The 2013 period of free agency is in full swing, as superstars are flying off of the market and rising players are seeing their stock increase. While the big names may be gone, there are countless players worth noting.
The question is, what's the latest buzz surrounding the top players on the open market?
While players such as Chris Paul and Dwight Howard may be off the market, there are countless second-tier stars to choose from. With players such as Andrew Bynum and Monta Ellis available, that has numerous organizations salivating at the opportunity to land a marquee name.
The question is, what might their futures entail?
The Houston Rockets pulled off the most high-profile steal of the offseason, signing three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Following the move, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported that Rockets center Omer Asik had formally requested a trade.
The Rockets will not oblige.
Shortly after Howard announced his decision, Asik was in contact with the team and asked to be moved. The Rockets, however, have turned away offers thus far and will continue to do so, sources said.
On Sunday at the Orlando Pro Summer League, Rockets' coach Kevin McHale said the team will try to mend fences with Asik.
"With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league," McHale said. "It's just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it's hard not to. I'm sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we'll pick him up."
It may not be that easy.
Asik and Howard are similar players in the sense that they score a bulk of their points via the pick-and-roll and offensive rebounds. Most importantly, neither player has an offensive game beyond 10 feet, as they lack any form of a mid-range jump shot.
This begs one simple question—what will Houston do to space the floor when two of its players are of no threat outside of the paint?
Fortunately for the Rockets, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the New Orleans Pelicans are interested in trading Ryan Anderson for Asik. Anderson, one of Howard's former teammates with the Orlando Magic, is the stretch 4 that Houston has long desired.
Until they pull the trigger, however, all signs point toward the Rockets retaining Asik.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in signing embattled center Andrew Bynum. Their pursuit peaked recently, as Cleveland hosted Bynum and discussed a potential deal.
ESPN's SportsCenter also reported the deal.
Cleveland isn't stopping there.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Cavaliers have made a two-year offer worth $24 million. Coming off a season in which Bynum missed all 82 regular-season games due to knee injuries, this may be the best deal he receives.
For a Cavaliers team with franchise players at every position but center, this could be one of the most monumental signings of the offseason.
Arguably the most high-profile scorer remaining on the open market is unrestricted free agent Monta Ellis. With a career mark of 19.4 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the field, Ellis is the epitome of instant offense.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Atlanta hawks are in prime position to acquire the 27-year-old.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com confirmed the report.
Ellis is coming off of a 2012-13 campaign in which he averaged 19.2 points and a career-best 6.0 assists per game on 41.6 percent shooting from the field. Known to the NBA community as an inconsistent player, Ellis is actually the opposite of that.
From 2006 to 2011, Ellis averaged 21.2 points on 47.2 percent shooting from the field.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that the Hawks aren't the only team interested in Ellis, as the Sacramento Kings are discussing a deal with the star guard. This comes after Sacramento drafted Ben McLemore and traded for Greivis Vasquez.
Regardless of where he goes, it's clear that Ellis will have a major impact on his future team.