Dwight Howard wants trade to Nets, again

dwight howard

Dwight Howard met with new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan on Friday and told him he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Howard and Hennigan sat down face to face in Los Angeles, meeting for the first time since Hennigan became Orlando’s GM nearly two weeks ago.

Hennigan was noncommital when Howard told him he wants to be traded to Brooklyn, sources said.

Hennigan did not tell Howard whether he would trade him. His intentions were merely to hear the thoughts of the Magic superstar.

Howard picked up the option for the final year of his contract with Orlando on March 15. But since then, he has grown increasingly disgruntled with the organization, even telling people close to him that he feels the Magic blackmailed him into signing the “opt-in” clause.

— Reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN.com

Wolves do not extend qualifying offers to Michael Beasley or Anthony Randolph

michael beasley

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team will not extended qualifying offers to forwards Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph. With Minnesota not extending qualifying offers to Beasley and Randolph by today’s deadline, both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Beasley, a 6-10 forward, has averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in two seasons with Minnesota. Acquired from the Miami Heat on July 12, 2010, Beasley averaged a career-high 19.2 ppg in 2010-11, his first season with the Wolves. Originally selected No. 2 overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by Miami, Beasley owns career averages of 15.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 279 contests over four NBA seasons.

In his second season with the Wolves, Randolph, a 6-11 forward, totaled averages of 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 34 games (five starts) during the 2011-12 campaign. Acquired on Feb. 22, 2011 from the New York Knicks, Randolph has averaged 9.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 57 games with the Wolves. Randolph owns career averages of 8.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 170 games (38 starts) with Golden State, New York and Minnesota. He was originally selected by the Warriors with the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Cavs extend qualifying offers to Alonzo Gee, Luke Harangody, Semih Erden

The Cleveland Cavaliers have extended qualifying offers to center Semih Erden, guard/forward Alonzo Gee and forward Luke Harangody, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

By extending qualifying offers to each player prior to June 30, Cleveland owns the right to match any offer sheet they may sign with another team.

Erden, 25, averaged 3.5 points on .527 shooting and 2.6 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game in 28 games (nine starts) during the 2011-12 season. Gee, 25, averaged career highs in points (10.6), rebounds (5.1), assists (1.8) and steals (1.3) in 29.0 minutes per game in 63 games (31 starts) this season. Harangody, 24, averaged 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game in 21 games (one start).

Jordan Farmar exercises option, stays with Nets

jordan farmar

Jordan Farmar has opted into the final year of his contract, guaranteeing he will earn $4.25 million this season and eating into a bit of Nets’ cap space this summer.

Farmar, 25, averaged 10.4 points and 3.3 assists in a little over 21 minutes per game in 39 games with the Nets last season, his second since signing with them as a free agent in 2010. Farmar spent much of last season dealing with nagging groin injuries that kept him out of the lineup for large stretches of the shortened season, including the final 16 games of the season.

— Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Blog)

Ronny Turiaf opts out of Heat contract

ronny turiaf

The Heat has retained one backup center and lost another. Ronny Turiaf on Saturday opted out of a contract that would have paid him the veteran’s minimum $1.2 million next season. But Miami guaranteed Dexter Pittman’s contract (worth $854,369) by Friday’s deadline.

Turiaf’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said his client always intended to test the market. “He’s worth more than the minimum,” Bartelstein said. “He had a significant hamstring injury” late in the season.

Bartelstein said the Heat has expressed interest in keeping Turiaf and he plans to speak with Heat president Pat Riley. But the Heat very likely would not offer him more than the minimum.

— Reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Pacers want to re-sign Roy Hibbert, George Hill

roy hibbert

Indiana Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard kept the details vague but the team plans to be aggressive with free-agent center Roy Hibbert.

Come Sunday morning at 12:01 a.m., the start of the NBA free agency period, the Pacers will be on Hibbert’s doorstep making their pitch to re-sign the free agent center.

“We’ll absolutely be there,” Pritchard said.

The Pacers will also be meeting with free agent guard George Hill once he returns from vacation.

— Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Deron Williams and Jason Kidd might sign with same team

deron williams

Deron Williams, the most coveted player in this summer’s free-agent class, will meet with representatives from the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks on Monday before deciding which team to sign with this July, according to a source privy to Williams’ plan.

Mavericks free-agent point guard Jason Kidd will also join whichever team Williams chooses, sources said.

Williams is spending the weekend playing golf with Kidd in New York’s Hamptons, sources say, yet one more indicator that the Nets have at least a fighting chance to keep Williams and add Kidd sometime after free agency begins Sunday.

— Reported by Ric Bucher of ESPN.com

Chris Bosh not playing for USA Basketball this summer

chris bosh

Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh (Miami Heat) yesterday informed USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski that because of his strained abdominal muscle he will be unable to play for the USA Basketball National Team this summer.

“I am extremely disappointed to say that due to injury, I cannot represent my country in the 2012 Olympics in London.  The abdominal injury that I suffered in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals is not fully healed. After the Finals, I met with my doctors to determine the best course of action, with the full intent to play in the Olympics. From those meetings, I was advised that rest and additional rehab of my abdominal injury will be necessary in order to avoid the development of a chronic injury,” said Bosh.

“Having enjoyed the honor of representing my country in the 2008 Olympics, when we won the gold medal, I wanted to be part of that experience again.  However, I must follow my doctors’ advice and properly take care of this injury. My thoughts will be with our guys in London in August and I am confident that Coach K and the USA Basketball staff will bring home the gold again to the USA.”

“I got a call this morning from Chris who said the doctor recommended that he not go forward because they were concerned about him re-aggravating the abdominal strain and it could turn out be a chronic situation so he wouldn’t be able to play.” said Colangelo. “He’ll be missed, but we have to move on.  We’ve taken four bullets with the injuries to Rose, (Dwight) Howard, (Dwyane) Wade and now (Chris) Bosh and it will now be a testimony to the infrastructure we put in with the national team roster. I feel very confident about our roster going forward.

“Adversity gives people opportunity, and guess what? It’s going to open up a couple of roster positions,” added Colangelo.

“We’re totally supportive of Chris and hope he recovers fully for his season next year. We’ll miss him; he was really a key player for us in winning the gold in 2008 and we thank him for his service to USA Basketball. I really loved coaching him,” said Krzyzewski.

“It is obvious why we have built a pool of players over the last seven years to take care of situations like these. This opens up opportunities for other players in the pool to show their talents.”

Bosh in the 2008 Olympics averaged 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, while shooting 77.4 percent from the field to help the USA finish 8-0 and win the gold medal.  At the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, he recorded 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds as the American team finished 8-1 and in possession of the bronze medal.

Sixers rookie Moe Harkless got late start playing basketball

moe harkless

Harkless didn’t even start to play organized basketball until he was in high school, competing only at the junior-varsity level then. But the goal he had set in his head, even back then, was set. His path went in only one direction — straight to the best basketball league in the world.

That goal became a real possibility during his only season at St. John’s, where Harkless was named the Big East Rookie of the Year after posting averages of 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks. Much of the time the 6-9, 208-pounder was playing the power forward position, a spot the Sixers eventually see him growing into at the NBA level, once his body matures and he puts on weight and perhaps adds another inch or two.

“I see myself on the wing, but whatever it takes, or whatever coach [Doug] Collins asks me to do,” Harkless said. “I’m just excited to be here. In college I was just really focused on doing whatever the team needed me to do. I wasn’t complaining or anything, I was just doing what I had to do. I was playing against a lot of guys who were about 60 pounds heavier than me. But that was OK. Whatever they needed me to do.”

— Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

Utah Jazz exercise Jamaal Tinsley option, extend qualifying offer to Jeremy Evans

jamaal tinsley

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has exercised its option on guard Jamaal Tinsley for the 2012-13 season, and has tendered a qualifying offer to forward Jeremy Evans.

Tinsley (6-3, 190, Iowa State) is a nine-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 473 career games (367 starts) with Indiana, Memphis and Utah, and holds career averages of 9.3 points, 6.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.7 minutes.  The former first-round pick (27th overall by the Vancouver in 2001) appeared in 37 games (one start) for the Jazz during the 2011-12 season, his first in Utah, and averaged 3.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 13.7 minutes.

The 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Evans (6-9, 194, Western Kentucky) has appeared in 78 games (three starts) over his first two NBA seasons, averaging 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting .656 from the field.  Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (55th overall selection) of the 2010 NBA Draft, the Crossett, Ark., native was the first Jazz draft selection ever from Western Kentucky and is also the only player in franchise history to win the slam dunk contest.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30.  A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.