The 2013 offseason has been a lively one for the NBA. Countless stars have signed new contracts, prospects became rookies through the draft and the Summer League crowned their first champions. Even with all of these events behind us, there are numerous big names remaining on the open market.
Certain players were expected to be signed weeks ago, possessing high-profile reputations and star-caliber production. Others have battled injuries or only recently been sent to the ranks of free agency via a release from their previous team.
One way or another, they're still available and their names are generating buzz.
Brandon Jennings Still Without a Home
Somehow, some way, Brandon Jennings is still a free agent.
Jennings entered the 2013 period of NBA free agency with a significant amount of hype. The 23-year-old was fresh off of his first career postseason appearance and was a borderline All-Star with averages of 17.5 points and 6.5 assists per game.
In a stunning turn of events, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times now reports there's no guaranteeing that the Milwaukee Bucks will bring him back.
For those who think Brandon Jennings is now a lock to return to Bucks, guess again. As of this tweet, Bucks still looking at other PGs.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) July 19, 2013
Who would've thought Jennings would be left in NBA limbo?
The Bucks have a new head coach in Larry Drew and appear to be committed to a new direction as a franchise. Milwaukee made it perfectly clear that re-signing Jennings wasn't in its plans when it extended an offer sheet to point guard Jeff Teague.
The Atlanta Hawks matched the offer sheet and thus retained Teague, but the damage was done.
Woelfer reports that Jennings is demanding a contract worth $12 million per season. The Bucks had been considering the offer, but per the previously alluded to report, they are now targeting other point guards.
At this point, it's unclear where Jennings will be playing basketball in 2013-14.
The Miami Heat have unsurprisingly used their amnesty provision on NBA Finals hero Mike Miller. Miller has come up big for them in their past championship runs, but he's also on the decline and was set to make $6.2 million in 2013-14.
Just don't think that Miller is without potential suitors who are interested in signing him for less.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder are the leading candidates for Miller's services. Both teams have made appearances in the Western Conference Finals in one of the past two seasons, and each are in need of a shooter.
Stein went on to report that they aren't alone in their pursuit.
Houston & Denver still hanging around in Mike Miller chase, but Thunder & Grizz appear locked in duel at front of the line for sharpshooter— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 22, 2013
Who would've thought that Miller would have more reported suitors than Brandon Jennings?
Memphis is the most intriguing potential destination. Miller played for the Grizzlies from 2003 to 2008. Miller had the most individual success of his career in Memphis, winning the 2006 Sixth Man of the Year award and breaking out with averages of 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 2007.
While he may not be that same player today, Miller is a career 40.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc and made 41.7 percent during the 2012-13 regular season.
The Thunder have their reasons to pursue Miller. They lost Kevin Martin to free agency and live by the jump shot. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lacking a consistent source of perimeter aid, Miller's ability to hit the three would be invaluable.
For Miller, it's all about choosing between familiarity and on-paper supremacy.
According to Jeff Goodman and Marc Stein of ESPN, free agent Greg Oden has cut his list of prospective signing destinations to the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs. Each team has either met or scheduled a meeting with the former No. 1 overall draft choice.
Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Oden will decide between those five teams and the Atlanta Hawks next week.
Free agent center Greg Oden to make decision next week picking from Sacramento, Miami, ATL, NO, San Antonio & Dallas, source told Y! Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 23, 2013
Per Goodman and Stein, the Heat and Spurs—also known as the 2013 NBA Finalists—are the front-runners to land Oden.
Oden was once revered as the next big thing in basketball. The Portland Trail Blazers selected him No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA draft. Since then, he's played in just 82 games, battling injuries and undergoing numerous surgeries.
In turn, his legendary upside never came to fruition.
After two-and-a-half seasons removed from the game, however, interest is growing in Oden's comeback bid. With championship-caliber teams pursuing his services, it's become rather clear how serious this attempt truly is.
Apparently the window of opportunity hasn't closed on Oden just yet.