Tag:Free Agent Buzz
Posted on: July 12, 2009 12:43 am
Edited on: July 12, 2009 2:24 pm

Free Agent Buzz (UPDATE)

LAS VEGAS -- The Lakers and Lamar Odom appear to be closing in on an agreement on a multi-year contract. The Orange County Register reported Saturday that the two sides have narrowed the gap in their discussions and that a deal is expected next week.

Odom originally was believed to have been seeking $10 million a year, but the Lakers couldn't stretch that far due to luxury tax implications. Lakers assistant GM Ronnie Lester told the Register that the team may have pushed its offer north of $8 million.

More free-agent buzz:

* Details of the Blazers' offer sheet for Paul Millsap continue to emerge. A person with knowledge of the offer placed it in the four-year, $32 million range. The key component of it is a signing bonus believed to be for several million dollars. It would force Utah to advance Millsap that amount if they decide to match. While the motivation appears to have been to force Utah's hand on its decision to trade Carlos Boozer, a person with knowledge of the Blazers' plans said the team is not concerned about how Millsap would fit into a crowded front court that includes Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge. In pursuing Millsap, the Blazers believed they would be better suited to bang with the more physical Western Conference teams such as the Rockets, Spurs, and Nuggets by adding more big man depth. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Per the CBA, the maximum signing bonus that can be included in an offer sheet is 17.5 percent of the total value of the contract, excluding performance bonuses -- in this case, $5.6 million. A steep check for most teams in the league to have to write without borrowing the money.

* Restricted free agent Jarrett Jack's offer sheet from the Raptors is believed to be for four years at slightly less than the mid-level exception -- about $5 million annually. The Pacers have seven days to match.

* The Thunder, perhaps the only team with enough cap space to facilitate sign-and-trades, continue to field numerous calls from teams and agents trying to accomplish such deals. One such player is Knicks restricted free agent David Lee, who has yet to receive an offer sheet. But Lee would be exceedingly difficult to trade because his first-year cap number would be exorbitant as a base-year compensation player.

Category: NBA
Posted on: July 11, 2009 6:38 pm

Knicks receptive to Miller-Duhon trade

LAS VEGAS -- The Knicks are receptive to overtures from Andre Miller's agent to arrange a sign-and-trade that would swap the free-agent point guard for Chris Duhon, CBSSports.com has learned.

Miller's agent, Andy Miller, is pushing for a sign-and-trade to New York in response to the Sixers' lack of interest in bringing the 33-year-old point guard back. The Sixers have expressed a willingness to offer no more than a one-year deal at the $5.9 million mid-level exception. But a person with knowledge of the situation said Philadelphia was lukewarm about even that proposal. The Sixers' brass is ready to move on with Lou Williams at point guard and first-round pick Jrue Holiday backing him up.

The Knicks view Miller as an upgrade over Duhon, a person with knowledge of their plans said. But New York is not willing to go beyond two years on Miller's new contract.

Another team long rumored to have interest in Miller is Portland. But NBA front office sources say the Blazers are not actively pursuing Miller due to their concerns about his age and below-average perimeter shooting.
Posted on: July 11, 2009 6:28 pm

Raptors signing Jarrett Jack to offer sheet

LAS VEGAS -- The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of signing Pacers restricted free agent Jarrett Jack to an offer sheet, CBSSports.com has learned.

Terms of the deal aren't yet apparent, but Jack, 25, would be a younger, faster replacement for Anthony Parker, who has agreed to a two-year deal with Cleveland. As a versatile combo guard, Jack would back up point guard Jose Calderon and also see time at the scoring guard spot. Once Jack signs the offer sheet, the Pacers have seven days to match.

Posted on: July 10, 2009 8:03 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2009 11:25 pm

Free Agent Buzz (UPDATE)

LAS VEGAS -- While the Utah Jazz were accelerating efforts to trade Carlos Boozer, his presumed replacement received a lucrative offer sheet from the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Restricted free agent Paul Millsap received a front-loaded, four-year offer totaling as much as $36 million that will be difficult for Utah to match.

The offer may include a signing bonus, according to one person familiar with the situation. Signing bonuses are rarely incorporated into NBA contracts, except when a team is trying to use it as a way to make it difficult for a team to match its offer to a restricted free agent.

UPDATE: The bonus -- let's say, for the sake of argument, it's $10 million -- wouldn't affect the year-to-year salaries for cap purposes. It would be paid up front but spread out over the four years for bookkeeping purposes, and the 10.5 percent raises called for in the CBA would still apply. The challenge for Utah would be to come up with the bonus money by the date prescribed in the offer sheet. The Blazers, owned by billionaire Paul Allen, can write such a check. Many teams, including the Jazz, would have to borrow it. That's the dilemma. Portland's aggressive play for Millsap essentially forces the Jazz to either come up with the bonus money or trade Boozer by the end of the seven-day period during which Utah can match the offer.

As for Boozer, there were growing indications Friday that the Jazz were exploring every opportunity to move him after the power forward changed his mind and decided to pick up his player option at $12.7 million for next season rather than become an unrestricted free agent. But another person with knowledge of that situation said a reported trade to the Bulls involving Kirk Hinrich was unlikely to occur.

Other free agent news gathered here at the NBA's annual summer league and on the phone with team executives, agents, and people in the know:

* Orlando landed free agent Brandon Bass with a four-year deal reportedly worth $18 million. Bass gives the Magic, who lost Hedo Turkoglu to the Raptors, a physical front-line player who will complement Dwight Howard and allow Rashard Lewis to operate on the perimeter, where he's more comfortable.

* Memphis waived Jerry Stackhouse one day after acquiring him in the four-team trade that sent Shawn Marion to Dallas. Stackhouse becomes an unrestricted free agent, and the Grizzlies are off the hook for the $5 million non-guaranteed portion of Stackhouse's contract. Dallas paid for the $2 million buyout.

* Grant Hill turned down the Knicks and Celtics and re-signed with the Suns, getting a one-year, $3 million deal with a player option for a second year at $3.2 million. The most interesting news there was Hill's take on the situations involving Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. According to his agent, Lon Babby, Hill hasn't been given any assurances but believes both players are staying with Phoenix. Nash is discussing an extension, and Stoudemire -- who had eye surgery Friday -- has been discussed in a long-dormant trade scenario with Golden State.

* Rockets GM Daryl Morey, speaking to reporters at Summer League, said he's pursuing trade possibilities in his search for a center to fill in for injured star Yao Ming. Morey used the $5.9 million disabled player exception he received for Yao to sign Trevor Ariza.

* Although the Chris Mullin-to-New York speculation continues, a person with direct knowledge of the situation cautioned that Knicks president Donnie Walsh still hasn't decided whether to make another front-office hire. If he does, Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni will have to agree on who it is. Mullin has remained silent since his contract with Golden State expired on June 30, but has previously stated that he's open to joining the Knicks in some capacity. Walsh is a big believer in Mullin, having worked with him in Indiana. But D'Antoni and Mullin don't know each other well.

* Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in a Los Angeles radio interview Friday that the team and Lamar Odom would like to reach a conclusion soon about whether L.A. will be able to retain its most valuable reserve. "We would like to have some closure soon," Kupchak said. "I think they would, too." 

Category: NBA
Posted on: July 10, 2009 3:59 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2009 4:54 pm

Hill back with Suns; expects Nash, Stoudemire

Grant Hill considered plenty of issues in deciding whether to re-sign with the Suns or accept offers from the Celtics or Knicks. Paramount among them is Hill's expectation that Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire will be joining him.

"It's important for Grant that Steve be there next year," Hill's agent, Lon Babby, said on a conference call Friday. "I know they have had conversations, so I think he’s quite confident that the team that’s coming back next year is going to be a highly, highly competitive team. And obviously, that would include Steve Nash."

As for Stoudemire, who has been discussed as a possible trade chip in discussions with Golden State that emerged on draft day, Babby said, "That's certainly a concern. I wouldn't say (Hill) has been given any assurances, but I think the expectation is that (Stoudemire) will be there bext year. He has opt-out after next season, but I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he’s not going to be there next year."

Nash, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, is in discussed with the Suns about an extension that would keep him in Phoenix.

Hill, 36, accepted a one-year deal with the Suns for $3 million with an option for a second year at $3.2 million, Babby said. The Knicks, who hosted Hill in New York earlier this week for a free-agent visit, offered a one-year deal at the full mid-level exception of $5.9 million. New York also offered a two-year deal with an option for the third, but it was not at the full mid-level for all three years. A longer deal with Phoenix also was discussed, but Hill preferred the 1-year deal with an option, Babby said.

Hill also met with Celtics coach Doc Rivers at least once, spoke numerous times with team president Danny Ainge, and also spoke with Ray Allen, who also is represented by Babby. Like the Knicks, Boston offered all it was able to under the rules, but the Celtics only had the bi-annual exception of about $2 million per year available.

"He thought long and hard about the alternatives," Babby said. "He did not come to this decision easily or lightly. Each of those three places had a lot to offer and very different things to offer. That’s what made it challenging."
Posted on: July 8, 2009 11:32 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2009 8:13 am

Marion to Dallas (UPDATE)

UPDATES THROUGHOUT with further details:

Shawn Marion is headed from Toronto to Dallas in a complicated, four-team sign-and-trade that also sends Jerry Stackhouse temporarily to Memphis and delivers a sizeable trade exception to Orlando, pending league approval on Thursday, four sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The blockbuster trade, designed to give Dallas an athletic transition player and 3-point shooter while also clearing cap space for the Raptors to consummate the Hedo Turkoglu acquisition, took on several forms and was still evolving early Thursday -- although the essentials have been agreed upon.

Marion gets a five-year deal believed to be in the $35-$40 million range, according to one source, and is traded to Dallas. The Mavericks send Jerry Stackhouse and his $7 million contract to Memphis, which agreed to facilitate the deal because it can buy out Stackhouse for the $2 million that is guaranteed by Aug. 10 and not be on the hook for the rest. The Mavericks, a second source confirmed, would provide the funds for the Grizzlies' buyout. Toronto is expected to receive draft-pick considerations and/or cash in the deal. In some form, one of the sources said, "It should be done Thursday."

A third source said Dallas gets Kris Humphries from Toronto and sends Antoine Wright and Devean George to the Raptors.

UPDATE: In one of the truly random delights of NBA trades, Orlando receives a sizeable trade exception as the fourth team involved in the trade, according to two of the sources with direct knowledge of the deal. Thus, the Magic send Turkoglu to the Raptors in a sign-and-trade as opposed to Turkoglu signing straight up with Toronto. Those two sources said Turkoglu does not get a sixth year in his deal, which Orlando could have given him as part of the sign-and-trade.

CBSSports.com reported Monday night that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Marion's agent, Dan Fegan, were pushing for a trade to Dallas. Toronto's inability to take back salary due to its verbal commitment with Turkoglu for five years and $53 million didn't bode well -- unless at least one other team was recruited to facilitate the deal. That happened Wednesday, one of the sources confirmed, when Memphis and then Orlando agreed to get involved. If the Raptors hadn't found a trading partner -- they had discussions with Cleveland about Anthony Parker, who agreed to a contract parameters Wednesday with the Cavs, but not Marion -- then GM Bryan Colangelo simply would've renounced Marion's rights in order to clear space for Turkoglu.

One NBA front office source expressed doubt Wednesday whether any team would be willing to give up a prized draft pick and cash in this environment to facilitate such a deal. Perhaps that person underestimated Cuban, who has once again moved aggressively in his pursuit of a veteran player in hopes of getting the aging Mavericks closer to a championship.

Marion, 31, joins the over-30 club with Dirk Nowitzki (31), Jason Terry (31), and Jason Kidd (36), who was retained with a three-year. $25 million deal this week. Cuban also signed restricted free agent Marcin Gortat to an offer sheet that Orlando is not expected to match.

Posted on: July 8, 2009 7:11 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2009 8:30 am

Free Agent Buzz (UPDATE)

Things keep buzzing along. Here's the latest gathered from executives, agents, and others in the know:

* The Shawn Marion-to-Dallas trade being discussed with Toronto went dormant for about 24 hours, but picked up steam Wednesday. The Raptors are making inroads in their efforts to recruit a third team to facilitate the deal, thus satisfying Toronto's requirement to clear cap space for its signing of Hedo Turkoglu. The pieces Dallas would want to move include Jerry Stackhouse, whose $7 million contract for next season is only guaranteed for $2 million. Toronto's efforts to include Marcus Banks and his $9.3 million due over the next two seasons are being met with resistance, one NBA front office source said. The third team, likely to be Memphis, would have little incentive to get involved unless it was getting cash and/or a draft pick.

UPDATE: The Marion deal was consummated early Thursday, pending league approval. It's a four-team, sign-and-trade blockbuster that sends Marion to Dallas with a new five-year contract; Jerry Stackhouse to Memphis to be bought out with $2 million provided by the Mavs; and Turkoglu from Orlando to Toronto in a sign-and-trade that lands the Magic a sizeable trade exception. Other players/pieces involved. All the details here.

* Antonio McDyess has agreed to sign with the Spurs, a three-year deal believed to be in the $15-million range.

* Mike Bibby agreed to a three-year, approximately $18 million deal to stay with the Hawks.

* The Raptors agreed to a five-year, $50 million extension with Andrea Bargnani, adding to the $6.5 million Bargnani is due next season. There is as an opt-out after the fourth year, according to a source.

* The Cavs appear close to re-signing forward Anderson Varejao.

UPDATE: Varejao has agreed to a six-year, approximately $50 million deal with the Cavs, his agent, Dan Fegan, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

* The Pistons made their agreements with Ben Gordon (five years, $55 million) and Charlie Villanueva (five years, $35 million) official on Wednesday. Ron Artest signed his five-year, $34.3 million deal with the Lakers and was introduced in L.A. The contract for the full mid-level exception includes an early termination option after the fourth year, according to a source.

* The Heat and Grizzlies appear willing to offer Allen Iverson a one-year deal at or close to the mid-level exception after Iverson had first hoped that a sign-and-trade could be worked out sending him from Detroit to Chicago.

UPDATE: The Nuggets have re-signed Chris "Birdman" Anderson to a five-year deal. The Denver Post reports that it could be worth as much as $26 million.

* The Cavaliers have agreed to the framework of a deal with free agent swingman Anthony Parker, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Parker was one of the players Toronto couldn't keep in order to make room for Turkoglu.

UPDATE: The Pacers landed their first free agent of the summer, agreeing to a four-year, $11 million deal with Nuggets guard Dahntay Jones, agent Mark Bartelstein told the Indianapolis Star.

* Free agent forward Zaza Pachulia is staying in Atlanta, agreeing to a four-year deal with the Hawks.

Category: NBA
Posted on: July 7, 2009 11:34 pm

NBA salary cap goes down

As expected, the NBA's salary cap and luxury tax threshold will decline slightly for the 2009-10 season, with the new figures taking effect at 12:01 a.m. ET Wednesday -- when teams can begin signing free agents.

The salary cap will be $57.7 million, down $980,000 from last season. The luxury tax threshold will be $69.92 million, a decline of $1.23 million. Any teams exceeding that level will pay $1 for each $1 over the limit.

The mid-level exception will increase slightly to $5.854 million because it is based on the average salary from the previous season.

Category: NBA
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