HoopsHype Free Agency rumors

October 23, 2014 Updates

The Orlando Magic have signed center Nikola Vučević to a contract extension, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deals are not disclosed. “Today is an exciting day for Nik (Vučević) and his family, as well as our entire organization,” said Hennigan. “Since arriving in Orlando, Nik has demonstrated consistent work habits and a constant hunger to improve. He’s a high character, team-first player. We are proud of his development and are looking forward to continuing to grow together.” NBA.com

The reality is that based on how he has been utilized during the preseason, Cole is in a position to negotiate for starter's money. Against that backdrop, however, is Riley's plan to keep as much salary-cap flexibility as possible for the 2016 offseason, with only Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts holding Heat contracts that extended beyond 2015-16. "Of course I'm aware of it," Cole said of the Halloween deadline, "but I've never been one to worry about stuff like that. I always know that if I do what I'm supposed to do, things are going to be the way they're supposed to be." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

There was an interesting twist with Cole in the offseason, when he signed on with agent Rich Paul, the same agent who handled LeBron James' July free-agency departure from the Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers. "It was a decision me and my support system made," Cole said of that move to James' long-time associate. "It was a decision we made and that's as much as I want to say about it. I felt it was best for me." Cole, who played at Cleveland State, with Paul's agency based in Northeast Ohio, said the decision was not influenced by James. "No, I was familiar with him," he said of Paul. Cole, who is from Dayton, said it was not a means of testing whether he, too, could return to his Ohio roots. "I made the decision based on for me and what I need," he said, "not based off anybody else. I made a decision based on what I thought and what was best for me." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Nothing is more important to Jeanie Buss than the Lakers, including longtime fiancé Phil Jackson. The Lakers president, who met with Carmelo Anthony during the summer in hopes of luring the free agent away from New York, said it was strange to be pursuing a player who was also being courted by Jackson — the new Knicks president — but Buss said helping the Lakers get back to greatness is her biggest priority. “It was a bit awkward during that time,” Buss said. “Carmelo is a player who’s worth fighting for. In basketball, family, love, relationships, nothing is more important to me than the Lakers, so I’ll do it again.” New York Post

Two executives with NBA teams told the AP the domestic violence charge was not a deal-breaker for their teams to consider Cunningham, but it definitely made it more difficult to bring him in. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on team personnel decisions. Cunningham's agent, Joel Bell, estimates Cunningham could have landed a deal paying him more than $4 million per season were it not for the charge. He said he was told as recently as Monday by one team that it couldn't risk the public relations trouble that could come from signing him. "Why would owners be skittish and worried about bringing him on board?" Roberts said. "Why are we afraid to say he didn't do anything wrong and there's no evidence to support that he did anything wrong?" Boston Herald

Players' union executive director Michele Roberts told the AP that she has had substantive dialogue with the league about addressing domestic violence and educating players and their families about it. But as a former public defender, she is also an advocate for due process. "I don't, quite frankly, know what the rush is," Roberts said. "Many of the teams are saying, until this is resolved I'd like at least for you to not play. I'm not fond of that." Boston Herald

He is now an ex-Timberwolves forward, an NBA free agent who is living in a motorhome at a campground near the campus of Penn State, where a former college teammate is on the coaching staff and runs him through workouts. He is staying in the motorhome for reasons of convenience and not monetary. But the journeyman player who was hoping to get a new multi-million dollar contract this summer says he hasn't even gotten an offer for the league minimum because teams have told them it's too risky to bring him in. "At this point it's about justice and it's about clearing my name," the 27-year-old forward told The Associated Press. "Clearly this adds a terrible stigma to my name. ... Now when anyone looks up Dante Cunningham, oh, wasn't he the one that was in trouble? There's nothing out there saying there was a false charge and now we have to change it. We have to bring justice to this situation so that this doesn't happen again." Boston Herald

October 22, 2014 Updates

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