Derrick Rose reportedly preferred the Bulls to sign Joe Johnson instead of LeBron James, according to multiple people that spoke with Brian Windhorst.
The Bulls appeared to be the leading contender for LeBron James a week ago, but the Cavaliers are risen to the top of the leaderboard in recent days.
"My gut tells me Cleveland," an executive in the James chase told Yahoo! Sports. "From what I hear now, it his decision alone. No outside influences."
A source with direct knowledge of the meeting said that when the Knicks told Wade they would build their team around him, he responded, "Just get me one player and I'll get you a ring."
The Cavaliers showed LeBron James a cartoon in the style of 'Family Guy' featuring him and his friends during their meeting on Saturday.
'Family Guy' is one of LeBron's favorite shows and the clip featured some inside jokes related to the Cavaliers.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ``Source briefed on meeting with Bulls Friday tells Y! that Dwyane Wade`s interest in Chicago is for real``.
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Of course, his `interest is for real`.
Dwyane Wade grew up in Chicago. The Windy City has a certain hometown appeal for the athletic two-guard.
The Bulls` supporting cast also gives them an edge on every other suitor. After all, Derrick Rose is a superstar point guard, capable of creating for others and getting his own shot, while Joakim Noah is a physical, blue-collar post.
Keep in mind Chicago can offer Wade and another superstar a maximum contract, so the 2006 NBA Finals MVP will have help in the form of Chris Bosh or maybe even LeBron James.
When conisdering all the angles, it`s easy to see why Wade`s `interest is for real`.
-- Oly Sandor.
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The New York Knicks and Amar'e Stoudemire continued to move closer to an agreement to bring the free-agent forward to Madison Square Garden next season, but sources told ESPN that the deal has yet to be struck.
A person involved in the talks told The New York Times the Knicks have offered Stoudemire a five-year, $100 million deal -- the maximum allowed -- and are waiting to talk to him in person to complete the deal, which can't be signed until July 8 at the earliest.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Hope is not a strategy.
After all, the New York Knicks and their fans spent years hoping for LeBron James. The front office cut salaries and practically encouraged losing, while fans watched a God-awful product shame their beloved Madison Square Garden.
Such a situation was tolerated because fans had hope -the hope they'd sign James this summer. Well, chances are they'll only end up with Amar'e Stoudemire.
Another second tier free agent may sign on. Maybe not.
Reports indicate Stoudemire and the Knicks are moving full speed ahead on an extension. STAT will score in bunches and entertain the NYC masses. However, the club is no closer to winning an NBA Title with him up front.
And wasn't that what the last two years were supposedly about? Weren't the Knicks losing so one day they'd win?
Well, their grand strategy looks to have failed. James probably isn’t coming; same with Dwyane Wade.
Even with Stoudemire, the New York Knicks need a new plan for 2011. Turns out hope wasn`t enough.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Who has the better plan: Knicks’ 3 Star Plan, Nets’ Blueprint, Miami’s Super Team, or Chicago’s Business?
The sales pitch has got to be one of the toughest things to put together for any marketing team. It is one of those things that science alone cannot help them. The only way science can help is in producing the right numbers – the sweet science of money. There’s another science as well and that is the science of reproduction. Sex parties are the cure, but then again who wants herpes? That doesn’t cope well with these big name free agents doing public appearances. Even Delonte West gets clowned on and supposedly it’s just a birth mark.Read More
Rudy Gay has agreed to a five-year, $81.6 million deal with Memphis, including a player option on fifth, his reps at Octagon confirmed to Y!
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The first big name of the 2010 market has fallen.
Reports indicate the Memphis Grizzlies have re-signed their own restricted free agent Rudy Gay for five-years and $82 million.
Gay was supposedly a fall-back for clubs with cap-space that failed to land tier-one free agents like LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. The feeling was these teams would float an offer sheet that small-market, cost-conscious Memphis would have trouble matching.
Well, the Grizzlies stepped-up.
In giving Gay – an explosive scorer at the three-spot – market value, Memphis showed they’ll keep young assets, so they can again challenge for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference.
-- O. Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below with thoughts!
Byron Scott has reached agreement on a three-year contract to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The deal is expected to be finalized on Thursday.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's a big announcement, but not the one Cleveland Cavalier fans were hoping for.
Word is Cleveland owner and de facto GM Dan Gilbert will introduce Byron Scott as his bench-boss today, and the former sharpshooter is apparently excited to coach the Cavaliers -even if you-know-who, LeBron James, doesn't re-sign.
And perhaps he's right.
With James, Scott has a ready-built contender on his hand. Without him, Scott can take his time to reshape the roster -like he did with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets.
Either way, in Gilbert, Scott has the rare owner willing to spend to compete. This is what drew him to the job.
Now Scott must wait to see how the situation unfolds in Cleveland.
Got thoughts? Get at O.Sandor and HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Sources close to Je Johnson have told Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski the believe the All-Star guard will soon accept a six-year, $119 million deal the Hawks offered Thursday morning. Hawks GM GM Rick Sund delivered the offer to Johnson in Los Angeles shortly after midnight Thursday.
People involved with the NBA and sports media are really sticking their necks and reputations on the line. I love it! Their true colors are shown. We have never witnessed anything like this before. The entire free agency arms race is 10x more explosive than the Big Network’s extravaganza about Brett Favre and his jeans. Everyone has a hard on for LeBron. Analysts on television, print, and radio are arguing against each other over speculations. Speculations? That’s another word for opinion. Get your popcorn and enjoy the freak show! I have!Read More
The New Jersey Nets traded Yi Jianlian to the Washington Wizards for Quinton Ross on Tuesday.
The Nets sent the Wizards $3 million to complete the deal and also received the Wizards' trade exception, according to league sources.
Yi is scheduled to make $4 million next season. Ross is set to make $1.1 million. The Nets should now have roughly $30 million in cap space to spend after the move, according to sources.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: One team's junk is another team's treasure.
Cap space is king for the New Jersey Nets, as the club needs financial flexibility to sign free agents this summer. And trading Yi Jianlian saves the Nets $3 million and puts them on equal footing with the Chicago Bulls.
Instead of conserving cap space to take a run at a big ticket free agent, the Washington Wizards are taking a different approach. The Wizards are acquiring assets on the cheap from teams who need to cut payroll to compete in the Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and/or Dwyane Wade sweepstakes.
For instance, the Wizards scored Kirk Hinrich on draft day. The cost: assuming the combo guard's $9 million per season salary.
Hinrich can back-up both guard spots and mentor first overall pick John Wall, while Yi will fill in for - and hopefully replace - injured four-man Andray Blatche.
Expect a few more of these deals before the July 1st free agent market opens.
David Kahn says he plans to call two agents at 11 o'clock Wednesday, when the NBA's free-agency negotiation period begins. I hear from a good league source that one of those two guys is Memphis forward Rudy Gay.I texted David Kahn for a confirmation or denial Monday evening and he did not respond.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This makes sense.
The lowly Minnesota Timberwolves should target Rudy Gay, the athletic swing with the Memphis Grizzlies. While young and talented, Gay has been overlooked because this year`s free agent class features superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Amar`e Stoudemire, and Dwyane Wade.
But Gay has the explosiveness to become an All-Star. And the Wolves are desperate for a small forward to complement their bevy of point guards and power forwards.
Best of all, Gay is ripe for the picking because Minnesota - which has just $25 million in committed salary for 2011 - can afford to float a big ticket offer, while small market Memphis may lack the resources to match.
So perhaps the Wolves make a splash in this summer`s free agent market.
"The Raptors would like to get something in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, but they likely won’t deal him in the East. The Lakers are expected to offer Andrew Bynum, a legitimate low post center, and Lamar Odom, and take back Jarrett Jack, whom the Raptors would like to move."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: All they can do is make the best of a bad situation.
After all, franchise face Chris Bosh seems destined to leave the Toronto Raptors as a free agent when the market opens July 1st. Executive Bryan Colangelo admitted as much at a recent press conference.
There's no easy way to lose a 26 year old superstar. However, there's an easier way.
For instance, if Chris Bosh joins fellow free agents LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in Miami or Chicago, he'll likely leave a year and $30 million on the table. And the Raptors will get nothing in return.
If Bosh inks a deal with the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade, he can get the longest term and most money available. And the club can get something back, which is better than nothing.
Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time defending champs are offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Bosh and Jarrett Jack.
Such a deal would achieve two things. First, Bynum is a legit five-man. His length, size, and ability to plug the middle would transform the Raptors into a more defensive side. And skilled post Andrea Bargnani could slide to the four-spot, his natural position.
Second, Bosh would be out west. He wouldn't be in the same conference. He wouldn't drop into Air Canada Centre several times a year with his new superstar teammates. He wouldn't win championships with the the Bulls or Heat. And all of this would allow the Raptors to save face.
Of course, the ball is in Bosh's court. As an unrestricted free agent, he holds most of the cards.
All Colangelo can do is offer a sign-and-trade. Joining Kobe Bryant and the NBA's best team may be enough for Bosh to re-consider his plans to partner with James and Wade, especially if he gets the maximum term and money.
This is the Raptors' only card, so Colangelo better do everything to play it.
Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni are seeking to arrange a meeting with Atlanta free agent Joe Johnson in Los Angeles Wednesday at midnight -- or 9 p.m. California time -- before flying to Ohio for the LeBron James' pow-wow. Even crazier, the Knicks are trying to fit in Amare' Stoudemire that evening, too, in either LA or Phoenix.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Not for a New York second.
Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire won’t satisfy hungry Knick fans who are thirsting for free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James to turn Madison Square Garden into a contender starting in October of 2010.
Consider Knick-nation’s plight: former prodigal son Stephon Marbury imploded before their very eyes; GM and coach Isiah Thomas shamed the organization with his dysfunctional ways and irresponsible spending; and for too long owner James Dolan did nothing, content to count his profits.
Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni were hired to turn things around, but - instead of immediately competing for the playoffs – they purged the roster of big ticket salaries, so they could sign James and other free agents this summer.
That decision was made years ago. And the Knicks have intentionally tanked it ever since.
Management got fans to buy-in by selling hope, specifically the hope that they’d ink James – one of the game’s greatest stars – to a multi-year contract.
Cap space alone won’t secure James’ services. The King wants to win, and rumour has it he likes the Chicago Bulls’ supporting cast of point guard Derrick Rose and big Joakim Noah better than the Knicks’ depleted roster.
Bosh, who also wants to win now, has allegedly decided to follow the two-time MVP and serve as his co-star in The Windy City.
Walsh isn’t stupid. He sees how the free agent dominoes are aligning. He gets that the club will likely have to settle for Johnson and Stoudemire.
This won’t cut it in New York, where some of the NBA’s most educated fans reside. After all, Johnson and Stoudemire are good, but Bosh and James are great.
Unless Walsh and D’Antoni deliver great this July, fans will wonder why they suffered through the pain, torture, and punishment.
All the elaborate recruiting plans for LeBron James will have to change. James will not go on a recruiting tour, his longtime business manager Maverick Carter told ESPN.com Friday. LeBron is not going on a tour," Carter said. "He never planned to go on a tour and has not been a part of any team's plans for a recruiting trip."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The King is wisely making his suitors come to his Ohio court.
The LeBron James 24-hour news cycle hasn't helped his image. There has been a backlash because some feel the two-time MVP has milked and encouraged the headlines.
For instance, critics have argued his interview with CNN's Larry King shouldn't have aired during the NBA Finals because it took the spotlight off the league's showcase event.
Another concern was that James was going to make a spectacle of visiting each potential suitor, creating a sort of rock star inspired tour -even if he has little interest in signing with certain teams.
The good news is the New York Knicks' star-studded tour of Manhattan won't matter. Neither will the lure of South Beach. Or, the glamour of Hollywood.
James is focused on one thing: winning an NBA Title. Now to find the best place for that to happen.
To listen to World Wide Wes, LeBron will never look back on Cleveland. “He’s up out of there,” is the way he tells it to people, but LeBron’s Akron crew has to tsk-tsk such public talk because they all live in Northeast Ohio, and maybe always will. "We're going to Chicago," WIlliam Wesley tells people," "and Chris Bosh is coming, too."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: 'World Wide Wes', one of the NBA's great power brokers, believes the Chicago Bulls are poised for a big off-season. And he's right.
After dealing Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick in Thursday's draft and getting nothing but cap space back, the Bulls have the financial flexibility to tender two max' contracts.
So The Windy City could sign LeBron James and bring in Chris Bosh, too.
Other clubs - the Miami Heat and New York Knicks - can also offer a pair of max contracts, but the Bulls distinguish themselves by already having a star point guard in Derrick Rose and an established four-man with Joakim Noah.
Such a supporting cast may be enough for James to turn his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers -even though they can offer the most money, longest term, and he grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio.
Even if James gets sentimental and re-signs with the Cavaliers, the Bulls could turn to superstar Joe Johnson, which isn't a bad plan-B.
Bottom line: Chicago is the team to watch this summer.
"I don't want to be mentioned as an addition to a team," Bosh said prior to the season. "I want to be mentioned as the guy that people want to center their team around."
There have been rumors that the Nets might pursue point guard Chris Paul through a trade. Since they don't seem to be all that high on any of the players they are likely to get with the No. 3 pick, such as Georgia Tech`s Derrick Favors, Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins or Syracuse`s Wes Johnson, they could trade the pick to get an established player.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ve been making nice.
Since being named coach of the New Jersey Nets, Avery Johnson and Devin Harris have praised each other publicly. Johnson has insisted he’s proud of Harris’ development, while Harris has insisted his development is because of Johnson’s teachings.
Can you feel the love?
Such a dog-and-pony show is necessary because these two had a tumultuous run together with the Dallas Mavericks.
Johnson was coaching a Maverick team that was expected to win a championship. As a former point guard he was particularly hard on Harris, a young table-setter with heaps of potential.
Something was off, though. Johnson quickly lost faith in Harris and signed off on a controversial trade that sent him to, ironically, the Nets for Jason Kidd.
But Kidd couldn’t put Dallas over the top. Johnson was promptly fired. Harris made the All-Star team in 2009, but struggled with injuries in 2010.
Yet, they are back together, insisting fences have been mended and Kumbaya has been sung. For now.
Reports indicate the Nets are dangling their 2010 draft pick in hopes of plucking Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. CP3 heading to The Swamps of Jersey/Borough of Brooklyn makes sense for three reasons:
First, New Orleans is a struggling market. With second year point guard Darren Collison in the wings, they could swap Paul and his max deal for cheap talent.
Second, New Jersey is now a have-market. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov - also known as Russia’s richest man with a net worth of $18 billion - wants to make headlines this off-season. Acquiring Paul, who is arguably the game’s best point guard when fit and healthy, would achieve this end.
Third, and most importantly, Paul is tight with LeBron James, the jewel of the 2010 free agent class. And Prokhorov would surely use Paul and rapper/minority owner Jay-Z to recruit James to the East Coast.
So the Nets are looking to upgrade the one-spot. If Paul is acquired, Harris would surely be dealt.
Before dismissing this rumor remember that Nets’ senior executive Rod Thorn admitted to reporters that Harris and center Brook Lopez do not have untouchable status and could be moved.
Maybe Harris` lovefest with Johnson shouldn`t be believed. And maybe New Jersey trades him.
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