A multi-team deal has emerged that could serve to clear cap space for Andrei Kirilenko to return to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kirilenko has spent the last two years in Europe playing for CSKA Moscow where he was named the 2012 Euroleague MVP.
The potential deal comes amid reports that the Timberwolves are interested in signing the 31-year-old Kirilenko.
In the deal, the Phoenix Suns would send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to New Orleans, and the Suns would get Wesley Johnson and a future first-round pick from Minnesota. The source said New Orleans would trade Brad Miller to the Suns. It is unclear what Minnesota would get from the deal.
Eric Gordon and the Phoenix Suns have agreed to terms on a maximum-salaried contract worth $58 million over four years.
Gordon, the New Orleans Hornets’ star shooting guard, will sign the offer sheet on July 11th. Because Gordon is a restricted free agent, the Hornets will then have three days to match the offer.
New Orleans has claimed all along that it will match any offer Gordon receives, but Gordon is hoping the Hornets do not match.
Gordon said Tuesday night that his preference is to play for the Suns, not the Hornets.
Steve Nash will be a free agent this summer, increasing the odds that the Suns could trade him before the deadline.
One executive whose team has had serious interest in Nash in the past told SI.com that the Suns are “as close as they’ve ever been” to realizing that they need to strongly consider a trade.
“I have no idea what the club will eventually do if a bunch of offers are thrown in their face,” Nash said, “but I feel like I’m not nervous about [the trade deadline] and I’m not thinking about — what’s the word? — I’m not anticipating anything to happen. I feel like I made a commitment and I feel like I owe it to my teammates — the city, the fans, the club — to play it out and to play as hard as I can.”
The Suns would accommodate Steve Nash with a trade, but the former MVP has yet to express an interest in a move.
“It’s really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do,” a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Nash, 37, is averaging 14.5 points and 9.9 assists.
The Suns are 9-14 and 12th in the Western Conference.
Vince Carter is not a free agent yet, but sources close to the situation say the eight-time All-Star will be thrust onto the open market shortly after the end of the lockout.
Based on an amendment in his contract obtained by ESPN.com, Carter must be waived by the Phoenix Suns within 72 hours of the official start of free agency or his $18 million salary for the 2011-12 season becomes fully guaranteed.
The Suns, sources said, have already decided to waive Carter within that window.
Meanwhile, as has been widely speculated, the Knicks are also very much interested in adding Phoenix Suns free agent Grant Hill to the mix.
Hill made it clear at the end of last season that he was not in the least bit ready to retire. He would not mind retiring in Phoenix, but he would also welcome a shot at a title.
It has been suggested that he would wind up in Miami, but count the Knicks among the teams that believe he still has plenty to contribute both on and off the court.
It remains to be seen whether either of the Knicks’ primary targets can be lured to the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, but if the Knicks could add Jeff Foster and Hill they would consider the lockout-shortened free agency period to be a success.
Aaron Brooks has agreed to a one-year deal with Guandong of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to sources.
Brooks is a popular player in China due to his tenure as a teammate with Yao Ming on the Rockets.
Brooks is a restricted free agent in the NBA and therefore will be able to fulfill his contractual obligation to play in China for the entire season. Brooks was traded to the Suns in February.
Steve Nash’s brilliant career is winding down and he could lose a full season of his twilight if the NBA lockout wipes out the 2011-12 season.
While many believe Nash’s only chance to win a championship would come with a trade to a contender, the Victoria-raised point guard is still hopeful that the Suns can pull a rabbit from their hat.
“I think we definitely can get back, but obviously we need to improve our roster a little bit,” he said. “As it stands now, we’re probably a player or two short. But we’ve seen many teams win championships by acquiring a Pau Gasol [Los Angeles Lakers], or a Tyson Chandler [Dallas Mavericks] or a Rasheed Wallace [Detroit Pistons], whether it’s at the deadline or the summer. So, if we can somehow happen across a player of that calibre, it would be great.”
There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Suns point guard Steve Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason.
The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D’Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son.
According to sources, the Phoenix Suns are working on a buyout with 8-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter.
Carter signed a four-year, $61.8 million deal in 2007. He is entering the final year of the contract, which will pay him $18.9 million next season. He averaged 14.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this past season.