Posted by EOB Staff
On a shortened schedule with the conclusion of the NBA lockout, free agency is going to be fast and furious. To keep track of all the wheelings, dealings, rumors, and reports, check Eye on Basketball daily for the Free Agency Buzz.
Thursday, Dec. 8, 205:44 p.m.
- Yahoo reports that the Nets actually backed away from Butler. So someone is leaking the Nets overpaid for Butler and still didn't get him and someone else is saying they didn't want him anyway. So that's fun. Fun with spin, everyone!
- Yahoo also reports that Nene is leaning back towards re-signing with Denver for a five-year deal. This makes zero sense for Denver who is rebuilding and doesn't need a max contract around its neck in the form of a 29 year-old player on a reconstructed knee who isn't dominant at either end of the floor. So it'll probably happen, judging from how today's gone.
- Brian Windhorst of ESPN who is very well connected in the Cleveland organization refutes an earlier report from Yahoo saying the Cavs plan to amnesty Baron Davis. Windhorst says no decision has been made. This is a big one for the Cavs. There's little reason to amnesty Davis now, but a lot of reason to amnesty him next year in a superior free agency class when the Cavs will have more young players via the draft. But if they want to start the rebuild now, they might decide to jettison him. Davis would have to clear all teams with cap room before being able to join a team like Miami or the Lakers, which is unlikely.
- ESPN reports that Caron Butler had a larger offer from the New Jersey Nets for four-years and $30 million and elected to sign with the Clippers. This is the kind of thing where you don't know who "won" and who "lost." Because the Clippers overpaid for Butler, but still managed to pay less than another, more desperate team would have. And the Nets were saved from drastically overpaying for Butler... and yet still managed to swing out on their first big free agent offer. Um... congrats?
- Chauncey Billups is not happy about this amnesty idea. Billups' agent spoke with Yahoo and said that Billups is "irate" at the thought of going somewhere he doesn't want to, and that in the amnesty auction, if Billups is waived, "buyer beware." He actually said that. This is a good job getting out ahead of things to let it be known that teams who can claim him with cap room shouldn't, because he'll basically make your life miserable. You imagine him doing things like letting the clock just run out on every position by dribbling and shooting free throws backwards over his head, granny-style.
- ESPN.com reports that free agent forward Josh Howard is being courted by Chicago, Denver, New Jersey, San Antonio, Utah and Washington.
- SI.com reports that the Miami Heat might target Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups if New York does waive him via the amnesty clause. Billups would need to clear the waiver process for the Heat to get a crack at him, as Miami is over the cap and the waiver process only allows bids from under-cap teams.
- Here's a news item of free agent forward Caron Butler heading to the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Yahoo Sports reports the Cleveland Cavaliers are "expected to use" their amnesty clause on veteran point guard Baron Davis. 2011 No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving is waiting in the wings for the Cavaliers. Davis is owed more than $28 million over the next two seasons.
- SI.com reports that the Indiana Pacers have reportedly signed former Portland Trail Blazers center Jeff Pendergraph to a 2-year contract. Pendergrah missed the entire 2010-2011 season after suffering a season-ending injury during the preseason.
- Yahoo Sports reports that Indiana Pacers free agent forward Mike Dunleavy, Jr. has agreed to a 2-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks worth $7.5 million. The Bucks are over the cap and reportedly made the addition using a portion of their Mid-Level Exception.
- NBA.com reports that the Los Angeles Clippers have signed Dallas Mavericks free agent forward Caron Butler to a 3-year deal worth $24 million. Multiple outlets have confirmed the deal and its numbers.
- Regarding earlier rumors surrounding Chauncey Billups being amnestied or traded by the Knicks, Yahoo Sports reports that Billups is "irate" that he might be amnestied and ESPN.com reports that the Dallas Mavericks do not want his contract in a sign-and-trade.
- Here's a news item on the Detroit Pistons reportedly inking forward Tayshaun Prince to a 4-year deal.
- Yahoo Sports reports that the Knicks' offer to free agent center Tyson Chandler could be worth 4-years and $58 million.
- Yahoo Sports reports that Denver Nuggets free agent center Nene Hilario is "still wide open" with the following teams chasing him: Denver, Golden State, Houston, Indiana and New Jersey.
- Meanwhile, SI.com reports that rival executives believe Nene will return to Denver for "close to" a maximum contract. The site reports that the Rockets, who had been interested in Nene, will now pursue Memphis Grizzlies restricted free agent Marc Gasol.
- ESPN.com reports that the Orlando Magic continue to be involved in trade conversations involving All-Star center Dwight Howard but that the team is "not yet fully exploring" trades because it believes it has a chance to retain him.
- ESPN.com reports that Lakers free agent guard Shannon Brown, who was not expected back in Los Angeles, is involved in "serious talks" with the Phoenix Suns and that the two sides could "likely" reach a deal on Friday. Yahoo reports that the deal has been reached and it's worth $3.5 million for 1-year.
- Yahoo reports that Los Angeles Clippers restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan has the following suitors: Denver, Golden State, Houston and New Orleans.
- The Detroit News reports that the Pistons will sign free agent forward Jonas Jerebko to a 4-year deal worth $16 million. Jerebko missed all of last season with an Achilles injury.
- In light of Ken Berger of CBSSports.com's report that the Knicks may part ways with point guard Chauncey Billups via trade or amnesty to land Tyson Chandler, SI.com reports that Billups' agent is assessing potential destinations for his client.
- Tyson Chandler has a major four-year, $60 million offer from the Warriors? It's now about whether Dallas is willing to come close to that and if so, if Chandler favors his old team versus a new one.
- Fox Sports South Florida spoke with Shannon Brown's agent who says that the Battier signing takes him out of the running there.
- ESPN reported earlier Thursday the Knicks and Heat were looking at Josh Howard. Battier's signing takes Miami out. New York is an interesting option given Howard's skill-set, and their need for a wing scorer. Howard may be the backup to Grant Hill if he doesn't sign there.
- T.J. Ford will reportedly sign with the Spurs. Ford himself at least was indicating that as well with a tweet Wednesday that said, "SA SA SA SA.” "This is a great opportunity for me to continue to play," Ford told the San Antonio Express-News. "I understand my role in the NBA now. I accept it and look forward to getting started on Friday. I want to help these guys pick up where they left off in the regular season and I believe I can be a positive factor for them off the bench."
- According to the Boston Globe, Marquis Daniels is close to signing with the Celtics. Daniels was with the Celtics last season before he had a scary neck injury and they dealt him to the Kings.
- Eddy Curry will sign with the Heat Friday, according to HoopsWorld.
- SI.com reports that contrary to reports from the New York media, Grant Hill hasn't made a decision and isnt close to signing anywhere.
- ESPN.com says that due to a disappointing swath of offers on the open market, David West may be returning to New Orleans. He's reportedly "warming" to the idea. It's hard to envision a scenario where some team (cough* Nets* cough*) doesn't get desperate and pull him in for something ridiculous, but if the knees are just too damaged that could be a dealbreaker.
- The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Tyson Chandler is option No.1-3 in free agency and are "confident" that they can sign the champion center. It would appear that regardless of whether the Warriors' efforts to obtain Chris Paul through trade are successful or not the Warriors will be gunning for Chandler as their starting center. He and David Lee could make for a pretty tough rebounding tandem if the Warriors pull it off.
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that free. agency will officially open at 2 p.m. on Friday, not midnight. So some executives can get some sleep. Which is nice, for them, we guess.