Pargo coming back to NBA and Kidd to grow old in Dallas

A couple quick things to mention before I get back to work…  Various news outlets are reporting that former New Orleans Hornet Jannero Pargo is in talks to join the Chicago Bulls.  Pargo was an important asset to the Hornets team that was so dominant only 2 seasons ago before leaving the NBA for a Russian squad.  Now that Russian club has run into financial trouble, sending Jannero looking elsewhere.  Some will certainly argue that adding Pargo doesn’t really mean much, and that is certainly a tenable position, but it’s nice to have a guy who can score, albeit in streaks, off the bench.

ahoy

ahoy

Also it’s fairly certain now that Jason Kidd will re-sign with the Mavericks.  Jason’s meeting with the Knicks seems to have paid off.  In a veritable panic, Mark Cuban  flew across the country stalking his star point guard in an attempt to convince Kidd to remain a Maverick.  Apparently in his distress Cuban offered Kidd a guaranteed 3 year deal worth over $25 million.  Is it any surprise the 36 year-old agreed?  No, of course it isn’t.

Lastly it appears the Blazers are after New York Knick David Lee.  Although Lee is a great player, almost universally underrated and unappreciated, he really does not belong with the Blazers.  The Blazers already have a YOUNG and talented front-court.  Lamarcus Aldridge is on the verge of stardom and won’t be relegated to the bench.  Free-agent Channing Frye is a perfectly suitable backup for Lamarcus, especially when Mr. Lee wants $10 million a year.  That sum is simply inordinate for a bench player.

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Hedo Prefers Canada

ESPN’s Ric Bucher has got the scoop. According to Bucher’s unnamed source, Hedo has broken off talks with the Blazers and is now headed to Toronto.  This probably means that the Raptors are giving up on signing Marion.  It’s almost certain that Portland fans will gripe, especially considering that Toronto’s increased offer undoubtedly played into the decision.

Really though, there is no reason to fret if you’re a Blazer fan.  The Blazers are stacked at the 2 and 3 spots with young skill players.  Travis Outlaw was a legitimate contender for 6th man of the year, and is consistently improving his game.  Martell Webster at one point was considered the best pure shooter in the touted 2004 draft class.  Even though he was injured for the entirety of 08-09 season, he is still young and  a valuable prospect.  Nicolas Batum is only 20 and has shown the athletic ability to be a solid NBA player.  Already one of the Blazers’ best lockdown defenders, Batum only really needs polish.  And Rudy Fernandez proved he was an athletic slasher with the ability to shoot the 3 ball.

Quick tidbit: it looks like Avery Johnson is interviewing for the Piston’s head coaching job.

Have a great, hoops filled 4th of July weekend.  Here is NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, father of Stephen Curry, to help you with your game.

General Commotion

Reports surfaced yesterday that Ron Artest is close to signing a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.  I guess that playoff friction between Kobe and Ron is a thing of the past.  Artest will likely take the starting spot vacated by Trevor Ariza, who is reportedly very close to becoming a Houston Rocket.  The Cavs will now have to look elsewhere to upgrade their backcourt size, as both Artest and Ariza were primary targets.  How this affects Lamar Odom is, as of yet, unclear; details of his negotiations have been sparse.  What is clear though, is that Lamar is seeking a contract in the $10 million a year range.  The Cavs could be looking in that direction, but Lamar’s salary would be more than what the Cavs would’ve likely paid either Artest or Ariza.mmmm grub

Hedo is no longer an option for the Cavs either.  Reports today claim that Hedo in Portland is a done deal. (Portland Dominos Pizza locations get ready.) Terms of the contract are unknown since the league has yet to announce the salary cap for the upcoming season.  Keep tabs on the situation in Portland, where rumors suggest Rudy Fernandez is unhappy with the possibility of diminished playing time.  The minutes were thin at the shooting guard and small forward positions last year, and that’s bound to be exacerbated by the addition of Turkoglu and return of Martell Webster.  Stay tuned.

Blazers after the Turk

At the 13 hour mark of the free-agent signing period fans are awaiting the first major deal.  Nonetheless, there are things to talk about.Turk + Trophy

It looks like the Portland Trailblazers, are in hot pursuit of Hedo Turkoglu.  Turkoglu would immediately improve the Blazers lineup, likely replacing Nicolas Batum in the starting rotation.  If the deal goes down minutes at the small forward spot might be thin for Blazer players, especially with the steady improvement of Travis Outlaw and the athletic youngster Batum.  Ignoring the issues of chemistry, the Blazer squad could look quite impressive, not to mention, HUGE. Although Brandon Roy isn’t taller than the prototypical two guard, he plays bigger than he is.  With: 6’10 Turkoglu at the three, the lanky 6’11 Lamarcus Aldridge at power forward and Joel “the vanilla gorilla” Pryzbilla inside, the Blazers would have the potential to create serious matchup problems.  If the deal goes down the Blazers will win the Northwest division.

Also, no big surprise here, it looks like Kobe will try to sign a contract extension with the Lakers instead of jumping ship.  The injury cursed Houston Rockets are rumored to be after backup Orlando Magic Center, Marcin Gortat, to replace Yao if his injury does prove to be season or career ending.  If, and this is a big if, the Rockets can sign Gortat or another decent center, retain Ron Artest and stay healthy they will still have a great squad.  One other note: it’s rumored Ben Gordon will end up a Piston.

Stay tuned as free agency continues to unfold, it’s bound to be fun.