Basketball Trade Rumors and Notes for June 30th

1. Source: Wade, James and Bosh have talked of splitting Heat cash

2. Pierce opts out of final year

3. Raptors look at Bosh sign-and-trade options

4. Dirk Nowitzki’s breakup with Dallas will only be temporary

5. Lakers have some decisions to make

6. Nuggets trade Carmelo Anthony? It’s possible

7. Slipping in LeBron Derby, Knicks remain confident
1. Source: Wade, James and Bosh have talked of splitting Heat cash

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel is reporting "A source close to Miami Heat free-agent guard Dwyane Wade has confirmed that in recent days Wade not only has addressed the possibility of playing alongside Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh, but has discussed the financial machinations.

The Sun Sentinel has learned that the three star free agents have gone as far as to acknowledge that it might not be possible for the Heat to clear the needed space to start each of the three at the $16.6 million maximum salary that they would be eligible for in the first year of new contracts.

According to the source, the three have agreed to consider to "split the money up," if need be.

However, an ESPN report of the three prime free agents meeting this past weekend in South Florida has been widely disputed, with agent Henry Thomas, who represents both Wade and Bosh, saying that Wade was not in South Florida this past weekend.

"Dwyane was not in Miami this weekend," Thomas said. "That is untrue."

As for a possible meeting last week at a players’ meeting in Las Vegas, of the three, only Wade attended those sessions.

"I said when it first broke about that, that the guys would undoubtedly talk with each other, which they have. That’s not a surprise to anyone," Thomas said. "But this meeting this weekend in Miami just did not take place. Dwyane was not in Miami this weekend."

By unloading the $4.96 million 2010-11 salary on the contract of forward Michael Beasley, as well as potentially minimizing the cap hit of the buyout of forward James Jones, the Heat would be on the cusp of being able to extend maximum offers to Wade, James and Bosh."

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2. Pierce opts out of final year

THe Boston Globe is reporting Paul Pierce plans on opting out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent. He notified the Celtics through his Los Angeles-based agent Jeff Schwartz late last night. first reported on the story.

Pierce’s decision, though not a surprise, throws president Danny Ainge’s plan to retool the team for another potential title run into a tailspin. Pierce walked away from $21.5 million but a potential new collective bargaining agreement after next season might reduce salaries and Pierce is likely seeking a new contract under the current CBA.

Pierce said several times throughout the playoffs he wants to retire a Celtic, but he also intimated he did not want to deal with free agency next summer. The Celtics can sign Pierce, who turns 33 in October, to a long-term extension, but that may extend the life of the Big Three further than Ainge wanted."

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3. Raptors look at Bosh sign-and-trade options

Yahoo Sports is reporting "The Toronto Raptors have begun to assess which players they would try to obtain in potential sign-and-trade transactions involving free-agent forward Chris Bosh.

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo told a Toronto radio station he thinks Bosh "likely" will leave the team. Should Bosh decide to sign elsewhere, Colangelo also said the Raptors will try to engage in a sign-and-trade deal to bring the franchise some measure of compensation.

Sources said the Raptors will try to acquire draft picks and young players in return for Bosh. They would likely ask for forward Michael Beasley and point guard Mario Chalmers in any deal with the Miami Heat. If Bosh were to go to the Chicago Bulls, the Raptors like forward Taj Gibson and center Joakim Noah, though Noah could prove impossible to pry from Chicago. If Bosh settles on the New York Knicks, the Raptors would try to engage in a double sign-and-trade that sends Knicks forward David Lee to Toronto.

Sources called a potential sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers "doubtful.""

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4. Dirk Nowitzki’s breakup with Dallas will only be temporary

The Dallas Morning News is reporting " For the first time in 12 years, Dirk Nowitzki will not be a Maverick when the clock strikes 11 tonight.

His free agency, confirmed Tuesday when the notification that he will opt out of the final year of his contract arrived at the Mavericks’ office, is not expected to last long. In fact, when he wakes up Thursday morning in Germany, he’ll probably have a handshake deal waiting for him.

"My intention is to get on a plane and go to Germany with flowers and chocolates," Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "We want to show him and Holger [Geschwindner, Dirk’s longtime consultant and friend] all the respect they deserve.

"The only way I don’t expect to go is if they tell me not to."

The Mavericks do not sense the same danger level that existed with Steve Nash and his free agency in 2004. Nash had a big-time suitor in the Phoenix Suns, which could offer the perfect system and coach to turn the point guard into an MVP. Nash was 30 at the time. Nowitzki is 32.

But anytime there is a chance to lose the best player in Mavericks history, there is reason for concern. This time, the Mavericks will take no chances. They’ve heard rumors that other teams might dispatch somebody to Germany but have had no confirmations.

And so, the Mavericks will go into free agency with a game plan.

And contingency plans. And backups to the contingencies.

Owner Mark Cuban has set up shop in Los Angeles , where there are plentiful agents and a lot of free-agent players, including Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson. Cuban will have his plane fully gassed and ready to hopscotch around the country on a recruiting tour.

Several reports have suggested LeBron James will grant Cuban a face-to-face meeting and, if Miami is unable to put together a James-Dwyane Wade union, Wade has said he will talk with the Mavericks as a possible backup plan.

However, it may not be in the best interests of the Mavericks to set up shop on the doorsteps of every free agent they can find. To acquire any of the top-tier free agents other than Nowitzki, they will have to enter into sign-and-trade talks with that player’s team. "

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5. Lakers have some decisions to make

The LA Times is reporting "While their coach debates whether to return or retire, the Lakers press onward.

They have no choice. The NBA calendar calls for the free-agency period to begin Wednesday a
t 9:01 p.m.

The Lakers might not only lose Phil Jackson and assistant coach Brian Shaw, who is edging closer to becoming Cleveland’s head coach, but they also have six free agents on their roster, almost half their team.

There are many, many questions.

Will they re-sign Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown? What other options are there at point guard? Any frontcourt players in the picture? And will they maybe keep Jordan Farmar after all?

Fisher, 35, is their main free-agent concern after his sturdy playoff presence probably extended his pro career by at least one more season. The Lakers could sign him for the veteran’s minimum of $1.35 million for a player with his experience (14 seasons), but Fisher wants something closer to the $5 million he made this past season.

It does not look like an easy negotiation, with Fisher saying last week he has a "strong feeling about what my value is to a team," but the Lakers hope talks do not stagnate after going through a laborious monthlong process last July before re-signing Lamar Odom.

After Brown opts out of a contract that would have paid him $2.15 million next season, the Lakers can give him a five-year deal worth up to an estimated $34 million, but he wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs and will not get that big of a deal from his employers of the last 1 1/2 seasons.

The Lakers are contemplating offering Farmar a one-year, $3-million contract in order to avoid losing him as an unrestricted free agent. If they tender him the deal, known as a qualifying offer, he remains a restricted free agent and they have the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team.

End-of-bench reserves Adam Morrison, DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell are not expected back. The Lakers will not heavily pursue any frontcourt players in free agency because they are cautiously optimistic about their second-round draft picks, small forward Devin Ebanks and power forward Derrick Caracter, and could employ them next season for $473,000 each.

One player who isn’t expected to leave is Andrew Bynum, whose name has been dropped in numerous trade rumors, all of which are "ridiculous" insinuations, according to a source familiar with the thinking of the Lakers’ front office.

At any rate, what can the Lakers spend this off-season?

Without including Brown, they have committed $81.6 million to only seven players on next season’s payroll and are already way over the salary cap for 2010-11, meaning their largest free-agent tool is the mid-level exception worth an annual average of about $6.5 million for up to five years."

To read more..,0,2902883.story

6. Nuggets trade Carmelo Anthony? It’s possible

The Denver Post is reporting The Nuggets are pressing Carmelo Anthony for a long-term commitment, because if he declines a three-year, $65 million contract extension now on the table, the team must consider trading its leading scorer.

Trade Melo? Would the Nuggets really part ways with a 26-year-old forward in the prime of his NBA career? Denver might not have any choice.

With an eye on how megastars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have held the league’s competitive balance in their fickle hands and turned this summer’s free-agency period into a three-ring circus, the Nuggets seem determined not to let Anthony do the same in Denver.

While their offer of a hefty contract extension proves the Nuggets hope Anthony will remain the face of the franchise for years to come, the team is prepared to trade Melo rather than let him walk as a free agent next summer, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

At a salary of $17 million, Anthony is committed to play for Denver during the upcoming season. But here’s the rub. Anthony can opt out of his contract next summer, and free agency might appear all the more tempting after seeing the league-wide groveling James has instigated.

As a proactive move, the Nuggets have quietly tried to secure the services of Anthony through 2015 before losers in the pursuit of this talent-laden class of free agents can begin dreaming of Melo.

While a city of Broncomaniacs has obsessed with the contract status of football stars Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey, the negotiations between the Nuggets and Anthony might have already reached a more critical stage, because management of the local NBA franchise has shown it is unafraid to make trades involving a marquee player."

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7. Slipping in LeBron Derby, Knicks remain confident

The Ny post is reporting "D-Day is finally here and the Knicks remain convinced — after two years of maneuvering for this moment — that the D won’t stand for Doom.

Even as a flurry of competitors clears out more cap space, the Knicks, who have slipped to underdog status in the LeBron James Derby, are unbowed. They still feel they have a shot to land King James on Broadway.

"We still think we’re in it," a member of the Knicks’ brain trust said yesterday. "Our internal sources tell us we’re in it."

Their July journey begins tonight when owner James Dolan and the Knicks’ recruiting team fly to Los Angeles to meet with free agent Joe Johnson after the free-agent period begins officially at midnight. An Atlanta official confirmed Johnson first has a meeting with the Hawks at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.

The Knicks got confirmation yesterday they are slated next. Johnson had debated whether to delay his meetings to Friday, a source said."

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