November 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans (13) makes a shot as Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) defends in the first half at the Staples Center. Lakers won 103-90. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: July 1


Bulls After Dunleavy

The Chicago Bulls have made forward Mike Dunleavy, Jr. a priority, pursuing him with the mini mid level exception.

Dunleavy averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Milwaukee Bucks last year. He shot 42.8% from beyond the arc.

Wojnarowski also mentions the Rockets could chase Dunleavy if they sign Dwight Howard. The Minnesota Timberwolves are also said to be in pursuit.

Update: Marc Stein of ESPN adds the Mavericks and Lakers are also in pursuit, calling it a “5-team race.”

Redick for Bledsoe? 

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles is reporting that she’s “hearing rumblings that the Clippers and Bucks are discussing a deal involving JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe”.

The trade would be beneficial to both players. It would allow Bledsoe to get an extended role, which he’s always waned, plus it will give Redick a contributing role on a contending team.

Win/win.

Dwight Howard and Steph Curry?

Another wrench in the DWIGHTMARE saga!!

https://twitter.com/MySportsLegion/status/351798340515663874

Deron Williams tweets out Kyle Korver in Nets uniform

Howard wants third star in Houston

According to a the Houston Chronicle, during Dwight Howard’s late Sunday night meeting with the Houston Rockets, the seven time All-Star asked “if and how the Rockets were poised to add another max contract free agent this summer to go alongside himself and James Harden”.

 Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported on Sunday that Houston has been exploring deals of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, which could ultimately clear space for that second max contract this summer.

It has been widely known that Josh Smith and Howard are good friends. They grew up together and played together on the AAU circuit as kids. Smith could very well be that third star Houston goes after, if Howard comes on board.

Warriors shopping David Lee

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Golden State Warriors are looking at the possibility of trading power forward David Lee.

“The Golden State Warriors are exploring trade opportunities for All-Star forward David Lee and the three years, $44 million left on his contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.”

“Golden State offered Lee in a package for Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani, sources said.”

Instead, the Raptors agreed to a deal to send Bargnani to the New York Knicks late Sunday night.

Lee averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, before being slowed down by a torn hip flexor in the conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs.

Cavs Showing Interest In Darren Collison

Dallas Mavericks point guard Darren Collison wasn’t issued a qualifying offer by the Mavs, becoming an unrestricted free agent. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are looking for a backup to Kyrie Irving, are showing interest in signing the veteran point guard.

Collison averaged  12.0 points and 5.1 assists per game while 47.0% from the field last season.

Sam Amico of Fox Sports first reported the news and says the Cavaliers also have interest in former Nets point guard C.J. Watson.

Knicks Interested In Monta Ellis

After trading for Andrea Bargnani Thursday, the New York Knicks are showing interest in acquiring another scorer – former Bucks and Warriors guard Monta Ellis.

“But Ellis, 27, and his Washington, D.C.-based agent, Jeff Fried, are known to be willing to compromise in order to sign with a contending team,” writes Berger. “And the Knicks, who face the free-agent loss of sixth man of the year J.R. Smith, would provide ample opportunity for Ellis to showcase his scoring prowess deep into the playoffs.”

Ellis averaged 19.2 points and 6.0 assists per game for the Bucks last season.

Berger also lists the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns as teams that have expressed interest in Ellis.

Mitch Kupchak Sneaks In A Meeting With Dwight Howard

According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, “Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak indeed met with Dwight Howard briefly after free agency started at 9:01 p.m. Lakers pushing hard.”

Kyle Korver to the Nets a done deal?

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “one rival GM with interest in one of this Summer’s most coveted shooters: ‘Hearing Korver to Brooklyn is in the bag’”.

The Nets aren’t playing around. Last week they agreed to acquire Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry via trade from Boston, and now appear to be on the verge of adding a big time shooter through free agency.

Korver averaged 10.9 points per game while shooting nearly 46 percent from beyond the arc for the Hawks last season.

Blazers Chasing Several Centers

We’ve already seen the Trail Blazers connected to Tiago Splitter (see below). They have two other centers on their radar.

According to Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Northwest, the Blazers have reached out to former Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia.

“The free agency period is underway and the Portland Trail Blazers wasted little time in reaching out to free agent center Zaza Puchulia, a league source informed CSNNW.com,” writes Haynes. “The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the private nature of the talks, says there is interest on both sides and added that dialogue would continue.”

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com says “Portland Trail Blazers, looking for help at center, have interest in — amongst others — Chris Kaman.”

Pelicans After Evans

The New Orleans Pelicans are looking to fill out their back court right away.

“[The] Pelicans will have a face to face with Tyreke Evans tonight after free agency commences at 12:01 AM ET, ESPN has learned,” tweeted ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The rumor was confirmed by David Aldridge, who added the Pelicans “will have an offer sheet in hand” and it’s “a big one.”

Evans averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season.

Blazers After Splitter

The Portland Trail Blazers will continue their quest for a center as free agency opens. This time, they are being connected with San Antonio Spurs big man Tiago Splitter.

According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Splitter “could command an offer sheet that averages $8.5 million to $9 million annually.”

Wojnarowski adds the Spurs are in a good position to match any offer for Splitter if they wish “because they’ll free of Stephen Jackson’s $10 million salary and expect to re-sign Manu Ginobili at a lesser salary than the $14.1 million he made this season.”

Jun 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) shoots against Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) and power forward Chris Andersen (11) during the second quarter of game seven in the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Splitter averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season.

Wojanarowski also notes once the Pacers come to terms with power David West, as expected, they’ll make a run at Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger. The Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans will also battle with the Wolves and Pacers for his services.

Memphis Grizzlies swingman Tony Allen is drawing interest from the the Pacers, Bucks and New York Knicks.

Paul To Accept Monster Deal

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul is going to accept a 5-year, $107 deal as soon as the Clippers offer.

“Paul’s decision to stay with the Clippers is hardly a surprise,” writes Shelburne. “The only suspense remaining is when and how he will officially accept. Paul cannot sign his new contract until July 10th but he can agree to terms before then.”

Pistons Meeting With Josh Smith

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars is meeting with former Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.

“Atlanta has shown far more interest in working sign-and-trade arrangements for Smith than re-signing him to a long-term deal, league sources said,” write Wojnarowski.

Smith averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game last season.

Bobcats chasing Al Jefferson

As free agency opened late Sunday night, CBS Sports Reporter Ken Berger reported that the Charlotte Bobcats were “pursing Jazz Forward Al Jefferson”.

Utah is expected to let either Jefferson or Paul Millsap to walk, going forward with the other and Derrick Favors.

Jefferson averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game for the Jazz last season.

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