NBA Rumors: Loudest Chatter from Around the League
The NBA is aflutter with rumors, and here at Bleacher Report, we have all the latest news on all the latest rumors you want to read about.
The NBA offseason is full of information, misinformation and everything in between. The rumors are what fans live on while teams rest, although Olympic basketball has given us something else to sustain us.
New news comes out every day on all kinds of fronts. Free agency, the Olympics and the continued Dwight Howard trade saga are all churning out new bits of information. Here are the biggest bits of news that are hot right now.
Andrei Kirilenko Will Be a Timber Wolf
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY
Andrei Kirilenko has been playing in Moscow for the past year, but next season he will play in the NBA’s version of Siberia. According to NBA.com, Kirilenko has signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 31-year-old small forward did very well last season, winning Most Valuable Player and Best Defender awards in the Euroleague. It is clear that Kirilenko is a valuable asset to any team.
He seems to have been extremely underrated throughout his career. Yet, the figure that has been reported for his contract seems high for a player that will likely be just the third-best player on the team at best.
Andrei Kirilenko Will Be a Timber Wolf
Talk of Olympic Limits for NBA Players Continues
Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
NBA players have dominated Olympic basketball for the past 20 years. However, their reign could end as we know after these games in London.
According to the New York Times, the NBA is currently considering many options that would limit the amount of times or the ages at which NBA players could compete in the international competition. NBA owners are clearly worried about their investments in these players, especially foreign players.
Apparently, the NBA is looking more favorably on the FIBA World Championships that are held every four years. Those games are not packed in as much and do not compete with other sports like the Olympics.
Hopefully, we will continue to get top-notch international basketball regardless of the restrictions the NBA puts on its players. The continued globalization of the sport depends on it.
Jodie Meeks Possibly Headed to the Lakers
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Jodie Meeks was a talented guard for the Philadelphia 76ers last season. This season, he could be a talented guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com, the Lakers are very interested in Meeks and are discussing a potential deal for him with the Philadelphia 76ers. Meeks averaged 8.4 points per game last season while shooting 41 percent from the field.
Meeks is just 24 years old, making him a nice addition for a Lakers team that needs to get younger where it can. He is also extremely athletic and would be a good guard to have come off the bench.
James Harden Is a Fan of Phoenix
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
James Harden has made a name for himself as the Sixth Man of the Year for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He will be a restricted free agent in 2013 though, and the small-market Thunder may not have enough money to keep him.
The 22-year-old shooting guard expressed some interest in the Phoenix Suns as a possible destination, per Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic. Harden did not say that Phoenix was his first choice, but the fact that he was so open about the possibility says something.
Harden played at Arizona State in college and his mother still lives in Phoenix. Still though, recent NBA free agency has shown us that home is not always where players choose to go. The cases of Deron Williams and LeBron James have clearly shown us that, many times, the opposite is true.
Dwight Howard’s Agent Leaked Details of Meeting with Magic Management
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
David Stern accused Dan Fegan, Dwight Howard’s agent, of leaking details about the meeting that took place between Howard and Magic officials in Los Angeles. Fegan says that Stern is correct.
According to Ric Bucher of ESPN, Fegan confirmed that Howard’s representatives were the ones who provided details of the meeting in LA. Apparently though, those reps only did so because they wanted to make sure the reports were correct.
This Dwight Howard drama will not die until Howard is playing in a different uniform and is signed long-term. Unfortunately for weary fans, that probably will not be the case for nearly a year.
Andrew Bynum and Lakers Engaged in Extension Talks
Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Andrew Bynum is the other piece of the Dwight Howard trade drama, as he has been mentioned frequently as an acceptable return for Howard. However, he may be inked long term by his current team.
According to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, Laker GM Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum’s agent are discussing a possible contract extension for the All-Star center. Bynum is already set to make $16.1 million in 2012-13.
If Bynum is not signed to an extension, he will become a free agent after next season. All of the Laker roster appears to be in flux, with just Steve Nash being under contract for 2014-15. The Lakers appear to be intent on getting under the salary cap as soon as possible.
Magic Johnson Believes Kobe and LeBron Could Have Been Dream Teamers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
There has been a ton of chatter on comparing this current USA basketball team to the 1992 Dream Team. Everyone has different opinions on who would win, but Magic Johnson is sure of at least a few current players that would have made the roster in 1992.
Via the Los Angeles Times, Johnson stated that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James would definitely make the team, and that Kevin Durant would have a shot. However, Johnson is clear on another fact: the Dream Team would stomp this current team.
It would be tough to argue with Johnson. Not only is he clearly an expert, but we are also talking about the two players on the team that have already earned their place in the Hall of Fame. It also seems likely that Durant’s length and shooting stroke would give him the best chance of the rest.