NBA Rumors: Latest Free-Agent Buzz Surrounding Top Names on the Market
Hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts have already been handed out this summer, but there are still dozens of NBA free agents who are looking for work next season.
All of the high-priced names have already been signed, but several of the players that remain on the market could potentially have a major impact in 2012-13. Even established franchises such as the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are rumored to be in the running for free agents that might be the key to yet another title run.
With teams looking to fill out their rosters before the start of training camp, let's take a look at the latest news surrounding the top names in free agency.
Chris Andersen Open to Playing for Veteran's Minimum
ESPN.com is reporting that free-agent power forward Chris Andersen is willing to sign for the veteran's minimum. The 6'10" Andersen is an active rebounder and defender who averaged 5.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game for the Denver Nuggets last season.
Despite his productivity, the Nuggets waived Andersen in order to sign forward Anthony Randolph.
The New York Knicks are rumored to have interest in the 34-year-old Andersen, who played alongside Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith in Denver. Andersen is currently recovering from offseason arthroscopic surgery, but if he's healthy and willing to sign at a low price, a lot of teams will be contacting his agent this summer.
Bidding War for Andray Blatche?
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are just two of the teams interested in Andray Blatche, who was amnestied by the Washington Wizards earlier this offseason.
No team placed a bid on Blatche in the amnesty auction, so the Wizards are still on the hook for the entire $23.4 million due to him over the next three seasons.
Even with seven NBA seasons already under his belt, the 6'11" Blatche is still only 25 years old. So while he may latch on to a contender for a shot at a ring, he could also decide to sign with a lower-tier team for a year in order to boost his prospects at a larger payday down the road.
Jodie Meeks Garnering Interest Across the League
The Washington Post is reporting that the Wizards are interested in signing guard Jodie Meeks. Over the past two seasons, Meeks started 114 games for the Philadelphia 76ers and shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Meeks made only around $880,000 last season, so he wouldn't command a hefty salary under normal circumstances. However, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in Meeks, who also happens to be on the radar of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Shooters are at a premium in the NBA, and with Meeks' agent saying that his client won't accept a minimum salary deal, it won't be all that surprising if a minor bidding war breaks out for the former Sixers shooting guard.
Kenyon Martin Narrows His List to Two
Sam Amick of SI.com writes that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are the two finalists for the services of free-agent power forward Kenyon Martin. Golden State was also reportedly interested in the 34-year-old Martin, but the Warriors instead opted to sign forward Carl Landry to a two-year, $8 million deal.
Martin is a far cry from the player that he was five years ago, but he can still be an intimidating presence for a team with playoff aspirations. In 42 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, the 6'9" Martin averaged 5.2 PPG and 4.3 RPG.
Big Summer Could Mean Big Contract for Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa's performance during the London Games has been nothing short of impressive, and the 6'3" guard may be able to parlay his success with the Brazilian team into a long-term contract this summer.
Barbosa averaged 11.1 points per game last season and is a career 39.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc. The Cleveland Cavaliers are high on Barbosa's wish list, though it's unclear if the team is interested in signing him. The Los Angeles Lakers are also in the mix, as the team is desperately seeking a proven shooter for its second unit.
Anthony Tolliver to the Wizards?
Anthony Tolliver told Fox Sports Florida (via the Washington Post) that the Washington Wizards have been his most active suitor this summer. Tolliver is a decent shooter who can stretch the floor for a Wizards team that boasts two great penetrators in John Wall and recently drafted Bradley Beal.
Tolliver had a down season last year, but he shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010-11. In addition to his shooting ability, Tolliver is a high-IQ guy who would be an asset to any team's bench.
Mickael Pietrus to Join the Milwaukee Bucks?
With Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in the fold, the Milwaukee Bucks already have enough firepower on the wing. A superb defensive small forward would complement their starting backcourt perfectly, so it makes sense that the team would be interested in free-agent forward Mickael Pietrus.
The 30-year-old Pietrus is a fantastic perimeter defender whose athleticism and long arms give fits to opposing wing players. The 6'6" forward is reportedly drawing interest from several teams, but Milwaukee appears to be a perfect landing spot for Pietrus. In 42 games for the Boston Celtics last year, Pietrus averaged 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
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