From NBA.com staff reports
Now that LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland, the belief is many of the other players in the free-agency pool are going to start making deals now, too. Here’s the latest from around the Twitter-sphere and the Internet as we get closer and closer to a real flood of free-agent news …
Update, 1:51 a.m. — Pau to Bulls means ‘Melo stays a Knick?
There’s no such thing as too late for free agent news, and one late-night agreement nearing completion between big man Pau Gasol and the Bulls might mean the end to the will-he-stay-or-will-he-go Carmelo Anthony saga in New York. Is ‘Melo a lock to stay the apple of NYC’s eye?
Update, 12:05 a.m. — Memphis nabs Vince Carter
For three seasons in Dallas, Vince Carter transformed himself into a knock-down 3-point shooter. He wanted to return to the Mavericks, but not at the bargain rate he felt he had been signed on for three summers ago even as his career seemed to be coming to a close. In a surprise, Carter has signed with the Memphis Grizzlies, a team desperate for 3-point shooting.
The Grizzlies shot the fewest 3s in the NBA last season, even with Mike Miller back on the team. And with Miller looking elsewhere, perhaps joining LeBron James in Cleveland, the Grizzlies simply had to get a shooter off the bench.
Update, 9:05 p.m. — Hawks make late entry into Gasol sweepstakes
A few hours ago Pau Gasol tweeted that he was nearing a decision. His suitors had been narrowed to two, reportedly the Spurs and Bulls. Now the Atlanta Hawks have made a late bid for the 7-foot center, envisioning Gasol playing next to center Al Horford.
Update, 8:15 p.m. — Knicks waive Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom‘s comeback is apparently over before it really began.
The versatile forward who won titles with the Los Angeles Lakers very well could be at the end of his NBA career. At 34, it’s tough to see another team take a chance on him. Knicks president Phil Jackson obviously has the L.A. connection with Odom and looked to give an opportunity.
Odom didn’t play at all last season after a rough summer that allegedly included heavy drug use.
Update, 7:05 p.m. — Pat Riley releases statement on LeBron
Heat president Pat Riley, who challenged the Big Three to return to the Heat and fight another day if they’ve got the guts, released the following statement on LeBron James‘ decision to leave Miami and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers:
“While I am disappointed by LeBron’s decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, HEAT fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.
Over the last 19yrs, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami HEAT has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”
Update, 6:45 p.m. — Lakers bring back Jordan Hill; Gasol a goner?
The Lakers are slowly but surely starting to fill out their roster now that it appears they will not be getting the services of Carmelo Anthony. Of course, Anthony still has yet to make his decision official.
After trading for guard Jeremy Lin earlier in the day, the Lakers are now set to bring back power forward Jordan Hill.
It’s becoming more apparent that Pau Gasol will have played his final game with the Lakers. He reportedly turned down an offer from the Lakers and is being heavily pursued by contenders such as the Spurs and Thunder, plus the Bulls and the Knicks could be an option if they keep Carmelo Anthony.
Gasol tweeted earlier Friday that he was nearing a decision.
Update, 6:30 p.m. — Suns, Kings agree to Isaiah Thomas trade
Phoenix is loaded at point guard, but they’ve made an aggressive play by engaging in a sign-and-trade for diminutive Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas will head to Phoenix on a four-year, $27-million deal.
The surprising Suns rolled with two point guards in the starting lineup last season with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, a restricted free agent who the Suns have vowed to keep by matching any offer.
Dragic, named the league’s Most Improved Player last year and who could easily have been an All-Star, will essentially be entering the final year on his contract. He is set to make $7.5 million this season and then has a player option on $7.5 million in 2015-16, an option he will likely opt of to seek a bigger payday.
Update, 5:40 p.m. — Bosh stuns Houston, stays in Miami
In the wake of losing LeBron James, The Miami Heat aggressively pursued Chris Bosh , who appeared to be on the verge of accepting a deal with the Houston Rockets. In a stunner, Bosh accepted Miami’s five, year, $118 million deal.
The Heat are now making a strong push to bring Dwyane Wade and forward Udonis Haslem.
It’s big news for the Heat, who looked to be reduced to rubble following James’ announcement. And it’s a crusher for the Rockets. They miss out on an All-Star power forward that seemed a perfect fit beside Howard.
Now the Rockets have a difficult decision whether to match the Mavs’ three-year, $45 million offer sheet to Chandler Parsons. If Houston matches, it will eat up the remainder of their cap space.
Only a few hours ago, the Rockets looked to be a vastly improved team. Now they might wind up watching a key player walk to the rival Mavs.
Update, 5:34 p.m. — Swaggy stays in Hollywood
Nick Young is headed back to the Lakers.
Update, 4:25 p.m. — D-Wade going home?
Woj is, as Woj often does, tearing it up. Here, he offers a blurb on Dwyane Wade who, remember, turned down nearly $42 million to get out of his contract with the Heat in hopes of giving Pat Riley more room to get LeBron back.
With that now not happening, would Wade be up for a return to his home town?
Update, 4:03 p.m. — Chicago, Charlotte after Hinrich
Captain Kirk average 9.1 points and 3.9 assists in 29 minutes a game last year for the Bulls.
Update, 3:16 p.m. — More on Lin’s move, Rockets’ Bosh chase
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski provides an update on L.A.’s move to pick up Jeremy Lin from Houston and the Rockets’ pursuit of Chris Bosh:
In an effort to clear salary cap space for Chris Bosh, the Houston Rockets have reached a deal to send guard Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Rockets will send a 2015 first-round pick, and other draft considerations to the Lakers to unload the final year of Lin’s $14 million expiring contract that includes a salary cap hit of $8.3 million based on the deal’s structure.
The Lakers will send cash and the rights to an overseas player, sources said.
Moving Lin to Los Angeles will clear most of the salary cap space necessary to sign Bosh to a four-year, $80 million-plus contract. The Rockets are still working to formalize a commitment out of Bosh, who will leave Miami because of the departure of LeBron James to Cleveland. The Rockets also plan to match Chandler Parsons‘ three-year, $46 million offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks once Bosh has committed, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Bosh was planning to speak to Houston coach Kevin McHale on Friday afternoon, a source said.
Update, 3:05 p.m. — Another move in store for Cavs?
In order to get LeBron James the max contract offer he’s seeking in Cleveland, Alonzo Gee may end up being dealt …
Update, 2:54 p.m. — Report: Lin dealt to Lakers
And, just like that, Jeremy Lin is on his way to Los Angeles …
Update, 2:52 p.m. — Report: Bosh, Rockets inching closer to commitment
Keep reading below, but it looks like the Rockets and Chris Bosh are nearly a done deal …
Update, 2:46 p.m. — Reports: Lakers, Rockets finalizing Lin deal
It looks like Jeremy Lin is headed back to home state of California …
Update, 2:36 p.m. — You know you’re a big deal when …
… the White House chimes in on your latest career move …
Update, 2:24 p.m. — What about ‘Melo? Bulls staying in touch
Carmelo Anthony, much like Chris Bosh, is one of the big free-agent pieces who has yet to reveal/decide where he’s going next. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune says the Bulls aren’t out of the race yet. And, as ESPN reports, the incumbent Knicks are in the race, too … (more…)