Morning shootaround — July 14


VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played July 13

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Report: KG open to Nets return? | Report: Spurs, Bonner reach deal | Bulls round out roster | Ariza-to-Houston deal grows

No. 1: Report: KG still ‘excited’ to play for Nets — Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett will be entering his 20th NBA season if he chooses to play in 2014-15. The likelihood of him playing next season was always up in the air … but is it even more so now? Garnett’s longtime teammate, Paul Pierce, agreed to a deal with the Washington Wizards over the weekend and led some to think perhaps KG will hang it up for sure this summer. ESPN.com’s Mike Mazzeo writes that Garnett may still be back in Brooklyn next season anyway:

Despite the loss of Paul Pierce via free agency, Kevin Garnett likes the direction of the Brooklyn Nets and is “excited” about joining them for the upcoming season, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Garnett, who turned 38 in May, is due $12 million in 2014-15, which would be his 20th NBA season.

He has yet to publicly announce that he’s playing this season, but all indications continue to point that way. On Saturday, a league source told ESPNNewYork.com that the Nets still expect Garnett to return.

Pierce elected to sign a two-year contract with the Washington Wizards for $11 million with a second-year player option, sources told ESPN.com.

Pierce and Garnett had been teammates since 2007-08. They won a championship together with the Boston Celtics.


VIDEO: Paul Pierce and the Wizards agree on a two-year deal

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No. 2: Report: Spurs, Bonner agree to 1-year deal — San Antonio Spurs fans can rest easy. The “Red Mamba” will be back in town for at least one more season. Fan favorite (and 3-point shooting specialist) Matt Bonner has agreed to a veteran’s-minimum deal as the Spurs try to repeat as champions and Bonner looks to collect his third championship as an NBA player — all of which have been earned with San Antonio. Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News has more:

Bonner’s new deal is for one season at the 10-year veteran minimum of $1,448,490.

Bonner is the third of the team’s unrestricted free agents to agree to return. Only restricted free-agent big man Aron Baynes remains unsigned, though the Spurs tendered a qualifying offer to him that allows them to match any offer sheet he gets from another team.

“This is another step towards keeping together a group that performed well this past season,” general manager R.C. Buford said.

A 6-foot-10 center-forward, Bonner appeared in 61 regular-season games and 22 of the 23 playoff games that produced the Spurs’ fifth NBA championship. He started Games 5 and 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I’ve been hoping to get the call that I’d be coming back the whole time since free agency started,” he said. “I was just waiting for the Spurs to do their due diligence on the free-agent market. I’m super thrilled it worked out and excited to come back to the Spurs’ organization and the city of San Antonio and try to win another championship.”

Bonner called the 2013-14 season the most enjoyable of his career.

“It’s such a great group of guys, and last year was so enjoyable, on and off the court, with everybody on the team,” he said. “Having the same group back again is going to be a lot of fun.”


VIDEO: Matt Bonner celebrates the Spurs’ 2014 NBA championship

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No. 3: Report: Bulls add Mirotic, re-sign Hinrich — In free agency, the Chicago Bulls netted one player (Pau Gasol) who was a top-flight international prospect back in his younger days. Now, it seems, the Bulls are about to replicate the feat. Chicago and its pick from 2011 Draft, Nikola Mirotic, have agreed to a three-year deal, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, and that’s not the only move for the Bulls. Reserve point guard Kirk Hinrich is also headed back to the team, too:

The 2014-15 Bulls are taking shape. They’re just not making it official yet.League sources said Kirk Hinrich will follow Pau Gasol and officially sign in the coming days. Nikola Mirotic tweeted that he will “fulfill a dream” and leave Real Madrid for the Bulls.

But as backup center Greg Smith’s imminent trade to the Mavericks indicates, the Bulls’ financial picture is fluid. The deadline to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer is Wednesday. The Bulls also could move other contracts, like Anthony Randolph’s expiring $1.825 million deal, and perhaps swing a trade to upgrade the perimeter.

Sources said Gasol’s three-year deal won’t be for less than $6 million annually. Hinrich signed a two-year deal worth $5.6 million, with NBA.com reporting the second year as a player option.

The Bulls are able to contribute $600,000 of Mirotic’s roughly $3.2 million buyout without it counting against their cap. A league source confirmed he will sign a three-year, $17 million deal.

The Bulls may wait until Wednesday’s deadline for the Boozer amnesty to continue shopping him. But given that Gasol turned down midlevel exception offers from other contending teams and the Bulls would remain a capped team and thus be able to offer Gasol only that same exception if they traded Boozer, that’s unlikely. Hinrich getting signed to the “room exception” is another indication that Boozer’s amnesty is imminent.

The return of Hinrich, who has spent nine of his 11 seasons with the Bulls, will add backcourt depth and closed the door on D.J. Augustin, who agreed to join the Pistons on Sunday night. A favorite of management and coach Tom Thibodeau, Hinrich averaged 9.1 points and 3.9 assists in 73 games last season.

The Bulls view him as an ideal complement for Derrick Rose because he can take defensive and ball-handling responsibilities off Rose’s plate. Hinrich, 33, drew more lucrative interest from elsewhere.

As of now, the Bulls have a starting five of Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Gasol and Noah. The bench consists of Hinrich, Mirotic, Tony Snell, Randolph, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow.


VIDEO: Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau talks about Chicago’s offseason

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No. 4: Ariza-to-Houston deal grows — As we reported in this space last night, the Houston Rockets are bringing back small forward Trevor Ariza on a free-agent contract. But as our David Aldridge noted, there are more components to Ariza’s return than just him signing a contract …

And as ESPN.com’s Marc Stein provides some detail as to why the Rockets, Wizards and Pelicans all had to be involved in this transaction:

The Houston Rockets’ long anticipated trade of Omer Asik to New Orleans has expanded to become a three-team trade involving Washington and Trevor Ariza, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Rockets and Pelicans have agreed to turn their previously agreed deal headlined by Asik into a three-team swap that folds in the agreement Houston struck Saturday to sign Ariza, thus creating a valuable trade exception for Washington.

The trade, sources say, calls for the Pelicans to receive Asik, Rockets swingman Omri Casspi and $1.5 million in cash from Houston.

Sources say the Rockets, meanwhile, will get Ariza and his new four-year, $32 million deal, Pelicans guards Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson (and their unguaranteed contracts) as well as New Orleans’ protected first-round pick in 2015. Washington, in this scenario, is only required to take back the unguaranteed contract of Melvin Ely from New Orleans while creating an $8.5 million trade exception through Ariza’s exit that will expire one year from the date that this complicated transaction is made official.

Without the late-season signing of Ely to his unguaranteed deal, New Orleans would have lacked the extra contract piece needed to make this deal happen. The Pelicans had to make the unpopular decision to waive center Greg Stiemsma to create a late-season roster spot for Ely, but that move was always done with the intent to plug Ely’s contract into a significant trade to acquire a player of Asik’s caliber.

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Wizards and Mavericks are both targeting big man DeJuan Blair … The Mavs inked veteran forward Richard Jefferson to a one-year deal … Raptors rookie Bruno Caboclo isn’t lacking any confidence during the Las Vegas Summer League … After Dallas’ handful of moves, how good will the Mavs actually be next season? … Former Jazz forward Brandon Rush will work out for interested teams next week … The Bulls’ signing of Pau Gasol might end up being just the move they needed … If you missed it over the weekend, Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons chimes in on LeBron James‘ move back to Cleveland

ICYMI of The Night: If you missed the final sequence of the Hawks vs. NBA D-League Select game last night, it got a little wild … 


VIDEO: The D-League Select team beats the Hawks in thrilling fashion in OT

32 Comments

  1. talldave2 says:

    “Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Gasol and Noah.” Not bad.

    With Gibson, Kirk, Mirotic and McDermott coming off the bench, I think Thibs can squeeze 60 wins out of this group.

  2. Henrik Jensen says:

    don’t you mean yes and great,

  3. beantown says:

    Ariza is straight out of a contract year, so while he does appear to have some upside, his numbers are as unreliable as parsons’ due to houston’s tempo. but ariza has always shown glimpses of greatness only to back off and be lazy again while parsons still hat got a lot to prove. plus dirk will facilitate for parsons as he did and will continue to do for ellis. looking forward to this season, but neither rockets nor macs will reach the finals in a western conference with the spurs, thunder and clippers – who should definitely improve this year.

  4. Philip says:

    Chandler Parsons is not even close to being worth the offer the mavs threw at him. I don’t blame Houston for not matching. They made the mistake already by overpaying Jeremy Lin who is a garbage player that got hyped up in NY bc its the biggest circus state in the country. People forget that Melo was NOT playing when Lin went on his run and had he been playing, theres no way Lin even comes close to the same point production. Ariza is an established veteran with excellent 3 pt shooting, double digit scoring and tenacious D. Parsons and Lin have below average skills on the defensive end of the floor and it showed for Lin by being replaced with someone who could produce the same point production and play defense in Beverly. I guarantee lins next contract will be less than half of what hes making this year and the Lakers only took him bc his cap hit was only 8.5 mil and they had plenty of room with the departure of gasol and others.

  5. brianlucas says:

    Yeah ariza is a better over all player but when a team plays together where another team mate slacks as a team u plug the whole I think the rockets just got older at a key position as well as less points cause Beverley is so good at scoring the ball and Howard has up and down games scoring is much needed in the west

  6. helveyn says:

    8s been a busy offseason for the entire nba league.my team orlando magic wil splash thie upcoming season and shock the nba world my team in BAYUGAN CITY BASKETBALL ALL STAR HAS FALLEN in the semis but it doesnt mean that we will never strikeback, we know this is not our time to capture the Mayor kim ”bobong”ASIS trophy,this is a learning process for us to strive much harder to get the TITLE,WE WILL STRIKEBACK NEXT SEASON….GO LUMBAD GO…..!!!

  7. Zainab says:

    The Cleveland Cavaliers were and still is my favorite team but I absolutely dislike LeBron so much. I wish he hadn’t come back and all the other player s will play less especially Tristian because Lebron is going to hog everything. I hate Lebron!

  8. michael says:

    I feel sorry for Noah when you see how little Gasol plays help defense and no rim protection. Gasol is a slow washed up injury prone referee crybaby – wait till the little guards in the east just steal the ball from his weak grasp like they do in the West.A lineup with Dunleavy, Hinrich, and Gasol on the floor doesn’t add any team speed…hopefully they’ll never be on the court together.

  9. O. syl Vaughn says:

    Ariza better than Parsons; case closed!! Rockets got the better of the deal, and much cheaper!!

    • charless702 says:

      The Rockets gambled and LOST. There team is a really good regular season team but both Harden and Howard are natural losers. They just got rid of over half their team in hopes of getting Bosh and in return they only got Ariza, that’s a lose-lose. Parsons is 10X better. Also how can you say Parsons playing at under a million dollars is a worse and more expensive deal than what they gave Ariza? That’s a joke. Anyway you look at it, it’s a lose-lose. Parsons > Ariza. Parson’s Houston contract < Ariza's. Ariza has shown time after time that he only puts up mediocre numbers in contract years. He'll also be completely useless with James Harden jacking up 10 3 pointers a game. Parsons might be overpaid now but he was one of the greatest values in basketball when you look at what the Rockets would have been paying him. Honestly the Rockets probably should have matched that huge contract. They're already overpaying two drastically overrated players in Harden and Howard, especially Harden though. Then again I guess Houston is use to overpaying talent and free agents to get knocked out of the first round.

  10. Wayne says:

    San Antonio completely demolished the Heat because they had the best team and not the best player. Germany won the World Cup because they had the best team and not the best player. Lin show the Knicks how to play as a team, got them to the playoff and they let him go. Houston have a problem, they when after Lin like a bandwagon fan then they started booing him when he had a bad game (Miami fans in the final)
    Lin and Kobe will make the Lakers shine again. Kobe and Steve Nash will mentor him and not look at him as a threat to their media hyped superstar status.

  11. Houston will miss Jeremy Lin more than anything as the roster stands. In the playoffs he was more consistent and clutch than Harden was and gave them consistent scoring off the bench. Lin also ran the offense 10 times better than Beverly or Harden. Ariza’s defense will be huge for them but they must replace that bench scoring somehow.

  12. celentano says:

    The Lakers needs to chase KG as good supporting cast in absence of Gasol, he has some left in the tank for 2 years from now!He can play center with Randle,Hill or can play as power forward too,with him as starter play-offs are garanteed if Kobe stays healty too.Even as a “old veteran” walking his last steps in the league KG is still a beast!

  13. anand says:

    hi there….

  14. harrythehawk says:

    I think Dallas just got better and Houston just got worse.

    • aces says:

      Ariza brings the same productivity as parsons plus he’s a better defender which Houston lacked on the wing position. Plus he’s only getting half the annual salary of parsons which leaves Houston enough money to strengthen their bench.

      • Jay says:

        Half of Parson’s salary is $500K (2014-15 min qual offer). They didn’t gain his $15mil in cap by letting him go to the Mavs. Don’t forget they also lost 2 key bench players.

  15. See red says:

    Why didn’t the bulls resign augustin? Hinrich is garbage get him of the team.
    This bulls front office is really starting to piss me off. First they let Nate Robinson go last year, and they let dj augustin go? And you resign hinrich for more than the veterans’ minimum???????
    They are idiots……

    • TTKIN says:

      I think it’s cuz theyre counting on Rose to be healthy (which he really should be, I cant imagine him having another major injury this season), which means they only need the backup. And Augustin’s deal with DET I think pays him more than Hinrich will get. So they don’t want to overpay for their backup PG.

  16. ende dyvume says:

    can someone breakdown the hou-wiz-no deal? WAay too complicated..
    And what’s the trade exception? How does that work?

    • sherman says:

      The tpe is used for being able to bring that money in on a trade while over the cap if they choose to use it.

  17. Big Al says:

    Now that he’s in the right team, I might start liking Ariza again. When the Bosh project failed, he is a good consolation prize as he brings championship experience as well. Plus he is an upgrade at the three. Parsons can rot with his money at Dallas.

    • ????? says:

      you sound pretty bitter about Parsons leaving. It was Houston that chose not to match the offer.

    • jOLAN says:

      Wow! bitter much?

    • Nick says:

      I like Ariza, but he is not an “upgrade”: 14pts, 6reb, 3ast; Parsons: 17pts, 6reb, 4ast, plus he’s younger and slightly bigger. I think Houston made a mistake not matching his offer.

      • Adam says:

        Ariza plays defense. I’d call that an upgrade.

      • aces says:

        Parsons numbers are inflated because of the pace of play of the rockets. ..While wizards played at one of the slowest paces in the league. Plus, ariza is a better defender n alot longer than parsons. Both parsons and harden are tweak defenders which forced Dwight to help out alot more n get in foul trouble. Now ariza can guard every teams best perimeter player.

        So,on top of being a better player than parsons, he’s making half the salary. I think this was a big win for the rockets.

        Ps, bone of this really matters because neither mavs ir rockets are winning anything anytime soon unless they make a big move

      • Jay says:

        They could have had BOTH Ariza and Parsons if they had made a qualifying offer to Parsons for $1mil. They’re both similar statistically but Ariza has hit his peak and Parsons has a huge upside being only a few years in the league. Not to mention the fact they lost two excellent bench players and two picks for 2015. I’d say they are the biggest loser this Free Agency.

      • AL HALDIE says:

        YA AND ARIZA IS HALF THE COST—-GRATE TRADE.