Most high-profile free agents have already found their landing spots for next season, but the NBA hot stove is still burning with rumors. Much of the speculation centers around Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, but there are other free agents (or soon-to-be free agents) who are close to signing with new employers.
The scuttlebutt is fast and fierce, and in many cases, it's often hard to separate fact from fiction. With so much false information out there, we've taken the time to tell you which stories you should believe and which rumors you should ultimately dismiss.
Rumor: Last week, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden said that he would consider signing with the Phoenix Suns if he doesn't sign an extension this year. In the next 12 months, the Thunder will have difficult decisions to make regarding both Harden and Serge Ibaka, who are set to hit the free-agent market next July.
Fact of fiction: Fiction. Harden may have an affinity for Arizona from his college days, but there's little reason to believe that he'll walk away from the Thunder. Oklahoma City can offer more money (and more years) than any other team, so Harden leaving one of the best franchises in the league to play for a mediocre Suns squad is unlikely.
Rumor: Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio is reporting that, according to several sources, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard could be traded by the end of the week. The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be the likely destination, but a third team—presumably the Cleveland Cavaliers—will be necessary in order to make a deal work.
Fact or fiction: Fact. Dwight Howard could be traded by the end of the week. But so could just about every other player in the NBA. This Howard saga has drawn on so long, it's hard to keep track of everything that's happened up to this point. None of these rumors about Howard mean much until the Orlando Magic hold a press conference officially announcing a trade. But until then...
Rumor: According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in former 76ers' shooting guard Jodie Meeks. Meeks started 114 games for the Sixers over the past two years and is a career 37.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
Fact or fiction: Fact. The Lakers would love to add an experienced shooter off of the bench, and Meeks is a slightly better option than Andrew Goudelock. That said, the Lakers don't have much to offer Meeks financially, so expect the 6'4" shooting guard to land elsewhere.
Rumor: Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says that the Cavs have their eyes on a few free-agent small forwards, including Carlos Delfino. Delfino is a solid defender who has a pretty decent shot from beyond the arc (he made 86 threes last season).
Fact or fiction: Fact. The London Olympics will be something of a showcase for Delfino, as he's one of the stars for the Argentina men's basketball team. Cleveland desperately needs help at the 3-spot (unless they're comfortable with Omri Casspi and Kelenna Azubuike), and the 6'6" Delfino would be a perfect fit.
Rumor: Thirty-three-year-old free-agent center Joel Przybilla will reportedly meet with the Milwaukee Bucks this week, according to the Racine Journal Times. The 7'1" Przybilla only appeared in 27 games for the Portland Trail Blazers last season, averaging 2.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Fact or fiction: Fact. Przybilla played more than three seasons with the Bucks early in his career, so there's a definite familiarity on both sides. Milwaukee already has Samuel Dalembert penciled in as the starter, but Przybilla could give the team a solid 10-15 minutes per night off of the bench. Unless Przybilla is seeking a massive deal, expect him to return to the place where he started his career 12 years ago.