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NBA free-agent buzz: Pelicans get pledge from Tyreke Evans; Eric Gordon confident he'll stay

Yahoo Sports

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps received a commitment from Tyreke Evans that he would sign a four-year, $44 million offer sheet on July 10, a source told Yahoo! Sports. The Sacramento Kings could match the deal since Evans is a restricted free agent.

The potential addition of Evans and New Orleans' draft night trade that landed Jrue Holiday have improved Eric Gordon's outlook on New Orleans.

“I’m all in with the Pelicans,” said Gordon, who has been friends with Holiday and Evans since their AAU days. “It would be great if we can all play together. I would say we’d definitely have a chance to make the playoffs."

Gordon could be part of a sign-and-trade to bring Evans to New Orleans. His high salary – he signed a $58 million deal over four seasons last summer – and knee/ankle injury woes would make him tough to deal, but the Pelicans entertained the possibility this offseason, sources said. The Kings also drafted a shooting guard in Kansas’ Ben McLemore with the seventh overall pick. While Gordon and point guard Greivis Vasquez could be candidates for a sign-and-trade, Gordon doesn’t expect that to be the case for him.

“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but I do feel comfortable I am coming back,” Gordon said. “I think there is a good to great chance I will be back.”

Gordon averaged a team-high 17 points in 42 games last season, but had left ankle surgery on May 10. Gordon said he should be cleared to begin basketball activities next week.

– Marc Spears, 2:12 a.m. ET, July 4


Josh Smith in no rush to make decision

Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Josh Smith won’t decide where to sign until after the Fourth of July holiday weekend, at the earliest, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Smith left Los Angeles to return to his hometown of Atlanta on Wednesday after meeting with the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons. He isn’t in a rush to decide, the source said.

The decision of Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard also plays a role in Smith’s future. The Rockets have told Smith that if they don’t land Howard, they will attempt to sign him next, a source said. The Hawks also could pursue a sign-and-trade to get something in return for Smith leaving.

The Dallas Mavericks met with Howard and have spoken to Philadelphia 76ers free-agent center Andrew Bynum, but they have not met with Smith since the start of free agency, a league source said.

– Marc Spears, 8:33 p.m. ET, July 3


Dorell Wright weighing offers from Thunder, Blazers

Philadelphia 76ers free-agent forward Dorell Wright visited the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and was made contract offers of one and two years, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

The Thunder are looking to replace reserve swingman Kevin Martin, who is signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wright was offered similar contracts by the Portland Trail Blazers, but is hoping to get a deal with more years and money, a source said.

Wright averaged 9.2 points and shot 37.4 percent from 3-point range primarily as a reserve for Philadelphia last season. He has also received interest from San Antonio, Memphis and Dallas, the source said.

– Marc Spears, 3:53 p.m. ET, July 3


Antawn Jamison has cast removed

Los Angeles Lakers free-agent forward Antawn Jamison had a cast removed from his surgically repaired left wrist Tuesday and is expected to be cleared to play in a month, a source said.

Jamison has received inquiries so far from Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington, Brooklyn, San Antonio, Memphis and Utah, the source said. The Jazz's interest could grow stronger if they lose forward Paul Millsap in free agency. Jamison, 37, averaged 9.4 points for the Lakers last season.

– Marc Spears, 3:53 p.m. ET, July 3


Is Chauncey Billups gone from Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers' acquisition of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley could impact whether Chauncey Billups and Matt Barnes return.

Billups started all 22 regular-season games he played at shooting guard for the Clippers last season. Redick is expected to be the Clippers' new starting shooting guard with Jamal Crawford and Willie Green backing him up.

Redick averaged 14.1 points and shot 36.6 percent from 3-point range primarily as a reserve for Milwaukee and the Orlando Magic last season. Billups, 36, has been receiving interest in free agency from the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

One league source said it "may be tough" for the Clippers to now keep Billups.

Barnes averaged 10.3 points primarily as a reserve for the Clippers last season. He was used as a versatile defender to guard point guards, shooting guards and small forwards.

Barnes, who made $854,389 last season, plans to review all options now that the Clippers have acquired Redick and Dudley, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. Barnes, 33, has also received interest from Dallas, Brooklyn, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks, the source said.

With Caron Butler dealt to the Phoenix Suns and Grant Hill having retired, there appears to be time at the small forward position for Barnes to share with Dudley.

– Marc Spears, 11:06 p.m. ET, July 2


Rockets could pursue Josh Smith

The Houston Rockets told Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Josh Smith during their meeting Monday in Los Angeles that they will make him a contract offer if they don’t sign Los Angeles Lakers free-agent center Dwight Howard, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Smith understood the Rockets' position and wasn't offended. Smith hasn't met with the Atlanta Hawks, who could pursue a sign-and-trade deal to get something in return for him.

Smith also met with the Detroit Pistons for about five hours after the free-agent market open. He could speak to other teams.

– Marc Spears, 12:40 a.m. ET, July 2


Brandon Jennings speaks with Bucks

Brandon Jenning’s representatives gave the Bucks an undisclosed contract amount Monday that he would be accept to stay with the team, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. The Bucks have said they plan to match any offer sheet Jennings signs.

Milwaukee also would prefer to come to terms before Jennings signs an offer sheet.

– Marc Spears, 12:40 a.m. ET, July 2


Teams inquire about Eric Bledsoe

The Los Angeles Clippers have received trade inquiries for guard Eric Bledsoe from the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. Talks, however, have yet to reach the serious stage.

Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent next summer.

– Marc Spears, 12:40 a.m. ET, July 2


Bulls agree to deal with Mike Dunleavy

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Mike Dunleavy appears to be Chicago-bound. (USA Today)

The Chicago Bulls have reached an agreement in principle on a two-year, $6 million deal with free agent Mike Dunleavy Jr., league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

One of the most pursued mid-level salary players on the free-agent market, Dunleavy, 32, has drawn interest from the likes of Minnesota, Houston and Dallas, sources said. Dunleavy played the past two seasons with the Bucks.

Milwaukee had been engaged in sign-and-trade discussions with Minnesota that would've exchanged Dunleavy Jr., and Wolves guard Luke Ridnour, league sources said.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 8:34 p.m. ET, July 1


Al Jefferson to meet with Bobcats in Charlotte

Free-agent center Al Jefferson will travel to Charlotte on Tuesday night and spend the day meeting with Bobcats executives and coaches, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Bobcats are working to find a contract agreement with Jefferson to make him the franchise's starting center.

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Al Jefferson is looking at Charlotte as a prospective team. (USA Today Sports)

Jefferson, 28, appears to no longer be in the Utah Jazz's plans. He averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Jazz a season ago. For his career, Jefferson – who has played nine seasons with the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves – has averaged 16.4 points, nine rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

The Bobcats are also motivated to re-sign two free agents of their own, guard Gerald Henderson and forward Josh McRoberts.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 6:31 p.m. ET, July 1


Thunder begin run at guard Dorell Wright

Oklahoma City has begun an aggressive pursuit of Philadelphia free-agent guard Dorell Wright, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Dorrell Wright

Wright, 27, averaged 9.2 points in 72 games for the Sixers a season ago.

The Thunder are working to stay below the luxury tax threshold this season, searching for bargain contributors able to spread the floor and make shots. The return of Kevin Martin to the Thunder appears unlikely, unless the market for him dries up completely and he has to return at a far lower rate than he's trying to find, league sources said.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 1:19 p.m. ET, July 1


Marcus Camby unhappy with Raptors role

If Toronto can't get Marcus Camby excited about being a Raptor again, the organization will entertain trading him, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

Camby prefers to play for a championship contender, but plans on meeting with the Raptors with an open mind, his agent Rick Kaplan said.

"Marcus is evaluating his options," Kaplan told Yahoo! Sports. "He was very excited about coming back to the Knicks next season. We will sit down with the Raptors and [general manager] Masai Ujiri, a Denver guy who is there now. We'll see what the best fit is for everybody."

The Raptors hope Camby can be a veteran mentor in Toronto, but he has grown weary of that role which he has held in rebuilding fashion with the Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers, a source said.

In a deal that can't be made official until after July 10, the Raptors sent forward Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks for Camby, forward Steve Novak, swingman Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and two second-round picks.

Camby was drafted second overall by the Raptors in 1996 and played two seasons before being dealt to New York in his first stint with the Knicks. The 39-year-old is familiar with Ujiri from their time with the Nuggets.

– Marc J. Spears, 7:02 p.m. ET, July 1


Jarrett Jack, Warriors talk new deal

Golden State free agent Jarrett Jack began negotiating a contract with Warriors CEO Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers over the weekend in Miami, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

Jack has also been contacted by the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks, a source said.

The Warriors also have a free agent forward in Carl Landry. He has received interest from the Warriors, Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers, a source said.

– Marc J. Spears, 5:46 p.m. ET, July 1


Pacers strong candidate to land Chris Copeland

The Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks free agent Chris Copeland have a strong mutual interest, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Copeland, 29, played his career overseas until making a successful leap to the NBA last season. Multiple teams are in pursuit of him, but the Pacers are emerging as a strong possible destination for him, sources said.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 1:27 p.m. ET, July 1


Pistons, Josh Smith conduct lengthy talks

Atlanta Hawks free agent Josh Smith met with the Detroit Pistons for over five hours after the free agency period began on Sunday evening in Los Angeles, a source said.

The meeting was deemed productive, but no contract offer was made, the source said. Smith is expected to meet the Hawks and the Houston Rockets on Monday.

– Marc J. Spears, 1:37 p.m. ET, July 1


Martell Webster is 'No. 1 priority' for Wizards in free agency

The Washington Wizards are making a contract offer to Martell Webster, one of their free agents on Monday, using part of the mid-level exception, a source told Yahoo! Sports. Webster is Washington’s “No. 1” priority, the source said, in free agency.

Webster has been involved in the contract discussions over the phone while in Washington. The Wizards hope that they can come to terms on a contract Monday.

The Wizards also texted their former forward Antawn Jamison, expressing interest Sunday night and would “love” to have him back, a source said. Jamison also is interested in returning to D.C., where he played for from 2004-10. The Los Angeles Lakers' free agent, however, isn’t interested in returning to the Lakers since he doesn’t believe he fits coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system, a source said.

– Marc J. Spears, 2:19 p.m. ET, July 1


Andre Iguodala set to meet with suitors

Denver Nuggets free-agent forward Andre Iguodala has a long day of meetings scheduled in Los Angeles on Monday. He's expected to speak with the Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

New Nuggets coach Brian Shaw and general manager Tim Connelly will attend the team's meeting with Iguodala. New Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro was assistant GM in Denver during Iguodala’s season there.

– Marc J. Spears, 3:47 a.m. ET, July 1


O.J. Mayo meets with Timberwolves

Dallas Mavericks free-agent guard O.J. Mayo met with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night in Los Angeles, a league source said. Mayo is scheduled to also meet with the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.

The New Orleans Pelicans could also add a meeting with Mayo if they trade point guard Greivis Vasquez prior to Mayo making a commitment to sign with another team.

– Marc J. Spears, 3:47 a.m. ET, July 1


Timberwolves, Bucks, Pelicans show interest in Chase Budinger

Despite missing most of the season with surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee, Minnesota Timberwolves free-agent forward Chase Budinger is emerging as a significant target for several teams, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Chase Budinger missed most of last season with a knee injury. (USA Today Sports)

The Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans have made his signing a priority, and several teams have secondary interest, including Utah, Indiana and Memphis, front-office sources told Y! Sports.

The T'wolves and Pelicans need his shooting, and plan to be aggressive suitors for Budinger, league sources said. Milwaukee has wavered on re-signing guard J.J. Redick, sources said, and Budinger could be a less-expensive, but efficient, alternative.

Once the Indiana Pacers come to terms with free-agent forward David West, Budinger is expected to be a priority to bolster their bench, sources said.

Budinger, 25, played his first three NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets before being traded to the Timberwolves for the 2012-13 season. After suffering the knee injury six games into the season, Budinger rehabilitated the injury and returned to the T'wolves' lineup on March 21. He averaged 9.4 points in his shortened season.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 10:29 p.m. ET, June 30


Tiago Splitter to receive lucrative offer

San Antonio Spurs restricted free-agent center Tiago Splitter could command an offer sheet that averages $8.5 million to $9 million annually, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be a suitor for Splitter, league sources said. The Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks have salary-cap space, a need for a young center and general managers – Dennis Lindsey and Danny Ferry, respectively – who were Spurs front-office executives when Splitter came into the organization.

The Spurs will be in a strong position to match an offer sheet and keep Splitter, because they'll be free of Stephen Jackson's $10 million salary and expect to re-sign Manu Ginobili at a lesser salary than the $14.1 million he made this season.

The baseline for a Splitter offer sheet will likely be the three-year, $25 million deal that Houston awarded center Omer Asik in free agency a year ago, sources told Y! Sports.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 10:56 p.m. ET, June 30


Bobcats hope to keep Gerald Henderson

The Charlotte Bobcats are motivated to re-sign guard Gerald Henderson and forward Josh McRoberts, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

After drafting forward Cody Zeller of Indiana with the fourth overall pick, Charlotte failed to offer Byron Mullens a qualifying offer, letting him become an unrestricted free agent. Several teams still believe the 24-year-old, 7-foot Mullens has a chance to develop into a solid NBA role player.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 11:45 p.m. ET, June 30


Tony Allen drawing interest from Grizzlies, Pacers, Bucks, Knicks

As the Memphis Grizzlies plan to make a pitch to free agent Tony Allen on Monday, the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks are part of a growing cast of suitors pushing to sign the All-Defensive guard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Tony Allen has become one of Memphis' most popular players. (USA Today Sports)

Allen, 31, a popular franchise player and integral part of the team's rise to prominence in the Western Conference, has been inclined to remain with Memphis for the right offer, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Indiana wants to upgrade its bench and bring more toughness and playoff experience to its roster. The Pacers will focus first on the re-signing of free-agent forward David West. Indiana could potentially have its midlevel exception of $5 million available for Allen.

The Bucks have salary-cap space and are juggling multiple scenarios in free agency.

New York can offer its mini midlevel of $3 million and try to convince Allen that he can make up the difference in larger offers through marketing in the New York area.

Allen was named to the NBA's All-Defensive first team this past season and received more votes than any other player.

– Adrian Wojnarowski, 7:49 p.m. ET, June 30


Mavs don't make qualifying offer to Darren Collison

Point guard Darren Collison became an unrestricted free agent Sunday when the Dallas Mavericks declined to make him a qualifying offer, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Collison averaged 12 points and 5.1 assists in 81 games during his lone season with the Mavericks.

With the move, Dallas cleared more financial room in its efforts to sign Los Angeles Lakers free agent center Dwight Howard.

Collison joins a deep pool of free-agent point guards that also includes the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings (restricted), Chicago's Nate Robinson, Atlanta's Jeff Teague (restricted), Detroit's Jose Calderon, Golden State's Jarrett Jack and Indiana's D.J. Augustin.

– Marc Spears, 7:49 p.m. ET, June 30

Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Knicks to acquire Andrea Bargnani in trade with Raptors
Complete list of NBA free agents
Teams line up to court FA Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard competes for video game championship on eve of free agency

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