Buyout Rumors

Bjelica exercised his reported $1.3 million “out” clause — partly paid by the Wolves — just hours after his contract expired with the Fenerbahce Ulker team in Istanbul. He did so on the same day NBA teams collectively and astoundingly threw money by the hundreds of millions at free agents — everyone from three-time All-Star Kevin Love staying in Cleveland and Tyson Chandler headed to Phoenix to role players such as Al Farouq Aminu and Amir Johnson changing teams — in a flurry of deals during the opening hours of free agency.
Bjelica probably won’t play with the Wolves’ summer-league team that begins practices Monday and will play a free 7 p.m. public scrimmage Wednesday at Target Center. Andrew Wiggins, Towns, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Dieng and first-round pick Tyus Jones all are expected to play in the scrimmage, although Wiggins is not expected to play with the team when it begins Las Vegas Summer League play July 10 against D’Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s very hard to imagine the Nets actually going through with releasing Williams between now and the Aug. 31 deadline that would allow Brooklyn to waive him and stretch out payments on the $43 million he is owed for the next two seasons. But you can rest assured they’ll ponder it. It’s a largely unappetizing prospect, considering a) they’d still have to pay Williams nearly $9 million a season for the next five years and b) he remains one of the better players and most feared shooters on the roster, despite his up-and-down health and steep decline in stature.

Cavs targeted Steve Nash

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As a bonus, in case he needs the pick-me-up, Nash can console himself with the knowledge that at least one pretty good basketball team still covets his services. League sources told ESPN.com earlier this month that LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers — who happen to have two of the biggest Nash admirers on Earth in their front office in David Griffin and former teammate Raja Bell — let it be known to longtime Nash agent Bill Duffy that they would love to give the old man a whirl as a short-minute backup to Kyrie Irving if Nash wanted to seek a buyout after the trade deadline from whoever had him at that point. No chance, though. He only wanted to come back — and go out — as a Laker.
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As it turns out, Dolan saved a lot of gold in his buyout of Stoudemire during the All-Star break — a whopping $6.25 million on his payroll, according to NBA sources. According to sources familiar with the agreement, Stoudemire gave up $2.5 million in his settlement with the Knicks. Add in the $3.75 million in luxury tax on that $2.5 million and Dolan’s savings is huge for excusing Stoudemire from playing out the string with the league-worst Knicks. (The Knicks are in the tax bracket in which they pay 1.5 percent for every dollar over the luxury-tax threshold).
Once he clears waivers this week, McGee will then become a free agent. McGee initially said upon being dealt to the Sixers that he did not want a buyout, but ESPN.com reported Sunday that McGee’s representatives were on the hunt to find a team interested in signing the 7-footer. The Sixers took on the substantial remaining money on McGee’s contract from the Denver Nuggets on trade deadline day in a deal that also netted them a future first-round pick. McGee has played sparingly since joining Philadelphia and realistically had no future there, given the presence of young center Nerlens Noel and two highly-rated frontcourt lottery picks, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, who have yet to play for Philadelphia.
For the Sixers, the merit of the McGee move that brought him from the Denver Nuggets at the Feb. 21 trade deadline had everything to do with the first round pick they acquired. The 2015 first-rounder from Oklahoma City, by way of Denver, is protected for selections one through 18 in 2015, 1-15 in 2016 and 1-15 in 2017. If the Sixers don’t receive it by then, they’ll receive two second-round draft picks.
Players waived by March 1 can still sign with teams that compete in the postseason, meaning the 27-year-old McGee will likely have a fruitful market when he clears waivers. Whether it’s a new job with one of the Texas teams (San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets), the Miami Heat or another contender, McGee has every reason to be enthused about what lies ahead — especially considering he didn’t give any money back.
The seventh-year veteran was asked if he was open to going to another team. “I really don’t have a choice if it happens,” McGee said. “It’s not really an open or a close. I play basketball. That’s what I do. It’s a business. However, did say that his preference was to remain with the Sixers. “I hope it’s false,” McGee said of the report. “But you never know, though. You hear stories all the time. I didn’t hear anything about coming to Philly. So you never know.”
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The Philadelphia 76ers are engaged in active buyout talks with newly-acquired center JaVale McGee in advance of Sunday night’s playoff-eligibility deadline, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that McGee, after initially saying upon being dealt to the Sixers that he did not want a buyout, has his representatives on the hunt for a team interested in signing the 7-footer once he clears waivers before signing off on a buyout.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers coach Brett Brown on JaVale McGee aka @JaVale McGee: I think he’s great. He’s kind of maligned in some ways to me where, you know, people view him in a certain way. He’s been a great teammate. It’s not like I’m starting him. It’s not like I’m giving him 25 minutes. I can’t ask for anymore in regards to how he’s fit in, and how he’s just been extremely receptive and coachable. He’s been excellent. I can’t ask any more from him.
McGee would have to be waived by Philadelphia by midnight Sunday to be eligible to play in the 2015 playoffs with another team. But his willingness to surrender salary — with a guaranteed $12 million scheduled to come his way next season as well as the rest of this season’s $11.25 million — will almost certainly depend on what sort of deal can be had with a new team once the 27-year-old becomes a free agent.
“We like our team,” Rivers said Wednesday. “We actually like our basketball team, and if we could add something that can help that, we will. What people don’t understand is chemistry is so freaking important. Unless it’s somebody you think is going to really change your team, this team was a couple bad plays in Game 6 away from the Western Conference finals last year. We lost some guys and added some guys, but we like our team.”
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The Sixers took on the remainder of McGee’s $11.25 million salary this season and his $12 million deal next season to secure the draft pick. The team was expected to buy out his contract shortly after the trade. But the 7-foot, 250-pounder is still with the Sixers. “I don’t want to get bought out,” said McGee, a 27-year-old in his seventh NBA season. “That’s not a positive thing. When you think about it, you don’t get all of your money when you get bought out. “So it doesn’t make sense why someone would want to get bought out unless they are older – older and they want to go to a contender or something. I’m not that old. I just want to play basketball.”
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The Denver Nuggets have waived forwards Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today. Both Claver and Robinson were acquired along with Will Barton and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee on February 19, 2015.
Van Gundy was asked if the Pistons should give a veteran like Prince, who doesn’t fit in their long-term plans, the chance to play for another championship. “I understand he didn’t get what he wanted but the question you’re asking should be asked of (Celtics president) Danny Ainge, not of us,” Van Gundy said. “We didn’t break any agreement with him. There’s no reason for us to buy him out. They could have bought him out if that’s what they wanted to do.
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“The reason Boston made the trade is to save money,” said Van Gundy, the Pistons coach and team president. “We’re paying Tayshaun more money. If he was going to get bought out, he should have done it in Boston. They should let him be bought out. That’s not on me to buy him out. That’s not part of the deal. “We weren’t told of this until after we made the trade by Tayshaun’s agent. Why would we trade guys who are making less money to take on more money to waive him? That would have been the dumbest personnel move ever. “It’s not on us.”