NBA Trade Rumors and Neews for July 19th

They’re having a nice summer

David Stern speaks out of both sides of his mouth about state of NBA as next CBA looms

Wilcox agrees with Pistons

The Cleveland Cavaliers officially can offer LeBron James a contract extension
They’re having a nice summer

Marc J. Spears

According to an NBA source, at least three teams have approached the Celtics about a sign-and-trade deal for restricted free agent forward Glen Davis, but the Green have yet to show interest in such a move. With that in mind, a team would likely need to use most of its midlevel exception in order to sign “Big Baby’’ to an offer sheet. And if so, Boston would have seven days to match.

One NBA general manager said Friday he expects Davis to be among the next group of free agents to be signed. Others mentioned included Lakers forward Lamar Odom, Spurs forward-center Drew Gooden, and possibly Denver forward Linas Kleiza.

New Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu believes fellow Turkish player Semih Erden will eventually make the Celtics’ roster.

The Celtics drafted Erden, who turns 23 July 28, with the 60th pick in 2008. The 6-foot-11-inch, 240-pounder played for Fenerbahce Ulker of the Turkish league last season and is expected to try to make the Celtics in 2010-11. Turkoglu said he speaks to his national team teammate regularly to offer encouragement.

David Stern speaks out of both sides of his mouth about state of NBA as next CBA looms

Mitch Lawrence

David Stern wants to have it both ways. On one hand, the NBA commissioner tells one and all that the league has never been in better shape. At All-Star weekend in February, he said the NBA was in "in a golden age of basketball." (If you only casually watched the league in the ’80s and ’90s, you know that’s just plain nuts.)

Then on the eve of the playoffs, Stern had nothing but terrific things to say about the state of the NBA, "despite," he admitted, "a challenging economy." He cited an increase in TV ratings by double digits and a similar boost in traffic for the league’s Web site. Plus, the league was coming off its third-best regular-season attendance all-time, with arenas "filled to more than 90% capacity again this year," he said. Only six weeks ago, at the Finals in Los Angeles, he raved about "a season for the ages … everything came together for us."

If you did not know any better – or you were living in China or India, two places the league has been rushing to set up shop in to sell merchandise to the expanding middle classes – you figured the NBA was in high cotton.

But to hear Stern tell it this past week, his league is in trouble. At the summer league in Las Vegas, he divulged that less than half the 30 teams made a profit last season. He didn’t say how many teams lost money, but it’s probably at least 10. Then he went on to say that many teams next season could face at least a 10% decline in ticket revenue, with overall revenue expected to decline 5%, in part because of fewer corporate sponsorship deals. He went on to add that there’s a need to "look for a system" that "returns the league to profitability."

Well, which is it? Is the NBA going great guns with its current system, or is it just scraping by and in need of an overhaul?

Wilcox agrees with Pistons

By Chad Ford –

The Detroit Pistons have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent Chris Wilcox, a source told

The deal is for $6 million over the next two years according to sources.

Wilcox was signed as a replacement for Antonio McDyess, who left the team via free agency to sign with the Spurs.

Wilcox is an athletic big who, at 26, still has some upside. However, he’s coming off one of the worst seasons of his career.

The previous three years, Wilcox averaged a little more than 13 points, but his numbers dipped to 7.2 per game last season in time split between the Thunder and Knicks.

The Cleveland Cavaliers officially can offer LeBron James a contract extension

Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer Reporter

The window is now open. And it’s a big, complex window.

At 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the Cavaliers were able to offer LeBron James a contract extension because July 18 is the three-year anniversary of when he signed his most recent contract. It is believed the team will initiate contact soon to formally present an offer, which can be an extension of up to three years and around $65 million. James still has an option in his contract for the 2010-11 season, and the Cavs could offer three years on top of that.

James has said he will consider an extension offer if it comes, which of course it will. But there is no rush — he has the option of extending his current deal until June 30, 2010, and has until the same date to exercise his one-year player option.

When the Cavs signed James in 2006, they reached out to him on the first day allowed, and several days later hosted a dinner for him at one of his favorite restaurants in Akron to formally present the offer. James considered it for a couple days and then agreed to take it.

The Cavs might take the same tact this time, though the issues are not as clear-cut. When James extended his contract last time, he was facing being a restricted free agent the next summer. This time, he would become an unrestricted free agent next summer, which is a status highly valued by players.

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