NBA Free Agents 2012: Latest Buzz Around NBA's Hottest Targets
Sources rule the rumor mill.
The 2012 NBA free-agency period has begun, so every player that means anything is already linked to one, if not several potential landing spots. Here is the latest buzz from around the league.
One Shot at D-Will?
Where will D-Will land?
This may be Mark Cuban’s one shot. It seems like Williams is leaning toward re-signing with the Nets—they’re capable of offering him more money, and he just partied with Avery Johnson. Cuban must make a John Calipari-like pitch to sell the Mavs as a superior choice.
Otherwise, they’ll be left empty-handed.
Will Nash sign in Toronto?
Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Toronto Raptors have offered Steve Nash a contract worth $36 million over three years.
Toronto is obviously all-in for Nash, but will the 38-year-old point guard pass on his original objective of playing for a contender in order to play in his home country?
Let’s be real: The Raptors aren’t a legitimate championship contender, and he’ll never win a ring if he signs a three-year deal there.
Ray Allen Shipping Back to Boston?
…a stretch for me to see him go somewhere else. We really want him back and I really think at the end of the day that he will be back because this is such a good fit for him. We need him back and we're trying to get him back... Yes, there are a couple of teams way under the cap who might be able to offer more money. But...we can offer him more.
Losing Allen to Miami would make the Celtics worse and the Heat better—a horrible combination considering Boston just got ousted by them.
D-Will Fallback Plan
Chris Broussard of ESPN reported that the New Jersey Nets have a Plan B in place if they fail to re-sign Deron Williams.
Nets have expressed interest in Eric Gordon, particularly as a replacement star if Deron Williams goes to Dallas, sources said.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2012
I highly doubt Eric Gordon would leave Anthony Davis to play alongside Brook Lopez, but money distorts players’ vision all the time. Still, Gordon has options, but how likely is it that a Deron Williams-less Nets team ends up being his best?
Money Rules Everything Around Roy
You can’t blame Hibbert for accepting such a deal. Being offered a max contract to play alongside LaMarcus Aldridge is difficult to pass on. Portland would definitely be a playoff contender with those two All-Stars side by side.
Hibbert is a restricted free agent, though, so the Indiana Pacers could match any offer.
Gun For Hire (Part 1)
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that Jason Terry is getting plenty of looks early in free agency despite turning 35 years old in September.
Mavs free agent guard Jason Terry getting interest from Boston, Grizzlies, Clippers, Suns and Mavs, source tells Yahoo!— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 1, 2012
They aren’t mentioned on Spears’ list, but Terry himself has expressed interest in the Miami Heat since March. Teams in pursuit of him would have to pay up to sway Terry from hopping on the Big Three bandwagon.
Gun For Hire (Part 2)
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reported that the Portland Trail Blazers’ Jamal Crawford has drawn interest from the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers.
Crawford is on the decline at 32 years old, but he’s a more-than-capable first guard off the bench. He would likely fill such a role in Indiana, but he’d serve as Ray Allen’s replacement in Boston, Shannon Brown’s in Phoenix, Lou Williams’ in Philadelphia and Nick Young’s in Los Angeles.
Minnesota never had a capable shooting guard, and they nearly traded for Crawford at this year’s deadline, so expect them to break the bank for him.
They Offered Omer Asik What?!
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Omer Asik and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a deal.
Rockets have reached agreement with Omer Asik on a three-year, $25.1 million contract, league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2012
Houston may be waving the white flag on Dwight Howard with this move. Asik averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 boards this past season, but apparently he’s worth over $8 million a year.
Chicago will have the option to match the offer, and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes that the Bulls have labeled re-signing Asik as a priority.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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