Trade Rumors and Notes for Aug 8th

Blazers preparing offer for Utah’s Paul Millsap

Utah Jazz want Millsap at right price

Cleveland Cavaliers making progress in contract talks with Anderson Varejao: Cavaliers Insider

Sixers unlikely to strike early as market opensBlazers preparing offer for Utah’s Paul Millsap

Jason Quick, The Oregonian

After a series of trades fell through this week, the Trail Blazers have settled on their next target: Utah power forward Paul Millsap.

Although Millsap is a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz can match any offer, the Blazers are preparing what one source called a "toxic" offer designed to exterminate interest from other teams.

Millsap, 24, is a bruising and active player who excels at rebounding. Despite being only 6-foot-8, Millsap last season used his 250-pound frame to average 13.5 points and 8.6 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game. His 3.3 offensive rebounds per game ranked fourth in the NBA and his 251 offensive rebounds ranked sixth.

If Millsap signs an offer sheet accepting the Blazers’ deal, Utah will have seven days to match the offer. The Jazz is already facing the luxury tax next season with a team salary of more than $73 million. Their finances, and prospects of competing with a lucrative offer to Millsap, took a hit last week when Carlos Boozer ($12.6 million), Mehmet Okur ($9 million) and Kyle Korver ($5.1 million) all exercised options to stay in Utah.

The Blazers figure to exhaust nearly all of their cap space to lock up Millsap. They are $7.7 million under the cap, but can gain an additional $1.65 million by renouncing the rights to Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland. However, in the process, the Blazers would be assessed with a roughly $450,000 cap hold for having less than 11 players, thus giving them $8.9 million in cap space.

Utah Jazz want Millsap at right price

Tim Buckley

With the Jazz’s efforts to trade Carlos Boozer or Andrei Kirilenko still apparently ongoing, negotiations between the franchise and backup power forward Paul Millsap press on as well.

"I know (general manager) Kevin O’Connor is continuing to have dialogue with Paul and Paul’s agent," Jazz president Randy Rigby said Tuesday, "and I know we’re continuing to express an interest on our part to have Paul a part of our team.

"It’s then just a matter," Rigby added, "of coming to an agreement."

The NBA’s weeklong summer negotiating period came to a close at 10 p.m. Tuesday, allowing the league’s unrestricted free agents to sign new contracts and its restricted free agents — including Millsap — to either sign another team’s offer sheet or re-sign with his own team.

Even if Millsap did sign another club’s offer sheet, the Jazz have the right to match it — and Rigby suggested doing so still is the franchise’s plan.

But, Rigby also indicated, there is a limit as to just how much Utah is willing to pay its 2006 second-round draft choice.

Cleveland Cavaliers making progress in contract talks with Anderson Varejao: Cavaliers Insider

Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer Reporter

In the wild world of NBA free agency, there’s been very little talk about Anderson Varejao over the last week. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been movement.

According to multiple sources, the Cavaliers and Varejao have the ball rolling toward a new contract. The deal isn’t done and because of the nature of the business the situation is fragile, but it appears things are lining up for Varejao to remain with the Cavs.

The Cavs may be gaining some momentum on several fronts, in fact. A league source said the team was entering more advanced talks with free-agent guard Anthony Parker. Parker’s options changed last week when his team, the Toronto Raptors, decided to sign Hedo Turkoglu. Before that, the Cavs were in some sign-and-trade talks with the Raptors, but now that options appears to be eliminated.

The team also continues to be in touch with free agent forward Antonio McDyess. It is starting to look as if he will not return to the Detroit Pistons. The Cavs are in the running, but Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday that McDyess may decide to sign with the San Antonio Spurs in part because it is close to his home in Houston.

As for Varejao, if the two sides can strike a deal it would be a significant move. As is well known, the Cavs and Varejao were unable to come to an agreement after five months of talks in 2007 and it resulted in a nasty holdout. Even then, the Cavs only matched a deal Varejao signed with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Sixers unlikely to strike early as market opens

Philadelphia Daily News

Don’t expect the 76ers to strike a deal in free agency or the trade market today, the first day NBA teams can finalize deals. They have been able to negotiate with teams, agents and players since July 1.

A source familiar with the Sixers’ situation said they are more likely to wait until many of the top-tier deals are done before they try to add a veteran point guard. Jason Kidd already agreed to remain with the Dallas Mavericks, and Mike Bibby has a deal in place to stay with the Atlanta Hawks.

There has been little, if any, recent movement between the Sixers and Andy Miller, the agent for Sixers unrestricted free agent Andre Miller. The source said that the two sides "are not in the same ballpark" in terms of money and length of term, and that speculation about a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Portland Trail Blazers "has no legs."

There also seems to be some question as to the level of interest the Blazers might have in Miller, who will turn 34 in March. The Sixers have discussed contract scenarios concerning him, but have not made a formal offer.

Finally, the source indicated that – despite a published report – the Sixers have not made an offer to former Sixer Rodney Carney.

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