Marc and Pau Gasol
Real Madrid is exploring making a four or five-year contract offer to Marc Gasol, who is a restricted free agent in the NBA.
The Spanish club tried to sign Gasol before he came to the NBA in 2008.
Gasol said that he would begin considering proposals from Europe if the NBA season was completely canceled.
The Guangdong Southern Tigers in China are making a hard push to sign Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations.
The biggest hurdle for Guangdong to clear, though, is the same hurdle all Chinese teams face when trying to land NBA players: Stuckey, if he signs, would be unable to come back to the NBA until Guangdong’s season ends in March, even if the lockout ends before that, thanks to rules instituted this season by the Chinese Basketball Association.
The rules also state that Chinese teams can pursue only free agents. Stuckey would have been a restricted free agent this summer, under the NBA’s previous labor agreement.
At least two more weeks of the 2011-12 regular season will be canceled on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the NBA’s plans.
With no further negotiations between the owners and the players scheduled, the cancellations are expected to total at least 102 more games, through Nov. 28.
The league made its first cancellations, totaling 100 games and running from the Nov. 1 season opener through Nov. 14, on Oct. 10.
NBA management believes negotiations with the players changed when Kevin Garnett entered the negotiating room on Oct. 4.
Sources say Garnett was ‘defiant, determined and downright ornery.’
As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”
Regardless of how long the lockout lasts, it will be the players and not the owners that bring the NBA positive publicity again after the labor dispute is settled.
“We can’t have completely poisoned waters here when this is over,” one front-office executive said. “Stern gets that, but I’m not sure all of our owners do. We have to have these guys on board, or where are we as a league?”
Dwight Howard was asked about his free agent future in an interview with Esquire.
“I just don’t know what else I can do (in Orlando),” said Howard.
Asked if he sees himself in a much larger market, Howard said, “There’s more you can do in a bigger place. I’m stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I’m at, I’ve done so much.
“And I just don’t know what else I can do. I can’t live for everybody else. I don’t know what decision I’m gonna make as of right now. It’s been crazy. Everybody wants me to come here, come play here, come to our team, do this. It’s a great feeling, though, to be wanted.”
Commissioner David Stern said his “gut” tells him there will be no NBA basketball on Christmas without a labor agreement by Tuesday.
That day, when owners and players are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator, is a “really big deal,” he added.
Owners will then open two days of board meetings Wednesday, and without an agreement to bring them, Stern believes further cancellations are coming.
“Right now, Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, just before my owners come into town, having brought in the labor relations committee and Billy (Hunter) having brought in his executive committee, it’s time to make the deal,” Stern said Thursday. “If we don’t make it on Tuesday, my gut — this is not in my official capacity of canceling games — but my gut is that we won’t be playing on Christmas Day.”
The NBA and NBPA are close to an agreement on a new, shorter mid-level exception for free agents, according to a source.
Owners have sought a major reduction in the mid-level, which allows teams over the cap to sign free agents.
The two sides spent almost all of their five-plus hours of negotiations on Sunday on system issues, and not the split of Basketball-Related Income that the players will receive in the next CBA.
Derek Fisher issued a letter to all NBA players that urged them to show their unity via social media and to attend a meeting in Los Angeles.
I hope you all received Billy’s letter regarding meetings on both coasts. You are all invited and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Los Angeles meeting taking place tomorrow, Monday, October 10th in the afternoon. I urge each of you to attend if at all possible. We find these meetings extremely productive and informative as we review the status and details of the CBA negotiations, answer questions and discuss next steps.
Chris Paul and I will also be utilizing our personal social networking channels to show the fans and you all, that we are united and want to get back to work under a fair deal.
On Monday, Chris and I will tweet and post “LET US PLAY.” This was used by the NFL players and many will be joining us on Monday and retweeting the same message to show their support for our players. I will also be using the hash tag #StandUnited after all my messages until this lockout is over.
We invite you each to do the same. To show our unity and to remind the fans that this is not our choice and we would like to go back to work and play the game they love to support.
My twitter is @DerekFisher and Chris’ is @OneandOnlyCP3. Please feel free to send me yours so we can support each other.
Again, look forward to seeing any and all of you on Monday at the meeting. Contact me in the meantime if you need anything. Stand united.
Sources say the ‘Super Seven’ agents, who wrote a letter to their clients this week asking them to resist making a bad deal with the owners, are working on the details of a conference call to discuss the collective bargaining agreement.
Participants would include Arn Tellem, Billy Duffy, Mark Bartelstein, Dan Fegan, Jeff Schwartz, Leon Rose and Henry Thomas.
Monday’s letter advised the players not to ratify any deal that includes a reduction in basketball-related income beyond the 57 percent or any other systematic changes from the last collective bargaining agreement, which expired July 1.
Some four hours after players and owners convened a meeting to try to save the start of the 2011-12 NBA season, the principals emerged from a Manhattan conference room reporting little or no progress toward a new labor agreement and little hope for one soon.
The league did not immediately announce any alterations to the start of the season. But commissioner David Stern said that the rest of the preseason schedule would be scrapped and that, “by Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season.”
The loss of two weeks of the regular season would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars to owners, according to deputy commissioner Adam Silver. The players will lose tens of millions, Silver said.
No new meetings are scheduled.
“We gave it a real good run and it didn’t work,” Stern said of the negotiations.