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Around The World: July 6

07/06/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 6



    Trailblazers.tv: Video: 2012 Draft Coverage

    Trail Blazers: Isola: Knicks Considering Sign-And-Trade For Ray Felton
    "Expect the Knicks to work with Felton's agent, Tony Dutt, and Felton's previous team, Portland, on a sign-and-trade deal for the free agent. Knicks could involve same foundation pieces from Nash deal (Toney Douglas, Dan Gadzuric and Jerome Jordan plus cash) and offer Felton anywhere from $4M to $6M in the first year. Deal should be amenable to Portland because Gadzuric and Jordan are non-guaranteeds and cash considerations essentially pays for Douglas' salary."

    Oregon Live: Blazers' Summer League roster includes Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Wesley Matthews
    "Although the roster is still being finalized, the majority has been solidified and will be composed mostly of players expected to play for the Blazers next season. Rookie draft picks Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Will Barton will join current Blazers Nolan Smith and Luke Babbitt and 2011 second-round draft pick Jon Diebler on the team."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers tell Nicolas Batum they intend to keep him
    "We appreciated the face-to-face meeting to get our message across," Olshey said. "And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios."

    Oregon Live: Brandon Roy agrees to deal with Minnesota Timberwolves
    "Nearly seven months after leaving the game because of concern over his degenerative knees, Roy is making a comeback, verbally agreeing to a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday."

    Oregon Live: Hasheem Thabeet agrees to 2-year deal with Oklahoma City
    "Thabeet has averaged only 10 minutes per game and started 16 times in his career. He played in 20 games last season for Houston and Portland, starting three times. Duffy said Thabeet understands he "was a high-profile draft pick" and still has to prove himself, but he appreciates Thunder general manager Sam Presti believing in him and giving him a chance."

    LA Times: Clippers bolster backcourt with Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups
    "The Clippers used their full mid-level exception to offer the 6-foot-5 Crawford a four-year deal worth $21.7 million. On Tuesday, Crawford visited the Clippers' practice facility and the team originally offered him a three-year deal for $15.7 million."

    Columbian: MATT CALKINS: Blazers are all in with Hibbert
    "Will it work out? Can't say. But this is Olshey's way of "going for it." Sign a big-time center. Re-sign Nic Batum afterward. Hope that those young pieces blossom alongside Damian Lillard and blend with LaMarcus Aldridge, and then ... who knows? Olshey said earlier that he didn't come all the way from Los Angeles just to be OK, which is the best Portland has been in more than a decade."

    Portland Tribune: Second-rounder Barton has first priority
    "I definitely have a chip on my shoulder," says the 6-6, 175-pound swing man from Memphis, taken by the Trail Blazers with the 40th pick of last Thursday's draft. "I'm a first-round talent. Now I just have to go in there this summer and prove I should be on the team."

    Rip City Project: Free Agent Free For All: Brandon Roy And Nicolas Batum
    "Without competing offers, Portland runs the risk of grossly overpaying for their product. Of course, by letting Nicolas onto the free market, a team, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, with an interest in hurting a division rival’s bottom line, can make an offer that they think might be out of the Blazers’ projected range, thus putting them to a tough decision. That being said, very few owners/GMs in the NBA are willing to make an outrageous deal that they would then be stuck with just to spite another team."

    David Aldridge: McGee could be Plan B for Portland
    "Nuggets continue to "grind it out" w/JaVale McGee reps, aware that whichever team (PDX, Indy) loses Hibbert will have $ available 2 offer."

    ESPN True Hoop: Portland's two-pronged approach
    “If there’s a player on the same career arc as LaMarcus, Wes (Matthews), Nic (Batum) and our draft picks -- an All-Star caliber player who can really move the needle and accelerate our growth process, then I have no problem putting my chips on the table,” Olshey said. “But what I’m not going to do is run a race to mediocrity. Taking away flexibility to be mediocre is counterproductive.”

    Blazersedge: The Skinny on the Minnesota Timberwolves Offers to Nicolas Batum and Brandon Roy
    "This free agency period is going to force the choice and show what they were thinking. If they do get Hibbert then they almost have to keep Batum, else they'll be scrambling to replace his talent. The cap will be too full to get a prime free agent, the draft picks too low to hope to draft one. But if they miss out on Hibbert, this team has a ton of holes still. They're far closer to starting over than becoming great. Spending $11 million per year on Batum won't make them great, but it'll put them in nearly the same cap bind...closer to that prime free agent territory with slightly better draft picks to look forward to down the road but still hanging by a thin thread."

    Sportando: Victor Claver and Valencia Basket part ways
    "Valencia Basket and Victor Claver officially parted ways. The Spanish forward, who has spent his entire career in Valencia, is likely heading to the Blazers who selected him in the 2009 Draft with the 22nd overall pick."

    Ball Don't Lie: Putting Steve Nash in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform will be the easiest part of this deal
    "Lakers fans can bemoan me sprinkling on their latest parade all they want, but they also have to understand that I'm just as giddy as they are — without the flag affixed to my Corolla half a country away. They also need to understand that, without any Lakers logos stuck around my house, I found it a upsetting as they did that a team as good as this has procured just a 1-8 record in its last two second-round series. We're aware that the team's issues went far beyond the easy swipe of "Kobe shoots too many inefficient shots too often, and especially late in close games," and that the Nash acquisition is not an answer to those issues. But we also know that Kobe Bryant has a lot of game modifying to do at an age that most players don't take to learning new tricks."

    Ball Don't Lie Brandon Roy will make his NBA comeback in Minnesota, and we’ll see what he has left
    "What we know is that the Wolves won't expect Roy to be a star. As an up-and-coming squad with franchise linchpins in Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, Roy will be expected to be a scorer and secondary facilitator. Given his injury history, Minnesota coach Rick Adelman shouldn't pencil Roy in as a 20-point scorer or even an exceedingly dependable player. Instead, Roy will be part of the team, neither a sign of failed dreams as he was in Portland nor a free-agent savior destined to lead the Wolves to relevance in the West for the first time in nearly a decade. The Wolves are building something and conceive of Roy as part of the solution, not the whole plan in itself. (That's especially the case if their offer sheet for Blazers forward Nicolas Batum isn't matched, though Yahoo!'s own Adrian Wojnarowski says that's not happening.)"

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeremy Lin will cost the Knicks a lot of money, make them about the same amount
    "It's a little less clear how he'll perform on the court or exactly what his role will be under new permanent head coach Mike Woodson. Lin thrived after entering the starting lineup under Mike D'Antoni, but Woodson seemed less enthusiastic about his abilities and figures to employ Carmelo Anthony as the obvious focal point of the offense this season. For all the warranted talk about his unselfishness and team play, Lin is best with the ball in his hands, particularly in the pick-and-roll game that D'Antoni loves so much. In 2012-13, Lin will have to adjust to defenses more inclined to respect him and work in a new system. It'll be a test, though one that he's likely to pass eventually."

    Ball Don't Lie: Clippers sign Jamal Crawford for four years, but it’s the first one that matters most
    "However, even the most optimistic view of this contract must criticize its length. Simply put, Crawford is not going to be worth this kind of money for all four years of his contract. Frankly, he might only approach that sort of value for the first year (and, again, not everyone shares that opinion). The Clippers filled a gap in their roster for one season by committing for four, which is really only a good idea if the people who pay the bills have proven themselves committed to overpaying across the board. Given owner Donald Sterling's history — and the fact that the Clippers aren't even operating with a general manager right now — the terms of this deal feel very shortsighted."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jason Kidd reportedly spurns the Dallas Mavericks to finish a career off as a New York Knick
    "Jason Kidd lives in the New York metropolitan area. He's enjoyed two stints with the Dallas Mavericks with the latter culminating in an NBA championship in 2011, but he's also shot just over 36 percent from the field his last two seasons. He turned the ball over on nearly a quarter of the possessions he used up last year, his defense has faded significantly, and his 3-point shooting has dipped down to the ranks of below average. And yet two teams wanted him, badly, enough to potentially pay him until he turned 42 — even if we're currently unaware of just how many years this three-year deal is guaranteed for."

    Ball Don't Lie: Rockets trade Kyle Lowry
    "It's going to be a lottery pick, we know as much. Protected out of the lower 16 picks of the draft, in a move I cannot recall a mirrored one for in years of covering the NBA. It's also protected out of the top three next year, the top two in 2014 and 2015, and first overall in 2016. If the Raptors have a terrible time in the winnin' business over that span and luck out with those considerations, they'll also keep the pick. This is also where we remind you that Lowry has two years left on a contract that will pay him $12 million over that span (the final year the Raptors could even waive, should they decide to, and keep all but a million of the savings); a contract that might be the best value for production deal amongst NBA players that aren't on their initial rookie deals."

    The Basketball Jones: 76ers use amnesty clause on Elton Brand because… well, duh
    "The Brand signing was one of the league’s most shocking moves in recent years because it occurred after a season in which he had missed all but eight games because of a ruptured Achilles tendon. I’m not a doctor, but I thought that signing a player like that to a massive, long-term contract seemed like a really, really terrible idea. Sure enough, Brand in Philly was no longer the dominant low-post presence who gave you a guaranteed 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game. Last season, he made $17 million while averaging 11 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 28.9 minutes. Assuming Sixers ownership would go along with it, using the amnesty clause on Brand was a no-brainer."

    DIME: The Top 5 Worst Free Agent Deals Of The 2012 Offseason Thus Far
    "I was all for the Nets re-signing Gerald Wallace – he caught a lot of heat simply because the Nets made a questionable trade for him, giving up what turned into the No. 6 pick in the draft (Damian Lillard). But he’s always been an energetic wing player that meshes well with those around him, as he does a little bit of everything. For the Nets, who now look like a perennial playoff team, they’ve locked themselves into playoff, but not championship, contention. Simply put, a core of Williams-Johnson-Wallace is not enough to overcome Miami, OKC, LAL or even Boston. Although a trade for Dwight Howard is still in the works, their lack of assets make it seemingly less likely every day. A less hefty Gerald Wallace contract would have given them more cap space to maneuver, and, possibly, more room to sign Dwight next offseason when he becomes a free agent."

    DIME: Report: Jeff Green Likely To Return To Boston With Four-Year, $40 Million Deal
    "Although the former third wheel to Durant and Westbrook was considering other options because he was unsure if the Celtics could maintain a competitive roster, recent offseason moves, including the signing of Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett, have swayed him to stay with the team that stuck by his side throughout his ordeal. The deal, which is not yet complete, will reportedly be in the range of four years for $40 million, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. "

    DIME: Eric Gordon Just Doesn’t Understand How Restricted Free Agency Works
    "But Gordon’s petty ignorance is what’s more surprising, or at least that his agent hasn’t fully explained the situation to him. He cites the Suns’ interest, and the Hornets’ lack thereof, as reason to bolt. “There are no negotiations right now.” Of course there aren’t any, Eric. You are restricted. Which means New Orleans only has to match any offer sheet you sign. Why would they offer their own contract, risking overpayment? It’s just smart cap maneuvering, more than anything else. Ignorance isn’t bliss, clearly."

    SLAM: Boogie's Nights
    "Known to fans as Boogie, a moniker bestowed upon him at Kentucky by Wildcats assistant and former NBA point guard Rod Strickland, Cousins averaged 18.1 points, 11 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per game in his second NBA season. He finished top-10 in free-throw attempts, top-5 in rebounding and No. 1 in the League in total offensive rebounds, at more than 4 per game. He improved his percentages from the field (45 percent) and the free-throw line (70 percent). By year’s end, Cousins had 4 more rebounds, 7 more blocked shots, 8 more steals and 17 more points than he had total his rookie season—despite appearing in 17 fewer games due to the lockout."

    SLAM via Commercial Appeal: Marreese Speights Agreed to 2-Year, $9 Million Deal With Memphis Grizzlies
    “Forward Marreese Speights has agreed to a two-year contract with the Grizzlies worth nearly $9 million, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed. Though they can be negotiated and agreed to now, free agent contracts can’t be signed until Wednesday. The second year of Speights’ new contract is a player option."

    ESPN: Steve Nash called Kobe before deal
    "For me, it was important to speak to him and make sure he was completely on board, and that he could kind of visualize this as being a good fit, and being excited about it. So I spoke to him," Nash told Max Kellerman and Mychal Thompson on 710 ESPN. "Kobe, he was great. He was excited, and explained to me how he thought it would help, and why he thought it would be great, and I think a lot of the reasons he had were ones I could already envision before speaking to him."

    Sports Illustrated: Lakers will be fascinating to watch after breaking the bank for Steve Nash
    "But that’s precisely why this Lakers team will be so fun to watch: It would be hard for Nash to go to any system more different than the one he played in Phoenix for the last eight years. The Lakers finished 20 percent of their possessions via post-up plays last season, by far the highest percentage in the league, per Synergy Sports. Only Utah had a smaller percentage of its possessions end with the pick-and-roll ballhandler finishing the play by shooting, drawing a foul or turning the ball over. No team had a lower percentage of its possessions end with pick-and-rolls in which the roll man finished the play. No team devoted a smaller percentage of its possessions to transition chances, per Synergy."

    Sports Illustrated: Timberwolves gamble on Brandon Roy
    "And so the Wolves have Roy. Defense will be an issue, especially with point guard Rubio expected to miss the first part of the season while recovering from his ACL tear. Rubio’s long arms and quick feet were perhaps Minnesota’s best defensive assets; the team allowed 99.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor (a top-10 mark) and fell off a cliff to a Bobcats-like 106.8 points allowed per 100 possessions when he sat, per NBA.com’s stats tool. Love improved as a defender last season, and Nikola Pekovic, a rising talent at center, is a generally scary person. But none of the Minnesota big men ranks as a true difference-maker on the defensive end. As long as that’s the case, a lineup like Barea/Roy/Budinger/Love/Pekovic is going to have to work extraordinarily hard to limit the opposition."

    --> DIME via Fox Sports: Marcus Camby Is Considering Houston, Miami and New York
    “Sources say Marcus Camby has interest in Heat but his first choice remains returning to Houston. Would want $3 million exception from Heat, so they couldn’t sign both Ray Allen & Camby. Sources say if Rockets have a good offer, Camby could return regardless of whether Rockets get Omer Asik. Camby could split center minutes with Asik & mentor him. Camby, 38, wants a 2- or 3-year contract. Believes can play 3 more years. Heat first looking at Allen but could turn to Camby if Allen back to Boston.”

    DIME: Brandon Roy’s 5 Best Destinations For An NBA Comeback
    "With two important role players in Mike James and John Lucas possibly out in Chicago in free agency, Roy would fill a gap as a go-to substitution for a shot of scoring and defense. This role could be one of the top two best (with Indiana) I can think of because, quite simply, the Bulls can afford to mete out his minutes because of the surrounding talent on this roster, thus saving his knees. That relative wealth of guard talent does create something of a problem for Tom Thibodeau, though: what is Roy’s niche and how does he separate himself against Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and the like? It becomes a little easier to see the possible rotation if Watson takes over the point guard spot as Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery. What Chicago will have to ask itself is, do we need another Richard Hamilton?"

    DIME: Report: Jeff Green ‘Close’ To Re-Signing With Boston
    "Remember when Jeff Green was a Celtic? He missed all of last season after having surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. He’s played all of 35 games in a Celtic uniform while the man he was traded for (Kendrick Perkins) has appeared in 119 of them with OKC. The only thing I can really remember about the short-lived Green-in-Boston era was a role player standing in the corner. But still, Green is one of the young and athletic assets Boston hopes will help merge the gap between the Big Three and what lies beyond."

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