Posted on: July 1, 2009 5:08 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2009 6:46 pm
With Carlos Boozer off the free-agent market, other free agent forwards are getting ready to cash in.
While Charlie Villanueva was being courted by the Pistons, CBSSports.com has learned that restricted free agents David Lee and Paul Millsap were preparing to field offers as early as Wednesday night. Millsap, the Jazz forward who could benefit the most from Boozer deciding not to opt out of his contract, has heard from three of the four teams with significant cap space -- Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Detroit -- plus a fourth team inquiring about a sign-and-trade. Lee has heard from numerous teams, including Oklahoma City and Memphis, and was expecting inquiries to escalate into offers in the next 24 hours. Despite their focus on Wednesday's meeting at Madison Square Garden with point guard Jason Kidd, the Knicks were among the first teams to reach out to Lee's camp and expressed an interest in keeping him.
While Villanueva was seen as a strong possibility for Cleveland, which may need to replace free agent Anderson Varejao, people in contact with the Cavs' front office say Cleveland is in wait-and-see mode and appears to be strategizing for the second wave of free-agent activity.
UPDATE: OK, the wait's over. Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs -- and LeBron James himself -- are actively recruiting Ron Artest. There will be more developing on this front throughout the evening.
Rasheed Wallace got a visit from Celtics president Danny Ainge at his home shortly after midnight Wednesday and was getting interest from other contenders.
Like Artest (whose situation isn't directly affected by Boozer's), Lamar Odom (whose situation is) also was preparing to field offers Wednesday. The Suns and Spurs reportedly were among the teams courting Odom, while the Lakers were actively working to keep both of their unrestricted free agents, Odom and small forward Trevor Ariza.
Posted on: April 29, 2009 11:20 am
The Tweet came across a couple of hours after the Mavericks had eliminated the Spurs, who will not be venturing past the first round for the first time since 2000. How many starting point guards in the west under the age of 30 will be playing after saturday? #fb
Take a bow, Cubes. Just don't strain your back.
The taunt obviously was in response to a world of critics -- myself included -- of Cuban's decision to trade Devin Harris to the Nets at last season's trade deadline. Now that the Mavs have slain the Spurs' dynasty, Cuban is well within his rights to gloat.
At the advanced age of 36, Kidd had an excellent series against San Antonio, shooting 40 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. Rick Carlisle did a nice coaching job with Kidd, playing him with J.J. Barea and protecting the slowing, aging Kidd from his defensive liabilities. Cuban is right in that by the end of the weekend, the two younger point guards in the West most capable of exposing Kidd on the defensive end -- Tony Parker and Chris Paul -- will be at home and not on the court. The other is Houston's Aaron Brooks, but the Mavs wouldn't see him until the conference finals -- and only if they can beat Denver and the Rockets can knock off the Lakers (assuming they finish off Portland at home Thursday night).
Chauncey Billups is tough to defend, but doesn't have the burst that Parker and Paul possess. With a combination of Kidd's savvy, Barea's peskiness, and Antoine Wright's length, Carlisle should be able to figure out a way to keep Kidd from getting sliced and diced too badly in the second round, too.
The bottom line is this: Yes, Harris is a better player with bigger upside than Kidd at this stage of their careers. But this is an example of a progressive owner taking a calculated risk and watching it pay off. It is hard to argue with the results. Harris and the Nets won 34 games this season and are saddled with Kidd's former running mate, Vince Carter, and his $34 million over the next two seasons. The Mavs are done with Kidd after the playoffs are over. And for them, the playoffs are far from over.
Given the Hornets' 58-point loss to the Nuggets in Game 4, it isn't too early to look ahead to Mavs-Nuggets in the conference semifinals. Denver will have home court by virtue of its 54 wins compared to 50 for the Mavs. The Nuggets swept the regular season series 4-0. although three of those losses were by three points or less. But once you're this deep into the playoffs, regular season matchups don't mean as much. It's about how you're playing now, and the Mavs have their superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, playing at a high level. They also have an effective bench led by sixth man of the year Jason Terry, a certain geriatric point guard who's still hanging on, and a trigger-happy, tweeting owner who isn't afraid to point out when he's right.
Posted on: February 13, 2009 11:44 am
Edited on: February 13, 2009 9:22 pm
PHOENIX -- Ready to get the All-Star coverage going. Nope, not much going on. Just reports that Bulls G.M. John Paxson will resign after the trade deadline and that Suns president Steve Kerr may replace Terry Porter as coach.
If the reports are accurate, too little, too late on both counts.
Anyway, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is shooting down the Paxson report in the New York Post, calling it "not credible." The Post also had the item on Kerr.
Just wondering: If your G.M. is resigning, wouldn't you want him to resign before the trade deadline, so he doesn't make any more bad trades?
We'll be following up on these and other issues throughout the day. There's also the trade rumor of the day -- the Nets and Mavericks discussing a deal that would reunite Jason Kidd with Vince Carter. Interesting. Will let you know about that one.
UPDATE: I can confirm with my own eyes that Paxson is still on the job, having seen him walking around a downtown hotel where NBA business is being conducted. He politely declined to discuss his job status. More on that as it unfolds.
As for the Mavs-Nets situation, "nothing going on right now" on that front, a person with knowledge of the talks said.