2012 NBA Free Agents: Latest Buzz on Franchise-Changing Veterans
With the 2012 NBA Playoffs at approximately the halfway point, it's time for the teams who are no longer competing for the NBA championship to move on and figure out a way to improve their respective teams for next season.
Those decisions could involve numerous veteran players around the league as potential trades, and other moves could be in the works when the season eventually ends.
With that being said, let's take a look at the latest buzz around the NBA, as it relates to a few of the veterans around the league.
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Billups, who missed most of the season with a torn Achilles, had to sit and watch as the Los Angeles Clippers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs.
While he felt he could have made a difference, Billups still feels he can help the Clippers in the future. He recently said he would like to return to Los Angeles for another season.
Billups recently told the Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
"I'm definitely going to give this a huge amount of consideration this summer. I feel like we've got some unfinished business a little bit," Billups said. "You never know what direction the team is going, if they even want me back. I've learned not to really assume nothing.
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Kirilenko's season with CSKA Moscow is complete, and a return to the NBA appears to be at about 50-50 odds.
He recently told sports.ru (h/t sportando.net) that he hasn't quite yet decided his future:
I haven't decided my future yet. There are 50-50 chances for me to stay or to go. I just want to say that if I stay in Europe, it will be with CSKA Moscow. I won't play for any other team. I am going to weigh my options. It is going to be a very busy summer.
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The NBA's leading three-point shooter is looking to cash in as an unrestricted free agent, but he must wait until an arbitrator rules on the Player's Association's claim that waived players should be able to retain their Bird right's, similar to the way a traded player would.
Billy Hunter's argument is that players such as Novak and Jeremy Lin, who were both claimed off waivers, should be able to re-sign with their teams by using the "Bird" or "Early Bird" exceptions to the salary cap.
Those exceptions allow teams to exceed the cap to re-sign their own players, otherwise Novak will be playing somewhere other than the Big Apple in 2013.
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As almost everyone expected, Clippers guard Mo Williams is expected to pick up his $8.5 million dollar option to remain with the Clippers next season, according to PBT's Kurt Helin.
That's both good and bad news for the Clippers, as they like the scoring punch Williams brings off the bench, but could use that money to improve the team in other areas.
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The top free agent on the board still remains undecided on whether or not he will re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets or test the market.
ESPNNewYork's Mike Mazzeo reports that Williams hasn't made up his mind one way or another and is offering up no indication on his future.
Williams told reporters:
"I want to reiterate, I don't know what I'm doing next year," Williams said. "Still. Nobody does but me. Not even my mom, my brother, my uncle, my cousin. I haven't talked to anybody about where I'm going next year."