• The Bulls do not sound excited about the possibility of losing center Omer Asik to an unconventional three-year, $24 million offer sheet from the Rockets.
• Heat owner Mickey Arison says that despite winning a title, the team lost money again this season.
• Like all first-round picks entering the fourth year of a rookie contract, Stephen Curry is eligible for a four-year contract extension (or, in theory, a five-year extension if the Warriors make the guard their so-called “designated player” under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement). But the Warriors won’t enter into those talks until they know Curry’s troublesome right ankle can sustain a full NBA season. Seems like a prudent stance, right?
• Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Pacers and point guard George Hill have agreed in principle on a five-year contract. Assuming the value of Hill’s deal is within reason, the Pacers should still have something like $7 million or so in cap space that they could use while center Roy Hibbert makes up his mind on the Trail Blazers’ max-level offer sheet. That doesn’t mean the Pacers will use this space, and to get it, they’d have to immediately renounce their rights to all other free agents, including guard Leandro Barbosa.
• NBA.com’s David Aldridge with a potentially key detail in the Nets’ new four-year, $40 million deal for Gerald Wallace:
The Nets already have reached tentative agreement to retain free agent forward Gerald Wallace with a four-year, $40 million deal. Wallace, a source said, agreed to take less money in the first year of the deal than the $9.5 million he made last season to give Brooklyn more cap flexibility for additional deals.
Every little bit of flexibility helps, just in case the Nets try to get themselves under the cap at some point after July 11 instead of staying over it via cap holds.
• Jeff Green re-signing in Boston sounds like a fait accompli, meaning the only questions remaining for the Celtics’ offseason are:
1. Will they bring back all three of the mid-priced Green/Ray Allen/Brandon Bass trio?
2. Can they do that, re-sign some bit players (Chris Wilcox and/or Greg Stiemsma, etc.) and stay far enough below the luxury tax threshold — expected to be set again at just over $70 million — to put the full mid-level exception in play for the franchise? Reminder: Teams cannot use the full mid-level (worth about $5 million per season) if their payroll at any point goes across a level $4 million over the tax — or about $74 million total. Teams with payrolls that cross that level — or will cross it with use of the full mid-level — are limited to the mini mid-level, worth about $3 million per season. The difference may cost a team a particular free agent it really wants.
3. Can Boston find a real difference maker with whatever mid-level it ends up using?
• The tournament to determine the last few Olympic basketball spots begins this week.
• Both Ken Berger of CBSSports.com and Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel provide useful timelines surrounding Howard’s decision in March to opt-in with the Magic for this season. Suffice it to say, Howard’s own words and actions would make it tough for him to prove the Magic illegally coerced him into staying in Orlando for the 2012-13 season.
• Trey Kerby of the Basketball Jones proposes nicknames for all 60 players picked in the NBA draft last week.
• What is Joe Dumars’ plan to rebuild the Pistons?
• Dumars now admits that the Pistons did not do enough background research on Darko Milicic leading into the 2003 draft.
• Does the Suns’ selection of Kendall Marshall indicate that Phoenix has given up on re-signing Steve Nash?
• Something I did not know about Jared Jeffries: He is apparently a pretty crazy fisherman.
• ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher reports that Grant Hill underwent the same knee procedure — similar to platelet-rich plasma therapy — that Kobe Bryant famously underwent in Germany last year. It’s unclear whether Hill actually went to Germany for the procedure, as at least once doctor in L.A. is apparently performing it now. It’s also unclear how helpful it will be because one of Hill’s knee issues — a late-season meniscus tear — is not typically repaired by this kind of operation.