We know what you are thinking: OMG! TMI! WTF?
There is so much news out there regarding free agents and potential trades, it is nearly impossible to keep up with it all.
No problem. This morning, we will bring you a rundown of what’s going on with roughly one-third of the NBA’s player population either unsigned, potentially on the move or suspiciously quiet.
So let’s have at it:
Dwight Howard: That sound you hear is crickets — an odd silence. During the late stages of the lockout, Howard’s camp would not allow reporters from the Orlando Sentinel to cover his charity game, because he does not want to hear the inevitable question: Are you planning to stay or go? ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported early todaywhat Mark Heisler reported here eight days ago: The Lakers are trying to acquire BOTH Howard and Chris Paul. Heisler, meanwhile, updated the scenario in yesterday’s column on this site and later sent out a tweet: BYNUM + LAMAR = CP3: Insiders say CP3 is likelier to move. Trade protects Lakes against Drew injury, can still offer Pau for Dwight whenever.
Chris Paul: ESPN.com reports that the Clippers, Warriors, Rockets and Hawks have shown the most interest in trading for Paul, according to sources briefed on the talks. The Clippers and Warriors are the Hornets’ preferred trade partners, but both California teams have hesitations because they want to be sure that Paul is committed to stay. Yahoo Sports says a Pau Gasol-Chris Paul trade would not be enough to satisfy the Hornets.
Nene: The Brazilian big man has emerged as the No. 1 free agent — with a caveat. Teams that want to take a shot at acquiring Dwight Howard, such as the New Jersey Nets, have Nene as their fallback target. If the Howard situation remains murky when training camps are due to open Friday, it exacerbates the confusion. Former AP colleague Aaron Lopez, now with Nuggets.com, tweeted: (George) Karl on potentially losing Nene: “Would I jump off the bridge? I’d probably get mad for a day and then get excited the rest of the time.” Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports Larry Bird is flying to Denver to meet with Nene today.
Jamal Crawford: Sam Amick of SI.com reports: A source close to the 12-year veteran guard said he was contacted on Monday by Indiana, Atlanta, New Jersey, Minnesota, Phoenix, Chicago, and Orlando. The Bulls and Magic are believed to be interested in signing Crawford via sign-and-trade, as they are over the salary cap and would only be able to offer the midlevel exception (a four-year deal starting at $5 million). When asked on Sunday who was leading the pack for Crawford’s services, the source named, in order, New Orleans, Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Indiana.
Tyson Chandler: It is sounding more and more as though the Mavs would not be crushed if they lose their starting center to a team that is going to overpay him. The fallback is moving Ian Mahinmi into the starting five, ahead of
leading amnesty candidate Brendan Haywood. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says the Mavericks are considering hoarding cap space for a run at Deron Williams, offering him a chance to play in his hometown.
Deron Williams: The former Besiktas point guard went on WFAN radio in New York yesterday and said he is “sure” Howard would re-sign with the team for its move to Brooklyn if the Nets were able to acquire him in a trade. On the prospect of signing with the Knicks as a free agent, Williams said: “That would be very unlikely,” adding that there was a 90 percent chance he stays with the franchise. But later, in speaking with the team’s beat writers, Williams acknowledged the Mavericks were a free agency possibility. “I want to win a championship. I’m not interested in being part of a five-year rebuilding process, but I don’t think that’s what the Nets want to do either,” he said.
Grant Hill: The New York Knicks have been told they are “definitely in the hunt.” That is the word from Marc Berman and Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. SI.com’s Amick reports: While Hill himself has said the chances are good that he’ll return to Phoenix, he has narrowed his list down to the Suns, Knicks, Bulls and Spurs with the Warriors, Celtics and Clippers trailing.
Shane Battier: He was the runner-up for Sean Flanery’s Tweet of the Day in the wake of a report that Battier’s list still includes Miami, San Antonio, Indiana, Toronto, Memphis, Boston and his former Memphis team. Oklahoma City has also had discussions with either Battier or his camp. Tweeted Battier: “My favorite part of the day is waking up and hearing where the insiders have me going. News to me, ha! Looking forward to talking to teams.”
Andrew Bynum: His Twitter account has been deleted, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times.
Samuel Dalembert: He told Chris Tomasson of FOXSportsFlorida that the Rockets are the frontrunners: “Houston, that one is the best,” said Dalembert. He later added, “I’m interested in the Rockets. They have a good team over there, a running team.” Dalembert, who averaged 8.1 points and 8.2 rebounds last season, did say “chances are still open” he could re-sign with the Kings. He said he exchanged text messages with Sacramento coach Paul Westphal on Monday.
Marc Gasol: In a Q & A with beat writer Ron Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, owner Michael Heisley said: I understand that he’s looking to be paid. And I think he should be paid. We’re going to match what anybody offers. … He’s going to get double figures (at least $10 million). Heisley also said the Grizzlies have a “real chance”over the next 2-3 years to win a championship.
DeAndre Jordan: The Clippers have made him an offer for five years and $40 million, Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. No other team can offer the restricted free agent more than a four-year contract, meaning someone would have to offer more than $10 million per year to outbid what appears to be a preemptive strike from the Clippers. Either that, or (just a thought) they are inflating Jordan’s value and leaking it as part of a strategy to do a sign-and-trade for Howard.
Andrei Kirilenko: More than 10 teams have contacted his agent, and beat writer Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake City Tribune believes the chances of Kirilenko re-signing with the Jazz have grown slimmer.
Caron Butler: Several news outlets are reporting that after a meeting with the Chicago Bulls on Monday, Butler will meet with at least four teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, New Jersey Nets on Wednesday and possibly the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.
Nick Young: Michael Lee of the Washington Post says the Wizards intend to retain the restricted free agent, but realize that they will have competition from several teams, including Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, Sacramento and Phoenix.
Glen “Big Baby: Davis: Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports Celtics president Danny Ainge called Davis as soon as it was allowed and make a pitch for the restricted free agent to stay, and the sides have been talking for several days about what it will take to retain him.
Jason Kapono: Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports the Lakers are close to locking him up for two years at $1.3 million per season. Bresnahan also learned that the Lakers will open the season with three games in three nights. Someone should tweet that to Howard.