Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:10 am
Magic executives have continued to tell teams this week they do not intend to trade Dwight Howard, but several teams came away from the conversations with a clear picture of what the club wants if it changes course: a replica of the deal Denver pulled off last February for Carmelo Anthony, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com Thursday.
If the Magic decide to trade Howard, they have “not closed any doors” on potential suitors, said a person familiar with the organization’s strategy. Teams that are on and off Howard’s list of preferred destinations – the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers – will be considered, and may the highest bidder win, sources said.
What Orlando is seeking if it makes a deal for the All-Star center is a package similar to what the Nuggets received for Anthony at the 2011 trade deadline: multiple good, young players and draft picks. Orlando executives view the Denver model as a middle ground between blowing up a contender and starting over with draft picks and reaching for veteran All-Stars whose contracts ultimately could hinder the recovery from a Howard trade.
Representatives of three teams in the mix for Howard – either on his list or among teams willing to gamble on trading for him in the hopes that he can be persuaded to stay beyond this season – told CBSSports.com Thursday that the Magic have not decided which path to pursue. Howard, 26, can opt out of his $19.5 million contract after the season and become an unrestricted free agent. His formal trade request through agent Dan Fegan of Lagadere Unlimited remains on the table and he has not given the Magic any commitment to opt in and/or re-sign after the season.
In a complicated, three-team trade for Anthony that was consummated after a five-month marathon over his desire to join the Knicks, the Nuggets came away with a treasure trove of young talent and draft picks: Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and 7-footer Timofey Mozgov plus a future first-round pick and two future second-round picks. Felton has since been dealt to Portland for Andre Miller. The Nuggets recently signed Gallinari to a four-year, $42 million extension (about half what Anthony makes over the same period), and are hoping to get Chandler, a potential 20-point scorer, back after a stint in China before the season is over.
The Nuggets also received another 7-footer, Kosta Koufos, from Minnesota, which made the trade work under league cap rules by taking Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks along with a second-round pick from Denver.
For a variety of reasons, a similar haul isn’t realistic for Howard, despite the fact that he’s a far more valuable star than Anthony. The Knicks also got former All-Star Chauncey Billups in the deal, and the Nuggets were able to parlay interest from the Knicks, Nets and other teams Anthony had no intention of extending his contract with into a bidding war that drove the price for him through the roof.
If a player is heading out of Orlando with Howard, it is likely to be Hedo Turkoglu. Unlike Billups – a productive veteran leader with one year left on his contract – Turkuglo will be a liability in the deal due to his declining skills and the $23.4 million he is owed over the next two seasons.
Nonetheless, the revelation that Orlando wants similar assets as those Denver received for Anthony moved the needle on the Howard saga with only a week to go before the March 15 trade deadline. If the Magic decide not to trade Howard by next Thursday, they face the prospect of losing him as a free agent and receiving no assets in return.
The Mavericks and Lakers, teams loaded with high-priced veterans, do not have the kind of assets the Magic want for Howard. The Nets, with 24-year-old 7-footer Brook Lopez and promising rookie guard MarShon Brooks, come closer – though two people familiar with the Orlando strategy told CBSSports.com Thursday that none of the three teams has assets that would entice the Magic to part with Howard. Perhaps this is why Orlando officials have been more forthcoming in recent days about what they’d want in a package for Howard, and why at least one rival GM interpreted this shift in posture as an indication that Orlando understands it needs to create competition and prime the pump on the bidding war.
With the Magic determined to trade Howard to the team with the best offer if they decide to move him, a deal sending Howard to a so-called “rental” team (i.e., one he will refuse to give a long-term commitment to as part of the trade) could play right into the Nets’ hands. If, for example, Orlando traded Howard to Golden State and Howard opted out after the season, the Nets would be in a position to sign him as an unrestricted free agent without giving up any players or draft picks.
The other team aggressively trying to maneuver for a shot at acquiring Howard and persuading him to sign this summer is the Rockets, who need a replacement for retired center Yao Ming and who are still recovering from the voided Chris Paul trade that would’ve landed Pau Gasol from the Lakers. But a more serious contender could emerge in the coming days: the Hawks, who are dealing with disgruntled should-be All-Star Josh Smith’s own reported trade request. Smith and Al Horford would represent a coup for the Magic considering the alternative of losing Howard for nothing, and Atlanta is Howard’s hometown, where he attended Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Even with the potential of getting – and keeping – a player of Howard’s popularity and impact, questions remain about whether the Atlanta ownership group would be able to afford two max players going forward. Joe Johnson is owed $90 million over the next four years.
If nothing else, Howard’s familiarity with Atlanta would diminish the biggest impediment for another potential rental team giving up major assets to get him: Aside from it being an untenable gamble in a normal season, it’s even more so in this one. If, for example, Howard were traded against his will to Golden State, he’d play only 26 games with his new team – and only 12 home games in his new surroundings.
“That’s not a lot of games to get attached to Golden State,” one rival executive said.
Could the Warriors possibly give up Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Ekpe Udoh, etc., under those circumstances? The Magic hope so, which is why the Howard saga quietly escalated to the next phase Thursday: Orlando’s attempt to follow the Denver model by creating a bidding war and scoring a Melo-like haul of assets.
So from now until 3 p.m. on March 15, the Dwight Howard story is open for business, 24 hours a day.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:15 pm
DALLAS – The Warriors and representatives for Monta Ellis are working cooperatively to see if a trade to a contending team can be arranged, a deal that would likely happen around the NBA draft later this month, a person with knowledge of the discussions told CBSSports.com.
“It’s pretty hot,” the person familiar with the talks said.
UPDATE: The Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Hawks, are among the teams that made exploratory calls after word leaked that the Warriors and 76ers were discussing an Ellis-for-Andre Iguodala swap, league sources said Thursday. Ellis-for-Iguodala is a “50-50” proposition at the moment, a person with knowledge of those talks said. A third person with knowledge of the Warriors' strategy described trading Ellis as a secondary priority to the draft.
Ellis would be interested in a trade to the Bulls, who have previously expressed interest in him. But a person with direct knowledge of Chicago's offseason discussions refuted the notion that the Bulls have had recent contact with Golden State about the electrifying guard.
The Sixers have fielded several calls about Iguodala, but executives who’ve spoken with them detect reluctance in the Philadelphia front office to trade Iguodala in a salary dump. The Sixers want a player of value in return, sources said.
Ellis, a prolific scorer who may not fit long term in an undersized backcourt with Stephen Curry under defensive-minded coach Mark Jackson, would be a good fit for a playoff-contending team seeking an additional perimeter scorer and penetrator to take some of the load off its primary scorer.
Ellis, 25, has two more years at $11 million each with an early-termination option for 2013-14, also at $11 million. In 80 games for Golden State last season, he averaged 24.1 points and a career-high 5.6 assists.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 9:25 pm
In a long-awaited changing of the guard, the Warriors are prepared to oust coach Don Nelson and replace him with assistant coach Keith Smart, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com. The plan is to have Smart installed as the new coach in time for the Warriors' media day Monday.
The move has been contemplated within the organization since at least last November, when Nelson started what ended up being the season that saw him become the NBA's winningest coach with something that has become commonplace for him: feuds with two of his best players. Stephen Jackson eventually was traded, Monta Ellis was not, but Nellie stuck around long enough to eclipse Lenny Wilkens' record for wins. But his reign in Golden State appears to be over.
It took an ownership change -- from Chris Cohan to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber -- to finally persuade Nelson to step aside and let Smart, a respected assistant with a promising future as a head coach, take over. According to a person familiar with the team's plans, the new owners did not want to enter the season with Nelson again on the verge of retiring, re-signing or being fired. The details of Smart's contract are yet to be worked out, which is why no formal announcement is expected to come from the Warriors until they convene for media day Monday.
It is not clear whether Nelson, 70, will remain with the Warriors in an advisory capacity; he has one year and $6 million remaining on his contract. It was that remaining money, more so than Nellie's pursuit of Wilkens' record, that kept him from stepping down last season and letting Smart take over. In fact, one person familiar with the awkward unwinding of Nelson's Golden State tenure joked Thursday night, "I wonder if Nellie knows?" It wasn't necessarily a joke.
Nelson will long be remembered for bringing Nellieball to Golden State, the zenith of which was a stirring upset of a 67-win Dallas team -- Nelson's former employer -- as the eighth seed in the 2007 playoffs. But that was followed by three seasons in the lottery, the constant distractions and speculation over how long Nelson would hang around.
At least it appears that Nelson's departure from Golden State won't end with the same acrimony that marred his removal as Mavericks coach in 2005 -- but never say never. Until the details of the transfer of power from Nelson to Smart are finalized, it would be wise to withhold judgment on how amicably this will end. As of now, reports such as this one from Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times indicate that Nellie will be getting is full $6 million even though he's resigning.
Smart, who turned 46 this week, will always be remembered for his heroic, game-winning shot for Indiana against Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA championship game. In Golden State, he'll quickly become known as a coach who runs a structured offense -- something Nelson long eschewed -- and also believes in defense. What's that? Huh? Defense?
Smart's resume bears all the markings of a coach who has worked his way up through the ranks the hard way. From the Fort Wayne Fury to the Dominican Republic to the Latvian National team, Smart has earned this. And he'll have the respect of the locker room -- a locker room populated by some fairly talented players, such as Ellis, Stephen Curry, Andris Biedrins and David Lee -- from day one. And day one will be Monday.
Posted on: June 26, 2009 1:14 am
NEW YORK -- Talks between the Suns and Warriors that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State picked up momentum during the NBA draft Thursday night, but stalled to the point where one executive familiar with the situation said it "likely won't happen."
The sticking point, however, was not Golden State's No. 7 pick, Stephen Curry, who was not involved in the trade as it was being constructed Thursday night, the executive said.
If the teams revisit the discussion, there is plenty of time. Andris Biedrins, who was included in the deal being discussed along with Marco Belinelli and Brandan Wright, can't be traded until July 1 because he is a base-year compensation player. Further complicating the Suns' efforts to move Stoudemire is a termination clause in his contract after next season that would require an extension with his new team for him to waive it.
Posted on: June 25, 2009 8:56 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 1:19 am
Discussions between the Suns and Warriors about a trade that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State were advancing Thursday night, two people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com.
Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:13 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 6:24 pm
The keys to the draft are now tucked neatly in the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
A flurry of pre-draft trade activity on Tuesday left Minnesota’s new GM, David Kahn, with four first-round picks – including the fifth and sixth – with clear designs on using at least two of them to move as high as needed to snag Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio or UConn center Hasheem Thabeet.
The next 10 picks after the Clippers take Blake Griffin are no longer a bore. And if this works out the way Kahn envisions, neither are the Timberwolves.
To recap: Pending league approval, Minnesota has agreed to acquire Washington’s No. 5 overall pick along with Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and Darius Songaila for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. With the fifth, sixth, 18th, and 28th picks, Minnesota is far from finished. A person familiar with the team’s plans said Minnesota is loaded for a run at Rubio, the gifted but raw 18-year-old point guard, and Thabeet, the 7-3 shot-blocker who would finally replace Kevin Garnett’s inside presence. “In a perfect world, both,” said the person with knowledge of Minnesota’s master plan.
Either way, this sends shivers through the Sacramento front office, which seemed to be hoping Rubio would be available with the No. 4 pick. Even more so, Kahn appears to have trumped his former boss with the Indiana Pacers, Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who has done a commendable job persuading some rival executives to believe that coach Mike D’Antoni wanted Rubio. But as much as Rubio’s play-making skills could energize D’Antoni’s free-wheeling, pick-and-roll offense, the player the Knicks covet is Davidson’s Stephen Curry, according to a high-level management source with knowledge of the team’s plans. But the Knicks believe they may not be able to land Curry with the eighth pick, as evidenced by their serious talks with Washington about the No. 5 selection – talks that stalled, according to a person familiar with them, when the Wizards balked at taking back Jared Jeffries and his $6.9 million player option for 2010-11.
Minnesota had to give up two proven commodities in Foye and Miller, and the deal came together like a perfect storm because of Washington’s desire to add veterans to its core of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards entertained numerous offers for the fifth pick, even exploring a deal with Phoenix that would’ve yielded Amare Stoudemire. They backed away from that one when the Suns asked for Butler.
In a draft in which team executives see no can’t-miss stars after Griffin, the Wizards didn’t want or need to pay a lottery pick to join a team that management believes is ready to contend now with a veteran roster and experienced coach, Flip Saunders. The trade also accomplished the Wizards’ goals of creating a roster spot and not taking back any salary beyond next season. The impact on Washington’s 2010-11 payroll is a wash.
The day began with a report that the Celtics had engaged in low-level discussions with the Pistons about a blockbuster scenario that would’ve sent Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to Detroit for a package including Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. The talks never went anywhere, but sparked league-wide curiosity about Boston management’s level of discontent with Rondo.
The Spurs struck first in what is shaping up to be a frenzied trading period, acquiring Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. It was a clear sign that the Spurs are determined to make at least one more championship run with their core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. For Milwaukee, acquiring $11.3 million in contracts that expire after next season clears cap space to re-sign promising guard Ramon Sessions.
Oberto was, in turn, sent to Detroit for Amir Johnson as the Pistons continue obliterating their roster in preparation for the 2010 free-agent frenzy. Joe Dumars now has only three players under contract for 2010-11 – Prince, Stuckey, and Arron Affalo. UPDATE: The Pistons plan to buy out Oberto, thus trimming more payroll for next season.
So, welcome to the 2009 NBA draft, a.k.a. the new trade deadline.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 12:49 pm
Some good pre-draft buzz from SportsRadioInterviews.com, plus a semi-commitment from Phil Jackson to return for one more title run with the Lakers.
Jackson hasn't committed to coming back for the final year of his contract, and he has a loose deadline with management to inform the team of his intentions in the next 2-3 weeks. In this radio interview, Jackson repeats that he has some medical issues that must be resolved before he decides, but adds, "I’d still like to push on through another year if possible.”
You can also find transcripts and audio clips of Memphis GM Chris Wallace saying he has no qualms about picking Ricky Rubio at No. 2 without working him out ... Brandon Jennings having no regrets about bypassing college to play in Europe ... Stephen Curry saying he thinks he's going to the Knicks ... and Rajon Rondo addressing trade rumors.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 9:21 am
There's going to be a lot of this over the next few days, because the teams holding picks 3-7 in the NBA draft Thursday night are motivated to do what Elaine used to say to Jerry on Seinfeld.
Get out ...
The latest buzz has the Knicks and Wizards talking about swapping the No. 8 and No. 5 picks, respectively, in a trade that would accomplish much of what each team is looking to do this offseason. Alan Hahn of Newsday checked out a rumor that the Knicks were offering Wilson Chandler and found it to be baseless. But both teams have plenty of, um, assets to work with that would make a deal work.
The Wizards are said to be intrigued by the prospect of bringing back ex-Wizards Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries, who were key contributors on Washington's 2006 playoff team. The Wizards also would love to unload Etan Thomas' expiring contract. The Knicks are just the place for it. Donnie Walsh has ended the perception that the Knicks are simply a dumping ground for bad contracts, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't take an expiring deal if he could unload Jeffries, who has $6.9 million due in 2010-11. If Walsh is going to maximize his flexibility in the free-agent summer of 2010, he's going to have to move Jeffries or Eddy Curry -- if not both.
It's easy to see what the Wizards are up to. They're on pace to be a tax-paying team next season, and with a veteran core led by Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, they don't need to use scarce resources to pay a young player who doesn't wow them. Most draft observers concur that there's not much separation among the players available after the second pick. The Knicks? They're the one team in the top 10 with an inclination to trade up, with most of the buzz centering on their interest in Stephen Curry and Ricky Rubio. Jrue Holiday is back in New York Monday for a second workout, which could either be a sign that the Knicks are interested or simply that they want to make sure they're not interested. Either way, if the Knicks can move up a few spots to get a player they like and shed 2010 salary at the same time, it would be an unmitigated success -- something that's quite foreign to Knicks fans, on draft night or any other night, really.
Speaking of point guards, the one thing you can say about this draft is that there are a lot of point guards. The Timberwolves worked out six of them Friday: Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Jeff Teague. The workout was closed to the media, but ah, in the age of the blogger, nothing is closed to the media anymore. Season ticket holders were invited to watch, and one such fan who reads the TrueHoop blog filed a report on the workout, which was posted online. Good info here, depending on what degree of trust you have in season ticket holder Michael Stephenson's talent-evaluation abilities. Among other observations, Stephenson wrote that Evans dominated the workout.