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Report: Jabari Parker wants to join Bulls

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The Bulls are clearing cap space for… something.

Maybe Jabari Parker?

Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:

The Bulls are about $20 million below the salary cap. The Bucks are about $15 million below the hard cap.

This appears to be shaping up to an offer sheet that would require Milwaukee to make significant moves to match.

The Bucks probably wouldn’t go to that effort. They triggered the hard cap by signing Ersan Ilyasova knowing it might mean losing Parker, and Parker has been an awkward fit in Milwaukee. He somewhat clashes with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who – for what it’s worth – expressed a desire to retain Parker, anyway.

I’m hardly convinced Parker fits better with Lauri Markkanen in Chicago. Neither can defend the rim, and Parker has only barely flashed sound defense (not a strength of Markkanen’s either, though he’s far less proven). They would pair nicely offensively with their high skill levels, Markkanen more of a deep shooter and Parker capable from all areas of the floor.

Parker’s injury history is scary anywhere, though.

That same concern didn’t stop the Bulls from matching Zach LaVine‘s offer sheet. It might not keep them from trying to pry Parker, either.

That’d be welcome news for Parker, a Chicago native who has seemingly gained little traction with other teams in restricted free agency.

Report: 76ers re-signing J.J. Redick to one-year contract worth $12M-$13M

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The 76ers were holding out hope for LeBron James.

But with LeBron signing with the Lakers, Philadelphia is turning to other business – like re-signing J.J. Redick.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

That’s not nearly as much as the $23 million Redick made last year, but it’s still probably a higher salary than the 34-year-old could have fetched on the open market. Few spending teams have more than the $8,641,000 mid-level exception available.

But the 76ers are paying extra for flexibility. Other teams might have offered Redick more on a multi-year contract. Philadelphia paid a premium next season to keep its book cleaner for 2019.

The 76ers need shooting around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and Redick will provide plenty. With Marco Belinelli (Spurs) and Ersan Ilyasova (Bucks) departing, Redick became more of a priority on a team ready to win now.

This contract will allow Philadelphia to aim even higher in the long-term, too.

LeBron James’ people (but not LeBron) to meet with Philadelphia Sunday

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The Philadelphia 76ers have always been a dark horse in the LeBron James sweepstakes (and in a Kawhi Leonard trade, and that’s part of this story). If LeBron wants to win titles and stay in the East, the Sixers with him — combined with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — would be a ready-made challenger to the existing powers of Boston/ Golden State/Houston. However, the City of Brotherly Love never seemed to be on the top of LeBron’s list.

That said, LeBron’s management team is set to meet with the Sixers on Sunday, a story reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

A high-level Philadelphia 76ers contingent is meeting with LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, on Sunday in Los Angeles, league sources told ESPN.

James isn’t expected to attend the meeting, which is the first significant chance for the 76ers to make case a free-agent case to James, league sources said. Ownership and possibly interim president of basketball operations/coach Brett Brown are expected to lead the meeting with James’ representatives, sources said.

The Sixers can offer a max contract, so they meet that basic requirement.

What will be discussed in this meeting? To start with, LeBron’s role with the team and the plans to fill out the roster — a LeBron/Embiid/Simmons core needs a lot of shooting around it and the Sixers did not retain Ersan Ilyasova or Marco Belinelli, plus J.J. Redick is a free agent. How would the Sixers get the shooting and depth needed to maximize those elite talents?

Then there is Kawhi Leonard — the Sixers believe they are seriously in the mix to land him. Whether that is true or San Antonio just want to use Philly for leverage is up for debate, but the Sixers are at least at the table.

After that, there will be a discussion of organizational philosophy, marketing plans for LeBron, and just the two sides getting a sense of what the other really wants.

It’s unlikely that LeBron ends up in Philly, but if nothing else the meeting is a reminder to the Lakers they are not alone in chasing No. 23 — he has options. It puts a little more pressure on L.A. to make the moves LeBron wants.

Report: Marco Belinelli returning to Spurs on two-year, $12 million contract

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As Kawhi Leonard has thrown the Spurs into crisis, they’re coping with comfort.

Continuing a trend from last summer, San Antonio is showing how much it values continuity. The Spurs have already agreed to re-sign Rudy Gay, and they’ll also bring back Marco Belinelli, who helped them win the 2014 title.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

At 32, Belinelli remains a dangerous 3-point shooter. His defense is lacking, though.

San Antonio’s depth chart at shooting guard is getting crowded – Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Lonnie Walker and now Belinelli. Considering how much Gregg Popovich values resting veterans, maybe that will work out just fine.

The 76ers have now lost both their big midseason acquisitions, Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova (who also returned to a prior team, the Bucks). Philadelphia will need to find shooting, which could include but shouldn’t be limited to re-signing J.J. Redick.

Ersan Ilyasova reportedly agrees to three-year, $21 million deal with Bucks

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Milwaukee needs shooting. They have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe (and Malcolm Brogdon and others) who can drive and dish, but they need to space the floor and have shooting to make new coach Mike Budenholzer’s system to work.

Enter Ersan Ilyasova.

The Turkish stretch four who shot 36 percent from three last season and helped the Philadelphia 76ers down the stretch and in the postseason is headed back to Milwaukee, where he started his career, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Ilyasova will come off the bench and provide a scoring punch for the Bucks, giving them a quality veteran who can fill it up and play a postseason role for them.

The interesting question: What does this mean for Jabari Parker? With a lot of players moving fast to grab money in a tight market, he could be a guy who is forced to take a one-year deal or something far less than he thought — maybe with the Bucks, maybe not, but they can low-ball him a little — because the market is drying up fast.