SH Blog: Jason Kidd chooses Knicks over Mavericks, Kyle Lowry traded to Raptors, Lin agrees to terms with Rockets

Point guards have dominated much of the free agency news up to this point, and Thursday was no exception. The only difference?  It was Marc Stein of ESPN that broke most of today’s biggest news instead of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, as you will see below. Also, for once, Dwight Howard wasn’t a major part of any big news, though you will still find news about the drama-filled center:

  • Jason Kidd has chosen the New York Knicks over the Dallas Mavericks, from Marc Stein: “With the Mavericks confident that they were closing in Thursday on a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with Kidd worth $9 million, sources told ESPN.com that Kidd — after all-day deliberations with both teams — has decided instead to leave Dallas to join the Knicks for a similar deal. The contract can’t actually be signed until July 11, which is the first day new NBA contracts can be signed. It’s also possible, one source said, that Kidd could ultimately move to the Knicks in a sign-and-trade deal. Sources briefed on the matter told ESPN.com that Kidd was ultimately swayed to take the Knicks’ offer to come to New York and take on the challenge of trying to help the Knicks move into the Eastern Conference elite and also mentor fans’ darling Jeremy Lin.”
  • Just earlier today, it was a forgone conclusion that Kidd would re-sign with the Mavericks, from Jeff Caplan: “The 39-year-old is closing in on a multiyear deal, a source close to the situation said. The source said the deal is not completed, but barring any snags, Kidd will close out his career alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Sources with knowledge of the deal specifics told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Kidd’s contract will be a three-year deal worth $9 million, taking him to age 42 if he plays it all the way out.”
  • Raymond Felton was a favorite to land with the Knicks earlier today (though likely no longer the case), as reported by Frank Isola: “The Knicks are favorites to sign Raymond Felton, a source close to the free agent point guard told the Daily News. Having lost out on their primary free agent target Steve Nash and with Jeremy Lin possibly signing an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks are committed to adding Felton, who finished last season with Portland. The Knicks may be willing to acquire Felton in a sign-and-trade as a way to hold on to their $3 million mini-mid level exception to use on another free agent.
  • The Raptors missed out on Steve Nash, so they acquired Kyle Lowry instead, from Stein and Ric Bucher: “The Toronto Raptors have acquired guard Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Gary Forbes and a protected future first-round draft pick, sources tell ESPN. The Raptors have been talking with the Rockets about prospective Lowry deals for weeks, sources said, and seriously discussed the prospect of swapping the versatile guard for Toronto’s No. 8 pick in last month’s draft. Lowry, a seventh-year pro, averaged 14.3 points and 6.6 assists per games last year for the Rockets”
  • The Suns have also quickly moved on from losing Nash by coming to an agreement to sign Goran Dragic, from Stein: “Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns have reached a verbal agreement on a four-year deal worth an estimated $34 million that Dragic has pledged to sign July 11, which is the first day contracts can be signed. Dragic will have a player option entering the fourth year, sources said.”
  • Nash, by the way, will likely move past Magic Johnson in all-time assists as a Laker, according to Arash Markazi: “Nash is 225 assists away from tying Magic for 4th on the all-time assist list … a mark he will likely pass while wearing a Lakers uniform.”
  • The Suns have also agreed to sign Michael Beasley, from Alex Kennedy: The Phoenix Suns have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Michael Beasley on a three-year deal worth $18 million, according to sources close to the situation. The two sides met on Wednesday afternoon and reached the agreement. Suns brass had met with Beasley over the weekend in Los Angeles, where the forward has been training since the end of the season.
  • Jeremy Lin received an offer from the Houston Rockets, from Marc Berman: “Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had his second crack at Jeremy Lin yesterday and offered him a back-loaded deal worth at least $31 million, and he was mulling it over late last night. Because the Knicks were ditched by Steve Nash, sources have indicated the club is as intent as ever in matching any Lin offer sheet before the free-agent signing moratorium ends July 11.”
  • Lin, however, wants more money, according to Ian O’Connor: “Jeremy Lin wants more $ than reported $31 million offer from Houston, according to league source. #Knicks facing a hefty match”
  • UPDATE: Lin has agreed to terms with the Rockets, according to Jonathan Feigen:
The Rockets have agreed to terms with Jeremy Lin, source said.
@Jonathan_Feigen
Jonathan Feigen
  • More details from Woj: “Jeremy Lin has agreed to sign a four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The New York Knicks have vowed to match any offer Lin receives to keep him. The earliest Lin can officially sign the offer sheet is July 11. The Knicks would have three days to match or let him join the Rockets. Houston’s four-year offer to Jeremy Lin includes a team option in the fourth year. He will make $5 million in year one, $5.2 million in year two and $9.3 million in each of years three and four. The back-loaded offer is designed to hit the Knicks hard on the luxury tax.”
  • The Clippers made some big moves today, agreeing to terms with Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups, from Broderick Turner: “The Clippers were informed on Thursday that guards Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups intend to sign contracts with the team when the NBA’s moratorium period is lifted for free agents to sign deals, according to NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Crawford, an unrestricted free agent who opted out of his $5.2 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, has been offered a spot by the Clippers. He is expected to sign a three-year, $15.7 million contract, according to the executives. Billups, who played in just 20 games last season with the Clippers before suffering a season-ending left Achilles tendon surgery, will sign a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.3 million if he reaches bonuses, the executives said.”
  • The Nets will go after Ersan Ilyasova if the Dwight Howard plan fails, but it won’t be easy, from Woj: “The Brooklyn Nets have targeted Milwaukee Bucks restricted free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova if they fall short of completing a blockbuster trade for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Bucks have offered Ilyasova a five-year contract worth nearly $40 million, league sources said, and so far have shown no desire to partner in a sign-and-trade deal that the Nets need to acquire him.”
  • Jameer Nelson has come to an agreement with the Orlando Magic, from Josh Robbins: “On Thursday, Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel, and later repeated over Twitter, that he and the Magic have agreed in principle to a new contract. Although Nelson and team officials would not discuss details, the new deal will run three seasons. “I was prepared to go where I needed to go to continue my career, and I think I kind of expressed that to the organization,” Nelson said. “But I also told them that I would love to come back. “Genuinely, I love the city. I love the organization. I’ve learned a lot from the people in the organization. The DeVos family means a lot to myself and my family, and it means a lot to me that they always put out a winning product.”
  • The Golden State Warriors have expressed interest in certain players and are simply playing the waiting game, from Matt Steinmetz: “They’ve reached out to free agent guard Brandon Roy, and now they wait to see if he’ll choose the Warriors over approximately a half-dozen other teams. They’ve reached out to the agents for such players as J.J. Hickson, Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Kirk Hinrich, Shelden Williams and others. They’re also waiting for restricted free agent Brandon Rush to get an offer. Rush is coming off his best season as a pro, averaging 9.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and Warriors general manager Bob Myers has made it clear the team wants to keep him.”
  • As promised, here is some news on Dwight Howard involving the New Jersey Nets, from Ken Berger: “The Nets and Magic are “still plugging away” with possible Howard trade scenarios, according to a person familiar with the process. “Everything is in play,” said another person connected to the talks, including a possible deal with the Lakers, whose stunning acquisition of Steve Nash Wednesday night may have pushed them onto Howard’s radar as a team with whom he’d sign an extension if traded. Both the Nets and Lakers, however, may need a third team to facilitate the deal to maximize the cap relief Orlando is seeking in any Howard trade. It isn’t simply about the players and draft picks the Magic would acquire, but also the ability to relieve their future payroll of burdensome contracts such as those of Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, sources said.”
  • Chris Broussard called out his haters via twitter before heading off to perhaps a much needed vacation, from Jason McIntyre: “Chris Broussard has had a rough month. First, he was terribly miscast on ESPN’s NBA Finals pre-game show. Every sports pre-game show needs an “information/news” guy – at ESPN, think Buster Olney on baseball, Chris Mortensen on the NFL – and it appears the network thinks Broussard can be their NBA news guy.”

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