Morning shootaround — July 13

VIDEO: Daily Zap: July 12


Decision day for the Rockets | Only a two-year deal for James | Pierce keeps it moving | Deng the next domino?

No. 1: Decision day for the Rockets — The Houston Rockets have a new small forward, having agreed to a four-year deal with former Wizard Trevor Ariza. Does that mean that they’re ready to part ways with their old small forward? Not necessarily. The Rockets have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday to match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet that Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks. And they may feel like Ariza and Parsons could play together, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes:

The Houston Rockets are still strongly considering the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet for Chandler Parsons after reaching agreement on a four-year, $32 million contract with free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Ariza’s contract is on a declining scale, paying him $8.6 million, $8.2 million, $7.8 million and $7.4 million over the next four seasons, sources said.

The Rockets are expected to take until 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday to match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet the Mavericks gave Parsons, sources said. The Rockets could give Parsons some minutes at power forward, allowing them to play him and Ariza together.


No. 2: Only a two-year deal for JamesLeBron James could be a free agent again next season. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that James only signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it has a player option for 2015-16, allowing him to look for a new deal again next summer. But Windhorst writes that it isn’t about James not being truly committed to Cleveland. It’s about the additional money he could make with a new deal in a year or two:

Depending on how the new television contracts are put together, the salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016. There is also uncertainty with the current collective bargaining agreement starting in 2017, another reason James wanted to keep his long-term options open when it comes to the structure of his contract.

James’ off-court earnings, which top $40 million per year according to some estimates, allow for him to take some short-term risk to maximize long-term earnings.

James has earned $129 million over his 11-year career but has only earned the max salary three times during that span.


No. 3: Pierce keeps it moving — It was weird seeing Paul Pierce in a Brooklyn Nets uniform last season. It may be even weirder seeing him in the Washington Wizards’ red, white and blue this year. In a bit of a stunner, Pierce and the Wizards agreed on a two-year deal (for the mid-level exception) on Saturday night. Michael Lee of the Washington Post has the story:

Refusing to stagger after the stunning defection of Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards shook off the disappointment and made a shocking deal of their own by landing Paul Pierce.

Pierce, a 10-time all-star and likely Hall of Famer, agreed to sign a two-year deal for the full mid-level exception worth $10.8 million, according to a multiple people with knowledge of the situation. He has a player option for the second year.

The 36-year-old Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with the Boston Celtics, winning a championship in 2008, and his former teammate and current Wizards assistant Sam Cassell played a huge role in recruiting him to Washington. He averaged a career-low 13.5 points last season in Brooklyn but gives the Wizards a proven big-game performer and another veteran mentor to help expedite the progression of franchise building blocks John Wall and Bradley Beal.


No. 4: Deng the next domino? — Ariza, James and Paul Pierce have found new homes, while Parsons will either be a member of the Dallas Mavericks or Houston Rockets when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday. But where does Luol Deng land in this game of small forward musical chairs? The Miami Heat have been trying hard to make him James’ replacement and stay near the top of the Eastern Conference, but other teams (Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix) are still in the mix for Deng, as ESPN’s Marc Stein reported late Saturday:

Sources say it’s possible Wade’s looming deal with the Heat might not be finalized until next week while negotiations with Deng continue. But Miami’s current aim is assembling a core that features Wade and Bosh with newcomer Josh McRoberts and Deng if they can complete a deal with the former Chicago Bulls All-Star.

Dallas and Atlanta remain interested in Deng as well, with sources saying Saturday that the Phoenix has also jumped into the mix for Deng, who was traded from Chicago to Cleveland in January after years of trade rumors.


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Nets could still be a playoff team this season, but championship dreams are basically out the windowIt’s a “wait ’til next year” situation in BostonIs LeBron Melo’s Jordan?The Thunder got what they needed in Anthony Morrow … The Kings and Isaiah Thomas weren’t on the same page.

ICYMI of The Night: After his Summer League debut, Jazz rookie Dante Exum sat down the The Starters:

VIDEO: Starters: Dante Exum


  1. Kobe-Nash-Lakers says:

    So bad for LA.. They have gotten NONE!! What else LA???

  2. Bball fan says:

    Dear LeBron James,

    Let history write itself…you and your PR firm are just going to mess it all up. Good day, sir.

  3. Nick says:

    I would like to see Rondo and Love in Cleveland with the King.

  4. Elijah 41 says:

    LeBron is the greatest player today that the owner of the cavs got him back…I’ts the right decision for LeBron James to come back to cleveland and give them a championship the city deserves…this is a business not personal…

  5. strikemasterk says:

    The Lakers are getting ready for the return of Pat Riley!

  6. strikemasterk says:

    Why would Houston want to match that offer sheet? Oh because they are butt-hurt that Mark Cuban may get one over on them. Why aren’t they seeing the bigger picture here? Free up cap space for the ultimate stretch four in NBA Kevin Durant. I think they would win in that sweepstakes because of the Texas connection, James Harden, and Dwight Howard. But no this is personal between Cuban and Morey.

  7. lacrampa says:

    my god if lebron want a ring he needs to join forces with norris cole in miami everybody knows that

  8. Matthew says:

    Can someone here from DA please tell me what the heck the lakers are doing?
    I know that all of us are annoyed by the media talking about the lakers, but what this management has done
    this free agency is very disturbing. They have done nothing, better to say LESS than nothing?

    What is their plan? Dont they even try to get DENG or MONROE???
    I mean every idiot could do better as the laker management at the moment, and i really dont like to blame Kupchack for this,
    but hey, your hands are not tied down that much, by Jim Buss that you even struggle to get some midlevel players man !!!!!

    How many Players are under Contract? … 6? they now that they need 12 People ?? Well i would be available

  9. l0l says:

    Harden – ‘ – Ariza – Parsons – D12. If I was the Rockets’ and I’m a fan, I would keep Parsons. Give that dude his money he deserves cause he is an excellent improving player.

    • eric says:

      Why are we evening looking at Ariza? He was here before and didn’t doing anything, save the money keep PArsons for sure!
      Giving Asik away is another mistake! LAte last season, after his understanding of his contibution to the team he and Howard were a force in just a short amount of time playing togetther.

      Morley is trying to buy a ring, lets just keep these guys together to build up a team!
      I’m a big Houston Fan and native, but the Spurs or Popivich knows how to build a team and keep it together!!!!!

  10. Bartholomew says:

    Yes, Dante Exum sat down the The Starters. Definitely.

  11. harrythehawk says:

    Deng should play for the Hawks. He will make that team better. I heard he refused the amount offered. This guy is very good, but not that great. His standard mode of operation is to demand more money and that’s why he’s not in Chicago now. And how has that worked for his career? The Hawks are now running the same system as the Spurs, we are looking for pieces for a perfect puzzle, not necessarily BIG stars. This way, if one is out the team keeps it moving. Okay Deng, go to Miami, and let’s see how that works for you.

  12. LBJ D' GOAT? says:

    I’m wondering what will Cavs fans will do if Lebron leaves them again after 2 years?

    • Sebastian says:

      Then after he goes to the other team, four years later he will return to Cleveland…..again.

    • 2-3(not so great) says:

      i cannot believe the owner brought him back. its kinda a slap in the face to the fans. hear lebaby’s speech? he is trying to justify his leaving and goin back but its very insulting to the cavs. he left to win championships and now he is going home and he is going to try his best to get them at least one. he is saying he left because cavs were not good enough and now is back and they are still not good enough but he will try. i cant stand that guy. he acts like he is god’s gift to basketball. jordan would roll him up and smoke him all day every day. after 2 years he will probably jump to whoever he thinks is best in the east. i say east because he doesnt have the juevos to play in the west. you van call me a lebron hater, because i am, because i see through the cr@p the fake fans fall through. i guarantee there is not one real cavs fan that wants him back. he just fortunate that the new fans of today will folow him wherever he goes. pick a team ppl. not a player.

      • LebronFanFromNewZealand says:

        It’s funny when people become jealous, bro just handle the change. People forget that it is a God-given right to do what is best for themselves, if Lebron wants to go back to Cleveland, it’s his right, if he wants to leave again, it’s his right, if you have an opinion, it’s YOUR right, that’s fine. But to choose and think for others? Hmmmmm……….NOPE! not your right.