I'm going to stop speculating on the contract that Steve Francis is going to sign. It's all conjecture on my part, and clearly I have no idea. I assumed he'd be able and interested in getting the mid-level (the same figure Art Thompson III speculated on in today's OCR), but then his agent spoke of being 'made whole' after the Portland buyout, a figure that would be much lower. So who knows?
Instead let's just do a quick link dump.
The Lakers are going to sign Derek Fisher. Like Francis, the deal can't be official until Fish clears waivers, but it's going to happen, and it removes the Lakers from the pursuit of Francis.
Today's Palm Beach Post says the Heat are NOT interested in Francis, although they continue to be one of the teams mentioned. Take it for what it's worth. The Heat continue to pursue Mo Williams as their top priority.
Today's Houston Chronicle is reporting that that Francis is interested in the Rockets. What it doesn't report is that the Rockets are interested in Francis. All the talk at this point is coming from Francis' agent, Jeff Fried. Beyond the obvious connections (Francis was an all-star with the Rockets, Yao reportedly likes playing with him, Francis has a house there) this idea makes no sense. The Rockets still have last year's starter Rafer Alston, and recently acquired Mike James for a second tour in Houston, and spent their first round draft pick on point guard Aaron Brooks. As it happens, the Rockets traded James for Alston two years ago, and then brought back James. So to bring back Francis to play alongside the guy the got for him (McGrady) would fit the theme. But exactly how many shoot first point guards is too many? Houston can't even consider this unless they get rid of Alston or James or both.
The Mavericks reportedly remain interested in the future ClipperSteve, but they just seem to be stockpiling assets. They are also reportedly interested in Chris Webber. Maybe they can also sign Gary Payton and trade for Wally Szczerbiak and stage the 2002 all star game.
Reader pookeyguru provided a link in a comment on yesterday's port with more info about the Blazers buyout. Mike Barrett is the Blazers broadcaster, and knows what he's talking about, but I must admit I found the post more than a tad confusing on the subject of the buyout.
That is a pretty specific deal to be reporting. Makes you wonder if he really knows something about this.