Clippers re-sign free agent F Turkoglu (Yahoo Sports)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers have re-signed free-agent forward Hedo Turkoglu, who played in 38 games with the team last season.

View full post on Yahoo Sports – NBA News

Report: Chicago Bulls Making Push For Free Agent Ray Allen

Ray Allen is still undecided on his playing future, but the Chicago Bulls are trying their best to convince the sharp shooter to play in the Windy City.
ESPN Chicago reported Monday that the Bulls reached out to Allen’s representatives and are one of a handful teams interested in the two-time champion.
The Bulls revamped their roster this summer by adding Pau Gasol and Aaron Brooks and are hoping Derrick Rose plays in his first relatively full and healthy season since 2010-11.
The team hopes that head coach Tom Thibodeau’s relationship with the 3-point shooter from their days in Boston will be a key selling point.
Allen has not publicly announced a decision to play this season, but privately he reportedly says he wants to return to play for a contender.
Because the Bulls have already used their mid-level exception, they can only use a minimum salary exception to sign Allen.
The Miami Heat have also expressed interest in Allen.
Photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsFiled under: An…

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Predicting the Biggest NBA Free Agent Busts for 2014-15 Season

The 2014 free-agency period was certainly a busy one this year, with big names changing addresses and unexpectedly large salaries being dished out.

Which decisions made this offseason were the worst?

When evaluating that, it’s important to take into account multiple factors, like contract length, amount and the role the free agent is supposed to occupy.

For this exercise, though, we’ll focus solely on players who were signed this offseason who should fail to live up to any expectation. Here’s a look at five free-agent busts for the 2014-15 season. 

Begin Slideshow

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Boston Celtics: 5 Free Agents To Target in 2015

Boston Celtics fans are already sick and tired of the “Rondo wants to stay” and Rondo wants to go” game. With the 2014 offseason winding to a close, outside of a surprise major move, Boston appears to be more or less set to open the upcoming year. With a franchise-altering rebuild in full swing, not […]
Boston Celtics: 5 Free Agents To Target in 2015 – Hoops Habit – Hoops Habit – Analysis, Opinion and Stats All About The NBA

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

How Much Will Reggie Jackson Be Worth to OKC Thunder as a Free Agent?

The Oklahoma City Thunder and general manager Sam Presti are in a somewhat familiar position. 

There’s a talented guard currently in a bench role who might want something more than what he has right now. More playing time, more of a substantial role on the team and, yes, probably more money.

In large part, those were the reasons why the Thunder dealt James Harden to the Houston Rockets. Now it might be happening again, albeit on a smaller scale, with backup point guard Reggie Jackson

Unlike Harden, Jackson isn’t a potential max contract candidate. That’s not because he doesn’t have great potential, but rather because he plays point guard, a position that just has too much available talent and not enough starting jobs available.

Jackson could certainly land one of the few starting jobs next offseason, where it looks like he’ll be a restricted free agent. Oklahoma City still has time to work on a contract extension and lock up their dynamite backup for the future, but that doesn’t appear to be likely.

Here’s what Jackson told Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman about his contract negotiations:

We haven’t really talked about it much this summer. I know my representation and the Thunder have been talking. But mostly I haven’t really gotten to talk super much about it. I’ve been busy. I think we’re just trying to figure things out and hopefully we can get a deal done.

There are multiple reasons why an extension might not work for both sides. For Oklahoma City, investing big money in a backup at the league’s deepest position might not be ideal, especially because the team is already somewhat close to the luxury tax and might be looking to keep the books clear in order to add extra talent once Kevin Durant‘s contract expires after the 2015-16 season. 

While Jackson is certainly young and talented enough to qualify, he might not fill the needs the Thunder have. He’s only a subpar defender and he doesn’t provide length or great spot-up shooting, so he’s not exactly the best fit for a team with clear-cut established scorers.

From Jackson’s side, he may stand to make more money after a big year this season. There’s also the chance that he wants to run his own team.

Here’s what Jackson told Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman about starting: 

For some people it’s important. To others it’s not. It’s very prideful for me. I feel like I’m very talented. I feel like I can lead a team. That’s just how I’ve been raised and that’s just how I’ve always felt. I want to be the guy in charge. I want to be the guy leading the team.

It just seems unlikely that the two sides can agree to an extension that would satisfy both parties. Oklahoma City is notorious for not wanting to overpay anyone, and after the events of this offseason, Jackson’s representation would be silly to accept a low-ball offer. 

Let’s assume, though, that both Presti and Jackson work hard to get an extension done before the October 31 deadline. What kind of price range for Jackson are we talking?

Here’s Cray Allred at HoopsRumors.com taking a stab it:

Thus far, GM Sam Presti has played it close to the vest regarding Jackson. When the season closed, Presti said there was no consideration of trading Jackson, but the GM wasn’t optimistic that an extension would be worked out by the October 31st deadline. Jackson’s camp has been quiet as well, with no reports of where either side pegs his value. 

Two point guards in Phoenix might be instructive in looking at Jackson’s potential market. Isaiah Thomas is a scoring machine who took off in his third year as a pro, fighting his way off the bench in a crowded Sacramento backcourt. He was rewarded with a four-year, $27MM contract this summer. Eric Bledsoe exploded as a starter in his first year with the Suns, but health concerns and Phoenix’s vow to match any offer sheet have kept him from generating anything near the max contract he wants. The Suns’ offer to Bledsoe currently sits at four years and $48MM.

My estimation is that Thomas’ lower ceiling, limited more than Jackson’s due to size and age, means his deal is near the low end of what Jackson could secure. Bledsoe’s offer seems to be a price ceiling for Jackson. Again, this is all just my speculation, but I would expect Jackson to fetch between $7MM and $10MM annually.

Something around the area of $8 million a year sounds about right. That’s in the same range as what Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague signed two years ago, and Jackson compares similarly to him in a lot of ways.

Would Oklahoma City be willing to pay that much, however? It would seem like a sign-and-trade would be the most beneficial thing for Jackson and OKC, as the Thunder could find a better fit on the wing and maybe some cheaper assets in exchange for a player who is more valuable for other teams than he might be in Oklahoma City. 

If it came down to it, Oklahoma City could afford Jackson at that rate, even if it would be tough to swallow.

Here’s more from Allred at HoopsRumors.com:

If the Thunder pick up the 2015/16 options for Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III, Andre Roberson, and Steven Adams, they will still have at least $10MM in room beneath the tax for that season, and they could conceivably have plenty more room than that if league revenue keeps shooting up.

Of course, the Thunder also have to think beyond that season, as they seek to keep Kevin Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka around while the rest of the league prepares to snag them away. Locking in Jackson as a significant part of the team’s core would prevent them from adding much in the way of impact players through free agency next year. 

The difference likely boils down to this: Oklahoma City should want Jackson as a sixth man and want to pay him as such, but Jackson may want to start and get paid along the lines of what talented point guards in their prime can get on the open market.

There is risk involved when it comes to Jackson betting on himself and hitting restricted free agency, because as we’ve seen, it can go really well (Chandler Parsons) or really poorly (Eric Bledsoe). If the point guard market dries up quickly, Jackson could lose his bargaining power. 

It’s a risk Oklahoma City might be willing to take, especially if Jackson isn’t viewed as critical. Financial flexibility and sustainability might outweigh Jackson’s importance.

Even though it’s frustrating to see a team right on the brink either trade or lose talented players, the Thunder can march on just fine without Jackson for the 2015-16 season, if it comes to that. With Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Westbrook present, that’s just the simple truth.

More likely than not, Oklahoma City will stick to their internal valuation of Jackson and not get to the point where the market decides Jackson’s price. If they can’t negotiate a cheap extension, and if they can’t find a sign-and-trade partner before Jackson inks a deal in restricted free agency with another team, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if they moved on.

This could very well be Jackson’s last season in a Thunder uniform. Winning a title with him in a critical role could change Oklahoma City’s opinion a bit, but chances are, the price just won’t be right for either side.  

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Kevin Durant’s Upcoming Free Agency Leaves Short Window for Thunder Title

The Oklahoma City Thunder organization is built upon the idea of sustainable success. And in the past several years, it has come through with consistent title-contending years.

The problem is the Thunder may be in danger of losing that sustainability, and that danger is ironically in the hands of the player that has given OKC so much. 

Even though Kevin Durant will remain in the Thunder blue for the next two seasons, talk has already transpired among fans and followers concerning his future destination if/when he hits free agency. 

There are several reasons people believe KD will eventually leave the Thunder: his hometown ties to Washington D.C., desire for a more marketable city and recent change in representation to Jay Z’s RocNation.

Oh, and there’s also the fact that KD defended LeBron’s decision to test the free-agent market this summer, per Royce Young of ESPN.com:

I don’t know what the big deal is. As a player, I think that’s the best way to go about it. You can have all your options. It’s better for you as a player to opt-out, because you can get a market deal. You can get more years. You never know what will happen if you pass up on that. So I didn’t know what the big deal was. I’m sure it was a decision he made, something he was thinking about, for him and his family.

After Durant backed LeBron’s desire to test the free-agency waters, LeBron ended up relocating back to his hometown team in the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many now question if Durant will follow suit. 

But when asked about his own future, KD has been less revealing and claims he hasn’t thought that far down the road. Here’s what he said to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne in July: 

I’m going to do what’s best for me. It’s hard to talk about that right now when I’ve got two years left in Oklahoma City. I’m just going to focus on that. I’m not going to make a decision based on what anybody else does. I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City too.

Whether rumors of KD‘s eventual departure from the Thunder can hold water, a consenting realization among OKC fans and followers is beginning to grow. 

And that realization is that the Thunder’s window of opportunity is likely within the next two years. 

The Thunder are fortuitous for having a player like Durant since the existence of the organization. It’s not common for teams to feature one of the top two or three players on the planet. And in a way, OKC has been spoiled for having him. KD has been the main ingredient in the Thunder’s rise to elite status. 

Each year, Durant carries the weight of hopes and expectations of an entire state. For a vast majority of players—even star players—that is an unfair burden. But it’s different with a special player like KD.

Each season, Durant carries his weight and leads his team to success. He’s been the scoring champion three times, he’s the reigning MVP, he’s led OKC to the Western Conference Finals three times and the NBA Finals once. 

The unbelievable things KD can do on a basketball court should never be taken for granted. And as Thunder fans may figure out in a couple years, life without a player like KD on your team can be a very, very scary thing, especially after having witnessed him lead their team to success for so many years. 

It is unclear what Durant’s intentions are for the future, but the fact remains that he has just two years left on his contract.

With that in mind, Thunder Nation might want to bank on a title within the next two years. After all, it’s unlikely the Thunder will ever acquire another player like KD in the near future, and his eventual exit from OKC is very possible—or, dare I say, probable. 

 

For more Thunder news and analysis, follow @JaredPorter_BR on Twitter.  

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

The 6 Biggest Whiffs from 2014 NBA Free Agency

Amid the flurry of NBA activity this offseason, a number of moves (or non-moves, as it were) grabbed headlines but never materialized to anything more.

For one reason or another, these almost-partnerships never made the transition from the rumor mill to the transactions log.

Depending on how the 2013-14 campaign plays out, some of these could be remembered as costly missed opportunities. There were some potential landscape-changing moves discussed.

Granted, not everything that gets thrown at the wall has a great chance of sticking.

As fun as it might have been to imagine Carmelo Anthony forming a Big Four with the Miami Heat or LeBron James teaming with ”Mini LeBron” Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns, those rumors always felt heavier in hope than substance. No one thought Anthony would leave a significant stack of cash on the table (he didn’t), and most painted James’ decision as being Cleveland or Miami (he went with Cleveland).

The six near-stories on this list seemed to have some serious legs, though. While circumstances kept them from coming to light, the thoughts of what could have been won’t fade away nearly as easily.

Begin Slideshow

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Chicago Bulls: 4 Free Agents To Consider Signing

Chicago Bulls: 4 Free Agents To Consider Signing
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
The Bulls have just 12 players signed for next season, one being their 2nd round pick Cameron Bairstow who isn’t going to be playing much and could be in the D-League, so they can sign 3-4 more players and if he is in the D-League they have to sign 2 to get to the minimum 13 players. So they still have some work in filling the roster. There is still some strong talents that are free agents and there are some players that could help them, so here are 4 free agents they should consider signing.. However they would have to be minimum signings.
1. Emeka Okafor- C
- If Okafor was on this team, he would at best be their 4th big man, maybe 5th, but the Bulls still lack a 2nd center and he is the best free agent who isn’t Eric Bledsoe or Greg Monroe. It is doubtful that he would take a minimum to play a small role, but there is no harm in trying to sign a player that fits the team perfectly and …

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

NBA Free Agents 2014: Latest Rumors and Predictions for Unsigned Talent

Eventually, the NBA season will start and the Cleveland Cavaliers will stop adding players. For now, though, it seems like Ray Allen could be following in Shawn Marion’s footsteps on the way to northeast Ohio. 

Cleveland’s pursuit of Allen isn’t the only rumor around the Association.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest whispers and offer some predictions for the landing spots.

 

Ray Allen

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports filled fans in on the latest regarding Allen and Cleveland:

If you are a believer in the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” then you certainly think Allen will be lacing it up for the Cavs this season. He’s been connected to LeBron James and company all offseason, so there’s clearly something here.

Allen makes some sense in Cleveland as well. He’s an absolute lock for the Hall of Fame and has made more three-pointers than anyone else in the history of the game. There is chemistry in place with James after their time in Miami together, and James’ presence alone will draw defenders into the lane and open Allen up for plenty of looks from behind the arc.

Still, the thought here is that Cleveland would be better off adding size or even a backup point guard if it is going to make any more moves.

Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving both missed significant time last year with injuries, and this team isn’t exactly stacked with interior defense. As for shooters, the Cavaliers already have Mike Miller, Dion Waiters and James Jones in place, so Allen would simply be adding to an area they have covered.

However, it’s impossible to ignore the signals we have seen all offseason between Allen and Cleveland. There really is a fire behind that smoke.

Prediction: Allen joins James in Cleveland.

 

Leandro Barbosa

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders provided an update on Leandro Barbosa:

Barbosa only appeared in 20 games for the Phoenix Suns last year and averaged 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, but he will look to prove himself once again to teams like the Miami Heat in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Barbosa will play for Brazil during the event, which is an ideal high-stakes scenario to demonstrate his skills. He commented on the World Cup, via Shams Charania of RealGM:

I don’t know what owners think about the World Cup, but hopefully I do a great job over there and a team sees. I feel healthy and my body is feeling healthy. If I have free agency in my mind, I won’t be able to be myself on the court. Hopefully, I sign a contract and I’ll be happy.

The Heat are still a legitimate threat to advance deep in the Eastern Conference playoffs even after losing James, especially with the Indiana Pacers reeling. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng represent a solid core, and adding Barbosa to that group would only bolster those chances.

He can hit the three when defenders collapse on Wade and Bosh (39 percent on his career), get out in transition and attack the rim and provide solid minutes and defense as part of the rotation. Barbosa is also a playoff-tested veteran who has played in the postseason six different times throughout his career.

Miami will recognize all this and add Barbosa.

Prediction: Barbosa signs with the Heat as they make a push for a top-three seed in the playoffs.

 

Toney Douglas 

David Pick of Eurobasket.com provided an update on Toney Douglas:

The case can be made that this is a surprising move, considering Douglas has been in the league since 2009 when he was a first-round pick. Perhaps Douglas will play well in China and impress enough NBA teams to earn a contract before the end of the season.

Douglas actually started 17 games for the Heat last year but saw minimal playing time in the playoffs and down the stretch. In fact, he only played in 29 minutes in the postseason. However, we are talking about a solid defender who can play solid minutes off the bench for a team that isn’t necessarily loaded like Miami was last year.

Douglas averaged more than 20 minutes a night during the first four years of his career with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings and could have an eye on a bench role down the stretch.

Still, the rumor here from Pick suggests that this is a done deal. Look for him to lace it up in China to start the season. 

Prediction: Douglas plays in China and signs on somewhere in the second half of the NBA season after impressing overseas.

 

Follow me on Twitter:

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Jazz sign free agent F Jack Cooley (Yahoo Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz have signed free agent Jack Cooley.

View full post on Yahoo Sports – NBA News

Next Page »