NBA Rumors: Breaking Down Early Free Agency Chatter

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NBA Rumors: Breaking Down Early Free Agency Chatter
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Rumors abound in NBA free agency, which began on Monday, and plenty of big names are involved.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com released an Association-wide report on the early chatter. Among the developments were the uncertain future of the Milwaukee Bucks' backcourt, the Brooklyn Nets' aggressive attitude towards the market and high interest levels in several other marquee perimeter players around the league.

Following is a breakdown of the initial free agency to follow and an analysis of their possible ramifications.

 

New Orleans Pelicans Reportedly Extend Offer to Tyreke Evans

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that Tyreke Evans would have a lucrative offer from the Pelicans by the time the two sides' meeting finished on Monday:

The offer was confirmed by Sam Amick of USA Today, with Evans receiving a four-year proposition that would pay him $44 million, according to Amrick who cited a source with knowledge of the situation.

The 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year has bounced around all three perimeter positions during his time with the Sacramento Kings, so it will be interesting to see what the Pelicans' plans are for Evans.

Small forward is clearly the big hole in New Orleans, but that is the position that Evans is the least familiar with and doesn't seem comfortable in it at all.

As Stein notes in his article, the future of talented shooting guard Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez is somewhat up in the air. Vasquez is especially likely to leave town, courtesy of the draft night trade the Pelicans swung to land ex-Philadelphia 76ers All-Star PG Jrue Holiday.

If Holiday and Gordon are both retained, Evans could function as more of a third guard in a smaller starting lineup unless the Kings decide to match any offer extended to Evans, a restricted free agent, and instead propose a sign-and-trade.

 

Backcourt Uncertainty in Milwaukee

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With both Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis on the open market—along with J.J. Redick—the Bucks' roster will likely look far different next season.

However, Stein reports that GM John Hammond wants Jennings back in the fold, while one source said that the Bucks will probably let Ellis walk without any compensation in return.

Stein's source said the Bucks are leaning toward not even making Redick an offer. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! confirms that assertion, reporting that Redick hasn't even discussed a return to Milwaukee, but sign-and-trade scenarios have been brought up:

New Bucks head coach Larry Drew is keen on acquiring the point guard he coached recently with the Atlanta Hawks, Jeff Teague. The problem is that Teague is a restricted free agent, and Hawks GM Danny Ferry can match any offer to retain him.

Nate Wolters of South Dakota State was acquired in a draft trade. He has skills, but isn't likely to be a franchise savior nor a remedy for the Bucks' current, fluctuating situation.

 

Kyle Korver and Kevin Martin Top Targeted Shooters

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It's still early, but a couple of potential suitors are active early in attempting to add some perimeter scoring in Kyle Korver or Kevin Martin.

Unlike Teague, Korver is an unrestricted free agent, and the Brooklyn Nets—who recently pulled off a monster trade to land Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett—are looking to further bolster their roster with him.

A rival GM told ESPN.com on Monday that Brooklyn, "has Korver in the bag," according to Stein. He also notes that Nets GM Billy King was the one who drafted Korver 10 years ago when King was running the 76ers' organization.

As for Martin, Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as a top destination. That would make a lot of sense since the team finished dead last in shooting at just 30.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2012-13.

Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune believes O.J. Mayo and Redick may hold higher acclaim in Minnesota, but that Martin is the likely pickup in the end:

The fact that the Timberwolves called Martin at 12:01 a.m. shows the level of interest is significant. The Oklahoma City Thunder's limited finances will likely force them to let Martin go without anything in return.

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