The 2013 NBA offseason will represent a time of hope for a number of franchises across the league.
Whether these organizations are looking to completely rebuild and claw their way up from the bottom of the league or if they are just trying to add the missing piece to a roster on the cusp of contending, there are plenty of potential trades, signings and other transactions just waiting to happen in the coming weeks.
Some of these moves may take place at the draft on June 27; others may take place at the start of free agency on July 1; and some could even happen later on in the summer. Regardless of when they go down, though, transactions are almost always exciting in the NBA.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest buzz about possible deals, signings and more being rumored around the Association.
Clippers Want David West
After a disappointing first-round playoff exit to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Clippers have some soul searching to do this summer.
Clearly, retaining unrestricted free agent and superstar point guard Chris Paul is the top priority, but after that, the roster could use some adjustments.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, David West, the starting power forward for the Indiana Pacers—who are currently competing in the Eastern Conference Finals—is at the top of L.A.’s wish list.
The 32-year-old with a deadly mid-range game and veteran leadership is a major asset in Indy and can earn more with his current team than the $5.15 mid-level exception that the Clips could offer, but there are some other benefits in L.A.
Most importantly, it would reunite West with CP3—assuming he re-signs—who helped launch his career when both were members of the New Orleans Hornets. He’d also presumably have a better chance to make the Finals in the wide-open Western Conference, although that could change if the Pacers somehow top the favored Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
If the Clips could pull off the coup to land West this summer, it would likely push them into the upper echelon of the NBA and have folks talking Finals in L.A. However, it’s a long shot, and it will require quite a bit of luck to score the forward.
Dwight Howard Unhappy with Coach D’Antoni
Dwight Howard will have the chance to sign wherever he chooses this offseason. Because the big man tends to constantly waffle on big decisions, it’s extremely important that the Los Angeles Lakers do everything in their power to keep him content over the next few months.
One of those measures to keep D12 happy could involve Mike D’Antoni’s future with the organization, as the superstar center is reportedly not happy with the way he’s treated by the head coach.
After an up-and-down season in which D’Antoni struggled to get the most from his oft-injured roster, ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin noted that Howard felt “marginalized” and “discounted” when it came to leadership and advice.
While it makes sense that D’Antoni would lean on elder veterans Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant over the 27-year-old Howard, it seemed to have rubbed Superman the wrong way.
Since the Lakers only managed to sneak into the playoffs after compiling a mediocre 45-37 record, there is a possibility that the brass cuts ties with D’Antoni during the offseason.
All signs currently point away from that line of thinking, but general manager Mitch Kupchak may have to resort to desperate measures if he feels that Howard may sign elsewhere in free agency.
The big man will have no shortage of suitors in the coming months—whether it’s via a normal contract or a sign-and-trade—so expect the Lakers to do whatever they can, within reason, to appease the superstar.
Eric Gordon Not on the Block
When the New Orleans Hornets traded Chris Paul at the outset of the 2011-12 season, the key piece they received in return was supposed to be swingman Eric Gordon.
Unfortunately, he’s been a non-factor for much of his tenure with the organization, having appeared in only 51 games since his arrival.
However, it doesn’t seem that the Pelicans are giving up on the young star that still oozes potential, as he’s been great when healthy. Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune tweeted that there is no merit behind any trade rumors concerning the 24-year-old sniper.
It makes sense that the NOLA would want to retain this youngster, as over the aforementioned 51-game span, Gordon averaged 17.6 points, 3.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds. He is fully capable of scoring from anywhere on the court and possesses a big frame that allows him to easily absorb contact when driving to the hoop.
Unless the Pelicans receive a “Godfather” offer that they cannot refuse, expect this former Indiana Hoosier to remain in the Big Easy until his contract expires in 2015-16.