Posted by Ben Golliver.
On a shortened schedule with the conclusion of the NBA lockout, free agency is going to be fast and furious. To keep track of all the wheelings, dealings, rumors, and reports, check Eye on Basketball daily for the Free Agency Buzz.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 20119:51 p.m.
- DraftExpress.com reports that 19-year-old Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, will not be released by Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas so that he can join the Toronto Raptors during the 2011-2012 NBA season. The Raptors selected Valanciunas knowing that they might need to wait a year for contract purposes but a report surfaced earlier Saturday that said Toronto would investigate his potential availability now that the lockout has ended.
- The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent center Greg Oden will undergo a medical evaluation on Thursday that could lead to him being cleared for contact. Oden is expected to return to the court no earlier than January following a Nov. 2011 microfracture surgery. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft hasn't played in an NBA game since Dec. 2009.
- ESPN.com reports that the Golden State Warriors are chasing free agent centers Tyson Chandler and Kwame Brown.
- ESPN.com reports that the Toronto Raptors might hold off on making a free agency splash until next summer because they don't have a chance of landing Memphis Grizzlies restricted free agent center Marc Gasol and because they would need to amnesty someone to be able to make the big-dollar offer.
- The New York Post reports that the New Jersey Nets have a "quiet confidence" in their ability to sign Denver Nuggets free agent center Nene Hilario, with the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets seen as the top competition for his services.
- HoopsWorld.com reports that he Indiana Pacers would investigate a sign-and-trade for Memphis Grizzlies free agent center Marc Gasol with center Roy Hibbert to dangle as bait. The site also reports the Pacers have interest in free agent guard Jamal Crawford.
- SI.com reports that the trio of top-flight big men that are free agents -- Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilario -- are all looking for the biggest payday possible: "According to sources, Nene, Chandler and Gasol all set their early asking prices in the neighborhood of maximum-contract territory, starting at $14.8 million for Gasol, $17.7 annually for Nene, and $20.7 million for Chandler. There is plenty of crossover in their respective lists of salary-cap-friendly suitors, with the Nets, Rockets and Warriors appearing to be the hungriest shoppers, and the Pacers and Trail Blazers strolling the big man aisles as well."
- The Boston Herald quotes Billy Duffy, agent for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, in response to recent trade rumors involving his All-Star client: "It’s just disturbing. It’s disturbing for everybody. It’s disturbing for me. It’s disturbing for him, because it makes one think, ‘Where do I stand in this relationship?’ Particularly because he’s a darn good player, and this is a very successful franchise, and he’s one of the key players on the franchise. When the uncertainty of your situation becomes a prominent topic — not just within your household, but on a national basis — it is a bit challenging."
- ESPNLA.com reports that Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes has talked to Orlando Magice All-Star center Dwight Howard and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis and that both have expressed interest in playing for the Lakers.
- NBA.com reports that the San Antonio Spurs have joined the list of Caron Butler suitors as he could potentially be a replacement for disappointing forward Richard Jefferson. The other teams linked so far to Butler: Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and New Jersey Nets.
- The Boston Globe reports that David Falk, agent for Celtics forward Jeff Green, "hopes" he can reach a new deal with the Celtics and that his client "feels like he has unfinished business in Boston."
- The Detroit Free Press reports that wing Tracy McGrady says he is healthy and that his knee feels stronger and that while the Pistons have reached out to his agent he is still "open to playing anywhere."