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  • NBA News

    Celtics shop Rondo, Allen


    The Boston Celtics appear willing to make major roster changes to balance a chance for a championship run and future financial flexibility.

    The Celtics offered Ray Allen(notes) and Rajon Rondo(notes) to the Detroit Pistons for a package that included Richard Hamilton(notes), Tayshaun Prince(notes) and Rodney Stuckey(notes), league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Boston general manager Danny Ainge and Detroitís Joe Dumars never spoke, but rather the Celtics had a lower-level executive make the pitch to a Pistons official over the past weekend, league sources said. Detroit immediately rejected the idea, and it never advanced to the two top executives speaking about particulars.

    This isnít an uncommon occurrence for a GM like Ainge to dispatch an underling to make that kind of a call, if for no other reason to give the top executive some level of deniability that heís shopping his stars.

    This isnít the first time that Allen, a six-time All-Star, has been mentioned in trade talks this summer. Allen, who will soon turn 34, has an expiring contract of nearly $20 million, for next season. Rondo, 24, a rapidly developing point guard, has been publically termed off-limits by Ainge in trade discussion this summer. Nevertheless, his name found a way into this conversation. Rondo averaged 11.9 points, 8.2 assists and 5.2 rebounds in the regular season, and had three triple-doubles in the Celticsí playoff run this season.

    Boston is unlikely to re-sign Allen to a long-term extension next summer, and there is belief around the league that the Celtics have hesitancy about committing a long-term, expensive contract to Rondo.

    There has been some friction with Rondo, largely based on maturity. No issues with him are insurmountable, but Ainge has never minded shopping ideas around the league. Nevertheless, itís hard to imagine a deal that Boston could do with these two players that would give them a chance to stay a championship contender around Kevin Garnett(notes) and Paul Pierce(notes).

    For the Pistons, this deal makes little sense, unless they wanted to let Allenís expiring deal gain even more salary cap space for the free-agent class of 2010. The idea of trading his three best returners for an expiring contract and one good young player wasnít worth considering for Dumars, sources said.

    www.yahoo.com/nba
    Positive vibes, positive taught

  • #2
    Re: NBA News

    Spurs trade for Bucks’ Jefferson

    The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to acquire Richard Jefferson(notes) from the Milwaukee Bucks, league executives told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

    The deal, first reported by Yahoo! Sports, has the Spurs sending veterans Bruce Bowen(notes), Kurt Thomas(notes) and Fabricio Oberto(notes) to the Bucks, who are looking to shed the remaining two years, $29.2 million on Jefferson’s contract for the Spurs’ expiring contracts. The contracts of Bowen and Oberto are only partially guaranteed for a total of $3.9 million for next season.


    The Bucks later dealt Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for forward Amir Johnson.




    Jefferson is the athletic, scoring forward whom Spurs have craved to complement the aging tandem of Tim Duncan(notes) and Manu Ginobili(notes). The Spurs had been pursuing the New Jersey Nets’ Vince Carter(notes), but the Jefferson is the deal they could do now.

    After arriving in Milwaukee last summer from New Jersey, Jefferson averaged 19.6 points for the Bucks last season.

    Bowen, 38, has been a staple of the past three Spurs championships and one of the NBA’s most dogged defenders.

    www.yahoo.com/nba
    Positive vibes, positive taught

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NBA News

      Cavs land Shaq for Wallace, Pavlovic

      The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal(notes), multiple sources involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports late Thursday night.

      Cleveland will send Ben Wallace(notes), Sasha Pavlovic(notes), the 46th pick in Thursday’s draft and cash to the Suns for O’Neal.

      Cleveland and Phoenix were both juggling multiple trade possibilities with other teams, with the Cavs involved with as many as six trade scenarios.

      Yet the disappointing Eastern Conference finals loss to the Orlando Magic left Cavs GM Danny Ferry with incredible pressure to accumulate talent around James in the final season prior to his 2010 free agency. James has blessed the O’Neal trade, especially because it should give his overmatched frontline a chance to compete with Dwight Howard in the playoffs. Ferry and Phoenix GM Steve Kerr are close friends and had talked off and on about a Shaq deal since the February trade deadline.

      O’Neal, 37, makes $21 million next season, and the Suns were determined to move him in a package that would save them money. Wallace made $14 million and could take a buyout to retire, and only $1.5 million of Pavlovic’s $4.9 million salary is guaranteed.

      www.yahoo.com/nba
      Positive vibes, positive taught

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NBA News

        Michael Jordan interested in buying Bobcats


        CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—The Charlotte Bobcats are for sale and Michael Jordan is interested.

        First, he has to put an ownership group together.

        Addressing the issue on Thursday night for the first time since the news last month that majority owner Bob Johnson is seeking to sell, Jordan shied away from going into detail about his plans. But Jordan, who holds a minority stake in the team and runs basketball operations, made it clear he’d like to gain majority control.

        “I would like to put together a team to do that, yeah,” Jordan said.

        Jordan then quickly turned the attention back to his selection of Gerald Henderson of Duke with the 12th pick in the NBA draft and didn’t take further questions on the ownership issue.

        It remains unclear if Jordan is close to securing the investors and money needed to buy the team, for which Johnson paid $300 million.

        Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, became the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team when he was awarded the expansion team in 2003.

        But the club, which began play in 2004-05 season, has struggled to sell tickets and sponsorships and Johnson has lost millions.

        Johnson is using a New York-based sports financial services firm in hopes of either securing more investors or selling the team outright.

        Jordan’s star quality in his home state could help boost the franchise, but it’s uncertain if he could agree with Johnson on a price.

        Forbes magazine recently valued the team at $284 million, less than Johnson’s expansion fee. The team plays in a city hard hit by the financial crisis, and the credit crunch could hurt any deal of that magnitude.

        However, the team also keeps all profits from the downtown Charlotte arena it operates and the Bobcats have improved on the court. Jordan hired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown last year and he guided the Bobcats to a 35-47 record, the best in the franchise’s five seasons.

        www.yahoo.com/nba
        Positive vibes, positive taught

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NBA News

          Magic agree to acquire Nets’ Carter



          The New Jersey Nets have agreed in principle to send Vince Carter(notes) and Ryan Anderson to the Orlando Magic for Rafer Alston(notes), Tony Battie(notes) and Courtney Lee(notes), two league executives told Yahoo! Sports.

          The Nets will draft Louisville shooting guard Terrence Williams at No. 11, if he’s still available.

          The move frees the Nets of the three years and $52 million remaining on Carter’s contract. Only $4 million of his $18 million final season is guaranteed.

          The trade comes one day after the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Shaquille O’Neal to help them better match up with the Magic and center Dwight Howard. The Cavs and San Antonio Spurs both engaged in trade talks with the Nets about Carter before moving on to their options. The Spurs ended up trading for Milwaukee Bucks forward Richard Jefferson.

          Less than two weeks after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, the Magic have added another potentially dynamic scorer to their lineup. Carter, 32, averaged 20.8 points last season and has the 3-point range needed to space the floor for Howard.

          Considering how much money the Magic have invested in Carter, it appears less likely they will also spend heavy to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu.


          www.yahoo.com/nba
          Positive vibes, positive taught

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NBA News

            'Grim' news for NBA star



            As the NBA draft approached, the grim truth about Yao Ming’s(notes) broken left foot hung like an anvil over the Houston Rockets. The fear isn’t that he’s just lost for next season, but longer.

            The Rockets and Yao’s reps are frightened over his future, and the concern is the most base of all: Does Yao Ming ever play again?

            “The realization has hit them that this is grave,” one NBA general manager said.


            For now, the Rockets have privately told league peers it could be a full season before Yao might be able to return to basketball. Multiple league executives, officials close to Yao and two doctors with knowledge of the diagnoses are describing a troubling re-fracture of his navicular bone. Three pins were inserted a year ago, but the foot cracked in the playoffs and isn’t healing.


            “It sounds like he’s missing most of next season, if not the entire 82 games,” one league executive who has had recent discussions with the Houston front office told Yahoo! Sports. “That’s all that [the Rockets] will concede quietly, but they know it’s probably much worse.”

            Houston general manager Daryl Morey refused comment on Monday and a team spokesman said the Rockets will not have further comment until Yao undergoes additional medical tests.

            There’s no reason for the Rockets to disclose the severity of the injury, nor the uncertainty over Yao’s future. Before the Rockets go public with a dire diagnosis, they plan to send him to three more specialists this week, a source said. For now, the Rockets have season tickets and sponsorships to sell. For now, the Rockets will publicly decry these doomsday revelations as premature, but this is the reality that they’re working under within the organization.

            This has turned into an impossible situation for the Rockets’ capable GM. Even if Yao plays again, Morey knows it’s just a matter of time until his lower body breaks down. His feet and ankles just can’t support the mobility of his 7-foot-6 frame.

            With four surgeries in three years, the Rockets worried they were reaching a breaking point. Well, it’s here. After missing 86 games in the previous three seasons, the 28-year-old Yao missed a mere five this past regular season before injuring his foot during the Rockets’ second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.


            It wasn’t until last week when Houston issued a statement saying Yao’s fractured foot hadn’t healed properly, that he would be unavailable “indefinitely.” Prior to Thursday’s draft, Morey tried desperately to trade into the high lottery to take Spanish prodigy Ricky Rubio(notes). Houston needed a young star, but had too few assets to make a deal with Memphis or Sacramento. It seemed odd to teams that Houston had thrown Shane Battier(notes) and Aaron Brooks(notes) into offers within weeks of pushing the NBA champion Lakers to seven games in the Western Conference semifinals.


            Now, the Rockets have tough decisions to make: Do they keep pushing Tracy McGrady(notes) and his expiring contract on the market or let the $22 million expire next summer? So far, Morey is getting offered bad contracts and junk talent for him. What’s more, does Houston re-sign Ron Artest(notes) to a $40 million-plus contract when contention is no longer viable? Why not create cap space for the summers of 2010 and 2011? Why not get younger now? Yao could opt out of his contract next summer, but odds are that Houston won’t be so fortunate.


            The Rockets should do themselves a favor and just start over. That isn’t easy in a sophisticated and rabid NBA market like Houston, but what everyone long suspected has reached fruition: Yao and McGrady are no longer a faulty foundation, but a collapsed one. Houston needs to proceed with an understanding that they’re no longer chasing the Lakers, but beginning again.


            Rest assured, Houston has long been fearful that Yao’s responsibilities to the Chinese national team were rapidly contributing to his breakdown, and perhaps they’ve finally been met. Yao wouldn’t have missed the Beijing Olympics for the world, but it was clear he wasn’t fully healed in those Games. The Rockets paid a price for his nationalism, his obligation and now the darkest fears are close to confirmation: It isn’t just a season on the brink for Yao Ming, but perhaps a career.


            www.yahoo.com/nba
            Positive vibes, positive taught

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NBA News

              Ex-Laker's huge blunder


              More From Adrian WojnarowskiFree-agent buzz: Ariza to Rockets, Cavs eye Parker Jul 2, 2009 Pistons reach deals with Gordon, Villanueva Jul 1, 2009
              Kobe Bryant(notes) always admired that Ron Artest(notes) never acted like he wanted an autograph when duty demanded that he defend him. He loved that Artest was combustible and crazy and always left people wondering: Is this the moment when Ron-Ron loses his mind again, when all hell breaks loose?


              Deep down, Bryant wanted Artest on his side. Artest gives a thirtysomething Kobe what Dennis Rodman gave a thirtysomething Michael Jordan: A belligerent, tough guy bearing the burden of protecting the superstar’s back.


              And as far back as the Western Conference playoffs, the Lakers believed Artest wanted to trade Houston for Hollywood, that the Rockets’ decaying cornerstone of Yao Ming(notes) and Tracy McGrady(notes) turned that team into a temporary rehab assignment.


              “If they couldn’t get Trevor [Ariza] cheap,” said a source with knowledge of the Lakers’ free-agent plans, “they had Ron in their back pocket.”

              Change is good for a defending champion. When the rest of the NBA’s elite – Cleveland, Orlando and Boston are getting better – the champion can’t just stand pat. As an executive and a player chasing repeat titles, Detroit’s Joe Dumars says, “I like to make one significant change in that second year.”


              This gives the Lakers something to incorporate, to work through, across a long training camp and regular season. This way, they aren’t tempted to just coast until the playoffs. This changes the dynamic for everyone, and give Artest this: Around him, there’s never complacency.


              Bryant never campaigned for Artest over Ariza, his loyalty with the hot-shooting kid who helped him win a championship without Shaquille O’Neal(notes). In the long run, the Lakers were wiser to keep the young Ariza to transition into a post-Kobe stardom. Yet, general manager Mitch Kupchak barely blinked when Ariza’s agent, David Lee, started talking like a tough guy, parading his client on what one rival GM called “a leverage tour.”


              The Lakers don’t believe he’ll leave, Lee kept barking. Surprise, surprise: Lee didn’t think the Lakers would tell him to get lost, sign Artest and leave Ariza to take the five-year, $33 million deal in Houston he could’ve had in L.A.


              “I told Mitch that it was never about the money; it was about respect,” Lee told NBA.com.


              Well, take your respect and pack your client’s bags for post-Yao lottery land in Houston. Respect? Yes, there are American soldiers and missionaries in faraway lands cheering for David Lee and this noble stand for the neglected and disenfranchised everywhere. It is about respect, and God knows a $33 million offer for Ariza’s eight points and four rebounds a game rates a disgraceful act.


              No, this wasn’t about the money, nor his client’s needs. This was a failed power play, an embarrassment of the highest order. Looking back, Ariza will rue the day. He’s a good player, but he’ll never be a star elsewhere. He’ll just be another player on another team.

              “He was way too emotional about this,” said a league executive who had talked to Lee in recent days.

              Yet, you can be a star without being a star with the Lakers. When L.A. is winning championships, the role players become commodities. They get endorsements. They get television careers. Ask Rick Fox. Or Derek Fisher(notes). Ariza was an L.A. kid living a dream, 24 years old, a gifted, young talent on the defending champion, and his agent’s bluff backfired.


              Now, Artest trades places with Ariza, and the Lakers get a dimension they haven’t had in a long, long time. Perhaps three or four years ago, Artest couldn’t have handled living and playing in L.A. He gives the Lakers sheer nastiness, and as an executive with one of his past teams said Thursday night, “Ronnie will show everyone that he can win. I think he’s matured, and overall, he’ll be on his best behavior. Phil [Jackson] has been through this before with Rodman. He’ll handle this.”

              Ultimately, it wasn’t Jackson who made it work for two titles with Rodman in Chicago, but Jordan. The locker room is policed by the superstar, never the coach. Artest is the right player, right time for Bryant. As Kobe hits his 30s, he can’t be chasing the best player on defense every night. Now, Artest gets the job. What’s more, Kobe gets a maniac who will want to please him, get his approval. Anything is possible with Ron-Ron running roughshod in Los Angeles.


              “I hope it’s chaos,” a Western Conference GM texted Thursday night.


              And maybe, in some ways, that won’t be the worst thing in the world for the Lakers. Chaos? That’s letting your agent’s agenda and big mouth get your butt shipped from the Los Angeles Lakers for lottery land in Houston. Kobe Bryant had been willing to take back his whole team, but Ariza made the mistake of giving the Lakers what they always wanted, what they always believed was available to them: the combustible and crazy Ron Artest.


              Kobe Bryant gets his Rodman now, and yes, this is how all hell breaks loose in Hollywood.
              Positive vibes, positive taught

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NBA News

                Turkoglu's confusing day



                Free agent Hedo Turkoglu(notes) has backed out of his commitment to the Portland Trail Blazers and plans to sign with the Toronto Raptors, multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night.

                Turkoglu had agreed on a five-year, $50 million deal with the Blazers, but changed his mind and is headed for a five-year, $56 million deal with the Raptors. Toronto would have to renounce three free agents – Shawn Marion(notes), Carlos Delfino(notes) and Anthony Parker(notes) – to create the cap space for Turkoglu.

                Apparently, the Blazers are already busy exploring other free-agent options for the $9 million in salary-cap space.

                A source says Turkoglu’s wife wanted badly to live in Toronto, a far more European-style city, and that’s where it appears the Turkish native is headed. The Raptors have embraced the Euro game under GM Bryan Colangelo, building a roster that includes Euro talents Jose Calderon(notes) and Andrea Bargnani(notes).

                Five years ago, Turkoglu was close to signing with the Phoenix Suns that Colangelo was running, but changed his mind and went to the Orlando Magic.

                After opting out of his contract last week in Orlando, he became one of the hottest free agents on the market. Turkoglu, 30, averaged 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season for the Magic.

                www.yahoo.com/nba
                Positive vibes, positive taught

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NBA News

                  NBA pick's bad luck


                  PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Portland Trail Blazers draft pick Patty Mills broke his right foot during practice and won’t play in the NBA’s summer league.

                  The Blazers said Friday that Mills fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during practice Thursday night. He will have surgery on his foot on Monday, the team announced.

                  A timetable for the point guard’s return has not been determined.

                  “You never want to see a player get injured, but it is especially heart wrenching to see a young man go down on his first day of camp,” Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard said. “We’ll do everything we can to help Patty get back on track to realize his NBA future.”

                  After starring for Australia in the Beijing Olympics and for Saint Mary’s in college, Mills was selected by the Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the NBA draft last month.

                  The 6-foot, 175-pound Mills averaged career highs of 18.7 points, 4.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 steals during his sophomore season with the Gaels before deciding to turn pro.

                  Thursday was Portland’s first day of practice for the summer league, which starts Friday in Las Vegas. The Blazers open play Monday against Toronto.

                  The Blazers’ roster for the summer league includes second-year guard Jerryd Bayless and draft picks Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham.

                  http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slu...v=ap&type=lgns
                  Positive vibes, positive taught

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NBA News

                    Grant Hill decides to stay with Suns



                    NEW YORK (AP)—Grant Hill(notes) is staying with the Phoenix Suns.

                    Hill decided to remain in Phoenix on Friday, rather than join a title contender in Boston or a rebuilding team in New York.

                    Lon Babby, Hill’s agent, said during a conference call that the deal is for two years, the second at Hill’s option, and he will be paid $3 million in the first year. He could have earned more next season in New York, where Babby said the Knicks offered the full midlevel exception, about $5.8 million, for one year or $10 million for three.

                    The Celtics and Knicks both provided the chance for Hill to reunite with former coaches: Doc Rivers in Boston and Mike D’Antoni in New York. The Celtics had under $2 million to offer and couldn’t guarantee Hill a starting spot, but Babby said all three teams were willing to give Hill everything he asked for.

                    “I will say this. He thought long and hard about the alternatives. He did not come to this decision easily or lightly,” Babby said. “The places had a lot to offer and very different things to offer and that’s what made it challenging for us to work our way through this.”

                    Hill has played the last two years for the Suns and averaged 12 points in 2008-09 while playing in all 82 games for the first time in his 14-year career. Though Phoenix missed the playoffs last season, traded Shaquille O’Neal(notes) and listened to offers for Amare Stoudemire, Babby said Hill expects Stoudemire to remain in Phoenix next year.

                    Hill’s decision was previously reported by Yahoo Sports, which said part of his decision was based on the belief the Suns were close to an extension with Steve Nash(notes).

                    “I think he’s quite confident the team that’s coming back next year is going to be a highly, highly competitive team and obviously that would include Steve Nash,” Babby said. “But you need to get those specifics from the Suns.”

                    The Knicks, previously turned down by Jason Kidd(notes), hoped Hill would be intrigued by the opportunities the city could provide. His wife, Tamia, is a Grammy-nominated recording artist.

                    “New York offers many things, including an important platform off the court as well as on the court,” Babby said. “I think the obvious advantages of each place were given careful consideration.”

                    A team spokesman said Babby called the Knicks on Friday to inform them of Hill’s decision, and that they were disappointed but understood and would now focus on other players and their own free agents. David Lee(notes) and Nate Robinson(notes) are both restricted free agents.

                    Hill is a seven-time All-Star who has averaged 18.5 points for Detroit, Orlando and Phoenix. Most of his six seasons with the Magic were ruined by injuries before the Suns signed him 2007. Babby said Hill considered the faith the Suns had in him two years ago, saying Hill, “didn’t want to leave Phoenix on a sour note.”

                    And the Suns strengthened their case with a late recruiting pitch after Hill had what Babby called a “very, very impressive visit” to New York. Team president Steve Kerr, owner Robert Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry then visited Hill, which Babby said might have been the deciding factor. (Grant Hill is already done, he should retire)

                    www.yahoo.com/nba
                    Positive vibes, positive taught

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