The 2013 NBA free agency group wasn’t blowing anyone away with its depth, making the next few waves of upcoming signings seemingly underwhelming at best in comparison to the initial splashes.
However, there are still a couple of very good basketball players left on the market. Where will they find homes in the coming days?
Things are starting to take shape around the landscape of the league as signings become official after July 10. Monta Ellis and Andrew Bynum are perhaps the biggest names still available, and here are some updates on just where the two may be headed.
Dallas Mavericks Turn to Andrew Bynum after Missing out on Dwight Howard
Mark Cuban couldn’t compete with the emerging Houston Rockets roster and Dwight Howard slipped through his club’s fingers as a result. Now, the team is exploring the possibility of bringing Andrew Bynum to the fold, according to Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.
Mavs are carefully pursuing C Andrew Bynum following Dwight Howard's decision to join Rockets » http://t.co/Rt1iPYsKlZ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 6, 2013
At just 25 years old, Bynum is still in a position to turn his career around. Any team willing to take the chance on the injury-riddled but dominant post player may end up getting a steal this offseason.
It isn’t every day that a top positional player becomes available and isn’t in the crosshairs of every team around the league. Offering him an incentive-laden but lucrative contract could end up paying huge dividends for the Mavs or any team willing to take the risk.
Potential Suitors for Monta Ellis Emerging
It should come as no surprise that the Atlanta Hawks are eyeing free-agent shooter Monta Ellis. The team previously targeted him near the NBA’s February trade deadline and is again “seriously considering” bringing the shooting guard to Atlanta, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Just as they did at February's trade deadline, Hawks have Monta Ellis in their sights in July free agency. Linkage: http://t.co/wh2Vlcxw1w— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2013
The Hawks won’t be alone, though.
The Denver Nuggets are also interested in bringing in Ellis to replace departed star Andre Iguodala, again reported by Marc Stein of ESPN. It’s looking more and more like a rebuilding season for Denver, especially if it fails to land a top-tier athlete like Ellis this summer.
Atlanta, on the other hand, has been gutted over the past couple of seasons and recently lost longtime franchise player Josh Smith to the Detroit Pistons, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
While the Hawks certainly have the cap space to make an enticing offer to Ellis, his lack of desire to play for a team in their position may push him into the Nuggets' laps.
Lamar Odom May Finish His Career a Laker
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in the twilight of the Kobe Bryant era. Dwight Howard likely weighed that fact during his decision-making process before agreeing to depart to seemingly greener pastures in Houston earlier this week.
Lamar Odom, part of the core that won two NBA championships in Los Angeles from 2009 to 2010, may be coming back to help weather the storm. ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne reported the Lakers have interest in reuniting with the power forward.
Lakers have reached out to Lamar Odom, but it been hard to determine how high interest level is on either side thus far.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 6, 2013
While this potential move may not be a show-stealer, Odom certainly has familiarity within the locker room and a little bit left in the tank. There likely wouldn’t be very much risk involved, making the signing a no-brainer for a team that just lost two frontcourt pieces this offseason.