Free-Agent Roundup: July 5

From staff reports

NBA free-agent madness doesn’t apparently take a break … even for a national holiday. The first deal on Day 4 of NBA free agency saw the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, agree to a four-year deal with the Knicks (they also brought back Pablo Prigioni on a two-year pact as well). Jazz big man Al Jefferson is headed back to the Eastern Conference for the first time since his days with the Celtics as he and the Charlotte Bobcats agreed to a three-year deal, and the Kings, Blazers and Pelicans pulled of a trade that sends former Rookie of the Year and restricted free agent Tyreke Evans to New Orleans, puts Robin Lopez in Portland and has Greivis Vasquez headed to Sacramento. And, oh yeah, the Spurs picked up Marco Belinelli and the Cavaliers helped their depth by signing ex-Lakers forward Earl Clark. Not too shabby for a supposed day off.

Gordon says he’s ‘all in’ with Pelicans

Last season, Eric Gordon and the New Orleans Pelicans (nee, Hornets) never could get off on the right foot together. Gordon was hampered early in the season as he recovered through a knee injury and dealt with a hand injury in the middle of the season as well. There was also his summer of 2012, which rubbed a lot of New Orleans supporters the wrong way. In the last offseason, he signed an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns and declared that he wanted the Pelicans to not match the offer so he could play in Arizona. But the exact opposite happened and he endured questions all season about whether or not he was loyal to the team.

According to Yahoo!Sports’ Marc J. Spears, Gordon isn’t wavering in his commitment to the team this season and is ready to go:

The potential addition of Tyreke Evans and New Orleans’ draft night trade that landed Jrue Holiday have improved Eric Gordon’s outlook on New Orleans.

“I’m all in with the Pelicans,” said Gordon, who has been friends with Holiday and Evans since their AAU days. “It would be great if we can all play together. I would say we’d definitely have a chance to make the playoffs.”

Gordon could be part of a sign-and-trade to bring Evans to New Orleans. His high salary – he signed a $58 million deal over four seasons last summer – and knee/ankle injury woes would make him tough to deal, but the Pelicans entertained the possibility this offseason, sources said. The Kings also drafted a shooting guard in Kansas’ Ben McLemore with the seventh overall pick. While Gordon and point guard Greivis Vasquez could be candidates for a sign-and-trade, Gordon doesn’t expect that to be the case for him.

“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but I do feel comfortable I am coming back,” Gordon said. “I think there is a good to great chance I will be back.”

Pistons interested in Billups reunion?

Chauncey Billups‘ repeated clutch performances in the playoffs with the Pistons in the early 2000s helped him earn the nickname “Mr. Big Shot”. But his surprising departure from the Pistons via a trade with the Nuggets two games into the 2008-09 season left Billups with a bitter taste in his mouth about the franchise he helped lift to a championship in 2004.

Apparently, some of those old wounds have healed up for Billups, who may reportedly return to the Motor City as a free agent, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

The Pistons have kept an open door with current and former players, and will explore those options next week with Jose Calderon, Will Bynum and Chauncey Billups.

Bynum has received interest from the Knicks and Chicago Bulls, and wants to be on a team that has a chance to win.

Bynum and Calderon share the same agent, while as for Billups, he and Pistons president Joe Dumars repaired their strained relationship recently, as Billups told the Detroit News this season when the Clippers made a trip to Detroit this season.

It stemmed from Billups being traded from the Pistons to the Denver Nuggets in the 2008-09 season for Allen Iverson, and although Billups is just recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in the 2011-12 season, he still wants to play.

Apparently, Detroit is an option for Billups, who can play a mentor role for some of the young guards and still contribute timely shooting from both guard spots.

Report: Lakers, Pacers, Jazz in pursuit of Copeland

After the Knicks’ moves on Thursday to lock up Smith and Prigioni, two key contributors from last season — Kenyon Martin and Chris Copeland — remain on the open market. Copeland, in particular, has seen a spike in interest of late, with Utah, Indiana and the L.A. Lakers chasing him the most, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Copeland’s agent, John Spencer didn’t rule out a return to the Knicks, but said he expects Copeland to get an offer above $1.75 million. Spencer said he spoke to Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni yesterday.

Spencer said the Lakers, Pacers and the Jazz are front-runners and even the Nuggets, where Copeland played college, are interested. The Lakers may have to wait on Dwight Howard, but have their mini mid-level. Spencer didn’t rule out the Knicks, saying Copeland could take less.

Twitter quick hits: On Jack, Gordon, Calderon, Rondo and more


  1. J says:

    gordan stay
    billups stay
    copeland leave

  2. D Stallion says:

    G State is definitely going in a positive direction by signing Iguodala, great move.

  3. mark says:

    The eastern confrence don’t sleep on the pacers will they make the finals? another year of growing playing as a, team and pushing the heat 7 games and loseing learning from that experience gave a chip on there shoulder this last few, season is next year there year maybe not but we will see … the new look nets D.WILL iso JOE the truth kG and young lopez and a nice bench rotation if the can gel early on and I believe they will they can be a beast of a team pierce and gernett understand there roles this team is all about joe johnson and D.will with a sprinkle of lopez they will help scoreing and on defense but it will be more about the locker room getting the team to be just that a team . A team that plays defense and can score play half court and run I think they surprise the world and beat the heat that’s if indiana doesnet do it 1st o yeah must stay healthy ….. the knicks well they get smith back and the Italian pg but they need quality depth just because smith is the 6th man of the year that doesn’t mean they have depth that doesn’t mean they are good on defense it means nothing the knicks need to understand for a team that can score like them with melo and smith its good but not going to win any rings they need to play D. I mean solid D billups back in nyc would mean point gaurd depth and a big time shooter with a mind for defense he has aged but he can still ball overall for the knicks to get over the hump I preach defense and depth .score then can do everything else not so much ..CHICAGO rose is back there cutting ageing players and shedding contracts and letting free agents sign so I think there looking to revamp the roster and give rose some much needed help unlike the knicks they play D hard nosed D and can score but there lack of a 2nd star and 2 scorer is what’s there issue boozer is good but maybe as a 3rd option deng is good but not allstar good him and rose ate not enuff maybe jimmy buttler will shine at that 2 spot when he rose take the floor he showed flashes of being very good he’s a solid defender and can shot the 3 with rose back I think they can beat anybody any given day due there defensive game and now have a star back in the line up tbey can over throw anybody well given that 2 scorer does it big to help rose otherwise there just another 2nd round playoff team maybe finals dependeing on the seeding because lets face it the east is beast even with all the new faces and teams and player movement but hay its the nba if your here you must be good otherwise your somewhere else …… lets go nba

  4. R.Steele says:

    Spurs vs Pacers finas

  5. Jimmy Buckets says:

    Dont sleep on Chicago

  6. Beezy says:

    Heat and Nets in the ECF is an EASY HELL NO.

  7. Emil Dub says:

    I don’t understand why Billups is not signing with the clippers!!!! They can use someone like him, especially with no Bledsoe and the Clippers have a much better chance of doing something than the Pistons. I don’t understand. Is there a problem with Doc Rivers after those battles early in the “Big Three” Era?

  8. B Radd says:

    Pelican’s will have a very good backcourt but they need to add muscle at center and small forward position. I’d look to aquire Millsap or Danny Granger who is an UFA next year. At the center spot I’d look to aquire Omer Asik via trade for Rivers and/or sign Andrew Bynum for an even better Front Court.

    PG Drew Holiday
    SG Eric Gordon
    SF Paul Millsap
    PF Anthony Davis
    C Omer Asik

    • Shawn K says:

      I don’t know about that, Bynum is a HUGE risk for any team to sign him for more than a year at a time. He burnt the 76ers by not taking care of his knees during his rehab. I really think teams should avoid signing Bynum for more than one year. Too risky.

    • mark says:

      Do you really think evans, will play off the bench you put together a dream because the pelicans are nit lookibg for the now they are looking for the future all there playeres are 4th year players or younger the main pieces anyway they have a good backcourt. But need a big and if howard signs with the rockets asik goes to portland and if howard goes anywhere else asik stays anyways there bot built for the now so getting vets and bug contracts make no sens they wabt cap space draft picks and players wgo are young and improveing and whom they can trade have a good day sir

    • YYY says:

      I would say try to get Terrence Williams as a SF, they still have Pondexter. And for C they should try to get Asik or Spence Hawes.

    • Alexander butt says:

      That won’t happen. Utah values Millsap to much to let him walk, expecially with big Ale Jefferson heading to the Bobcats. They are willing to overpay him to keep him in Utah.

  9. celtics1 says:

    let all the teams make what ever trade they want to make , the Nba finals for next season is set east conference finals is heats vs nets Nets win in seven.

    western conference finals is clippers vs spurs. spurs win

    all we are going to see in the season is excitements that will die down as the season wears on.

    • IM back bro says:

      who cares. Pistons will never make the playoffs again. They are almost if not as bad as the detriot lions LMFAO!!! detriot “fans” are so delusional. Hope the bulls sweep them for life!

    • Kentavious Johnson says:

      Ur a moron

    • LOL! you’re crazy!! you don’t even know where Howard will be signing….sure the nets will go that far…but the CLIPPERS?!? wahahahahahahahaha! they won’t even get past the Grizzlies or OKC or Houston or even Denver! LOL!

    • also…the Pelicans are pretty strong next year…so yeah…the the west is not as easy as that when you don’t have a center that can dominate the Paint

    • blahblah216 says:

      ur not that smart r u? The heat will 3 peat again its inevitable. I agree nets will make it that far but they will lose. also spurs arent going back. they cant. you still have to wait out on howards decision to actually tell who will win in the west. Dont count out OKC either.

    • FettaFetta says:

      Lets not get too hyped up about the Nets. Remember the Lakers last year? Wait until they actually play on the court, and then we can say if they are contenders. And dont forget the Pacers, they are a threat to the heat too.

    • Smh says:

      Ok nostradamus

    • makran says:

      let the new look NETS play atleast 1 game together before crowning them as East Champs no doubt they have excellent starters BUT the Heat,Bulls,Pacers at least Knicks were having their time together, okay looks like I am replying to a Brooklyn Celtics fan,

    • Joe Calabria says:

      No! Bulls Warriors