The NBA offseason was in desperate need of a jolt, which a wild Wednesday provided courtesy of a number of high-profile signings.
That splurge of signings may have took most of the remaining impact veterans off the open market, but there are still plenty of players available that could contribute during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz on potential free agent signings around the league in Thursday’s rumor roundup.
Lakers Like Austin Daye
The Los Angeles Lakers have been having one of the tougher offseasons of any team in the league, as they amnestied longtime forward Metta World Peace and lost out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.
However, the front office hasn’t given up on trying to compete next season and is still exploring a variety of different free agent additions to round out the roster.
The latest target is Austin Daye, who spent three-plus seasons with the Detroit Pistons—the franchise that drafted him No. 15 overall in 2009—before being traded to the Grizzlies in January.
According to Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD, the Purple and Gold brought Daye in for a workout on Wednesday and could potentially ink the 25-year-old to a contract.
The 6’11” forward holds career averages of 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.4 minutes of play. He had a lot of promise coming out of Gonzaga, but has yet to realize that potential.
Perhaps the Lakers could give him the chance he needs tap into it and become a serviceable player in the Association.
Greg Oden Making Decision Soon
There were a number of heavy-hitters in Indianapolis this week, as Greg Oden reportedly worked out for two hours in his hometown.
As per Jeff Goodman and Marc Stein of ESPN, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, Sacramento Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and various unnamed representatives of the New Orleans Pelicans all observed as the center ran sprints, went through agility drills and more.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports found that Oden would make his much-anticipated decision on where he will sign next week.
He will be choosing between the three clubs that watched his workout and is also considering the Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
The former No.1 overall pick in the 2007 draft still has plenty of upside and could be a real contributor if he can stay healthy.
Oden’s once-promising career with the Portland Trail Blazers ended due to knee problems that limited him to just 82 games in five seasons.
If the seven-footer can stay on the court, he could definitely make an impact well above the low salary he will likely command.
Bucks Want Gary Neal and Brandon Jennings
The Milwaukee Bucks are going to be a team to watch as summer winds down, as they lost a key member of last year’s playoff team (Monta Ellis) and have yet to re-sign their top unrestricted free agent.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times noted that the organization is still interested in Gary Neal, the Spurs’ restricted free agent guard.
However, Neal may be hitting the open market soon, as Stein is reporting that San Antonio is withdrawing its qualifying offer to 28-year-old.
If Milwaukee can get him under contract, it would lessen the need to ink Brandon Jennings to a new deal—the point guard who is demanding quite a lot this summer.
According to Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD, the Bucks have put an offer on the table worth approximately $8 million per season, but Jennings’ camp is seeking quite a bit more.
The 23-year-old is reportedly looking for something in the $11 million to 12 million per year range and could walk away next summer if he doesn’t receive that.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens in these negotiations over the next few weeks.
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