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ESPN: Bucks Make ‘Trade’ for Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd

ESPN: Bucks Make ‘Trade’ for Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Things have gotten quite interesting for the Milwaukee Bucks in the past week. The latest development, according to ESPN, is that the Bucks will send a 2015 and 2019 2nd round pick to nab coaching rights to Jason Kidd.
This is quite a surprise considering this time a year ago, the Nets had just hired Kidd to coach the team after he retired from playing in the NBA.
The move was seen at the time as a surprise because Kidd had zero coaching experience at any level, and was handed the job for a Nets team expected to contend right away due to their veteran roster.
The Nets struggled right off the bat, but managed to finish with a 44-38 record and won their first-round playoff series.
But Kidd reportedly demanded to become the team’s President of Basketball Operations, and the team wasn’t willing to give him so much power with so much inexperience.
This past season, the Bucks finished with the worst record in the NBA at 15-67. The team was fortunate enough to draft former Duke star Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in last week’s draft.
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ESPN: Raptors, Hawks Agree to Swap John Salmons and Lou Williams

ESPN: Raptors, Hawks Agree to Swap John Salmons and Lou Williams

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NBA) — With NBA free agency less than 24 hours away, ESPN is reporting that the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a trade that would send John Salmons to the Hawks and Lou Williams to the Raptors.
ESPN.com is reporting that the Hawks will waive Salmons and pay him only $1 million as opposed to paying him $7 million this upcoming season.
The Hawks are clearing up cap space so they can be more aggressive in free agency as well as ensure future flexibility with the cap.
The Hawks are projected to now have $15.5 million in cap space, enough to make a move this offseason to upgrade the roster.
The 34-year-old Salmons has played 12 NBA seasons, and spent just one season with the Raptors where he averaged 5.0 points in 60 games this past season.
Meanwhile Williams, 27, is a nine-year NBA veteran who specializes in being the main scoring option off the bench. This past season he averaged 10.4 points per game.
Williams and Salmons were teammates together on the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2005-2006 season.
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Jason Kidd Allowed to Talk with Bucks

Jason Kidd Allowed to Talk with Bucks

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After helping to turn the Brooklyn Nets season around and reach the playoffs, Jason Kidd’s future with the team is uncertain. Reports surfaced late Saturday night that the first year head coach could be on his way out of the Big Apple and headed to Milwaukee.
Sources confirmed a report from the New York Post that Kidd was allowed to speak with the Bucks after his request for a promotion was denied by Nets ownership. Kidd reportedly asked for personnel decisions to be added to his duties in addition to his coaching as well as part ownership. Milwaukee then asked, and was granted, permission to talk with Kidd about leaving Brooklyn.
Negotiations were said to be far enough along that the two sides were discussing compensation for the Nets when Kidd was hired away. Milwaukee, which already has a coach and general manager under contract, was purchased by Marc Lasry and Wes Edens earlier this year. Lasry was once a part-time owner of the Nets when Kidd was playing for the franchise, and was even a financial adviser to the former point guard. 
Should they need a new coach, sources say Brooklyn has shown interest in Mark Jackson, Lionel Simmons, and George Karl among others. In his first season as an NBA head coach, Kidd went 44-38 after a 10-21 start. Brooklyn reached the playoffs for a second straight year before being ousted by the Miami Heat in the second round. 
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Report: Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem Opt Out of their Contracts

Report: Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem Opt Out of their Contracts

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Big 3 just might be sticking together after all. According to reports, guard Dwyane Wade, and forward Udonis Haslem have opted out of their contracts and will become free agents.
On the surface, this might spell gloom and doom for Heat fans, but these moves could allow the team re-sign Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Wade, and possibly another high-level free agent.
Haslem is likely to re-sign with with the Heat, but on a more team-friendly deal. He was due to make $4.62 million next season.
The 34-year-old Haslem has spent his entire 11-year career, and has won three championships during his tenure in South Beach.
Wade is also a career member of the Heat organization. He’s been with the team since they drafted him sixth overall back in 2003, the same year they selected Haslem.
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Doug McDermott Ready to Prove He Belongs in the NBA

Doug McDermott Ready to Prove He Belongs in the NBA

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There may not have been a more polarizing player in the NBA Draft than former Creighton forward Doug McDermott. Now a member of the Chicago Bulls, he’s out to prove he can be a productive NBA player as many doubt he’s not ready for the next level.
“A lot of people label me as just a spot up shooter, but I think that I’m a lot more than that,” McDermott said. “I feel like I can put the ball on the floor and come off of screens really well, so I’ve been working on that a lot.”
McDermott is one of the greatest scorers in NCAA history. In his senior season, he led the nation in scoring at 26.7 points per game. His scoring average went up each of his collegiate seasons.
The Denver Nuggets originally selected McDermott 11th overall, but his rights were drafted to the Bulls.
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Sixers Roll the Dice on Center Joel Embiid

Sixers Roll the Dice on Center Joel Embiid

Cooper Neil/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — For the third-straight year, the Philadelphia 76ers are bringing in a center who very well could sit out for the entire season. With the third pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, the team selected former Kansas center Joel Embiid.
Once considered to be the number one overall prospect in the draft, Embiid fell to third because he recently underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot.
That injury, along with a back issue, could keep the talented big man out of action his entire rookie season.
“For my back injury, it hurt me. But I saw the doctors and they said I was going to be fine,” Embiid said after getting drafted. “And unfortunately this foot injury happened a week before the draft. But I believe in God and God knew what he was doing, I’ve always said that and I’m going to just keep praising him.”
During his lone season at Kansas, Embiid dominated opponents. He averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds while blocking 72 shots.
Last season, the 76ers selected center Nerlens Noel, who sat out the entire season as he recovered from a torn ACL.
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NBA Selects Isaiah Austin in 2014 Draft

NBA Selects Isaiah Austin in 2014 Draft

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In an emotional moment, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that former Baylor star Isaiah Austin was drafted by the league during Thursday night’s draft. Austin, who was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome last weekend, was forced to give up his dream of playing in the NBA, so the draft announcement was ceremonial.
Marfan syndrome effects the connective tissue within the body that can cause severe damage to the heart. The illness was discovered as part of Austin’s physical in preparation for the draft.
“For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has,” Austin said. “It’s really been a tough week for me, and it’s been really rough. I’ve just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they’re praying for me and everything.”
Austin averaged 13 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 35 contests with Baylor. The 7’1″ forward also revealed this year that he was playing with a prosthetic right eye after multiple surgeries to repair a detached retina suffered years ago proved to be unsuccessful. 
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Bulls Trade for McDermott

Bulls Trade for McDermott

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In the first of many anticipated moves, the Chicago Bulls traded to get former Creighton star Doug McDermott at the NBA Draft on Thursday night. The Bulls gave up both of their first-round picks to get the sharp-shooting forward.
McDermott was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, who also get Anthony Randolph and a future second-rounder with the 11th overall pick. Chicago originally held the 16th and 19th overall picks, selecting Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris before the deal.
McDermott was the consensus player of the year in college basketball this past season, averaging 26.7 points per game and shooting over fifty percent from the field. The 6’7″ forward also shot 45 percent from three-point range as a senior, finishing fifth all-time on the NCAA scoring chart with 3,150 points.
Chicago was the lowest scoring team in the NBA in 2013-14, scoring 93.7 points per game while shooting just 33.3 percent from downtown. The Bulls are expected to be a top destination for free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, and they’re hopeful the acquisition of McDermott boosts their odds.
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ESPN: Rockets Agree to Send Center Omer Asik to the Pelicans

ESPN: Rockets Agree to Send Center Omer Asik to the Pelicans

Jed Jacbson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a move that very well could be a win for both teams, the Houston Rockets have agreed to send center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a 2015 first-round draft pick.
Asik is set to make $15 million next season, and now the Rockets have more salary cap space to work with in order to land a max-level free agent like Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James.
Askik is an elite rim protector who struggled to find playing time behind center Dwight Howard. This past season, Asik averaged just 20.2 minutes per game, but averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
The Pelicans dealt with a slew of injuries this past season, but do have an emerging star in forward/center Anthony Davis. The team can now pair Davis with a proven center, and should have one of the better defensive front-courts in the NBA next season.
The draft pick included in the deal is protected. It will go to the Rockets if it falls between picks 4-19. Last season, the Pelicans traded their first round pick (the sixth overall pick) to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Jrue Holiday.
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Knicks Agree to Send Center Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks

Knicks Agree to Send Center Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks

NBA via New York Knicks(NEW YORK) — Tyson Chandler is heading back to the Mavericks as the New York Knicks and Dallas have agreed on a six-player trade with Chandler as the center piece.
The trade would sent Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks in exchange for point guards Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin along with guard Wayne Ellington, center Samuel Dalembert, and two second-round picks in Thursday night’s draft.
Chandler played for the Mavericks during the 2010-2011 season — the season they won their one and only NBA Championship.
“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” Knicks executive Phil Jackson said in the announcement. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.”
This move will help Dallas pursue top free agents such as Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James.
For the Knicks, it provides future flexibility, young players, and draft picks, which is something the Knicks haven’t had much of in recent years.
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Bucks Owner Says Team Won’t Draft Center Joel Embiid

Bucks Owner Says Team Won’t Draft Center Joel Embiid

Cooper Neil/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) — With the recent foot injury to center Joel Embiid, the top of the draft underwent a major shakeup. Once in the running for the number one pick, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry says the team, which owns the second overall pick, will not take a gamble on him.
“I think it’s hard to take Embiid,” Lasry said Monday at a joint breakfast meeting of the region’s Rotary Club and the Milwaukee Press Club. “I think he’s a phenomenal individual, but with the injury and not knowing how severe or long it will take to recover, I think for us today we’re going to want somebody who’s going to help us on day one.”
Last week it was revealed that Embiid needed foot surgery, a procedure that could keep him out of action his entire rookie year.
The Bucks are now expected to select either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.
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Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Here we go again. Lebron James’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
While NBA fans may be salivating at the idea of landing arguably the best player in the NBA, opting out of his deal does not necessarily mean he will leave the Heat.
James had until June 30 to opt out of the final two years of his deal. He had $42.7 million remaining on his deal.
A four-time NBA MVP, James is one of the most transcendent players in the NBA and all of sports. In 11 NBA seasons, James has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.
James spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He infamously chose to play for the Heat during the summer of 2010.
Now 29, James went to four-consecutive Finals with the Heat, and won two titles.
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Report: Rudy Gay Will Opt In with Kings

Report: Rudy Gay Will Opt In with Kings

NBA/Memphis Grizzlies(NEW YORK) — Instead of pursuing a long-term deal, Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay will opt into the final year of his contract with the team, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Gay will be paid $19.3 million next se…

Carmelo Anthony Opts Out

Carmelo Anthony Opts Out

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony has informed the team that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Anthony, who had hinted towards the decision during the regular season, will be able to negotiate with any team on July 1.
Anthony has the ability to sign a maximum contract worth $96 million over five years with any team outside of the Knicks. Should he choose to resign with New York, the small forward could command a max deal worth $129 million.
Sources close to Anthony say the Chicago Bulls are one team that he would consider playing for. Among others that could garner his services are the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. ESPN.com reported earlier in June that the Miami Heat have also inquired about signing Anthony. Meanwhile, Knicks president Phil Jackson had expressed his hope that Anthony would “opt in” to the final year of his deal and test free agency in 2015.
New York went 37-45 this past season, led by Anthony’s 27.4 points per game. Should he leave, Anthony would become the fifth player in the last 30 years to change teams after averaging more than 27 points that year and the first to do so since LeBron James.
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ESPN: Warriors Weighing Trade for Kevin Love

ESPN: Warriors Weighing Trade for Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwovles/NBA(NEW YORK) — If the Golden State Warriors truly want to get their hands on Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, they’ll have to pay a heavy price. ESPN reports that the team is seriously weighing their options to find what it would take to acquire him via trade.
Reportedly the Timberwolves are asking for a future first-round pick, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and maybe Harrison Barnes in exchange for Love and Kevin Martin.
That is a steep price to pay, but Love is arguably one of the best players in the NBA. This past season, the 25-year-old averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He was the only player in the NBA this past season to be in the top-5 in points and rebounds.
Despite Love’s immense talent, he hasn’t made it to the playoffs during his six-year career. While he hasn’t officially asked for a trade, he is likely to opt out of his contract next season to test free agency.
Other than the Warriors, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics have reportedly engaged in trade talks for Love.
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David Blatt Offered Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

David Blatt Offered Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sources close to the Cleveland Cavaliers indicate the team may have found their new head coach. According to multiple media reports, David Blatt was offered the head job on Thursday and the two sides are currently in contract talks.
A longtime European coach, Blatt led Russia to a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic games. He also was the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, winning the Euroleague Championship this season. The 55-year-old has spent more than 20 seasons coaching in Europe for four different countries.
Blatt was the starting point guard at Princeton for legendary coach Pete Carril from 1977-1981 before having a 13-year playing career overseas. Blatt’s teams have been seen running a similar “Princeton-style” offense that he was taught in his collegiate career. If he accepts, Blatt would be the third Cavaliers head coach in as many seasons.
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Carmelo Anthony: Meeting Went Well with Phil Jackson

Carmelo Anthony: Meeting Went Well with Phil Jackson

New York Knicks/NBA(NEW YORK) — The days for Carmelo Anthony to decide if he is opting out of his current contract are quickly approaching.
Still, Anthony said a recent meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson was positive.
“It was great meeting with Phil. It went well,” Anthony told two reporters in New York City on Wednesday as he promoted his partnership with 50 Cent and SMS Audio headphones.
The Knicks hired Derek Fisher as their new head coach and Anthony had no problems with that either. “I like what Phil is doing,” Anthony added.
Anthony has until June 23 to notify the New York Knicks on whether he’ll be coming back next year or become a free agent in July, reports ESPN.com.
Anthony is spending his offseason with his family in Los Angeles.
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Suns Will Try to Reach Deal with Eric Bledsoe Before Free Agency

Suns Will Try to Reach Deal with Eric Bledsoe Before Free Agency

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Phoenix Suns gave guard Eric Bledsoe expanded playing time for the first time in his career this past season, and he flourished. Now, the team will attempt to sign him to a long-term deal before free agency…

Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — While the basketball world will wait and see what the future holds for Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat will lose forward Shane Battier to retirement while Ray Allen is still deciding his playi…

Nowitzki Makes Plea for ‘Melo in Dallas

Nowitzki Makes Plea for ‘Melo in Dallas

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Carmelo Anthony, projected to be one of the top free agents if he chooses to opt out of his contract, may have a new suitor. Over the weekend, Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki made his pitch for Anthony.
“If Carmelo would really love to come here, we’d love to have him,” Nowitzki said in a radio interview.
Despite being under contract for next season, Anthony is expected to opt out of the final season of his contract with the New York Knicks and test free agency.
Along with the Mavericks, the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat have also been rumored to have interest in the small forward. Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson has publicly stated his desire for Anthony to remain in New York.
“Listen, I think I’ve showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody,” Nowitzki said. “The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had [Antawn] Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same four-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass. I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.”
Anthony, who has said he would like to remain in New York, has stated on multiple occasions during the season that he planned to become a free agent this summer. Should he choose to re-sign with the Knicks, ‘Melo could ink a maximum contract worth $129 million over five years. If Anthony signs with another team, his contract would only be able to be a maximum of $96 million over four seasons.
Dallas won 49 games last year and made the playoffs as the eight seed. The Mavericks were champions in 2011 and are projected to have more than $30 million in cap space.
The Knicks won just 37 games this year and are not expected to have enough cap space to create a contender for the 2014-15 season.
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