NBA Rumors: Breaking Down the Latest Buzz Heading into Training Camp
With the college football and NFL seasons well underway and capturing the nation's attention, the NBA rumor mill has hit the back burners of the headlines.
That change, while admittedly disappointing for insatiable fans of Association-wide rumors, is understandable. After months of rampant speculation and rumors about even the league's top stars, it is time for teams to start settling in for the 2012-13 season.
Nonetheless, with a ton of notable names left on the free-agent market and some available for trade, there are still some worthwhile rumors in need of reporting.
There are just a couple of weeks left before most NBA teams open training camp. Here's a look at the latest rumblings around the league in the meantime.
Colangelo Hints at Future Calderon Trade?
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Ever since the Toronto Raptors acquired Kyle Lowry this offseason to ostensibly take incumbent point guard Jose Calderon's place, there has been rampant speculation about a possible move for the Spaniard.
First, it was most assuming that the Raptors would simply use their amnesty clause on the 30-year-old before that deadline ultimately passed. Next, he was assumed headed to Dallas or some other point guard-needy squad.
Ultimately, general manager Bryan Colangelo decided to hold onto his asset. Though, according to an interview he did with TSN's Michael Richards last week, a future asset is all the franchise views Calderon as at the moment.
Via Hoopsworld's Lang Green:
But Colangelo didn’t rule out the team actively seeking trade offers for Calderon with Lowry now in the fold. Calderon, a low turnover guard, is in the last year of a contract which will pay him $10.6 million in 2013 – a deal which could bring tremendous value near the trade deadline.
“I mentioned whether Jose (Calderon) was with this team or serving this team as a trade asset,” Colangelo said. “He really is a trade asset with that expiring contract.”
Knicks Not Interested in Tracy McGrady?
Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
For veterans out there on the free-agent market, it seems that every second that passes, the less likely it is for them to receive contract offers heading into the season.
That is the case with Tracy McGrady, who is still without a contract despite multiple workouts and feelers put out in the league.
Unfortunately for McGrady, you can add the New York Knicks to a list of uninterested teams at this time.
Via MSG Network's Alan Hahn:
Tracy McGrady did get a much-heralded tryout last week with the Knicks, but there doesn't appear to be great interest there. T-Mac also worked out for the Bobcats and Spurs.
Regardless of the Knicks' disinterest, it seems likely that McGrady will get an offer in the near future.
Though injuries abruptly ended his prime, McGrady can still be a valuable contributor off the bench. Sure, his 5.3 points per game and 13.69 PER were among career lows for the 33-year-old former All-NBA selection, but his willingness to play a backseat role is encouraging.
Recent years have seen former stars (e.g. Allen Iverson) struggle so mightily with their declining skill set that teams simply refuse to sign them. McGrady seems willing to work off the bench and provide mentoring for players. Any team looking for an eighth man should jump on McGrady.
Market Dry for Chris Andersen?
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Linked at least tentatively with the Miami Heat (via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman) and the New York Knicks (via ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling) earlier this offseason, it is looking like neither is an option for Chris Andersen.
The Heat signed center Josh Harrellson on Monday and passed on working Andersen out altogether (via the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson). And, according to MSG Network's Alan Hahn, the power forward's interest in the Knicks is not mutual.
Weirdly enough, Andersen is probably one of the more valuable contributors left on the market. At 34 years old, he's still essentially the same player he's always been: a defensive stalwart who can come in and play 15-20 minutes a night without becoming a glaring offensive liability.
Nevertheless, he's the one that comes with a myriad red flags.
Teams have always been wary of Andersen going back to his two-year suspension for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy.
However, with those issues well in the past, it is the recent child pornography investigation (via Yahoo! Sports) against the power forward that could be giving teams pause.
Andersen, nor anyone he was associated with, has been charged with any crimes related to the police search. Unfortunately for Andersen, this is the post-Jerry Sandusky era in sports. Any professional or collegiate sports team is bound to (and should) voraciously weigh the pros and cons of signing the subject of such an investigation.
His game is still NBA-ready. It remains to be seen whether any team will take a risk on him.
Mickael Pietrus with Multiple Options?
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
While McGrady and Andersen are seemingly scrounging for offers, it seems that free-agent forward Mickael Pietrus is overloaded with interested teams.
Via CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes:
According to a source close to the situation, suddenly, three NBA teams have shown major interest in the nine-year veteran and two of the teams seem very motivated to get a deal done.
According to the same source, Pietrus also has a strong overseas option on the table that contains an escape clause.
After undergoing offseason knee surgery, the 30-year-old swingman is the most healthy he's been in years, according to Haynes' source.
That clean bill of health alone must be enough for teams to sign Pietrus. Because, quite frankly, the Frenchman's play the past two seasons certainly should not have garnered much confidence.
Splitting his time with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics over the past two seasons, Pietrus looked like a shell of his former self. The small forward shot below 40 percent for the first two times in his career and had player efficiency ratings below 10 in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Pietrus' 8.58 player efficiency rating last season actually ranked him 320th of the 352 qualifying players in the NBA.
At a cheap price, he could be worth the risk. However, there are still many more desirable fits (including McGrady) out there on the market right now.
Josh Howard Works out with Spurs, Still Interested in Jazz?
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Though linked earlier this offseason to the Knicks (via Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears) and Charlotte Bobcats (via Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer), it seems that two teams are currently atop the list for Josh Howard's services: the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, the 32-year-old worked out with the Spurs on Monday. As it currently stands, San Antonio could use an extra bench wing player, so its interest in Howard is makes sense.
On the Jazz side of things, the interest seems to be mostly from Howard at this point (via Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune). The swingman played in Utah last season, where he averaged 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists while playing in 43 games—his highest total since the 2008-09 season.
Howard's constant injuries have turned him from a former All-Star into a player that is barely sticking to the bottom barrel of the league.
If he is signed to a one-year deal that's at the veteran's minimum or non-guaranteed, there is almost zero risk involved. However, if Howard can put together one last season of effective play, he would be one of the best bargains remaining on the free-agent wire.