Free-agent buzz: Cavs want Lowry
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Houston Rockets restricted free-agent guard Kyle Lowry to a four-year offer sheet worth around $24 million, league source told Yahoo! Sports.
The Rockets have seven days to match the offer sheet and are seriously considering it, a league source said. Lowry averaged 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season for the Rockets.
– Marc J. Spears, 12:35 a.m. ET, July 14
Lakers, Spurs want Bell
The Los Angeles Lakers have long targeted Raja Bell(notes) in free agency, and now one of his biggest boosters within the two-time defending champions – Kobe Bryant(notes) – will be working to close a deal with an old, fierce rival, league sources told Yahoo! Sports
Bell is traveling to Los Angeles later this week for a visit that sources said is expected to include an audience with Bryant. After helping to keep Derek Fisher(notes) with a three-year, $10.5 million contract on Monday, the Lakers have one available spot in their rotation that comes down to Bell and Shannon Brown(notes).
The Spurs had Bell in training camp in 2001, and always regretted cutting him before the season. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich helped persuade Larry Brown to sign Bell later that season with the Philadelphia 76ers and Bell helped guard Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals.
Bell famously dropped Bryant with a clothesline foul in the 2006 playoffs, but the two developed a mutual respect. Bell was ejected and suspended a game for the foul and complained about Bryant’s tactics in the postgame news conference.
“It’s a personal thing when someone continually hits you in the face,” Bell said at the time. “That’s the only way I can put it. I’ve been playing as hard as I can play. I’ve been trying to do a good job, I’ve been trying to be what my team needs me to be, and I continually get hit in my face. There doesn’t seem to be any boundaries or limitations for what he’s allowed to do to me, and at that point, I kind of lost my cool and I took it into my own hands.”
Bell made a league-high 205 3-pointers in the 2006-07 season for the Suns under coach Mike D’Antoni, but his role changed the next season under Terry Porter and he was eventually shipped to Charlotte. Bell averaged 13 points in 45 games for the Bobcats in the 2008-09 season.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 11:05 a.m. ET, July 13
Magic land Richardson
The deal is expected to be for more than two seasons. The Magic gave part of their midlevel exception to point guard Chris Duhon(notes) and could use the remainder to pay Richardson’s first-year salary.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 1:55 p.m. ET, July 12
Fisher returning to Lakers?
Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.
Depending on whether the Heat sign both Mike Miller(notes) and Udonis Haslem(notes), they could be in position to offer only the veteran’s minimum to Fisher. Fisher visited with the Heat in Miami on Saturday.
– Marc J. Spears, 1:30 a.m. ET, July 12
Celtics eye Howard?
While the Bulls could have the salary-cap space to sign Howard, depending on what happens with their offer sheet to J.J. Redick(notes), the Celtics would need a sign-and-trade to arrange a deal because they have already used their midlevel exception on Jermaine O’Neal(notes).
Howard has yet to receive a contract offer. The Washington Wizards also have some interest in re-signing Howard.
– Marc J. Spears, 1:30 a.m. ET, July 12
Mavericks want Haslem
The Mavs have offered a contract believed to be a minimum of three years and $20 million, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Mavericks have offered Haslem their full midlevel exception starting at $5.8 million this season, a league source said.
The Heat are trying to re-sign Haslem to play with Dwyane Wade(notes), LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), but salary-cap restraints could leave them with as little as $4.3 million a year to pay him. And that’s assuming the Heat sign free agent Mike Miller(notes) starting at $4.9 million.
Haslem, who made $7 million last season, has been a consistent defender and rebounder for the Heat, and president Pat Riley has been determined to keep him. He averaged 10 points and eight rebounds in seven seasons with Miami.
New Jersey has shown interest in Haslem but hasn’t made a formal offer. Haslem shares the same agent as Wade and Bosh, and has expressed a strong desire to return to the Heat.
–Adrian Wojnarowski, 10:01 p.m. ET, July 11
Hawks to deal Childress to Suns
The Suns will send a 2012 second-round pick to the Hawks.
The Hawks still own Childress’ rights after he signed a three-year, $20 million deal with Olympiakos of Greece in 2008. Childress, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 11 points and shot over 50 percent in four seasons with the Hawks.
Washington, San Antonio and Utah also pursued Childress.
The Arizona Republic first reported the framework of the sign-and-trade.
–Adrian Wojnarowski, 11:34 p.m. ET, July 11
Farmar to sign with Nets
Farmar played four seasons with the Lakers, where he was a top reserve for the back-to-back champions. He played every game last season for the Lakers, averaging 7.2 points.
Farmar was the 26th pick out of UCLA in 2006.
He joins Travis Outlaw(notes) and center Johan Petro(notes) as the Nets’ free-agent signings. New Jersey is waiting to see whether Golden State will match an offer sheet for guard Anthony Morrow(notes).
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 10:58 p.m. ET, July 11
Allen to join Grizzlies
The Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported Allen’s agreement.
– Marc J. Spears, 6:20 p.m. ET, July 11
Timberwolves looking to trade Sessions
After signing Ramon Sessions(notes) to a four-year, $16 million contract a year ago, Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn is trying to unload the guard to teams able to absorb his salary, league executives told Yahoo! Sports.
“They’re basically looking for a salary dump,” said an executive with a team who spoke to Minnesota. “That won’t be easy.”
Kahn’s plan this time?
Still, Ridenour has shown little interest with the T’wolves, sources said, and seems willing to wait for a more compelling offer. What’s unclear is how this would affect Minnesota with Jonny Flynn(notes) as the starting point guard and the rights to Spain’s Ricky Rubio(notes), who could come to the NBA after the 2010-11 season.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 4:55 p.m. ET, July 11
Hornets sign Gray
Gray averaged 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Hornets and Chicago Bulls last season.
– Marc J. Spears, 3:25 p.m. ET, July 11
Warriors land Wright
The move comes a day after the New Jersey Nets signed Warriors free-agent guard Anthony Morrow(notes) to a three-year, $12 million offer sheet. The Warriors also recently traded forward Anthony Randolph(notes), Kelenna Azubuike(notes) and Ronny Turiaf(notes) to the New York Knicks for forward David Lee(notes).
Wright, 24, averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds last season in 72 games, the most of his six-year career. He spent all six seasons with the Miami Heat.
– Marc J. Spears, 5:40 p.m. ET, July 10
Nets signing Petro
Petro averaged 3.4 points and 3.6 rebounds for Denver in 12 minutes a game last season. He was a first-round pick of the Sonics in 2005.
– Adrian Wojnarawoski, 10:45 a.m. ET, July 10
Knicks to sign Felton
The contract won’t be longer than three years, though the two sides were still negotiating final details.
Felton, 26, averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 assists in 80 games for the Bobcats last season.
– Marc J. Spears, 4:55 p.m. ET, July 9
McGuire to Bobcats
– Marc J. Spears, 5:01 p.m. ET, July 9
Cook signing with Clippers
– Marc J. Spears, 4:36 p.m. ET, July 9
Thomas to sign five-year, $40 million contract with Bobcats
Thomas’ agent Brian Elfus had serious talks with the New Jersey Nets, but his client ultimately decided to return to the Bobcats with the $8 million-a-year offer. New Jersey feared Charlotte would’ve tied up the Nets in free agency for the seven-day period in which the Bobcats could match the offer sheet.
Thomas, 23, played well during 25 games with Charlotte last season. He averaged 10 points and six rebounds with the Bobcats, who’ll play him into the starting power forward spot. At times, Thomas flourished under coach Larry Brown, and he was anxious to return and play for him.
Thomas was traded at the February deadline from the Chicago Bulls, where he had been the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 3:41 p.m. ET, July 9
Warriors land Lee with six-year, $80 million contract
The trade is expected to be completed on Friday.
The Warriors have needed a rebounder and Lee should be able to provide that help. He averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds last season.
Randolph, 6-foot-11 and still just 20 years old, is considered a promising prospect provided he can stay healthy. He averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds in only 33 games last season before suffering a severely sprained ankle.
– Marc J. Spears, 10:50 p.m. ET, July 8
Clippers sign Gomes, Foye
Gomes averaged 10.9 points a game for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season.
– Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears, 10:20 p.m. ET, July 8
Haywood gets $55 million contract from Mavs
Haywood came to Dallas in the middle of last season in a trade that also delivered Caron Butler(notes) and DeShawn Stevenson(notes) to the Mavericks. Haywood averaged 8.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and two blocks during 28 games for the Mavericks.
Dallas was aggressive in re-signing Haywood by having coach Rick Carlisle meet with him in Charlotte, N.C., on the first day of free agency. Haywood, 30, was possibly the top center on the market and was also courted by the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Prior to being traded to Dallas, Haywood spent his first 8½ seasons with the Washington Wizards.
– Marc J. Spears, 1:13 p.m. ET, July 8
Celtics sign O’Neal to two-year contract
O’Neal had been deliberating between the Celtics and Denver Nuggets.
Boston needed a center to help fill in for Kendrick Perkins(notes), who is expected to be out five to six months with a severe knee injury. Rasheed Wallace(notes) also has indicated he plans to retire.
After falling one game short of winning their second NBA championship in three years, the Celtics have been active in free agency to solidify their roster for another run.
The Celtics reached agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract with Ray Allen(notes) on Wednesday, five days after giving Paul Pierce(notes) a four-year, $61 million extension. Coach Doc Rivers also announced last week he would return for another season.
O’Neal, 31, averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Miami Heat last season.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 12:54 p.m. ET, July 8
Howard looking for new contract
Howard had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March and was projected to be out six to eight months. He suffered the injury in just his fourth game with the Washington Wizards after being traded by the Dallas Mavericks.
“The doctors say I’m ahead of schedule in my fourth month of rehab,” Howard told Yahoo! Sports. “I’m optimistic I’ll be ready by the start of the regular-season.”
Howard averaged 12.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 35 games for Washington and Dallas last season. While Washington was the first team to express interest after free agency began, Howard said Miami, New York, Sacramento, Boston and the Los Angeles Clippers have also been in contact with his agent.
Howard hopes to sign with someone within the next two weeks.
“I’m going to be open-minded,” Howard said. “But I have some loyalty to Washington for getting me out of my situation with Dallas. I have interest in them. But I have to keep my options open.”
– Marc J. Spears, 12:14 p.m. ET, July 8
Nets to sign Outlaw to $35 million deal
The contract is fully guaranteed and doesn’t contain a fourth-year opt-out. Outlaw is expected to sign next week.
During his six-plus seasons with the Blazers, Outlaw became one of the team’s best fourth-quarter scorers. He averaged 12.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 81 games for Portland during the 2008-09 season.
– Marc J. Spears, 11:47 a.m. ET, July 8
Raptors sign Kleiza to offer sheet
If the Nuggets don’t match the deal over the next seven days, the Lithuanian – who played with them from 2005-09 – will be a Raptor. Kleiza played for Greece’s Olympiacos last season and terminated his contract on Wednesday.
– Marc J. Spears, 9:25 a.m. ET, July 8
O’Neal eyes Celtics
The Celtics and Nuggets are believed to have offered O’Neal near the midlevel exception of $5.8 million over two seasons, sources said.
O’Neal still had plans late Wednesday to talk with a couple of Celtics players about family issues, such as schools and areas to live.
Boston needs a center to help fill in for Kendrick Perkins(notes), who is expected to be out five to six months with a severe knee injury. Rasheed Wallace(notes) also has indicated he plans to retire. The Celtics also reached agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract with Ray Allen(notes) on Wednesday, five days after giving Paul Pierce(notes) a four-year, $61 million extension.
O’Neal could make his decision sometime Wednesday night or Thursday, sources said.
O’Neal averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Heat last season.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 9:40 p.m. ET, July 6
Nets assess options
After losing out on Carlos Boozer(notes) to the Chicago Bulls, the New Jersey Nets have targeted three players in discussions: Tyrus Thomas(notes), Travis Outlaw(notes) and Kyle Korver(notes), league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets have $30 million in cap space, but aren’t under great pressure to use it all. They’re holding out a faint hope for LeBron James(notes), but with no running mate in New Jersey, James is destined to sign with Cleveland, Miami or New York.
New Jersey made an offer for $75 million over five years for Boozer, but Boozer’s agent Rob Pelinka went back to the Bulls and received an $80 million deal.
Thomas is a restricted free agent that the Nets have long been intrigued with, and a frontloaded offer sheet could put him out of reach of the Bobcats. The Nets could make offers quickly for Korver and Outlaw, who are unrestricted free agents, source say.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 9:40 p.m. ET, July 6
Magic favorites to keep Redick
The Magic would have seven days to match any offer sheet Redick signs with another team.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 9:40 p.m. ET, July 6
Celtics to re-sign Allen
Allen is scheduled to make $10 million in each season of the deal. The second year is at his option.
– Marc J. Spears, 9:29 p.m. ET, July 6
Boozer lands $80 million deal from Bulls
Boozer joins a talented young core that includes point guard Derrick Rose(notes) and center Joakim Noah(notes). The Bulls also have enough salary-cap room left to sign another player to a maximum contract.
Boozer mentioned the Bulls last summer as a team in which he hoped to be traded. Three of his six seasons with the Utah Jazz were cut short by injuries, but he missed just four games last season while averaging 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds.
– Adrian Wojnarowski, 4:55 p.m. ET, July 7
Wade, Bosh commit to Heat
Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) have decided to sign with the Miami Heat while continuing to recruit LeBron James(notes) to help them form an All-Star triumvirate that threatens to shift the NBA’s balance of power, two sources with knowledge of the plans told Yahoo! Sports.
“They think they’ve got a real chance to pull this off with LeBron,” a league source said.
Said an official with one team that made a formal presentation to James: “It’s down to Cleveland or Miami for him.”
Still, other league executives weren’t yet ready to rule out the Knicks.
The three players shared a call after midnight on Wednesday, when Wade and Bosh told James they were committing to the Heat, a source said. James didn’t commit with them, but kept his own plans private for a television announcement on Thursday night. Wade and Bosh formally announced their decision on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m so glad it’s over,” Wade said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I had to do what was best for me. And I know I did that.”
Wade and Bosh decided they needed to make a commitment to give them the best possible chance of luring more talent – including James – with the additional salary-cap space in Miami.
Had James been able to convince Bosh to come to Cleveland in a sign-and-trade, sources said Wade had decided he would leave Miami for the Chicago Bulls.
Only now, the Heat need to dump more salary – namely, Michael Beasley(notes) – to get more space to sign James. If Wade takes a max deal, his salary will start at $16.5 million next season – which leaves just under $30 million under the cap for Bosh and James. The Heat would look to move Beasley’s $4.9 million to a team with cap space to create more room.
If James doesn’t come, the Heat are targeting free agent Mike Miller(notes) to take part of the third salary slot with Wade and Bosh. Wade has been personally pushing Miller to Heat president Pat Riley, sources said. Miller has Miami at the top of his list, sources close to him said. New York, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers are also among his most aggressive pursuers.
With Bosh and Wade committed, the Chicago Bulls moved quickly to reach agreement on a five-year, $80 million contract with Carlos Boozer(notes). The New Jersey Nets were also in talks with Boozer and may now try to sign David Lee(notes).
ESPN first reported Wade and Bosh’s plans.
– Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears, 9:10 a.m. ET, July 7