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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Mendez Declines Raptors Summer League Offer

There were many who wanted Juan Mendez to be the first Canadian ever drafted by the Toronto Raptors, however, it was widely known that the forward from Niagara might not have the full skill-set to compete in the league.  This did not stop the Raptors from making Mendez an offer to play in their summer league to which Mendez declined, opting to play for the Miami Heat.

Mendez's agent, Merle Scott, told The Associated Press. "We appreciate their interest and consideration," Scott said, referring to the Raptors. "But Juan's going to accept the Miami Heat invitation."

Miami Heat general manager is happy to have Mendez on the summer squad.

"If we got him, that's great," Pfund said. "That kid can play basketball. If he doesn't make it in this league, he'll make a whole lot of money playing in Europe or someplace else."

Via SLAM Sports

Miami?s Damon Jones To Test Free Agent Waters

Miami Heat starting point guard Damon Jones chose not to exercise the one-year option on his contract making him a free agent.

Jones, the Heat's starting point guard this past season, had until midnight Thursday to invoke a $2.75 million option for 2005-06.

Jones, the only Miami player to appear in all 97 games, including playoffs, averaged 11.6 points and connected on 225 of 521 attempts from 3-point range during the regular season and had the fourth best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 3.57-1.

Via The Ledger

Warriors Waive White, Exercise Options On Pietrus And Zarko

The Golden State Warriors have exercised the fourth-year contract options on guard Mickael Pietrus and forward Zarko Cabarkapa, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today. Under the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Warriors had until October 31, 2005 to exercise their options, which extend the contracts through the 2006-07 season.

"Mickael and Zarko played a big role in our second half success last season," said Mullin. "We look forward to watching their continued development in the future."

Pietrus, 23, averaged career-highs of 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 20.0 minutes in 67 games last season. Over his final 15 games played, he averaged 14.0 points in 22.8 minutes off the bench, while shooting 53.4% from the field.

They also announced that Rodney White has been waived.

Via Warriors Press Release

Payton Could Face Up To 10 Years In A Canadian Jail

Gary Payton, along with Sam Cassell and Jason Caffey, are due to appear in a Canadian court on Monday to face assault charges stemming from an incident outside a Toronto strip club, according to court documents obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in April 2003 after a Bucks/Raptors game with Payton being charged with one count of aggravated assault causing bodily harm and two counts of simple assault.

Cassell, who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, is charged with two counts of simple assault, while Caffey, a free agent, faces one count of simple assault.

Via ESPN

Houston Return To Detroit Appears To Be In The Cards

The Pistons have a need for another perimeter scorer off the bench and the plan is to fill that need through free agency.

It is likely that several veteran swingmen will become available this summer, as teams exercise a one-time only option to waive a big-salaried veteran from their tax rolls.

Michael Finley, Allan Houston and Jalen Rose are all expected to be released. Finley and Rose will likely be seeking the mid-level exception. Houston, who is older and in questionable health, will be available for the veteran's minimum.

Houston has told friends, by the way, that Detroit is at the top of his list. He played for the Pistons for three seasons starting in 1993-94. His wife is from Farmington Hills, and he is still close with Dumars and Hunter.

Via Detroit Nes

Source: Paul Pierce Is Available

Reports are surfacing across the country that Paul Pierce is the biggest superstar available via trade this summer.

Danny Ainge's youth movement is in full swing and Pierce still has a ton of value as one of the best pure basketball players in the game.

This is not a Tracy McGrady situation where a trade must be made, which should help Ainge negotiate a favorable deal that gives the Celtics both salary cap flexibility, as well as young talent.

Via RealGM

Nuggets In The Market For A Veteran Shooting Guard

The Denver Nuggets will be looking for a veteran shooting guard this summer to complete their roster for the 2005-06 NBA season.  One obvious candidate for the job is the Mavericks? Michael Finley.

"I still think two-guard is a situation we need to address, which we obviously will attempt to do our best at," general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said Wednesday. "There are some positions that should be filled by veteran players."

Via The Denver Post

Sonics Extend Qualifing Offers To Radmanovic, Murray, Evans, Wilkins

The Seattle Supersonics extended qualifing offers to Vladimir Radmanovic, Ronald Murray, Reggie Evans and Damien Wilkins on Tuesday.

The small forward Radmanovic has put his Seattle house up for sale and there is much speculation he will go for a bigger contract elsewhere.

Ronald "Flip" Murray has seen very little time playing behind shooting guard Ray Allen, however, can be explosive in the few minutes he does play.

Reggie Evans had a breakthrough year as the Sonics power forward with tough defense and tenacious rebounding.

The youngster Damien Wilkins has shown much promise and had some very big games late in the season filling in for the injured Radmanovic and Rashard Lewis.

Via Seattle Supersonics PR

Knicks Pick Up Option On Sweetney

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas announced today that forward Michael Sweetney's option for the 2006-07 season has been picked up by the team.

Sweetney, 6-8, 270-pounds, finished his second season with the Knicks during 2004-05 and averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 77 games. Originally drafted as the ninth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the 22-year-old Washington, D.C.-native registered career-highs in almost every statistical category from his rookie season in 2003-04.

Via New York Knicks PR

Bucks' Coaching Search Narrows To Saunders And Stotts

One NBA source said on Wednesday that the Bucks have reduced their coaching search to two candidates.

The primary object of the Bucks' search is considered to be former Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders. But numerous reports say he is in line for the Detroit Pistons coaching job if Larry Brown departs.

Brown was scheduled to check into the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday for a three-day checkup, and it was unclear if the 64-year-old coach would be given a clear medical update by Friday.

The Bucks are believed to be focusing anew on Terry Stotts, the former Atlanta Hawks coach and a lead assistant to George Karl for four seasons in Milwaukee. Stotts served as an assistant on Mike Montgomery's Golden State Warriors staff last season.

Via Journal-Sentinel

Lakers Invite Conroy To Summer-League Team

Bulls Ready To Clear Curry, Re-Signing Looks Likely

John Paxson said for the first time publicly on Wednesday that the Bulls would clear Curry to resume physical activity once the meeting with Cannom is completed.

Chris Taft Amongst The Names Earmarked For The NBDL

Heat Pick Up 05-06 Option On Qyntel Woods

Isiah Reveals Some Draft Night War Room Secrets

Minnesota Expects Jim Stack To Remain As GM

Source: Raptors Tried To Trade Down

Wizards Extend Qualifying Offers To Kwame And Blake

Dallas, Boston And Utah Amongst Six Teams Interested In Jasikevicius

O'Connor: No Players Were Ever Part Of Trade Talks

Bucks Are 'Vigorously' Pursuing Doug Collins To Join Front Office

Lakers Consider Waiving Brian Grant

The Lakers are looking to save almost $30 million in luxury taxes over the next two seasons by waiving forward Brian Grant.

Suns Will Go After Michael Finley

The Suns are set on exploring the possibility of going after Michael Finley on the free agent market, a league source said Tuesday. The Mavericks bought out Finley for $51 million as a way to avoid paying the NBA's luxury tax.

Hawks Score A C- In The 2005 Draft

Sonics Trade Rights To Roberts To Memphis

Magic Trade Andriuskevicius To Cleveland, Obtain Gortat From Suns

Finally Official: QRich Dealt To Knicks For K. Thomas

The Phoenix Suns solidified their frontline by acquiring 10-year NBA veteran Kurt Thomas from the New York Knicks today in exchange for swingman Quentin Richardson and the draft rights to Nate Robinson, the 21st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. The Knicks also

Antonio Davis Named President Of The NBPA

Bogut, Marvin And Deron Become The Top-3 Selections

Andrew Bogut, Marvin Williams Jr. and Deron Williams were the lucky three to go at the top of the NBA Draft on Tuesday

Cavaliers Trade Jiri Welsch To Bucks For A Second Round Pick In 2006

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