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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

D.J. Mbenga Signs With Knicks

The New York Knicks have signed D.J. Mbenga.

Mbenga, 7-0, 240-pounds, holds career averages of 1.8 points and 1.5 rebounds over 6.7 minutes in 234 games (four starts) over seven seasons with Dallas, Golden State, L.A. Lakers and New Orleans. The Democratic Republic of Congo-native, who won two NBA titles with the Lakers (2009 & 2010) and last played in the NBA for New Orleans in 2010-11. He spent the last two seasons playing overseas in China (2012) and the Philippines (2013) after beginning his professional career in Belgium (2001-04).

Via RealGM Staff Report

Frank Vogel Signs Extension With Pacers

Frank Vogel has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Indiana Pacers.

Vogel is entering his fourth full season as coach after taking over on an interim basis in January, 2011. The Pacers finished that season 20-18 and reached the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four seasons. In July, 2011, the interim tag was removed and in the three seasons since, the Pacers have reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice and Eastern Conference Semifinals once with a record of 147-82 (.641 winning percentage).

“We’re very happy to extend Frank’s contract,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “I believe he has done a great job and I look forward to continuing our relationship and working together to achieve all of our goals.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue my tenure as Pacers’ coach,” said Vogel. “It’s an honor to represent this franchise and lead this team. I look forward to the challenge ahead. I’m grateful to have had good, coachable teams along with coaching staffs that have been second to none.”

Via RealGM Staff Report

Kenneth Faried, Nuggets Agree Upon Reworked Four-Year, $50M Extension

The Denver Nuggets and Kenneth Faried have agreed upon a reworked contract extension worth $50 million-plus over four seasons.

For the Nuggets and Faried, the paring down of an original five-year, $60 million pact on Sunday night ultimately satisfied both parties.

The fact that five-year deals on rookie extensions are only allowable for maximum contracts ultimately moved the sides toward reconstructing the extension.

The sides found common ground on a $12.5 million annual deal that keeps Faried out of the restricted free-agent market in July 2015.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Ray Allen Remains Undecided On Playing This Season

Ray Allen remains undecided if he'll play this season amid reports that he'd agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Amid continued rumors and having spoken with Ray today, let me be very clear," said Allen's agent Jim Tanner. "Ray’s position has not changed. Ray has not decided if he will play this season nor has he signed with the Cavaliers."

Allen has received contact from the Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, among other teams.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Durant: Superstar Players Worth More Than They're Making

Kevin Durant was asked his opinion on the possibility of the NBA eliminating the maximum contract.

LeBron James has long expressed his belief that players like him are underpaid relative to other players.

“Look at it like this,” Durant explained. “Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area. That’s a conversation you can always have, but until it’s changed you never know what will happen to it.”

Via Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Heat Anticipate Keeping Cap Flexibility For 2016

The Miami Heat agreed upon just two contracts that run past the 2016 offseason with their deals for Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts.

While several Heat players, including Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Danny Granger have opt-out clauses for the 2015 offseason, Pat Riley indicated the focus is on 2016 and the infusion of significant salary-cap space throughout the NBA.

"It could be next year," Riley said of a possible Heat overhaul. "They could opt out next year and we could be in the game next year."

But asked if he specifically would cut into the team's potential 2016 cap space, Riley said, "No. I don't think we will."

Via Ira Winderman/Sun Sentinel

New TV Deal Unlikely To Impact LaMarcus Aldridge's Free Agency

The NBA's new television deal won't have an impact on whether LaMarcus Aldridge signs a long-term deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to a source.

Aldridge's annual salary will pencil in at 30 percent of the Blazers' cap when he signs his deal, no matter how much it is. Afterward, he would receive 7.5 percent increases each year for the length of his deal. 

Aldridge said in July that he planned on signing a max contract with the Blazers next summer.

Via Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Rockets Plan On Having Harden Serve As Lead Recruiter For Durant

The Houston Rockets chose to take a step back in 14-15 by letting Chandler Parsons sign with the Dallas Mavericks in order to preserve cap space for 2015 and 2016.

Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo are free agents in 2015, while Kevin Durant will hit the open market in 2016.

Sources say the Rockets would like to give James Harden an opportunity to serve as their lead recruiter in pursuing Durant.

"We are always going to be swinging big," Morey said. "We're only about trying to win championships and how to make that happen. We take big swings at things. Obviously, it worked out the last two summers, but the only way you can land a James Harden or a Dwight Howard is by taking big swings. Sometimes, you hit. Sometimes, you miss. Bosh chose to stay in Miami, but that's not always going to be the case.

"If that had worked out, everyone is obviously writing a very different story about the Rockets, but it didn't work out. And we had to choose the best path when it didn't work out.

"I'm very comfortable we made the right decisions all along given the info we had. It's only the scenario where you know all the information at the end where you can go back and say 'This was a good decision or this was a bad decision.'"

Durant and Harden were previously teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder and remain close friends.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Mavs Were Fully Committed To Parsons Before Receiving Word From LeBron

The Dallas Mavericks committed to signing Chandler Parsons to an offer sheet even before they were officially told by LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony that they wouldn't sign with the club.

"I told Chandler from the start [of free agency]: 'Do you want me to be brutally honest with you?'" Mark Cuban says now. "And he said yes. So I told him with as much granularity as I could that I think it's a 10 percent chance at best that we could get Melo, but we had to try. Then, we started hearing our percentage was getting higher, and I told Chandler that, too.

"But then, when we weren't hearing a whole lot from the Melo camp, we knew we were pretty much out. So I told Chandler [on July 9]: 'I could end up being the dumbest idiot in NBA history, but even if LeBron comes back to us and says he's choosing us, I'm committing to you.'"

The Cleveland Cavaliers also strongly pursued Parsons while waiting on a decision from James. Sources say the Cavs told Parsons he was "Cleveland's guy" if James signed elsewhere.

Sources say Parsons' camp tried to convince the Rockets to agree to a four-year, $48 million deal before signing an offer sheet with the Mavericks.

"LeBron and Melo, those are long shots," Cuban concedes. "But you do 'em because you have to run things out. People give you a hard time when you don't get this person or that person, but you never win any games you don't play. And in the worst case you develop a relationship for the next time something comes up. It's as much about trying to develop relationships as it is about trying to hit the home run.

"When it comes to restricted free agency, you look at what it takes to get the player away and you can't pay less than that. We went through and looked at all the numbers and all the permutations, and we realized that the pricing for free agents in this market was going to be far more than anybody expected, just because of how cap room was playing out and who the free agents were."

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Semaj Christon To Sign With Thunder's D-League Affiliate

Semaj Christon will start his professional career by signing in the NBA D-League with the Oklahoma City Thunder's affiliate, the Blue.

Christon, who was the 55th overall pick in the June NBA Draft, will play multiple times a week in the D-League.

Christon played NBA Summer League ball with the Thunder in Orlando in July and has been with the franchise since he was drafted.

Christon played his college basketball at Xavier.

Via Shannon Russell/Cincinnati.com

Shaq Believes Russell Westbrook Needs To Take 'Step Back'

The Thunder and Scott Brooks have said the entire team must sacrafice to accomplish their championship goals.

Kenneth Faried Agrees To Five-Year, $60M Extension With Nuggets

The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fifth year that assures Kenneth Faried he will make no less than $52 million over the life of the contract.

Darrell Arthur Hopes To Re-Sign With Nuggets As Free Agent Next Summer

Darrell Arthur is entering the final season of his contract at $3.4 million this season.

Popovich 'Very Possible' To Continue Coaching Even After Duncan Retires

Gregg Popovich signed a contract extension with the Spurs in the offseason, which is believed to be for five more seasons

Kings Hire Dean Oliver

Dean Oliver had been the director of production analytics at ESPN and reunites with Pete D'Alessandro.

McHale: Final Season Of Contract Has 'No Bearing' On Coaching

Kevin McHale is entering the final season of his coaching contract with the Rockets.

Martell Webster To Consider Retirement At 30 After Final Three Years Of Contract

Martell Webster underwent his third back surgery in four years during the offseason.

DeAndre Jordan Looks For New Deal Next Summer, Not Extension Now

The Clippers understand DeAndre Jordan will be looking for a new deal next summer versus signing a contract extension before the start of the regular season.

Bucks Interested In Negotiating Long-Term Deal For Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight will make $3.75 million this season in the last year of his rookie-scale deal.

K.J. McDaniels Agrees Upon One-Year Tender With 76ers As 2nd Round Pick

K.J. McDaniels is taking less money upfront from Sam Hinkie and the 76ers to become a free agent sooner.

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Moving In Right Direction On Extension Talks

Jimmy Butler's representatives and the Bulls have started discussions on a possible contract extension.

Blazers Exercise Fourth-Year Option On Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has averaged 19.9 points (42.7% FG, 38.1% 3-PT, 85.9% FT), 3.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.84 steals and 37.2 minutes per game.

76ers Waive Pierre Jackson

Pierre Jackson will receive a guaranteed $400,00 from the 76ers for this season while he rehabs from an Achilles tear.

LeBron Was Disappointed By Miami's Decision To Amnesty Mike Miller

The decision by the Heat in the 2013 offseason to amnesty Mike Miller drew the ire of LeBron James.

Alonzo Gee Reaches Deal With Nuggets

Alonzo Gee has reached agreement on a deal with the Nuggets, a source with knowledge told RealGM

Thunder Look Forward For Opportunity To Re-Sign Kevin Durant In 2016

Kevin Durant made it clear that he is pleased with the Thunder's direction and likes his situation.

Rondo Wants To Stay With Celtics, Realistic About Short-Term Prognosis

Rajon Rondo could command a max contract as an outright free agent next summer, something he admitted during the teamís annual media day that he believes he deserves.

D.J. Stephens To Sign Camp Contract With Pelicans

D.J. Stephens has reached an agreement on a training camp deal with the Pelicans, leagues sources told RealGM.

Morey Responds To Criticism From Cuban

Mark Cuban recently criticized Daryl Morey and the Rockets for not caring about chemistry.

Markieff, Marcus Morris Agree Upon Four-Year Extensions With Suns

Markieff Morris' deal is worth $32 million over four seasons, while Marcus Morris will earn $20 million over four.
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