Posted on: September 15, 2010 8:06 pm
The Miami Heat emerged Wednesday as the front-runner to land free-agent center Erick Dampier, who was released a day earlier by Charlotte in a luxury-tax move, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com.
Dampier can't officially arrange a visit with the Heat until he clears waivers, but it is believed that Heat president Pat Riley views Dampier as a key supporting piece to add to his new Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Dampier, 35, would be an upgrade over Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire and would fill the final missing role for Miami's championship run.
Miami can only offer Dampier the veteran's minimum of about $1.4 million, but it is believed that Dampier is open to accepting less money for the chance to compete for a championship. Among the handful of teams with the full mid-level exception of $5.8 million available, the only potential championship contender is Dallas -- and a reunion with the Mavericks is difficult to fathom. Other teams that have expressed interest are Houston, Toronto and New Jersey, with the Rockets apparently hottest in their pursuit.
The Bobcats released Dampier Wednesday to get out from under his non-guaranteed $13 million salary. Part of the concern, according to a source, was being on the hook for Dampier's salary if he got injured.
Posted on: July 17, 2010 2:45 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Brad Miller has agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with the Rockets, deciding to join forces with Yao Ming instead of the Big Three in Miami.
In addition to the Heat, Miller also attracted interest from the Celtics, Hawks and Cavaliers, while the Bulls also tried to retain him. The third year of the deal is non-guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.
With the addition of Miller, 34, the Rockets continued a quietly effective offseason that also has included retaining restricted free agent Kyle Lowry and signing restricted free agent Luis Scola to a five-year, $47 million deal. Miller gives coach Rick Adelman more flexibility with his front-court rotation. He is likely to come off the bench, and can play both the power forward and center spots. Miller also gives the Rockets an insurance policy in case injury-prone center Yao Ming suffers another injury. Yao, who missed last season after reconstructive foot surgery, picked up his $17.6 million player option and is expected to be ready for training camp.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 8:28 pm
LAS VEGAS -- The Rockets won't have to worry about anyone trying to steal Luis Scola with an offer sheet. Not that it was much of a concern, anyway.
Scola, a restricted free agent, agreed to a five-year, $47 million extension with Houston Thursday, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to CBSSports.com.
The agreement was first reported by the Houston Chronicle .
Scola, 30, averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds last season with the Rockets. The fifth year of his extension is partially guaranteed and includes performance bonuses that would bring the total value to $47 million, the person with knowledge of the deal told CBSSports.com.
The Rockets were expecting the Nets and Bobcats, among others, to tempt Scola with an offer sheet, which owner Leslie Alexander was completely committed to matching, sources said. That's now a moot point, as is the offer sheet guard Kyle Lowry signed with the Cavs, which Houston GM Daryl Morey already has announced that the team will match.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:56 pm
The Heat and Raptors have expanded discussions of the sign-and-trade sending Chris Bosh to Miami to include two more teams, Charlotte and Houston, two people with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com Thursday.
The trade, which is still exploratory and not close to completion, would send Bosh to Miami, Michael Beasley to Charlotte and Tyson Chandler to Houston, the sources said. Toronto, already settled on taking back the 2011 first-round pick previously traded to the Heat, is trying to extract a player from the Rockets in addition to the trade exception it would get from Miami.
"It has legs, but I don't know where it goes," one of the people familiar with the discussions said.
A third person with knowledge of the talks said it's possible that the field could shrink to three teams, with Houston dropping out of the mix.
With the Heat planning to add sharpshooter Mike Miller to their potential Dream Team of Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, Miami would slide Miller's salary -- in the $5 million range -- into Beasley's space under the cap. By that math, the Heat would only have room for three full-max players if each one agreed to take abotuu $1 million less than the $16.57 million available under the collective bargaining agreement.
Posted on: July 5, 2010 1:35 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 3:34 pm
This is LeBron James’ world, and we are all just living in it. Ditto for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“We are all witnesses right now to this charade,” one frustrated team executive said Monday as Day Five of LeBron-a-Palooza (term coined, I believe, by Newsday’s Alan Hahn) rolled on.
James, Wade and Bosh were “still evaluating information” Monday, according to a person with knowledge of their plans. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that James was unlikely to announce any decision until his three-day Nike camp concluded Wednesday night in his hometown, Akron, Ohio. In fact, James made a surprise appearance at his camp Monday -- he wasn't scheduled to arrive until Tuesday -- and was wearing (what else?) a Yankees cap.
Wade returned Monday morning to Miami, where about 50 Heat fans – wow, what a turnout – and some team employees were waiting to greet him. At the wrong terminal. Wade was later seen at American Airlines Arena with Heat owner Mickey Arison. Such is life in the grips of the black smoke monster known as the Summer of 2010.
All NBA business essentially is tied to the Big Three free agents and what they decide to do. The only deadline pushing them is Thursday, when contracts and trades can become official once the 2010-11 salary cap is set and the moratorium on player movement is lifted. But not everybody is waiting for LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Two free-agent power forwards are getting close to making decisions on their futures – Amar’e Stoudemire and David Lee.
Stoudemire is in New York City Monday to meet with Knicks officials – either to agree on a five-year, $99.8 million contract or agree to hunker down and await for word from LeBron or Wade on whether they’re coming to New York or not. But one player who may not be willing to wait for the Knicks to handle their other business is Lee, who is getting inundated with calls from teams interested in taking him off the free-agent board regardless of what the Big Three do.
Lee, who averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds last season, already has met face-to-face with the Bulls, Nets, Heat and Timberwolves. A league source with knowledge of the market for Lee told CBSSports.com Monday that the Knicks are engaged in discussions with Utah, Toronto, Houston, Golden State and Charlotte about sign-and-trade arrangements involving Lee. This could be a key piece of the puzzle in the decision process for LeBron or Wade. Some of the Utah scenarios involve Carlos Boozer coming to New York, and some of the Toronto scenarios involve Bosh. Both players are high on the lists of power forwards both LeBron and Wade want to encourage to team up with them.
What does that mean for Stoudemire? Potentially nothing. Potentially everything. The Knicks are prepared to give LeBron or Wade a choice of big men to play with, and this feeling-out process could be the first step toward determining which of those options is viable.
Charlotte and Golden State are involved because A) both covet Lee, and B) each has a point guard who’d complement Stoudemire if he wound up being the Knicks’ only top-tier signing. The Bobcats’ Raymond Felton and Warriors’ Monta Ellis have been on the Knicks’ radar for some time.
Posted on: July 1, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 2:22 pm
Joe Johnson will sit down for a second meeting with Hawks officials in Los Angeles Thursday and expects to make a decision on the team's six-year, $120 million offer "in the near future," his agent, Arn Tellem, told CBSSports.com.
"We met with the Hawks and Knicks [Wednesday] night and have heard a number of other teams with significant interest in Joe," Tellem said in an email. "At this point, Joe has many great options to choose from. We plan to meet with the Hawks again [Thursday] to discuss the details of their offer and we hope to make a decision in the near future."
Miami, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and the Clippers also expressed interest in Johnson. But the fact that he's circling back to the Hawks so early in the process is validation of his desire to stay in Atlanta -- and also his recognition that $120 million is a lot more than the $90 million or so the other teams can offer. That's what the Knicks offered -- a five-year deal at the max, the most that they could -- according to a source familiar with the process.
In fact, one executive within the league said that perhaps the only reason Johnson has waited this long to commit to the Hawks is that he's enjoying the recruiting process that so many of the top free agents have coveted.
"I don't know what else he wants to hear," the executive said. "If that's not enough, then obviously he wants to go somewhere else. Do you want to go New York with $90 million or stay in Atlanta with $120 million and win?"
If and when Johnson commits to the Hawks, he would throw a significant portion of the Knicks' recruiting plan for LeBron James out of whack. New York was hoping, in part, to sell LeBron on pairing up with Johnson because their games and styles would complement each other better than any other two top free agents. But if Johnson doesn't wait for James to hear all the pitches from the six teams currently scheduled to meet with him in Cleveland, it's a sure sign that Johnson wasn't sold on the idea.
Posted on: June 28, 2010 5:38 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 1:54 pm
While agents and GMs continue to point out that teams without cap space can participate in free agency, too, it's worth taking a look at exactly where the cap-flush teams stand with two days left before the negotiating period begins.
The Bulls and Heat weren't the only teams whose cap space changed with draft-related trades. As things stand now, five teams have enough room to sign at least one max free agent at the going rate of about $16.6 million in the first year of the deal. Only the Knicks have more than enough room for two max players, while the Bulls and Heat are within easy striking distance through various housecleaning moves.
UPDATE: By trading Yi Jianlian and cash to Washington for Quinton Ross Monday, the Nets cleared another $2.9 million in cap space, closing in on room for two max free agents.
In all, there are nine teams with cap space heading into July 1. That doesn't mean free agency is a nine-team race, as teams that are over the cap (Dallas and Houston, for example) already are internally discussing sign-and-trade deals that could yield marquee free agents in return. Here's a breakdown of how much room each team with cap space has, using league salary figures and consultations with team executives:
1) Knicks, $34.4 million: That doesn't include a $10.5 million cap hold for unrestricted free agent David Lee, whose rights must be renounced to have room for two max signings.
2) Nets, $30.5 million: New Jersey failed in its draft-day attempt to deal Devin Harris and his $8.9 million contract, a move that would’ve put them on par with the Knicks for the most cap space. The Nets will continue to dangle Harris and others if they feel it gives them a real shot at two max players.
3) Bulls, $29.2 million: Chicago cleared $9.8 million by trading Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick to the Wizards, who ironically absorbed the hit with the space provided by Cleveland in the Antawn Jamison trade. So it's possible that the Bulls could wind up recycling that space and turning it into LeBron James. But I digress. The Bulls' figure could rise to $30.9 million after Rob Kurz and Chris Richard (both non-guaranteed deals) are waived, and they’d get the room for two max free agents by dumping James Johnson ($1.8 million) on a team with cap space.
4) Heat, $29.1 million: Like Chicago, Miami is on the cusp of clearing room for two max free agents. There are two fairly straight-forward routes by which they can finish the job: Acquire one of the players in a sign-and-trade (if someone will take Michael Beasley and his $4.9 million contract) or give James Jones ($1.8 million) away to a team that’s under the cap, such as Sacramento. If a team like the Kings were offered Jones plus $3 million cash and a future draft pick, how could they say no?
5) Clippers, $16.8 million: As things stand now, the Clips have room for only one max player, and it’s likely to stay that way. They’ll go all-in for LeBron, but anticipating a no, will quickly switch gears to a second-tier free agent, with Joe Johnson the likely target.
6) Kings, $14.9 million: Sacto doesn’t intend to be a major player in pursuing free agents, but GM Geoff Petrie and assistant GM Jason Levien will still be quite busy. The Kings will field numerous calls from teams trying to unload salaries into Sacramento’s space, an avenue that would provide cash and future draft picks to continue the rebuilding process.
7) Timberwolves, $13 million: If GM David Kahn is able to dump Al Jefferson ($13 million), the T-Wolves’ space could increase significantly. Short of that, Minny will be in the same boat as the Kings as facilitators for other free-agent movers and shakers.
8) Wizards, $10.4 million: All that space, and then some, disappears if Washington picks up Josh Howard’s $11.8 million team option for 2010-11. That’s unlikely. It’s also a long shot that the Wizards will be players in the free-agent derby, preferring instead to wait until the financial framework of a new CBA is set.
9) Thunder, $5.5 million: GM Sam Presti finally delved into his cap space to acquire Daequan Cook and the expiring contract of Morris Peterson, deals that yielded 11th pick Cole Aldrich and future draft picks.
Posted on: February 18, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2010 4:38 pm
Recovering from an initial blow that saw Tracy McGrady heading to Sacramento overnight, the Knicks successfully expanded it into a three-team deal that sends the former All-Star to New York -- and clears Jared Jeffries' cap-clogging contract, a key person involved in the negotiations told CBSSports.com.