Tag:free agency
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:41 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 10:42 am
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Hibbert wants to stay with Pacers

Roy Hibbert wants to return to the Pacers next year, but isn't holding his breath for a extension. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Roy Hibbert's having a career year so far, averaging 14 and 10, with nearly two blocks per game, shooting 53 percent and racking up a 20.7 PER. In a league short on legit centers, that makes him as valuable as can be. But Hibbert, who enters the critical restricted-free-agency-coming-off-a
-rookie-deal this summer, doesn't think he's getting an extension offer before next week's deadline. That said, Hibbert doesn't think he'll be leaving Indiana in free agency. Not if he has anything to say about it. 

From the Indianapolis Star:  
"My personal gut feeling is that we'll do something in the summer, because the max guys are the ones that get extensions right away," Hibbert said. "I'm just going to follow my agent's lead."

Hibbert, who is having his best season, will become a restricted free agent, which means the Pacers can match any offer made to him this summer if the deadline passes.

Hibbert, however, said no one should dwell on his becoming a free agent.

He prefers to remain a Pacer.

"I have every intention of staying," Hibbert said. "Indiana is my home."
via Hibbert eager to stay | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com.

Hibbert started off hot last year, too, before fading, then settling in by season's end when the Pacers made their playoff run. So there's reason to be skeptical. But the truth is that all the signs are there. Hibbert is coachable, talented, tall, has a good hook shot, gives good effort, by all accounts a likeable guy, and has solid numbers in terms of projections. In a league where every young player is challenged and questioned with his ability to put it all together, especially if he doesn't play for a large market, Hibbert gives every indication that his struggles in the past have been nothing more than acceptable growing pains.

Indiana would do well to keep their paws on him. Talented, even capable starting centers don't grow on tall trees in this league.
Posted on: December 31, 2011 8:35 am
Edited on: December 31, 2011 8:59 am
 

Report: Mavericks to sign Fesenko

By Matt Moore

Kyrylo Fesenko is still a free agent. Now, most players who are still free agents at this point are insignificant, and Fesenko isn't going to be winning any MVP awards for anyone this season. But he's a young, capable big who can provide another body down low and has both scoring and rebounding ability, even if it's (serverely) limited. In a season as stacked as this, every big counts. 

So where's he going to end up? A deal with the Warriors fell through earlier this week and now ESPN.com reports that Fesenko is now leaning towards Dallas, who could certainly use the help.
The Dallas Mavericks are back in the mix to land free-agent center Kyrylo Fesenko after the Golden State Warriors passed on the Ukranian big man, according to sources close to the situation.

Fesenko had committed to signing with the Warriors earlier this week, but sources told ESPN.com that Golden State and Fesenko "mutally" canceled their plans to finalize a one-year deal worth just under $1.1 million, in part because Fesenko needs an additional week or two to get into game shape after September knee surgery.

Sources said Fesenko is now leaning toward accepting the Mavs' one-year minimum offer and is likely to make a decision by early next week.
via Sources: Mavericks back in mix for Fesenko - Dallas Mavericks Blog - ESPN Dallas.

Interestingly, even after Chandler's departure, play down low hasn't been the problem for Dallas. Brendan Haywood has played at least admirably, Ian Mahinmi has had good stretches, and Sean Williams has even contributed with energy and rebounding. So Fesenko's not going to be of a huge help to them, but with the injury history of both Haywood and Mahinmi, it's still a need. And at this point, the Mavericks need all the help they can get. 

Fesenko averaged just 2 points and 2 boards in 8 minutes last season.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 8:15 pm
 

Suns waive Mickael Pietrus in buyout

By Matt Moore pietrus-suns

The Phoenix Suns waived guard/forward Mickael Pietrus Thursday. They did not exercise their amnesty clause, instead opting to simply swallow the $5.3 million remaining salary on the wing acquired last season from Orlando. 

ESPN reports that the Suns and Pietrus agreed to a buyout on the remainder of his contract which will allow him to become a free agent once he clears waivers. Pietrus is expected to attempt to join a contender in pursuit of a championship. 

The 29-year old French shooter hit 34 percent from long range in Phoenix last season and is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter. The Suns rescinded an offer to Pietrus following examination of his knee which caused him to miss significant time last season. The usual suspect list of championship contender teams should be in pursuit, Chicago, Miami, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, depending on how much Pietrus wants. 

His future in Phoenix was dim with the youth movement the Suns are slowly working towards and due to his lack of effort on both ends at times. Surprisingly, the gunner did not fit well into Alvin Gentry's run-and-gun system. 

Pietrus averaged 7.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game last season for the Suns.
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:55 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Lakers sign Murphy, Kings claim Outlaw

By Matt Moore

The Los Angeles Laker s signed forward Troy Murphy Saturday to bolster their frontcourt bench left weakened by the trade of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. Murphy, 31, was bought out by the Nets last spring and signed with the Boston Celtics in what was thought at the time to be a shrewd move to potentially put the Celtics over the championship hump. Instead, Murphy underperformed and played limited minutes due to injury, and played just one game for three minutes in the postseason. 

If healthy, Murphy could help the Lakers as a do-it-all veteran with savvy. If out of his depth and still hampered by injuries, he is unlikely to make much of an impact even on a team facing significant problems past its starting front line.

****************

The Sacramento Kings claimed forward Travis Outlaw off the amnesty wire Saturday. Outlaw had a massively disapponting first year in New Jersey after signing a five-year, $35 million contract in 2010. The Kings have faced a serious absence at the small forward position since trading Omri Casspi last spring. John Salmons can spend time there but is under-sized.

Under amnesty rules, the Kings were allowed to claim Outlaw because of their cap space (only teams with cap space can bid), and their bid will count against their cap while the remainder will be paid by New Jersey and will not count against their cap. Outlaw played significantly better in Portland and maybe a return to the west coast will improve his play. Outlaw had wrist surgery this summer but has been cleared for contact according to SI.com. 
Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 6:48 pm
 

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers



By Matt Moore


All the big names have landed, and while there are still a handful of guys working out where they'll be playing in 2011-2012, we have a pretty clear image of how free agency worked out this year. So to give you a recap on how teams managed to do, here are your winners and losers for NBA free agency.

Winners

New York Knicks: It takes a lot for them to get a winning status when they picked up Mike Bibby and re-signed Jared Jeffries. Tyson Chandler is a lot. Chandler gives them exactly what they need at center, for a reasonable price considering he's coming off winning the Finals as a difference maker starter and compliments Amar'e Stoudemire well. This could wind up as a disaster, but for pursuing defense over offense and size over speed, they get into the winner's circle.

Los Angeles Clippers: Two days ago I would have planted the Clippers in the losers circle with a dunce cap. $24 million for Caron Butler over three years? DeAndre Jordan for a ridiculous price? Are they stoned in Clipperland? Chauncey Billups who may or may not hate the ground you walk on for denying him free agency? But then they landed Chris Paul. And you go "Oooooooh" like you just figured out that they got off the island and it's a flash-forward not a flash-back. Shooters to go with Paul, veteran defenders to go with Paul, and the big man to provide long-term support for Griffin. The Clippers avoided disaster by getting CP3. But funny how that makes everything seem better.

Miami Heat: Eddy Curry already looks like a waste (has had conditioning issues already). Mario Chambers is a divisive point guard, but he's good enough to start for a team with no cap space. Landing Shane Battier, though, genius. Battier is going to miss threes like all Heat spot-up shooters do. But he's going to make their defensive rotations even better, their team chemistry even better, their basketball IQ even higher. He's worth the money and a win for them.

Indiana Pacers: We were all convinced the Pacers were going to splash onto the scene and overpay for a big man in such a way as to cripple the franchise. Instead, they got David West on a low eight-figures, 2-year deal that guarantees if his knees or production go, they have options and are not stuck. They re-signed Jeff Foster to give them another center, and they were prudent with not re-signing Josh McRoberts for more than he was worth. Good upgrade for them.

Phoenix Suns: Shannnon Brown is a great fit for the system, and they managed to convince Grant Hill to return. Brown in the run-and-gun system under Gentry should excel with Aaron Brooks stuck in China. Hill still played brilliantly last season and staying in Phoenix means he stays with that training staff which has extended his career after one filled with injury issues. The Suns didn't make any significant step forward, but in terms of just making good value signings, they did as well as most. 

Mid-level centers: Kwame Brown got one-year, $7 million. DeAndre Jordan made out like a bandit. Marc Gasol walked away with more money than Kendrick Perkins and Nene (though Gasol is arguably the best free agent in this class, just without the name value). It's a league short on legitimate star centers, and while the biggest free agent center names (Chandler, Nene, Greg Oden) did not land monstrous deals, the mid-level centers available rose up to meet in the middle of the band. Good year to get paid. 

Losers

Boston Celtics: They had David West stolen out from under them in the midst of the Chris Paul debacle. They re-signed Marquis Daniels which isn't bad but isn't great. They traded Glenn Davis in a sign-and-trade for Brandon Bass which is pretty good but doesn't address most of their concerns. They gave Jeff Green a big one-year deal after which it was discovered he will miss the entire season after surgery when a heart condition was revealed after a stress test. Their bench is unbearably thin with starters that can't log big minutes. No, it was not a good few weeks for the Celtics.

Orlando Magic: Giving Jason Richardson and Glen Davis mid-size contracts is not the way to keep Dwight Howard, I don't care how good a friend he is with them. The Magic sacrificed their future, which is going to become very important to them in the next six months, in order to try and make another run with the same team that didn't succeed last year, plus Davis who is a big who doesn't help their issues in rebounding and has conditioning issues. Re-signing Earl Clark doesn't make a big enough impact to matter.

Detroit Pistons: Re-signing Tayshaun Price at that price makes no sense whatsover, especially not for four years. They need to be looking to the future. I understand the desire to reward Prince for his time and send him off in Detroit white, but this team has questions it has to answer quickly, and Prince gets in the way of development for Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko. Rodney Stuckey's re-signing gets in the way of Brandon Knight's development and continues his very mixed-results stay in the Motor City. 

Dallas Mavericks: Maybe 2012 will make up for it. But if we're just judging the Mavericks on what they gave up and what they got back, this wasn't a good offseason. Even outside of the trades which brought in a quality player and sent two out, Dallas lost its starting center and part-time starting two-guard in agency, without really bringing in anyone. They're deep enough to survive it but this was a team that would have been considered favorites had they brought back the gang. As it is, there are questions about the Mavericks this season and beyond.

New Orleans Hornets: Setting aside losing Chris Paul in trade and impending free agency, the Hornets re-signed Carl Landry for a high one-year deal and brought back Jason Smith for three years. The deals are cheap. It's not a bad set of deals. But it's still a little perplexing considering the overwhelming need for this team to tank in order to ensure a top five pick to go with  

Arron Afflalo: Afflalo hasn't signed yet, which isn't a problem but the fact that no team was willing to bother with making him an offer knowing the Nuggets would match means he may not sign for as much as he could have. Bear in mind DeAndre Jordan is a less established player than Afflalo and was helped by the Warriors' attempt to free him from Los Angeles. Afflalo could have likely wound up with top dollar as an unrestricted free agent. Denver may wind up as the best thing for his career, though.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Free Agent Buzz 12.13.11: Crawford spurns Pacers?

Posted by EOB



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.

5:38 p.m. ET:

1:47 p.m. ET:
  • The Utah Jazz are meeting with free agent Josh Howard, according to ESPN.com. Also interested in the services of the 31-year-old is Portland, New Jersey, Washington and Denver. But of the teams that have shown the most interest, it's Utah, San Antonio and the Wizards.
  • The Pacers have offered Jamal Crawford a two-year, $10 million deal, according to ESPN.com. That offer includes an out if Crawford wants to return to free agency next season. Also in the hunt for Crawford: The Wolves and Knicks, who are hoping to convince Crawford to take less to return to New York.
  • Josh McRoberts and O.J. Mayo won't be swapping teams, according to multiple reports as the Grizzlies and Pacers won't be making that trade. McRoberts though, could be heading West via the Commercial-Appeal: "Grizzlies looking at signing McRoberts as unrestricted free agent, but McRoberts likely to take more money, bigger role from Lakers."
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Kwame Brown signs with Warriors

By Matt Moore

Kwame Brown (Getty)Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Kwame Brown has signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors for $7 million dollars.

The Warriors had signed DeAndre Jordan to an offer-sheet this weekend but the Clippers matched the offer on Monday and will keep the younger, more talented center for a hefty price. The Warriors have been shopping for a center this offseason to beef up their defensive front. It was widely speculated that they would amnesty Andris Biedrins, but instead used the clause on Charlie Bell

Brown is notorious as a bust for Michael Jordan's Wizards, and for being complicit in the playoff disasters of the mid-00's Lakers. But very quietly he had a quality season in Charlotte. He's not worth $7 million but for a one-year, desperate to get a center, it's not the worst move in the world. He is wildly overpaid but looking around the center-short league, it's hard to find many outside of Dwight Howard who aren't overpaid. 

Still, not exactly the start Golden State was hoping for under new ownership from Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, a new management committee and new coaching under Mark Jackson.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:25 am
 

Chris Paul wants it all



By Matt Moore 

Chris Paul seems like a genuinely good human being. 

I don't know this for a fact. I'm going off of conversations I've had with others, off of interviews, and efforts, off of quiet things like charitable elements he's contributed to without fanfare or flashbulbs. So many athletes would have bailed on New Orleans after Katrina, and instead Paul embraced her, took on the role of being an icon for a city in need of heroes, took on the weight of being a savior. He's known as a quality person and locker room leader, and is a professional in every sense. You need look no further than the fact he's shown up to Hornets practice every day during this debacle as proof of that.

It's easy to take the route of saying Paul is selfish. That he's only looking out for himself and doesn't care about the city or the team or its fans. But that's a myopic view of a complex situation. Unfortunately, just as bad is the overly simplistic view that Chris Paul is a victim, that he has been unfairly put in a terrible situation by the evil league of evil that is the NBA, or the incompetent collection of malcontent owners, depending on your interpretation. There's this concept that Paul's role in this is completely natural, normal, that he cannot be blamed for the situation he's enduring. After all, he didn't want the NBA to own the league.

From SBNation.com: 
NBA owners have varying goals. Winning is typically high on the list. There's no question that Demps and Weber want the Hornets to win, now and later. Sperling could very well feel empathetic with the franchise, as well. But the men who Stern answers to could care less if the Hornets win now or later: it's all about setting the franchise for a sale in excess of $300 million (which sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, given the prices tagged to the Charlotte Bobcats, Philadelphia 76ers and nearly the Atlanta Hawks).

Given the purpose of the Hornets right now according to its owners, can you blame Chris Paul for wanting to be elsewhere?
via Chris Paul And The Morality Of Choosing Your Team - SBNation.com by Tom Ziller.

Stop. Right there. Just stop.

This started last year. Well before the sale. There were rumblings for a few years, but it kicked into high gear in July. Of 2010
When Paul was quoted a few weeks ago as saying he'd be open to a trade if the Hornets aren't committed to building a championship team, it was only a small hint as to the size of the chasm that exists between the franchise and its cornerstone player. Paul, in fact, has put into motion an aggressive exit strategy that will accelerate in the coming weeks, and his clear intention is to be traded before the start of the 2010-11 season, a person with direct knowledge of his plans told CBSSports.com Wednesday.

"He wants out," said the person, who has been briefed on Paul's strategy but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron's model of teaming up with other great players."
via With Paul wanting out, new Hornets brass facing crisis - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and Standings.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the ownership situation, beyond creating a greater roadblock to the team's ability to snag a superstar to play next to Paul. The problem with that thinking, however, is that the Hornets never were going to land a star. You're not seeing superstar team-ups in Milwaukee or Charlotte or Indiana. Paul's desire for the bright lights can be traced back to last summer, to starting trade demands and toasting to joining Melo and Amar'e in New York. This is what he and his representation has wanted, so let's not go acting like this is some sort of brand new development. 

Now, from there, Ziller argues that the max salary structure is what creates this, essentially, that the NBA's own system is what provides this situation. The extra year being provided teams in order to keep players isn't enough to keep them home. And he's absolutely right.

My problem comes in with this idea that Paul has a "right" to demand a trade. That he shouldn't be criticized for wanting out. Using the current context ignores that he lit this fire nearly 18 months ago. And it ignores one subtle problem. This is all on him.

Paul can have free agency. There's nothing to stop him, nor should there be. Trying to hog-tie players to franchises is nonsense. They have a right to work wherever they want, same as you or I, provided they can garner the necessary offer. If someone's willing to pay me to write in Seattle, there's no law or leverage restricting me from doing so... unless I have a contract that says I write in Houston, or Kansas City, or Denver. That contract exists as a legal bond between me and my employer in a given city, just like Paul's is a bond between he and the Hornets.  But when that contract expires, Paul has every right to pursue his options. That's not what he's doing. He wants his cake and to eat it, too. 

Paul can make the max money allowed under the system. He can not exercise his opt-in for the 2012-2013 season, re-sign with the Hornets, and make the extra money allowed by signing a five-year deal vs. a four-year deal. There is nothing standing in his way from pursuing either option. Play where you want, or play for more money. He's not being restricted by tyranny. This is not tyranny. It's a collectively bargained professional sports structure. If Paul wants to bail on New Orleans after his contract is up, no one should criticize him. He gave that city all he could through a very difficult situation, with not great support on the floor, has bled for that team. He's paid his dues. And if he wants to return for the extra money, he's more than entitled to it. Say he'll sign the contract this summer right now, and all this, the distractions, the circus, the stress, it all goes away.

And, to be clear, it's within his power to request a trade. If a player is unhappy with a situation, he should be able to voice that. He's got the right to express himself, at least through his representation. (Side note: NBA, can we please get away with the fines for players voicing trade demands in public? Because at this point, it's just insulting to everyone. The fans, the teams, the players, the media.) No one should argue players should abdicate their own interests, even if that includes requesting a trade and blowing up a team's season.  Teams will look to dump a player once he's past his prime, the fans will boo him if his performance suffers. It's a two-way street and loyalty is patently fickle, even if some young fans will always cheer the guy whose name is on the back of their jersey. 

However, what should not be tolerated, is the idea that Paul should be pitied for this. That the league is punishing Chris Paul unfairly. Had Paul's representatives kept quiet, had Paul himself not instructed them to demand a trade, again, 18 months ago, we wouldn't be here today. Paul has every right to put himself in this position. But that decision comes with the media circus. It comes with the risk that ownership will mishandle the process, especially when it's the NBA running that process. And it comes with the criticism. 

Paul can be the hero, lifted up by all and admired for his stances. Or he can be the star, chasing the shine of a ring under the brightest lights. He can't have both.

If this current economic model has created this situation, if this is "just the way it is," then there's a flip side to it. The current fan environment has created the consequence that Paul will have to deal with the stress his decision puts on himself and his teammates, on the city and its fans.

Paul actually can have his cake and eat it, too. But you have to deal with the stomach ache that comes along with it.  
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com