NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Marquee Free Agents

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

Jan 26, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets small forward Kenneth Faried (35) and shooting guard Andre Iguodala (9) guard Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans (13) in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 121-93. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala, Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans are the latest big names to come up in the NBA's rumor mill. 

The trio of stars are among the biggest names in this year's free agent class and have no shortage of teams looking to bring them onto the roster. 

Do-it-all shooting guard Iguodala figures to be a key roster addition to a team needing a veteran presence. The 29-year-old shined in his first and only season with the Nuggets, putting up 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game as Denver earned the third seed in the Western conference. 

Jefferson is consistently among the top big men in the NBA. His PER of 20.99 ranked him sixth among all NBA centers last season according to ESPN (insider subscription required). With a quality big man always in demand, he's sure to be on plenty of team's offseason wish lists. 

Evans, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, is coming off of his worst season statistically in his brief four-year career. Playing in just 65 games, he set career-lows in points (15.2), rebounds (4.4), and assists (3.5) per game. However, the 23-year-old still has plenty of years left in his career to return to the form of his rookie season when he averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. That potential alone should make him a valuable commodity for teams looking to add upside to the roster. 

Here's the latest on where the three could wind up playing next season. 


Iguodala: Plan B for Mavs?

Mark Cuban's team has made no bones about wanting to add Dwight Howard this offseason, but Cuban will have to join the club. As Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reports, the Mavs are just one of five teams that Howard will meet with before making his decision. 


That means that the Mavericks must have a contingency plan if they fail to land the Lakers big man. It appears that contingency plan could be centered around signing Iguodala. According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, the Mavericks have been in touch with Iguodala and his representation. 

Sefko speculates that Iguodala might be a secondary plan if the Mavs fail to net Howard. It's likely that he will sign for far below a maximum contract, which would allow Dallas to sign a handful of impact free agents rather than just Howard. 

When Dirk Nowitzki's contract expires next offseason, the Mavericks would theoretically be able to sign him at a much lower rate and have enough money to sign another max deal with a solid core already in place. 

The competition to sign Iguodala isn't exactly light though. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks are all interested in the star guard. 


Jefferson Headed to Charlotte?

The Bobcats already made one bold move to bolster their frontcourt when they drafted Cody Zeller at No. 4 in June's draft. Now they could be making another bold choice by signing Jefferson to a massive deal as the team's franchise center. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bobcats are working to on a contract offer for him and will host the center on Tuesday:


The team was forced to play Bismack Biyombo for the majority of the minutes at center last season. While defensively promising, the former No. 7 overall pick averaged just 4.8 points per game. Jefferson finished last season with 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game playing alongside Paul Millsap in Utah. 

The Bobcats are also looking into re-signing Gerald Henderson and Josh McRoberts, per Wojnarowski.


Evans Gets Offer from New Orleans Pelicans

Tyreke Evans is a restricted free agent this summer which means that the Sacramento Kings have the right to match any offer that Evans receives. It appears that the New Orleans Pelicans have set the price tag pretty high for the guard. 

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Pelicans have made a four-year, $44 million offer to Evans.


Marc Stein of ESPN reports that the Pelicans are attempting to sign Evans without having to deal Eric Gordon.


The Pelicans also acquired Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday on draft night so it appears that New Orleans will give the backcourt a complete overhaul.