Tag:free agency
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Quote of the Day: JaVale can't say he does

JaVale McGee on understanding message Wittman is sending with benching: "I can’t say I do, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out sooner or later."
via Twitter / @MrMichaelLee: JaVale McGee on understand ....

Are we being too hard on JaVale McGee? I mean, I don't want to just crush the young guy for his attitude, behavior and general lack of anything resembling common sense without good reason or purpose. It's just that he's 24, in his fifth season. Don't you have to figure things out eventually? McGee is so phenomenally talented, could be so good in this league if he were to instill the right discipline. You wonder what would have happened to him if he'd landed on a team with a more serious outlook, a more dedicated approach, if he had a veteran busting him to stay in line.

McGee doesn't get in trouble off the court. He's acerbic with the press, but who cares, lots of guys are. It's that he continually does things on the court which, let's face it, to borrow a phrase, "just don't make no sense."  

The circus act was fun in Washington for a few years. You know, six years ago. Eventually you have to instill a new culture, and you wonder how much of a house cleaning they're going to have to do in order to make that a reality. They bough into Andray Blatche when his contract was up and look how that turned out. Will they do the same with McGee? You have to think the culture in Washington is a bigger problem than the talent.  
Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Dwight Howard's mom wants him to stay with Magic

By Matt Moore 

Mama tried

Sunday night during the NBA All-Star Game, TNT's Craig Sager reported that he had spoken with Dwight Howard's mother and she had said she wants Howard to stay in Orlando. 

Meanwhile, multiple indications suggest the Nets continue to believe they are the front-runners for Howard according to multiple outlets.

So Dwight Howard is essentially torn between one of the most powerful men in Russia, and his own mother. This is like some bizarre political thriller, only with a poor hook shot and too many commercials.

Howard's mother will no doubt have an influence on his decision but there are so many factors to consider. His agent, his publicist, his teammates, his friend, his former coaches, his relationship with Stan Van Gundy, Otis Smith, and Rich DeVos are just a few of the things weighing on his mind. While family's obviously important to Dwight, ths is his decision to make. Still, it's never good to have your mom publicly come out and state what she thinks, since now it'll be known he went against her wishes if he leaves. From the Orlando Sentinel:  
Unless Dwight does an immediate about-face, takes his mother's advice (she reportedly told TNT's courtside reporter Craig Sager she wants him to stay in Orlando) and commits to signing an extension, the Magic must deal him and get something of value.

"That's my mom's opinion," Dwight said afterward when asked about Sager's report. "… I don't want to talk about that stuff right now."
via NBA All-Star Game: Orlando must turn out lights on All-Star party, Dwight Howard era - OrlandoSentinel.com.

Got to be your own man, the saying goes. But man, to have to deal with all this and now your mom? Bet this isn't how Dwigh thought All-Star Weekend would go.  
Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:02 am
 

Report: Williams told Mavs he wants to join

Deron Williams could be considering Dallas in free agency. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Hold on, let me barricade this post against the Nets fans hordes who freak out when you talk about any scenario other than Dwight Howard going to Brooklyn. There. Everything has been all quiet on the Dwight Howard front this weekend at All-Star Weekend. No trade rumors, no trade demands, no explosive quotes, no late night meetings between general managers and Howard. But the New York Daily Newsreports of an indication that seems to be gaining steam with a lot of experts, including NBA.com's David Aldridge, among others, that the Mavericks are very much in the heart and mind of Deron Williams. From the Daily News (emphasis mine): 
The ultimate disaster for New Jersey would be if Williams and Howard end up playing together, but not in Brooklyn. With some roster alterations that are doable, including using their one amnesty move on Brendan Haywood, the Mavs could be set up, cap-wise, to accommodate both players.
“The Mavs want to do what Miami did and put together their own big three,’’ said another GM. “That’s their goal.”

Williams privately told members of the Mavs last June during their Finals celebration that he would love to go back home and be a part of team with Dirk Nowitzki. But he said Friday he wants to continue to be a Net. So until further notice, the Nets think they still have a good shot to move into Brooklyn with Williams and Howard.
via Dwight Howard center of attention in Orlando as March 15 deadline to ship Magic Superstar looms - NY Daily News.

You'll remember that Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last year during All-Star Weekend that Williams had told people close to him he wanted to play in a bigger market. He denied the reports. Then he was traded a few weeks later to the Nets. Williams was indeed in the locker room during the Finals, and his body language certainly indicated a warmth and desire to be a part of the Mavericks.

Know why? They were in the Finals. It could have been Washington Generals and he would have wanted to be a part of it. The Bobcats would look good after taking a lead in the Finals 3-2. 

Williams is from Dallas, that's where all this starts. A return home would make sense. It would also make sense for Dwight Howard, who wants a big market, to compete for a title, supporting stars, and warm weather. (Howard grew up in Georgia and has played in Florida his whole life; you ever tried randomly trying to adjust from that kind of weather to anything north of the Mason-Dixon? It's a nightmare.) So to review, the Mavericks offer:

A super-active owner who often acts as GM and who has shown a committment not only to spending, but spending wisely.

A Hall of Fame power forward scoring machine who should be able to keep playing for three-to-four more years at a high level.

A large market that attracts a lot of attention from sponsors and benefits as the economic center of a state which is essentially its own country.

A favorable tax situation.

Warm weather.

A return home for Deron Williams.

An organization that has won a championship in the past 14 months.

That's a pretty solid package.

And yet, the Nets remain in the lead for the services of both. It comes down to convenience. The Nets have movable pieces. Even if their trade assets aren't as impressive as some, they can still move them. The Mavericks' are all older players and unproven guys. They have no prime components to send Orlando. Howard is willing to wait till this summer to make his decision. But if he gets it settled sooner, all the better as long as it's the right decision. The Nets have the best chance at getting him between now and the trade deadline, and they believe they have the deal.

But if this thing goes to the summer, if it's a free ageny tour between Brooklyn and Dallas for both players, things could get very interesting. The Nets would do well to make sure Mr. Cuban doesn't get a shot in the competition.

(HT: IAmAGM.com
Posted on: February 24, 2012 4:52 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 8:11 pm
 

Report: Rasheed Wallace to sign with Lakers

This guy could be a Laker soon, reportedly. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

From CSN New England, reportedly, Rasheed Wallace is back: 
CSNNE.com has learned that the former Boston Celtic forward plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

...

"His days as a starter in this league are gone," said the source. "I think he knows that, and so do the Lakers. But think about it. Of the big men that are available, is there one that's really better? And if he's gotten himself in shape, adding him becomes a huge get for them."
via Source: Rasheed Wallace to sign with Lakers.

The Lakers could use a better backup big that can hit from range, as Troy Murphy has severely disappointed, Jason Kapono can't get time on the floor and they lack a legitimate back up center. The question is whether Wallace has anything left in the tank. At 37 years of age, it's going to be a challenge to get back in shape, a challenge to get into the offense, a challenge to be able to play consistent minutes. This is a pretty big gamble for the Lakers, even on a minimum deal.

That said, Rasheed Wallace is back. Both teams played hard, my man, both teams played hard.  

Also, can we mention that Rasheed and Ron Artest will now reportedly be on the same team? How amazing is that, given the brawl?
Posted on: February 23, 2012 5:15 pm
 

Chris Paul says he's decided on option

Chris Paul says he's already decided to opt-in to 2012-2013 with the Clippers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

When Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, it was done under the condition that Paul would exercise his option for 2012-2013 to give the Clippers at least two years to build a team around him. Still, there was still a feeling from skeptics that this could all go wrong. That since it was Paul's decision, if things didn't work with the Clippers, he could opt-out and test restricted free agency. Because that was part of the back-room deal in place, there has been little discussion of his option for next season. 

But in an interview with Jim Rome this week, Paul was asked if he'd decided to exercise that option and stay with the Clippers through next summer instead of becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer and seeing all his options. Paul said that the decision has already been made, and outlines why.

 


So Paul says the decision is made. He could back out of it, but you have to doubt that's going to happen with the Clippers in third place in the West, leading their division with signature wins over the Lakers and Heat. The Clippers aren't perfect, but in a short time they surrounded Paul with a quality cast of veterans (the kind stars like Paul want to play with), alongside Blake Griffin, and have changed a lot of the culture. 

Based off of how Paul talks about the quality guys they brought into the locker room, and the result so far, don't you have to consider Clippers Neil Oshey the Executive of the Year? He didn't just bring in player after player to fit in with a Chris Paul team, then pulled off the trade, but he managed to do so while building a locker room that Paul wants to be part of.

Even if things don't finish well for Paul in L.A. this year, they have a whole other year to build a championship team around the best pure point guard in the league and the most powerful power forward under 25. Everything's good news this year for Clippers fans.

When's the last time you could say that?

("ROME with Jim Rome" debuts on CBS Sports Network April 3rd.  You can follow him on Twitter @JimRome.)
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:13 pm
 

Report: Wilson Chandler to return next week

Wilson Chandler is reportedly headed back to the United States next week from China. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

With Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith back in the states and signed with new teams, Wilson Chandler and Aaron Brooks remain the last two NBA players to head to China during the lockout still yet to return to the league. But that could be changing quickly as ESPN reports that Chandler could return as soon as next week thanks to an agreement with his Chinese team to leave before his team's playoff run is over in the Chinese Basketball Association:  
Denver Nuggets restricted free agent Wilson Chandler is scheduled to return to the United States from China sooner than expected, according to sources close to the situation, with next week as his target.

It remains unclear, though, how quickly Chandler will be allowed to follow through on his stated intention to re-sign with the Nuggets even if he does leave China in the next few days.

Chandler's Zhejiang Lions team starts a five-game playoff series next Thursday, but sources told ESPN.com that Chandler received the blessing of Lions management to come back to the NBA as soon as he helped the team clinch a playoff spot.
via Sources -- Wilson Chandler set to return from China sooner than expected - ESPN.

Chandler is widely expected to return to the Nuggets as a restricted free agent, whether on a long-term deal or just to finish the remainder of this season and enter unrestricted free agncy.

The Nuggets desperately need Chandler on roster as soon as possible, with a banged up club missing Danilo Gallinari with an ankle chip fracture and Nene among others missing time with injury. The wear and tear on Chandler from playing in the CBA is yet to be seen as is how he'll respond under this compacted schedule.

Denver is struggling right now, but with Chandler back and eventually Gallo, they should be able to gain some momentum headed into the playoffs as one of the deepest teams in the league.

Chandler still has to get FIBA clearance in order to play in the NBA, and that will only come once Chandler's CBA team notfies FIBA to do so. That could complicate when Chandler is eligibile to play, even if he's back in the states.
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:01 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 10:16 am
 

J.R. Smith to the Knicks

J.R. Smith will join the Knicks and Linsanity. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The long, enduring process of bringing J.R. Smith to the Knicks has ended. Smith announced on Twitter Friday he'd chosen the New York Knicks.


After reports indicated earlier this week that Smith's decision was down to the Knicks or Clippers, and then that the Knicks had taken the upper hand, reports Friday indicated that the decision has been made. The New York Post reported that Smith would sign Friday with the Knicks, and will be in uniform Sunday when Linsanity faces another tough test against the Dallas Mavericks in Madison Square Garden. 

Smith confirmed to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld Thursday that he was close to a deal with the Knicks, though he did not confirm it was done. Meanwhile, the Oregonian reports of the insane lengths both the Clippers and Knicks are going through to try and sign Smith, including sending a representative to meet Smith when he got off the plane. From the Oregonian: 
Things got so interesting Thursday that Smith hopped a plane from China to LAX, arriving at the airport in the late afternoon, where he was intercepted, his camp said, by a representative for the Knicks. Smith was apparently headed later in the evening to Las Vegas, and according to a source in Smith's family, the Knicks bought a ticket for their guy and sent him along, too.

New York apparently hoped to sign Smith as he cleared Customs, and I can't say I blame them after what I heard Del Negro promised Smith.

Get this: Smith was told via text message from Del Negro, in what feels like a desperate, last-ditch effort, that he'd be -- a starter -- for the Clippers.

Start? Smith? Really?

"What I text to J.R. is between J.R. and me," Del Negro said. "We're just trying to make our team better. I think everyone on our team understands that."
via Canzano: Fight for J.R. Smith offers warnings for Trail Blazers | OregonLive.com.

So that's a little insane. 

Can we take a second to note that J.R. Smith has been back in the states for less than 12 hours and was headed to Vegas? How can you not love the NBA?

Smith joining the Knicks helps bolster their depth considerably. Being able to play a second lineup of Toney Douglas/Mike Bibby, Iman Shumper, Landry Fields, and a big to pair with Amar'e Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler means the dropoff won't be as big, and the ability to keep a scorer on the floor with Melo or, ahem, Jeremy Lin on the bench helps considerably in the backcourt.

It also means the Clippers will have to go elsewhere to try and recover their scoring lost when Chauncey Billups tore his Achilles.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:43 am
 

Report: Heat targeting Kaman

The Heat reportedly have interest in Chris Kaman if he's bought out from the Hornets. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Heat are not through trying to build their roster. FoxSports.com reports that the Heat are attempting to acquire Chris Kaman, should he be bought out of his contract after the trade deadline. 
Heat officials, including president Pat Riley, have been calling people who know Kaman to ask about him, a source told FOXSports.com on Wednesday.

The thinking is the Heat’s best effort to get a center would be to sign Kaman — if his contract is bought out by New Orleans after the March 15 trade deadline.
via Miami Heat Chris Kaman Minnesota Timberwolves Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers trade 021512 - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN.

A trade isn't feasible due to the very little flexibility the Heat have on their roster to make salaries match. Kaman was put on the block in January and even allowed to stay away from the team while a trade was negotiated, but a deal wasn't found. After a week the Hornets actually publicly announced they were taking him off the block and he rejoined the team. So the odds of another team swooping in to snatch him up are very low.

The Heat would be a great fit for Kaman, allowing him to compete for a title and giving the Heat a legitimate center down low. In stunning news, Eddy Curry has failed to make an impact and the Heat face the same problem they had last season with size down low. Joel Anthony is a skilled defender and has made great strides offensively this season but still lacks the bulk to make an impact down low. If Kaman were to agree to a deal for the veteran minimum, which doesn't seem likely, it would mean the Heat would start four current or former All-Stars. Which is just kind of ridiculous.

It's no guarantee the Hornets will buy Kaman out, nor is it likely he'll lean towards the Heat if bought out. It's entirely another team, like the Boston Celtics could make a similar offer, or a team with more cap room could make an offer. Kaman would have to agree to a buyout in the first place, and there's been no indication either way of Kaman's feelings on that front. 

It's a scary thought for the rest of the league that the Heat could wind up with Kaman, and you'd have to think that puts separation between them and the rest of the league in terms of who is the best team in the league by shoring up their biggest weakness.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com