NBA Draft & Free Agency Rumors: Monta unhappy, Cavs looking at Jamison and more

With the Finals behind us and the draft and free agency looming, the rumors are flying fast and furious. Here’s a rundown of the latest scuttlebutt…

Things are rumored to be getting worse in Golden State.

The talk is that Monta Ellis is unhappy with the direction the organization is heading in, and still holds a bit of grief over the way they held his contract status in limbo for months following his moped injury. For weeks we’ve heard that Ellis is no longer interested in playing for Golden State, and apparently it had reached a point where it was “close to popping off” in the words of one NBA executive—meaning going to the media and publicly demanding a trade.

Let me get this straight — the franchise gives Ellis $66 million over six years and he rewards them by tearing up his ankle in a moped accident, missing 57 games this season. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about the 30-game suspension he served with no pay, but he wasn’t going to play in those games anyway. Shouldn’t he be punished for being boneheaded enough to tool around on a moped?

It sounds like the team has promised Ellis that he’ll be running the point next season and may have promised that they wouldn’t take a point guard at #7, prompting several prospects — Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio — to refuse to work out for Golden State. Suddenly, Jordan Hill looks like a stronger possibility if he’s still on the board when the Warriors pick.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

NBA Free Agency Rumors: ‘Sheed, Boozer, Sessions and more

SLAM ONLINE has sources that are saying that the Cavs and Rasheed Wallace are working on a two-year deal worth $20 million. The interest was prompted by the fact that Dwight Howard pretty much had his way in the paint against the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Wallace will be 35 this September, and has averaged about 12 points and seven boards over the last three seasons. He has the ability to spread the court with his shooting ability and has a reputation for doing a good job defensively on Howard, though the Orlando big man averaged 22 points and 15 rebounds in three games against the Pistons this season. If the Cavs do indeed sign Wallace that kind of a contract, it would trim the team’s projected 2010 cap space from $38 million to $28 million. Also, since the Cavs are over the cap, to make this deal happen, they would have to swing a sign-and-trade with Detroit (for Anderson Varejao?). If the deal falls through, SLAM says that the Cavs may move on to Zach Randolph. Wait…whaaa? 6/11 Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that the Wallace rumors are untrue (and would be illegal if they were true).

DESERET NEWS says that Carlos Boozer isn’t sure that he’s going to opt-out of the final year of his contract (that will pay him $12.7 million) by the end of the month. This contradicts everything he’s been saying up until this point. Maybe Boozer isn’t finding that the market for his services is as strong as he thought it was. It might behoove him to play out his contract, stay healthy (this is key) and join the free agent class of 2010. But by going that route, he will lose the security of a long-term deal. Devin Harris says that Boozer is welcome in New Jersey.

– The RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL reports that Ramon Sessions‘ first choice is to stay with the Bucks, but he understands that the club is up against the luxury tax so things are a little dicey. I think the Bucks will wait to see what kind of offer sheet he gets from another team and then decide whether or not they’ll match, though it would be wise to start negotiations now.

– The NEW YORK POST is reporting that the Knicks are eyeing Magic center Marcin Gortat for their mid-level exception. The Knicks are on the hook for about $24 million in payroll heading into the 2010-11 season, which means that they currently project to have roughly $34 million in cap space. If the Knicks use their mid-level this season, it will trim that space by about $6 million.

– Contrary to earlier reports, if his agent has any say, it’s going to be tough for Ben Wallace to retire, according to the NEWS-HERALD. It would be the best thing for the Cavs, but Arn Tellem isn’t going to let him walk away from $14 million.

NBA free agency and draft rumors

Charlie Villanueva is open to joining the Cavs, and given the current state of the economy, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the best he’ll be able to do is a deal at the mid-level (~$5.8 million). The Bucks first have to decide whether or not to make the qualifying offer (~$4.6 million) and they may elect not to in order to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold (~$71 million, and could drop). Without Villanueva (and Ramon Sessions, who is also slated to become a restricted free agent), the Bucks’ payroll is at about $61 million with only eight players under contract. Villanueva would give the Cavs a good matchup for Rashard Lewis. Both players are slender power forwards who can shoot the ball, though Charlie V isn’t known for his defense.

– UFA Andre Miller doesn’t have a problem with the Sixers’ hire of head coach Eddie Jordan. The Sixers are over the cap but well under the luxury tax, so I’d expect them to sign the 33 year-old to a one- or two-year deal in the $6-7 million range. He is unlikely to get that on the open market, but Portland is a team with cap space that could use his leadership.

– Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo plans to keep Chris Bosh and try to surround him with better players, unless the talented power forward expresses serious doubts about re-signing. By sending Jermaine O’Neal to the Heat for Shawn Marion (and his expiring contract), the Raptors have about $10 million in cap space heading into the summer. While that may not be enough to land someone like Carlos Boozer, it is enough, coupled with the team’s mid-level exception, to add two or three pretty good players to the roster. How about Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva/Chris Andersen? I’d expect the Bosh rumors to heat up next season if Toronto struggles again early on.

– Hoopsworld says that there’s a rumor making the rounds that the Thunder might take DeMar DeRozan #3. This sounds a little fishy to me because everything I’m seeing shows DeRozan slipping a little after poor agility and sprint tests at the combine. James Harden has the better standing vertical and is just 1.5″ off of DeRozan’s max vertical. Harden also beat DeRozan soundly in the agility and sprint tests and is the much more polished offensive player at this point. DeRozan is 1.5″ taller, but Harden has a higher reach because he has a longer wingspan.

– With Jonny Flynn and Jrue Holiday climbing the draft charts, Ricky Rubio is suddenly open to interviews and workouts with teams picking #2 to #4, which includes Memphis, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Rubio apparently didn’t play very well in his season finale, and his camp may be worried about him slipping out of the top four if those teams in question find a guy they like better.

Related Posts