|LeBron makes decision to join Twitter||07.06.10 at 2:15 pm ET|
LeBron James opened a Twitter account on Tuesday. His publicist, Keith Estabrook, confirmed that kingjames is in fact the account of the two-time MVP. Though he had yet to make a single post, there were nearly 50,000 followers by 2 p.m. EST.
It has been speculated that James may use this account to officially announce his eventual landing spot. The most famous free agent in the world, James is expected to make the decision regarding his basketball future soon.
|Rivers: Sheed helps C’s by waiting||at 11:54 am ET|
Recent reports indicated that Rasheed Wallace might be reconsidering his decision to retire. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, however, said Monday from the Summer League in Orlando that Wallace is helping the team by delaying an official decision.
“He’s trying to help us out by waiting, which is good,” Rivers said in a story at AOL FanHouse. “He’s still our property so we can use that in a trade or something. He’s doing a great thing for us.”
Rivers said the chances that Wallace will return are “very little or none.”
Wallace is scheduled to make $6.32 next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12.
|Duhon agrees to deal with Magic||at 11:21 am ET|
One day after agreeing to a deal with free agent Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks lost their starting point guard. Chris Duhon agreed to a four-year, $15 million contract with the Magic, his agent told ESPN.com. Duhon, 27, averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 assists in New York last season, his sixth in the NBA.
|Report: Raptors would OK Bosh sign-and-trade with Cavs||at 11:17 am ET|
According to an ESPN report by Chris Broussard, the Raptors are amenable to a sign-and-trade deal that would send free agent forward Chris Bosh from Toronto to Cleveland. The report speculates that Toronto might receive Anderson Varejao and/or J.J. Hickson, Delonte West and possibly Anthony Parker.
However, despite recruiting attempts by LeBron James, Bosh is rumored to have limited interest in playing in Cleveland. The story cites sources as saying Bosh would prefer to team up with James or Dwyane Wade in Chicago, Miami or New Jersey.
|Ray Allen’s developing market||at 9:44 am ET|
Now that Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce are back in the fold, the next logical move for Danny Ainge is to work out a contract with Ray Allen. The Celtics want him back. They can offer him the best deal, and Allen has said that he wants to return. But it’s not always that simple.
Allen is being courted by the top tier of free agents, namely LeBron James (Ken Berger of CBSsports.com had the details Monday) and until James makes a decision much of the free agent world is in limbo.
James is said to be unsure of whether he will return to the Cavaliers or take an offer from one of the other teams that is pursuing him — the Knicks, Nets, Bulls and Heat. (It’s safe to assume the Clippers took themselves out of the running, if they were ever a serious option to begin with).
If James does stay in Cleveland, the Cavs would only have the mid-level exception to offer Allen and they also need help in the center department. If James goes elsewhere, those teams would have cap money to spend on supporting players, but they are all basically building teams from scratch and it’s unclear how much of that precious cap room they would be willing to use on Allen.
Both the Knicks and Heat are in desperate need of point guards, while the Nets would have to bring along an expensive power forwards to entice James. The Bulls may be the wild card in this scenario since they have a ready-made team in place for either James or Dwyane Wade, and Allen already has an existing relationship with new coach Tom Thibodeau.
In the end, there may not be a huge deal waiting for Allen when the dust settles, but shooting is always at a premium, and Allen and Mike Miller are the two best shooters available in free agency.
So, the Celtics will wait it out. Because they have Allen’s “Bird rights,” they can go over the cap to re-sign him and don’t have to use the MLE. The key for Ainge isn’t the dollars, however, it’s the years.
Allen will turn 35 this July, and the track record for shooting guards that old is not great. The Celtics are gambling that Allen’s commitment to conditioning will carry him through the latter part of his career and he will be more Reggie Miller than Mitch Richmond, which seems like a decent probability.
A two-year deal would be ideal, but with competition for his services, they may have to go to three. Ainge showed his resolve to bringing the Celtics core back together when he went four years on Pierce’s new contract. If he did go to three for Allen it would allow him to go year-to-year with the veterans as Kevin Garnett‘s contract is up after two more years.
The Celtics won’t be able to be under the cap anytime soon when all this is over, but they may be able to reduce their luxury tax bill, which would also make it easier to continue adding veteran pieces this summer or at the trade deadline. There will also be a new collective bargaining agreement in place after next season, which could significantly alter the NBA landscape.
There is much uncertainty around the NBA these days, but the Celtics’ path is clear. It just may take a few weeks for it to come into sharper focus.
|LeBron makes surprise appearance at camp||at 8:47 am ET|
LeBron James showed up at his Nike Skills Academy on Monday, a day earlier than expected, and took part in a late-afternoon workout as the league awaits a decision on where he will play next season. James was not expected until Tuesday at the camp, which features some of the nation’s top college and high school players working out in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Hornets star Chris Paul looked on as James ran drills and played 5-on-5 games for two hours. Before leaving the gym, James declined comment to a reporter.
James is not expected to announce his plans until after the conclusion of the camp Wednesday. Thursday is the first day teams can officially sign free agents.
|Rumors: Shaq weighs offer from Hawks||at 8:12 am ET|
While the Celtics reportedly have shown interest in veteran center Shaquille O’Neal, he also is considering a two-year offer from the Hawks that starts at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, according to AOL FanHouse. The Hawks, who agreed to a max contract with Joe Johnson over the weekend, are in need of a center.
“I think he wants to see how everything shakes out with all the free agents, but he’s seriously considering Atlanta’s offer,” the story quotes a source. “He wants to play two more years, and he wants it to be with a contender. He thinks he can help them become a serious one.”