Basketball Trade Rumors and Notes for July 10th

1. Knicks close to signing Felton

2. Pat Riley will return to bench to coach Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, NBA sources say

3. Utah Jazz ’emerging as a suitor’ for power forward Udonis Haslem

4. Spurs may bring back lower-priced Jefferson

5. Heat complete sign and trade for LeBron after arrival1. Knicks close to signing Felton

The Ny Post is reporting "Donnie Walsh said Friday the Knicks were close to agreeing to terms with point guard Raymond Felton that could finish their free-agent forays.

Since getting spurned by LeBron James on Thursday, the Knicks completed a sign-and-trade with Golden State that netted them forward Anthony Randolph, center Ronny Turiaf and wing man Kelenna Azubuike.

The Knicks were in need of a point guard to play with free agent Amar’e Stoudemire. If Felton signs, they would have added five players to the roster in two days, plus three on Draft Night. "

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2. Pat Riley will return to bench to coach Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, NBA sources say

The New York Daily News is reporting "Miami Heat president Pat Riley is the undisputed winner in the great gold rush of 2010, walking off with the mother of all free-agent hauls in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

So when does Riley come down from his executive suite at American Airlines Arena and return to his place on the bench?

How ’bout the season-opener?

While it looks like this is the perfect team and time for Riley to come back to coach, Wade made a pre-emptive strike against his return, saying on Wednesday that Erik Spoelstra will continue to coach the Heat.

But league sources who are familiar with Riley’s thinking feel that Spoelstra will be on a short leash.

"Pat won’t come back for just Wade and Bosh, because that’s not a sure thing in Pat’s mind," said one Eastern Conference coach. "But with LeBron and those two, that’s a sure thing for Pat. He will come back if they get LeBron."

Not immediately and probably not until Spoelstra shows he can’t handle a team with so much star-power."

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3. Utah Jazz ’emerging as a suitor’ for power forward Udonis Haslem

The Deseret News is reporting "The Utah Jazz just might find a roster replacement for Carlos Boozer in the departed power forward’s favorite offseason destination.

Free agent Udonis Haslem has been contacted by several teams, and the Jazz are "emerging as a suitor" to the Miami power forward, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Haslem, who just turned 30, averaged 10.0 points on 49.9 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds in seven seasons with the Heat. He was a starter most of his career before being relegated to a reserve role last season, when he averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 boards and 27.9 minutes.

It remains possible Miami could re-sign Haslem — and staying in South Beach is believed to be his first choice. But that depends on the Heat’s salary cap structure after LeBron James’ contract situation is resolved.

The Heat and Cleveland are still working on a sign-and-trade deal, which might allow Miami to sign one of its free agents, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Currently, the most the Heat can offer Haslem is the NBA veteran minimum of $1.1 million. By contrast, Haslem earned $7.1 million in 2009-10."

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4. Spurs may bring back lower-priced Jefferson

The San Antonio Express-News is reporting Last summer, the San Antonio Spurs wanted forward Richard Jefferson(notes) so bad it swung a three-team deal involving the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, and also gave up three players. This summer, it appears the team won’t have to work so hard to get him, and will also save money.

On July 1, Jefferson opted out of a contract that would have paid him $15.2 million this season. The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that Jefferson figured he’d cash in on a long-term deal from one of the many teams that had made room under the salary cap for LeBron James(notes). But, the paper reports, Jefferson’s market is "shrinking daily" and he shouldn’t expect more than a mid-level exception of $5.765 million. "The Spurs are expected to offer a multi-year contract starting at a shade above that," the paper notes.

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5. Heat complete sign and trade for LeBron after arrival

Si is reporting Farewell, Cleveland. Hello, Miami.

LeBron James never had 24 hours quite like this.

The decision. The letter. The arrival. The celebration. All filled with drama, all representing a new chapter for the two-time MVP.

"I understand now that I’ve made the right decision," James said.

A packed arena of Miami Heat fans, plus another 10,000 or so outside the building, couldn’t have been more thrilled to hear James say those words. His acquisition by the Heat became official Friday night, not long after he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — the NBA’s newest superstar trio — arrived together in a spectacle typically reserved for rock concerts and award shows.

Dressed in a white Heat uniform for the first time, James took a look at his new home crowd, folded his arms across his chest after he and his teammates were dropped from the sky on a forklift, and nodded.

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