The Boston Celtics are expected to make All-Star guard Kemba Walker a four-year, $141 million contract offer when free agency opens Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Walker, who spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Charlotte Hornets, is expected to accept the offer, Wojnarowski reported, citing league sources.
Just two weeks ago, Walker said he would take less than the five-year, $221 million “supermax” contract only the Hornets could offer him to stay in Charlotte.
Wojnarowski reported Thursday, however, that Hornets owner Michael Jordan no longer is “determined to extend far enough financially to re-sign his franchise player.”
In Boston, Walker would replace Kyrie Irving, who is expected to sign elsewhere. The 29-year-old Connecticut product averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists while starting all 82 games for the Hornets last season.
–The Los Angeles Lakers reworked their trade for Anthony Davis to clear enough cap space to sign a free agent to a max deal, according to multiple reports.
The Lakers expanded their pending deal with the New Orleans Pelicans by adding the Washington Wizards, who will receive center Mo Wagner, guard Isaac Bonga and forward Jemerrio Jones, as well as a future second-round pick, from Los Angeles, according to ESPN. The Wizards will send the Pelicans $1.1 million, the Washington Post reported.
Davis also agreed to waive his $4 million trade bonus, giving the team $32 million for the free agency period, which begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Contracts cannot be signed until July 6.
–LeBron James is set to give his No. 23 to Davis, according to Yahoo Sports.
The NBA has been told of the planned change, according to the report.
Davis wore No. 23 during his seven years in New Orleans, and James wore it during his 11 seasons in Cleveland and last year with the Lakers. James chose No. 6 when he joined the Miami Heat in 2010 and played there four seasons. What number James will pick with the Lakers is up in the air.
–The New York Knicks still have hopes of signing Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard but are preparing for the possibility they don’t land the one they seemingly covet the most: Durant.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported the Knicks could offer a one-year contract to Durant’s Golden State Warriors teammate, 6-foot-11 center DeMarcus Cousins, if they can’t lure Durant to Madison Square Garden.
Cousins, who will turn 29 before the season starts, was a four-time All-Star with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. He suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon playing for the Pelicans against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26, 2018, and returned to the NBA a year later.
–The Celtics will hire former WNBA and Olympic champion Kara Lawson as an assistant coach, ESPN reported.
Lawson, 38, has been a TV analyst for ESPN and the Washington Wizards.
She played for legendary coach Pat Summitt at Tennessee, reaching three Final Fours, and spent 13 seasons as a point guard in the WNBA, last playing in 2015. Lawson won a WNBA title with the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005 and was part of Team USA’s gold-medal-winning squad in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
–The Celtics picked up the 2019-20 option for forward Semi Ojeleye, the Boston Globe reported.
Ojeleye, 24, will now be guaranteed his salary of $1.6 million this season. He is also under contract for a non-guaranteed $1.75 million in 2020-21.
Ojeleye averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 56 games (three starts) last season, playing just 10.6 minutes per game.
–Oklahoma City Thunder big man Nerlens Noel declined his $1.99 million player option for 2019-20, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
The move allows Noel to join the loaded NBA summer free agent field, though he will talk with the Thunder about possibly staying put, according to Charania.
Noel, 25, averaged 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game in 77 appearances (two starts) during his lone season with the Thunder. He signed a free agent deal with Oklahoma City last summer after playing 1 1/2 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.
–The Hornets don’t plan to extend a qualifying offer to restricted free agent center Frank Kaminsky, The Athletic reported, which would make the former lottery pick an unrestricted free agent when the signing period opens Sunday.
Kaminsky’s qualifying offer would have been worth $4.5 million, after he made $3.6 million last season. The 26-year-old fell out of the rotation for much of 2018-19, posting career lows of 47 games (no starts) and 16.1 minutes per game, averaging 8.6 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Charlotte took Kaminsky ninth overall in the 2015 draft out of Wisconsin.
–The Memphis Grizzlies won’t extend a qualifying offer to restricted free agent guard Tyler Dorsey but are open to bringing him back, ESPN reported.
Dorsey’s qualifying offer would have been worth $1.7 million, after he made $1.4 million last season. The 23-year-old was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in February for Shelvin Mack and bounced between the Grizzlies — averaging 9.8 points in 21 games (11 starts) — and the G League affiliate Memphis Hustle.
–Field Level Media