NBA News and Rumors – Monday June 29, 2009

Rumor Tidbit

Stoudemire waiting for decision

Utah Jazz: Okur likely to opt out

With Stoudemire deal in limbo, Warriors still itching for a deal: How about Michael Beasley?
Rumor Tidbit

Referencing a rumor in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, speculation revolved around the possibility of a deal sending Miami’s Jermaine O’Neal and Daequan Cook to the Sixers for Elton Brand. The speculation was apparently based on the fact that the Heat had signed Brand to an offer sheet several years ago, only to see the Los Angeles Clippers match. When asked about the rumor, Ed Stefanski said, "Absolutely not." How about the chances that such an offer was made? "Zero," Stefanski said . . .

Stoudemire waiting for decision

Paul Coro – The Arizona Republic

Forward wants contract extension if not traded

Amaré Stoudemire’s camp has not heard from any other NBA team about the possibility of acquiring him or any interest in securing his future with a contract extension.

Stoudemire’s agent, Charles Grantham, said he would like to hear a commitment from one team in particular – the Suns.

"Either he’s in or out," Grantham said Sunday while in Phoenix. "You’re going to have to really make a commitment to him that he’s part of your program going forward and that you’re going to work around him. Those decisions seemingly are still up in the air. They are going to have to be made at some point. You’ll have to talk about either committing to him or trading him.

"Those discussions haven’t happened yet."

Discussions about trading Stoudemire have happened. A deal with Golden State unraveled after Thursday’s draft over the Warriors’ unwillingness to part with No. 7 pick Stephen Curry. A Suns-Warriors trade remains possible with something added to the package of Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli.

The commitment Stoudemire is seeking from the Suns is more than just being told he won’t be traded. He wants a contract extension when he is eligible later this summer. Grantham considers Stoudemire a maximum-salary player worth an extension averaging more than $20 million per season.

Utah Jazz: Okur likely to opt out

By Ross Siler – The Salt Lake Tribune

Mehmet Okur is "leaning toward opting out" of his contract with the Jazz and could make the decision official as soon as today, Okur’s agent, Marc Fleisher, said Sunday.

Okur would be opting out of $9 million he is due to make this season in order to become a free agent, raising the stakes for the Jazz as they attempt to keep their starting center, who also was the NBA’s sixth-best three-point shooter last season.

The Jazz face opt-out decisions ahead of a Tuesday deadline from Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Okur. All indications Sunday continued to be that Boozer and Okur would opt out while Korver would not.

"I think he’s looking to do what will make sense going forward for him," Fleisher said of Okur, "and whether that’s with the Jazz or not, it’s undecided at this point. We’re going to look at all the options before he makes his decision."

Although he would be heading into an uncertain free-agent market, Okur has the advantage of being a national hero in his native Turkey, where he could return home and likely command a salary equal to or in excess of what he would make in the NBA.

That minimizes the risk in opting out of his contract with the Jazz. Okur’s preference is believed to be continuing his career in the NBA, but playing either in Turkey or Europe has added appeal considering Okur’s father, Abdullah, is in poor health.

Should he decide to stay in the NBA, Okur could re-sign with the Jazz or sign with one of a handful of teams that have significant salary-cap space. Beyond that, the Jazz and Okur would have to work out a sign-and-trade deal.

With Stoudemire deal in limbo, Warriors still itching for a deal: How about Michael Beasley?

Tim Kawakami

I’m not saying the Miami Heat have put second-year forward Michael Beasley on the market. I’m not saying any talks of any kind have started up between the Warriors and Heat about anything.

I’m definitely not saying the Warriors are ready to start tossing names at Miami to see if the Heat will bite. This is a lull time. There’s no great rush, with the draft completed.

What I’m saying: The hot-and-heavy discussions to send Amare Stoudemire to the Warriors for a package including Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli (and perhaps some guy named Stephen Curry, oops!) seem to be at a stymie point.

And, according to one high-placed league source, the Warriors sound like they’re more than willing to bypass Phoenix and Stoudemire, if they need to, in order to try to fill the GSW’s desire for a scoring big man.

It’s not just Stoudemire or bust. There have always been other names on the Warriors’ wish list, and there are other names now. If they can’t get Stoudemire without Curry, Larry Riley, Don Nelson and Robert Rowell seem prepared to go in other directions.

The only certainty: They want a big man who can score, and are willing to give up two or three players to get him.

The other: They feel like they’ve got a lot of assets that are attractive to other teams.

Now, can the Warriors put those two things together and get the big man they believe is essential to springing the franchise towards a playoff berth?

Chris Bosh, obviously, might be the best fit for Don Nelson’s offense, but there are major questions about his availability and his willingness to talk contract extension beyond his 2010 free agency.

There are other names. One I heard today: Beasley.

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