Buzz: Billups hoping for title frontrunner
Veteran guard Chauncey Billups is crossing his fingers in hopes he will clear waivers at 6 p.m. EST Monday to become an unrestricted free agent. If he clears waivers, a Yahoo! source says to keep an eye on the Los Angeles Lakers or Miami Heat as possible destinations.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, the 2004 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player warned teams that they would regret it if they claimed him off waivers. The threat included the Detroit Pistons, who he starred with from 2002-09 and won a title with seven years ago. Billups is currently in his hometown of Denver working out until he joins his new team.
David West signs with Pacers after Celtics talks break down
West had been a target of Pacers president Larry Bird and GM David Morway, and his arrival could be immense for the core of a young playoff team trying to move up in the Eastern Conference hierarchy. After eight seasons in New Orleans, West has fully recovered from ACL surgery in the spring and will be ready to join the Pacers practices this week.
The Celtics offered a three-year deal for $24 million, with a fourth year not fully guaranteed, sources said. Boston had been working on a sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans, and the provisions of the exchange didn’t allow them to raise the offer further.
West has been motivated to sign with the Celtics to chase a title, but ultimately he chose the bigger annual salary with the Pacers. West, 31, opted out of the final year of his contract with New Orleans, where his season ended after 70 games due to his ACL tear. West has been one of the NBA’s most reliable low-post scorers across his eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds last season.
Warriors come through with strong offer for Jordan
The Golden State Warriors have signed Clippers center DeAndre Jordan to a four-year, $43 million offer sheet, his agent, Greg Lawrence told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
The Clippers have three days to match the deal for the restricted free agent. Jordan, 23, is considered one of the best young centers in the league and the Clippers have been determined to keep him and been aggressive in trying to re-sign him. The Warriors lost out on free agent center Tyson Chandler and understand privately that it’s likely a long-shot for the Clippers to take a pass on the offer and let such a promising young talent leave the franchise.
The Clippers had offered Jordan a five year, $40 million extension at the start of free agency, but he rejected it with a belief that he could bring back a larger offer from a different team. And now he has.
As the Golden State Warriors wait to see if the Los Angeles Clippers will match an offer sheet signed Jordan, rookies Klay Thompson and Jeremy Tyler are still waiting to be signed. Neither is expected to be traded and the Warriors appear to be keeping money free for the possible Jordan signing. Both should be signed by Wednesday, but if Thompson and Tyler aren’t signed by Monday evening they will not participate in an open team scrimmage that night in Oakland, Calif.
“I’ve been talking to them every day,” Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. “I’m more worried about March than now.”
Rockets plan to sign Grizzlies’ Gasol
First, the Rockets are working on executing a sign and trade for the 7-footer with Memphis, sources said. If that fails, they’ll try to sign Gasol to the offer sheet and force Memphis to match it within three days or lose Gasol, who has developed into one of the NBA’s best forwards. Gasol, 26, emerged as a significant force in the Grizzlies’ improbable march to the Western Conference Finals a year ago. He’s averaged 12.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in his Grizzlies career.
The Grizzlies keep telling people that they plan to match a Gasol offer sheet, but that’s normal procedure to scare away teams from making offers. Memphis wants Houston to think it’s wasting three days of free agency tied up with Gasol’s sheet, only to have Memphis match it.
Nevertheless, Memphis has barely negotiated with Gasol’s reps on a deal. Grizzlies management hasn’t shown great interest in re-signing him but could simply be waiting for the market to flush out before getting serious.
Houston had two trades for Gasol’s brother, Pau, struck down in the past three days by the NBA as part of the three-team blockbuster that would’ve sent New Orleans’ Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Evans courted by numerous teams
Toronto Raptors free agent Reggie Evans is receiving interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets, according to a source. The nine-year NBA veteran averaged 4.4 points and 11.5 rebounds while being limited to 30 games last season.
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