|Haywood to re-sign with Mavs for $55 million||07.08.10 at 1:46 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears initially reported the signing. Haywood, who averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds last season for the Mavs in only 28 games, spent his first 8½ seasons with the Wizards. With a number of teams (including the Celtics) looking for help at the center position, it’s not surprising that Dallas locked him up long-term.
|Report: Jermaine O’Neal will sign with C’s||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.
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.
|Nets reach agreement with Outlaw||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.
|LeBron Watch, noon: Cleveland is ‘cautiously optimistic’||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.
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.
|LeBron Watch, 9 a.m.: MSG stock falls in early trading||at 9:32 am ET|
Stock for Madison Square Garden Inc., which had surged to $21.47 per share Wednesday from $20.27 on July 6 amid speculation that LeBron James would join the Knicks, fell 4.6 percent to $20.58 after reports indicated it was unlikely James would land in New York.
Meanwhile, James’ Twitter account that he launched Tuesday was up to 292,000 followers as of 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, despite the fact that James posted just three tweets since its inception.
In gossip news, a man who claims to be James’ biological father is suing James, according to the celebrity news website TMZ. Leicester Bryce Stovell, 55, claims he is the victim of a DNA cover up by James’ mother, Gloria. Stovell said he met James’ mother in a Washington, D.C., bar in 1984, when she was 15 and he was 29, and had a sexual encounter with her. After losing contact for 20 years, Stovell got in touch in 2007 when he began to suspect LeBron was his son. James’ lawyer agreed to a paternity test that came back negative, but Stovell insists the test was tampered with.
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