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Around The World: July 3

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 3 Video: 2012 Draft Coverage

    CSNNW: Damian Lillard's first in-depth interview as a member of the Trail Blazers
    “I want everyone in Portland to know that when things are going bad, I will remain calm and search for solutions to gets us out of certain predicaments,” Lillard said. “That's what a point guard does and that's what leaders do.”

    Trail Blazers via Sports Illustrated Report: Trail Blazers nearing buyout with Shawne Williams
    "Source says Portland nearing a buyout with 26-year-old small forward Shawne Williams. Not done yet, though. He's owed $3.1 mil next season."

    Trail Blazers: Wolfson: No Verbal Agreement Between Batum And Timberwolves, Sign And Trade An Option
    "The team source said there's a far better chance that Batum would come via a sign-and-trade, because outright landing a restricted free agent is too tough. He is not planning on taking any other visits."

    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: Trail Blazers And Portland Parks Tip-Off ‘Summer Free For All’
    “Last year 2.1 million meals were served to kids around the state. That is a 14 percent increase from the year before, but unfortunately too many of our kids are still falling through the cracks and are still going hungry,” Hayes said. “The Summer Free For All and Summer Meal Program’s efforts will help to change that and I’m really honored to be able to support this program and to support Partners For A Hunger-Free Oregon who work to raise funds to make programs like this available all across the state."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: As Blazers wait, uncertainty in Indiana about Roy Hibbert's future
    "Hibbert is considered a solid franchise and community guy in Indiana, and even appeared in two episodes of the NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation," (including this one; go to the 7:30 mark to see Hibbert handing out shrimp). The show is set in Pawnee, Ind., showing how Hibbert has become integrated in the state."

    Oregon Live: Former Blazers star Brandon Roy continues to be pursued by several teams
    "The Cavaliers have not yet set up a visit with Roy, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sides are only in preliminary discussions. Roy, a three-time All-Star, announced his retirement last season after five seasons with Portland because of chronic knee problems. The Blazers then used the league's new amnesty clause to clear Roy's remaining salary from their books for salary cap purposes."

    Blazersedge: Can the Trail Blazers Preserve Their Cap Space?
    "Absent trades, and including this year's two first-round picks, the Blazers are committed to roughly $26.5 million in contracts next season. This includes only four players though: LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Damian Lillard, and Meyers Leonard. That's the base. If the Blazers retained only those four players plus another first-round pick into July of 2013, assuming the pick was mid-lottery level and adding in mandatory roster minimums, they'd be on the books for roughly $32.5 million. Assuming a cap around $58 million, this would leave the Blazers somewhere around $25.5 million in cap space...slightly more than they started this off-season with. (Keep in mind that this summer's total is eaten into by cap holds and young players already retained.)"

    Indy Star: Pacers have little to consider: Just pay Roy Hibbert, says Bob Kravitz
    “We’re either going to match or not match, but we’re looking at all our options and looking at what else we might do,” he said. “We’re trying to make our team better, but our first priority is still keeping Roy. We’re obviously working under a (salary) cap, and you want to keep the team in a position of being able to grow as you go along. That’s what we’re analyzing right now.”

    LA Times: Clippers still making moves; Jamal Crawford to visit team Tuesday
    "The Clippers plan to offer Crawford the mid-level exception that starts at $5 million. The Clippers are willing to offer Crawford, a 6-foot-5 guard, at least a three-year deal, sources said. The Clippers also are planning to offer a contract to Chauncey Billups, sources said. Billups, who is recovering from a torn left Achilles’ tendon injury, will get a one-year offer from the Clippers for about $4 million, sources said."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jason Terry has agreed to become a Boston Celtic, as Dallas’ shakeup continues
    "Though Terry's position and shooting range would seem to serve as a substitute for free agent Celtics guard Ray Allen, who was coming off the bench for Boston when Avery Bradley was healthy enough to play during last year's playoffs, all indications point to the Celtics as still hoping to retain Allen's services for 2012-13 and beyond. Allen is being courted not only by the C's but the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Memphis Grizzlies. Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo was an early target of Boston's, but entering his first free agency Mayo may have priced himself out of Boston's range. With Allen still in limbo, the C's made a fine move in grabbing the 2009 Sixth Man Award winner."

    Ball Don't Lie: Watch Sacramento Kings rookie Thomas Robinson, as he’s greeted by Kings fans (VIDEO)
    "So when Kings fans hear the good news of a great player and great person, in the form of Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, being added to the team's roster? They come out in droves. Real droves — like, filling the second floor of a mall droves."

    Ball Don't Lie: The LeBron James balloon sculpture: A real, kind of terrifying thing (VIDEO)
    "In the description of his YouTube video, Zae said the sculpture of James took him an entire Saturday to produce and finish. You can tell that he took his time; those sinewy, striated arms, haunting bug eyes and generally monstrous/nightmare-inducing frame really look finely crafted and slaved over. The perfect thing for little Timmy's birthday party, provided you want to send all of the assembled toddlers screaming from the bouncy castle and headed for their moms. Which you probably want to do, because they were pretty loud in that bouncy castle."

    Ball Don't Lie Danny Ferry deals Marvin Williams to Utah, continuing a much-needed rebuilding process in Atlanta
    "That's exactly what happened, and Ferry was run out of Cleveland in 2010. After two years worth of musing and carving names into benches as part of the San Antonio Spurs' staff, Ferry is back as GM of the Atlanta Hawks. And in the course of an early evening, he just made damn sure the Atlanta Hawks we've had the displeasure to have known since 2005 are going to go far, far away. Joe Johnson is gone, off to Brooklyn for expiring contracts. And now Marvin Williams is off to the Utah Jazz, in a deal that helps both teams but really, truly favors what Danny Ferry is attempting to do with a Hawks team he probably disliked as much as we did."

    The Basketball Jones: 2012 NBA draft grades
    "The Blazers get the point guard they needed and what a dynamic point guard they get. Lillard is known as a scorer, but he should be able to adjust to the point guard position in the NBA just fine as he is a solid passer, particularly when he drives and dishes. He has blazing speed that allows him to score at the rim, where he also draws a lot of contact that sends him to the charity stripe where he is a very good shooter. He has range well beyond the three-point line and is a deadly shooter from all over the court. The two main concerns about Lillard playing the lead guard position is his natural tendency to try to create for himself and score, as well as the weaker competition he played in college. Lillard should be able to improve on his passing with an improved cast of teammates, particularly LaMarcus Aldridge and possibly Nicolas Batum who is a restricted free agent. Regardless, Lillard fits right in with today’s NBA point guard that scores big and it might be crazy to say, but he could potentially be the best shooter of all of them."

    The Basketball Jones: Dragic’s brother is playing for Houston’s summer team even though Goran might not sign with them
    "Awk-berg. And unfort-berg. Not only will things be super weird for Zoran Dragic (the twin named after the masked hero, not the Mortal Kombat villain) as he has to act like everything is cool while his genetic equivalent is upset about the team low-balling him, us fans are also deprived of the possibility of a Goran and Zoran backcourt which would get so many reblogs. It’s a lose-lose all around, unless the Rockets try to pull a switcheroo and sign Zoran and then act like he’s Goran. If that happens, this immediately takes a hard left turn in to Awesomeville."

    DIME: Report: Landry Fields Agrees To A $20 Million Deal With Toronto
    "The Toronto Raptors have offered, and Landry Fields has verbally accepted, ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting, a three-year, $20 million contract that is similar to Omer Asik‘s deal with Houston. That is, Fields will get a salary bump in the third season."

    DIME: Is Home Where Free Agency Ends For Steve Nash and Deron Williams?
    "Williams calls DFW home like the heat that sticks to the city. He’s narrowed the list to the Nets and Mavericks, and this is a chance to be a winner, either way. With Joe Johnson headed to Brooklyn and Dwight Howard wanting only to be traded there, the Nets are the next Big Three Du Jour, it would seem. Ah, but Dallas beckons with Dirk Nowitzki and the chance to be treated by Mark Cuban and a city as what the Mavs should have had if Nash hadn’t bolted for Phoenix all those years ago. With all due respect to Jason Kidd and his role in 2011′s title, he arrived in Dallas just past his prime. It’s really an emotional pull that Cuban will make, because his team is the older car that’s rapidly losing value that you’ve coveted all your life owning nonetheless. He can offer a city’s love, a mountain of cash and the chance to carve out his own Texas-sized legend. Remember, Williams grew up and played high school ball in a suburb just north of Dallas called The Colony — and you get the feeling Dallas would pull up walls around Williams and fight for him just like an old Western outpost should he sign there. It’s not a move to play with Dirk, after all. It’s a chance for Dirk to play with Williams. He’s only 28, so there’s some doubt this would be his last team — but if it were, a career in the front office could be waiting should he prefer."

    SLAM via Yahoo: Brooklyn Nets Reach 3-Year Agreement With Reggie Evans
    “Evans will join the Nets in a sign-and-trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers will receive a future second-round draft pick while the Nets use a $3 million trade exception to acquire Evans. Evans averaged 1.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 13.8 minutes over 56 games for the Clippers last season.”

    ESPN: Nets could still get Dwight Howard
    "As for other teams, the Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum, the Hawks could give Al Horford and Jeff Teague, and the Rockets have been assembling draft picks and assets to entice the Magic. The Dallas Mavericks, who could sign Howard as a free agent next summer, have also emerged as a potential team for Howard."

    ESPN: Fields' offer a tactic to get Nash?
    "... Seem like a bit much for Landry Fields?" asks Bill Ingram of "That's because it is a bit much, unless you take the Knicks into consideration. If the Raptors land Fields it removes a chip that the Knicks could have used in a sign-and-trade with Phoenix, which is the only way the Knicks can land Nash. With this move the Raptors could be one step closer to landing their coveted free agency prize."

    ESPN Soaring stock in Atlanta
    "The Hawks can get there in other ways, too. Consider that if Orlando decides to deal Howard sooner rather than later, Atlanta's likely offer of Horford, Jeff Teague, Jenkins and/or draft picks is likely to be as good as or better than anything anybody else offers. (This, obviously, is pending whether Houston is willing to truly throw in the kitchen sink on a Howard rental.) "

    ESPN: Living off reputation
    "According to the rumor mill, some of those teams are willing to offer as much as the full midlevel exception and/or more than a year. If ever there was a player who needed to prove his ability to stay on the court, much less to produce at a winning level, it's Roy. Sports medicine has improved a lot since the days of Penny Hardaway, but there is no way Roy should get more than a season, with perhaps a partially guaranteed second season."

    Sports Illustrated: How Nets could deal for Dwight Howard (UPDATED)
    "When evaluating the Nets’ agreement to acquire Joe Johnson on Monday, I wrote that Brooklyn could still try to restart trade talks with the Magic for Dwight Howard even though the deal with Atlanta — combined with the presumed re-signings of Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace — would make it difficult for the Nets to offer Orlando as much easy salary-cap relief as a few other suitors. But the Johnson/Wallace/Williams deals, none of which can be official until July 11, would not prohibit the Nets from pitching a sign-and-trade package built around center Brook Lopez, power forward Kris Humphries, shooting guard MarShon Brooks and multiple first-round picks."

    Sports Illustrated: Report: Rudy Fernandez leaving NBA to play in Spain
    "Fernandez played four seasons in the NBA, spending three with the Portland Trail Blazers and one with the Denver Nuggets. He showed promise early and had perhaps his best season as a rookie year when he averaged 10.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 25 minutes per game before suffering a nagging back injury."


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