2012 NBA Free Agent Tracker: Follow all the offseason moves
As for Phoenix, a return to the Suns continues to appear unlikely. They are not among the teams aggressively pursuing him in the opening days of free agency and, according to the Arizona Republic, have instead been focusing on free agents like Michael Beasley and Eric Gordon.
LeBron James has long since passed the torch to Dwight Howard when it comes to poor public relations and the Orlando center was back at it again recently. A source close to the situation confirmed reports that Howard requested a trade yet again Friday, telling new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan that he wanted out during a meeting in Los Angeles. The source said the Magic open for business when it comes to trade calls now, and various reports indicate talks are heating up with the Hawks, Lakers and Nets.
Howard, to review, waffled his way up to the March 15 trade deadline before deciding to opt-in to the final year of his contract on the final day while claiming his "loyalty" to the organization played a part in the decision. The twists and turns of his overly dramatic story have become difficult to keep track of, almost all of them hurting the image of a player who was once seen as one of the league's most endearing young talents.
But rest assured, all indications are that he should finally be traded soon enough.
Celtics getting Green-er?
With 36-year-old Kevin Garnett already set to return to Boston on a three-year deal and the possibility remaining that 36-year-old Ray Allen joins him, one might think that this will be the same old Celtics.
But a source close to 25-year-old forward Jeff Green said the odds of him also returning to Beantown are high, thanks in large part to his affinity for coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics' stance that he's an important part of their future. Green, who missed all of last season due to a heart condition that was discovered in December and required surgery to repair the aneurysm on Jan. 12, is fully healthy again and ready to get on with his career. Because nine members of last season's Celtics became unrestricted free agents, Green's situation is one of the many being discussed by the team and may take some time to resolve.
Allen back to Boston, too?
As for Allen, a Celtics source said re-signing him is their top priority. They have competition, though, as Allen is known to be among Miami's top targets and is also reportedly being pursued by the Grizzlies, Suns and the Clippers. Among the top two targets, the Heat can offer only a three-year, $9 million contract (the team's mini mid-level exception) while the Celtics, according to ESPN.com, are willing to give Allen a two-year, $12 million deal.
Allen has plenty of shooting guard competition in the unrestricted free agent ranks, chief among them Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, O.J. Mayo and Nick Young. A source close to Crawford said he is in talks with the Clippers, Celtics, Wolves, Suns and 76ers. The source added that Crawford has had the most extensive talks with the Clippers so far, and he is planning a visit to Los Angeles this week.
Around the NBA
Denver elected to keep its point-guard tandem of Ty Lawson and Andre Miller together.
Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images• Sources confirmed that point guard Andre Miller agreed to a three-year deal to return to the Nuggets. Miller was widely expected to head elsewhere, and now it makes some sense as to why the Nuggets passed on Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague in Thursday's draft. Despite a source close to the Nuggets saying that Teague was high on their radar, they took French shooting guard Evans Fournier with the 20th pick. The potent Ty Lawson-Miller one-two punch, in other words, will remain together after all.
• A source confirmed that restricted free agent forward Lavoy Allen agreed to return to Philadelphia on a two-year, $6 million deal. Both years, the source said, are guaranteed.
• While Gordon is looking for a maximum salary deal from one of his many suitors, a source close to the Hornets said the team is likely to match any such deal if and when he lands it. Gordon is reportedly being pursued by Brooklyn, Indiana, Houston, Phoenix and Portland.
• Sources confirmed that Bulls restricted free agent center Omer Asik agreed to sign a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet with the Rockets when the free agency moratorium lifts on July 11. It's hefty money for the 7-footer who averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in his second season, but Houston -- which traded center Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee last week -- apparently wants to ensure that it's not left without a big man if the Howard push doesn't pay off. The Bulls will have three days to match starting July 11.
• First it was the Perry Jones "gamble" for Oklahoma City, and now Hasheem Thabeet?
A source said Thabeet, who is an unrestricted free agent, visited the Thunder on Sunday and could end up signing with Oklahoma City. Barring an unexpected return to Portland, Houston or Memphis, the 7-3 center who was taken No. 2 by Memphis in 2009 will be playing for his fourth team.
As for Jones, the Baylor forward whose knee issues played a part in his slide to No. 28, could turn out to be a versatile and valuable big man. And the same could be the case with Thabeet, as well. The Thunder's roster depth and culture would put these young players in the safest of environments so that maybe, just maybe, they reach their potential.
• A source close to unrestricted free agent point guard Goran Dragic said the Raptors, Suns, Nets, Hornets, Lakers and Rockets have all expressed interest thus far. The Rockets, for whom Dragic shined in the second half of last season, are said to be coming on the strongest. Yet Dragic, according to the source, has a serious interest in being part of a winning team and will consider that factor as much as the money. The source made it clear, however, that Dragic expects to be a starter for whichever team he ultimately signs with.
It's not known whether he would return to the Rockets if they can't find a new home for point guard Kyle Lowry, who has been vocal in his displeasure for head coach Kevin McHale and clearly wants out. Dragic has not taken any visits yet and is expected to return from Europe on Monday.
• A source said Phoenix and Detroit are among those pursuing small forward Michael Beasley. Minnesota declined to offer the former No. 2 pick a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
• For all the time spent here on the Nash courting, Deron Williams will take center stage again Monday when the unrestricted free agent will reportedly visit with the incumbent Nets as well as the Mavericks.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz1zT5jZ52l