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Bobcats interested in Al Jefferson
By Chris Broussard | July 3, 9:50 p.m. ET
It's a poorly kept secret that several clubs are willing to "struggle" next season in hopes of winning The Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes in next year's draft.
But the Charlotte Bobcats are not committed to taking that route. Hence, their courtship of free-agent center Al Jefferson.
Jefferson had dinner with the Bobcats on Tuesday night and spent much of Wednesday meeting with team brass, sources said. Jefferson is obviously interested, but he wants to wait and see how the Dwight Howard situation plays out before he signs anywhere.
Dallas might go hard after Jefferson if it doesn't land Howard.
Jefferson, who made $15 million last season, does not want to take a pay cut, and the Bobcats are weighing whether they want to offer anywhere near that figure. The 28-year-old Jefferson, of course, wants a four-year deal, and the Bobcats aren't sure they want to offer that many years.
To get to Jefferson's number, the Bobcats would have to exercise their amnesty rights on Tyrus Thomas and renounce DeSagana Diop, Reggie Williams, Byron Mullens and perhaps Josh McRoberts, whom they have some interest in keeping.
The Bobcats also hope to re-sign free agent Gerald Henderson.
Although his tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers is likely over, Chauncey Billups is having no thoughts of retiring. Billups wants to play two more seasons, and sources say he has been in discussions with several clubs, including Detroit.
At this point, all the interested teams are looking at the 36-year-old Billups as a backup, which he is fine with.
Although the Knicks are pursuing Elton Brand, they still have interest in bringing back Kenyon Martin. They are one of several teams that have had conversations with Martin. Others are the Nets, the Lakers, the Clippers and the Spurs. The Heat also inquired about Martin.
Number of teams now courting Korver
By Marc Stein | July 3, 10:37 a.m. ET
When free agency began, rival teams were pessimistic in the extreme about keeping Atlanta Hawks free-agent sharpshooter Kyle Korver from winding up in Brooklyn as the Nets' latest impact acquisition.
But the climate has changed. In a hurry.
It's the Nets wallowing in pessimism now, having conceded that they just don't have the financial flexibility to compete with all of the offers Korver is getting in what has proved to be a more robust market for wing players than expected.
The Nets can't offer Korver more than $9.6 million over the next three seasons after all of their recent moves. Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Milwaukee Bucks, for one, are pitching a three-year deal to Korver in the $20 million range.
"A number of teams," one source said, "are going hard after Kyle."
I've been reliably advised that San Antonio is firmly in the mix as well, but it appears, at this juncture, that Korver is still deliberating about his future and doesn't have a team picked out yet. That, though, hasn't stopped the Nets from basically conceding that Korver won't be picking them ... after one rival GM was convinced Monday that Brooklyn has him "in the bag."
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard quoted a source earlier Wednesday as saying that the Nets "are out of the running" for Korver.