Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
I’ll be updating this post all day long as news breaks. Hit the jump for the latest.
The Philadelphia 76ers have signed Thaddues Young to a five years, $42 million deal, setting the market value for wing players this off-season at around $8 million per year (Thornton and Caron Butler got that much as well). Young was a vital part to Philly’s playoff run last season as their x-acto knife capable of playing the four in small line-ups and the small forward position when Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes were in.
Young has a versatile skillset and reminds me of a young Lamar Odom. He doesn’t have the same point guard instincts but he can handle the ball, is a monster in transition, split time at the two forward positions, attack the basket effectively and often and stretch the floor. His defense at the four is average because he can be overpowered but overall he brings a strong and unique package to Philly.
Detroit Waves Richard Hamilton
After about two years of asking out of Detroit, the Pistons finally waived Richard Hamilton today. This does not count as an amnesty; rather, it is a buyout. The Chicago Bulls will likely be the first team that Hamilton contacts but I am hearing that the San Antonio Spurs are interested as well.
Marcus Thornton had an excellent stretch with the Sacramento Kings last season after being traded for the New Orleans Hornets for Carl Landry. I predicted that the deal would open up the door for him to earn a big contract and that’s what happened. The Kings and Thornton agreed to a four-year, $34 million deal today.
In 27 games with the Kings (23 as a starter), Thornton averaged 21, five rebounds and three assists with percentages of 45/36/81. Of course, being the primary scorer on a bad team can produce misleading results and a big reason Thornton was given the keys to the offenses was because Tyreke Evans was injured. It is yet to be seen where Thornton fit into the Kings’ rotation this season. He could remain a starter or become their sixth man. He’s suitable for either position but don’t forget that the Kings also have Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons at the guard spots.
Derrick Brown Signs With Charlotte
Yahoo! reports that free agent power forward has signed a minimum deal with the Charlotte Bobcats for one year. Brown was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Bobcats and played out his rookie season there. He was waived last season after 41 games with Charlotte and was picked up by the New York Knicks. He returns to Charlotte to give Paul Silas some options in the event that Kwame Brown doesn’t return and Bismack Biyombo isn’t ready right away.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and shooting guard Daequan Cook have agreed to a two-year. $7.5 million deal per Yahoo! Sports. Cook is a role player that fits in perfectly with the Thunder. He may be the fifth best guard on the roster but when he comes in he adds a different dynamic to the offense for Scott Brooks. While James Harden is a good shooter and Eric Maynor can hit from outside, both are better creating shots for themselves or others while Cook is at his best when he is setting up on the wing for spot-up three’s. Cook only played 14 minutes a game last season and that’s not going to change with everyone else coming back, but he managed to attempt 3.6 three’s per contest despite limited time and he hit them at a 42% clip, which was just percentage points from putting Cook in the top 10 in the league for three-point accuracy.
Forbes Signs An Offer Sheet With The Raptors
The Toronto Raptors have signed their second wing player of the day, agreeing to a two-year deal with a team option for a third year with free agent small forward Gary Forbes. Forbes is a restricted free agent so the Denver Nuggets can match the offer. Forbes is 26 years old and is coming off a respectable rookie season with the Nuggets. No one skill was showcased but he was a gritty player that will add some toughness to the Raptors.
Kings To Hitch Onto The Chuck Wagon
The Sacramento Kings have agreed to terms on a four year deal worth $20 million with free agent center Chuck Hayes. Hayes is expected to start for the Kings this season and even though he’s six-foot-six, he is one of the game’s best defensive big men. He’s incredibly smart and uses his leverage to make scoring on the block tough for guys like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. The Kings have some young big men with a ton of talent in DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside and having someone like Hayes around should help those two, who have been noted nutcases, mature a bit. At least that’s the hope.
The Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will land Davis with the Magic and Brandon Bass with the Celtics. I feel like the Celtics get the better end of the deal here as Bass is cheaper and the better overall player. Davis will be getting a four-year deal in the $26 million range, according to Yahoo! Sports. Davis had a 12.83 PER last season, putting him below the average mark of 15, while Bass was above it at 15.99. Rumblings are that Davis is a good friend of Dwight Howard and that this is an attempt by Otis Smith to entice him to stay.
But we know that won’t happen and instead the Magic have just committed six and a half million dollars to an undersized back-up power forward that has produced below replacement level and may have to start next season.
Magic Officially Amnesty Gilbert Arenas
Least surprising news of the day.
In what comes as surprise to me, Grant Hill will be staying with the Phoenix Suns. The veteran forward has agreed to terms on a one-year, $6.5 million deal with Phoenix. I wrote before the lockout that Hill would be the prized free agent for contenders but instead of finding a more fruitful opportunity he decided to stay in the dessert. It is a one-year deal so this won’t put him on a rebuilding team until he retires but this is still a curious decision to me.
Perhaps Grant Hill wanted to be with the Suns when the Steve Nash era ended. Hill will have several contenders after him next off-season so he will be able to chase a title then but I still think the best course of action would have been signing a long-term deal with the Bulls or Thunder. Hill is Phoenix’s second signing of the off-season, with Shannon Brown being the other. Brown is also on a one-year deal, so the Suns will have a lot of cap room open up after this season.
Mikael Pietrus Being Sent To Canada
One other Suns tidbit to note: They are trading Mikael Pietrus to the Toronto Raptors for a second round pick. Pietrus was a good role player for the Magic two seasons ago but he rarely got off the bench for the Suns. He’ll bring some defensive toughness, length and a decent outside shot to the Raptors and will likely take Sonny Weems’ playing time, as Weems is playing in the EuroLeague without an out clause.
At first it appeared that Tyson Chandler would be staying with the world champion Mavericks and then it seemed like the Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets were the frontrunners for the seven footer. But now it seems like a new suitor has emerged for Chandler: the New York Knicks. The Knicks are nearing a $48 million deal with free agent center Tyson Chandler, according to Yahoo! Sports.
This news comes as a surprise because signing Chandler this off-season makes inking Chris Paul to a deal next summer nearly impossible. In order to keep the door open for Paul, the Knicks will either trade or amnesty veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, according to the report, though most of the salary saved by letting Billups go will go towards signing Chandler. Chandler is a good friend of Paul’s and the Knicks view Tyson as an attractive piece to entice CP3. The Knicks are also reportedly considering trading Amare Stoudemire, possibly in a deal for Paul. A trio of Paul, Carmelo and Chandler would figure to be more dangerous than a Paul/Carmelo/Amare or Carmelo/Amare/Chandler trio.
It’s worth noting that Chris Paul toasted to playing with the Knicks at Carmelo’s wedding and it’s possible that Stoudemire was never apart of their “plan.” The Knicks lost out on the top dogs on the market and ended up offering a $100 million deal to Amare to lock up their secondary option.
However, it appears as if the New Orleans Hornets’ most serious talks regarding Paul are happening between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets. A potential three-team deal involving Pau Gasol, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and some picks for Paul is currently in the works. Talks are moving quickly and if the Knicks end up spending too much time with Chandler they may lose out on their last chance to acquire Paul.
A trio of Carmelo, Amare and Chandler is certainly intriguing but one defensive stalwart won’t be enough to move them to an elite level, especially if they don’t have a point guard. Toney Douglas is a nice bench scorer but he’s not a true point guard and it appears as if they won’t have the money to get anybody elite to run D’Antoni’s offense. Putting Amare on the block may be the best option for the Knicks as this point if they plan on putting themselves on the same level as the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. Chander is a good addition but for the Knicks it’s also a curious one. They needed a defensive center but Chandler will likely come at the price of Chris Paul.