Tag:Thunder
Posted on: June 29, 2009 11:52 pm
 

Boozer's decision

A few months ago, Jazz forward Carlos Boozer was so convinced he would opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent that he proclaimed, "I'm opting out, no matter what. I'm going to get a raise regardless."

Things change.

Less than 18 hours before Tuesday's deadline for players with early termination clauses or player options to notify teams of their intentions, there has been no word from Boozer's camp on whether he will choose to hit the unrestricted free-agent market at midnight Wednesday. One sticking point could be the part about Boozer believing he would "get a raise regardless." Due to make $12.7 million next season in the final year of his deal, Boozer may be stuck in the wrong free-agent class.

He's a 2010 free agent trapped in a 2009 free agent's body.

Only a handful of teams have enough cap space to sign a max player, the Pistons being chief among them. According to sources, the Pistons are expected to reach out to Boozer, Hedo Turkoglu, and Ben Gordon when the negotiating period begins. Oklahoma City and Memphis also are flush with cap room, but neither team is expected to make a big splash this summer. So does Boozer want to walk away from $12.7 million based on one team making it worth his while?

An Eastern Conference executive said Monday night it's feasible that Boozer backtracks on his opt-out guarantee, picks up his player option for next season, and makes another run at free agency in 2010, when numerous teams will have money to spend.

"That wouldn't be the least bit surprising," the executive said.

Boozer's agent, Rob Pelinka, did not return a call seeking comment Monday. Pelinka has another, more famous client in the same position as Boozer: the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who is widely expected to terminate his contract with the intention of re-upping with L.A. But Bryant's situation is more complicated -- isn't it always? -- because he can make the Lakers sweat while they try to re-sign free agents Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom and while Phil Jackson decides whether to return for the final year of his contract.
 

Posted on: June 25, 2009 4:16 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2009 7:21 pm
 

Draft Buzz: Celtics pursue No. 2 pick (UPDATE)

It's three hours and counting until the Clippers are on the clock, so here's another dose of buzz and other tidbits. A caveat: This late in the game is when some of the most scurrilous subterfuge is pawned off -- not only on reporters, but on the executives and other high-level people who provide information to reporters. It gets harder and harder to see through all the smoke, but here's the latest of what my sources are hearing:

* All has been quiet in Memphis, but it appears the Grizzlies remain open to trading the No. 2 pick. At least one Eastern Conference team that believes Tyreke Evans is the best of the point-guard crop is knocking on the door. This presents quite a conundrum for Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, who knows that the franchise can't afford to have Evans -- a U of Memphis product -- to leave the city and go on to a star-studded NBA career.

UPDATE: Two people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com that one of the teams inquiring about the No. 2 pick is the Celtics, who currently have no first-round picks. The notion was first floated Thursday in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. Boston's target, the two people said, would be Evans, described by one of the sources as "a Danny Ainge type of player." The question, as mentioned above, is whether Memphis would be willing to risk Evans leaving the city where he played college ball and finding glory and championships in Boston. More developments coming on this one.

* While Oklahoma City has been the favorite to land Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio, not so fast, says one rival exec who believes Thunder GM Sam Presti is hoping Hasheem Thabeet is available with the third pick. If he is, that would present a raging debate for the Sacramento front office among Rubio, James Harden, and Evans (if he's still available) with the No. 4 pick.

* The latest on Minnesota, which holds the fifth and sixth picks, is that the Timberwolves might keep those picks and take two guards -- one of them being Stephen Curry, which would apparently be a shot to the Knicks' collective solar plexus. Or not. (See below.) The Wolves, according to one source, are considering Curry along with one of the truer point guards (Rubio or Jonny Flynn, for example) because they believe Curry would thrive in a combo role with his shooting and scoring gifts.

* Depending on what Golden State does -- another point guard to join the two mediocre ones they just acquired from the Hawks? -- the Knicks wouldn't be in as much of a quandary as most people thought if Curry were off the board by the time they picked eighth. One rival exec insists that the player they really like is Jordan Hill, who would be the rugged power-forward they've lacked for years. Most of the buzz surrounding the Knicks has centered on Curry, with some observers still believing they like Rubio more than they've let on.

UPDATE: The Knicks also like Gerald Henderson for his ball-moving skills, perhaps as a fallback option if they can't get Curry or Hill. A person familiar with Hill's situation said he would go to the Warriors at No. 7

* The Knicks reportedly have acquired the Lakers' 29th overall pick in exchange for cash and a future second-rounder.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 6:12 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 6:22 pm
 

Trade Buzz 2.0

Here’s your second cup of pre-draft trade buzz of the day. In case you missed it, the first cup is here. One more cup, and you will have consumed as many cups of trade buzz as I’ve consumed coffee today:

• The Trail Blazers, known to be seeking an upgrade at point guard, have expressed interest in the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich. But a possible Portland-Chicago trade involving Hinrich has yet to enter the realm of serious discussion, according to a person familiar with the situation. While there has been speculation for months that the Bulls would be open to moving Tyrus Thomas, who has been linked to Hinrich in a possible Portland trade, Thomas has been told there’s “nothing at all” on the table involving him at this point, the person said.

• The Suns are hoping to pry Oklahoma City’s 25th overall pick, using a 2010 unprotected first-rounder as bait.

• The Knicks, convinced they cannot land Davidson guard Stephen Curry with the eighth pick, continue to actively explore ways to move up. New York also has engaged in talks with Minnesota about acquiring the 28th pick and Memphis about No. 27.

• We’ve already told you about the Atlanta-Golden State trade that would send Jamal Crawford to Atlanta – a trade I don’t really understand. Crawford is owed more than $19 million over the next two seasons and isn’t a natural point guard (and thus can’t be viewed as a reasonable replacement for unrestricted free agent Mike Bibby). Do the Hawks hate the $7.4 million owed to Speedy Claxton and Acie Law so much that they’re willing to try to force-fit Crawford into an offense already dominated by Joe Johnson and Josh Smith? There must be something more to this.

• Loyal BergerSphere readers also are aware that the Blazers and Mavericks have swapped the 24th and 22nd picks, respectively, with Portland giving up one of its four second-round picks -- 56th overall -- for the right to move up two spots.

Back with more -- and back to the coffee pot -- as needed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com