Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls talking contract extension

2 Comments

nba_noah_250.jpgHe’s one of the guys (along with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng) that the Bulls kept selling to free agents as an important part of their future, part of their core.

So the Bulls had better lock up Joakim Noah to a longer term deal. And, according to Noah, via ESPNChicago.com, those talks are already underway.

Noah said his agent, Donald Dell, has already started discussing the parameters of a deal with Bulls general manager Gar Forman and the 25-year-old is confident the parties can work something out in the near future.

“Of course that’s the goal,” he told ESPNChicago.com after a charity event for his Noah’s Arc Foundation in Queens on Friday night. “I’m not really worried about it. I think everything’s going to happen with time and at the end of the day, I’m really excited about the upcoming season.”

Noah is in the fourth year of his rookie deal; he will make $3.1 million this season, then would be a restricted free agent next summer.

The Bulls selling Noah as part of their future has to have driven up his price. Probably not as high as Rose, however, who should get a max or near-max deal next summer (under whatever the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement are).

Report: Celtics favored to sign Kemba Walker, who’s apart from Hornets in contract talks

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kemba Walker and the Hornets have called each other their priorities in free agency. Walker even said he’d take a discount from the super-max contract – projected to be worth $221 million over five years – he’s eligible to sign with Charlotte.

But apparently Charlotte still isn’t offering enough.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Celtics have jumped into the Walker chase after it became apparent Kyrie Irving and Al Horford would depart. Boston can open max cap space by renouncing all its free agents.

Walker would replace Irving at point guard, maintaining a star level at the position. Though less talented than Irving, Walker brings far less drama. It’s easy to see the Celtics making up for the talent drop with better cohesion.

Barring other moves to open cap space, Boston signing Walker would push Terry Rozier into unrestricted free agency. That sounds like what Rozier wants. But by holding Rozier’s matching rights until his qualifying offer gets pulled, the Celtics can keep him as a fallback option until Walker decides.

For Walker, playing in Boston would mean returning to New England after starring in college at UConn. He’d also upgrade supporting casts. The star guard has made the playoffs just twice in eight seasons with Charlotte. The Celtics would be strong favorites to make the postseason and maybe good enough to make a deep run, depending how Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown develop and whom Boston gets at center.

The Celtics’ max offer projects to be worth $141 million over four years. That leaves plenty of room for the Hornets to come over the top – if they so choose. But Charlotte will be capped out and mediocre with or without Walker. With him, the luxury tax becomes a significant concern.

This leak sounds like an attempt to pressure the Hornets into a bigger offer. I’m not sure whether they’ll go for it.

When free agency begins Sunday, Walker can also hear pitches from teams like the Mavericks and Lakers. Walker has specifically said he couldn’t see himself playing for the Knicks, and New York will reportedly roll over cap space if Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard don’t come.

But people sometimes change their minds.

Report: Timberwolves offered Andrew Wiggins to Nets in sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell

AP Photo/Hannah Foslien
Leave a comment

Rumors have swirled about D'Angelo Russell signing with the Timberwolves in free agency this summer.

The huge question: How would capped-out Minnesota make that happen?

Darren Wolfson of SKOR North:

I am told there was some dialogue with Brooklyn to see if the Nets would have some interest in a sign-and-trade, Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell. I don’t sense those talks got even a smidge off the ground. I mean, the Nets are not taking on that contract.

Andrew Wiggins (four years, $122,242,800 remaining) might have the NBA’s worst contract. It’ll be hard to find any team that wants him. Brooklyn – which looks like favorites to land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – certainly isn’t using its cap space on Wiggins.

Maybe the Timberwolves have other ideas for getting Russell. This one obviously would’ve favored Minnesota. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

But if this was the Timberwolves’ plan, we can put the Russell-Minnesota rumors to bed.

Rudy Gobert says he’ll relinquish DPOY to little girl playing adorably intense defense (video)

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports
1 Comment

I’ve been looking all day for an excuse to post this video on a site called ProBasketballTalk.

Jazz center Rudy Gobertwho just won Defensive Player of the Year – provided it.

Gobert:

Everyone frets about young basketball players emulating Stephen Curry. But Patrick Beverley apparently also has influence.

Report: Knicks considering offering DeMarcus Cousins big one-year contract if they miss on stars

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Knicks will reportedly roll over their cap space if they don’t sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard this summer.

Of course, New York must still field a team for 2019-20. After six straight losing seasons – including a franchise-worst 17-65 this season – the Knicks might even want to be somewhat competitive.

A candidate to fill the roster: DeMarcus Cousins.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

If the Knicks are intent keeping cap space clear for 2020 (when the free-agent class looks weak) if they strike out this year, Cousins could make sense. His shot-creation skills would raise their floor. He was a star not long ago.

But leg injuries have sidetracked Cousins’ career. He’ll turn 29 before the season. It’s not certain he’ll ever return to form.

For that reason, Cousins might prioritize multi-year offers with more total compensation, even if the annual average salary is lower. He can’t assume he’ll stay healthy and productive next season and that huge offers will follow in 2020.

Of course, Cousins might not get those multi-year offers this summer. That’s why a one-year deal in New York could work for him. It’d be another chance to improve his stock, much like his season with the Warriors was supposed to provide.

I doubt either the Knicks or Cousins want this. New York prefers better players. Cousins surely desires a larger long-term deal. But they might have to settle for each other.