Rumors are the bread and butter that any fan lives on during the offseason. Come and get your sustenance.
The rumor mill is certainly in full swing this NBA offseason. Free agents, potential trades and even more roster changes are all floating out there, but the most recent rumors are always the most important ones. That is what you will find here.
The last three days have been rumor-packed just by themselves. Dwight Howard is still in Orlando. Andrew Bynum will test free agency next year. Rule changes are coming to the NBA. A slew of free agents are still out there waiting for a team to grab them.
Here are the biggest rumors and news items from the past few days in the NBA.
As Ric Bucher of ESPN reported on Saturday, Dwight Howard’s agent stated that the superstar center would not sign an extension with any team that might trade for him. This refuted earlier reports that Howard would be willing to sign with the Lakers long-term.
This just means that Howard will test free agency next summer. It only means that if Howard actually sticks with this statement and does not flip-flop. Recent history would tell us that Howard is very likely to change his story yet again before anything actually happens.
No one seems to know what to expect from this situation, and for good reason. Howard has said so many different things over the past year that even he seems to be oblivious to his own thinking, or lack thereof. This is the current version of this story, but there is no doubt it will change soon enough.
According to Paul Lukas of ESPN, fan reaction to the NBA Board of Governors signing off on corporate advertising patches for NBA team jerseys has been extremely negative. Lukas cites numerous polls conducted across the country, each resulting in a strong majority against the measure.
None of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States (MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL) have advertising on their uniforms, with the exception of certain season-opening MLB games in Japan.
The initiative is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the NBA and is up for a final vote in September. Unfortunately for disgruntled fans, it is apparently “likely” to pass according to Lukas.
Kobe Bryant may not be the player on the court that he used to be, but his star has apparently never been brighter abroad. According to Sporting News, the Lakers star is by far the most-hounded by reporters internationally.
Bryant grew up overseas, living in Italy while his father played professional basketball there. Fluent in Spanish and Italian, one could attribute part of Bryant’s international appeal to his understanding of European culture that he attained from living there.
The understanding of another culture that comes from being submersed in it would definitely be helpful in marketing one’s self internationally. It stands to reason that this is a big part of Bryant’s stardom in places other than the USA.
Team USA was behind against Brazil after the first quarter and narrowly defeated Argentina by six points. Apparently, that means we should doubt their ability to win another gold medal.
According to NBC Sports, Andres Nocioni believes that it will be very tough for the US team to win another gold medal. A member of the Argentine team, Nocioni did not insult Team USA, but he did cast some doubt on the team’s ability to win.
There is really only one team the USA needs to worry about: Spain. A lineup of Marc and Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez, Jose Calderon and more will not be an easy one to dispatch. Spain is, by far, the second-best team in the competition and should be a tough test for the US.
According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, a trade does not really help either Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard get the best bang for their bucks. While it most certainly would be good for Orlando and Los Angeles, it does not make fiscal sense for the players if it requires them to sign an extension.
Howard would lose over $30 million dollars by signing an extension and not opting for free agency next summer. Bynum would not lose as much, but he would still lose an amount in the neighborhood of $27 million.
Knowing these cold-hard CBA facts, it makes much more sense why neither player has agreed to sign an extension with potential trade partners for his team. While neither of these two will be poor any time soon, each has much more to gain from becoming a free agent next season, when they can sign a five-year, max-deal with their current teams.
According to the Contra Costa Times, the Golden State Warriors have some interest in Russian forward Andrei Kirilenko. The 6’9” forward played in Moscow last season and could return there if he does not get an offer that meets his fancy.
The Warriors have been mentioned in connection with free-agent power forward Carl Landry, but it looks like Kirilenko is also on their radar. It is an acquisition that would make sense for the Warriors, who need defensive-minded players like AK-47 on their offensively-minded-to-a-fault team.
The Warriors have yet to make a decent signing this offseason. They have had a long list of players they liked, but have been spurned by them all. Hopefully, for Warrior fans, either Landry or Kirilenko pans out.
According to the ESPN, the NBA Board of Governors has tweaked the rules on when officials are able to use instant replay. Now, officials will be able to review fouls in order to designate their status as flagrant one, flagrant two or neither.
This comes on the heels of a season and postseason filled with questionable fouls. The consistency of what constitutes a flagrant foul was not maintained throughout the year, and the NBA is hoping to solve that problem.
Now that this problem is being remedied, it is time for the NBA to address the flopping epidemic that has hit the NBA. Fans are tired of seeing grown men fall like trees to the ground every time the wind blows near them. My wife is tired of me shouting “Timber!”. NBA, we need your help!