NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Top Remaining Free Agents
With college football kicking off this past weekend and the arrival of the NFL just days away, the 2012 NBA offseason's days of relevancy are dwindling.
Soon, the latest top-25 updates and the latest dose of Tebowmania will drown out the bounces of the round ball until the season opens in October.
Nevertheless, today is not that day. The NBA rumor mill is still fluid, as some notable veterans are still without jobs just two months before the 2012-13 season begins.
And with some teams having a little money to spend, there are some enticing rumors coming out of the mill.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest rumblings around the NBA.
Mikael Pietrus Doesn't Want Veteran's Minimum
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Being a picky replacement-level player in the NBA is almost always a surefire path to the unemployment line.
It looks like no one told former Boston Celtic Mikael Pietrus.
Using all measurables, calling Pietrus' 2011-12 season average would be kind. He shot just 38.5 percent and had a PER of 8.58—good for 320th out of 352 qualifying players last season. Also, he consistently made questionable decisions on both ends of the floor.
That type of play from a 30-year-old usually denotes a one-way ticket out of the NBA.
Nevertheless, the Frenchman reportedly wants no part of the league-minimum salary.
Per the Boston Globe:
Among the free agents remaining on the market is former Celtic Mickael Pietrus, who does not want to play for the league minimum. The Bucks had expressed interest in Pietrus but he remains without a team. The Celtics still have their $1.95 million biannual exception remaining but are expected to wait until close to the regular season to use that, perhaps on a player waived by another team.
If the Globe is correct in saying that Boston wants to wait on using the exception, it would mark another shrewd move by general manager Danny Ainge.
Simply put, Pietrus isn't a good enough player for that salary at this juncture. If he backs off and takes the league minimum, then he could bounce back.
If holds firm, he'll be playing for another club.
Knicks Want Sean Williams, Not Interested in Josh Howard
Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Recently released by the Houston Rockets, forward Sean Williams has been a hot commodity for someone who has played in only 11 games the past two NBA seasons.
He's been linked to the Miami Heat (per ESPN's Marc Stein) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (via ESPN's Darren Wolfson) since being let go. And, according to a recent report, you can add the New York Knicks to the list of interested parties.
Via Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York:
A source familiar with the Knicks' free-agency plans told ESPNNewYork.com that the team is considering signing forward-center Sean Williams, who was waived by the Rockets this week.
There has been some speculation that the Knicks are interested in unrestricted free agent Josh Howard, but according to the source, they are not into him. Instead, the team wants to add a big man -- likely to serve as a backup to Amare Stoudemire on the depth chart. Currently, they don't have one.
As Zwerling says, the Knicks are currently without a reliable backup big man. And while Williams has been anything but reliable over his NBA career, he's still just 26 years old and has an abundance of untapped talent.
If they could bring him in at the veteran's minimum, or (better yet) simply invite the former Boston College star to training camp, he could be an ideal fit.
Though with other teams in the mix, Williams should actually have a choice in the matter.
Brooklyn Nets and Andray Blatche a Match?
Rob Carr/Getty Images
A name with a ton of baggage, Blatche will need a team that's unafraid of taking him on if he hopes to land a job this offseason.
Luckily for the 26-year-old big man, who was amnestied by the Washington Wizards this offseason, there is one NBA team taking more risks than any other in 2012: the Brooklyn Nets.
And according to the New York Times' Howard Beck, Blatche may just be another low-risk, high-reward chance worth taking for the franchise:
The Nets’ ongoing search for frontcourt depth has led them to Houston, and a meeting with Andray Blatche, who was cut this summer by the Washington Wizards.
Blatche, 26, has been working out in Houston with a number of other N.B.A. players, under the guidance of John Lucas. He was set to meet with Nets Coach Avery Johnson sometime this weekend, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting. It was not clear whether the Nets were prepared to make Blatche an immediate offer or were simply exploring their options.
With Blatche just one year removed from averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, there are a ton of worse players to spend money on. (Joe Johnson comes to mind.)
Nevertheless, treading lightly is advised. Blatche's attitude and apparent lack of passion for the game ruined his reputation in Washington, and he was absolutely abhorrent on the court last season.
For a team like Brooklyn to take the risk, the Nets need to be sure no chemistry issues will arise from Blatche's addition.
Josh Howard on His Way to the Bobcats?
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
While injuries have railroaded Howard's once-promising career, the 32-year-old veteran could still contribute as a team's eighth or ninth man.
And with a dearth of talent comprising the roster, it's no surprise that the Charlotte Bobcats are one of many teams with interest in the former All-Star.
Via Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:
The Bobcats interest in Howard is still exploratory, as they consider ways to fill out their roster. The Bobcats would like to have another power forward, and have previously considered Antawn Jamison, Kris Humphries and Carl Landry, who all signed elsewhere. Howard, 6'7", has played both power and small forward.
Charlotte may be interested in Howard for what he can bring to the court. But, it's what he could offer as a potential mentor to No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that could be of greater value.
Howard was once considered one of the best wing defenders in the league. Kidd-Gilchrist is widely considered one of the best defensive prospects in recent memory. With Howard in the fold, Kidd-Gilchrist's transition to the professional level could get a whole lot easier.
More than anything, though, the Bobcats just need bodies.
Derrick Brown Considering Spurs and Hawks?
Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
One of the main reasons Charlotte has interest in Howard is that one of the Bobcats own is likely headed elsewhere this offseason.
Brown, who averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds last season coming off the Bobcats bench, has seemingly seen the phone line go dead this the summer.
However, the waiting game may have paid off as a report from CSNNW.com says the San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks will work out the 24-year-old over the next couple of weeks:
Free agent forward, Derrick Brown, is set to workout with the San Antonio Spurs next week and the Atlanta Hawks the following week, according to his agent, Calvin Andrews, of BDA Sports Management.
Andrews says he's hoping to develop talks with the Brooklyn Nets, as well.
For what it's worth, Brown's agent should do everything in his power to make the Spurs deal happen. Gregg Popovich has a penchant for getting the most out of fringe players (Danny Green, Garry Neal) and could spark a revival in Brown, as well.
Plus, it never hurt anyone to play with possibly three future Hall of Famers.