The NBA’s free agency period started off with a bang this week, with the Andrea Bargnani and Eric Bledsoe trades headlining several moves made by teams on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was the quietest of the three days – as no blockbuster trades took place – but there is plenty of free agency news and notes to catch up on:
Kings rescind big offer to Iggy
Andre Iguodala was offered a four-year deal worth a whopping $52 million by the Kings on Wednesday morning, but the team reportedly rescinded the offer shortly after. Iguodala is being pursued by a number of teams – including Detroit and Denver – and reportedly was not ready to immediately accept the Kings’ offer. For a franchise (still) looking to rebuild, signing the 29-year-old to a lucrative long-term deal may not be in the Kings’ best interest, but they are certainly not out of the running for his services. Should Sacramento turn their attention elsewhere, they could still opt to match the Pelicans’ four-year, $44 million offer to Tyreke Evans or look to acquire a versatile guard like Monta Ellis.
"The Grindfather" will return to Memphis
It was reported late Tuesday night that Tony Allen reached an agreement to remain with the Grizzlies. The deal – worth $20 million over four years – guarantees that Allen will remain in Memphis to team with Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless in Memphis’ backcourt rotation. The eight-year veteran had been linked to a number of teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers, as Allen played under new head coach Doc Rivers in Boston. At 31 years old, this will likely be Allen’s last big NBA contract.
Leuer signs three-year deal with Grizz
Around the same time the Allen deal was announced, the Grizzlies also reportedly reached a three-year, $3 million deal to retain Jon Leuer. Memphis acquired Leuer from the Cavaliers in January, and he appeared in just 28 games, averaging 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game. For a team that may lose Quincy Pondexter, the deal ensures depth at the forward spot for a very reasonable price.
Bucks close to adding Mayo
After shipping J.J. Redick to the Clippers in a lopsided sign-and-trade yesterday, the Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly closing in on a multi-year deal with O.J. Mayo. The 25-year-old averaged 15.3 points and 4.4 assists for Dallas last season. Should the Bucks sign Mayo, all rumblings of Monta Ellis potentially returning to Milwaukee would be virtually dead. Mayo and Brandon Jennings – whom Milwaukee is expected to retain – would give the Bucks an intriguing young backcourt rich in talent, but plagued by inefficient play. Still, for a team not likely to be a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, they could be a very interesting pair to watch.
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Smith, Knicks nearing deal
J.R. Smith was rumored to be one of the Bucks’ top targets, but with the recent developments surrounding O.J. Mayo, it now appears Smith is set to return to the Knicks. The New York Daily News reports that the two sides are working on a deal that would keep the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in the Big Apple for four years and about $24 million. Considering Smith’s stellar play for much of the regular season and the recent offer Tyreke Evans – who put up fairly similar numbers last season – received from the Pelicans, New York would be glad to retain Smith for that price.
Pelicans could waive Lopez
Robin Lopez will become an unrestricted free agent this week if the Pelicans do not waive him by Thursday. If the team does not waive him, his salary for the next two seasons (about $10.4 million) becomes guaranteed. Currently, Lopez is slated to start at center for the team next season, so if they opt to waive him, they’ll be actively searching for a big man.
Pacers pursuing Italian guard
Marco Belinelli is reportedly talking with the Pacers after the Nets stopped pursuing him. Indiana, which rescinded a qualifying offer to Tyler Hansbrough on Tuesday, may look to add the Italian guard at the right price. The front office is reportedly pleased with the team’s current salary situation and likely would not like to spend too much on a backup guard – especially after adding C.J. Watson on Monday.
Ginobili will return to San Antonio
After a tumultuous 2013 playoffs, Manu Ginobili will be returning to the Spurs next season. The 35-year-old agreed to a two-year extension on Wednesday and will rejoin Tony Parker and Tim Duncan for another chance at an NBA title. Ginobili averaged just 11.8 points and 4.6 assists last season and could see an even more reduced role going forward, especially given the emergence of Danny Green in the postseason.
Dunleavy to Chicago
Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and the Chicago Bulls reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million deal that will bring the former Buck to the Windy City. Dunleavy is an excellent shooter from all over the floor and should help take the pressure off of Luol Deng and Derrick Rose offensively. In 11 NBA seasons, he’s averaged 11.9 points and 37.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Mohammed to return to Bulls
The Bulls will also reportedly bring back Nazr Mohammed next season, as the veteran center Tweeted on Tuesday night that he’s looking forward to returning to the team. Mohammed averaged just 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds last season while backing up Joakim Noah, but he’s still a valuable rebounder and interior defender at 35 years old.
Matt Barnes receiving interest, may still return to Clips
Matt Barnes is reportedly receiving interest from a number of teams, including the Clippers, Mavericks, Nets, Spurs, Lakers and Hawks. The 33 year-old averaged a career-high 10.3 points per game for the Clippers last season and is an aggressive all-around defender. Though Lob City acquired J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley on Tuesday, the team would still like to bring the swingman back. However, the former UCLA Bruin is likely to receive more lucrative offers from other teams with more cap flexibility.
Thunder focusing on Dorrell Wright?
With Kevin Martin now a member of the Timberwolves, the Thunder have – as expected – shifted their focus toward Dorrell Wright. An offer has not been extended, but given Wright’s shooting ability and the Thunder’s status as perhaps the best team in the West, it seems like a perfect marriage. However, a several other teams – namely Portland, San Antonio, Memphis and Dallas – are also reportedly interested in Wright and may be more willing to overpay than Oklahoma City.
Detroit inquires about Gay
The Pistons have reportedly contacted the Raptors looking to acquire swingman Rudy Gay. After meeting with Josh Smith and showing heavy interest in Andre Iguodala, it appears Detroit may instead look for a trade – rather than a signing – to bring a true star to the Motor City. Detroit reportedly offered Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey – both expiring contracts worth a combined $17.1 million – to Toronto in exchange for Gay. ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported the Raptors are not looking to move Gay, but if the right package is presented, the Raports’ new regime headed by GM Masai Ujiri could look to unload the $37.2 million he’s owed over the next two seasons.
Korver to remain in Atlanta on four-year deal
Three-point marksman Kyle Korver was reportedly "in the bag" to Brooklyn on Monday, rumored to be headed to Milwaukee on Tuesday and has now reached an agreement to remain with the Atlanta Hawks. The two sides agreed to a four-year deal worth an estimated $24 million – $3 million more than the four-year contract offered by the Bucks. Korver is arguably the league’s best 3-point shooter and, though he’s 32 years old, his skill set is not likely to regress at a high rate.
Knicks looking to add Brand?
Per ESPN.com, the Knicks are preparing to make an offer to veteran power forward Elton Brand. The 34-year-old former top overall pick played last season with the Mavericks and is reportedly interested in returning to Dallas. In 21.0 minutes per game last season, Brand averaged 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Should he sign with New York, he’d likely be asked to take on a similar role, focusing on rebounding and helping Tyson Chandler protect the rim. A Brand acquisition would also likely mean the end of Kenyon Martin‘s short tenure in the Big Apple.
Jazz want to bring back Millsap
According to the Deseret News, the Jazz are showing "high interest" in re-signing seven-year veteran Paul Millsap. Both Millsap and fellow big man Al Jefferson are free agents this offseason, and with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings, the two are believed to be more expendable than ever. Still, Utah would like to keep one of the two, and it appears Millsap is their first choice. Should he come back to Salt Lake City, he could find himself in a reduced or bench role, as Favors and Kanter are expected to see bigger minutes in 2013-14.
Jefferson not likely to return to Utah, met with Charlotte on Wednesday
The Deseret News also reported Wednesday that Al Jefferson is not expected to return to the team. Jefferson met with the Bobcats on Wednesday and is expected to see his value increase once Dwight Howard makes a decision. Depending on Howard’s destination, Jefferson could see major interest from the Hawks, Mavericks, Lakers and Kings. Jefferson could also be targeted in a sign-and-trade scenario, likely for a guard, as Utah was very thin in the backcourt last season.