Morning Shootaround

Shootaround (July 1) -- Oklahoma City Thunder get back in mix with reported Paul George trade

Plus, all the latest free-agent talk from around the NBA and more Staff

Latest NBA headlines and free-agency news:

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Presti, Thunder dazzle with reported trade for George — Trades have ruled the day so far in this free-agent signing window, what with Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Ricky Rubio among the household names switching locales. Last night, the big trade of the offseason may have occurred, though, as the Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly landed All-Star Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. Berry Trammel of The Oklahoman has nothing but praise for Thunder GM Sam Presti pulling off the seemingly impossible:

Sorry, Lakers. Sorry, Boston. Sorry, Cleveland. You all could have used the Pacers’ star swingman. But no team will make better use of George than the Thunder.

OKC is back in the championship hunt.

Thunder wizard Sam Presti pulled off a stunner Friday night that trumped even the Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul. There is no figuring out how Russell Westbrook and George will mesh. Butch Cassidy has his second Sundance Kid.

Presti did the impossible. He found a reasonable facsimile for the departed Kevin Durant.

OKC landed George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, which was no small price.

Let’s review. Last June, Presti traded one guaranteed year of Serge Ibaka for what turned out to be Oladipo, Sabonis and Jerami Grant. This June, Presti traded Oladipo and Sabonis for one guaranteed year of George.

Connect the dots. Presti traded Ibaka for George and Grant.

There’s still work to be done. Will OKC keep Andre Roberson? I’d say yes because can you imagine defensive wings of Roberson and George? Yikes. That’s a defensive duo almost as impressive as the offensive tandem of George and Westbrook.

Will Taj Gibson be kept? The price would be high, because of the Thunder’s salary cap restraints, but now the stakes are high, too. You can swallow a luxury tax bill when the trophy you’re chasing is for the NBA championship and not the league MVP.

Westbrook again has a running buddy, and the Thunder has a team that scares the rest of the NBA.

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Heat put on full-court press to recruit Hayward — Back in the summer of 2014, Utah Jazz youngster Gordon Hayward got his first taste of free-agent recruiting with the Charlotte Bobcats. He signed an offer sheet with them that Utah ultimately matched and now, Hayward is on the free-agent recruiting trail again. He’s stopped in Miami today to hear from the Heat, and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has details on the Heat’s pitch to him:

The Miami Heat went to a full-court press Saturday morning with their presentation to Utah Jazz free-agent forward Gordon Hayward.

In addition to Heat management, part of the coaching staff was recalled from the Orlando Pro Summer League to attend the meeting, with center Hassan Whiteside and forward Udonis Haslem among the players at the recruiting session.

Because of the timing of the meeting, assistant coach Chris Quinn, who is coaching the Heat’s summer roster, missed Saturday’s summer opener against the Charlotte Hornets at the Amway Center, with what the team only listed as “official Heat business.”

Assistant coach Juwan Howard also was away from the Heat’s summer team for the day, with video coordinator Eric Glass coaching Saturday’s game on the practice court of the Orlando Magic.

Like Whiteside, Hayward is a huge video-gamer, to the degree that in 2014 the Charlotte Hornets packaged a free-agent presentation to Hayward featuring video-game elements.

Saturday’s session with Hayward included Heat President Pat Riley, General Manager Andy Elisburg, CEO Nick Arison and Heat executive Alonzo Mourning, as well as coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff. The only Heat assistant coach in attendance at Saturday’s summer-league opener was Octavio De La Grana.

Heat owner Micky Arison is away from the team on other business.

The Heat’s all-in approach with Hayward has put their other free-agency pursuits on hold. A scout for an Eastern Conference team said Saturday in Orlando that he had yet to hear of prime Heat free agents James Johnson and Dion Waiters gaining tractions with outside teams. Johnson has been linked to interest from the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets, among other teams.

Hayward is scheduled to meet Sunday with the Boston Celtics and then Monday with the Jazz.

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UPDATE, 12:40 a.m. — After getting his first taste of the NBA Playoffs, PJ Tucker appears ready for more. The defensive-minded forward is ready to sign with the Houston Rockets, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

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UPDATE, 12:00 a.m. — After being courted by roughly 20-percent of the NBA, Andre Iguodala will reportedly stay where he’s at. The veteran swingman and 2015 NBA Finals MVP will remain a Warriors, according to both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski… and himself.

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UPDATE, 9:40 p.m. – An important piece to the Utah Jazz is reportedly nearing a deal to remain in Salt Lake City. Restricted free agent Joe Ingles appears to be getting a new four-year deal.

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The Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have settled on a reserve point guard behind Kyrie Irving.

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It appears that the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves are out of the Paul Millsap sweepstakes as the All-Star is planning to meet with Denver Nuggets officials on Saturday evening according to TNT’s David Aldridge and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.


Former rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams, who played for the Bulls last season, will move on to the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.


It appears the Cavaliers are looking to dump defensive specialist Iman Shumpert as Cleveland is engaged in talks with the Houston Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Shumpert would be moved to the Rockets for primarily a package of non-guaranteed contracts, which would allow Cleveland to create financial flexibility to pursue other roster upgrades.

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The Sixers continue to make waves in adding veteran players to the process. Earlier in the day the Sixers agreed to a one-year deal with JJ Redick, now according to Adrian Wojnarowski the franchise has agreed to a one-deal with Celtics forward Amir Johnson.

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The Houston Rockets, looking to continue to improve its roster after acquiring Chris Paul in a trade today, has made a contract offer to 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala according to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. But later in the day, a report by Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News says the Warriors are prepared to offer a three-year deal to the forward.

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It appears that the Philadelphia 76ers’ process continues as the team added perimeter shooting as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that JJ Redick agreed to a 1-year deal with the team.

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Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has some more details as to what went wrong with Nene’s deal and how the Rockets plan to try and correct things

The Rockets appear to have hit a significant snag in their deal with Nene.

The Rockets had reached agreement on a four-year, $15 million deal with Nene, effectively giving him a contract worth roughly as much as other teams would by spreading it over more years.

But because the fourth season of the deal would have extended past his 38th birthday, the deal would actually become worth $10.9 million over three years.

According to a report by The Undefeated, Nene was unhappy with the change and considered free agent talks “back to square one.”

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Rockets center Nene reportedly agreed to a new deal with the Rockets last night. But apparently, the structure of the deal is not permitted under the new CBA and, as such, Nene remains in the free-agent pool. That’s the word from ESPN’s Marc J. Spears and Bobby Marks

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UPDATE, 2:29 p.m. — As you can read below, Andre Iguodala reportedly has more stops left on his free agency tour. But according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, he already has one offer in tow …

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UPDATE, 2:19 p.m. — The Rockets and Andre Iguodala have finished their meeting and while there’s no tea leaves to be read about it, things went well per Sam Amick of USA Today

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Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, was a playoff hero for the Golden State Warriors on more than occasion over the years. However, he’s a free agent this summer and has many suitors and will be meeting with the Houston Rockets this morning, per Chris Haynes of …

The Rockets aren’t the only team on Iguodala’s schedule today, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News

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While the Golden State Warriors await word on what Andre Iguodala will do this summer, they have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran big man David West, per our David Aldridge (and also reported by USA Today’s Sam Amick) …

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Guard Langston Galloway declined his player option with the Sacramento Kings yesterday. One day later, he has is closing on on a deal with the Detroit Pistons, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN …

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The Toronto Raptors have four free agents this summer, including one player — All-Star guard Kyle Lowry — who has been the heart and soul of the team for several seasons. According to our David Aldridge, he and the Raptors are working to iron out a deal for him to return …

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Reports: Pelicans, Holiday reach deal — The talk heading into free agency’s opening night was that the New Orleans Pelicans and point guard Jrue Holiday might reach a deal quickly. That’s exactly what happened this morning as he and the Pelicans have agreed to a new, five-year pact, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Free-agent guard Jrue Holiday has agreed to a five-year, $126 million deal to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans, his agent Jason Glushon told ESPN on Saturday morning.

The deal includes incentive clauses that could push the contract’s value to $150 million and contains a player option for the fifth year, Glushon said.

Holiday met with Pelicans officials on Friday night in New Orleans and soon after decided to close on the deal.

For the Pelicans, Holiday was an indispensable player on the roster, one with whom the franchise needed to extend itself financially to retain. New Orleans was determined to keep Holiday partnered with its front line of All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins or risk struggling to find a comparable high-level replacement on the free-agent market.

Coach Alvin Gentry has developed tremendous trust in Holiday to run the Pelicans. Holiday is known for his on-ball defense as well as slashing ability in the pick-and-roll.

And after apparently locking up Holiday, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young is also on the Pelicans’ radar per our David Aldridge …

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The Chicago Bulls opted to not give former Kia Rookie of the Year winner Michael Carter-Williams a qualifying offer. That made him an unrestricted free agent as of last night. He’s getting interest from a couple of teams, including the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and a couple others, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated …

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Report: Redick won’t return to Clippers — The LA Clippers reportedly reached a deal with star power forward Blake Griffin last night, a solid move and recovery for the roster in the wake of the Chris Paul trade days earlier. However, another familiar face for the Clippers will likely be gone come 2017-18. That’s what ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had to report last night, saying the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves are all showing interest in signing Redick.

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Report: Celtics stunned after losing out on George — Trade rumors surrounding Paul George and the Boston Celtics had been linked for months, but in the end, George is reportedly headed to the Oklahoma City Thunder. That deal not only shocked the NBA world at large, but in particular it has the Celtics in a bit of a daze this morning. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has more:

League sources quickly confirmed an ESPN report that the Pacers are trading the All-Star forward to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Indiana was under the gun to move George, who had informed the team he was going to opt out of his contract after the coming season and leave as a free agent.

The news hit the Celtics as they were preparing to make their midnight free agent phone calls, and according to sources among those who have dealings with the club, the C’s were stunned.

They had gone hard after George at the February trade deadline, offering this year’s Brooklyn pick (through a swap of first-round positions) that became No. 1 overall. The thinking for the Celts is that they would have a year-plus to convince George to stay in Boston.

In their latest attempts to get George over the last several days, they were unwilling to include next year’s first-round draft pick from Brooklyn or the Lakers 2018/Sacramento 2019 pick they received from Philadelphia as an inducement for moving down from No. 1 to 3 in this year’s draft. The Celtics also did not want to part with their top picks from the last two years, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

But sources confirmed the C’s were more than ready to give the Pacers players with better contracts and multiple draft picks other than the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. The best offer was two starters — almost certainly Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley — and three first-round draft picks.

One league executive told the Herald earlier yesterday that the Pacers might be looking to get a third team involved in a trade, adding, “but I still don’t think Indiana can get the combination of young players who can help them now and maybe picks from anyone other than Boston.”

Reached last night, that same source said, “I can see what OKC is doing, but I really can’t believe this from Indiana’s standpoint. There’s no way you can’t get more than that. And you’ve got to get at least something in the way of draft picks.”

A Western Conference source agreed with the Celtics’ decision to hold back the Nets and Lakers/Sacramento picks as well as Brown and Tatum.

“I can understand what Boston’s thinking on that,” he said. “If you’re only guaranteed to have George for one year, you have to ask yourself whether he’s going to be able to win it all for you with whatever else you’re able to put together. And with Golden State sitting there, how realistic is that? Not very.”

With the George trade having shaken the league, the Celtics were said to be getting quickly back to the business at hand, which was making a midnight phone call to profess their affection for Gordon Hayward at the start of the free agent negotiating period.

They will meet with Hayward here tomorrow.

The Celts have been aware for some time now that Hayward would be open to at least hearing their presentation, but, with others in the running, they can have no strong confidence that he will choose them. The All-Star will also be meeting with Miami and incumbent Utah.

There really isn’t much of a Plan B for the Celtics in free agency. They did have some interest in Blake Griffin, but he is going to remain with the Clippers.

They may look elsewhere in the market, with longtime target Danilo Gallinari worth a look if the price is right. But if the C’s cannot attract Hayward, it may be of little sense to try to sign a player of lesser value. The best course of action then would seem to be to give those wing minutes to Brown and Tatum with the hope/expectation they could develop into the kind of players you’re throwing max millions at today.

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Report: Magic in pursuit of Ingles — All-Star forward Gordon Hayward deservedly is getting the lions share of publicity about his free agency this summer. Another free agent on Utah’s roster, though, has decided value right now, too. Jazz 3-and-D specialist Joe Ingles should be a valuable part of any team’s depth and may have an offer from the Orlando Magic coming soon. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, though, don’t count on that move just yet:

The Orlando Magic find themselves embroiled in a juicy free agency rumor involving Utah Jazz restricted free agent wing Joe Ingles.

According to The Washington Post, Ingles “could have an offer in the four-year, $60 million range” from the Magic. The Post’s tweet comes on the heels of ESPN reporting that Ingles has drawn increased interest, including from the Magic.

All indications are, however, that Orlando likely would not be willing to make such an expensive long-term commitment to Ingles.

The Magic already have long-term commitments to Bismack Biyombo and D.J. Augustin on the books from last summer’s free agency period.

The Magic owe Biyombo $17 million per season for at least two more seasons and owe Augustin $7.25 million per season for three more seasons.

The Magic also must pay swingman Evan Fournier $17 million per season for at least the next three years, and the franchise also must keep in mind that Aaron Gordon is on track to become a restricted free agent in 2018.

If Orlando acquires Ingles at the figure The Post reported while still having Biyombo and Augustin on the roster, the trio of Biyombo, Augustin and Ingles would account for $39.2 million of the $99 million salary cap.

The Magic could generate up to $14.6 million in cap space this summer if they make a series of procedural moves. To reach that figure, the team would have to renounce its own free agents: Jeff Green, Jodie Meeks and Damjan Rudez.

Orlando would have to waive point guard C.J. Watson and stretch his $1 million in guaranteed salary over the next three seasons.

And the Magic also would have to waive swingmen Patricio Garino and Marcus Georges-Hunt.

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Catch up on all the free-agent news you may have missed from last night with our Free Agent Tracker … The Atlanta Hawks stuck to their guns and were quiet on the opening night of free agencyNBA 2K17 won’t accept the reported Paul George-to-Oklahoma City trade …