|07.08.10 at 1:28 pm ET|
The 6-foot-11 O’Neal is a 13-year veteran who played the last two years in Miami. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 70 games last season after three injury-plagued seasons prior. The 31-year-old also reportedly had been considering offers from the Nuggets and Mavericks.
|07.08.10 at 1:04 pm ET|
Wherever LeBron James decided to play next season, he’ll be in Florida this upcoming weekend for a celebration on his announcement, according to a magazine report.
Two sources confirmed to UsMagazine.com that James has rented six cabanas at the W Hotel South Beach for the weekend, which could be telling after reports that he’s leaning toward playing for the Heat.
|07.08.10 at 12:32 pm ET|
The Nets and forward Travis Outlaw have reached an agreement on a five-year, $35 million contract, writes Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The contract is fully guaranteed and Outlaw is expected to officially sign next week.
The 25-year-old played last season with the Clippers after being dealt from the Trail Blazers as part of the trade that sent Marcus Camby to Portland.
In seven NBA seasons, Outlaw has averaged 9.5 points and 3.4 rebounds after being drafted by the Trail Blazers in 2003.
|07.08.10 at 12:04 pm ET|
Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com joined Eric Frede and Mike Giardi on the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning to talk about the upcoming LeBron James announcement. Goodman said he hears strong indications that James is heading to Miami but no one can know for sure. Stationed in Cleveland, Goodman gauges the city as being “cautiously optimistic” and having hopes that its hometown star will stick around.
Meanwhile, in Greenwich, Conn., the site where James will make his announcement Thursday night, Jeff Valin of the Hartford Courant writes that everything is normal 11 hours before the event. The Greenwich Boys & Girls Club shut out the media, forcing it to wait outside the building. Fifteen-year-old Knicks fan Mike Correa of Stamford appears to be the first fan to have arrived, hoping to get a chance to see one of his favorite players.
Outside James’ house in Ohio, the Bath Township police department is tightening up security, reports Michael Sangiacomo of the Plain Dealer.
Police Chief Michael McNeeley is hoping to avoid a large gathering outside of James’ home.
“Whether we get loads of happy fans or unhappy fans showing up outside his home, we will be prepared to keep the traffic moving,” he said.
|07.08.10 at 10:33 am ET|
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated joined guest hosts Bob Ryan and Bob Neumeier on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to weigh in on the LeBron James situation and offer his opinion on the validity of reports that James is headed to Miami.
Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On Miami’s position to compete in the Eastern Conference if LeBron joins Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh:
I think next season it would be extremely difficult. Now, I’m convinced that Michael Beasley is going to stay on the roster because they can’t give him away for a ham sandwich. They’re trying to pass him off on every team in the league, which is a little mind-boggling considering that two years ago this guy was the No. 2 pick in the draft. We were arguing about being possibly the No. 1 pick with Derrick Rose. Their willingness to just give him away is a little baffling.
But you make the point, even if those three guys sign, you’re left with Mario Chalmers suddenly becomes the Rajon Rondo of the Miami Heat, where he sort of he’s sort of an unknown commodity and he has to play exceptionally well for them to succeed. But the other problem is they don’t have a Kendrick Perkins equivalent. There’s no center down there. There’s nobody down there. They’re going to have to sign a Mikki Moore to play center for that position. They’re going to have fill up the rest of the roster with veteran minimum salary players.
I think come next year, if maybe Beasley proves himself he can be a trade shipment and you can use that whole mid-level exception to use on one guy and maybe spread it out over two guys, I think that next year they’re in a better position. But I’m not convinced guys that even if those three guys come together ‘ and I’m sure they’re going to win 65 to 70 regular season games ‘ I’m not convinced they’re getting out of the Eastern Conference. I mean, if Boston can get their act together and Kendrick Perkins can come back in the second half of the season and give them something close to what he gave them last year, I think they’re still going to be considered the favorite. I just think they still have enough left in the tank to make one more run and chemistry-wise and talent-wise, I think even though they have all the stock power down there in Miami, I don’t believe they have enough to get past the Celtics or even maybe Chicago in the conference finals. Read the rest of this entry »
|07.08.10 at 10:18 am ET|
New York governor David Paterson made his weekly appearance on WOR radio Thursday morning and was asked about LeBron James‘ decision.
Celeste Katz of the New York Daily News writes that Paterson said he would like to see James play in a Knicks uniform but feels that he is making a spectacle of himself with his nationally televised announcement.
“I think it’s a very big mistake to have national televised moment when you tell the people of Ohio, a state that is suffering dearly, that you’re leaving,” Paterson said on WOR.
|07.08.10 at 9:33 am ET|
Doc Rivers is back for the final year of his contract. Paul Pierce is signed for four years and now Ray Allen has returned to the fold, agreeing to a two-year deal with a player option for the second year.
Allen’s contract is a coup for Danny Ainge and the Celtics and it’s also an indication that Allen understands the shifting landscape of the NBA. Allen wasn’t in the market for the proverbial last big contract. He needed a place where his skills could flourish, even at age 35.
He also left himself an out if the Celtics struggle, Rivers decides to leave and a new collective bargaining agreement works in his favor. The Celtics meanwhile have left open a two-year window until Kevin Garnett‘s contract expires. It really is a win-win deal for both sides.
The NBA has set the cap for next year at a tick over $58 million, about $2 million more than was expected, and lifted the moratorium on transactions. Many of the big name players have already decided (with a certain big one still to go Thursday night) and the big work for Ainge and the Celtics is done.
The starting five is under contract along with Glen Davis, first-round pick Avery Bradley, Turkish center Semih Erden and Rasheed Wallace. More on Sheed in a minute, but it’s worth pointing out that Philly legend Sonny Hill told the Globe that Wallace might be re-thinking his decision to retire.
Beyond that, Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney have non-guaranteed minimum-level deals, and there’s also second-round pick Luke Harangody, who has not signed a rookie deal yet. Keeping Wallace where he is for a moment, that’s 12 players if all of the rookies make the final roster.
Now Ainge has to get creative.
Keep a few things in mind. The Celtics are over the cap and they used the bi-annual exception on Marquis Daniels last summer. That leaves the mid-level exception, valued at $5.765 million, and veteran minimum contracts.
Here are three more items of business for Ainge as he puts the finishing touches on the 2010-11 Celtics. Read the rest of this entry »
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