NBA Free Agency 2012: Playing Fact or Fiction with Hottest NBA Free-Agent Buzz

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: Playing Fact or Fiction with Hottest NBA Free-Agent Buzz

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    The NBA's free agency period opened up on Sunday morning, and with it came a torrent of rumors, hearsay, wayward tweets and players meeting with teams.

    With all the news flying around, it's hard to tell what is real and what is really dumb at this point.

    You'll hear about a dozen teams interested in one guy, but he inevitably ends up signing with a completely different team. That doesn't necessarily mean that the rumors were untrue, it's just that they never grew into anything.

    Seedlings get planted, but they don't always flourish.

    So, I'm here to tell you which of the seedlings growing out of the free-agent rumors will grow, and which ones are going to turn brown and wither away in the next few days. 

Jrue Holiday Seeks Max Deal

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    Is This For Real? Umm—apparently.

    What Are the Odds? Holiday will get paid in Trident Layers before he gets a max deal.

    Sure Jrue Holiday, you want a max deal. That's cute.

    Now, get your head out of the clouds and realize that a guy who just averaged 13 points, 4.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds would be lucky to get $10 million a year.

    Oh, you're going to be on the Olympics Men's Select Team? Well Christian Laettner played in the real Olympics and you never saw him getting a max deal.

    Settle down and take the four-year, $9 million a year deal that's coming to you. You'd still be overpaid.

New York Could Let Jeremy Lin Walk

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    Is This For Real? Seems doubtful.

    What Are the Odds? I'd say 1 in 20 that he leaves New York.

    Word on the street (and on the internet, I suppose) is that should Steve Nash shun the Toronto Raptors, they'll end up offering Jeremy Lin a back-loaded deal that would force the Knicks to seriously consider matching the offer, as they would be paying him around $15 million a year in the final two years of the deal.

    This report is basically saying that the Knicks are getting screwed out of a few dollars, but they'll still happily pay Lin.

Los Angeles Lakers Have Interest in Grant Hill

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    Is This For Real? Seems legit.

    What Are the Odds? LA makes sense for a short deal, so 1 in 5-ish.

    Grant Hill recently had the platelet-enrichment procedure on his knees that Kobe Bryant had in order to get ready for last season. Now the nearly 40-year-old Hill is ready to play another season, potentially with the Lakers.

    Los Angeles needs a guy who can come in and score off the bench, play some defense and keep the young'uns in check while Kobe and Gasol are getting a breather, so why not use that mini mid-level exception on him instead of blowing it on a volatile young guy?

Bulls Will Match Offer for Asik

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    Is This For Real? Chicago can do it, but it seems pricey.

    What Are the Odds? 50/50

    The Houston Rockets made every basketball fan's jaw hit the floor when they offered Omer Asik a three-year $25 million deal on Sunday. Those collective jaws were nearly back up to their owner's mouths when Chicago came out and said they plan on matching the offer.


    At first glance it sounds crazy, but in the end it would just mean they'll end up using their amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer sooner rather than later (although not this season) in order to keep from paying too much into the luxury tax.

Goran Dragic Wants to Get Paid

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    Is This For Real? There aren't many good point guards out there, so it seems to be.

    What Are the Odds? He'll get at least $8 million, probably closer to $10 million.

    Goran Dragic capitalized on Kyle Lowry's injury by averaging 18 points and eight assists as a starter for the Rockets.

    Dragic played well, and now he wants to get payed like he did that all season long. With the lack of premier free-agent point guards, it seems that he's going to get paid.

    Six teams—Toronto, Phoenix, Brooklyn, New Orleans, the Lakers and Rockets—are all looking to sign the fellow.

    Now, the Lakers can only offer a three-year, $9.7 million deal; Brooklyn is looking at him as a plan C after Deron Williams and Steve Nash; and he's plan B in Toronto after Nash—so he's a primary point guard target of just three teams.

    Still, Dragic should be able to field at least $8 million a year.

Wizards Will Amnesty Andray Blatche

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    Is This For Real? Nothing's impossible.

    What Are the Odds? I don't know if Ernie Grunfeld is that smart.

    This would probably be the smartest move of the NBA offseason, but who knows if it'll really happen.

    I can't even figure out how to make a prediction on the odds of this one, as even signing Andray Blatche to the contract in the first place is insane.

    Still, if Grunfeld uses the amnesty provision on Blatche, he should automatically be given the Executive of the Year Award.

Jeff Green Will Be Back in Green

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    Is This For Real? Seems to be.

    What Are the Odds? It's down to a matter of money at this point.

    The Boston Celtics were disappointed to hear about Jeff Green's season-ending surgery at the beginning of the season, but now it seems like he's giving them the in-road to re-sign him.

    Green is looking for a contract that'll give him around $9 million a year, which is what he signed for at the beginning of the 2012 season. But after his surgery, Danny Ainge might be able to get him for a bit less, which is probably holding up the deal.

Joe Johnson is Going to Brooklyn Without Brooks Going to Atlanta

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    Is This For Real? Doesn't seem possible.

    What Are the Odds? They could get Johnson, but Brooks would almost certainly be involved.

    Joe Johnson is almost certainly going to have a new team by the beginning of the 2013 season, and the Hawks should be happy to be rid of that deal—but the Nets are crazy if they think they're going to steal him.

    They're talking about sending some combination of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Kris Humphries and Gerald Green—but what value is that to the Hawks? Marshon Brooks has to be involved, it seems.

Lakers Are Overvaluing Pau Gasol

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    Is This For Real? Definitely.

    What Are the Odds? The Lakers always seem to overvalue their own guys. Every team does, but the Lakers really do.

    The Los Angeles Lakers apparently put together a deal for Josh Smith involving a swap of him and Pau Gasol, but the Lakers didn't want to have a straight-up swap.

    Despite the fact that the Lakers are getting an all-star in return and dumping salary, they wanted another, unspecified player in return.

    Good luck with that.

Warriors Are Willing to Rent Dwight Howard

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    Is This For Real? Eh, it doesn't make sense at all for Golden State.

    What Are the Odds? I'd call it the longest of long-shots.

    Dwight Howard as a member of the Golden State Warriors would make for an interesting situation—one which would unfortunately last for no longer than a season.

    The Warriors would basically be renting Howard and throwing their future away for the chance at a decent playoff spot next spring.

    Of course, the Warriors can be idiots, but even they aren't that dumb. It would alienate their fans even more than they are and make them one of the worst teams in the league during the 2013-14 season.

    If you are one of those twitterers, you can follow me @JDorsey33.