Free-Agent Roundup: July 2

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From NBA.com staff reports

The biggest news — other than CP3 staying in Clipperland — from free agency’s opening day wasn’t that big at all. Mostly, a smattering of smaller-name reported signings dotted the map, including Mike Dunleavy to the Bulls, C.J. Watson to the Pacers and Eric Maynor to the Wizards among the notables. There was also Tyreke Evans getting a $44 million offer from Pelicans. As we gear up for Day 2 of free agency, here are some overnight items that you may have missed …:

Bucks, Mavs interested in trade for Bledsoe?

Chris Paul‘s tweet yesterday not only assured Clipper fans that he’ll be in the fold for years to come, but re-opened the door to trading his understudy as well, it seems. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Clips are thinking of moving reserve point guard Eric Bledsoe to either the Bucks or Mavs in an effort to land 3-point specialist J.J. Redick or scoring swingman O.J. Mayo.

According to the ESPN.com report, new Clippers coach Doc Rivers wants to keep Bledsoe on the roster, but the Clippers are nonetheless engaged in “live” talks with the Bucks and Mavs regarding trades. The Magic and Raptors may also factor into a Bledsoe deal as the Clips have been in touch with those teams with talks that would land either Arron Afflalo (from Orlando) or high-flying swingman DeMar DeRozan (from Toronto).

The primary driving force behind any trade for Bledsoe is the summer of 2014, which is when he will become a free agent. The Clips are reportedly concerned they wouldn’t be able to match the kind of offer sheet Bledsoe would draw and, thus, lose him to the open market for nothing. As you can tell, this is a fairly complex story, but some details are below:

Sources told ESPN.com that the Clippers have this week exchanged sign-and-trade scenarios with both the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks in potential deals that would bring either J.J. Redick or fellow free agent O.J. Mayo to L.A.

The discussions with Dallas, sources said, center on Mayo, whom the Clippers are said to have contacted in the first few hours of NBA free agency Monday. Talks with the Bucks, meanwhile, center on Redick, with one source close to the process telling ESPN.com that a face-to-face meeting between Redick and the Clippers was imminent, perhaps as soon as Monday night.

The Clippers, in their previous discussions with Orlando and Toronto, have targeted Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan, although it’s not immediately clear what Toronto’s pending trade of Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks does to the Raptors’ ability to stay in the Bledsoe hunt. The Clippers had interest in Bargnani as a potential solution to their lack of floor-spacing shooters.

A trade with any of the known suitors would almost certainly have to include other pieces — such as Caron Butler‘s expiring contract — because Bledsoe is due to make only $2.63 million next season in the final year of his rookie contract.

If they can acquire another player or two Rivers likes, it’s believed he can be convinced to part with Bledsoe before the start of the season. The 23-year-old is eligible for a contract extension before the Halloween deadline for such deals for members of Bledsoe’s draft class.

Yet there’s clearly also a part of Rivers who wants to ignore the conventional wisdom that the Clippers can’t afford to keep Bledsoe as Paul’s backup and try to keep him around for one more season as the ultimate insurance policy for Paul.

The Clippers, with or without Bledsoe, are focused on adding perimeter shooters around Paul and Blake Griffin, sources say, as well as upgrading their perimeter defense.

Blazers interested in Rockets’ Asik?

The acquisition of Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets on Sunday could signal the Portland Trail Blazers interest in Rockets’ center Omer Asik, according to Chris Haynes at CSNNW.  

But what’s being overlooked in all this was the Trail Blazers’ willingness to facilitate the deal in order for Houston to free up the necessary cap space to pursue free agent center Dwight Howard.

According to league sources, several teams including the Trail Blazers, are closely monitoring the Omer Asik situation. Reports are out that the 7-0 center is available. If the Rockets get that verbal agreement they so desperately want from Dwight Howard, Asik will be moved.

One source who is tuned-in with how things could develop tells CSNNW.com that the Trail Blazers are in the Rockets’ good graces, which could have an influence on where they choose to ship Asik when it’s time to do so.

Heat, Spurs pursuing Oden

Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009 as a member of the Blazers. Since then, he’s undergone surgeries on his troublesome knees and flirted with comebacks with the Cavs, Heat and other rumored teams. As free agency chatter picks up, Oden’s name is buzzing again, with the reigning-champion Heat and the reigning Western Conference champion Spurs at the top of his list, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman:

Greg Oden will likely choose from a group of suitors that includes the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies, a source close to Oden told ESPN.com.

A source close to Oden told ESPN’s J.A. Adande that the Cavaliers and Spurs appear to be the best fits at this time.

Oden, 25, has battled numerous knee injuries and hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. He is coming off his third microfracture knee surgery in February 2012.

Oden was the top overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of Ohio State, chosen by the Portland Trail Blazers one spot ahead of Kevin Durant.

Oden has averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 82 career games and has been working out in both Columbus and Indianapolis this past offseason.

Kirilenko seeking long-term deal with Wolves … or elsewhere

On the injury-riddled Timberwolves last season, the sometimes-brittle Andrei Kirilenko surprisingly started the second most games (64). Kirilenko provided what the Timberwolves hoped for when they brought him back to the NBA after a self-imposed one-season hiatus in Russia as the spindly forward was second on the team in blocks (62) and was among Minnesota’s leaders in rebounds, points, steals and, not surprisingly, minutes played. Kirilenko chose to opt out of his contract last week to enter free agency, but tells the Russian newspaper Sport Express that he’s not opposed to a Minnesota return, provided the deal is right:

Kirilenko told Russian website, Sports Express, that he still has a few years of high-level play left in him.

“I’m sure I can play at a high level for three seasons more, at minimum,” he said. “After that, maybe, I’ll be forced to think about the veteran minimum. But what will be in three years, who knows? Before, I used to think my career would end at 30. But now I’m 32, and I still feel strong and full of the desire to play.

“I want to sign a longer-term contract. That doesn’t mean I’m definitely leaving Minnesota, I really like it here. I like everything, except the length of the deal.”

He went on to say that while he wants to be on a winning team, he doesn’t think he has to leave for that.

“The situation in Minnesota is terrific,” he said. “In that respect I’m very lucky. And the current team, I think, is capable of achieving a lot more than it did last season, when we were out of the playoff race early.”

Pelicans’ Rivers attainable now?

As our main man David Aldridge reported last night, the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to make a splash in the free-agent market and have offered up a $44 million contract to Kings guard (and restricted free agent) Tyreke Evans. Provided the Kings let Evans go (which, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick, is something Sacramento’s brass may not be ready to do), the Pelicans would boast a guard corps of All-Star Jrue Holiday, rising guard Greivis Vasquez and Evans, among others. That may leave last year’s No. 10 pick, Austin Rivers, as the odd man out.

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40 Comments

  1. Kimmy says:

    Get a life people. Aren’t we supposed to be making critical comments about the article? Why do you insult each other? Everyone has their opinion. Even if they are “out there in space somewhere”. Some of these comments shouldn’t even have been published. Just garbage if you ask me. So what if Dwight goes to Houston and Smith goes too? Do we really care? It’s a holiday night. Who care?. I want the Hawks to start from fresh and so does Josh Smith, obviously. Maybe Josh will be a better player somewhere else. And obviously Dwight wants a fresh start or else he wouldn’t be listening to 5 presentations. These are superstars and we are not. This is what they do!!!!! Stop hatin!

  2. cp3 epic basketball says:

    supid cilppers not getting oj and chose jj over oj ._.

  3. J says:

    great article!!!

    rockets should play asik at PF other wise trade him only if u get Dwight
    oden should go somewhere! some team just sign him give him a chance
    kirelinko should stay put
    rivers trade? maybe probably why not get depth

  4. NBAnutty says:

    I smell a three peat!! Go miami!! Get Oden!!!

  5. Zeki Davut says:

    Heat should seriously consider Ömer Aşık for Center position. Aşık will provide incredible strength to Heat’s inside play and will solve defensive struggles faced against fizical teams like İndiana Pacers ve Chicago Bulls. If legendary Pat Riley can make this happen they can easily count “Not 3, not 5, not 6…”

  6. seanMoney19 says:

    the rockets have cap space already thats y they can sign d12 asaik makes 11 mil and lyn makes enough for the rockets to offer jsmooth a contract if he wants to win he’ll take 14 or 15 mil which might be a lil to much for jsmooth anyway but he should fit well

  7. Trey says:

    Y do everyone keep coming up with these Superstar rosters? Have they heard of Salary cap? Your not gonna get josh smith and Howard on tha same team it’s not a good fit plus 2 much money.

  8. CURRYNATION says:

    DWIGHT CANNOT HANDLE A CANDLE TO DA DREAM AKEEM, PLEASE NO LOW POST MOVE EXCEPT FOR A SWEEPING INCONSISTENT HOOK SO PRIMATIVE AS MANY YEARS IN THE LEAGUE STILL A BABY WHEN IT COMES TO ATTITUDE… HE’S GARBAGE WITH HYPE….

  9. B Radd says:

    You know, I never thought of that. But Parsons should be on the block as well. If Dallas fails to sign D12 then Dirk deserves to be amnestied and sign with the Rocket for pennies. He Deserves to be paid for what is left on his contract and also play for a team that could compete with the Heat and to play with someone who would complement his game the way Tyson Chandler did in 2011. Cuban owe’s Dirk that. That being said, the Rockets starting Five should be

    PG Rajon Rondo
    SG James Harden
    SF Josh Smith
    PF Dirk Nowitsky
    C Dwight Howard

    Parsons sent to the Bulls

    PG Derrick Rose
    SG Monta Elllis
    SF Chandler Parsons
    PF Al Horford since Danny Ferry failed to make a free agency splash as well
    C Joakim Noah

    • sz says:

      Dallas has already used their amnesty on Haywood.
      Dirk has a no-trade contract, so I’d guess it also would prevent Dallas from letting him go.
      If they let Dirk go, they have no team & nothing to attract free agents (or fans). I think Cuban would spend a lot of upgrade money before he’d let that happen (but I could be wrong, I didn’t expect him to let Nash walk, or let everyone walk after the Championship.)

  10. Trey says:

    Once the heat get a physical true 7footer it’s gonna b scary for the league. I’m a Tru heat fan b4 Lebron was there I love the teams we have tho. We need a big man alongside bosh all he has to do is rebound and play defense n we can easily 3peat. I think heat organization can help keep Oden healthy. With all that said Howard should sign with Hou and Lal should go back with Bynum.

  11. jack says:

    Dealing Bledsoe a big mistake clips. He is the future. If you have to do that try dominant center. Bledsoe is so valuable and young.

  12. seanMoney19 says:

    d12 is good not great cuz he doesn’t dominate like he should but i definitely think rockets would be a good fit bcuz he doesn’t have the pressure of being great harden is on his way.and i believe they can trade asaik and lynn for next to nothing and sign jsmooth formatible.

  13. Jimmy Buckets says:

    Josh Smith to HOUSTON!!!!!! i called it months ago….I WILL BE RIGHT

    • CURRYNATION says:

      JOSH SMITH DA MAN WHO THINKS HE HAS A JUMP SHO AND PLAY WITH NO BRAINS T AGAIN. PEOPLE COME ON HE NEEDS A BASKETBALL BY HIMSELF. ALL ATL PLAYERS EXCEPT FOR AL HORFORD ARE OVER HYPED. I WAS SAD WHEN THE NETS ACQUIRED NO SOUL JOE JOHNSON. C RATED ALL STAR AT BEST iF SUCH THINGS EXISTS. JOE AND JOSH NEEDS TO WEE DA WIZARD ONE FOR AN HEART AND THE OTHER FOR A BRAIN….

  14. Scott says:

    I like Howard to Dallas, Dirk is a phenominal 2nd bannanna, they have solid veterans in Marion and Carter, all they need is a point guard, enter Brandon Jennings, the kid can play, starting line up Jennings, Carter, Marion, Dirk, and Howard, I think they would be okay

    • Vince Carter Fan says:

      still need a bench… they could get some other players. I want to see VC win a championship.

  15. jimmy says:

    Tony Allen fits great in Spurs roster, also they should pull for Osick of Rockets. I’m not sure about Kirilenko, and Greg Oden is too much of a risk

  16. Shawn K says:

    I would like to see Bledsoe stay. He is a quality point guard that is only getting better. But, IF the Clippers decide to trade him, I would like to see them trade for either O.J Mayo or Demar DeRozan. With that trade, the Clippers will have a young, athletic 2 guard to start and have Jamal Crawford back them up and keep Billups has a back up point guard. Just my opinion, but I think O.J Mayo is probably a better fit with the Clippers, but I think Demar will grow and evolve with the team and reach his potential on a contending team instead of a team that is always rebuilding. I really like this trade idea IF the Clippers decide to trade Bledsoe. If they decide to keep him, then they still win because of his talent.

  17. jOEL says:

    Wow what a joke. the top contenders from last year are after Oden? A guy with wimpy knees who hasn’t played since 2009? Guy was a great college player but came into the L with an aged boy and only a team who can get him for maybe the veterans minimum should take a chance on him

  18. because we can, can, can says:

    In the spirit of ridiculous trade that so often get tossed around during free agency, here goes nothing. Howard signs with the rockets. Lin, and Asik to Atlanta for Josh Smith on a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal. Rockets add Calderon through Free agency. Starting lineup is Calderon, Harden, Parsons, Smith, Howard.

    • CURRYNATION says:

      THATS CRAZY THE TEAM WITH A TRUE POINT GUARD IS LIKE BUILDING A TREE WITH OUT UNLESS YOU HAVE A PT FORWARD AS IN LEBRON (GUERILLA GLUE). YOU IMAGINE STRICTLY RUN AND GUN WITH HASTE IS WHAT I SEE (THREE GOOD SHOOTERS BUT NO INSIDE GAME WHICH WILL FRUSTRATE BRATTY HOWARD AND I CNAT PLAY WITHOUT THE BALL JOSH) . THE ONLY BRAINS ON THE COURT WOULD BE HARDEN (OH WHAT THE THUNDER DO MISS) BUT NO REAL PG TO PULL IT ALL TOGETHER…

  19. Deech says:

    Personally, I don’t know why everyone has been so pumped about Howard. I cannot stand that the Rockets have been after him. I played college basketball and have coached a little bit now and I must say the type of player he is would not be something I would want on my team. I would rather keep Asik! More dependable and with his offense it can only get better from where he is. Howard can be all over the place sometimes and can change a team with his attitude. With Rondo I feel he is better than Lin, but I wouldn’t part with Lin if we had to give up that much more. Finally, with Smith I guess the Rockets do need a more experienced and better four, but once again we have some young guys I think need some time to develop as back up, so I would put more cash on that option then giving up all those players like the Rockets have been doing of late.

  20. Darren Rogers says:

    Rockets get Dwight.
    Rockets to trade Lin plus picks/players/cash Rondo.
    Then trade Asik for Josh Smith gives them:
    Dwight
    J Smith
    Parsons
    Beard
    Rondo

    Unbeatable!

    • Jacky says:

      Rockets wont get rondo or josh smith as i highly doubt boston would want jeremy lin as a foundation, also the atlanta hawks would want someone with better offensive abilities than asik to play alongside al horford. i think the lin/rondo deal might go through if the rockets can give up a future first round draft pick as the celtics want to acquire young talent, or maybe throw in terrence jones to sweeten the deal, if dwight goes to houston, they would be a popular destination for players

    • porter says:

      Thats never going to happen -.-

    • sick says:

      wake up!

    • HEATLE says:

      Unbeatable? Really? I hope it works and go against the HEAT?
      HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
      You’ll be feeling like a Spurs fan.
      Unbeatable. Keep on dreaming.

    • dd def says:

      i’m hoping the deal that sends Asik to Portland works out. I’ve loved his game for a couple years now and still don’t know how the bulls let him go. but as far as our starting 5 with hickson looking like he’ll jet, asik is the one piece we really need and in general probably our biggest gap: a defensive inside presence. ya’ll can have Dwight, it’s a proven fact that he’s not as much of a game changer as people once thought.

    • aaaaaa says:

      That team is pretty amazing, but no way that ever happens. At the most, they’re getting Howard and thats it

  21. Michael Peloton says:

    NBA they say is the greatest basketball tournament in the world. Teams should re-tool and make,themselves very competitive. Fans don’t want to see an NBA team beaten in a friendly basketball match by a European team. Otherwise, the fans might as well request the said European team to suit up in the nba. That is the challenge for any NBA team.

  22. Jacky says:

    as an orlando fan, i would love to have eric bledsoe join the magic. eric bledsoe and victor oladipo together look pretty good on paper, and orlando at the moment look like lottery contenders next year, so if the magic land andrew wiggins, and along with the development of vucevic, tobias harris, oladipo, they can have a good crack at the championship in a couple of years, and look like a core that could stay for a long time, and as these players are much more loyal that dwight howard, the controversy in orlando would die down pretty quickly

    • IM back bro says:

      delusional as all nba “fans” are. LeBum and Kopy bryant are the death of the NBA. Dwight howard..thank GOD has saved it. This is statistically the best center of all time and IDGAF who doesnt like it. Magik johnson was NOT the best laker and Kareem was too skinny and he lacked a post game. Shaq didnt have a mid range so he isnt the best. NOBODY is better in the league than dwight howrd!!

      • stoppa11 says:

        are you like one of the slowest people on earth Dwight is nowhere close to the level that you say he is LeBron and kobe are clearly way better then him. then you talk about shaq and kareem like they are garbage kareem is the leading scorer in nba history for a reason and shaq was dominant in the paint he didn’t need an outside game. plus Dwight has no offensive game at all so stop with the no sense

      • evang says:

        It’s time for your meds again.

      • hahaha great trolling bro…that was funny

      • JJJJJ says:

        Statistically? What?!
        My friend, you must look up what that means. Howard is no where close. It’s funny how you mention how delusional nba fans are. Seeing as you’re probably the biggest loony I’ve seen on these boards.

      • Van says:

        You must have not heard of Wilt. He is by far the bed statictical player ever. Dwight doesn’t even come cl

      • barr says:

        You mad bro?

      • He’s looking to cause these type of responses from readers who disagree, to gather the most attention from his post…he said this yesterday in a different unrelated story at this website. The ‘Looney’ who posted this is just wanting readers to respond and post opposing comments under their ridiculous post comments, successfully.