We're less than one month until NBA training camps open for the 2012-13 season. And for some jobless veterans, that means it's crunch-time for finding a new home.
That also means a ton of agents working the phones hard to make a last-minute push for their client.
With that in mind, the NBA rumor mill is bound to feature falsehoods. Not that these rumblings are poor reports; it's just that some seem to be thinly veiled public relations attempts by players to find work.
With that in mind, here's a look at the absurd rumblings going around the Association.
Speaking with TMZ over the weekend, former NBA guard Javaris Crittenton didn't seem like someone due back in court this month.
He seemed rather jovial, and even optimistic about his NBA career saying that "still training for the NBA and believes a comeback is in his future."
Let's just say I have a feeling that Crittenton and NBA teams have a different definition of "future."
We're not going to speculate or comment on Crittenton's ongoing murder charges as those answers will come from the legal process.
Nevertheless, the former Georgia Tech guard simply wasn't good enough to stick in the NBA before the charges. For his career, Crittenton averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists per game and hasn't stepped foot on an NBA floor since the 2008-2009 season.
If teams weren't jumping to sign him before, there's an igloo's chance in Arizona that it happens now. There's just too much inherent risk and not nearly enough reward here.
We're less than two months before the 2012-13 NBA season tips off and former Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes is still waiting by the phone for a formal contract offer.
Nevertheless, that's not stopping Barnes from keeping his optimism. He says there are a few teams he's currently in contact with including one that's more than a little surprising: the Lakers
Via CBS Sports' Ben Golliver:
Unrestricted free agent forward Matt Barnes, who spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, says that he continues to talk about re-signing with the team despite a July arrest.
"I'm actually a free agent right now," Barnes said in a TMZ.com video interview. "So [the Lakers] are one of the teams we are talking to. There are a couple of other teams. Hopefully we'll get this arrest situation out of the way so I can go ahead and move forward with my career."
Considering the team recently re-signed Devin Ebanks to essentially takeover Barnes' role and the team has 14 players under contract for this season, it's not clear who in the organization the forward is speaking with.
With $100 million locked in payroll and almost every minute accounted for, there's about as much chance Barnes puts on the purple and gold again as you or I.
Amnestied earlier in this offseason by the Washington Wizards, forward-center Andray Blatche is still without a team.
And even though the team has the second-highest payroll in the NBA heading into 2012-13, the New York Times' Howard Beck is reporting that the Brooklyn Nets have interest in the 26-year-old.
Per the New York Times:
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.
While it's possible that Blatche and the Nets could be a match down the stretch, it won't be happening if the big man is looking for a guaranteed contract.
According to ESPN New York's Mike Mazzeo, the Nets are done handing out guaranteed deals for the offseason and will focus on training camp invites and non-guaranteed contracts to fill out the roster.
For a 26-year-old with Blatche's potential, it's highly unlikely that he'll take a non-guaranteed contract. Even it's for the veteran's minimum, the controversial big man will still get an offer this offseason offering financial security.
On the other hand, if Brooklyn brass backs off its current stance, then Blatche could be Brooklyn bound.
For a player that had a less-than-stellar 2011-12 season, forward Mickael Pietrus sure has an inflated sense of self-worth.
Despite a PER of 8.58, ranking 320th out of 352 qualifying players last season, the 30-year-old former Boston Celtic has no interest in taking a veteran's minimum contract.
Via Gary Washburn of 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.
With fringe veterans like Pietrus, it's par for the course for a team to give out a symbolic raise. If any team would be willing to pay the forward above the minimum, it would be Boston.
Nevertheless, Washburn seems to think the Celtics have no interest and I'm inclined to believe him. With seemingly boundless talent on the wing, Boston has neither the minutes nor roster necessity to dole out a contract to Pietrus.
That means if Pietrus wants another NBA shot, it'll have to be at the league minimum.
Amenable to playing his second-straight year at the veteran's minimum level, point guard Mike Bibby has yet to find any interested suitors.
Regardless of Bibby's wonderful pedigree, it's not hard to see why. His PER last season of 7.82 ranked him No. 335 of 352 eligible players. At 34 years old, there seems to be little left in the tank for Bibby to offer other than mentoring.
Nevertheless, Bibby's camp seems undeterred in the veteran's search for a new team.
"We do expect a need for him [with a team] once camp starts or just before," the source said to ESPN New York's Jared Swerling, "but we don't think it's going to be with the Knicks."
With some more talented (and younger) players out there on the market, Bibby may have to wait far past when camp starts to hook on. And by that time, let's hope he's moved on to a coaching gig or somewhere in television.