NBA Free Agents 2012: Elton Brand and Best Big Men Still Available

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2012

NBA Free Agents 2012: Elton Brand and Best Big Men Still Available

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    It has become a full-time job trying to keep up with the nonstop rumors involving your favorite NBA players and teams.

    With so many unidentified “sources” and “people close to the situation,” it has become rather difficult to keep up.

    After going to the end of the internet waves and back, I’ve been able to uncover the very latest news and rumors on the following big men that are still looking for a new home. 

Multiple Teams Could Sign Brendan Haywood

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    When the Dallas Mavericks were able to land free agent center Chris Kaman, almost immediately they decided to use their amnesty clause on Brendan Haywood.

    Now teams can place a waiver bid on Haywood, and there appears to be multiple options.

    Rick Bonnel of The Charlotte Observer reports that the Bobcats could be interested. Haywood went to North Carolina and resides in the Charlotte area during the offseason. Getting a teacher for their young big men makes sense.

    ESPN’s Nick Borges suggests that the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Hornets are also two potential options for the 11-year veteran.

    Another possibility is the Houston Rockets, speculates ESPN’s Joe Kaiser. His rationale is simple: with the trades of Marcus Camby and Samuel Dalembert, right now their starting center would likely be either Patrick Patterson or Josh Harrellson.

    No wonder they may take a stab at Haywood.

    The 7’0’’ center is coming off a season in which he averaged 5.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 21.2 minutes a night, and can still be a valuable member of a contending team in limited minutes off the bench. 

Elton Brand Likely Heading to Dallas

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    With the Philadelphia 76ers using their amnesty clause on Elton Brand, the 6’8’’ forward is available, and the Dallas Mavericks are interested.

    According to a source, the Mavericks plan on making a “very aggressive bid” for his services, reports Jeff Caplan of

    The Mavs hold the cap room to sign him, and have a need for a traditional power forward. While Brand certainly isn’t the player he once was, the 13-year vet still averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds for one of the big surprise teams in the league last season. 

Who Wants Kris Humphries?

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers have bowed out of the Kris Humphries sweepstakes, and it's becoming clear that the market is rather lukewarm for the former reality T.V. star.

    His former team, the Brooklyn Nets, would only sign him if they have a deal lined up to trade him immediately.

    Humphries wants the security of a multi-year deal after averaging 13.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 35 minutes per game last season, but it appears he’ll be stuck with another one-year deal.

    Blame Kim Kardashian. 

Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin Will Be Switching Teams… Or Not

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    All signs pointed to Indiana Pacer Tyler Hansbrough heading to the Charlotte Bobcats in a sign-and-trade deal for D.J. Augustin just as recently as yesterday.

    After the Pacers traded Darren Collison to the Dallas Mavericks, a clear need for a point guard emerged.

    But maybe this deal won’t be happening after all according to B.J. Evans of

    Breaking @bobcats News: The team has withdrawn its qualifying offer to D.J. Augustin. He is now an unrestricted free agent.

    — B.J. Evans (@BobcatsBballPR) July 12, 2012


    Last year Augustin averaged 11.1 points and 6.4 assists in just under 30 minutes a game, and would be a huge part of the Pacers upcoming season alongside George Hill.

    Now the Pacers can sign Augustin without having to give up Hansbrough. Great news for Indiana.

    HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reports the Pacers are indeed the front-runner to sign him and he indeed was correct. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star confirms that the Pacers have agreed to terms with Augustin: 

    Pacers have agreed to a 1 year deal with DJ Augustin, according to a source.

    — Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) July 12, 2012

Is Kenyon Martin Heading Back to His First Team?

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    What a surprise, another rumor involving the Brooklyn Nets.

    The latest involves free agent power forward Kenyon Marin, who was the No. 1 overall pick by New Jersey in the 2000 draft.

    They are contemplating signing the 34-year-old, who is coming off a season in which he averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds while averaging 22.4 minutes a game with 42 appearances for the Los Angeles Clippers.

    While his knees have sapped the athleticism from Martin, his 100 games of playoff experience would be rather beneficial for a team that doesn’t hold much of it.