Marc Spears reports in the Globe that the Celtics are still interested in Darius Miles. Miles hasn't played for 2 years after suffering what was diagnosed as a career ending injury. Unlike when the Celtics requested cap relief when Reggie Lewis died, the league granted the Blazers relief from Miles' salary. The fun part of this is that if Miles signs with a team and plays 10 games, the Blazers are on the hook for the remainder of the 18 million they owed him for the 2 years that were left on his contract. Miles will start the season with a 10 game suspension for testing positive for what has been speculated as performance enhancing drugs. He is looking for a minimum contract and there are other teams interested as well including the Suns and the Mavericks. He reportedly struggled in his workout with the Mavs but reports out of Boston were that he impressed them with his workout there. He has worked hard to get himself back to playing shape from the injury and as long as the knee holds up it may be worth the risk.
After threatening to join the exodus to Europe, Andris Biedrins signed a lucrative 6 year contract with the Warriors worth a reported $63 million. This is the second player in the last few days who is being overpaid by his team after threatening to go to Europe if they didn't offer enough. First, Sasha Vujacic signed a three-year, $15 million contract after threatening to leave for Europe and now this ridiculous contract for Biedrins. This may be a disturbing trend as teams pay too much for players because they threaten to go overseas. I actually believe that the Hornets overpaid for Posey and may regret it somewhere down the line. Although, he may be the piece that puts them over the top as a contender so we won't know until it all plays out.
The Hawks lost Josh Childress to Europe and now it doesn't look good for them to sign the other Josh either. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that there are at least two, blockbuster sign-and-trade proposals that the Hawks are considering for Smith. One proposal is reportedly from a Western Conference power and the other from an Eastern Conference contender. Rumors have been floating that the two teams are the Lakers and Pistons with Lamar Odom and Tayshaun Prince as the centerpieces of the deals with the respective teams. But the Detroit Free Press says that the Hawks were asking too much and that there is no deal on the table. But, in spite of not having a deal on the table, the Pistons are still very much interested in Smith. So, could the Eastern contender with a deal on the table be the Cavs? The Hawks clearly don't want to pay what Smith believes he is worth and won't over pay him but seem to be ok with allowing another team to do so if they can get enough back from them. In the meantime, it is being reported that the Hawks are on the verge of signing Randolph Morris to a two year minimum deal that would shore up the Hawks front court.
Newsday is reporting that the Knicks are in talks with Denver to send Renaldo Balkman to the Denver Nuggets for point guard Taurean Green and small forward Bobby Jones. The Knicks are expected to waive both Jones and Green if they make the deal as both have no-guaranteed contracts and the Knicks would have 17 players. It would be a move to save money and move Balkman who doesn't seem to fit in D'Antoni's system. Personally, Balkman is one of the players I like on the Knicks. He plays hard and hustles on defense.
Reports are that the Bobcats and Emeka Okafor are still not close to a contract agreement. The Bobcats are offering around 10 million a year and if Biedrins can get close to $11 million a year and Bogut can get over $12 million a year, then it would seem that the Bobcats are not willing to pay the market value for Okafor. Of course, he could accept the qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season, but that is always risky.
The Sporting News reports that teams are lining up to make offers to Devean George. The Celtics have been linked to George as a replacement for James Posey. George is a defensive minded player who also brings championship experience.
The schedule for next year is almost finished. It is usually announced the first week in August, but Matt Winick, the man who makes up the schedule is running about 3 or 4 days behind this season because of the uncertainty presented with the Seattle/OKC team. Games have to be scheduled around concerts, the NHL, a rodeo or a circus, the Big 12 mens and women's basketball tournaments, and more. The schedule should be out the first or second week of August so we can look forward to that.
Gerald Green has always had tremendous athleticism and potential but has not been able to transfer that into becoming a team player. The Mavericks could be his last chance to prove he can play and this week in Summer League play, Gerald showed signs of rounding out his game. He led Dallas by scoring 19 points per game, he showed off his jumper, and he was great on the fast break, finishing off several plays with highlight dunks. He's still got a ways to go, but the Mavericks have to be encouraged with how Green played this week. I'm pulling for Gerald. I have always liked him and knew that if his head could just catch up to his abilities he could be a star. He is still young and there is plenty of time for that to happen.