With on-court intrigue approaching an apex, the NBA rumor mill has kind of taken a backseat to the action on the floor.
When you have nightly matchups between top-flight stars to command your attention rather than ongoing melodramas like the Los Angeles Lakers, it's hard to blame the average fan for shifting focus.
However, don't think that means the rumor mill has stopped. In fact, as teams continue barreling toward the quarter-mark in the season, they begin to evaluate the talent on their rosters.
With those appraisals usually come changes, whether that be in free agency or through trades, and that always causes a ruckus.
For that reason, here is a look at the latest rumors floating around the Association.
Lakers and Raja Bell a Match?
The ongoing discord between Raja Bell and the Utah Jazz has been well-documented. Utah essentially exiled the veteran shooting guard after he blasted coach Ty Corbin last season and has been politely told to stay away from team facilities.
He's complied, but Bell and the team have been unable to work out a buyout for the $3.5 million he's owed this season.
Well, a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski may expedite that process. According to Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers would be interested in signing Bell when the two sides agree on a buyout:
With the hiring of Mike D'Antoni as coach, the Los Angeles Lakers are showing a renewed interest in trying to find a way to sign exiled Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell once his contract buyout is completed, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Obviously, Bell's relationship with new Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni is a catalyst for the team's interest. The 36-year-old guard played a little more than three seasons under D'Antoni with the Phoenix Suns, where he enjoyed his most success.
With the Lakers still in need of bench help, acquiring Bell could be a great move. All that remains is the buyout.
Michael Finley to Make Comeback?
Last seen as a member of the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA playoffs, Michael Finley's post-playing career has gone pretty well. He's become a prominent member of the Dallas Mavericks front office and was even on the team's recruiting trip for Deron Williams this offseason.
Nevertheless, being a fast-rising executive doesn't seem to be fanning Finley's competitive fires. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the 39-year-old guard is planning a comeback for one last run as a player:
Former NBA All-Star Michael Finley is putting his front-office career on hold in hopes of extending his playing career, according to sources with knowledge of his plans.
Sources told ESPN that Finley, after participating in NBA pickup games all summer, continues to work out vigorously in pursuit of a contract that would give him one more run as an NBA player before shifting his focus to front-office work.
Sports fans should be used to this familiar trope by now. Retired Player X (Finley) sees a similarly aged player (in this case, Rasheed Wallace) doing well, looks in the mirror and asks, "Why not me?"
In Finley's case, the answer is obvious: He's been out of the NBA for more than two seasons and there are plenty of guys with similar skills available on the market.
To put it in another way, if Derek Fisher can't find work, I have a tough time believing the phones will be ringing off the hook for Finley.
Teams Still Interested in Eddy Curry?
For a man who is among the league's most oft-criticized players, teams sure do love themselves a big helping of Eddy Curry—even if it is only momentarily.
The 29-year-old center spent much of training camp with the San Antonio Spurs and two regular-season games with the Dallas Mavericks before being cut by both squads. The Spurs' and Mavericks' dropping of Curry hasn't stopped other teams from inquiring about his services, though. Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy is reporting that five squads have interest:
Free agent center Eddy Curry has received interest from several NBA teams, according to sources close to the situation. Five teams have been in contact with Curry and expressed some level of interest in his services.
Outside of a warm body in the middle, I'm not too sure what these interested teams are seeing. Curry committed seven fouls in his 25 minutes with Dallas as more athletic bigs took him to task. Even more telling, he's played in just 26 games since the end of the 2007-08 season.
Still, if teams want to pay him, you can't exactly begrudge Curry for taking the check.