Free-agent buzz: Bulls meet with Pargo
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Chicago general manager Gar Forman met with his target to replace Ben Gordon in the Bulls backcourt on Saturday: free agent guard Jannero Pargo.
Forman and Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, are expected to discuss contract parameters on Sunday.
"We had a great meeting," Bartelstein said Saturday night.
Pargo played three seasons for the Bulls (2003-'06) before moving on to New Orleans in 2007-08. He signed a $3.8 million deal with Moscow Dynamo last summer, but played only part of the season in Russia before the franchise's financial woes caused them to buy out his contract. Pargo finished the season with Olympiakos of Greece. Pargo averaged eight points a game for the Hornets two years ago as Chris Paul's backup.
The Bulls are trying to replace some of the scoring load lost with Gordon departing for a $55 million deal with the Detroit Pistons.
After the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to terms with Ron Artest on a free-agent contract, Trevor Ariza has committed to sign with the Houston Rockets, a source close to the talks said Thursday night.
The Rockets met with Ariza on Thursday in Las Vegas then reached agreement after it became apparent Artest had struck a deal with the Lakers. The Boston Globe reported Ariza would receive the Rockets' full mid-level exception worth about $33 million over five years.
Ariza, 24, averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 assists this past season and was a valuable contributor for the Lakers during their championship playoff run.
After losing out on Artest and Ariza, the Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a possible sign-and-trade deal for Toronto Raptors swingman Anthony Parker, two league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night.
No deal is imminent, sources say, but talks were continuing.
Parker, a 6-foot-6, is an unrestricted free agent after spending the past three seasons with the Raptors. He averaged 10.7 points and four rebounds last season. He was a first-round pick of the Nets in 1997, but spent most of his career in Europe.
Ben Gordon's insistence that the Bulls never made him an offer before he took a $55 million deal from Detroit – that the Bulls no longer wanted him – was met with a roll of the eyes from his old franchise, league sources said.
Gordon turned down offers of $50 and $54 million over the past two years, and league sources familiar with the talks say Gordon's agent, Raymond Brothers, told Chicago management on Wednesday that he had an offer from the Pistons. Only, Brothers wouldn't tell the Bulls how much Detroit was willing to pay. Even so, the agent still wanted Chicago to "counter."
For Chicago to make a blind bid – as the agent wanted them to do – would've been silly and the Bulls never did.
Would the Bulls have gone to 11 million a year for Gordon? Sources don't think so. With Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons returning in the backcourt, with Luol Deng healthy again in summer workouts, it made little financial sense for Chicago.
In what would be a brazen bid to usurp the Portland Trail Blazers on Hedo Turkoglu(notes), the Toronto Raptors are considering making an offer to the free-agent forward, league sources said.
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo could make an offer totaling close to $56 million if he cleared additional salary-cap space by renouncing Shawn Marion(notes), Anthony Parker(notes) and Carlos Delfino(notes).
Turkoglu, a unrestricted free agent who had a terrific postseason for the Orlando Magic, has been the centerpiece of Portland's free-agent recruitment. He is expected to travel to Portland on Thursday to visit the Blazers. Portland likely could offer a five-year, $50 million contract.
Turkoglu could be too close to a deal with the Blazers to be dissuaded from signing with them.
Nevertheless, Colangelo has remained determined to surround Chris Bosh(notes) with better talent and the team has debated pursuing Turkoglu. Bosh declined an extension offer from the Raptors earlier this summer and is expected to become one of the top free agents next summer.
Toronto's cosmopolitan setting and the Raptors' international-friendly roster and front office have appealed to European players like Turkoglu in recent years.
When Colangelo was the Suns GM, he tried to sign Turkoglu in the summer of 2004 only to watch the Magic come in with a bigger offer at the last minute.
After Doug Collins pulled out of the Detroit Pistons’ coaching search on Wednesday night, Pistons president Joe Dumars embarked on a closer inspection of the Dallas Mavericks’ coaching tenure of Avery Johnson, sources familiar with the process said.
Dumars doesn’t know Johnson well. He planned to take several days to focus on Johnson’s three-plus seasons with the Mavericks, where he was 194-70 and reached the NBA Finals in 2006. As Dumars remakes the Pistons into a younger, more athletic team, he is determined to hire a commanding sideline presence.
Dumars fired Michael Curry on Tuesday.
A willful and strong-minded man, Johnson has a history as a polarizing figure as coach and player in the NBA. After the 2008 season, Dallas owner Mark Cuban fired Johnson following a first-round playoff loss to the New Orleans Hornets.
Portland free-agent forward Channing Frye(notes) has drawn interest from the Phoenix Suns and Nuggets. … The New York Knicks hope to meet with Suns free-agent forward Grant Hill(notes).
The courtship of point guard Jason Kidd(notes) likely will extend over a couple of weeks, as he waits to see the moves the Dallas Mavericks make to upgrade their roster, league sources said Wednesday.
After Kidd met with Dallas owner Mark Cuban at midnight on Wednesday in New York, he had a late-morning visit with Knicks officials at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are unlikely to give Kidd more than a one-year deal for the midlevel exception around $5 million, while Dallas would likely pay him a contract with a beginning salary around $8 million.
Kidd loves New York and the Garden, but also knows the novelty of that could fade fast on a losing team, especially as he closes in on his 37th birthday. Kidd will talk with the Trail Blazers, too.
Denver Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien boarded a plane Wednesday morning for Los Angeles, where he planned to present an offer to the team's No. 1 priority: Chris Andersen(notes), the Birdman. Warkentien is expected to make a multiyear offer for the forward, a source said.
Marcin Gortat's(notes) agent is telling teams he already has a full midlevel offer. League executives think it is likely from the Houston Rockets, who met with Gortat after midnight on Wednesday.
Once Fabricio Oberto(notes) clears waivers in Detroit on July 7, there will be several teams courting the ex-San Antonio Spurs forward, including Washington, Phoenix, Sacramento and Indiana, sources say. There's still a strong possibility he could return to the Spurs, who traded him as part of the Richard Jefferson(notes) deal last month.
Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn plans to interview multiple candidates over the next month for his coaching vacancy, including a rising star on Nate McMillan's staff in Portland: Monty Williams.