Free-Agent Roundup: July 1

From NBA.com staff reports

In case you missed it overnight, the Rockets met with Dwight Howard as free agency began overnight with a contingent that was equal parts Hall of Fame and front office in an attempt to woo the big man to Clutch City. As we all await what happens next with Howard, there are other names in the free-agent stew that we’ll update you on as well:

Blazers interested in Allen

Widely regarded as the best defensive shooting guard in the NBA, Tony Allen is due for a big payday this summer and the suitors are lining up to make their pitch to him. According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the two-time All-Defensive First Teamer has been contacted by the Blazers:

Late Sunday night the Portland Trail Blazers contacted the representatives of unrestricted free agent guard Tony Allen, a league source conveyed to CSNNW.com.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the free agency period, says at that at this point, the reason for the conversation was merely “exploratory” with interest on both sides.

They are expected to resume discussions shortly during the free agency period. As of now, no meeting has been scheduled.

Bulls targeting Williams, Bynum?

Without Derrick Rose last season, the Bulls managed to win 45 games, take a Game 7 in the first round on the road and give the eventual-champion Miami Heat fits in a physical semifinal series. They did all of this with Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich putting in most of the work at point guard while Rose recovered. It stands to reason, then, that since Rose is expected back next season (and Robinson has all-but-assuredly played himself into a bigger contract) that the Bulls need to rethink their point guard depth. According to RealGM.com, Chicago is potentially targeting Jazz starter Mo Williams and Pistons backup Will Bynum to fill that reserve point guard role:

With uncertainty in the backcourt, the Chicago Bulls are showing significant interest in Mo Williams and Will Bynum and have started exploratory discussions with the representatives of the free agent guards, league sources told RealGM.

Williams averaged 12.9 points in 46 games a season ago with the Utah Jazz, and he has a stated desire to receive heavy, contributing minutes. The Jazz acquired Trey Burke at No. 9 in the NBA draft and could start him early in his NBA career. At 30, Williams has established himself as a combo guard, and Tom Thibodeau would undoubtedly place the 10-year veteran in shooting and playmaking situations.

Bynum has been a pace-changing guard, averaging nearly 10 points on 46.9 percent shooting in 2012-13. He has played five of his six seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Given Chicago’s salary structure, Williams and Bynum both could be inclined to make less money in a potential deal with the Bulls.

The Bulls appear unlikely to retain Nate Robinson or Marco Belinelli, and they are expected to waive Rip Hamilton before his entire contract becomes guaranteed. Still, they’ll have Derrick Rose back next season, leading to fewer minutes for Kirk Hinrich.

Wolves interested in Martin, Budinger

As Oklahoma City’s sixth man last season, Kevin Martin was the third-leading scorer for the Thunder and their top option off the bench. Once the playoffs came around, Martin’s scoring average stayed the same (14.0 ppg), but his 3-point shooting drooped from 42 percent in season to 37 percent in the postseason. Still, Martin remains one of the more efficient scorers in the league and is drawing interest from a team in need of 3-point shooting and scoring: the Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves also never got to see much of what Chase Budinger could do in their lineup last season. He tore the meniscus in his left knee six games into the season and played just 23 games with the Wolves. Now a free agent, Minnesota is interested in keeping Budinger around, writes Sam Amick of USA Today:

The Minnesota Timberwolves honed in on perimeter scorers at the outset of free agency, visiting with small forward Chase Budinger in San Diego while also calling shooting guard Kevin Martin.

Budinger tore the meniscus in his left knee six games into the season and had surgery that kept him out three months, but has averaged 9.4 points per game as a valuable reserve in his three seasons in Houston and one in Minnesota. He is also known to be receiving interest from the New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks.

The interest in Martin is no surprise, as Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman brought him up as a young player in for the Sacramento Kings and later coached him with the Rockets. Martin also received a call from the Bucks on Sunday night, and is receiving interest from the Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.

What about Monta?

Monta Ellis is a tried and true scorer in the NBA, something that has got the interest of the Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns. But as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports, the Knicks might be the frontrunner for the former Most Improved Player of the Year Award winner due to the combination of factors they provide:

As the free-agent negotiating period opened Monday morning, the Knicks expressed an interest in pursuing a deal with Bucks shooting guard Monta Ellis, league sources told CBSSports.com.

A union of Ellis and the Knicks is viewed as a long shot, as the Knicks have only the $3.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception available. Ellis just opted out of a deal that would have paid him $11 million next season in Milwaukee.

But Ellis, 27, and his Washington, D.C.-based agent, Jeff Fried, are known to be willing to compromise in order to sign with a contending team. And the Knicks, who face the free-agent loss of sixth man of the year J.R. Smith, would provide ample opportunity for Ellis to showcase his scoring prowess deep into the playoffs.

The Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns also are among the teams who expressed interest in Ellis as the free-agent negotiating period began Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET, league sources said.

The Mavericks and Hawks are also keen on adding a player like Ellis, who Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports points out, is prepared to do what it takes to finally play for an outfit that wins big:

The Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks — both teams with significant salary cap space — are two teams who have shown strong interest in Ellis and two teams Ellis has an interest in, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of Ellis’ situation.

They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about free agents.

Ellis is also at the point in his career where he wants to play deep into the playoffs. Other teams have shown interest — such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks — but those teams are handcuffed by salary cap restrictions and would need to make other moves in order to accommodate Ellis, who is willing to find common ground between salary and playing for a contender.

Korver-to-Brooklyn a done deal …

So says a league exec to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:

It makes sense, given Korver’s history with Nets GM Billy King (dating back to their Philadelphia days) and Deron Williams (dating back to their Utah days).

The Nets will need quality veteran help at the right price. They’ll also need guys who are willing to sacrifice certain things to play on a team and in a system that has yet to be defined under new coach Jason Kidd.

Korver has been that type of guy in every stop of his career.

Warriors’ Lee on the move (via trade) … 

All-Star power forward David Lee could very well be on the move, if the Warriors are serious about doing whatever it takes to make a move this summer.

Woj reports that the Warriors are strictly in the exploratory stage of the process right now, but if they’ve gone there, it’s not far-fetched to imagine they’d be willing to go all the way for the right prize:

Lee, 30, is a popular and well-respected player within the Golden State franchise but his contract is considerable, and moving him for a star – or a player on a shorter deal – makes financial sense.

Golden State offered Lee in a package for Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani, sources said, but the Raptors made a deal with the New York Knicks to shed the final two years, $22.5 million on Bargnani’s contract.

The Warriors tried to pry Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge as part of an offer that included Brandon Rush, league sources said. Portland has been engaging trade talks for Aldridge, but has pursued more robust offers than Golden State’s proposal, sources said.

Evans to New Orleans?

John Reid of The Times-Picayne follows up on a tweet from Stein that the Pelicans could be a possibility for former Rookie of the Year winner Tyreke Evans. Reid reports that New Orleans would acquire Evans via a possible sign-and-trade deal that might send either point guard Greivis Vasquez or shooting guard Eric Gordon to Sacramento:

Although not confirmed, the Pelicans could be looking to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings to possibly move point guard Greivis Vasquez or starting shooting guard Eric Gordon.

As a restricted free agent, the Kings can match any offer that Evans receives. But the Pelicans may extend an offer the Kings are unwilling to match, which could force their hand in a sign-and-trade deal. The Kings extended a qualifying offer to Evans last week that made him become a restrictive free agent.

Evans could be expendable now with the Kings drafting Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore with the seventh overall pick in the first round of this past Thursday’s NBA draft.

On draft night, the Pelicans made a surprising blockbuster trade, sending the draft rights of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, whom they selected with their No. 6 overall pick, and their 2014 first-round pick, if it’s not in the top five, to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans also acquired the draft rights of Baylor guard Pierre Jackson, whom the Philadelphia selected with the 42nd overall pick. The trade will not be finalized until July 10, when the NBA’s moratorium ends.

Because of the trade, however, Vasquez’s role is expected to be diminish at point guard despite averaging a career-high 13.9 points and 9.0 assists, which ranked third in the NBA this past season.

71 Comments

  1. Ladyshakalaka says:

    Wel well well- Mo Williams to Chicago ? Mo Williams is only 6’1 he shoots the ball but he shrinks in the playoff. Unlike Nate Robinson but Nate wants max contract which Chicago can’t give. Mo Williams has an 8 million yr contract in Utah.

    Chicago needs to pay Nate and keep him- not us what’s going to happen with Derrick Rose seems to me that he will not be the same player- hopefully Loul Deng is feeling better and fully recovered- he is a great player! They need to get rid of always hurt kirk Hinrich- Marco was god during playoff they need to keep him-

    Knicks need a shooting guard but they already pay Carmelo Tyson and amare so much money they have little cap space. They should get Kevin Martin or Tyrek Evans . Hopefully they will keep Prigioni he was great! Somebody need to pick up Chris Copland wow can you believe Knicks have acquired Andrea Bargnani? Where does Bargnani fit in with the team! Bargnani is a big guy who plays no defense ! Bargnani can shoot if he is healthy but seems to be injury one like Amare!

    Dwight Howard wow he got serious maturity problems! Good luck to whoever picks him up as well as Andrew Bynum these two guys have incredible bodies and abilities but their immaturity takes away exponentially when it come to winning a title with them! Bynum is injury prone which Howard is not- Bynum has never been the main guy on a team at least Howard has, although he failed miserably! I would say the Lakers is too demanding for Dwight Howard so he will go with the safety of the Rockets!

    Dallas well -mark Cuban is the problem with the Dallas Mavs and good luck with them becoming a contenders again! same proble the Clippers had for years Owner Steling- Well let’s see if Blake Griffin can mature and give it all he’s got o help Chris Paul!

    Cleveland will never get free agents o go there and they have nothing but rookies-

    Boston wow they are starting over- the big three era lasted 5 years one championship is that a failure?

    San Antonio what a smart smart Franchise!!!! other teams should try to mimic there ability to get players in the draft and mold them is to the perfect role players!

    OKC needs a ig scoring man- Inaka and Perkins are not it! Kevin Durant has to bulk up and dominate the paint!

    Grizzles – Z-Bo has to learn to go right and Marc Gasol has to get stronger!

    Golden State should not get rid of David Lee he is a walking double double! they needs point guard!

  2. Kimmy says:

    OKC needs to lose Perkins. What is he doing except having a mean look on his face? I think Kevin Martin is more valuable than him.

  3. Slim says:

    Monta to the bulls ( bring him off the bench) and Josh Smith to the bulls and bring Boozer off the bench and the bulls would be Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttttttttsssssss. That’s consistent heat for the heat hahahahahahahaha

  4. Max Cordova says:

    al jefferson to okc

  5. nardi russell says:

    J smoove to houston is a lot better than the rockets getting Howard

  6. terrence holden says:

    NYK please trade STAT NOW!!!!Get MELO some help with the 20+million you would save from STAT!!!!!

  7. amir says:

    ellis & Melo & Amare …… a champ team..!!

  8. kenny says:

    i rather see Williams coming and bellinelli gone! nate on the back up pg!they stil have kirk,and teage!!

  9. Pidorashka says:

    Nate should get busy finding himself a new place that will grant his proven talent with those decent minutes, because when D-Rama is back, Nate will get tough times getting those minutes. For what he’s shown down the last season that would be totally unacceptable, and he needs to get big buck as well which obviously won’t be the case in Chicongo.

  10. Remcovld says:

    I think that Martin would be a perfect fit to the Bulls. He is not a player that wants the ball all the time but he can really give you points. Together with Rose it would be a good couple. I think it would be smart to keep robinson. He can be a 6th man and give you minutes on both guard positions together with butler for example. Only thing that I am not sure about is changing the backourt. Noah is a good strong player but Boozer and Deng are not special players for the Bulls. Possible targets:Iguodala ( can play D and offense), jsmooove.

    The thing is that bulls are not a team of a lot of trades. They are a good franchise.

  11. caleb says:

    The knicks if they were to get monta needs to trade up to a PF, i would love for david lee to come back to NY.

  12. Arnel says:

    i doubt if the Miami will let Bosh go. they will lose Anthony but not Bosh. He is a bog help to Miami.

  13. lee says:

    the bulls dont need a 2 gaurd the drafted a guy who can play the 2 and 3 and the already have starting 2 and 3 the need to look at power fwd posistion i think the should go for chris bosh he fits perfectly with noah he is a solid rebounder plays solid d and is a stretch 4 he would fit great with noah and then get a guy like thomas from the bobats he can play 4 and some 5 to back up noah and bosh he would do well with just 20 mins a game i think if the limite the rotation to 8 main guys the would have better chemistry the could keep hinrcih who can play the point and the 2 can shoot 3s good enough and defend really well he could back up rose
    rose
    butler
    deng
    bosh
    noah
    thomas hinrich sneed the would be the rotation id go with anyone else i brough in would be a great defender or 3 point shooter

  14. BEVAN says:

    HAWKS RESIGN JOSH HORTFORD NEEDS FERRY OPEN YOUR EYES

  15. Concerned NYK Fan says:

    I have been saying this for ages, use Bargnani who has been acquired by the Knicks and Amar’e in a package to take LaMarcus Aldridge and maybe a Portland Scrub like Nolan Smith (Aldridge wants out of Portland BADLY). Sign Shawne Williams, Forget J.R., and take Nate Robinson to come off the bench. Bam, instant contender.

    • Concerned NYK Fan says:

      And, of course, keep Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland and Kenyon Martin. PLEASE DO NOT GET RID OF MARTIN OR PRIGGI. YOU ARE LOOKING AT ANOTHER MEDIOCRE DEFENSIVE SEASON AUTOMATICALLY IF YOU GIVE THESE TWO UP.

    • terrence holden says:

      I can live with LA in Ny with Melo….STAT NEEDS TO GO!!!!!NOW!!!!

  16. JasperMia says:

    There are reasons why Toronto does not want A.B. He will give you good defense “every once in a while”. Shumpert and Allen in the backcourt would mean that Carmilo would get doubled everytime down the floor. And with their offensively challenged center, the rotations would be even easier.

  17. haha says:

    well, what a better place for monta than NY….some team are trying hard to make the worst trade…..

  18. Cg1021 says:

    Knicks should get Iggy instead of Ellis because Ellis takes to many shots and would not mesh well with Melo. Also Iggy can score, he is one of the best defenders in the NBA, and can just about do everything else. His cons are free throws, most important part of the game.

  19. NYK221980 says:

    Imagine when Ray Felton sits and you have Shumpert and T.Allen in the backcourt…… Talkn bout strappin up.. Starters get good rest and limit scoring.

  20. NYK221980 says:

    NYK, should definately stay away from Monta. I lov the kid, but shots not something we struggled with.. Stops are!!!!!
    Tony Allen, way better fit, doesnt need the ball. And makes the defense significantly better. Scores by default, so no need to run plays to him. Cmon mgmt, make a smart move this year. Also send Amare back to PHX, lets Gortat

  21. JasperMia says:

    Of course NY will go after Ellis. They are getting a big man that can’t play defense (Toronto), why not get a small that can’t play defense. It will be fun to watch Carmelo and Monta fighting for the shots. Ellis shoots 42% this past year and considering how many times he gets to the hoop, imagine his outside shooting percentage. Hopefully Ellis is too smart to go to NY.

  22. Shivansh says:

    look i think knicks should not get ellis bargani is coming and thats enough. Like sincerly to much money wasted then and novak and camby trade for andrea is a great trade by the way

  23. Gordon says:

    Da Knicks trade fore Bargnani was so stupid. I mean he can shoot but we need size n he doesn’t bring those intangibles as a big man. We just need to re-sign JR Smith and sign Will Bynum. Ellis is dat dude but I don’t see him turning down $11 million to accept $3 million to play with da Knicks. He should go to Chicago tho.

  24. cj says:

    if monts go to the knicks everybody down here in ms gone be knicks fans boy carmelo is my favorite player and if ,onta ellis the guy from my city go up and play with him i would watch every game they play

    the nets gone be cold this year

    on my 2k13 pplayer jr smith and nate robinson go the pistons and they probably get iggy thats they new big three4

  25. jmac32 says:

    In honor of the draft, take a look at the 1999 NBA Draft here!! http://gamesevensports.blogspot.com/2013/07/great-moments-in-nba-draft-history-1999.html

  26. John Wayne says:

    ELLIS TO DENVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Berdugo says:

    Monta to Knicks is no difference when Smith was there. Offense is still given priority to ‘Melo.

    Chicago shouldn’t do anything actually at this point. They just gained incredible experience from the last playoffs and all they need is time and healthy players. They’re looking too far when the answer’s right in front of them.

  28. Kurrm says:

    Raptors saved 22 mil I think it a smart trade

  29. Mike says:

    I’d love to see David Lee with either the Rockets or Nets. The way those two teams are setting themselves up, Lee could put them over the top.

  30. tsmooth says:

    God forebid if Noah go down we need a legit BIG MAN to back him up

  31. Lover of the game/ Knick fan since Ewing says:

    none of those guys fit in ny they r not strong gaurds they r all one way players

  32. Lover of the game/ Knick fan since Ewing says:

    knicks dont need ellis unless its to use him for a trade to get someone they really need. ellis is undersized and plays lil defense. da knick problem is size so getting smaller makes no sense. just like da trade they just made for bargnani, no defense dont make sense.

  33. BALLBALL says:

    they need a strong SG…ellis,crawfor,smith,martin,,,

  34. BALLBALL says:

    keep robinson and bellineli and sign sg ellis or jr smith,

  35. disappointed says:

    If the Knicks get ellis then maybe letting jr walk wont be a problem but he will have to come off the bench and change his game up like JR did

  36. ftg419 says:

    i think tony allen would be a better fit in ny than monta…thats if they sign j.r. back…they need to worry about their lackluster defense before adding another scorer to their team

  37. Tom says:

    Nate is one of the unfortunate players. He can defend, score but no one care. Hope he can find a good home.

  38. JP says:

    I don’t understand .Magic made a good choice by selecting Victor Oladipo in the draft, but Ihaven’t hear anything about geting an all star player that I think they need to increase their performance in 2013.I would like to know if they are in the mood to improve the magic team in reality .I think they are to focus and counting on rookies only to present a decent NBA team.

    • asdf says:

      Magic can’t get any big name, because they have a bad team and no All-Star player will go to a losing team when signing with another team will immediately vault it into contention.

      • Marcus says:

        The Magic are still paying Gilbert arenas 22mil per year, Hedo Turkolo 15mil, so their cap space is done until next year.

  39. gw chaff says:

    i keep saying it –bulls should go after crawford xover

  40. ramone says:

    Bulls should try to sign tyreke Evans d-rose n tyreke in the backcourt is pretty nice i think it would b a steal for the bulls

  41. polio pascual says:

    let howard coward send to D league unless hes matured and responsible enough….He still act like a child and poor decision making….If i were team consultant,don’t take a risk to acquire howard coward….As i said,let howard coward send to D league..maybe he develop his maturity there..

  42. Raptors says:

    Damn I wish we can get Lee in trade for Bargnani. Getting only Novak and camby from NY is not good enough

  43. james says:

    If the Bulls could pull it off getting JR Smith, they could let both Bellinelli and Robinson go. But they still need a real big man!

  44. Phillip says:

    Yo, can the Bulls get Monta Ellis, we’re going to Disneyland for sure!!! By the way, the Bulls don’t need like 50,000 point guards on one team. Hopefully, they would forget about Will Bynum…

  45. Craig says:

    Hope Monta goes to NY. Ellis/Melo could be the top ppg combination in the league.

  46. Go2ThunderSmith says:

    If Jsmoove goes to okc they can beat the Heat

  47. LawrenceAiden21 says:

    Chicago should get a dominant scorer outside or in mid range. They should go for JR Smith. They need a volume shooter like Smith. To open space for D. Rose to penetrate in the paint.
    Austin Daye or Trevor Ariza for Defensive purpose and can score at midrange.

    They should get rid of Boozer and replace him with a much better defender, rebounder and definitly a scorer like David West.

    • yellow wagon says:

      jr smith is garbage. Id rather have oj mayo in the backcourt with rose. smith is too streaky and not dependable especially in the playoffs. either mayo or another guard who can make plays like mo williams and can take the load of rose would be nice

  48. jnwestra says:

    if ellis goes to the knicks, you get two guys who ALWAYS want to take all the shots. and that means trouble: they wont work together, theyll just keep calling for the ball

  49. Sand1 says:

    The Knicks don’t need Ellis… Unless we can do some sort of sign and trade with Amare giving them cap room to chase a big that will be value for money or he is happy in the JR role. I just can’t see it working with Melo

    Coming in to a season healthy Amare is going to want to see more of the ball.
    With Ellis, Stat and Melo hopefully healthy that is to many guys who need the ball. I just can’t see Ellis accepting a 6th man role if he is coming in on reduced money from what he is getting offered else where.

    If we are going to continue to play Melo as a 4 then the Knicks need to look at a genuine 3 or a guy who can play the 4/5 as a really solid back up not just a body. Someone who is good defensively and can chip in offence another Kmart

    • seanMoney19 says:

      i would love to see chi pick up evans from sac maybe using daing for a sign and trade with them that would give them another play maker on the floor with rose and if they can free up enough $s to pick up a jack, mayo, or as a long shot kevin martin or maybe jsmooth that would be solid

  50. Drafty says:

    So much surprises. I thought it was funny that ‘Nerlens’ Noel went to ‘New Orleans’. But now about to be traded? I kinda wanted to see him play alongside Anthony Davis but where would Ryan Anderson be placed? Anyways Jrue Holiday seems like a good take knowing that they have an OK frontcourt.

  51. Jim says:

    If the Knicks can land Ellis; that would be a coup!! But I doubt very seriously that will happen.

  52. Kenneth says:

    Chicago Bulls should keep PG Nate Robinson and also keep SG Marco Bellinelli because they have a lot of Chemistry

    • Demetrious says:

      Yes they do

    • Peanut says:

      Yeah they should keep Robinson and also try to get Monte and get Howard as well, cause as everyone knows THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CAP RESTRICTION IN CHICAGO!

      • Derek says:

        Chicago won’t kep nate or marco only hope is will bynum or mo wiliams or another playmaking guard w/ a reasonable contract.

    • B-Ball4Life says:

      You’re right but Nate wants to make money and not play for a minimum salary. He will definitely go elsewhere to get his last big deal done.

    • platypus says:

      mo williams would be a good backup combo guard, he can play the 1 and the 2. he is taller. we dont need both marco and nate, if we only have to pay for one to do both their jobs in mo

    • Craig Roulhac says:

      None of the trade if ands and buts matter. The champion Miami Heat reign!