The NBA’s moratorium on transactions has been lifted and plenty of signings and trades became official on Wednesday, July 10, but there are still a handful of deals to be struck before the 2013-14 NBA campaign begins in October.
While the initial two weeks of the offseason offer the most excitement and intrigue, the rest of these dog days of summer are what will separate the wheat from the chaff.
The best teams always find a way to get better and the mediocre ones stand pat, so let’s take a look at which clubs are angling to improve in Thursday’s NBA rumors roundup.
Spurs Struggling to Reach Agreement for AK47
The San Antonio Spurs, fresh off a heartbreaking defeat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, are attempting to stock up for another run next season.
One of the players who the organization has had its eye on is Andrei Kirilenko, the versatile Russian forward who had a successful return to the NBA in 2012-13.
Unfortunately for San Antonio, it doesn’t have the cap space to ink the free-agent swingman to a contract without a little help.
Will AK47 land in San Antonio?
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves—AK47’s former squad—and attempted to negotiate a sign-and-trade for his services.
It didn’t go well, as the meeting ended on Tuesday without any agreement in place. Now Kirilenko—who opted out of his contract earlier in the offseason—is without a job and the Spurs are lacking a perfect piece for their roster.
Regardless of what happens, the Texas-based franchise will be fine next season. However, team brass knows that it will be better off if AK47 is on the roster, so don’t be surprised if they continue pushing the T-Wolves to make a deal in the coming days.
Rockets Refuse to Trade Asik
The Houston Rockets were fortunate enough to land Dwight Howard this offseason, a marquee addition who will forever change the franchise.
While most fans and even players on the team were happy, Omer Asik was anything but excited. The up-and-coming center wants out, as he knows he can start and possibly become a star with another organization.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Asik recently asked for a trade and threatened to leave in free agency if he doesn’t get one.
General manager Daryl Morey was quick to turn him down, noting that Asik has two years and $20 million left on his contract and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon unless the team agrees to it.
Morey may be waiting for the right deal to come along and for his value to go back up—teams may offer less knowing that Asik is unhappy—before pulling the trigger on any transaction involving the Turkish big man.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see what Houston’s front office—stocked with mad geniuses—can come up with.
T-Wolves Aggressively Shopping Ridnour, Eyeing Brewer
The Timberwolves are attempting to poach Corey Brewer—a player they drafted No. 7 overall in 2007—back from the Denver Nuggets this offseason.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the club is attempting to clear cap space by trading Luke Ridnour, the veteran point guard who played over 30 minutes per game during all three of his seasons in the Twin Cities.
Hearing: Wolves still chasing Corey Brewer, trying hard to trade Luke Ridnour to create more spending room or sell Denver on sign-and-trade— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 10, 2013
Assuming he is willing to negotiate for roughly the same price or slightly over, Brewer should easily be able to fit under Minnesota’s cap.
The veteran swingman is definitely worth the effort and could be a serious contributor on a possible contender next year.