Morning shootaround — July 3


VIDEO: The Heat will get a crack at pitching to LaMarcus Aldridge

*** FREE AGENCY COVERAGE JULY 3 ON NBA TV: Free Agent Fever: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET ***

DAY 2: Complete Free Agency Recap

Report: Lakers, Heat get meeting with Aldridge | Matthews, Mavs agree to deal | Report: Cavs, Dellavedova nearing dealReport: Lopez, Knicks have near-deal | Suns make their intentions known

NEWS OF THE MORNING

No. 1: Report: Lakers get second meeting with Aldridge; Heat on tap, too — The old saying goes that everyone deserves a second chance. Apparently that’s true in NBA free agency as the Los Angeles Lakers got another shot at wooing LaMarcus Aldridge after their first attempt was more or less poorly received by free agency’s No. 1 target. Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times have more on the second Aldridge-Lakers meeting, which wasn’t too impressive to Aldridge either:

The Lakers got a do-over with LaMarcus Aldridge, an attempt to amend their pitch to the free-agent power forward Thursday after their initial Tuesday night presentation flopped.

The effort was improved, but Aldridge apparently wasn’t “wooed by it,” according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Figuring they had nothing to lose, the Lakers requested a second meeting and were granted it, sitting down in a much less crowded room with Aldridge and fully aware he thought their initial message was too heavy on branding opportunities in Los Angeles and too light on actual basketball talk.

Aldridge was particularly down on the first presentation’s lack of analytics and on-court projections, something General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Byron Scott hoped to change as the Lakers’ only representatives Thursday.

It was unclear what Aldridge immediately thought of the redo, or “follow-up” as the team tried to phrase it, but the Lakers were believed to have accented his importance in the franchise’s attempted turnaround after a 21-61 season. Another glaring issue that needed revisiting — their lack of an effective center, an increasingly important concept for a four-time All-Star who preferred playing only power forward.

The Lakers currently have two big men with NBA experience — center Robert Sacre and power forward Tarik Black. They have failed to find any others.

The Lakers’ meeting with free-agent center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday didn’t come close to making a dent in his plan to go to Dallas or stay with the Clippers.

Before free agency began, the Lakers were the co-favorites with San Antonio to pry Aldridge from Portland, but that was scuttled after their failed first crack at him.

ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne also confirms the Aldridge meeting with the Lakers and has info on his planned meeting with the Heat, too:

One source with knowledge of both meetings said it took more than an hour before the Lakers laid out a vision for rebuilding their roster and how Aldridge fit into that in the first meeting. The presentation also was wholly lacking in analytics, which came across even worse after the analytics-minded Houston Rockets followed them into the room Tuesday night.

After getting feedback on Aldridge’s reaction to their presentation, the Lakers requested and were granted a second meeting Thursday night. One source said they made a point of apologizing to the 29-year-old Aldridge for not giving a more well-rounded presentation and thanking him for giving them a second chance. In addition to general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott, they brought assistant coach Mark Madsen to the presentation. Madsen is the liaison between the coaching staff and the franchise’s analytics staff.

After meeting with the Lakers, Aldridge left for a dinner meeting with Miami Heat president Pat Riley, a source told ESPN’s Marc Stein. The Heat’s foray into the Aldridge sweepstakes comes hours after the team agreed with Dwyane Wade on a one-year, $20 million contract. The Heat would have to shed significant contracts and players to clear enough room to make a maximum contract offer to Aldridge, or work with the Portland Trail Blazers on a sign-and-trade likely involving Chris Bosh.

One team apparently out of the Aldridge sweepstakes is the New York Knicks, as the veteran forward canceled his planned meeting with the team, according to reports.


VIDEO: David Aldridge on the Lakers’ free-agency pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge

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No. 2: Aldridge: Mavs give Matthews big payday — The Sacramento Kings have a lot of free-agent dollars to spend and threw a $64 million offer at Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews. Matthews kindly said no thank you and opted for a lesser-paying deal with a better team — the Dallas Mavericks. Our David Aldridge broke the news last night and here’s his report:

Free agent guard Wes Matthews spurned a large offer from the Sacramento Kings late Thursday night to accept a four-year offer from the Dallas Mavericks, according to a league source.

The move is a major deal for a player coming off a torn Achilles’ injury that ended his season with the Trail Blazers before the start of last season’s playoffs. The agreement gives the Mavericks a boost as they hope to sign free agent center DeAndre Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Kings, who have been pilloried around the league for missteps in management over the past year, traded rising second-year guard Nik Stauskas, their first-round pick a year ago, along with Jason Thompson and Carl Landry, to the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday in order to open up huge cap room to make offers to free agents. But Sacramento lost out on free agent Monta Ellis earlier Thursday when he agreed to a multi-year deal with the Pacers. They reportedly offered Matthews a four-year deal worth $64 million.

Matthews, one of the league’s premier two-way guards, was on line to get a huge payday anyway this summer when he tore his Achilles in early March. At the time of his injury, he was fourth in the league in 3-pointers, and had already become Portland’s all-time leading 3-point scorer, passing Terry Porter. While LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard made All-Star teams, Matthews — nicknamed “Iron Man”– was viewed by many as the heart of the Blazers’ team. The 28-year-old Matthews is a career 39 percent 3-point shooter.

Matthews had met with the Raptors as well as Dallas and Sacramento.

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No. 3: Report: Cavs, Dellavedova progressing on deal — The defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers have reported agreements with Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert and are working toward one with Tristan Thompson. One of the heroes of their run to The Finals, Matthew Dellavedova, is apparently on the close-to-re-signing list, too, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com:

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Matthew Dellavedova are making progress on a new multi-year contract in the $3 million to $5 million range, sources tell RealGM.

No deal is imminent.

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No. 4: Report: Lopez ready to sign with Knicks (but there’s a catch) — The Brooklyn Nets struck quickly in free agency to lock up their All-Star center, Brook Lopez. His twin brother, Robin Lopez of the Portland Trail Blazers, is also a free agent this summer and apparently could be within shouting distance come the 2015-16 season. According to ESPN.com, Robin Lopez is ready to sign with the New York Knicks — but there is a stipulation to the potential deal:

Free-agent center Robin Lopez has picked the New York Knicks over the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, and will sign with the Knicks as long as DeAndre Jordan, as expected, chooses the Los Angeles Clippers or Dallas Mavericks and not the Knicks.

If Lopez ends up in New York, he’ll be the second free agent picked up by Phil Jackson and the Knicks in the 2015 offseason. Earlier Thursday, New York agreed to a two-year, $16 million contract with Arron Afflalo.

The Knicks met earlier Thursday with Jordan. The team had not been informed of Jordan’s decision as of early Friday morning, but, prior to the meeting, sources told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley that the Knicks remained a long shot to sign Jordan.

New York also had a meeting scheduled with free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, but Aldridge canceled the meeting Thursday afternoon, a source confirmed. The Aldridge cancellation came hours after the Knicks found out they had fallen short in their pursuit of Greg Monroe, who agreed to a three-year, $50 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

New York now will wait for Jordan’s decision with the insurance of a Lopez agreement in hand. The terms of Lopez’s agreement are not yet known. The Knicks have approximately $19 million in cap space.

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No. 5: Suns make intentions known with trade — Few would have thought the Phoenix Suns would have a serious shot at landing LaMarcus Aldridge in these opening days of free agency. Yet as Day 3 of the craziness begins, Phoenix has positioned itself as a true player for Aldridge thanks in large part to its moves on Day 1. It reportedly added Tyson Chandler and re-signed Brandon Knight and, yesterday, agreed to deal Reggie Bullock, Danny Granger and Marcus Morris to Detroit to free up $20 million in cap space. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has more:

What the Suns did Wednesday, from locking up Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight to making a persuasive pitch, got the attention of Aldridge and has sources from both sides believing the Suns have become the frontrunning Spurs’ biggest challenge. Beyond those with direct knowledge from the Suns or Aldridge, there were more NBA team observers who were impressed with the ground that the Suns covered and gave them a serious chance to land their much-needed star.

Aldridge still has several teams still in play, including reports that he granted the Los Angeles Lakers a second meeting, was getting a visit from Portland teammate Damian Lillard and having dinner with Miami President Pat Riley. Just as Aldridge cancelled a meeting with New York, he kept eight teams in play by adding Miami, which seemingly would need to work a Portland sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh to make that work.

The longer the process takes, there is a better chance for other teams to make up the ground on Phoenix’s free agency opening-day splash.

Instead of pledging to Aldridge that they could create cap space to make him the face of the franchise, they showed him by making a cap-clearing trade on Thursday. The deal was buoyed by Aldridge’s optimism for Phoenix following a Wednesday meeting with an eight-man Suns contingent that featured Chandler, an Aldridge favorite who keeps Aldridge at power forward, and his potential backcourt of Knight and Eric Bledsoe.

Moving them bumped the Suns’ salary cap space to more than $20 million, setting them up to do a maximum-level contact with Aldridge and execute a sign-and-trade deal for Chandler with Dallas. That is a tricky scenario considering Dallas would be assisting a Western Conference foe to improve by acquiring Aldridge. A sign-and-trade would likely have to include Markieff Morris and/or P.J. Tucker. Knight, as a restricted free agent, can be signed last and exceed the salary cap.

Most onlookers still consider San Antonio to be the favorite, even if Tim Duncan has to make it work by playing for below-market value this season with a second-year partial guarantee. The Spurs have major factors working in their favor as an instant championship contender in a state with no state tax. The location also puts Aldridge closer to two kids (one outside San Antonio and one in Dallas), his mother in his hometown of Dallas and his college home of Austin.


VIDEO: Phoenix is making a serious push for LaMarcus Aldridge

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Timofey Mozgov for about six weeks after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee … The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly put out some feelers on Rajon RondoKenyon Martin, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2000 Draft, has reportedly retiredEd Davis sounds pretty pumped up about being on the Trail Blazers next seasonMarkieff Morris wasn’t happy about his brother, Marcus, being dealt to the Detroit Pistons

25 Comments

  1. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    I can see the Lakers getting Aldridge.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    see you on draft day lottery again Lakers!!hahaha.FIX YOUR MANAGEMENT!

  3. BigRon says:

    The Lakers are toast! If DeAngelo and Julian play at star veteran level maybe they can flirt with .500. Right now they look like a lottery team – if they had their pick. Jimmy Bust must go@!

  4. OverseasNBAfan says:

    Some of the headlines on front page nba.com, seems a bit confusing in this FA off-season, “Aldridge: such and such signs with that team” when you guys mean David Aldridge reporting on another player NOT LaMarcus Aldridge free agency news haha

  5. john Doe says:

    LMA should sign a one year deal with the mavs to get that big payday next year. It’s a huge IF but that would put the mavs over the hump for sure with their other acquisitions.

  6. Jazz says:

    In the West, coach matters. “Player comes and goes, but the banner flys forever” quoted by a guy who can only talk thing well now. He has failed to impress the biggest fish in the pond, however.
    Free agents are looking for a better/smarter leader who will or has the highest possibility to send them to the throne. The message of let’s go back to the basketball itself is loud and clear. Stop messing up between playing and branding.

    Laker of LA is not yet the nice place to land, not now, one has to go, as far as he can. Furthermore, play by the side of LBJ or KB? That’s not a question. Talking well is not the same with doing well.

    Do the pitch as much as you can. And soon you will find out the true is you are not even on the target list of big names, not this time. So, why not sweeptake the left-overs as you have enough cap space. Trade them afterward for business.

  7. sid says:

    I just wonder what this talk with Lakers and PF is all about?
    They have potentially good material with Randle. Hey give that kid a Chance – let him show he is a solid double double himself.
    Letting Ed Davis go is another thing – just wonder why they could not hold him – he and Randle are some good Team on the 4.

    Does nobody wonder why Lakers are not trying to get a good SF? Nick is too small and Wesley Johnson is FA too!
    I tell you I wonder a lot!!!
    SF and Center should be their primary concern. Not PF!
    PG – Russel, Clarkson
    SG – Kobe, JBrown
    actually all of the guards can also shoot and facilitate
    SF – ???, ABrown
    PF – Randle, Nance
    C – ???, Sacre, Black

    • Jeremiah says:

      they never tried tobias i think!!too bad for them,no ones left!!JR Smith could give them fire power at some point.but they will be last in def rating i believe!

  8. justsayin says:

    The George Karl/DMC fiasco continues to really cost Sacramento. They’re being rejected by FA on bigger money offers because no one knows if or when the team will implode. You certainly don’t want to sign to play beside a franchise center and then see him get traded.

  9. Sandeman says:

    I wish the Raptors could have brought Ed Davis back. They need a mobile defensive minded big.

  10. Sandeman says:

    LA is good, but is he good enough to be receiving this much attention? He’s a solid 20/10 guy but I’m not sure he’s the game changer everyone is making him out to be. He doesn’t make a non contender a contender. He’ll make a contender better.

  11. Jim says:

    The longer this goes, the better the chances he stays in Portland. The Blazers are built for him, and the trades that Neil O has made are good ones. The guys that left are looking to get paid, it had nothing to do with the team. LA stays, Portland is better with the guys they have acquired than the team last year. Lopez is too slow, Batum has regressed so much, and Wesley is damaged goods now.

  12. Ivan says:

    Lillard, Gerald Henderson, Vonleh, Mason Plumlee, Kaman, CJ Mccollum. This is what they get after losing Wes, Nick, Lamarcus, Robin, and Afflalo. Something with the organization just wasn’t right for 5 guys to leave the team like that.

  13. harriethehawk says:

    Not a lot of mention of who is interested in Rondo. My sister thinks he will fade into the sunset and play overseas. She says adios.

  14. LakerNation says:

    i hope the lakers can get Aldridge

  15. Victor Hernandez says:

    He never said he wanted to win now. If he does go SA he will play with duncun one year then hes back to square one playing center. Not to mention duncan is a foward not a center. suns have two big guys len/chandler with two up and comming gaurds on top of the team being young. All of the suns key players are locked up for serveral years. Why go ride someone else coat tails when you can be the man of ur own team imo.

  16. Steve says:

    What’s all the talk about Miami..and LA…wade & cobee are has beens…ball hogs & money hogs. Goin nowhere. G.S. & west will dominate again year after year…with the greatest team players in the world. If they want the world to revolve around them..go play one on one with Stephen ….or switch to tennis…singles.

  17. marca says:

    LAKERS looks like last year, seaching for a big name, probably won’t get and will be finishing the trades with names just to complete the team…

  18. Troy says:

    I hope that Lamarcus Aldrige goes to the San Antonio Spurs…..if you wanna win now that is the team to go to….if he goes any place else I hate to say it he will regret it because this would be his best chance to win. This of course if he decides to leave Portland. The Lakers, Suns, Mavericks don’t have what the Spurs have in place….2016 champs if he goes or possibly if he doesn’t Spurs nation stand up…..

  19. Jays says:

    I doubt it if miami is willing to let CB go, he has proven to be a great outside and inside threat. with healthy wade, dragic, whiteside, deng and Bosh, miami is a force to reckon in the east. Miami may be willing to exceed cap to try to get aldridge or simply trying to steer things up.. Pat Riley is a great mentalist.

  20. Jays says:

    i doubt it if miami is willing to let CB go, he has huge inside and outside skills.. i would say Miami is either wiling to exceed cap to get aldridge or just steering things up.. Pat Riley is a great mentalist.

  21. Kobe@Manila says:

    LA will be at the bottom again.. Maybe a firstt pick on draft next year.. LA Nation are so sad..

  22. Balthazar says:

    is portland even going to try to make the playoffs next season

    • .... says:

      Hardly.. I would guess they’ll be high lottery pick next year. Especially because they’ve lost every single starting player besides Lillard from previous season. Matthews to Dallas, Batum traded to Hornets, Aldrige will leave, Lopez will leave, Affaflo left to Knicks.. I think it would be smart for them to start rebuilding around Lillard. Get a high lottery pick for next year’s draft and just see what happens in few years.

      • Willis says:

        Beginning to think that Aldridge is a little flimsy with so many Teams making moves and he keeps looking elsewhere.