For the second time in a week, it is reported that Maurice Evans has signed a contract. First, it was reported that Evans signed with the Warriors but afterwards they changed the report to say that he turned down their offer and with the Warriors matching the offer for Kelenna Azubuike, they abandoned the chase for Evans. Today, the Journal Constitution reports that Evans has signed a three-year deal believed to be worth about $7.5 million. It is predicted that he will slide into the sixth man role that Childress vacated when he bolted to Europe. I thought that Evans was a nice fit for the Celtics and there were reports that Danny had been in talks about him.
The SacBee reports that the Kings have signed point guard Bobby Brown to a two-year deal at the league minimum ($442,114) with a player option in the second season. Ryan Hollins, the Bobcats restricted free agent, signed a one-year qualifying offer that will bring him back to the team next season after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.
The Utah Jazz have matched Oklahoma City’s four-year $15 million offer sheet for restricted free agent C.J. Miles. They took the full 7 days before deciding to keep Miles and match the offer.
The Warriors have been one of the busiest teams so far this offseason and continued to make moves as they signed Anthony Morrow on Friday. Morrow averaged 18.6 points in six Summer League games with the Warriors and impressed them enough to offer him a contract.
The Nets have 15 players under contract They have several power forwards on their roster and may be looking to deal Sean Williams and/or Stromile Swift in order to add another point guard and possibly a shooter. With all the moves that the the Nets have made and are expected to make, it's possible that Vince Carter and Josh Boone could be the only Nets remaining from the team they had at the start of last season.
The Timberwolves have agreed to a multiyear contract with former Celtic Ryan Gomes. I had always hoped that the Celtics would bring Gomes back to Boston, but I guess that isn't going to happen now. Gomes is expected to officially sign sometime next week. That makes 3 of the 5 players who went to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett that will be staying with the Wolves long term. Only Gerald Green and Theo Ratliff (and his expiring contract) left the club.
After reports came out that Sasha Vujacic was seriously considering going to Europe since the negotiations with the Lakers seemed to be at in impasse, both sides quickly moved to agree to a three-year, $15 million contract. It looks like Sasha will be around to whine his way through another season.
With other players jumping from the NBA to Europe for big contracts and rumors that Jason Kidd would consider finishing his career in Europe when his contract in Dallas is up, it isn't a surprise to read that Michael Findley has received offers to play in Europe also. However, the Sporting News reports that Finley turned down the offers from Europe and is looking to stay in the NBA. His first choice would be to stay with the Spurs and they are reported to have interest in keeping him. They also mention that Finley is looking at Lakers, Mavericks and Celtics. Finley fits Danny's mold of veterans with a lot of experience to finish the roster - like PJ Brown last season. Like PJ, Finley finally won a ring with San Antonio and if they make him an offer, I am sure he will return, but if not, he would fit nicely on the Celtics as a veteran presence off the bench.
Former Celtic and fan favorite, Delonte West is still looking to get a contract. As a restricted free agent, the Cavs can match any offer from other teams. It was widely reported that Delonte received a big offer from Dynamo Moscow, but the News Herald is now reporting that there is no truth to that rumor. Delonte is the Cavs' starting point guard and reserve guard Daniel Gibson received a five-year, $21 million deal last week so it seems that they should offer Delonte at least that but since there are few teams who can make Delonte an offer anywhere near that, there is no pressure on the Cavs to go above the deal they gave Gibson. I really like Delonte and would love to have him back in Boston, but that isn't in the cards. I hope he can get a good deal from some team as he deserves it. Maybe he should just accept the qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season. Teams are always looking for point guards and he may be able to do better that way.
Speaking of former Celtics, the Heat have more than their share of them. With Marcus Banks and Mark Blount (I really, really dislike that guy) and have Ricky Davis as an unrestricted free agent. The Sun Sentinel has this about possibly bringing Ricky back to the Heat:
Among the emails to pass this way in the recent dog days of free agency are those wondering, just wondering, about the potential virtues of a Ricky Davis reunion. Yes, he can score. Yes, there might be something to be said about Davis as a sixth man. But there's no way you distance yourself from 15-67 by bringing back too much of the 15-67. With Mark Blount and Marcus Banks, there is little choice. They're under contract. But with Davis a free agent, the Heat would actively have to pursue a reunion. Was Ricky Davis the cause of 15-67? Well, Shaquille O'Neal certainly played a far greater role, as did ailments to several others. But Davis also broke off numerous plays and missed countless assignments, albeit while making well-intentioned efforts
I really liked Ricky when he was with the Celtics, but I can't say as I want the Celtics to bring him back. He just doesn't have the ubuntu concept down although he plays hard every time out. The Heat are rumored to be offering Marion and/or Cook to try to bring in a center or point guard and if so, they may try to bring Ricky back but probably Ricky should go for that European offer. It may be his best bet.
Former Celtic Sebastian Telfair isn't the only player who plays with guns. Hornets' guard Rasual Butler was arrested June 23 after witnesses told Miami Beach police a man holding a firearm had made threats. Based on the arrest report, when police arrived at the scene, Butler was seated in the back seat of a sport utility vehicle. When officers asked Butler if he had any weapons, he told them he didn't, but that his gun was in the car. The police found an automatic weapon that was cocked and had a bullet in the chamber on the floor of the car. Butler was scheduled to enter a plea on Wednesday, but the hearing was reset for Aug. 4.
First, the Clippers signed Baron Davis away from the Warriors. Then, the Warriors signed Corey Maggette away from the Clippers. But the Warriors were not about to let the Clippers get another of their players if they could help it. They have matched the offer that the Clippers made last week to Kelenna Azubuike. The Warriors also signed Ronny Turiaf away from the Lakers, who chose not to match the offer, and they signed their second round draft pick, forward Richard Hendrix. The Warriors then completed a very busy day by re-signing their free agent guard Monta Ellis to a six-year, $67 million contract. Ellis got quite a raise in that as the 40th player selected in the 2005 draft, Ellis was paid just $770,610 last season. He will earn $11 million in 2008-2009. Ellis was the Warriors' shooting guard last season, playing next to Baron Davis, but with Davis' departure, he is expected to move to point guard this season.
By keeping Azubuike, the Warriors will no longer pursue free agent swingman Maurice Evans who was reported to have signed with the Warriors. But, a Warriors source told Bay Area News Group that Evans spurned their three-year, $6.4 million looking for more money, and so the Warriors changed direction and matched the Azubuike offer. There have been rumors that the Celtics have contacted Evans and it seems that he would be a nice fit for the Celtics who could use an athletic swingman like Evans who's known as a solid defender and good three-point shooter (sound like anyone the Celtics just lost?).
The Warriors still have unfinished business though as they haven't re-signed free agent Andris Biedrins. Biedrins' top choice is to stay with the Warriors. He is looking for a salary somewhere in the ballpark of the five-year, $50-plus million. With the other signings for the Warriors, it looks like that kind of a deal is out for Biedrins, however. He could reject any Warriors' offer and accept the $3.6 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason or he could accept any of several lucrative contracts being offered by European teams.
Just hours after bringing former Nugget Chris Anderson back to the team, the Denver Nuggets agreed to a one-year deal with free agent guard Dahntay Jones. Jones was drafted by Boston in 2003 but sent to Memphis in the trade that brought Kendrick Perkins and Marcus Banks to Botson. Jones was also given a look by the Celtics last season in training camp. After a good showing in Summer League, the Nuggets gave Jones a one-year fully guaranteed deal for the NBA minimum of $926,678.
Some money details are coming out on a couple of big deals. The Express News reports that The deal that the Spurs gave Kurt Thomas was for a total of $8 million — $4.2 million next season and $3.8 in 2009-10. The Spurs have also signed Anthony Tolliver, who impressed on the Spurs’ summer league squad, to a partially guaranteed contract. This is similar to the contract the Celtics signed Brandon Wallace to after his impressive summer league last season. Details on Josh Childress' contract with Olympiakos have emerged. His contract is worth $32.5- million over 3 years. The Hawks had offered five years at $33 million but it wasn't enough to keep Childress from jumping the NBA ship for Europe.
After landing the big free agent of the offseason in luring James Posey away from Boston, the Hornets are trying to re-sign their own free agents. They are hoping to resign Jannero Pargo who wants a three-year deal but they lost Chris Andersen to the Nuggets. Word is that they are going to let Bonzi Wells walk but may make an offer to try to keep Ryan Bowen.
With the official signing of Anthony Roberson on Wednesday, the Knicks now officially have 16 contracts which is one more than the NBA max and their league high payroll is once again over $100 million at $100,161,287. They need to do something and odds are that with a crowded backcourt, Marbury and his $21.9 million contract may be the one to go. other options may be Malik Rose, or one of the other smaller contracts like Balkman or Collins who have a team option for the 2009-2010 season.
Sebastian Telfair’s three-year deal with the Wolves is worth $7.5 million with $2.3 million this coming season and an option to stick with the Wolves in 2010-2011 for $2.7 million. Reports are that the Wolves appear to be getting closer to re-signing Ryan Gomes. Their offer will probably be in the $3 million a year range. There aren't many teams who can offer much more than that left in the hunt for free agents.
After losing one of their free agents, the Lakers are still trying to come to an agreement with their other free agent, Sasha Vujacic. Vujacic is seeking a multiyear deal from the Lakers averaging about $5 million a year. Vujacic was hoping for a six-year deal, but anticipated it could be a shorter contract. However, word from Vujacic is that he is prepared to leave the team and accept an offer from a European team in the next few days if the Lakers don't make him an offer he considers to be fair.
East Valley Tribune suggests that the flexibility that Matt Barnes will give the Suns makes Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa expendable and might open the door for them to go after Kirk Hinrich who they have been interested for some time. I still think that Barnes would have been a great pick up for the Celtics, especially since he signed for a minimum contract.
It seems as though the Blazers will spare nothing to try to dissuade teams from signing Darius Miles and thus put his $9 million in salary back on their club. First there was the leaking of the details of his suspension to the median. Now, Blazers GM is giving out details of Miles' injury that could land him in hot water. From the Sports Tribune:
“Two doctors said Darius had the worst microfracture injury they had ever seen,” Pritchard said on an Oregonlive.com blog this week. “They would never have him play basketball and the odds of having knee replacement surgery is high. I hear that, and as a general manager, I didn’t want it on my conscience – that I had a kid have to go through a knee replacement surgery. That’s a pretty major surgery. They saw (two bones) and replace (the knee). It’s a bad deal.”
In a story posted April 14 on the Portland Tribune’s Web site, Pritchard said, “The doctors had actually said, ‘If you were my son, I’d never have you pick up a basketball again.’ I’m the kind of GM (that) I wouldn’t want that on my head that he ever had to have knee replacement.”
By revealing the specific details of Miles' injury, Prichard is in violation of the privacy provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Availability Act of 1996. All of the underhanded activity by the Warriors in trying to prevent teams from giving Miles a chance make me really hoping the kid gets his comeback. Besides, I still am angry over the league not giving the Celtics any relief when Reggie Lewis died. I really hope Miles comes back and sticks it to the Warriors.
Josh Childress has opened the flood gates for NBA players considering jumping to Europe for lucrative deals when they can't get what they feel they are worth in the NBA. The latest to consider the jump is former Celtic Delonte West. Russian basketball team Dynamo Moscow is discussing a two-year, $10 million offer with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West, according to source close to West. Delonte is a restricted free agent and he could sign a $2.76 million qualifying offer for the 2008-09 season and become an unrestricted free agent next year if he chooses to stay in the NBA and doesn't feel that the Cavs are offering enough. Delonte has been plagued with various injuries throughout his career so far and so taking the qualifying offer is risky if he is unable to stay healthy and earn a bigger payday next season.
On the day that James Posey was introduced in New Orleans and vows to do whatever the coach asks of him for a team he sees poised to make a run at the title, the Celtics officially re-signed Eddie House and Tony Allen. On Sports Tonight, Tony said that the math was simple. If Posey signed, he and Eddie would have had to find a home elsewhere. It was one or the other. Danny said that Doc was worried about letting Tony go because he feels that Tony is going to have a break out year after watching him practice at the end of last season.
Another player who would have fit nicely on the Celtics is off the market. The Rocky Mountain News reports that Chris Andersen is returning to the Nuggets. The Birdman had visited Boston for 2 days early in the free agency period and Danny seemed to have interest in him and vice versa. Now, Andersen has agreed to a one year contract with the Nuggets and will continue his NBA comeback in Denver where he was a fan favorite from 2001-2004. I was hoping the Celtics would sign him, even though they already signed Patrick O'Bryant to back up Perk since O'Bryant may be more of a project than immediate help and Andersen would come in with athleticism and energy off the bench at the center position. Good signing by the Nuggets.
Denver was reported to be seriously considering signing Francisco Elson to replace the recently departed Marcus Camby. With Andersen signing in Denver, that leaves Elson out and looking for another team that may want him. Depending on how quickly Patrick O'Bryant develops, a one year league minimum contract to Elson might make sense for the Celtics. Although, it would remain to be seen how KG would feel about playing with a guy who called him gay.
Another player who had been linked to the Celtics as a possible Posey replacement was Maurice Evans. Mercury News reports that the Warriors have signed Evans to a three-year, $6.4 million deal. This means that the Warriors will not match the offer that their restricted free agent Kelenna Azubuike signed with the Clippers. Evans would have made sense to replace Posey because he is an athletic swingman who's known as a solid defender and good three-point shooter and would have filled those roles left vacant by Posey's departure.
The Clippers and Jazz have swapped point guards. The Clippers will receive Jason Hart from the Jazz and will send Brevin Knight to Utah. Last season, when the Celtics were in the market for a back up point guard, Knight was considered a serious candidate but signed with the Clippers instead while Sam Cassell was bought out by the Clippers and ended up signing with the Celtics. This is starting to feel like a game of 6 degrees of separation.
In David Thorpe's chat on ESPN.com, he was asked what he thought about JR Giddens and whether he will amount to anything or if Danny wasted a pick on him. Thorpe's response was that his athleticism could be a help off the bench. And when asked which 3rd year guy he sees improving the most from his sophomore season, Thorpe mentioned that Rondo should improve his game overall for next season.
The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard-forward Nicolas Batum on Wednesday. Batum played the past three seasons in the French ProA League. He was the 25th overall pick in the draft by Houston who traded his rights to Portland. Leading up to the draft, Batum was a popular choice on the mock drafts for the Celtics with the 30th pick.
The OC Register reports that the Lakers are no longer pursuing a trade for Ron Artest. Instead of the Ron Ron rumors in Laker land, there is talk that the Lakers have joined a list of teams interested in signing Luol Deng. The Bulls and Deng are having a hard time coming to an agreement on a deal and so rather than risk losing him, they may resort to a sign and trade and the Lakers are interested in making an offer if it comes to that. I can see a pattern to the players that the Lakers are pursuing this off season. Both Artest and Deng are known for giving Paul Pierce a hard time on defense. One of the problems the Lakers had in the Finals was trying to stop Paul Pierce. Getting either Artest or Deng would assure them of having a player who has given Pierce problems in the past. Now, if they only had an answer for KG, Ray Allen and Leon Powe, they would be all set.
The Sixers have reached an agreement with Royal Ivey, who spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks. Ivey will not officially sign the minimum-salary contract until Monday, which is believed to be for 2 years and include a significant guarantee. Ivey will come off the bench to complement Lou Williams, that is, if the Warriors don't lure Williams away from Philly. That will give the Sixers 9 players under contract.
Now that Josh Childress has made the leap to play in Europe next season, there is a lot of talk going around about other's following suit. Perhaps the most interesting is Jason Kidd talking about going to Europe when his contract is up. Playing in Europe could extend a player's career by a few years because they don't play the physical game that is found in the NBA. This is also why many European players have trouble adjusting to the NBA as they aren't used to the physical play that they run into when they come here. Carl Landry is also considering a jump to Europe if he can't get a satisfactory offer from an NBA team. Nenad Krstic is also considering joining fellow Nets free agent Bostjan Nachbar in accepting an offer to play overseas if he can't get the right deal from an NBA team.
On the other hand, Bobby Brown, who made a big impression with his summer league play, rejected several offers to play overseas and is set to sign a 2 year deal with the Sacramento Kings. It seems that Brown was in demand as the Hornets pursues him along with Israel's Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Spanish giant Barcelona before he decided to accept the Kings' offer.
Options are dwindling for both teams and free agents as teams continue to make moves. Here is what is going on around the league today:
Josh Childress has indeed left the Hawks to play in Greece. The Journal Constitution is reporting that Childress has agreed to a a three-year, fully guaranteed contract worth far more than the $20 million originally proposed. It will remain to be seen how this affects NBA free agency in the future. Any player not getting what they want can flaunt a European contract at their team and will have to be taken seriously. But, there are still many players who want to be in the NBA even if they are making far less than they could in Europe.
Josh Smith, the Hawks' other big free agent, was wined and dined by the Sixers and then they signed Brand. Then, he was wined and dined by the Clippers before they got Camby. Now, the only team under the cap that could offer him more than the MLE is the Grizzlies but they are in cost cutting mode. So, it seems that Josh Smith is stuck with the Hawks unless they can work a sign and trade with someone. Sources say that the Hawks are offering Smith a six-year deal worth $60 million. The Journal Constitution is reporting that this isn't true, however and that the Hawks have never offered anything near that. The San Antonio Spurs re-signed 36 year old Kurt Thomas on Tuesday. Thomas joined the Spurs last season in the trade that sent Brent Barry and Francisco Elson. In a rather fishy move, Barry was released by the Sonics and went back to the Spurs to join new teammate Kurt Thomas. Thomas' return could put in question the return of Robert Horry and Michael Finley's to the Spurs.
When the Nets acquired Keyon Dooling, Marcus Williams vowed to fight for his job as the Nets' point guard. He may be fighting for his job, but not with the Nets as they traded him to the Warriors for a future first-round pick. The Warriors are going to give Williams a chance to start along side of Monta Ellis, who is more of a shooting guard than a point. First Camby was traded to the Clippers for a second round pick and now Williams traded for a first round pick. Must be nice to be under the cap and able to pick up players for peanuts (and draft picks). The Warriors pick has plenty of strings attached, though. The pick is lottery protected for 2011. If it goes to 2012, the pick is protected 1-11. It’s protected 1-10 for 2013. If they still haven't received the pick by 2013, the Nets get second-round picks in 2013 and 2015.
ESPN reports that Detroit has offered to trade Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince twice this off season already. The first time was to try to pry Carmelo Anthony away from Denver. The second offer was to Houston for Tracy McGrady. Both offers were rejected. With the rumors that Detroit is considering making a bid for Artest they could be making a 3rd attempt to trade Billups and Prince. There seems to be some smoke here and there may be some fire behind it. It would be interesting to see the crowd react to Ron Ron being introduced to the Palace crowd for the first time as a Piston. Talk about mixed emotions. Personally I wouldn't want Artest for anything. The guy has been a cancer and a distraction everywhere he has gone.
Ryan Gomes is such a classy person. The Star Tribune reports that Gomes is participating in the Wolves' summer promotional caravan. He doesn't have a deal with the Wolves but is on their promotional tour.
“I made a commitment at the end of the season to do this,” Gomes said from Mankato. “They (the team) asked me if I’d like to do this and I’m a community guy, so I said yes. I don’t know where I’m going to be yet. I made a commitment and stuck with it.”
Gomes is looking for the full MLE but chances of getting it are dwindling. It seems unlikely that the Wolves wouldn't match anything less. I would really like to have him back in Celtics Green but all the Celtics could offer is half the MLE and unless Danny has incriminating pictures of McHale, the Wolves would probably match any offer we could afford to give. At this point in his career, he is looking for some security and possibly accepting the qualifying offer and then seeing what he can get as an unrestricted free agent next season could be his best move. As hard as Gomes works, his value should only improve.
Mark Bartelstein has said that several teams, including the Celtics have inquired about his client, Devean George. In his interview on WEEI, Danny said that he hasn't had any talks with George. So, either Bartelstein is floating rumors to try to get other teams to make an offer before another team snaps him up or Danny is not wanting to tip his hand. I remember Danny being interviewed on WEEI another time as the trade deadline approached when he said that the Celtics had nothing in the works and nothing even close. Four hours later, the Celtics traded for Wally Szczerbiak. So, you can't trust what an agent says or what Danny tells you for that matter. The News Herald reports that Bartelstein is also in talks with the Cavs concerning George.
Now that the Celtics have signed House and Allen, Danny says that he is taking some time off. He may make another deal, or he may roll the dice with the team we have. The Celtics lost Pollard, PJ Brown, Cassell and Posey. The Celtics have 2 promising rookies who could fill in the blanks. Gabe Pruitt should be able to fill in at the Point along with House. Tony, if healthy, can replace Posey's defense. Giddens and Walker may get a chance to prove themselves. Danny may go with what we have now and then save space to pick up someone if there is a need later on.
The Charlotte Observer reports that negotiations with Emeka Okafor are at an impasse. He has one more year left and if they don't agree on an extension, he can walk after next season as an unrestricted free agent. Rather than let him walk for nothing next season, the Bobcats may try to arrange a sign and trade. Some possibilities for a sign and trade swap are Shawn Marion, Anderson Varejao, Andris Biedrins, Al Harrington, and Luol Deng.
Delonte West is still unsigned. The News Herald reports that the Cavs want to sign him but that they aren't close to an agreement at this point. Other teams are interested but have been scared off by his restricted tag, figuring that since the Cavs do want him, they will just match any offer made. Daniel Gibson signed a 5 year contract with the Cavs that starts at $3.7 million and West is looking for more since he is the starting PG and Gibson is the back up. Of course, if they can't reach an agreement, Delonte could just accept the Cavs' qualifying offer of $2.76 million, play out the year, and the become an unrestricted free agent next year. That could be good or bad for him. If he has a great year, he will demand even more money next season. If he continues to be nagged with little injuries and struggles, then as a restricted free agent, he may not get as much as he would now. It's a gamble that may or may not pay off.
The Express News is reporting that it appears that Robert Horry's days with the Spurs are over. Big Shot Bob has won 7 rings in his 16 seasons in the league. He has said that he wants to play another season in the league but the Spurs don't seem inclined to bring him back. Unless he gets an offer from another team, he may be forced to retire. Could Big Shot Bob be the next aging veteran to come on board the Celtics? Danny loves these guys who seem to be on their last legs but who have tremendous experience and can help a team in little ways. Horry fits the profile.
The Portland Trail Blazers signed first-round pick Nicolas Batum on Tuesday. Batum was actually drafted by Houston with the 25th overall pick and then traded to the Blazers for two draft picks. This brings the team's roster to 14 players. They still have not made a decision on whether to sign Petteri Koponen. They don't feel he is ready for the NBA this season, but if they don't sign him now, he will likely sign a long term contract in Europe. If they sign him, he could spend some time in the D-League and accelerate his development.
The Clippers signed Golden State forward Kelenna Azubuike (8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) to a three-year, $9.3 million offer sheet last week and the Warriors have until Friday to match the offer, but according to sources they won't match it because they signed forward Maurice Evans to a three-year, $6.4 million deal.
We are about to enter into the quiet (read completely dead) part of the season for Celtics fans. Danny is going to take some time off. He lost one free agent and brought back 2 others. He still has to deal with the Celtics 2 draft picks and possibly pick up another free agent or even make a minor trade. But keep in mind, it wasn't until the end of August that Danny signed Posey last season and so he may wait until the dust settles to make another move. Reports are that Bill Walker is working hard to come back from the knee surgery and depending on how he looks, Danny may not make another move. If ready to contribute, Walker could be the back up at the 3 that the Celtics still need. I like the kid and think he could prove to be the steal of the draft.
There is something about Detroit basketball that incites riots. First there was the Pacers-Pistons brawl and now the women are getting in on the act as a Detroit Shock and LA Sparks game turned ugly in the final seconds. A collision between the Sparks' Candace Parker and Detroit's Plenette Pierson turned into a shoving match that saw players and coaches from both teams leave the bench. Shock assistant coach Rick Mahorn, who was involved in the Pistons-Pacers brawl on Nov. 19, 2004, as a Detroit broadcaster trying to break up the fight, appeared to shove Lisa Leslie to the floor at one point. Parker, Milton-Jones, Pierson and Mahorn were all ejected, while Detroit's Cheryl Ford left the floor on a wheelchair after getting injured while trying to restrain Pierson. What really surprises me is that Detroit Bad Boy Bill Laimbee, who is the Shock coach, didn't get in on the brawl for old times sake as his assistant coach did.
In the Zzone reports that the Nets' free agent Bostjan Nachbar will be heading to Europe. According to legaue sources, Nachbar will sign with Dynamo Moscow in Russia. Another of the Nets' free agents, Nenad Krstic has also received offers to play overseas but would prefer to remain in the NBA. The Nets may be looking for a sign and trade with him.
Not everyone is chomping at the bit for a big payday overseas. Will Bynum left lucrative offers overseas for a shot at making it to an NBA team. He played with the Pistons summer league team hoping to stick with the team as their No. 3 point guard. Bynum's gamble paid off and has agreed to a multi-year deal with Detroit. Bynum was signed by the Celtics in 2005 after he played with their summer league team. It was Bynum's signing that he and Tony Allen were celebrating when Tony was charged with assault in that night club shooting. The first of the Pistons' three second-round picks in last month's NBA draft, Walter Sharpe, is expected to sign a two-year deal as well.
The Nuggets are looking to continue their cost cutting spree. After giving away Marcus Camby for a second round draft pick, word is that the Nuggets would trade Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin or Nene, if anybody wanted them. Iverson has the most trade value with an expiring $20.84 million contract, he would be valuable to a team looking to clear salary-cap room for next summer. If the Nuggets, like every other team in the league, want to try to clear cap space for the summer of 2010, when LeBron and several other key stars will be free agents, then it might make sense for them to give away Iverson for nothing, as they did with Camby.
The Knicks are have a new GM and a new coach. Isiah Thomas has been banished to NBA Siberia or something like that, but the Knicks still are struggling. They had the 6th pick in the draft and chose 19-year-old Danilo Gallinari. In his lone Summer League game for the Knicks, Gallinari went scoreless in the first 2½ quarters and then had an impressive seven minutes in the second half when he scored 14 points. After suffering a back injury in their game against Cleveland, he missed the final 4 games. The NY Post raises the issue that Gallinari's summer league makes the Knicks question whether he'll be durable enough to withstand the NBA's physical pounding for 82 games. A European source said Gallinari had various hamstring and knee problems in Italy, but a Knicks source said that was "growing pains." Ok, if they say so.
Mark Bartlestein, who was instrumental in getting James Posey a big payday in New Orleans, is also Eddie House's agent and coincidentally, he is also the agent for Devean George, who has been linked to the Celtics in rumors lately. After the Celtics re-signed his client Eddie House, Bartelstein said the Celtics are interested in another of his free-agent clients: forward Devean George. Eric Pincus, a contributor to Hoopsworld for the Lakers and Clippers had this to say about George on the CelticStuff list:
I know George well – he’s athletic – can shoot – and is a better than average defender. He’s not a particularly bright basketball player though – doesn’t have a great handle – and can’t do much more than spot up. He also gets hurt a lot – and doesn’t play through pain well – especially because the core of his game is athleticism – when that’s hampered he can be quite useless.
I am not a big fan of signing him. He proved what kind of a team player he is when he almost blocked the trade for Jason Kidd. I would have much rather had Matt Barnes. I am sure that Danny knows what he is doing though and we'll have to see what he has up his sleeve. The Star Tribune is reporting that the Timberwolves have agreed to a multi-year contract with Sebastian Telfair. Telfair is another one of those players with potential and when he finally gets his head right will be a player. The Wolves now have 2 point guards on the roster in Randy Foye and Telfair. Still unsigned is Ryan Gomes who reportedly is seeking the full MLE. It seems that either he will have to go elsewhere or settle for less. It sure would be nice if he would agree to half the MLE in order to come back to Boston. He would be a great fit for the Celtics.
Some have speculated that Josh Childress is waving the offer in Greece in front of the Hawks as a bargaining chip. However, Childress and his advisory team, including his agents are in Greece meeting with officials from Olympiakos. It's doubtful that the entire group would have gone all the way to Greece simply to dupe the Hawks. He is seriously considering signing there.
The Pacers had a couple of decisions after making a big splash with the Jermaine O'Neal trade. They need help in the frontcourt, it won't be from 7'0" center David Harrison. Team officials said last week they are going in a different direction and have no interest in re-signing Harrison. Shawne Williams has had some problems off the court in the past year and the Pacers would like to rid themselves of Williams and his problems, but Pacers president Larry Bird says that he doesn't believe in buying out contracts, an issue that has arisen in regard to Williams and Jamaal Tinsley. So, if they want to rid themselves of yet another player with baggage, it will have to be via a trade. Seems that Larry should have tacked Williams on to O'Neal and shipped him off to Canada.
If nothing comes up in the physical that Matt Barnes is completing today, he will be signing a veteran's minimum one year contract with the Suns today. I still say he would have been a nice fit with the Celtics.
Finally, this rumor is pretty mind blowing. The SacBee is reporting that Detroit may be putting together a package for Ron Artest. Now wouldn't the Detroit fans just love having Billy Ron Ron there? After that brawl, Artest has been pretty much a villain in the Palace. This is one I'll have to see to believe.
Tony Allen and Eddie House are staying in the fold.
According to Danny Ainge, the Celtics have agreed to terms with each on two-year contracts.
Ainge would not be specific on the financial figures, but according to a source, both are being paid in the mid-$2 million range.
In the case of House, the money is roughly half the mid-level exception of $5.585 million.
The Celtics did not have to use any of the mid-level on Allen, because he has been with the club four years and the team thus has his “Bird rights.”
Teams are allowed to pay to keep their own free agents who have been with the club three years. Now we need to find a replacement for Posey.
I was hoping that Matt Barnes would be the one, but according to reports he is set to sign a league minimum deal with Phoenix. I am sure Danny has something up his sleeve but not sure what. We still have half the MLE and the LLE and veteran minimum contracts to sign someone and playing for the World Champs has to be a drawing card. But with the re-signing of House and Allen and the signing of O'Bryant, the roster is starting to shape up. There is still that one gaping hold left by Posey though. Maybe Danny has more hope for Walker than we realize.
AZ Central is reporting that Matt Barnes is scheduled to arrive in Phoenix Monday, expecting to sign a one-year veteran's minimum deal with the Suns after completing a physical. I was really hoping Danny would make an offer to Barnes as he would be a great replacement for Posey. It seems as though one free agent after another is being signed and the Celtics have yet to make a move to fill the empty spots on the bench. I just don't get Danny not having made a minimum offer to this guy already. Maybe he should give him a call real quick and make an offer.
Xtra Sports has a couple of interesting rumors on their website. First is that the Celtics have approached the Lakers concerning a trade for Trevor Ariza. Scal's salary fits. I wonder if they are looking for a glue guy since Turiaf left. Along with the inquiries about Ariza, they report that the Celtics are talking to Orlando's Maurice Evans, the Warriors' Matt Barnes, and the Wolves' Ryan Gomes. Word is that Gomes is looking for a 2 year contract for the full MLE. The Celtics may offer that, but since Gomes is restricted, the Wolves will probably match. I like the idea of getting Barnes. I think he would be a great fit for the team but probably won't come cheap.
Also according to Xtra Sports, rumors are flying around that the Lakers are trying to clear roster space in order to make a major trade to acquire Rasheed Wallace from Detroit or Ron Artest from Sacramento. They didn't match Turiaf's offer and that may clear the way for the trade for Artest.
With the Nets deal for Dooling almost final, Marcus Williams is the odd man out and the Nets would like to trade him. They are said to be looking to package Williams and one of their other young players, such as forwards Josh Boone or Sean Williams, for a veteran. They still have eight players on their roster with two years' or less experience in the league. Maybe the Nets would like Scal back. What better player to guide their youngsters. Sean Williams and Marcus Williams would be nice additions to the Celtics. Come on, New Jersey, you need a glue guy like Scal and now he can bring championship experience (sort of) to your team.
Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Josh Childress is strongly considering a three-year, $20 million offer from Greek powerhouse Olympiakos, several league sources said Sunday night. Childress flew to Greece late Sunday and is scheduled to meet with Olympiakos officials on Monday. Childress has been frustrated with the Hawks who have refused to make a sign-and-trade deal for Childress with another team. One source reports that there’s a better than a 50-50 chance he’ll sign with Olympiakos.
News is breaking that the Celtics have agreed to terms with two of their own free agents, Tony Allen and Eddie House. Both have agreed to 2 year deals. The Celtics used Tony's Bird rights but needed approximately half of the M LE to secure House. This pretty much eliminates the possibility of bringing Ryan Gomes back to Boston as he is seeking a deal close to the full MLE.
The Globe has a little tidbit buried at the end of an article about Marcus Camby. They report that the Celtics are still strongly interested in signing Eddie House and Tony Allen. The source said House and Allen are both also receiving interest from other teams as well. According to this, both are seeking three-year deals. I am sure the Celtics would want to sign as many 1 year minimum contracts as they can to limit their lux tax hit. They do have their MLE that they can split among players now that Posey is out of the picture. I think bringing both back would be a good move. If Tony can stay healthy, he can bring a lot of what they lost in Posey defensively.
The Lakers have decided to let Ronny Turiaf go to the Warriors when they didn't match the offer made by Golden State. It is believed by many that the Warriors are over-paying for Turiaf just as many believe that the Hornets over paid for James Posey. The Lakers' off season approach is completely different from the Celtics' approach. The Celtics had 6 free agents and will more then likely let the majority of them go. They will have 2 rookies coming in and would not go the 4th year to retain Posey who was a crucial part of last season's team. The Lakers on the other hand are trying to keep their team from last year together as much as possible. There is much to be said for building chemistry and keeping a team together. It is a pretty risky move by Danny to think that you can bring in 5 or 6 new players and expect the same chemistry that led the Celtics to 66 wins and a title to return.
The Warriors-Clippers-Sixers triangle continues as word is that the Warriors are now targeting the Sixers' restricted free agent Louis Williams. Williams' scoring knack would make him an intriguing fit in Don Nelson's system. Sources are reporting that the Warriors are planning to make a "big run" at him. This you take my player so I'll take yours is very interesting stuff.
The Warriors are also reportedly interested in former Celtic Delonte West and the SF Chronicle reports that West might be close to signing an offer sheet. Since Delonte is a restricted free agent, the Cavs could match any offer the Warriors make to him. The Cavs are negotiating with West who reportedly seeking Beno Udrih type money (5 year/$32 million) and are also looking into possible replacements just to cover their backs. One possible alternative could be Orlando's Carlos Arroyo.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Mavs are unlikely to re-sign free agent 6-8 guard/forward Devean George. They also list a number of teams interested in the 6'8" guard/forward who averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds last season for Dallas. The Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Hornets have expressed interest in George and they project that with the loss of Posey, the Celtics may be the next in line to take a look at him.
Dime reports that the team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics will now be called the The Oklahoma City Thunder. I wonder what the mascot will look like. I don't think I have ever seen a thunder. Lightning...yes, thunder... no. Maybe they will have a puffy cloud type thing. I may be old school but I prefer the old names that ar plural like the Celtics, Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, etc. Players can say, "I am a Celtic" and it sounds good. Or I am a Laker or I am a Knick. It just sounds wrong to say I am a Heat. Or I am a Magic. Or I am a Thunder. Slow news day and too much time to ponder on all these things.
Marc Stein has some interesting stuff on Darius Miles' suspension.
Sources say all 30 teams were notified this week by league memorandum that the drug which earned Portland Trail Blazers castoff Darius Miles a 10-game suspension to start next season -- if Miles can find a job -- is the appetite suppressant Phentermine.
A weight-loss drug, basically.
Steep as a 10-game ban is, then, Miles' mistake is nothing bound to scare teams away from signing him. He's tried out for at least four clubs already this month -- Boston, Dallas, New Jersey and Phoenix -- and is expected to command no more than a minimum salary in his comeback from long-standing knee problems, because the 26-year-old still has $18 million in salary coming from the Blazers.
I say he is worth taking a chance on. A minimum salary, partially picked up by the league isn't much to gamble on a kid with his potential, versatility and length. Danny said that he was impressed by his workout for the Celtics so I believe that Miles may still be in the mix to fill one of the Celtics' remaining spots. Danny has taken a chance on two other players who were passed over because of knee problems in Leon Powe and Bill Walker. Powe has worked out great and I have a feeling that Walker will too. But if Danny continues to wait, the Mavs are very interested in Miles as well and may be the team that takes a chance on him.