Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your berry bowl.
Jonathan Abrams, New York Times: "[Chris] Bosh's first suitor was the Houston Rockets, who do not have salary-cap room but will try to acquire him via a sign-and-trade deal. The Rockets are stocked with talent, expiring contracts and drafJt picks and could create an attractive package to send to Toronto. Bosh is a Dallas native who might relish the chance to return to his home state. However, early indications are that Bosh is most likely to join the Bulls or the Heat. In a sign of the times, Daryl Morey, the Rockets general manager, announced his meeting with Bosh on Twitter at about 1:25 a.m. Eastern. He called Bosh a "great player & person," adding, "He is about winning so I focused on how w/Houston he can win a championship."
Paul Coro, Arizona Republic: "Amar'e Stoudemire's free agency life opened Wednesday with a late-night meeting with Miami Heat President Pat Riley and is slated to continue with a weekend visit to New York. Just after Suns coach Alvin Gentry flew from Florida to California to meet with Stoudemire on Wednesday, Riley made the coast-to-coast trip to Los Angeles for Stoudemire as well. Riley's lengthy meeting with the new unrestricted free agent went until almost midnight. Stoudemire and his agent, Happy Walters, were allowed to start talking and meeting with teams at 9 p.m. Thursday. New York also reached out to Stoudemire and secured a New York visit from the Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni's former player. D'Antoni was Stoudemire's head coach for 4 1/2 seasons in Phoenix but criticized D'Antoni's commitment to defense, particularly with practice time, after D'Antoni left and even had begun to speak of his Suns rule in the past tense before D'Antoni decided to leave for New York two years ago. In first lauding Terry Porter and then Alvin Gentry, Stoudemire spoke of traits they had that he felt D'Antoni did not but he also remained cordial with D'Antoni when the teams played and returned to talking about his great offensive mind. Stoudemire also is returning to USA Basketball this summer with D'Antoni on that coaching staff. He thrived offensively in D'Antoni's system, becoming an annual 20-point scorer and All-Star and making All-NBA first team in 2006-07. The Knicks have the salary cap space to sign two maximum-level free agents and D'Antoni was in Los Angeles on Wednesday night to visit with another one of his ex-Suns, free agent Joe Johnson(notes), who is expected to accept a max deal to remain in Atlanta."
Frank Isola, New York Daily News: "The Knicks were hoping to get a verbal commitment from Johnson, but that scenario was losing steam by the minute once it was reported that the Hawks were prepared to offer Johnson a maximum contract over six years. Re-signing with Atlanta would mean an additional $30 million for Johnson over the length of the contract than the maximum deal the Knicks could offer the four-time All-Star. The Knicks are also meeting with former Wizards forward Mike Miller(notes), who like Johnson, is represented by Arn Tellem. A person familiar with Johnson's thinking all but conceded that the guard would have no choice but to re-sign with the Hawks. Plus, there have been reports that Johnson, who was born and raised in Arkansas, has reservations about playing in New York and that he prefers his Atlanta lifestyle."
Mike Wells, Indianapolis Star: "Fifteen players on the roster. One injured point guard without a guaranteed contract for next season. Another point guard whom the Indiana Pacers have been trying to push out the door since last December. As most fans turn their attention to today's official start of the free agent frenzy featuring LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), the Pacers will resume their quest to find a point guard after not being able to acquire one last week before or during the NBA draft. 'That is our No. 1 priority,' Pacers president Larry Bird said. 'We talked to every team (over the past few weeks) and we'll go back and talk to some of those teams again.'"
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe: "A diehard Celtics fan base that was prepared for the departure of popular coach Doc Rivers received surprising news yesterday when Rivers announced he would return for a seventh season, in hopes of leading the 'Big Three' of Paul Pierce(notes), Kevin Garnett(notes), and Ray Allen(notes) to one more NBA title. 'I'm coming back. I want another crack at it with this group,' Rivers texted yesterday to the Globe. A reflective Rivers was near tears two weeks ago as he spoke about his team following the Game 7 NBA Finals loss to the Lakers, giving strong indication that he was ready to step down and spend more time with his family. Rivers has four children, two of whom play Division 1 college sports and a third who is a top college basketball prospect. And he was undecided June 24 when he spoke to the media after the Celtics drafted Texas guard Avery Bradley(notes). But yesterday Rivers appeared refreshed, prepared to make one final run with the core of the team that upset the Cavaliers and Magic to win the Eastern Conference championship."
Toronto Star: "Little Manuel Calderon, about two months old and as fussy as you'd imagine, doesn't really want to let Dad have a telephone conversation as the night drags on in Spain. But as he cares for his son, the point comes across loud and clear from Jose Calderon(notes):Toronto is like a second home and regardless of what happens with the rest of the Raptors, he can't wait to get back. 'I've been there five years, I love that team and want to get back to the playoffs and win games, that's all that matters,' Calderon said in a telephone interview Wednesday. 'I feel good about the team and the city and winning games. That's all I care about. I have a house in Toronto, friends there; if I leave it's going to be very hard.'"
Frank Isola, New York Daily News: "Judging by ticket sales, Knicks and Nets fans are expecting their teams to have good luck signing free agents. The Nets have sold more than 1,800 new full-season ticket plans and the Knicks have sold more than 3,400, according to information released by both teams. For the Nets, who have already added first-round pick Derrick Favors(notes), it's the most season-ticket plans they have sold before July 4 in team history. Nets season tickets went on sale in March. Nets vice president of business and entertainment communications Barry Baum thinks ticket sales have increased for a myriad of reasons as team prepares to move to the Prudential Center this season. 'I think it's a combination of the excitement of new ownership, new coach, the prospect of an unbelievable free agent class,' Baum said, 'and having the No. 3 pick in the draft as well relocating to the Prudential Center for this season.'"
Brian Windhorst, Cleveland Plain Dealer: "After negotiating into the early morning hours, the Cavs made great progress in talks with Byron Scott on a contract to become the team's next head coach, sources said. All signs point to the Cavs finalizing the deal on Thursday. The Cavs re-opened talks with Scott after a series of meetings Wednesday morning. After meeting with the team on Monday and Tuesday, Lakers assistant Brian Shaw the team did not formally offer him the job."
Jeff Caplan, ESPN: "Erick Dampier wants the full mid-level exception from the Dallas Mavericks. According to a source familiar with Dampier's thinking, the 6-foot-11 veteran is prepared to not return to Dallas if his price isn't met. Dampier is strapped to a $13 million, non-guaranteed contract, a monstrous trade chip the Mavs hope to cash in for a significant addition. The trading team would immediately waive Dampier and instantly reap the salary-cap savings. Even if the Mavs fail to trade Dampier, they'll cut him to avoid paying the $13 million. Dampier would then become an unrestricted free agent. It has been something of a given that Dampier would then re-sign with the Mavs at a reduced rate. The Mavs love Dampier's screen-setting and his attention to detail as the defensive anchor, however, they don't want to touch the MLE, which last year was $5.85 million. They're likely more in line with the bi-annual exception, which was $1.99 million last season."
Mike Bresnahan and Roderick Turner, Los Angeles Times: "The clock struck midnight on the East Coast, and the scramble began for too many teams to sensibly list in one sentence. The Lakers, meanwhile, had their own issues on which to dwell Wednesday night, none of them including the frenzy surrounding LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They called the agent for Derek Fisher(notes) right after free agency began and expressed interest in having the 14-year-veteran return for another run at a championship. Fisher is the main free-agent concern for a team that is well over the salary cap but definitely wants him back without going too far beyond a $2.5-million deal for next season. Fisher, 35, wants to make closer to the $5 million he earned this past season. The Lakers and Fisher did not agree to terms Wednesday, but there was definitive movement involving two Lakers' reserve guards earlier in the day. Shannon Brown(notes) officially opted out of a contract that would have paid him $2.15 million next season, making him an unrestricted free agent., and the Lakers decided not to tender a qualifying offer of about $3 million to Jordan Farmar(notes), making him an unrestricted free agent who can also sign wherever he wants. Just the same, the Lakers called the agent for Brown within minutes of the advent of free agency to also express interest in re-signing him. The up-tempo Indiana Pacers are interested in Farmar, who averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists in his four-year Lakers career. If the Lakers had tendered Farmar a one-year deal, known as a qualifying offer, he would have remained a restricted free agent and they could have matched any offer sheet he signed with another team. 'The Lakers cared enough to let me become a free agent,' Farmar said in a phone interview. 'I was excited to hear it. I was real happy. If I do decide to leave, I'll have nothing but positive things to remember about the Lakers.'"
Chris Sheridan, ESPN: "David Lee was a wanted man after the clock struck midnight Thursday, so wanted that he has already lined up meetings with four teams: Miami, Chicago, Minnesota and New Jersey. The New York Knicks forward became an unrestricted free agent, and agent Mark Bartelstein said he was contacted by eight or nine teams that had expressed an interest in signing Lee. The Bulls and Heat are expected to sit down with Lee on Friday in Chicago -- it was uncertain which of them would go first -- before Lee travels to Minnesota on Saturday to speak to the Timberwolves. Lee is one of the keys to the Knicks' free agency plans because he can be used in a sign-and-trade deal in which he would receive a six-year contract with 10.5 percent annual raises. If Lee signs with another team and there is no sign-and-trade, he could sign for a maximum of five years with eight percent annual raises. 'We're going to stay in communication [with New York], but they're kind of doing their thing and we're kind of doing our thing, and we'll see if the timing works out for each other,' Bartelstein said. 'This stuff, something could happen at any time. There's no way to predict the timing of it.'"
- New York