The Mavs have been in contact with all of their free agents (yes, that means you, Gerald Green), as well as Marcin Gortat and Quinton Ross. Gortat was to be expected; the Mavs need help in the middle and they need it bad. Ross, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild card. He bears a pretty close resemblance to Antoine Wright on the court, which isn’t that bad I guess. He also serves as evidence that the Mavs are looking to assemble the entire cast of role players from the 2005 Clippers (Wilcox and VladRad, ahoy!).
According to Woj at Yahoo! Sports, Gortat’s agent is spreading word that he’s already received one offer for the full midlevel (speculated to be from the Houston Rockets). The gauntlet has been thrown.
Marc Stein, ESPN: “There’s no question that the idea of signing with New York holds some real appeal for J-Kidd. He loves the city and is equally fond of Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, who is said to covet Kidd badly and apparently believes the Knicks have a legit shot at luring him out of Dallas. Plugged-in sources insist, however, that Kidd has no interest in one-year offers, especially since a one-year offer from New York would start at only the $5.6 million midlevel. Offering more than one year, however, would slice into the cap space the Knicks have set aside for the 2010 free-agent bonanza … unless they’re sure that they can shed the contracts of Eddy Curry and/or Jared Jeffries. ‘The Knicks can’t give Jason more than one year,’ said one rival executive, ‘unless they think that signing him gets them LeBron.’”
Though I’ve done my fair share of supporting Jason Kidd, I tend to agree with Kelly Dwyer: Kidd has no place on the New York Knicks. If Kidd is the selling point for LeBron to come to NYC, there’s been a bit of a miscalculation. Kidd’s not long for this league, and regardless of what LeBron or Bosh or Wade thinks of him, he won’t be around to build a new empire. Portland makes a tad more sense (Steve Blake is no Kidd), but the situations that make the most sense for Kidd remain Dallas (we need him for fear of slipping further into irrelevancy), Cleveland (LeBron and Shaq, why not another great player?), and Los Angeles (though the dollars don’t make sense).
Chris Sheridan, ESPN: “During a casual conversation with reporters during Team USA’s camp in Las Vegas in the summer of 2007, the discussion was about the new NBA trend toward fiscal responsibility. [Kobe Bryant noted,] ‘Damp ruined it for everybody, eh?’”
Word is that Ron Artest wants to stick around in Houston. This is why you don’t try to anticipate Ron; his combination of pride, talent, self-worth, and outright zaniness should have us expecting the unexpected by now. After hearing the news that Yao Ming may never play professional basketball again, Artest seems as fiercely loyal as ever.