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Melo Meets with Knicks and Lakers

Melo Meets with Knicks and Lakers

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Thursday was a busy day for one of the NBA's most sought after free agents. After spending two hours meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony also spent time with his most recent team in the New York Knicks.

Anthony sat down with members of both team's leadership and discussed possible terms of contracts as he enters his first ever free agency period. The Lakers contingent was reportedly to include star Kobe Bryant, but the small forward was unable to get back to California in time following a family vacation in Europe. Bryant did say he planned to met with Anthony later in the day.

Following a two and a half hour meeting, Los Angeles told the small forward they would be willing to offer him maximum contract worth $96 million over four years. If Anthony chose to stay with the Knicks, he could garner a five-year deal with a $129 million price tag. New York reiterated to Anthony that he would be given such a contract if he chose to stay.

Anthony has also met with Chicago, Dallas, and Houston during this free agency period. 

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ESPN: Mavericks Sign Dirk Nowitzki to 3-Year Deal

ESPN: Mavericks Sign Dirk Nowitzki to 3-Year Deal

NBA via Dallas Mavericks(NEW YORK) -- The greatest player to suit up for the Dallas Mavericks isn't going anywhere as, according to ESPN, the team has agreed on a three-year contract with forward Dirk Nowitzki.

The deal is expected to be in the $30 million range. ESPN also is reporting that the new deal contains a player option that would allow Nowitzki to return to free agency in the summer of 2016.

Nowitzki took a below-market value deal due to his allegiance to the team, and the team's desire to use the saved money to go after free agents such as Carmelo Anthony and Luol Deng.

Nowitzki has been with the Mavericks for 16 seasons, making his NBA debut back in 1998.

When all is said and done, Nowitzki will likely suit up for the Mavericks for the duration of his 19-year career, something rarely seen in professional sports these days.

During his NBA career, the 36-year-old Nowitzki has averaged 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, and led the franchise to its only NBA Championship back in 2011.

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Jason Kidd Ready for New Job in Milwaukee

Jason Kidd Ready for New Job in Milwaukee

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jason Kidd is moving on from last season with the Brooklyn Nets.  The Milwaukee Bucks introduced Kidd on Wednesday and Kidd did not mention the team once during his press conference.

"This is business. I think [Nets general manager] Billy [King] said it best," Kidd said with a grin. "It's business, and that's what it comes down to."

"When you're a player, you're gonna be criticized. And as a coach, you're gonna be criticized even more because it's about wins and losses," Kidd continued. "And so for me it's being able to get better as a coach."

"I'm still a young coach and I've still got a lot to learn about coaching and I want to surround myself with guys like [Bucks GM] John [Hammond] and [owners] Wes [Edens] and Marc [Lasry] and be able to learn from them," he added. "I'm excited about this opportunity. Today is all about Milwaukee and I'll be criticized about why [Ersan] Ilyasova didn't take the game-winning shot. It just comes with the territory and we move forward."

Kidd also said he's looking forward to teaching a young roster, which includes Jabari Parker.

"It's not about the market. It's about being able to teach, and I have a great opportunity in Milwaukee with a young roster. Our goal is to become a championship team, and having this opportunity with Milwaukee, I'm very excited about it," Kidd said. "I've played in small markets, I've played in big markets, basketball is inside the arena. It doesn't recognize what market you're in. It's about wins and losses. That's the way I approach it."

Kidd was traded to the Bucks after requesting the right to speak with other teams. The deal is worth $15 million for three years, according to ESPN.com.

The Nets received two second round draft picks for him. The team also retired Kidd's No. 5 jersey this past season.

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Marcin Gortat Agrees to Five-Year Deal with Wizards

Marcin Gortat Agrees to Five-Year Deal with Wizards

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Marcin Gortat will be staying in Washington after he agreed to a new five-year deal worth $60 million with the Wizards on Tuesday.

"I'm proud to say Washington will be my home," Gortat posted to his twitter account on Tuesday.

Gortat was one of the top targets to bring back for Washington and both sides met earlier in the week to discuss his future with the team.

The deal can't officially be signed until July 10 when the league moratorium is lifted.

Gortat was huge for the Wizards off the bench this past season, averaging 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. 

The Wizards made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.  They'll shift their attention now to re-signing forward Trevor Ariza.

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Magic Waive Point Guard Jameer Nelson

Magic Waive Point Guard Jameer NelsonRonald Martinez/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- After 10 seasons with the team, the Orlando Magic have waived point guard Jameer Nelson. "I appreciate the opportunity the Orlando Magic has afforded me and my family over the past 10 years," Nelson said...

Cavaliers Reward Kyrie Irving with Five-Year Extension

Cavaliers Reward Kyrie Irving with Five-Year ExtensionNBA via Cleveland Cavaliers(NEW YORK) -- Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers can put their fears to rest as All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has agreed to sign a five-year extension with the team worth $90 million. Irving had one more year left on his roo...

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 KingsNBA/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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