There were conflicting reports about James Posey coming out on Thursday. Ric Bucher said that Posey was not returning to Boston. Then, on Hoopsworld, Bill Ingram said that James Posey is expected to announce that he'll re-sign with the Boston Celtics in the next 24 hours. Finally, in the Globe, Marc Spears reports that there is nothing new in regards to Posey's free agency situation. Who to believe? I like Ingram's take on it personally. There is an an article in the News Herald telling us that the Cavs are balking at offering more than 3 years on a contract. The Cavs regretted giving four-year deals to Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones and don't want to make the same mistake, but would have to go to 4 years to have a chance at landing Posey, a hometown favorite there. It was reported that the Celtics upped their offer to 4 years, but that was not confirmed by Danny Ainge.
There were a few signings that just made things official. The Cavs signed their first round draft pick, JJ Hickson who was the 19th pick in the draft. Baron Davis officially signed the contract with the Clippers. Newsday reported that the Knicks were Baron's first choice after he opted out of his contract. He checked with them to see there was interest before signing with the Clippers. There may have been interest, but with almost 94 million in payroll, even before adding Duhon, they definitely didn't have the cap space to give him. The Clippers renounced their rights to free agents Dan Dickau, Shaun Livingston, Boniface Ndong, Smush Parker and James Singleton. I wouldn't mind taking a chance on Shaun Livingston. We have taken a chance on several other players with bad knees. He would be worth a look anyway to see what he has after the injury. The Wizards signed Dee Brown to an offer sheet and the Jazz have 7 days to match it although several sources say that they won't match it.
The NBA will start next season without a few players. Darius Miles will be suspended for the first 10 games of the season, and he isn't even on a team right now. That takes talent. The NBA announced today that JamesOn Curry of the Chicago Bulls has been suspended for one game for pleading guilty to resisting or obstructing an officer and public urination. He will miss the first game of the '08-'09 season. The NBA also announced today that Brad Miller of the Sacramento Kings has been suspended for the first five games of the '08-09 season for violating the terms of the NBA Anti-Drug Program.
The Wolves completed their trade with the Sixers and in a report in the Herald (via the Star Tribune), McHale compares Rodney Carney's talents to free agent Kirk Snyder. the article then says that there are reports that Snyder will wind up signing with Boston. This may be a contingency plan if Posey goes elsewhere or it may be just idle rumor.
Brent Barry was traded by the Spurs last season only to be cut right away and go back to the Spurs while teams like the Celtics and Suns waited on his decision. He has now moved on from the Spurs and has signed a 2 year deal with the Rockets. He is the third member of his family to play for the Rockets. Brent's father, Rick, spent two seasons with the Rockets (1978-80) and his older brother, Jon, who is now an NBA broadcaster, played for the team from 2004-06. The NY Daily News reports that Paul Pierce is playing GM by advising the Knicks to dump Stephon Marbury in their rebuilding plans.
"He makes the biggest contract and he's one of the oldest players on the team," Pierce said yesterday while signing collectibles at Steiner Sports offices in New Rochelle. "That doesn't really fit into a rebuilding plan, just to be honest.
"I'd try to trade him or buy him out at this point," added Pierce, who still believes Marbury can be a starting point guard in the NBA. "I just think he needs a fresh start somewhere else. Marbury needs to be on a veteran team where he fits into what they're trying to do a little bit more."
Uh, I just hope that the veteran team where where he fits into what they are trying to do is not the Celtics. I have never seen Marbury as the ubuntu kind of guy. His entire career he has been a Starbury first kind of player. I do like his efforts to make affordable sneakers for kids, but on the court, he has struck me as a selfish player.
Speaking of Starbury's sneakers, the NY Post reports that in spite of Marbury's tenuous situation with the Knicks and his marketing partner, Steve & Barry's, filing for bankruptcy, his sneaker line will still go on. He just made a deal with Amazon.com to market the sneakers starting with the Christmas marketing season this year. The price is expected to to up from the current 14.98 price, but it doesn't say how much. You can find them now on sale at Steve and Barry's slashed to 8.98 on clearance.
With Ronny Turiaf signing an offer sheet with the Warriors, the Lakers have 7 days to either match the offer or decide to go after another free agent. They have been one of the teams interested in Posey, but as of yet, haven't offered the full MLE 5 year deal that Posey is looking for. Turiaf and Posey share the same agent who seems to be a thorn in the side of the Celtics this off season as he also represents their first round pick JR Giddens who has opted out of the minicamp because they couldn't agree on a contract. The San Francisco Chronicle believes that the Lakers will let Turiaf walk and double their efforts elsewhere (Posey perhaps?)
The Washington Times reports that Etan Thomas will scrimmage with the Wizards summer league team. Thomas missed missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a leaky aortic valve. Thomas received clearance to resume noncontact training in January, but his sternum didn't fully heal in time for him to resume contact drills and return to live action. Now fully cleared, he will scrimmage with the summer league squad. I wish Thomas the best of luck. Ronny Turiaf, discussed above also underwent open heart surgery and has come back to play very well afterwards.
The Toronto Sun reports that Carlos Delfino is on his way out in Toronto. The Raptors are expected to sign newcomers Roko Ukic and Nathan Jawai in the next few days, but veteran guard Carlos Delfino appears to be the odd man out. He is a restricted free agent, but the Raptors are not expected to match any offer he may receive from other clubs. The Spurs and Pistons are reportedly interested.
Philly.com is reporting that Elton Brand had made a verbal commitment to the Clippers to sign a 5 year contract before signing the contract with the Sixers. You can't fault a player for going to a better situation or more money, but, if they break a commitment in the process, it isn't right. Carlos Boozer still carries the stigma of doing the same thing to Cleveland. If it is true, Brand just became a branded man with many fans.
The Star Ledger reports that the Nets are looking at available veterans such as Denver's Marcus Camby and Chicago's Andres Nocioni via trade. They also met with free agent Eduardo Najera and are trying to sell him on a 2 year contract rather than the 3 year deal he is looking for so that they can still have the cap room to go after LeBron or another available star in 2010. Reports are that the Nets are also close to reaching an agreement with Jarvis Hayes.
There have been reports of the Celtics possibly considering Alonzo Mourning as a back up center. Word from the Sun Sentinel is that although Alonzo Mourning still hopes to return from last season's serious knee injury, the Heat center required an additional procedure recently amid his comeback bid. Three sources familiar with Mourning's rehabilitation confirmed the procedure but said the center still could be able to make it back to the court by midseason. After spending a month in a hard cast and another month in a brace, Mourning was told the injury would require at least six additional months of rehabilitation.