Tag:Free Agent Buzz
Posted on: July 2, 2009 12:55 am
With word Wednesday night that Doug Collins has removed his name from consideration for the Pistons' head coaching job, Avery Johnson has emerged as the clear favorite to succeed Michael Curry in Detroit.
As he did with the Sixers' job earlier this offseason, Collins flirted with the idea of returning to the sideline but ultimately couldn't resist staying in the relatively blissful world of basketball broadcasting. All in all, that's good for basketball fans because I think Collins is as good as it gets when it comes to NBA color commentators. A little over the top sometimes, but outstanding nonetheless.
So after Collins informed Pistons president Joe Dumars that he was no longer pursuing the job, a source familiar with the situation confirmed, it is now clearly Johnson's job to lose. The former Mavericks coach makes sense on so many levels. Dumars has stated that he wants a more experienced coach. Johnson was a winner in Dallas, and by now he's had time to reflect on some of the things he did wrong -- primarily being too rigid. The third box the Pistons can check off is that Johnson is still getting paid by the Mavericks next season, so he comes at a discount. For similar reasons, I believe Sam Mitchell will get the job in Minnesota. Dollars and cents and past success equals a new opportunity for both. Stay here for updates.
Posted on: July 1, 2009 10:19 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2009 11:34 pm
There must be more than meets the eye when it comes to the trade reported by the Los Angeles Times in which the Clippers send Zach Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies for Quentin Richardson. Z-Bo makes $6.6 million more than Q-Rich and has two years left on his contract as opposed to Richardson's one. Memphis is under the cap, so the trade doesn't have to satisfy the 125 percent rule. Still, the Clippers should feel fortunate to have found such a willing taker.
Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:26 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 1:00 am
The Detroit Pistons struck first Wednesday, getting commitments from their top two free-agent targets, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 2:20 am
You want buzz? How's Ron Artest playing on the same team with LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal?
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: July 1, 2009 10:59 am
Eager to transform malaise from the salary-cap clearing Chauncey Billups trade into a new beginning, the Pistons believe they can land both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva and are making their pitch on the first day of free agency, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Posted on: July 1, 2009 1:35 am
Edited on: July 1, 2009 11:11 am
The NBA’s free-agent negotiating period opened with a flurry at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, with teams positioning themselves for what figures to be a hectic and unpredictable summer unlike any other. The Portland Trail Blazers came out determined to pull off the first impact move, making a strong push to sign Hedo Turkoglu, the prized free agent of the summer, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
While Portland had been expected to prioritize an upgrade at point guard by making a run at Andre Miller, the league source said Portland came out of the gate at 12:01 a.m. trying to lure Turkoglu with a $50-million deal. After acquiring Vince Carter from the Nets to hedge against Turkoglu’s departure, the Magic are not expected to be a factor in a discussion that begins in the $10 million-per-year range.
UPDATE: Several team executives confirmed the Blazers' interest in Turkoglu on Wednesday. But one agent who has been in discussion with numerous teams about free agents said Portland officials insist that the talks are in the formative stages.
Not one to be discouraged by the damaged economy and lack of top-shelf talent, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban traveled to New York to be the first to meet with free agent Jason Kidd – pre-empting the Knicks’ plans to lure Kidd back to the New York area, where he could be close to his children and play for Mike D’Antoni, whose wide-open offensive style suits him.
Team executives widely believed that Ben Gordon would quickly agree to terms with Detroit, a move that would almost certainly require other moves to create a spot for the Bulls’ shooting guard. The Pistons just endured a 39-win season and first-round playoff sweep, in large part due to the three-headed backcourt of Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, and Allen Iverson. The fallout led to coach Michael Curry’s sudden and unexpected firing Tuesday, with Doug Collins and former Mavs coach Avery Johnson emerging as the front-runners to replace him. A high-level coaching source told CBSSports.com that the job appeared to be Collins’ to lose.
UPDATE: The Pistons believe they can land both Gordon and Charlie Villanueva and are making their pitch on the first day of free agency, two people familiar with the situation confirmed.
Rasheed Wallace’s camp was expecting calls early Wednesday from the Celtics, Cavaliers, and Spurs, among others. Kevin Garnett, a league source confirmed, was working behind the scenes to recruit ‘Sheed to Boston. Wallace’s attitude – which obviously can be both good and bad – and his ability to stretch the front court would be assets to the Cavs in their quest to fortify their pre-draft acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal. Wallace will have to factor in whether anyone comes forward with more than the mid-level exception. He also is said to be wary of the strong egos in the Boston locker room, not to mention the fact that the Rajon Rondo situation needs to be resolved. The Celtics cleared a spot for Wallace by not extending a qualifying offer to power forward Leon Powe, who is coming off major knee surgery and became an unrestricted free agent.
The Nuggets also have long coveted Wallace, who nearly went to Denver before the team acquired Kenyon Martin in 2004. But according to a person familiar with the discussions, the Nuggets were meeting with Portland restricted free agent Channing Frye as the clock struck midnight ET. Nobody does more with less than the Nuggets, who would benefit from Frye’s pick-and-pop ability without breaking the bank.
Villanueva, who became an unrestricted free agent after Milwaukee decided not to tender him a qualifying offer, looks like a fallback option for Cleveland. The Spurs also are considering Antonio McDyess.
The defending champion Lakers intend to make every effort to re-sign unrestricted free agents Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza. They got welcome news from Finals MVP Kobe Bryant, who did not exercise his early termination option and will likely entertain an extension with the Lakers this summer, a high-ranking league source told CBSSports.com. That means that Bryant, who only last summer made noise about wanting out of L.A., would be giving up any leverage he had this summer or next – when he has a player option – to influence the direction of the team, including who succeeds Phil Jackson whenever he retires.
The Rockets, stung by devastating news that Yao Ming could miss all of the 2009-10 season – or longer – with a broken foot, went to work immediately on their Yao-less contingency plan. GM Daryl Morey announced on his Twitter account that he was meeting with Orlando restricted free-agent center Marcin Gortat and urged Houston fans to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to help his recruiting efforts.
Carlos Boozer’s decision not to opt out of his $12.7 million contract for next season gave more leverage to other free-agent power forwards, including his teammate, restricted free agent Paul Millsap. The Knicks’ David Lee was expecting calls from the three teams with the most cap space for a straight-up signing – Detroit, Oklahoma City, and Memphis – and figured to generate sign-and-trade talks among the likes of Chicago, Toronto, Golden State, Miami, and Dallas.
UPDATE: Lee's camp spoke with numerous teams after the negotiating period began at 12:01 a.m. Oklahoma City and Lee's current team, the Knicks -- who have matching rights as Lee is a restricted free agent -- were among them, according to a source. Lee's situation is expected to unfold over the next 48-72 hours, and a key aspect is how the Knicks decide to proceed with their eyes still firmly on a plan to clear significant cap space for next summer's free agent bounty.
Posted on: July 1, 2009 1:18 am
Edited on: July 1, 2009 10:37 am
Determined to make the first splash of the NBA's free-agent negotiating period early Wednesday, the Portland Trail Blazers are making a strong push to sign Hedo Turkoglu, the prized free agent of the summer.
While negotiations across the league were in the early stages, a person with knowledge of the discussions said the Blazers are trying to lure Turkoglu with a deal in the $50-million range. Contracts cannot be signed until July 7, when the annual moratorium on signing and trading players is lifted.
Other teams expected to make a play for Turkoglu, who earned a huge pay day by helping Orlando get to the NBA Finals, were Toronto, Detroit, and Sacramento. The Magic, who acquired Vince Carter from the Nets on the belief that they could not retain Turkoglu, are not expected to be a factor in a situation that involves Turkoglu getting $10 million a year.
UPDATE: Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby, told the Oregonian that the Blazers were the first team to call. "They were enthusiastic and well received by us," Babby said. "We are engaged in the process. We will see where it takes us in the next couple of days and take it from there."
GM Kevin Pritchard and assistant GM Tom Penn first called Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, who are seeking extensions from the team, the Oregonian reported. In order to clear cap space for Turkoglu, the Blazers likely would have to renounced their rights to both Joel Freeland and Petteri Koponen, both playing overseas.
UPDATE: Several team executives confirmed the Blazers' interest in Turkoglu Wednesday. But as is usually the case, the Blazers were operating in somewhat of a clandestine environment. One agent who has been in contact with numerous teams since the free-agent bell rang at 12:01 a.m. said Blazers officials insist the talks with Turkoglu were still in the developing stages. It's difficult to imagine where Turkoglu would do better than the Blazers, though. The Pistons, according to sources, are targeting Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Oklahoma City -- another rare team with cap space -- appears to be focused on restricted free agent Paul Millsap or New York's David Lee.