. There’s been no indication that the heart condition is going to give him further problems. He’s got range to 30 feet. He’s athletic, and make plays, and may just need the right coach to put him in a position to succeed.

But wow, you have to be impressed with this effort from Falk. Dude that sold Michael Jordan isn’t backing off of the full-court press. Guy could sell ice cream to people living in Antarctica.