Tag: NBA Free Agency

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs, Game 3

Bulls, Clippers going hard after wing players Butler, Prince

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The Chicago Bulls need a wing player to create shots and take some scoring burden off Derrick Rose. The Los Angeles Clippers need a wing player to fill out a roster with Eric Gordon at the guard spot and Blake Griffin in the paint.

Both teams have started to reach out to guys like Caron Butler and Tayshaun Prince and are making a hard push.

Butler’s preferred destinations are the Clippers or Bulls, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Butler is most attracted to the Bulls because of the chance to play with Derrick Rose and compete for a title, but he would have to take significantly less money to play in Chicago. The Bulls have a stronger need for a shooting guard and could ultimately spend their money there. Ultimately, that leaves the Clippers with an edge over the New Jersey Nets among the suitors with the most significant cap space and a need for a starting small forward.

“He sees the Clippers with a more stable foundation of players,” one source familiar with Butler’s thinking said. “He isn’t sure about Deron Williams’ future in New Jersey, and having a chance to win will be a big part of this.”

A lot of players are not sold on New Jersey yet (including Deron Williams, apparently). For the record Butler is working out in Chicago while waiting to see where he lands.

The Clippers really like the idea of Prince as he is a three who can both score and defend, would not take shots away from Gordon and Griffin but would be efficient with the ones he does.

Any move would likely be a sign-and-trade that would send center Chris Kaman to Detroit, reports the Detroit News. Kaman is a Michigan native and is a $12 million expiring contract. Plus, Kaman at the five moves Greg Monroe over to the four, which may be a better spot for him. The Clippers want to turn the center spot over to DeAndre Jordan, who they need to re-sign as a free agent.

Look for the Clippers to land one of these two. The Bulls really need a two guard and Butler is really a three who could fill the role if healthy. There just are not a lot of good options on the market right now, so the Bulls may push.

In the end, however, it comes down to who can pay. And right now (before things like Blake Griffin’s extension kicks in) the Clippers can afford to pay.

Deron Williams turns down extension with Nets, may not be leaving


Deron Williams is going to become a free agent. But that doesn’t mean he will not lead the team into Brooklyn next season — it’s just all about the money.

On the face of it this certainly does sound dire — the agent for Williams has told the Bergen Record that his client will not sign an extension with the Nets and plans to become a free agent.

“Deron will not be signing the extension,” Jeff Schwartz told The Record this afternoon. “Based on the new rules it doesn’t make any sense for him to sign the extension. It has nothing to do with how much he likes New Jersey. Because of the rules, he’s going to play the season out and probably opt out of his deal….”

According to the new rules, Williams can get a two-year extension from the Nets for roughly $39 million that would be tacked on to the two years, $31 million he has remaining on his deal. If Williams opts out after the season, he could get five years, and about $101 million from the Nets or four years and $73 million from another team.

He had to opt out to get the bigger payday. It’s all about the money.

Well, not all. This does put pressure on the Nets to build a team that Williams thinks can compete in the East — there will be no shortage of teams willing to pay him the $73 million if he wants to leave. And considering he will get a fifth year somewhere (barring a catastrophic injury) likely worth at least $15 million, he’s really leaving closer to $13 million (or $2.6 million a season) to go elsewhere. That may be worth it for the chance to win.

But if the Nets find another key piece — Dwight Howard would be ideal — you can bet Williams will re-sign with the Nets. Just as a free agent.

Report: Thunder working to buy out Nate Robinson

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three

You can add Nate Robinson to your list of free agents that fans love way more than GMs do.

Not officially, yet. Officially and through Dec. 9 Robinson is a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder set to make $4.5 million next season. But the two sides are working on a buyout, tweets J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today.

Nate Robinson will be bought out by #Thunder so he can become free agent. They tried to do this before the lockout. Working on it now.

This is mostly about roster space — after coming over from the Celtics last year (in the Kendrick Perkins trade) Robinson was used in just four Thunder games and played only 12 minutes total in the playoffs. He’s not part of the Thunder’s rotation.

It will not save the Thunder money, unless they decide to use the stretch provision of the new CBA (which seems unlikely for one year at just $4.5 million). That full salary will stay on the Thunder’s cap for this season, minus half of any deal he signs somewhere else. (So if Robinson signs with a team for $1 million, the Thunder get $500,000 off the cap.)

Teams looking for some scoring punch off the bench and a guy who will get the fan base excited may want Robinson. He’s not efficient, but he is entertaining.

Free agent Caron Butler drawing interest from power teams

Caron Butler

Caron Butler is 32 years old and coming off knee surgery that forced him to miss the second half of last season and the playoffs for the Dallas Mavericks. Injured and getting old (by NBA standards) is not usually a combo that has teams clamoring for a guy.

But in a sign of the market and respect for Butler, a lot of big-time teams with title aspirations are lining up for a shot to bring him in.

Here is the list via at tweet from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

Six teams have expressed early interest in UFA Caron Butler: Nets, Clippers, Bulls, Heat, Spurs and Knicks, per sources.

You can add the Mavericks to that list, as well. Dallas may have a massive payroll but as the most punitive parts of the luxury tax don’t kick in for a couple years Mark Cuban is willing to spend a little. Plus, with Butler in the lineup the first half of last season the Mavs were a power (that they maintained it in the playoffs with him gone was the impressive part).

As for the other teams, the Heat could use him to space the floor (he shot 43.1 percent from three pre-injury last season) and he would be a slasher who could spell those other wing guys Miami has on the roster.

He would be a fantastic answer for the Bulls at the two guard spot, a guy who can create shots so it all doesn’t fall to Derrick Rose. The Spurs need anybody athletic on the wing for depth and Butler qualifies. The Clippers desperately need a three and Butler would be an upgrade for them. He’s be an upgrade at the two for the Knicks and Butler’s respectable defense is an upgrade over what they have had at the wing. The Nets need every warm body they can get, Butler qualifies.

With all these teams in the bidding you can expect the price for Butler to be up around the mid-level exception of $5 million. Not cheap, but worth it if Butler is healthy and has bounced back to his old self of a slightly above average NBA wing. If not… well, that;s the risk.

Agents can call teams Wednesday, team facilities open Thursday


The NBA is getting back to business.

On Wednesday agents of NBA players can contact teams (something that has been going on through back channels anyway but now can happen directly). No deals can be official until Dec. 9.

On Thursday, NBA players can return to team facilities for voluntary workouts, so tweets Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was first with this news). Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com also confirmed this.

For the players on teams already it means a chance to workout and play pick-up games with their teammates. It is not chance for coaches to work with players — team officials cannot coach or have anything but incidental contact with players. Although, you can bet this is skirted a bit, especially key for teams where there is a new coach or considerable player turnover. It’s a chance to install some system items before training camps officially open.

But the real action will begin with the agents. While technically teams are not supposed to enter into verbal agreements with players, you can be sure lot of handshake deals will be in place and just formalized on Dec. 9. That allows free agents to be with teams at the start of training camp. There will start to be a flurry of activity, and you will also see agents of lesser-known players working to get their guys camp invites.