NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Lakers Meet With LeBron’s Agent

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Lakers Meet with LeBron’s Agent

Lakers did have their meeting in Cleveland today with LeBron James’s agent, Rich Paul, per source familiar with the discussions.

via David Aldridge of

After meeting with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met with LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul in Cleveland on Friday.

The Lakers are doing their best to add a superstar to play alongside Kobe Bryant and take over the franchise as Bryant is expected to retire after two more seasons. Miami is still considered the favorite to sign James to a new contract, the fact the HEAT have struck out on major free agent targets, such as Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat, may have opened the door for other teams to snag him out of South Beach.

Paul had already met with representatives from the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers prior to meeting with the Lakers. He also spoke over the phone with the Houston Rockets. James has chosen not to participate in these meetings, unlike in 2010 when he met with team representatives in Cleveland himself during the early days of free agency. James will likely be brought in for the next round of meetings with finalists, according to reports.

As Paul entertains meetings with other teams, HEAT president Pat Riley is in Los Angeles meeting with notable free agents in an attempt to put more talent around the Big Three, and keep James from leaving.

Lakers free agent center Pau Gasol is one such free agent target. Gasol has been linked to various teams in the last few days, including the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks. Gasol’s ultimate decision will have to wait, along with most of the other major free agents, until James and Carmelo Anthony make their final decisions.

Carmelo Leaning Toward Re-Signing with Knicks?

All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony probed New York Knicks management on the franchise’s plan to restore a contending roster and left his final free-agency meeting largely aligned with president Phil Jackson’s vision, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

Carmelo Antony ended his free agency tour in Los Angeles yesterday, meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. Wojnarowski  reports that the meeting went well for New York, who offered ‘Melo the maximum contract offer of five years and $129 milliion.

‘Melo has now met with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Lakers and Knicks. While each team can offer something uniquely appealing to ‘Melo, there is no perfect option. The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks can offer the opportunity to team up with other stars (but at a discount in salary), while the Knicks can offer the most money and a chance to stay in the city ‘Melo forced his way to several years ago.

Team president Phil Jackson previously recommended that ‘Melo should take a discount to help the Knicks add more talent, which caused people to believe that he did not really want to bring ‘Melo back. That concern is now put to rest, as the team is committing itself to ‘Melo, which is something ‘Melo needed to hear, according to Wojnarowski.

‘Melo is expected to make his final decision over the weekend.

Clippers Agree to Terms with Spencer Hawes

Free-agent 7-footer Spencer Hawes has reached agreement on a four-year, $23 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Hawes was determined to sign with a contender and his commitment to the Clippers on Friday becomes a tremendous coup for president and coach Doc Rivers.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers took a big step toward adding front-court depth by agreeing to terms with free agent center Spencer Hawes on Friday.

Hawes played with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers last season. In 27 games played with the Cavaliers, Hawes averaged 13.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and one block while shooting 44.8 percent from three point range.

In Hawes, team president and head coach Doc Rivers has finally added a talented, versatile big man who can stretch the floor. Rivers tried to achieve this last season by signing veterans Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens during last offseason. Then, Rivers signed Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis, but both were only marginally effective, despite flashes of strong production.

The terms of the deal are not final, as Wojnarowski reports that a sign and trade could be done with the Cavaliers, which would preserve the Clippers’ midlevel exception. Financial flexibility is especially important for the Clippers as they continue to search for a small forward and a backup point guard to replace Darren Collison, who agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Sacramento Kings earlier this week.

Hawes joins a front-court that features Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Hawes’ ability to stretch the floor should help create space for Griffin to operate under the basket, and supplement an already potent offense, which led the league in offensive efficiency last season.