« Archives in June, 2011

Tyson Chandler Expected to Become Unrestricted Free Agent

According to sources, there has been minimal conversation between the Mavericks and Tyson Chandler about an extension since Dallas won the first championship in franchise history on June 12.

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler

As badly as the Mavericks want the vocal Chandler back to reprise his role as the most impactful frontcourt sidekick Dirk Nowitzki has ever played with, team officials are apparently determined to see exactly how restrictive the new salary-cap rules are after the lockout before trying to re-sign the Team USA big man.

Chandler finished third in the league last season in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting after averaging 10.1 points and 9.4 boards while playing in 74 of 82 games despite concerns about his injury history.

Real GM

Breaking News: NBA Announces Lockout

Billy Hunter

Billy Hunter

NBA players are locked out, possibly jeopardizing next season.

Union chief Billy Hunter said Thursday afternoon that owners had locked out the players after failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

With this latest action, two of four major professional sports in the United States are locked out.

The NFL locked out its players in March, and the two sides have been in discussions this week, trying to work toward a new deal.

Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday, the NBA and its players could not close the enormous gap that remained in their positions. The CBA is expected to expire at midnight.

Hunter said the union made a “moderate” new financial proposal, but it wasn’t enough to keep the two sides at the bargaining table.

ESPN.com

Omri Casspi Traded to Cavs for J.J. Hickson

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard/forward Omri Casspi and Sacramento’s first round pick (protected) in the 2012 NBA Draft from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward/center J.J. Hickson, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.

Omri Casspi

Omri Casspi

“We want to thank J.J. for his hard work and contributions to the Cavaliers, both on the court and off the court in the community. This is another step in our on-going process to shape and position our team and roster for future growth and a platform for sustained success,” said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant. “We’re excited to add a young, talented, tough-minded player like Omri, that we feel is a good fit for our team and can help improve our perimeter group, while also being able to obtain another important asset with the additional first round draft pick.”

Real GM

Source: Nene Hilario to Become Free Agent

Nene Hilario

Nene Hilario

Nene will opt out of the final year of his contract worth nearly $12 million and, as a result, become an unrestricted free agent, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday night.

It means Nene can sign with any team he wishes without the Nuggets getting a chance to match the offer when free agency begins after the expected NBA lockout, which likely will start Friday.

Nene had until today to make a final decision. The Nuggets tried to sign him to a contract extension before today, the last day of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, but to no avail.

Real GM

Nazr Mohammed Re-Signs with Thunder

Nazr Mohammed

Nazr Mohammed

Veteran center Nazr Mohammed is staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder, avoiding free agency with the possibility of an NBA lockout this offseason.

General manager Sam Presti announced Wednesday that Oklahoma City had signed Mohammed to an extension.

Terms were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to be able to keep Nazr in the Thunder family,” Presti said. “He is a valuable part of our organization both on and off the floor. His professionalism, experience and on-court play have had a positive impact on our young and evolving roster.”

ESPN.com

Blazers Extend Qualifying Offer to Greg Oden

Greg Oden

Greg Oden

The Trail Blazers have offered former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden an $8.8 million qualifying offer to stay in Portland.

The offer means the often-injured 7-foot center becomes a restricted free agent. The Blazers can match any other offer made for him. Because of his injuries, the former Ohio State star has played in only 82 games over parts of two seasons, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.

If no other teams make offers for Oden and he stays with the Blazers, he will become an unrestricted free agent for the 2012-13 season.

ESPN.com

Knicks Interested in Kurt Thomas

According to a team source, the Knicks intend to make a run at reacquiring Kurt Thomas this summer, or whenever the expected NBA lockout ends. The veteran power forward is a free agent who spent last season with the Chicago Bulls and has made it clear that he wants to play at least one more season.

Kurt Thomas

Kurt Thomas

Thomas will likely decide between the Knicks and Bulls, although he remains hopeful that his hometown Dallas Mavericks will reach out to him as well. Thomas attended all three NBA Finals games in Dallas.

“I’m working out and staying in shape,” Thomas, a Knick from 1999-2005, said over the telephone. “I definitely want to play again.”

Real GM

Source: Owners Push for $45 Million Hard Cap

David Stern

David Stern

According to NBA executives, once the lockout is in place, the owners will push for a hard salary cap of $45 million, the elimination of guaranteed contracts and ask that the players swallow a 33 percent salary cut.

The concessions made in recent weeks, including the “flex cap” of $62 million and a guarantee of $2 billion in annual player payroll, will be off the table.

If this seems certain to guarantee the loss of the entire 2011-12 season, it is because there are owners who think it is necessary for the long-term viability of the league.

Real GM

Grizzlies Extend Qualifying Offer to Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Hamed Haddadi, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Hamed Haddadi

Hamed Haddadi

The first Iranian-born player in NBA history, Haddadi owns career averages of 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.45 blocks on .457 shooting in 86 games, all with the Grizzlies. Memphis signed Haddadi as a free agent on Aug. 28, 2008.

Extending a qualifying offer prior to the June 30 deadline gives Memphis the ability to match any offer sheet a player signs with another team during the offseason.

Inside Hoops

Agent Clarifies Ron Artest’s Interest in Finland

Ron Artest

Ron Artest

Is Ron Artest really heading to Finland to play professional basketball?

Amid various Internet reports indicating Artest plans to play for a Finland professional basketball team, agent David Bauman said they aren’t true and are nothing more than a “publicity stunt.”

“I’m his agent and nothing has come across my desk,” Bauman said.

“Although Ron has asked me to explore all options over in Europe in the event of a prolonged lockout, there are several legal and business considerations that have to be addressed. The biggest one involves insurance. None of those have been addressed and I don’t even know who this guy claiming to have an agreement is. Final thing is what if the league has a lockout for say two weeks and then [ends] up getting a deal.”

FanNation