TrueHoop: Chris Broussard

Why Iman Shumpert is still a Knick

February, 24, 2014
Broussard By Chris Broussard
Iman ShumpertTom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SportsThe Thunder and Clippers were both interested in Knicks guard Iman Shumpert at the trade deadline.
While there's certainly no need to panic in Oklahoma City, the Thunder's last two losses have exposed a need for the Western Conference favorite: perimeter defense. Miami's Dwyane Wade and the Los Angeles Clippers' Jamal Crawford combined to score 60 points on 65 percent shooting from the floor in those games.

Granted, Wade and Crawford light up a lot of teams, but the fact is that, outside of starting 2-guard Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City provides very little resistance in the backcourt. That's why the Thunder were hoping to land Iman Shumpert before last Thursday's trade deadline.

Even after Shumpert suffered a strained left MCL in a Knicks loss last Wednesday, Oklahoma City was willing to part with this season's first-round draft pick to land the Knicks shooting guard, according to sources with knowledge of the trade discussions. The Knicks, however, refused to do the deal because they weren't getting a current player in return who could help them make a push for this season's Eastern Conference playoffs. At the end of the day, they deemed Shumpert more valuable than the 28th pick (or whatever low pick OKC gets) of the draft, sources said.

The Knicks' priority all along in trading Shumpert was to attach Raymond Felton's contract to the deal and get a solid point guard in return. That nearly happened with the Clippers.

While Shumpert's injury did not deter the Thunder, it did kill the Knicks' hopes of sending him to Los Angeles. Clippers coach Doc Rivers really wanted Shumpert, sources say, and Rivers was willing to do a deal that would have sent Darren Collison, Matt Barnes, Byron Mullens and two second-round picks to New York for Shumpert, Felton and Beno Udrih. But Clippers owner Donald Sterling and others within the organization were hesitant to bet on Shumpert after seeing him go down in Wednesday's game at New Orleans, according to sources.

Shumpert's camp was hoping for a trade, but it can rest assured that he'll be back on the market around draft time.

TrueHoop TV: The NBA offseason in a few minutes

October, 29, 2013
Abbott By Henry Abbott
The NBA is back. In case your attention was elsewhere this offseason, the NBA crew has an update on what you missed.
Keep up with the latest buzz on free agents here:

Will Kobe's reported pitch turn off Dwight?

By Chris Broussard | July 4, 2:54 p.m. ET

Two people close to Dwight Howard said Kobe Bryant's reported "pitch" in this past Tuesday's meeting with Howard will hurt the Lakers' chances of retaining the superstar center.

"It'll be a complete turnoff," said one person, who has worked closely with Howard during his career. "He'll be offended and think, 'How can you teach somebody who's been to the Finals how to win?'"

Neither of the sources have spoken to Howard since the meeting with the Lakers. But both have known Howard for years.

Bryant, who joined Lakers brass and teammate Steve Nash in the Lakers' recruitment meeting, said Howard needs Bryant to teach him how to win championships, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

"You need to learn how it's done first," Bryant reportedly said, according to an anonymous source in the meeting. "And I can teach you here. I know how to do it, and I've learned from the best -- players who have won multiple times over and over. Instead of trying to do things your way. Just listen and learn and tweak it so it fits you."

One person close to the situation said this is not the first time Howard has heard that from Bryant. The source said Bryant began relaying that sentiment to Howard as soon as they became Laker teammates last season.

"Kobe was saying that from the very beginning," the source said. "It was a source of tension between them from the outset."

Barnes' future with Clippers unclear

By Ramona Shelburne | July 4, 9:46 a.m. ET

The Clippers would love to bring back Matt Barnes, who added toughness, 3-point shooting and perimeter defense in a reserve role last season. Barnes would love to come back to the Clippers, too. But with the Clippers getting serious with forward Carl Landry, their affection for Barnes might not be enough.

Sources close to the situation have told ESPN that it might not be possible financially to sign Landry and re-sign Barnes. The Clippers will certainly try -- as they genuinely like both players -- but with only a mid-level exception at their disposal, it simply might not be possible to do both without treading into luxury tax territory (a brave new world for the Clippers).

Click here for more buzz on free agents »

Sources: Pacers want Copeland

By Marc Stein | July 3, 2:31 a.m. ET

The Indiana Pacers have ramped up their pursuit of New York Knicks restricted free agent Chris Copeland.

Sources with knowledge of the talks told that the Pacers have put an offer sheet on the table that Copeland is giving serious thought to signing.

No deal can be formally signed until July 10, when the league's annual moratorium on transactions is lifted, but Copeland and the Pacers can strike a verbal agreement on a deal before then.

If Copeland does ultimately sign an offer sheet with the Pacers, New York will have three days, as per league rules, to match the offer.

Hansbrough an unrestricted free agent

By Marc Stein | July 3, 2:27 a.m. ET

Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough is now an unrestricted free agent.

In the wake of David West's new three-year, $36 million contract that was verbally agreed to Tuesday, Hansbrough and his representatives successfully convinced the Pacers to allow him to shed his restricted free-agent status and immediately become an unrestricted free agent.

Source: Barnes wants to sign with Clips

By Chris Broussard | July 2, 9:44 p.m. ET

Matt Barnes wants to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, who have their full midlevel exception available. But if the Clippers don't do something fast, Barnes will start meeting with other teams, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Dallas, Denver, Brooklyn, New York and San Antonio have shown interest in Barnes.

Smith meets with Pistons, Rockets

By Jeff Goodman | July 2, 12:48 p.m. ET

Atlanta Hawks free agent Josh Smith has met with both Detroit and Houston in Los Angeles, but has not received a "firm offer" from the Pistons, a source close to the situation told

Smith met with Detroit shortly after free agency commenced and has yet to meet with the Hawks.

Clippers to sit down with Landry

By Jeff Goodman | July 2, 12:48 p.m. ET

Carl Landry will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, multiple sources confirmed to

Golden State is interested in bringing the 6-foot-8 forward back. Others teams that have expressed interest include Indiana, Denver, San Antonio, Atlanta and Cleveland, a source told

Pelicans' Evans chase could cost them Lopez

By Marc Stein | July 2, 12:27 p.m. ET

Friday could prove to be a big day for the New Orleans Pelicans in their pursuit of restricted free agent Tyreke Evans.

To have the financial flexibility to not only sign Evans to a four-year, $44 million offer sheet but also have the room to take in Jrue Holiday when it officially completes its draft-day trade with Philadelphia (headlined by Nerlens Noel) New Orleans may have to make a roster move by Friday with center Robin Lopez.

Friday is the deadline for the Pelicans to buy out the final two years of Lopez's contract for a mere $500,000. If Evans has verbally committed by then to sign the offer sheet, New Orleans might find itself with no other choice but to release a productive big man.

The Pelicans could verbally agree this week to trade Lopez after the league's moratorium is lifted July 10 so they don't have to waive him and ensure they get something for him, but the risk is that verbally agreed trades can fall through and scuttle New Orleans' plan.

The consistent word out of New Orleans is that the Pelicans prefer not to trade Eric Gordon to make room for Evans, which makes them more inclined to make the move with Lopez. Another option is trading point guard Greivis Vasquez, but again, nothing can officially happen on that front until July 10, by which time New Orleans will have lost the ability to waive Lopez.

One more potential problem to make this all a little trickier: Imagine if New Orleans waives Lopez on Friday and then finds out after July 10 that the Kings plan to match the offer sheet. Ouch.

Clippers having lunch with Mayo

By Chris Broussard | July 2, 11:12 a.m. ET

Doc Rivers is meeting with O.J. Mayo for lunch today. The Clippers are talking with the Mavericks about a sign-and-trade deal involving Mayo and Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe.

The Clippers are also talking with Milwaukee about swapping Bledsoe for J.J. Redick, but a source close to the situation said the chances of a deal are remote.

Spurs' interest in Kirilenko serious

By Marc Stein | July 2, 11:10 a.m. ET

San Antonio is facing a fair bit of financial uncertainty in these early days of free agency, not knowing what sort of market restricted free agent Tiago Splitter will command and openly hoping to re-sign Spurs stalwart Manu Ginobili at a greatly reduced rate from last season's $13 million salary.

But sources close to the situation tell that the Spurs are seriously interested in free-agent forward Andrei Kirilenko now that AK-47 has opted out of next season's $10 million contract with Minnesota.

Would the Spurs be willing to let Splitter go and use the resultant financial flexibility to replace him with, say, Kirilenko and a bargain big man like Greg Oden? Interesting concept.

First Cup: Wednesday

February, 20, 2013
By Nick Borges
  • John Reid of The Times-Picayune: ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted Tuesday night that the Hornets have made Eric Gordon available for a trade, but that it’s not likely to happen because teams are concerned about his health going forward. Hornets officials had no comment regarding trade rumors Tuesday night, but Gordon said for the second consecutive day that he’s not concerned about the trade deadline. However, he acknowledged that anything is possible. "I don’t really get caught up to it,’’ Gordon said Tuesday night. "But you just never know your situation. That’s part of the process but at the end of the day, you can’t worry about that as a player. If it happens, it happens. I’m definitely not worried about it.’’ Sources confirm the Hornets would be interested in any trade deal with the Golden State Warriors that would include second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson. But sources indicate the Warriors are reluctant to part ways with Thompson, whom they feel is a young emerging star.
  • Bob Finnnan of The News-Herald: The burning question is whether Cavaliers center Marreese Speights will still be with the team. The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Speights came to the Cavs on Jan. 22 along with guards Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby and a first-round pick in exchange for forward Jon Leuer. Speights has fit in well with the Cavs (16-37) as their backup center. He has a player's option on his 2013-14 contract and is expected to become a free agent. That's why the Cavs might entertain thoughts of trading him. … "It's out of my control," Speights said. "It's up to the front office. Whatever they do on Thursday, we'll see what happens." The 25-year-old Speights said he wouldn't mind staying with the Cavs. … Speights is earning $4.2 million this season. If he decides to stay with the Cavs, he'll be owed $4.5 million next season. He might seek a multiyear deal. "We will evaluate our option at the end of the season," agent Andy Miller said on Tuesday.
  • Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: If Ferry trades Smith – and the odds appear tilted in that direction – it’s because he is still dealing with the damage done to this organization by previous regimes, which led to extended mediocrity. The Hawks are 29-22. They have a legitimate chance to finish among the top four in the deteriorating Eastern Conference. But this is how a new general manager must view things: What are the chances this team wins more than one playoff round? What are the chances it upsets Miami? If the answers to those questions are near zero, the focus needs to be on the future. Ferry wouldn’t come out and say that Tuesday. This close to the trade deadline, a general manager isn't going to reveal much. But when I asked where he believed the Hawks are at the deadline, he responded, "We’re in a unique situation with the current roster being competitive, but also having good cap flexibility going forward. Like most teams, we’re evaluating ourselves and looking at the opportunities that come to us, especially this time of year. If there’s an opportunity that makes sense for us and for the long-term interest of the Hawks, we’ll look at it closely.” Confused? Focus on this string of words: “… the long-term interest of the Hawks.”
  • Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News: Spurs forward DeJuan Blair has seen his name in nearly every speculative trade story that has hit the Internet since All-Star weekend, but his approach to Thursday’s trade deadline is educated indifference. “I’m not really worried about any of that,” said the four-year forward from Pittsburgh. “I’m just worried about right now and today. All the rest of that is BS.” Blair’s name has been linked to numerous trades in the last few weeks, and he understands comments he made last summer about expecting to be traded before training camp are partially to blame. Blair’s trade value likely is diminished by the fact he will be a free agent this summer, when teams interested in him could get him without giving up a player.
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: Donnie Nelson has burned up enough cellphone minutes to char-fry anybody’s monthly bill. The Mavericks’ president is as plugged in as anybody regarding what’s going on and who is likely to be involved in deal-making before the deadline. “There’s certainly chatter,” Nelson said Tuesday. “And there will be some things that get done. But there are a lot of teams that are hesitant to do anything that they feel is nothing more than a marginal upgrade.” Lump the Mavericks into that grouping, by the way. They can make plenty of deals. The offers are there. But they have to take back salary for next season to make any of them happen. And that’s where most of their conversations end. … The bottom line is that it would be foolish for the Mavericks to make any deal that cements their mediocrity. Deals that add money to their 2013-14 payroll are enough to paralyze their options for the summer. So for now, they stand pat. At least until the next time the phone rings.
  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: Much of the Suns’ trade talk seems to have simmered down as the Thursday 1 p.m. deadline nears, but there is one more possibility. reported New York’s interest in Jermaine O’Neal and Toronto’s interest in Sebastian Telfair while another source said there was All-Star break talk of Oklahoma City exploring Marcin Gortat and P.J. Tucker for Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and a first-round pick. Perkins is the type of center to fit the new defensively geared culture, although he is limited offensively for a team wanting to post up its big men. Lamb probably would have been the Suns’ draft pick in June had Houston not made a trade to move up two spots and take him in front of Phoenix. The Suns do have $6.4 million of cap room to take on salary in a deal, but it is more likely that the Suns stand pat to protect their two first-round draft picks and salary-cap space, which leaves room to sign a maximum-level free agent.
  • Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News: Paul Millsap’s name has come up in trade rumors for years, and the Jazz forward says he’s used to it by now, saying he takes it as a compliment that he’s a wanted player. One of the latest rumors has him going to the L.A. Clippers for point guard Eric Bledsoe and others. That trade would potentially affect Mo Williams, the team’s current starting point guard, who has been sitting out with an injured thumb for more than a month. “I’m a free agent after this year, so obviously they’ve got some options,’’ Williams said. “Hopefully they understand my value and hopefully this is a place they want me to be for years to come. I know I do. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.’’
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: As Danny Ainge downplayed the possibility the Celtics will be involved in a transaction before tomorrow’s NBA trade deadline, general managers and personnel people around the league are saying quite the opposite. They’ll be stunned if the Celts don’t make a deal of some sort. “They’re too active,” said one. “They’ve been putting a lot of different things out there, and you’d have to think at least one of them is going to come through.” If the Celtics do pull off a trade, it’s likely something beyond what’s already in the public domain, and many of those talks were dead on arrival. … Overall, Ainge added that his trade options are narrowing. “It’s probably cooling down,” he said. “I’ve got answers from a lot of people that things aren’t going to happen, unless somebody springs something on you at the last minute. But that doesn’t happen a lot.”
  • Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News: General manager Tony DiLeo has said numerous times that he is not willing to mortgage the future of the organization to get a player who will have only a short stay here. The problem is that besides Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, both signed to long-term contracts, who else is in the future plans? A report by ESPN's Chris Broussard said that swingman Evan Turner, who is averaging career highs in points (13.8), rebounds (6.6), assists (4.4) and minutes (36.2), is on the trading block, though an NBA source told the Daily News nothing is going on with Turner. Turner is in his third year after being taken with the second overall pick in June 2010.
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star: Most of the attention concerning the Raptors and trade possibilities surrounds Andrea Bargnani after Colangelo hinted on the night of the Gay transaction that he would be open to moving the enigmatic big man, who has been back for less than two weeks after suffering an elbow ligament tear. While league sources insist there is nothing serious going on with Bargnani, things can come up quickly and Casey knows the deadline can weigh on a player’s mind. “I’m kind of going slow about that,” he said of discussing the issue with the team. “I said it a few weeks ago: ‘You guys don’t pay any attention to it. You just go play basketball.’ The best players in the game have been traded . . . Oscar (Robertson), Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar). If somebody’s putting your name out there, it’s a compliment.”
  • Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News: The Warriors are already above the luxury-tax line by a few hundred thousand dollars, which squeezes the options. Though Lacob suggests they could go higher over the line for the right deal, it's likelier that the Warriors would try to go under the tax line by Thursday by trading Jeremy Tyler or Charles Jenkins for a future second-round pick. But Lacob made it clear that giving away useful players to drop under the line is not mandatory. "Sure, in a perfect world we would like to be under the tax now," Lacob said. "But it is not an imperative ... "We have a nice mix of younger veterans and youth. We now have size and great shooting and depth. We have an excellent coaching staff and a very good locker room with guys that care, want to win and genuinely like each other ... "Bottom line: this is not about money or tax limits or whatever; this is about the ONLY thing that matters to our fans, our players and to our ownership group ... WINNING."
  • Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak reiterated Tuesday that he will not trade Dwight Howard. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday. Given the Lakers' struggles this season (25-29), Howard's name is popular on the rumor mill. "It's unlikely that there will be an upgrade in the talent of this team. I just don't see how that's realistic," Kupchak said. "We'll continue to be on the phones and make calls, take calls and listen, but don't anticipate anything dramatic taking place in the next two days." So is he still not trading Howard? "That would be correct," said Kupchak.
  • Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Last year Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had no problem discussing what he termed the team's "maintenance program." This year, it's a bit different. Spoelstra said he had no plans to rest players the second half of the season because it's too early to even think about it. The decision to sit players at various times last year was an effort to give them breaks during the lockout-shortened season. "I'm not even going to get into that," Spoelstra said after Tuesday's practice. "That bugs the heck out of me. We're not going to start talking about maintenance right now. That's a this-generation-of-media obsession of when do you start sitting guys. We have 32 games left. That's absurd." The Heat last year rested guard Dwyane Wade on several occasions to preserve his health for the playoffs. Spoelstra said the chances of it happening again are highly unlikely, and certainly not at this point in the season.
  • Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post: They questioned it. Folks in the front office. Folks across the Front Range. Should Denver trade Danilo Gallinari? It was in late November, and the sharpshooter wasn't even shooting 40 percent. The Nuggets received calls about the 24-year-old forward, but the front office decided to wait. Let Gallo grow. Let Gallo find gall. Well, the trade deadline is Thursday, and Gallinari is likely to stay. He spearheaded Denver's 97-90 home win Tuesday against Boston, scoring 26 points while making 4-of-9 3-point attempts. In efforts to make up for teammate Andre Iguodala, who scored one point, Gallinari stuffed the stat sheet with a Dre-like night, tallying five rebounds and five assists, along with a plus-20, best of the night.
  • Sarah Kogod of The Washington Post: During the second quarter of last night’s Wizards game at Verizon Center, the word on Twitter was that Raptors broadcaster Matt Devlin was taking some shots at Wale, after he witnessed some chatter between the Raptors’ Rudy Gay and a courtside Wale during the game. “So, Wale is inspiring, and I’m sure somebody on Twitter can tell me exactly if they’ve ever heard of Wale,” Devlin said on the Toronto broadcast. “He’s not Drake, that’s for sure.” Burn. The Drake dis made its way to Wale at the speed of light, and the D.C.-based rapper responded on Twitter. … I caught up with Devlin after the game, and he said any “yelling” was a product of the loud arena, and that any beef was Twitter’s fault. “You know what, we were making fun of ourselves. Making fun, because we’re not hip,” he told me. “Obviously people on Twitter and social media, it kind of took on a life of its own. So he came up, we started talking and there was nothing to it.” As for any beef between Wale and Gay, Wale insists there isn’t any. … So there you have it. No one is admitting to any beef, and Wale’s cool with not being Drake. I didn’t reach out to Drake for comment, because I’ve already written 400 words on this nonsense and I don’t care what Drake has to say anyway.

Jennings: Not looking to leave Bucks

February, 13, 2013
By news services
Brandon Jennings said Wednesday he's not looking to leave the Milwaukee Bucks, despite an story that said he has "irreconcilable differences" with the club., in an analysis story on 10 NBA players who could be traded, cited sources as saying Jennings is frustrated. One source called it "irreconcilable differences" and said Jennings wants to be moved before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

"That is not true," Jennings said in a text message to ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard when asked if his relationship with the Bucks is beyond repair. "Just because I got a new agent doesn't mean anything. That stuff never came out of my mouth. They're just reaching for a story since I changed my agent [to Jeff Schwartz]." said it stands by its reporting.

A year ago, Jennings told that he was "doing [his] homework on big-market teams." Since then, Jennings' long-term status in Milwaukee has been the subject of speculation among league insiders, and when Jennings left agent Bill Duffy, the rumors swirled again about whether the guard is unhappy with the Bucks. The Bucks offered Jennings a four-year, $40 million extension, according to sources, but he turned it down. He will become a restricted free agent this summer.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA trade rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Will Cavs help make D12-to-Nets happen?

July, 9, 2012
By Chris Broussard and Brian Windhorst
The Brooklyn Nets' persistent efforts to recruit the Cleveland Cavaliers as a third team to help them hammer home a trade for Dwight Howard are starting to pay off, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told that the Nets and Magic are cautiously optimistic that the Cavaliers will help them facilitate a three-way trade that lands Howard in Brooklyn.

Free agent Kris Humphries would be one of the key pieces headed to Cleveland in the proposed deal.

The Cavaliers, however, have enough cap space to sign Humphries outright, so they have requested additional assets from their two prospective trade partners.

Read the full story here

•  To see dozens of NBA rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Suns offer Eric Gordon a max contract

July, 4, 2012
Broussard By Chris Broussard
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.

The Hornets will have three days to match the offer, and sources with knowledge of the team's thinking confirmed to late Tuesday that New Orleans plans to do so.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Sources: Jeremy Lin to visit Rockets

July, 3, 2012
Broussard By Chris Broussard
New York Knicks restricted free agent Jeremy Lin will visit the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, sources said.

While both Lin and the Knicks are hoping for a reunion, sources have said that if any clubs offer Lin, a restricted free agent, a backloaded contract that pays him an eight-figure salary in the third and fourth years, the Knicks could be given pause about matching the offer.
With the new collective bargaining agreement employing a more punitive luxury tax, beginning in the 2013-14 season, the Knicks are extremely concerned about the financial ramifications of such a deal.

The Knicks can offer Lin a four-year deal worth $24.5 million. But an opposing team can offer Lin a poison pill that could go as high as $40 million over four years. Such a contract would pay Lin $5 million in each of the first two years and then go as high as $15 million in each of the last two years.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Dwight Howard wants to stay

March, 15, 2012
Broussard By Chris Broussard
Dwight Howard signed a waiver Thursday that keeps him with the Orlando Magic through next season.

The waiver denies him the right to terminate his contract after this season. After going back and forth regarding his intentions, Howard said Wednesday that he would sign.

A source had told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the New Jersey Nets had been told earlier Thursday that Howard would not be available in trade.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA trade rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Sources: Magic want Dwight commitment

March, 14, 2012
Broussard By Chris Broussard
Dwight Howard's public plea late Tuesday to remain in Orlando for the rest of the season has only served to anger the Magic and has instead pushed them closer than ever to trading their superstar center, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.

Convinced that Howard, on the advice of his agent, is trying to manipulate the situation, the Magic are telling teams they will trade Howard before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline if he does not commit to them beyond this season, league sources said.

"Dwight's dreaming if he thinks Orlando won't trade him without a commitment,'' a source said. "He needs to make some small commitment to them. They're saying it can't be one way.''

While the Magic hope Howard will sign a five-year contract extension, they would settle for a commitment from him not to opt out of the final year of his contract.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA trade rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Sources: Magic trying to please Howard

March, 13, 2012
By Marc Stein and Chris Broussard
The Orlando Magic's strategy for the moment on Dwight Howard, according to sources close to the process, calls for spending the next 48 hours or so making one last hard push to acquire the sort of difference-maker that would encourage Howard to commit his long-term future to the team that drafted him in 2004.

If no newcomer is acquired by Wednesday, sources said, Magic officials plan to spend the final 24 hours before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline evaluating all of their trade options and then deciding Thursday whether to stick to their long-standing desire to roll the dice and keep Howard beyond the deadline or make the best available trade.

As part of this process, one source said, Orlando will continue to seek a "definitive answer" from Howard about his future and hold out hope that he'd at least agree to exercise the option for next season on his current contract to give their marriage at least one more year. But Howard, according to associates, is determined to become a free agent in July in order to have complete control of his future and get to one of the top two destinations on his wish list: New Jersey or Dallas.

A source close to Howard, addressing reports that he's already made up his mind to join the future Brooklyn Nets, told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that's not a done deal.

Read the full story here »

To see dozens of NBA trade rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Sources: Lakers like Beasley

February, 20, 2012
Broussard By Chris Broussard
While we may not see many trades occur before the week of the March 15 deadline, discussions are taking place in front offices throughout the league.

Here's some of the scuttlebutt I've heard:

The Lakers' front office knows Kobe Bryant is looking for it to improve the roster, and GM Mitch Kupchak has been working the phones. He's spoken to Minnesota about Michael Beasley, and sources say the Lakers are intrigued by the Timberwolves' small forward. The Lakers were actually in discussions with Minnesota about a potential trade for Beasley before the season started. If they would have been able to pull off the deal for Chris Paul, there is a good chance that a trade for Beasley would have followed.

It's not clear what the Lakers would give Minnesota for Beasley (if indeed the talks get that far), but the Lakers could absorb Beasley into their $8.9 million trade exception while giving up a draft pick or cash. I'm told the teams have not spoken about Pau Gasol since the preseason. Minnesota is looking to move Beasley, who they feel has matured very little (if at all) since he's been there, according to sources. The Lakers believe they can handle a player like Beasley because of their winning culture and the leadership of Bryant.

Of course, the Lakers need a point guard even more than a small forward. While they worked out Gilbert Arenas last week, they have not come to a decision on him. They want to see if they can get another point guard, such as Cleveland's Ramon Sessions, before making a play for Arenas. There's a good chance they can get Sessions for a first-round draft pick before the deadline, sources say. If they don't get Sessions or someone else, they may bring Arenas aboard.

There are a few other PGs who could be available. While the Lakers would love to get Houston's Kyle Lowry, the Rockets plan to build around their vastly-improved point guard. But either of their two backups, Goran Dragic or Jonny Flynn, would be an improvement over what they currently have.

Lots of teams are calling Toronto about Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors aren't likely to part with Bargnani, and if they move Calderon, they'll need to get a point guard in return. That would seem to make a trade for Calderon unlikely.

Sources say Dallas is about ready to move on from the Roddy Beaubois experiment. The Mavericks have thought for years that the talented young Frenchman could be another Tony Parker, but he has not been able to master the move from shooting guard to point guard. Nor has he been able to fill the void left by J.J. Barea. If they don't move him before this year's deadline, he could be gone over the summer.

The feeling among some in Atlanta is that the Hawks' rotation was thrown out of whack by the return of Kirk Hinrich. The Hawks started the season 13-5 but have gone just 6-8 since Hinrich returned from shoulder surgery. Though he's struggled this season, one would think Hinrich could help a club if made available.

Frustration abounds in Atlanta right now, and sources say Marvin Williams wants out because he wants to play somewhere where he'll have an increased role offensively. Williams is averaging just 9.6 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.

They're frustrated in Portland too, and Raymond Felton said as much in a report last week. But Felton, who's averaging a career-low 10 points on 36 percent shooting, knows he's at least partly to blame as well. He recently had talks with the Blazers' coaching staff and the idea of bringing him off the bench to stir things up was broached. Felton would be amenable to that, but only as a short-term solution.

Don't expect an exodus from China

December, 21, 2011
Broussard By Chris Broussard
J.R. Smith would like nothing more than to follow Kenyon Martin out of China and back to the United States. But a source close to the situation said we shouldn't expect other NBA players -- Smith, Wilson Chandler or Aaron Brooks -- to follow Martin's example and make an early exit from the Chinese Basketball Association.

All the NBA players who signed to play in China during the lockout, including Martin, did so with the understanding and contractual obligation to stay throughout the entire CBA season. Of course, anyone can leave a team, but the Chinese teams will not clear such players to play elsewhere (NBA, Europe, etc.) until his particular Chinese team finishes its season, whether before, during or after the CBA playoffs.

There has been talk that NBA players can buy out of their contracts for $500,000, but even that sum isn't going to move CBA officials to clear guys to play in the NBA.

"China will let these guys go home, but they’ll stop your money or even ask you for some of the money back, and you can’t play for another team around the world until your team in China’s season is over,'' the source said.

So even though Martin flew back to the United States on Wednesday, he will not be able to sign with an NBA team until his Chinese team, Xinjiang, finishes its season. The CBA's regular season ends on February 15. The playoffs could run as late as March 28.

So expect Smith, Chandler and Brooks to finish their seasons in the CBA. Smith, who tried to leave his Chinese club after suffering a controversial knee injury in his first game, recently sought a break with his club, Zhejiang, but according to a source, Smith was told that if he leaves, he would have to repay all the money he's already made plus the $500,000 buyout. And of course, he wouldn't be able to sign with an NBA team until Zhejiang ends its season.

So Smith is staying put.

Chandler and Brooks, both of whom are in favorable situations in China, are not looking to leave the CBA early, according to the source.

Martin, Smith, Chandler and Brooks have until late April to sign with NBA teams and still be eligible to play in the playoffs.

Sources: Josh Howard, Jazz agree

December, 15, 2011
Broussard By Chris Broussard
Josh Howard has agreed to terms with the Utah Jazz, according to a source close to the situation.

Terms of the deal are unknown at this time.

Howard also drew interest from Portland, New Jersey, San Antonio, Washington and Denver. Howard was a key player for Dallas from 2003-10 and helped the Mavs in their run to the NBA Finals in 2006. He averaged a career-high 19.9 points in 2007-08.

Howard was traded to Washington in February 2010 but tore his ACL the following month.

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