2018 Free Agency Buzz: July 1 roundup
NBA.com Global on Jul 01, 2018 03:26 PM
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 14: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 14, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 14: on March 14, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
As of midnight (12:00pm, PHL time), NBA free agency is officially open. As we close in on Day 1, keep up on all the latest news and reports below …
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Report: Rockets to meet with Capela in Los Angeles
After reportedly coming to terms with Chris Paul and losing Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns, Houston will try to keep another key piece of its Western Conference Finals team later on Sunday. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets will meet with restricted free agent Clint Capela:
Rockets front office will meet with restricted free agent center Clint Capela and his Wasserman Media Group agents on Sunday in Los Angeles, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
Capela was a vital part of Houston's record-breaking offense in 2017-18, serving as the ultimate roll man after setting screens for James Harden and Chris Paul. The former 25th overall pick averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest in his fourth season in the league.
Still just 24-years-old, Capela could very well improve over the length of his next NBA contract. With that in mind, the Rockets appear intent on keeping him in Houston for the foreseeable future.
-- 3:22 pm (PHL time)
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Report: LeBron James spoke to Cavs at 12:01 a.m.
According to ESPN's Dave McMemanim, LeBron James and his agent spoke with the Cavaliers right as the free agency period opened:
Cavs general manager Koby Altman spoke to both Rich Paul and LeBron James over the phone at 12:01 a.m., sources tell ESPN.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 1, 2018
James opted out of his deal with Cleveland on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).
- 2:25pm (PHL time)
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Report: DeMarcus Cousins to meet with Pelicans, Lakers
At the start of free agency, there are reportedly at least two teams heavily interested in DeMarcus Cousins. Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated reports that Cousins took phone calls from his current team -- the New Orleans Pelicans -- and the Los Angeles Lakers. Says Spears:
New Orleans Pelicans All-Star free agent center DeMarcus Cousins received calls from the Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers tonight once free agency began and is expected to have meetings scheduled with both teams soon, a source told ESPN's The Undefeated.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2018
With Paul George reportedly ready to re-sign with Oklahoma City, the Lakers appear to be shifting their offseason focus to other free agent talent. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported on Saturday that DeMarcus Cousins could be one such option for the Lakers. The four-time All-Star is coming off a torn Achilles, but at just 27 years old could be entering his prime if he returns healthy. Says O'Connor on Twitter:
DeMarcus Cousins sounds like an increasingly likely target for the Lakers on a short-term max contract now that it appears Los Angeles will lose out on Paul George, per league sources. In January 2017, LeBron James called Cousins "the best big man in our game."— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2018
The Lakers have been connected with the biggest available names leading up to the start of free agency on Sunday, including George and LeBron James. They have also reportedly been in talks with San Antonio to acquire two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. Los Angeles is hoping to inject several All-NBA talents with the hope of lifting the franchise from a five-year postseason absence, the longest in team history.
New Orleans, meanwhile, appears intent on testing the feasibility of keeping Cousins paired with All-NBA big man Anthony Davis. The duo appeared to be verging on consistent chemistry when Cousins went down with a torn Achilles in a January game against Houston. The 6-foot-11 center was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per contest through 48 games in his first full season with the Pelicans.
-- 2:11pm (PHL time)
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Report: Timberwolves hoping to sign Butler to contract extension
After snapping a 13-year playoff drought, Minnesota is all too eager to keep its core intact. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Timberwolves hope to ink Jimmy Butler to a maximum four-year contract this offseason. Stein tweeted:
The Timberwolves began free agency by informing star guard Jimmy Butler that they intend to offer him a maximum contract extension valued in the four-year, $110 million range as soon as he's eligible to sign the deal on July 9, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 1, 2018
Butler is coming off his fourth consecutive All-Star season and his first with the Timberwolves. Minnesota acquired the 6'8" swingman last summer in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and First Team All-Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen.
Butler immediately sparked the young Timberwolves to a 47-win season while averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. Along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Butler was also Minnesota's first All-Star since Kevin Love in 2014.
-- 1:55 pm (PHL time)
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Kings, Hawks interested in LaVine?
After showing he still has plenty of bounce in his step following ACL surgery, Zach LaVine reportedly has multiple suitors for his services. Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago reports the Atlanta Hawks could be in play for the 6'5" guard:
The Atlanta Hawks are one of the team's showing interest in RFA Zach LaVine, according to sources— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 1, 2018
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer adds that the Sacramento Kings "are also showing interest in Zach LaVine, per sources."
The Kings are also showing interest in Zach LaVine, per sources. https://t.co/4NNoCioI8G— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2018
LaVine is a restricted free agent, which allows Chicago to match any offer he receives from another team. That may not stop such offers from coming for the 23-year-old, who averaged 16.7 points per contest last season.
-- 1:22 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Green will return to Rockets
After reportedly losing Trevor Ariza to Phoenix, the Rockets will hang on to another sharp-shooting swingman in Gerald Green. Multiple reports have the veteran guard returning to Houston on a one-year deal. Michael Stotto of The Athletic tweeted:
Houston Rockets and Gerald Green have agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million deal, league sources told The Athletic.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 1, 2018
Green averaged 12.1 points in just 22.7 minutes per contest for the Rockets, his highest output since the 2013-14 campaign.
-- 1:11 pm (PHL time)
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Report: Casspi comes to terms with Grizzlies
Eager to add shooting around their new big man duo of Marc Gasol and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies have reportedly agreed to contract terms with veteran swingman Omri Casspi. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent forward Omri Casspi has agreed to a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
The 6'8" forward shot 45.5 percent from 3-point range in 53 games with Golden State last season. Memphis would mark the sixth different Western Conference team for which has played.
-- 1:04 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Timberwolves to re-sign Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau will remain together with the Timberwolves. Multiple reports surfaced early Sunday saying the former Kia MVP has agreed to re-sign with Minnesota on a one-year deal. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted:
Free agent Derrick Rose is finalizing a one-year deal to return to Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
Rose averaged a career-low 8.4 points per game on 43.5 percent shooting last season, his 10th in the league.
-- 12:56 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Marco Belinelli to reunite with Spurs
After spending three years apart, Marco Belinelli and San Antonio could finalize an NBA reunion. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the two sides have come to terms on a two-year deal that would add extra perimeter shooting to the Spurs' roster. According to Wojnarowski:
Free agent guard Marco Belinelli has agreed to a two-year, $12M deal with the Spurs, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
Belinelli was a key member of the Spurs' 2014 NBA championship team and is a career 37.7-percent shooter from three-point range. He played a vital role in Philadelphia's playoff run to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, averaging a career-best 12.1 points per contest.
-- 12:50 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Suns to snag Ariza on one-year deal
After adding two top-10 picks via the draft, Phoenix decided some veteran experience was in order. According to multiple reports, Rockets free agent forward Trevor Ariza has agreed to a one-year, $15 million deal with the Suns. Per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Houston free agent Trevor Ariza has agreed to a one-year, $15M deal with the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2018
The move would deplete a significant member of the core that took Houston to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Phoenix, meanwhile, now adds Ariza to a stable of forwards that includes Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges and TJ Warren.
-- 12:45 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Baynes returning to Celtics on two-year deal
While the Celtics are certainly looking forward to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning from injury, they were just as eager to bring one of their free agents back. According to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania -- and seemingly confirmed by Baynes himself -- the six-year big man will come back to Boston on a two-year, $11 million deal, the second of which will be a player option. Baynes expressed his excitement on Twitter over the deal:
Free agent center Aron Baynes has agreed to a two-year, $11M deal to return to the Boston Celtics, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2018
Staying where I wanted to be!! Last year added fuel to the 🔥 bleed green banner 18 ☘️☘️☘️— Aron Baynes (@aronbaynes) July 1, 2018
Baynes averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per contest for a Celtics squad that advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
-- 12:43 pm (PHL time)
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Report: Ed Davis set to join Nets
Seeking to fortify its frontcourt, Brooklyn has reportedly come to terms with veteran big man Ed Davis. The former lottery pick will join the Nets on a two-year deal per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent forward Ed Davis has agreed to a one-year, $4.4M deal with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
Davis averaged 5.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in just 18.9 minutes per contest for Portland last season.
-- 12:40 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Jerami Grant to re-sign with Thunder
Minutes after word surfaced that Paul George would return to the Thunder, Jerami Grant is reportedly following suit. The four-year forward, according to multiple reports, will re-sign with Oklahoma City on a new three-year deal. TNT's David Aldridge detailed Grant's new deal as follows:
Jerami Grant deal with OKC (three years, $27M, @wojespn first) includes player option for third year, per source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2018
-- 12:36 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Durant intends to re-sign with Warriors on two-year deal with player option
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Report: Chris Paul to re-sign with Rockets through 2022
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Reports: George to re-sign with Thunder
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Report: DeAndre Jordan agrees to one-year deal with Mavericks
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Report: McDermott comes to terms with Pacers
Coming off a surprise season that nearly saw them beat Cleveland in the first round, the Pacers are reportedly adding a dash of shooting to their overall mix.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Indiana has come to terms with Mavericks free agent Doug McDermott. The former lottery pick boasts a career mark of 40.3 percent from 3-point range, including a scorching 49.4 percent during his 26 games with Dallas last season. Wojnarowski said of the agreement:
McDermott deal is fully guaranteed, per sources. https://t.co/8ZI3TpUtNj— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
-- 12:08 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Ilyasova to return to Bucks
After spending his first seven NBA seasons with the Bucks, Ersan Ilyasova will return to Milwaukee according to multiple reports. The Turkish forward would add a flare of outside shooting next to Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and point guard Eric Bledsoe. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Ersan Ilyasova has agreed to a 3 year, $21M deal with Milwaukee, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
ESPN's Zach Lowe adds that the third year of Ilyasova's contract will not be guaranteed. The 6'10" forward averaged 10.8 points per game with the Hawks and 76ers last season.
Year 3 of Ilyasova's deal is non-guaranteed, per league sources. https://t.co/9h3I64GaNA— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2018
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Reports: Rudy Gay to re-sign with Spurs
While the fate of one forward is still up in the air, San Antonio decided to keep another around for at least one more year.
Multiple reports have Rudy Gay returning to the Spurs on a one-year, $10 million deal. The veteran forward averaged 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his first year with San Antonio last season. Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania was the first to report the deal:
Free agent forward Rudy Gay has committed on a one-year, $10 million deal to re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2018
-- 12:07 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Joe Harris agrees to deal with Nets
The Brooklyn Nets will reportedly re-sign swingman Joe Harris. According to multiple reports, Brooklyn has come to terms with the 6'6" swingman on a two-year deal. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports:
Joe Harris has agreed to a two-year, $16M deal with Nets, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
Harris averaged a career-high 10.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting last year for the Nets, his fourth season in the league.
-- 12:04 pm (PHL time)
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Report: Jokic ready to sign five-year max deal with Nuggets
The Nuggets have long considered Nikola Jokic a franchise-level talent. Now the franchise is ready to pay him like one.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 22-year-old will sign a five-year maximum contract to remain with Denver. The Nuggets declined his team option for 2018-19 to make him a restricted free agent rather than allow him to enter unrestricted free agency next summer.
It looks like the move will pay off for both Denver and Jokic. Wojnarowski tweets:
Gifted young center Nikola Jokic is poised to accept a five-year, $148M maximum contract to stay with the Denver Nuggets shortly after midnight, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2018
-- 12:01 pm (PHL time)
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Reports: Barton, Nuggets will come to terms on four-year deal
The Denver Nuggets could have the inside track on retaining one of the best scoring sixth men in the league.
According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, Will Barton and the Nuggets will come to terms on a four-year deal shortly after free agency negotiations open at 12:01 a.m. TNT's David Aldridge later confirmed the report.
The Will Barton deal with Denver will be worth $53 million over four years, per source. The fourth year is a player option.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) July 1, 2018
Nuggets in the driver’s seat for Will Barton (@ChrisMannisYS first), with number potentially north of reported $50M deal.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2018
The sixth-year guard is coming off a season in which he averaged career highs in points (15.7), rebounds (5.0), assists (4.1) and steals (1.0) per contest, as well as shooting percentage (45.2) and 3-point shooting percentage (37.0).
ESPN's Chris Haynes later added that the contract would be for four years and $54 million, with a player option on the fourth year.
Free agent guard Will Barton and Denver intends to ink a four-year, $54 million deal, league sources ESPN. He will have a player option on fourth year.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2018
-- 11:03 am (PHL time)