NBA Rumors: Breaking Down What Buzz Passes the Sniff Test

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

NBA Rumors: Breaking Down What Buzz Passes the Sniff Test

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    With training camp opening across the NBA in the coming days, the 2012-13 season finally feels like a reality.

    After months of free-agent signings, trades and constant rumors across the league, it's time for things to be decided on the hardwood and teams to finally take shape.

    Nevertheless, the NBA rumor mill is constantly churning and as teams voraciously look to fill camp rosters, there are a ton of rumblings to sift through.

    As always is the case, some are rumors that actually have merit, while others were dead on arrival. With that in mind, here's a look at whether the latest buzz going around the Association passes the "sniff" test.

Kenyon Martin Now Open to Veteran's Minimum?

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    After being bullish on the prospects of signing a contract for the veteran's minimum all offseason, the free-agent power forward has seemingly softened his stance, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears


    Kenyon Martin will only take minimum NBA contract in a "comfortable" team role,his agent Andy Miller tells Y! Nothing imminent with any team

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) September 27, 2012


    Though it was not defined what Martin would consider a "comfortable" role, it's relatively safe to assume he's meaning something similar to the amount of minutes he played with the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

    The 33-year-old was a vital bench cog for the Clips last season, averaging 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 22.4 minutes per night. Though Martin is not the borderline star that he once was, he's a tough veteran presence who can provide much-needed locker-room leadership.

    When reading the tea leaves, this seemingly sets the New York Knicks as a prohibitive favorite in the Martin chase. The team has coveted the former No. 1 overall pick all offseason, but does not have the cap room to go beyond the minimum.

    Martin's slight change in tone should spark a marriage that seemed inevitable from the beginning. 

    Verdict: Pass

Knicks Chasing Rasheed Wallace out of Retirement?

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    UPDATE (Friday, 9/28, 12:20pm ET): Perhaps this is closer to happening than we thought, as sources indicate that Knicks players are expecting a Wallace signing to happen soon, as the retired star has reportedly completed a physical with the Knicks.

    -- End of Update --

    The New York Knicks, desperate for a bench big man to shore up the team's depth, have reportedly focused their efforts on retired power forward Rasheed Wallace, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

    The Knicks are willing to take a gamble on 6-foot-11 power forward Rasheed Wallace, who retired two seasons ago after finishing a disappointing one-year stint as a Celtic.

    Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who was on Larry Brown’s staff in 2004 when the Pistons won the title with Wallace as a linchpin, wants this to happen. The Knicks feel they have nothing to lose for the veteran’s minimum of $1.7 million.

    The 38-year-old was last seen on an NBA floor playing with the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA finals, though he's been linked to a comeback a few times over the past two seasons.

    While in theory bringing a former superstar out of retirement seems like a shrewd move, it seems unlikely we'll actually see Wallace in the Big Apple this season.

    As Berman's article points out, 'Sheed is still comically out of shape. For Celtics fans, that's no shock as Wallace played over his normal playing weight in Boston and it showed in his statistics. Playing beyond the three-point arc more than at any point in his career, Wallace shot a career-low 40.9 percent and seemingly lost most of his defensive commitment.

    The Knicks are interested, but it doesn't seem like Wallace's heart will be in it enough to make the full attempt. 

    Verdict: Fail

Knicks and Sixers Interested in Josh Howard?

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    Though 2011-12 was the first season that Howard played more than 60 percent of his team's games since 2008-09, he's become a late-offseason hot commodity for teams.

    The 32-year-old has worked out with the Charlotte Bobcats and San Antonio Spurs while also expressing interest in other franchises as well.

    Most recently, it has been the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks linked to Howard. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's John Mitchell, the former All-Star worked out for the Sixers on Monday and the team planned on taking a second look the following day. The team has been in the market and Howard seems like a relatively safe fit.

    As for the Knicks, ESPN New York's Ian Begley has reported that Howard is on the team's radar despite its current focus on nabbing a big man.

    Nonetheless, unless both Wallace and Martin spurn the Big Apple, don't look for Howard to wind up playing his home games at Madison Square Garden this season. The Knicks are loaded on the wings and Howard's presence would only serve to further cloud an already murky situation.

    Verdict: Pass for Sixers, Fail for Knicks

Jose Calderon Says He Did Not Ask for a Trade

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    From the moment that the Toronto Raptors traded for Kyle Lowry to take over the starting point-guard role, it seemed that Calderon's days in the Great White North were numbered.

    Understandably, multiple reports surfaced saying that the 30-year-old was unhappy with his team's new acquisition and wanted a move. 

    Despite never breaking out into the Spanish Steve Nash, Calderon is still one of the best passers in the league, a strong shooter and someone who would start on multiple teams throughout the league.

    Nevertheless, training camp season has arrived and Calderon is still a Raptor. When asked point-blank by reporters whether he was angry about the Lowry move and subsequently asked for a trade, the Spaniard replied in the negative. 

    Via the Toronto Sun's Steve Buffery: "No. I’m really happy here," said Calderon. "I know during the summer there was a lot of (talk). Everybody was talking about a lot of crazy things that maybe wasn’t ... 100 percent true."

    Though you can never be 100 percent sure in these situations, I'm willing to bet we're looking at a "playing the good soldier" situation here.

    There is no way that a player of Calderon's caliber can be happy as a sixth or seventh man, and it seems like a safe bet he won't be in Toronto after February's trade deadline. 

    Verdict: Fail

Jamario Moon to Atlanta?

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    After struggling mightily in eight games last season with the Charlotte Bobcats, it's not exactly shocking that Moon has yet to garner any real interest in free agency.

    At 32 years old, he is advanced in age and has never exactly been the most skilled player on the court, often relying on athleticism to do the trick. With other players like Tracy McGrady still looking for jobs, it stands to reason that more talented stars would get the first crack over Moon.

    Nevertheless, he fancies himself a McGrady replacement with the Atlanta Hawks for the 2012-13 season, according to Hoopsworld's Lang Green.

    Here is what Moon told Green, via Hoopsworld:  

    Atlanta makes sense to me. Danny was the general manager when I was playing for Cleveland and [Hawks assistant general manager] Wes Wilcox was there too. They already know me and what I bring. It just makes sense.

    Despite seeming like a desperate ploy on first look, it seems likely that there is at least some merit to Moon's statement. You rarely see a player specifically call out a team by name, and when he does, there is usually some fire to go with that smoke.

    Verdict: Pass