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Around The World: July 2

07/02/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 2



    Trailblazers.tv: Video: 2012 Draft Coverage

    Trail Blazers: Wells: 'My personal feeling is I think Roy (Hibbert) will be in Portland next season'
    "I just feel like $14 million, almost $15 million a year, I just look at it from the Pacers standpoint. I don't think they want to go that far with him. Obviously if they really wanted Roy they could have started at about $14 million but instead their offer was lower than that. That's why I don't think they're going to match it."

    Trail Blazers: Freeman: Trail Blazers Reach Verbal Agreement With Roy Hibert
    "The team on Sunday reached a verbal agreement on a multi-year contract with restricted free agent Roy Hibbert, widely regarded as the top center prospect on the market. We intend to enter into an offer sheet once the moratorium period ends,” Olshey told The Oregonian in an e-mail."

    Trail Blazers: Ford: Pacers 'On The Fence' With Regard To Matching Portland's Reported Offer
    "51%. They are really on the fence. If they can find a replacement that they are comfortable with for cheaper, they may let him go. Chris Kaman is coming in today into Indy. Personally I feel that's a pretty big downgrade, but Larry Bird has been a huge fan of Kaman's."

    Trail Blazers: The Journey Of Meyers Leonard
    "For rookie Meyers Leonard, there will be no waiting on his story. It's out there. At the age of six, he lost his father and along with his mother and brother, Bailey, went without a bed, water and electricity. But through that hardship came an unbreakable bond between two brothers."

    Trail Blazers: Haynes: Batum To Meet With Trail Blazers
    "As a courtesy, Batum wants to hear the Trail Blazers' pitch before he proceeds to gauge the interest level of other teams, the same source says. Batum just came off of a visit with the Minnesota Timberwolves in which he met with owner Glen Taylor, general manager David Kahn, and head coach Rick Adelman. The source says, “talks went great.”

    Trail Blazers: Haynes: Timberwolves Make 'Serious Offer' To RFA Nicolas Batum
    "I had thought Minnesota's interest in signing Nic might after cooled after the Timberwolves traded the No. 18 pick in last week's draft to the Rockets (which, somewhat coincidentally, was used on Portland product Terrence Jones) in exchange for Chase Budinger, but sounds like that's not the case. The money is about what I would have expected."

    Trail Blazers: Wojnarowski: Trail Blazers Meet With Two Free Agents, Intend To Make At Least One Offer
    "A push by Portland right out of the gates is no surprise with the potential financial pressure of other offers to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum looming—I’ve yet to see any serious reports on Batum, but it’s been widely speculated he’ll be aggressively courted by multiple teams. Though an early offer to Batum could throw a kink into the Trail Blazers spending plans you can still relax, there’s no doubt in my mind the front office is completely prepared for such a situation. "

    Oregon Live: Canzano: The expert on Trail Blazers draft pick Meyers Leonard carries a rifle
    "They lost their father. They lost their home to foreclosure. Their mother struggled with a back injury that was so debilitating she couldn't sit through a basketball game. "I attended every one of Meyers' games when I was a junior and senior," Bailey said. "I knew that's what he wanted. He needed someone there and our mom couldn't do it. Her medicine kept her down a lot. After our dad passed away, people looked at us as different." The Leonard family found a place to live, but they had no furniture, limited running water and no electricity. They had a small battery-powered television that got three channels, they had blankets, and they had each other."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Blazers' Roy Hibbert deal is nothing like previous max contracts
    "Under the new CBA, teams are given a lot more leeway to re-sign their own free agents, with an extra year (five max) and higher annual raises (7.5 percent, as opposed to 4.5 allowed for other player). That's why the Blazers, in what they can offer Hibbert, can't match the roughly five-year, $80 million max extension Oklahoma City gave Russell Westbrook under the new CBA, and won't come anywhere near the six-year, $123 million deal Atlanta gave Joe Johnson in 2010 under the old CBA."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers, restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert reach verbal agreement on contract
    "But Sunday's news features a caveat. Hibbert is a restricted free agent, meaning the Pacers can match the Blazers' offer and retain him. And while free agency negotiations opened Saturday night, players cannot officially sign offer sheets until the NBA free agency moratorium ends on July11. The Pacers will then have 72hours to match the Blazers' offer."

    Oregon Live: Blazers GM Neil Olshey traveled to meet with reps for team's top free agent target
    "We're looking for players that are impact-level players in this league that can help us win now while also growing with LaMarcus (Aldridge) and the rest of our core," Olshey said."

    CSNNW: Blazers reach out to Chauncey Billups
    "CSNNW.com has learned from a source close to the situation that the Trail Blazers are one of several teams who have reached out to the representatives of unrestricted free agent point guard Chauncey Billups. The Trail Blazers need a veteran point guard to help mentor their new franchise point guard in Damian Lillard, and Billups would be an ideal candidate. I'm told that, “Billups is exploring all of his options.”

    Columbian: Blazers make a play for Hibbert
    "Hibbert averaged 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for Indiana, showing improvement in all three statistical categories. He also was an integral factor in leading the Pacers past Orlando in the first round of the playoffs and challenging Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals."

    Rip City Project: Draft Reaction: New Era For Portland?
    "It breaks down like this: Barnes wasn’t Portland’s top selection at the six spot simply because he was projected to go in the top four or five. When he falls all the way to Portland, selecting him means they’re scrapping the plan they came in with. Fine, but if you scrap your initial draft plan, it better be for an improved plan. If you think Harrison Barnes is better than what you were planning to draft, then you better play him when the time comes. That means, for Portland, moving Nicolas Batum to the bench, or maybe trying to trade him. That means limited or no Nicolas Batum. That’s OK, not great but feasible, if Harrison Barnes turns out to be as good or better than Nic. The problem, though, is that some people, who in mixed company might like to call themselves experts, think Harrison Barnes won’t make that great of a pro. If Barnes turned into a bust and that bust cost the Blazers Nicolas Batum, then that’s a problem."

    Blazersedge: Quick: Blazers Have "Shown Interest" In Sixers UFA C Spencer Hawes
    "Agent Greg Lawrence says Blazers have shown interest in unrestricted free agent Spencer Hawes. Hawes figures to be Blazers' Plan B if Indiana matches Hibbert deal. Philly likes Hawes, but is also trying to re-sign Lou Williams "

    Blazersedge via Indy Star: Pacers Sign RFA G George Hill To 5-Year Contract
    "The Pacers have agreed to a five-year deal that will keep Indianapolis native George Hill in Indiana, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal are unavailable at the moment. "

    Blazersedge: The Portland Trail Blazers, Roy Hibbert, and the Ins and Outs of Free Agency
    "That's the 14.5 million dollar question, isn't it? They must see an opening somewhere, even if it's small. Best guess is that they're pursuing the same general strategy they did in the draft: go big or go home. Better a 1% chance at the guy you really want than a 90% chance of a guy you don't like so much. The approach makes sense if the free agent cupboard is otherwise bare. If you only like Hibbert and maybe one or two other guys, you run through them in order and see who will bite. Hibbert must be head and shoulders above the rest for them. If this approach fails, there's always trades. It's not like it's Hibbert or nothing...at least not for sure."

    Contra Costa Times: Warriors Begin Talks for J.J. Hickson
    "Armed with a mid-level exception, the Warriors are seeking frontline help to play behind starters Andrew Bogut and David Lee. Hickson — a 6-foot-9, 242-pounder — figures to address the Warriors needs for athleticism, rebounding and some scoring. The Warriors wanted to get Hickson after Sacramento waived him late season. But Portland claimed him off waivers, and Hickson averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds in 19 games with the Blazers."

    Ball Don't Lie: Mark Cuban won’t meet with Deron Williams, will tape reality show instead
    "Before we rush to lambast Cuban for choosing to opine on the business prospects of bacon-cooking alarm clocks instead of wooing a franchise-changing free agent, let's keep in mind that the Mavs' success here will not depend solely on their owner's presence in talks. There are no negotiations to be had with Williams; the Mavs will offer him around $75 million over four seasons (the maximum allowed) and the Nets will offer him approximately $100 million over five seasons (the maximum allowed). Beyond those figures, Williams will decide based on the Mavs' ability to contend, how much he wants to play in Dallas and his comfort with the basketball end of the Mavericks operation. Those are all known quantities for him, and he will balance them against the promise of playing in Brooklyn for more money than any other suitor can offer."

    Ball Don't Lie: Joe Johnson is set to be the first official cornerstone of the Brooklyn Nets
    "Johnson is off to Brooklyn, now. Traded for a batch of expiring contracts that include Johan Petro, Jordan Williams, Anthony Morrow, and a signed-and-traded DeShawn Stevenson. The Hawks will get a draft pick from Brooklyn; but it's a lottery-protected first rounder via the Houston Rockets that turns into a second round selection in 2017 if Atlanta doesn't use it by then. The Hawks are a playoff team, a squad that was in the second round last year and gave the Boston Celtics all they could handle in the first round in 2012, and they'll get absolutely nothing out of this. Though the team will still feature Josh Smith and Al Horford on its frontline (as we write this, at least, because the offseason has just begun), new GM Danny Ferry has completely hamstrung his team's offense."

    Ball Don't Lie: Dwight Howard again wants out of Orlando, and even StayDwight.com is giving up the ghost
    "For more than a year, Totka and a group of like-minded Magic fans have tried to tug at Howard's heartstrings, erecting billboards to remind him that Orlando is his town in a way that New York probably never would be, selling "Stay Dwight" T-shirts that (in part) benefited the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, getting Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to record a video message praising Howard's work in the community, and generally trying to rage against the dying of the light. Now, though, it seems like the light's dead and Howard's staunchest public supporters have thrown in the towel. Studs Terkel told us hope dies last; unfortunately, though, it still dies."

    Ball Don't Lie: Andre Miller is set to bring his Andre Miller-ish game back to Denver for three more years
    "This might come off as disappointing to some. This isn't a slight on the Nuggets, but a goodly chunk of NBA fans wanted to see Miller go elsewhere — not so much to their favorite team, but to a squad that Miller would presumably push over the top. To the Pacers, to find all those big men an easy look. To the Heat, to make those regular season swoons less nebulous. Back to Philly, where he could help those kids end a game for once. To Chicago, to fill in while Derrick Rose mends. Anywhere but Denver."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kevin Garnett returns to Boston, and the Celtics return to being Celtics again
    "Think about it. Garnett signed an extension during the summer of 1997 to avoid a free-agent recruitment in what turned out to be a truncated offseason in January 1999. He signed another extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2003 to avoid 2004's free agency, and a three-year extension in 2007 after being traded to the Boston Celtics to avoid 2010 free agency. This time around, K.G. snuck it in with just hours to spare. And in doing so, signed off on what will probably be the last three years of his storied career."

    Ball Don't Lie: Amar’e Stoudemire plans to work with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer
    "In truth, that change wouldn't be the worst thing for Stoudemire's career. As he gets older and his long history of injuries takes its toll, Amar'e has lost much of his elite (i.e. among the all-time best for a big man) athleticism. With lingering back and knee problems, he's not the explosive dynamo who terrorized defenses in Phoenix for so many years. Relying more on a back-to-the-basket game would help keep him relevant as his ailing body limits him. That should aid the Knicks, too, if Woodson can get all the parts to fit."

    Sports Illustrated: Raptors go all-in for Nash, Celtics eye Green
    "A Raptors source confirmed that Toronto offered the two-time MVP a three-year, $36 million deal, though a source close to Nash called that figure "premature." While offers can't be signed until July 11, it's clear that Toronto is all-in trying to make the 38-year-old point guard the face of its franchise."

    Sports Illustrated: As NBA free agency officially starts, teams line up for unrestricted stars
    "Yet based on what I've heard about Williams and his outlook for months, I'll be surprised if he winds up in Dallas. The most obvious factor is the money, as Brooklyn can offer an extra year on a max deal (five years compared to four) that amounts to approximately $26 million more in all. And if Nets general manager Billy King can land a star like Atlanta shooting guard Joe Johnson to pair with Williams, as Yahoo! reported he was attempting to do Saturday night, that would certainly help matters and seal the Brooklyn deal (though it would seem to close the door on the Dwight Howard possibility in Brooklyn)."

    Sports Illustrated: Anthony Davis' sprained ankle could cause him to miss Olympics
    "New Orleans power forward Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in last week's NBA draft, suffered a sprained ankle in a Hornets workout Saturday that may eliminate him from consideration for the Summer Olympics in London. The Hornets confirmed Davis' injury in a statement, saying he was day to day and that his availability to train with Team USA would be determined later this week."

    Sports Illustrated: Magic GM: Howard has indeed re-issued trade request
    "New Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan said Monday that Howard told him in a meeting last week that he would like to be traded, but Hennigan said he has not committed to honoring that demand. He said will keep communication lines open between both the All-Star and his agent."

    SLAM: Slo' Motion
    "My favorite player, naturally, was Rasho Nesterovic. He was coming from Slovenia, so he was one of the biggest players in Slovenia. And of course, Michael Jordan, Steve Nash and Grant Hill. I was really happy I had the chance to play with [Nash and Hill] on the same team. I learned a lot from them, especially how you do things on the court and off the court, like eating healthy."

    DIME: Report: Clippers In Advanced Talks With Jamal Crawford
    "L.A. has also been linked to Ray Allen and Jason Terry, but my guess is Crawford will be the best fit. Terry is no different than Mo Williams, who was expendable in part because he was contributing to L.A.’s stockpile of tiny guards. And Jesus Shuttlesworth figures to either return to the Bean or turn his cloak for South Beach. While Crawford will probably command the full mid-level exception (starts at $5 million for the first two years of a possible four-year deal), he’s a legitimate 6-5 scorer who can get his own shot, and could combine with Paul and Chauncey Billups (if he is eventually brought back as well) to create an end-game lineup that’ll be absolutely killer at the free-throw line (last year at the line – Crawford: 93 percent, Paul: 86 percent, Billups: 90 percent)."

    DIME via Fox Sports: Marcus Camby Is Considering Houston, Miami and New York
    “Sources say Marcus Camby has interest in Heat but his first choice remains returning to Houston. Would want $3 million exception from Heat, so they couldn’t sign both Ray Allen & Camby. Sources say if Rockets have a good offer, Camby could return regardless of whether Rockets get Omer Asik. Camby could split center minutes with Asik & mentor him. Camby, 38, wants a 2- or 3-year contract. Believes can play 3 more years. Heat first looking at Allen but could turn to Camby if Allen back to Boston.”

    DIME: Brandon Roy’s 5 Best Destinations For An NBA Comeback
    "With two important role players in Mike James and John Lucas possibly out in Chicago in free agency, Roy would fill a gap as a go-to substitution for a shot of scoring and defense. This role could be one of the top two best (with Indiana) I can think of because, quite simply, the Bulls can afford to mete out his minutes because of the surrounding talent on this roster, thus saving his knees. That relative wealth of guard talent does create something of a problem for Tom Thibodeau, though: what is Roy’s niche and how does he separate himself against Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and the like? It becomes a little easier to see the possible rotation if Watson takes over the point guard spot as Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery. What Chicago will have to ask itself is, do we need another Richard Hamilton?"

    DIME: Report: Jeff Green ‘Close’ To Re-Signing With Boston
    "Remember when Jeff Green was a Celtic? He missed all of last season after having surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. He’s played all of 35 games in a Celtic uniform while the man he was traded for (Kendrick Perkins) has appeared in 119 of them with OKC. The only thing I can really remember about the short-lived Green-in-Boston era was a role player standing in the corner. But still, Green is one of the young and athletic assets Boston hopes will help merge the gap between the Big Three and what lies beyond."

           



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