Basketball Trade Rumors and Notes for June 27th

1. Mavericks have eyes for LeBron, Wade, but must focus on Dirk first

2. Knicks and LeBron have Thursday meeting

3. Boozer Era in Utah coming to an end?

4. Kahn looking for free agent to help transform Timberwolves

5. Lakers have a coach waiting in the wings

6. Chicago most likely destination for Lebron James

7. Wesley says LeBron, Bosh eyeing Bulls
1. Mavericks have eyes for LeBron, Wade, but must focus on Dirk first

The Dallas Morning News is reporting The Mavericks have armed themselves with all their future first-round draft picks, a huge expiring contract and pretty much everybody on the roster not named Dirk Nowitzki. Or maybe Roddy Beaubois.

They’ve done all they can. And yet, the big concern is whether they are bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Starting Wednesday night, NBA free agency begins. The Mavericks and every other team will commence brawling. It’s not life or death, but what happens when the league’s biggest talent free-for-all perhaps in history begins will shape the basketball world for years to come.

The Mavericks are going to shoot for the moon. Nobody is out of reach. Not LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Lincoln-ex Chris Bosh. Or anybody else in the star-studded class of 2010.

The Mavericks are going to make plays for any and all of them. They owe that to their fans and to Nowitzki, whose signing will be the No. 1 priority when visitation, flirtation and outright begging can start at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday.

Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle aren’t talking about their strategy. Cuban already has been fined once by NBA commissioner David Stern. But the Mavericks’ brass has made two things very clear.

First, they will be on Dirk’s doorstep at the earliest possible moment. While fans and some people around the league consider it a formality that Nowitzki will re-sign with the Mavericks, that’s not the way the team sees it. They are taking it very seriously and plan to make protecting the franchise’s best asset their top priority in free agency.

Second, they will go all-in to lure a top-shelf sidekick for Nowitzki. The Mavericks will start at the top and work their way through the available free agents."

To read more..

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/062710dnsposefko.1c571c3.html

2. Knicks and LeBron have Thursday meeting

Espn is reporting LeBron James will meet the Knicks in Ohio on Thursday, the first day official contact between recruiters and recruits is allowed in a historic free-agent chase, according to a source close to the situation.

Meanwhile, as James makes the Knicks play this high-stakes game on his home court, fellow blue-chip recruits Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have agreed to make campus visits to New York.

Knicks officials are hoping to convince James to ultimately travel to New York for a news conference that would mark the franchise’s biggest day since the 1973 championship."

to read more..

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5331131

3. Boozer Era in Utah coming to an end?

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting "Six productive-but-controversial years later, the Carlos Boozer Era in Utah is likely coming to an end.

After signing with the Jazz in 2004 — a deal that created hard feelings in Cleveland, not to mention name-calling and finger-pointing around the league — Boozer becomes an unrestricted free agent on Thursday.

The Jazz would like to keep him.

When he’s healthy, Boozer is a double-double-machine — a consistent low-post scorer who is one of the best players ever at using both hands around the rim.

In Utah, Boozer also developed a good relationship with coach Jerry Sloan, whose offense fit his abilities perfectly and always been defended him in the face of criticism.

So why is Boozer considered a long shot to stay?

No. 1, the Jazz probably won’t offer him as much money as under-the-salary-cap teams like New York , New Jersey, Chicago or Washington.

It could take close to a max contract to sign Boozer, and the Jazz are unlikely to offer one."

To read more..

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/49833358-87/boozer-free-agent-charles.html.csp

4. Kahn looking for free agent to help transform Timberwolves

THe Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting "If you believe David Kahn, the Timberwolves president of basketball operations has awakened mornings since Thursday’s NBA draft to the sound of a starter’s gun rather than an alarm clock now as Thursday’s free-agency period approaches.

"This is a beginning," Kahn said of a draft night that brought Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers veteran Martell Webster, Marquette’s Lazar Hayward and two international prospects. "We have a lot of work still to do, a tremendous amount still to do with the roster."

Kahn and coach Kurt Rambis vexed and dismayed Wolves fans with draft-night moves they made intending to improve the team’s athleticism on the wing, its professionalism, three-point shooting, defense and toughness.

Now they reach an unprecedented free-agency period Kahn predicts will be "absolutely crazy" aimed at signing European centers Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic.

Kahn also promises he will be active in a sweepstakes that offers LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as the big bonanzas and that promises to redraw the NBA’s axis of power.

After adding three swingmen to their roster on draft night, the Wolves just might, as counter-intuitive as it might seem, target a power forward to a team that already includes Al Jefferson and Kevin Love if they can leverage one or both to improve their length and athleticism at that position."

to read more..

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/97240924.html

5. Lakers have a coach waiting in the wings

The Chicago Tribune is reporting As Phil Jackson might say, thank heavens that’s over.

Except it’s never over.

This is going to be a challenging summer, even for the two-time defending champions, whose coach is leaning toward retirement.

This isn’t about money or appreciation, but Phil Jackson’s concerns about health and the quality of the rest of his life.

Jackson found retirement hard — read b-o-r-i-n-g — both times he tried it, in 1999 and 2004.

At 64, it’s just a matter of whether he leaves now or in a year, so why not go out on top, rather than hack his way through another season that could be even tougher than this one, on the chance he could stay on top?

Also, when you’ve been dangled all season — when you were coming off a championship… and were en route to repeating — how much fun would it to be tell the Lakers what they can do with their pay cut … however politely, because you’d like to stay involved in some mentor capacity?

If you’re wondering who gets the job….

That’s Byron Scott.

Boy, if they were only all this easy.

Beloved by Kobe Bryant. Blood brothers with Magic Johnson.

Bluntest-spoken coach in the biz. Players jump for him."

To read more..

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/la-sp-heisler-lebron-20100627,0,79
05845.column

6. Chicago most likely destination for Lebron James

The Chicago Tribune is reporting Since the championship era ended 12 years ago, the Bulls have been nothing more than a huge tease. Every time the franchise seemed to be on the verge of rejoining the NBA’s elite, a setback occurred and the rebuilding process had to begin anew.

As Thursday nears and teams and players prepare for what figures to be a frenzied free-agent period, some unforeseen misfortune might develop and blow up the Bulls’ latest grand plan.

But I don’t see that happening this time. I see this plan coming to fruition in two or three weeks.

Although I made the Cleveland Cavaliers a slight favorite to win the LeBron James sweepstakes a few weeks ago, recent developments have changed my mind. Now the Bulls top my list of teams courting ”The King.”

By trading Kirk Hinrich (and his $9 million salary) without taking back any salary, the Bulls show they are serious about making a splash in free agency and now are well-positioned to add two big-time free agents."

To read more..

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bulls/2435800,CST-SPT-jax27.article

7. Wesley says LeBron, Bosh eyeing Bulls

The Chicago Tribune is reporting "Yahoo Sports reports: In this twisted, bizarre and broken culture of David Stern’s NBA, the Bulls and Miami Heat overshadowed the draft with what passes as accomplishment now: Gutting good players off rosters, clearing cap space and praying World Wide Wes is lying to everyone else, not you.

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.""

To read more..

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/06/bulls-making-right-moves-in-bid-for-lebron.html

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