Top Free Agents Wait … And Wait


HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU — We knew this free agency period, coinciding with the start of training camps, was going to be crazy. And as we sit here on Tuesday morning with four days of camp are in the books and the preseason is just three days away, a few of the top free agents are still standing by the phone.

Nene was arguably the No. 1 free agent of this class. And only 12 days to go before the season starts, he’s still without a team.

Houston was reportedly ready to team Nene with Pau Gasol for what would have been an awesome, international frontline. But the three-way trade between the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets fell apart and the Rockets weren’t able to clear the cap space necessary to sign Nene.

Now that Marc Gasol has agreed to terms with the Grizzlies (before the Rockets even signed him to an offer sheet), Houston will presumably knock on Nene’s door again. But the 29-year-old Brazilian reportedly has a tentative offer from the New Jersey Nets for $64 million over four years.

The Nets, of course, have Nene on hold while they try to convince Magic general manager Otis Smith that the best time to trade Dwight Howard is now, while they have the cap space to take Hedo Turkoglu‘s contract off Smith’s hands.

That cap space is about to go away, as Colin Stephenson of the Star-Ledger writes

If Dwight Howard isn’t traded to the Nets by the end of the week, the Nets will move on to their contingency plans and seek alternative means of filling out their roster, a person who has been briefed on the team’s thinking said.

The person asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the team’s negotiations.

“It won’t go past this week,” the person said, adding that while Howard is the No. 1 target, the Nets “have a Plan A, B, C and D.”

Assume that the Nets, believing that New Jersey (and eventually Brooklyn) is Howard’s preferred destination, will remain flexible enough to remain in the Dwight chase until the trade deadline. They’ll also look to clear cap space for next summer, when the Magic can’t control where he goes.

Of course, Nene isn’t the only top free agent still waiting to find out where he’s going. His teammate Arron Afflalo is still waiting by the phone.

Afflalo, though, is a restricted free agent and you never know how restricted free agency is going to go. Afflalo is a better player than Luc Mbah a Moute, but teams may be scared off, knowing that Denver’s cap space gives them an ability to match any Afflalo offer sheet.

Dave Krieger of the Denver Post says that the Nuggets are waiting it out

When chaos is all around — and in the NBA these days, that’s pretty much all the time — the Nuggets play possum.

They did it when New York media broke the rumor-per-minute barrier last winter during the Carmelo Anthony soap opera. By waiting, Denver got a better deal from the Knicks than many expected, assembling a new foundation for the future.

They’re doing it again now, as the association plays musical chairs in a wild, postlockout free-agent market, hoping that in the end Nene and Arron Afflalo find their way back to where they started.

Finally, Carl Landry is waiting for the Chris Paul situation to work itself out. The Hornets, having lost David West to Indiana, seemingly have a need to bring Landry back … unless they get a power forward in a Paul trade.

John Reid of the Times Picayune spoke to Landry, who says he’s not scared off by the craziness surrounding the Hornets.

“This is a business,” Landry said. “I’m not shying away from New Orleans. Like I said, I was welcomed with open arms — and they’re still very interested in me. It that’s the place for me. There are still a couple of situations that have to be concluded between Dell and my agent.”

Demps couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

“We’re looking at a lot of different things, a lot on on-going conversations with different people,” Bartelstein said. “Carl has said all along he’d have interest in going back there, but there are a lot of teams that want him.”


  1. kaje says:

    mavs should get a better center like nene!

  2. LakerDude says:

    Lakers need to sign..

    Gilbert Arenas
    Richard Hamilton
    and soon to be cut..
    Baron Davis

    Lakers will also bring out of retirement…
    Allen Iverson

    Lakers will beat the Mavs in 4 in the Western Conference final.. and beat the
    Miami Heat in the Finals!

  3. jlil89 says:

    Boston NEEDS to sign this man. Do whatever it takes to get a big guy on the team. KG belongs in the PF position, not as a center like they are planning to use him as often right now. A nice strong presence from a nasty defender like Nene will put the Celtics right back in a dominate position.

  4. d_artenian says:

    MAVS is the great team. nowitzki, odom,fernandez, carter, terry, kidd, marion etc…

  5. Adriano Soares says:

    Nene change to money very much, no import the Team!!!!!!

  6. anthony says:

    got whatcha want u r the smartest dude to comment on this for real now thats what i call a sports fan ur gonna root for ur team which u r supposed too but u jus kept it real thank u sir

  7. 23>24 says:

    My are you bashing Chris Bosh? Don’t you remember how well he played during the Finals with Dallas? It was LeChoke who “Choked”, especially during 4th quarter. Bosh was the most consistent player in that finals

  8. bogart says:

    How about trading Wade and Anthony for Dwight? if only Pat can pull that out :)) Still the Orlanda have a star with Wade if it happens., but the Heat will be the EAST Team,.

  9. Elothean says:

    they should go to boston! yay!

  10. lakers24 says:

    did Dwight Howard and cris paul part of the lakers now?

  11. Celticsrck says:

    nene to houston for K-Mart

  12. Willl says:

    my predictions
    Nene to Rockets
    Affalalo stays in Denver
    CP3 end up with the clippers
    Jamal Crawford to blazers
    Dwight Howard stays in Orlando (at least until the all star break)

    Also just my thoughts, if the magic want to keep Dwight Howard then they should try to sign Nene. That would be a great front court with Glen davis and Dwight Howard starting and putting Nene at 6th man. Nene could be 6th man of the year, they would finally have some one to back up Dwight Howard, and if Howard did leave in free agency, they could move Nene to the starting lineup

  13. Cons says:

    I agree… Nene would fit in perfectly with the Celtics. KG, O’Neal & Nene would be intimidating. Go get ’em Ainge!

  14. mavsrchamps says:

    mavs need to get nene

  15. tdat says:

    toronto is looking good this year. we have some sick talent.

  16. TheHeatDefeatYou says:

    Im not sure why anyone would think that the Heat needs to get rid of any of the Big 3, when a team makes it to the finals in their first year together you dont get rid of your star players you build around them. Now it is given that Miami doesnt have much salary space to pick up good players to build around them but still. All we need is a decent big man that isnt a wussy under the basket like Bosh and the HEat will be UNSTOPPABLE

    • HeatWave says:

      I was just thinking it might not be so bad with Curry. He’s by no means ideal, but he can be an enforcer type player, and let’s face it. We played a little soft around the edges last season. Just got a new outlook on this thing!

  17. ec says:

    i think spurs should chase after nene, timmy needs help in the paint and that might put them back on the title run for sure

  18. Rob says:

    Come on Celtics, get Nene. Sign and trade if you have to

  19. alex says:

    I’ve been a big fan of chris bosh for years, but i just dont believe what Mr. Pat Riley signed him to be (a true down low big man) is gone work. The perfect fit for Chris Bosh would be Boston. That’s my opinion and how i see it. Now nene would be a better fit down low for the Heat to me. He rebounds, plays pretty good defense, and can score down low. He dont need the ball alot but can be depended on to score when needed. Plus they’ll have extra money from bosh’s contract to get some better players to come off the bench.

  20. laupie says:

    come to boston we got cookies

  21. JonJacobJingle says:

    @The Aswer I have to consign in the event anyone suggest Allen Iverson come back to the NBA lol. He’s still my favorite All around Hooper of ALLLLL Time!!

    Basketball was so much simpler back in the days *Thought Cloud*

  22. xavier rochester says:

    Nene to da hawks…………..joe johnson josh smith al horford and nene……..dat will make sum noise

  23. The Aswer says:

    I’ll tell you what, in my opnion allen iverson should be come back to the nba, I know it has nothing to do, but is it man… ;D

  24. Lol says:

    People forget that Eddy Curry when healthy can actualy be a little bit of a threat. All-star? No, never, probably, but there’s still some value. Everyone always sees the negative and never look for the upside. Pat Riley isn’t dumb, he does things he does for a reason. I’ll say this, I’m not even a Heat fan, as a matter of fact, I’ve come to hate them like everyone else, nor am I from Cleveland.


    • HeatWave says:

      Curry is only a threat to his stomach and other peoples money. Kidding, I just think he’s not a dependable player, but Since we have him i’ll give him the benefit of a doubt and hope for the best.

  25. Jeff says:

    NeNe Needs to go play with Tim Duncan

  26. laker girl says:

    how cool would it be in Nene came to the lakers!!!! That would be an awesome team since they got rid of Lamar!!1

  27. Blackmamba24 says:

    They big keyword: ‘IF’ Lebron did that, but didn’t.. and never WILL…. Lebrick is probably the biggest overrated player to come into the League, dude has no fadeway shots, just uses his authleticsim to get points. Miami Heat fans are delusional. Lol @ Battier being a starter for another team hahahahahahaa, battier is past his age and the only thing he could do is play D.

    • Ryan says:

      “Just uses his athleticism…”? Isn’t that the point of sports? I’m getting the idea that you don’t really watch basketball if you think a fade away is the best way to judge a players skill or value.

  28. Andrew says:

    Lebron cant close a game by himself….he is a Magic Johnson type BUT BETTER!! he needs to get in the post and use that big body,height,and vertical to his advantage. and Wade is the scorer of the group and bosh needs to learn how to pick and ROLL not pick and pop! and yes bibby shot like 20 something percent so his jumper would have helped . but the Mavs D was on point…the Mavs wont…not the heat lost

  29. jonathan says:

    it would be amazing for warriors to sign both nene and afflalo. i dno how it’d work but i think it’d put us right there with the best teams in the league. steph, monta, arron, d-lee, nene. damn

  30. Ray says:

    For some odd reason I think the Bulls have been quite for a reason. Don’t be surprised if they make a move (besides signing Hamilton) at some point. I think they have several expiring, low end contracts to wave around at the trade deadline.

  31. KJ#7 says:

    he’d (Nene) be a solid addition for the Suns. Another Amare type player but not as explosive but definitely goes hard. Can’t put stock in Lopez but Gortat does need help and why not?

    • Moses says:

      YES a phoenix suns fan in here! id love to see him play with Steve Nash who has one year left. maybe NeNe could keep Steve Nash in phoenix if possible.

  32. Lady Celt34 says:

    The Big Green could use em! That’ll be sweet!

  33. I HATE Whitney says:

    @Indiana Outlaws
    Are you kidding me? The Heat just signed Shane Battier. The Heat are the best team on paper, hands down. Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, & Joel Anthony as the starters with Haslem and Battier off the bench. Haslem and Battier would be starters for other teams. If Eddie House and Mike Miller could knock down some shots, the Heat will be a beast again. If Lebron showed up in the 4th quarter last year in Finals and if Bibby just hit some shots, the Heat would have been champs. This coming from someone who doesn’t even like the Heat. I just anyone but the Lakers to win.

    • Mike says:

      Are you kidding me? The Heat just signed Shane Battier. The Heat are the best team on paper, hands down. Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, & Joel Anthony as the starters with Haslem and Battier off the bench. Haslem and Battier would be starters for other teams. If Eddie House and Mike Miller could knock down some shots, the Heat will be a beast again. If Lebron showed up in the 4th quarter last year in Finals and if Bibby just hit some shots, the Heat would have been champs. This coming from someone who doesn’t even like the Heat. I just anyone but the Lakers to win.

      Notice how many times you used the word “IF” in your comment?

      IF Eddie House and Mike Miller could knock down some shots
      IF Lebron showed up in the 4th quarter last year in Finals
      IF Bibby just hit some shots

      Please add IF I could just hit the lottery.

      Just saying….your comment was humorous and I have to point that out.

    • Celtic says:

      shane battier…haslem…lebron…dwade…bosh…………….anthony? house? jones? curry? dude. they’re still not good enough to win a championship. and like you said: lebron sucks in the 4th quarter. and dallas basically tore the heat apart last year. give the mavs props for proving the miami “powerhouse” is more talk than truth.

      • HeatWave says:

        I think Miami getting to the finals proved they were more than just talk, but not winning showed they talkd too much. Anyhow seeing as you’re a Celtic fan I wouldn’t expect you to give Miami any props.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        What about Weskbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins, not to mention James Harden (who will be 6th man o fthe year unless he starts) Reggie Jackson, Daequon Cook, Eric Maynor. I think we can go toe to toe with the Heat.

    • Haha says:

      That’s alot of if’s

  34. Gabriel says:

    Up till now, it’s not about having superstars requesting trade from their respective organizations. It is just a situation where there is simply lack of talents and players becoming complacent because of their big pay checks. If players were to develop to fill in a role or is willing to work, who needs the lockout? who needs the CBA?

  35. Andrew says:

    what about Noah??? plus u sighed the no defense Carlos! i think the bulls go after a two guard like Crawford or maybe or like they been saying Rick. they just someone to get like 20 points a game thats not Rose.

  36. Bm says:

    Well, seeing as the Bulls don’t ring a bell in terms of signing Free agents. I wish they reconsider and land a deal with Nene 🙂

  37. Andrew says:

    boston are not going to sign nene, they should have got west when they had a chance. but he is not worth 10 million a year! they should kept Perkins

  38. thatoneguy says:

    i would love to see clippers trade chris kaman the sign nene

  39. charles says:

    Clippers to Paul. Then clippers sign Hamilton and Shane Battier. That’s a playoff team with Griffin at PF and Jordan at C.

  40. .... says:

    hoping nene in green as a celtics center the celtics really need to give help for KG

    • celtics fan says:

      ^ true dat celtics do need heklping for being stupid and trading kendrick perkins

      • OKCKD35 says:

        thank you for that, you heard ainge tried to get perk back for Jeff Green? Are you kidding me. Big mistake for the Celtics, they were trying to get Westbrook for Rondo too!

    • 716 king says:

      I hope so too…..because the Celtics need another big man. Our core is good but we still lack that frontcount presents.

    • Davd says:

      that would be so excellent to get him in boston! someone tell Danny Ainge PLEASE!!!

    • armando says:

      nene would be a good addition to celtics line up but don’t under estimate their current rookies from purdue

      with right guidance i’m pretty sure they would be fine.

      the line up i really like right now

      is LA Clippers

      C DeAndre Jordan
      F Blake Griffin
      F Caron Butler
      G Eric Gordon
      G Chauncy Billups

      if those guys keep healthy through a a season they would be a contender for the next 3-5yrs

  41. Lhanz says:

    Hugodra maybe you are just insane. You already said that the Heat has no money to spend. so STFU

  42. MeloFan21 says:

    Wow. Im surprised a team hasnt went after Afflalo. He a GREAT piece to either make a team better on both ends (especially D) or keep a team strong.

  43. Hugodra says:

    I’ll love to see the Heat getting Nene….but after signing Shane and Curry (Are u kiddign me) we have no money to spend……Damn it…..Even tho is almost impossible until he signs with another team I still believe Pat can pull this move…..

    • pacersfan5 says:

      With what money is Pat Riley gonna pay Nene? Heat picked up Battier and Curry on mid-level exception and minimum level contracts respectively, with no more than around $3M paid to either player. Nene is gonna get paid around $13M…notice the difference of $10M. That is $10M that the Heat do not have, so sorry to burst your bubble, but the Heat are not getting Nene. What Lebron, Wade and Bosh not enough for you?

      • Cyaman24 says:

        I love D-Wade, therefore I watch the Heat but Wade, James and Bosh made their biggest mistake by each taking too much money in their initial contracts. I know they took less than max but taking 90% of max didn’t help much. They should have took less and the heat would have more breathing room to sign real talent, not players like Curry.LOL

    • HeatWave says:

      We may have signed our death certificate by signing Curry. I’m crossing everything in hopes that this guy plays right.

      • Indiana Outlaws says:

        I believe that the only way the Heat will be sucessful is if they end of tradeing either Wade or James. One of those two with Bosh will work, but right now there is too much money tied up with 3 players and you can’t continue to fill your roster out with guys like Juwan Howard and hope to compete in the finals. I know people may think that is crazy, but it I bet within 2 or 3 years one of them is gone – with no titles won by the Heat.

      • HeatWave says:

        Wade or James? Nah. Bosh maybe but even then they have a nice team and I still like the majority of the players. I don’t expect everyone to be the best at their position. Guys just need to step up, like Chalmers and Anthony did. But we could really use a hard working center and a vet Point who’s not too old like Mo Williams. As for Championships, they will get at least one in 2-3 years. If they get more I will be surprised.

      • baskethead23 says:

        @Indiana Outlaws

        ?? They made the finals last season with a roster that was not as good as the one they have this year. And even though they lost they looked fairly competitive too me…..

      • Barbara says:

        I said the same thing, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt I saw some pics of him and he has lost the weight.

      • Elliot A says:

        I wish you all the luck in the world but you realize that is not Stephen? That is the one that played 10 games in 3 years! That Curry took tens of millions of dollars from another club and started eating fattening foods. This is the very lazy one! This one will try to make himself look good enough for the Heat to give him another FAT contract. I hope he doesn’t squash Lebron, Wade and Bosh! No really, best of luck! You will need it!

      • Rocket33 says:

        Trading James would be a good way for Miami to go. He can’t take his talents anywhere for a while so none of this “sign an extension” stuff needs to be considered like with Paul and Howard. How about Indiana? Granger, Collison, George and Hibbert. Love him or hate him, he has to be worth most of those guys. Possibly all if you threw in Chalmers. Imagine putting those 4 guys with Wade and Bosh. I really liked it when I saw Bosh join Miami. Both he and Wade had played their hearts out for their teams and it looked like a great tandem. Then James came in via “The Decision” and made them the most hated team in the league. 3’s a crowd right?

      • HeatWave says:

        @Rocket33 what are you talking about? Nothing you said makes sense. Do you actually watch basketball, or just dislike James?

    • jacob says:

      ok as a heat fan im not gonna call you dumb….. sorry i just have to, your DUMB

      • got_watcha_want says:

        I am an OKC fan and will be rooting in the playoffs for OKC. But, my unbiased opinion is that the Heat added two players for the right price and it will make them better. They made it to the finals and will be there again this year most likely. NY or CHI won’t be able to take that team in a 7 game series. If you trade Bosh and got some value on the defensive side with him, I could reason that. BUT…….to trade Wade or James is the dumbest speculation I have ever heard.

    • Hugodra says:

      We can use the NBA amnesty clause on Mike Miller…..that will give us like 5 – 6 M…..So there is Hope…..why is everything related to the salary…he said he had more than enough money……and living in Miami where there is a HUGE brasilian fan base….in just endorsements he can make it up……The Biggest mistake was signing Curry….

      • Badaboom says:

        Nine times out of ten it’s about the money. But James, Wade and Bosh all sacrificed a little dough in order to compete for a championship. If Nene’s willing to give up 5 mil a year, well then Miami is one step closer to the dream. I’m amazed they made it to the finals last year. There is a real chance they will win a championship with the core three and some overaged, crippled supporting cast.

      • allgotomiami says:

        nene is only 29, not 39! why do you think he would give up 5m a year to join miami?

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Nene is soft, that is why he is still waiting to be claimed. He got sent home crying by the physical play of the thunder, better go to the east Nene so you dont have to get punked by perk and ibaka!

    • auDio says:

      Heat can’t have everything they want.

    • Gary says:

      You have 3 max players and yet you want another….Smh….Just greedy…Greed is the reason America is on its way to demise…Sorry to be so personal jus sayn…People should want a fair product to watch not just some 2k11 line up on ps3.

    • allgotomiami says:

      all players go to miami, ok?

    • James says:

      Impossibe. They don’t need Nene to go for a title. They have enough, perhaps too much, to win it. They just need to work on certain things to win it this time.