Archive for July 15th, 2012

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed restricted free-agent forward Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet. Under the terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Portland Trail Blazers will have three days to match Minnesota’s offer. The deadline for Portland to match the offer sheet is Wednesday, July 18 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Reports have said the deal could be worth around $46 million over four years, but that is not confirmed.

Batum, a 6-8 forward from France, was originally selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. Portland acquired his rights in a draft-night trade in exchange for the draft rights to Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey. In his four seasons with the Blazers, Batum has averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 255 games (202 starts). He averaged a career-high 13.9 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in 2011-12, while also establishing career bests with 90 steals and 60 blocked shots. The 23-year-old has career shooting averages of 46.0 percent from the field, 37.2 percent from three-point range and 83.6 percent from the free throw line. Batum scored a career-high 33 points on Feb. 4 vs. Denver, and set a Portland single-game record with nine three-pointers. He also tallied 33 points on Feb. 14 vs. Washington. Batum played professionally in France for four years before coming to the NBA.

What was expected became official Sunday, when it was announced the Phoenix Suns had won the amnesty wire auction for Scola’s services.

Scola, 32, won’t become a free agent. The Spurs, like all other teams whose payroll exceeds the salary cap, never had a shot to even offer him a contract.

(And before Spurs fans get any more ideas, Phoenix is now prohibited from trading Scola until July 1 of next year).

None of this is surprising to those of us who were paying attention. Under the NBA’s amnesty rules, only teams under the salary cap were allowed to bid on Scola during the waiver process.

The only way for him to become a true free agent would be for every team permitted to bid on Scola to shockingly decline to do so.

– Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News Blog

Bulls have interest in O.J. Mayo

Bulls have interest in O.J. Mayo

The new hot topic among Bulls fans is O.J. Mayo. The Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard is an unrestricted free agent and the Bulls have interest. The big question is what they have to offer.

The main competition appears to be Phoenix, which has about $8-9 million of salary cap room after New Orleans matched the Suns’ offer sheet to Eric Gordon.

Complete details of the Kirk Hinrich acquisition and Kyle Korver trade to Atlanta have yet to be revealed, but those transactions should help the Bulls in the Mayo chase.

If the Bulls get a second-round draft pick out of the Korver trade, they’ll have a traded-player exception worth $5 million. To use that on Mayo, they’d have to talk the Grizzlies into doing a sign-and-trade and send some sort of draft pick and/or cash in return.

– Reported by Mike McGraw of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald

Newly signed New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd has been arrested on a drunken-driving charge after police said he crashed an SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons.

Southampton Town police say Kidd was released without bail after being arraigned Sunday on a misdemeanor driving-while-intoxicated charge. Police say Kidd was treated at Southampton Hospital for minor injuries after his arrest.

His agent hasn’t immediately answered phone or email messages.

Police say Kidd was alone in the Cadillac Escalade when it hit a pole and veered into the woods around 2 a.m. Sunday in the hamlet of Water Mill.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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