Several highly intriguing players have been recently discussed on the NBA rumor mill, but for at least two of them, nothing will be finalized until the Association's July 10 moratorium is lifted.
In the case of New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, though, the chatter about his fate following the impending season is already gaining steam.
Anthony has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this coming season, and may be headed to another iconic franchise should he hit the open market in 2014.
Andrew Bynum never played a minute for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, essentially being paid to sit on the bench because of his fragile and ailing knees. That hasn't prevented teams from taking a serious look at him, though, because when he's healthy, Bynum can be one of the premier centers in the league.
Then there's Anthony's ex-teammate Jeremy Lin, who may be playing for his third team in three seasons after Dwight Howard declared his intention to go to the Houston Rockets in free agency.
Let's take a closer look at the latest buzz surrounding this trio, and the impact of their potential arrivals at new destinations.
Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014?
Apparently there's a decent possibility that Anthony will flee the Big Apple and head to the City of Angels when he has the chance to opt out of his deal.
Arash Markazi of ESPN LA explains that Anthony is tight with all-time great Kobe Bryant, and also touches on what the Lakers could offer Anthony and the odds of the deal actually happening, citing Stephen A. Smith:
Carmelo and Kobe are tight and they've talked in passing about a desire to play together after their Olympic experience.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 8, 2013
The Lakers could offer Carmelo Anthony a four-year, $100 million deal next year.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 8, 2013
Stephen A. says it's 50-50 Carmelo Anthony leaves New York next year and it's 50-50 he comes to the Lakers.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 8, 2013
One notable factor here is the presence of head coach Mike D'Antoni, with whom Anthony clashed frequently when D'Antoni was at the helm in New York. However, there's no guarantee that D'Antoni will be the coach beyond next season if the Lakers struggle.
It's a legitimate possibility he won't last, especially with the uncertainty of health and age involving Bryant and point guard Steve Nash.
Perhaps the Bryant factor won't loom as large if he doesn't play well this season, but the Black Mamba is the last person you'd want to bet against coming back strong. Especially with Dwight Howard's departure, there should be even more fuel in the fire for Bryant to get ring No. 6.
Anthony would help immensely in that regard, teaming up with a star who has gotten it done many times before to bid for his first NBA championship.
Cleveland Cavaliers Reportedly Offer Deal to Andrew Bynum
In the final year Bynum played for the Lakers, he made his only All-Star team under head coach Mike Brown. After a year-long layoff, he could get the chance to reunite with Brown in Cleveland.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports that Bynum was offered a two-year, $24 million contract by the Cavaliers when the two sides met on Monday, according to league sources. Although Bynum did not work out, his knees were examined by the team's medical staff, and he was evidently deemed fit enough to receive such a lucrative offer.
The key to this deal is the team option portion in Year 2, and the fact that it's heavy on incentives. That places an emphasis on Bynum proving himself in the first year and playing at a high level.
If Bynum turns out to be a letdown, GM Chris Grant can simply terminate the deal after one year and let Bynum walk once again.
Should this move work out as the Cavs envision, though, it would give the team instant playoff contention possibilities. The three-guard rotation of All-Star Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack should be formidable, and Bynum would give Cleveland a desperately needed post presence on both ends of the floor.
The Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks remain possible destinations too, however, and Bynum hasn't canceled his trips to those teams, per ESPN's Marc Stein:
Andrew Bynum, to this point, has not canceled his other recruiting visits (ATL & DAL) scheduled for this week despite Cavs' serious interest— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2013
Whatever the case may be, the best nucleus seems to be in Cleveland, and there's now a significant amount of money on the table for Bynum to walk away from.
Houston Rockets Heavily Shopping Jeremy Lin
HOOPSWORLD.com senior writer Bill Ingram reports that Lin is being put on the block aggressively, but that there isn't much interest in the young, promising point guard:
A source with direct knowledge of the situation confirms Rockets working hard to move Jeremy Lin ... very limited interest for teams.— Bill Ingram (@TheRocketGuy) July 7, 2013
What is more likely to happen among the latest NBA rumors?
Although Lin isn't known for his defense and wasn't quite able to consistently maintain his high level of play that sparked the "Linsanity" movement, he still had a very respectable maiden campaign in Houston.
Under the up-tempo style of head coach Kevin McHale, Lin thrived and ran the show for the Association's second-highest-scoring offense that averaged 106 points per game.
With more experience under his belt and room to seemingly improve, it's somewhat surprising that Lin would be dismissed so easily.
The addition of Dwight Howard to the frontcourt and no other star makes keeping Lin possible.
Considering Lin's contract expires after the 2014-15 season (h/t HOOPSWORLD.com), it's likely Houston could wait until then and see how much Howard improves the Rockets defensively before looking at moving Lin so seriously.