NBA Free Agency Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Top Available Players

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 13:  Mickael Pietrus #28 of the Boston Celtics celebrates his three point basket in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls on January 13, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 88-79. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Although most of the NBA landscape-altering and power-shifting free-agent signings have already been made this July, there are a number of available players still looking for teams who are worthy of being talked about.

Teams in search of quality big men and veterans to bring off the bench are certainly in luck, as they still have plenty of options to choose from and time to add crucial weaponry before preparation begins for next season.

Without further ado, let's get to the latest buzz surrounding the top available free agents this summer. 


Jermaine O'Neal

According to's Bill Ingram via Twitter, the Milwaukee Bucks have interest in big man Jermaine O'Neal:

Milwaukee Bucks brass at Impact Basketball taking a long look at Jermaine O'Neal working out....

— Bill Ingram (@TheRocketGuy) July 19, 2012


O'Neal averaged five points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season for the Boston Celtics. The Los Angeles Lakers also worked out O'Neal earlier this week, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears on Twitter:

Lakers to work out free agent forward Jermaine O'Neal in Las Vegas on Tuesday, source tells Y! O'Neal has recovered from knee surgery in Feb

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012


O'Neal will turn 34 in October, but if healthy he is more than capable of providing solid front court minutes off the bench for a team looking to contend. 


Mickael Pietrus

The veteran role player is out of the running to join the New York Knicks, according to a tweet by ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling:

Count Mickael Pietrus out for #Knicks. He has a "huge" offer overseas but wants to play for an NBA playoff team for more than vet's minimum.

— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 19, 2012


Pietrus' reported offer overseas sounds more like a worst-case scenario than a desired move away from the NBA. One would expect him to potentially lower his contract expectations if no teams show interest soon. 

Pietrus averaged 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season off the bench for the Boston Celtics, and played in all 20 of Boston's playoff games. 


Darko Milicic

The last we heard, the LA Times reported that the Los Angeles Clippers were talking to veteran big man Darko Milicic, but they have since signed free agent Ryan Hollins, according to

The former No. 2 overall pick in 2003 averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and can still provide size for a team in need of it.

The seven-footer was projected to flourish prior to the 2003 NBA draft, but has failed to live up to expectations, playing for five different teams in a span of nine seasons.

Almost a decade later, it's still hard to believe that the Detroit Pistons selected Milicic ahead of current superstars Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.


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