NBA Rumors: Buying or Selling the Top Rumors on the Market
Without journalists reporting the potential whereabouts of NBA free agents, we might as well not have a period of free agency. After all, it's the heart-stopping rumors that make the shocking decisions so riveting.
As the 2012 period of free agency winds down, don't expect that speculation to hit any sort of a delay. Each and every team will have its fair share of rumors, while players will find their names circulating from day to day and city to city.
So what's on the platter today?
In order to truly understand the world of trade and free-agency rumors, one must be able to decipher the possible moves from the speculative theories. In order to do that, the following slides will take the hottest rumors on the market and play a good old game of buy and sell.
D-12 Could Be Traded by the End of the Week
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Here is Amico's report:
With Dwight Howard reiterating his wish to be traded, multiple league sources predict the Orlando Magic will again step up efforts to find their All-Star center a new team.
Several of those sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Saturday they believe Howard could be traded by the end of next week.
Forgive me for my inability to trust a report along these lines, but it doesn't seem as if Dwight Howard will be moved at any point before the February trade deadline. The Brooklyn Nets are out of the running until then, and the Los Angeles Lakers appear frustrated by the inconsistency in trade talks.
D-12 will be staying put for an undisclosed amount of time. While a number cannot be placed on that period, it's safe to say that it will last longer than seven days.
Final Verdict: Selling
Paul Pierce Will Not Sign an Extension
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The 2012 class of free agents was strong. The 2013 class will be stellar. In 2014, however, we could see something we're just not used to.
Some of the game's greatest veterans will be entering free agency, including Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics. While we already know that retirement is a possibility for Kobe, Pierce has made waves in his own way.
I think I am going to play this one out. I want to see what it feels like to be a free agent for once in my life. ... A lot can change in two years. My body (may not) be where I want it to be, I could retire, a lot of things could happen. It's not about the money at this point. I love the game. ... It's about winning a championship.
After what would be 16 years in the league, Paul Pierce could become a free agent for the first time. He could also leave the Boston Celtics franchise for the first time.
While the prior will occur, the latter will not. Paul Pierce will test free agency and return home.
Final Verdict: Buying
Paul Millsap Declines Extension Offer
Harry How/Getty Images
Per a report from Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Jazz are looking to lock up power forward Paul Millsap for the next three seasons. They're well aware that the Louisiana Tech alum will be hitting the open market in 2013 and appear inclined to protect their investment.
Unfortunately, their attempt to retain his services have come up short:
The sturdy six-year veteran was offered a three-year extension worth about $25 million, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned, which is the maximum extension Millsap can receive under the new collective bargaining agreement. The proposed deal features an annual 7.5 percent raise, would kick in after Millsap's current contract expires June 2013, and could keep the career Jazzman in a Utah uniform through June 2016.
Initial indications are Millsap won't agree to the extension, though, preferring to enter free agency in 2013 with plans to cash in on an inflated 2012 market that saw mid-tier forwards such as Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum and Ryan Anderson recently receive lucrative multiyear contracts.
One might suggest that this is not a dictation of where Millsap will sign in 2013. I, for one, am of a different opinion, as Millsap re-signing in Utah simply doesn't make any sense.
Derrick Favors is hot on his heels for playing time, and Enes Kanter was the third overall draft choice in 2011. Paul Millsap can get a strong deal from a financial standpoint and also have security with his job should he sign elsewhere.
Final Verdict: Buying
Los Angeles Lakers Interested in Former Rival
The Los Angeles Lakers have had quite the eventful offseason. They've added an elite point guard, size to their frontcourt and a primary scoring option off the bench, along with re-signing key prospects. The one thing they have not addressed, however, is their lack of speed and athleticism.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, that could all come to a close. The name on their radar could surprise Lakers fans, as he happens to be a longtime rival from the Phoenix Suns.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Game of the day now: Brazil v Russia. Hearing out of Brazil camp that they believe Lakers have interest in free-agent Leandro Barbosa— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 2, 2012
This signing certainly makes sense. While Leandro Barbosa is far from an efficient scorer, he's a much better option than anything the Lakers currently have on their second unit. He's also had the best years of his career while playing with Steve Nash in Phoenix, which would suggest that their reuniting could bring out the best again.
They may not have much money to spend, but they'll have enough for this.
FInal Verdict: Buying
Several Teams Interested in Andray Blatche
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Andray Blatche has done nothing positive for his image over the past seven years. Between ranking as one of the most overpaid players in the game and his consistent issues in the locker room, Blatche's short list of teams that are interested in him is certain to be smaller than others.
That is, if you don't trust Andray Blatche himself. Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com has the story:
According to a source close to Blatche, the seven-year veteran has several teams after him. He could be open to the veteran's minimum because no matter how much he signs for, he'll still collect $7.1 million next season from the Wizards after getting amnestied. There are also some insiders who predict he'll go to a situation where he can start for an up-and-coming team, so he can boost his profile and then look for an eight-figure salary next offseason.
Well, well, well! It appears as if one of the most untouchable players has suitors interested in his services. Fortunately, we've all learned that appearances can be deceiving.
Andray Blatche will find a new home for the 2012-13 NBA season. The list of possibilities, however, will not be as large as he suggests.
Final Verdict: Selling
Washington Wizards Pursuing Anthony Tolliver
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Washington Wizards have made a handful of great moves over the past few months. They've rid themselves of unnecessary contracts, moved on from underwhelming prospects and added the necessary veterans to lead this young unit.
Their latest move may see the team replacing a headache in Andray Blatche with a consistent and respected Anthony Tolliver. Michael Lee of The Washington Post has the report:
Free agent forward Anthony Tolliver told Fox Sports Florida that Washington is pursuing him harder than any other team. The Wizards reached out to the 6-foot-8 Tolliver after using the amnesty provision on Andray Blatche.
"They don’t have a big guy who can step out and shoot it," Tolliver told Fox Sports Florida. "That makes a team in that situation kind of attractive."
For once, the free agent actually knows what he's talking about. While Nene is always reliable, the team does lack a stretch 4. Anthony Tolliver can be just that should the Washington Wizards opt to bring the big man in.
That's a move they should be expected to make.
Final Verdict: Buying
Milwaukee Bucks in Talks with Mickael Pietrus
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Milwaukee Bucks have quietly but surely had an active offseason. They've added depth to their frontcourt, made waves on draft day and even found themselves rumored in the pursuit of a few free agents. For the latter, however, the past tense is not necessarily applicable.
Bill McCandless, [Mickael] Pietrus’ agent, said his client is drawing consideration from several teams. McCandless confirmed he and Bucks general manager John Hammond have had exploratory talks.
“We talked about 10 to 14 days ago,” McCandless said. “We’re waiting to see what happens. Mickael would be interested in playing for Milwaukee, absolutely.”
Mickael Pietrus would fit nicely on a team that currently possesses questions at the 3. The Bucks also have two offensive-minded players at the shooting guard position, which opens the door for Pietrus to see even more playing time as a defensive force.
He thrived in that role with the Boston Celtics in 2012.
Final Verdict: Buying