August is traditionally a slow month in terms of NBA news, but that won’t stop the swell of rumors and other gossip coming down the pipeline.
There’s still plenty of productive unsigned free agents waiting for the right contract offer to come along, enough unhappy players hoping to orchestrate a trade and quite a few underwhelming bums that could be amnestied or cut by their current employer.
Let’s take a look at some of these situations and more of the hottest buzz out there in Thursday’s rumor roundup.
Knicks Hoping to Convince Udrih to Join Up
The New York Knicks have been exploring various options to round out their backcourt rotation, although they have effectively zero cap flexibility at this late point in the offseason.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the club’s latest idea is to try to get point guard Beno Udrih to accept a veteran’s minimum contract.
Hearing: Knicks can only offer minimum, but I'm told they're trying hard to convince free-agent PG Beno Udrih to take it and come to NYC— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 31, 2013
The 31-year-old has played for four different teams during his nine-year career and holds averages of 9.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game during that span.
Should Udrih sign with the Knicks?
The former first-round pick split his time between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic last season after being involved in a trade deadline deal between the two clubs.
Udrih’s five-year, $32.4 million deal expired at the end of the 2012-13 campaign and he is now hunting for a new contract.
The Slovenian star won rings with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2005 and 2007, but hasn’t appeared in a playoff contest since the 2007 Finals.
While there is a small possibility he could get more money elsewhere, the Knicks may offer him the best chance to compete for another championship and play a significant role in the postseason.
Ebanks Drawing Interest
Devin Ebanks played sporadically during his first three seasons in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers and was not retained after his contract expired. He is fielding offers on the open market this summer.
According to Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy, the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and Denver Nuggets are all interested in acquiring the young forward’s services.
The Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and Denver Nuggets have expressed interest in Devin Ebanks, according to sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 30, 2013
Ebanks averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 63 total games over three years. He split his time between the NBA and stints with the Bakersfield Jam and Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League.
At 23-years-old, the 6’9”, 215-pound swingman has the athletic ability to compete in the league, but he needs to become more consistent.
Ebanks attempted to add a three-pointer to his repertoire last year, but only connected on 6-of-22 attempts from beyond the arc.
Regardless, he is a capable defender and has plenty of upside as an end-of-the-bench talent. It would be surprising if he doesn’t receive a contract offer in the coming weeks.
Sixers May Dump Kwame
The Philadelphia 76ers are about to dive head first into a full-fledged youth movement—led by first-round draft picks Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams—but still have one big problem.
Kwame Brown—the former No. 1 overall draft selection and complete NBA bust—is still on the roster.
According to Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com, the team is unlikely to retain the center, even though he is due $3 million after accepting his player option for the upcoming campaign.
General manager Sam Hinkie has the option of either buying out Brown—likely for something close to 90 percent of his contract—or just waiving him.
Whatever happens, the club would be wise to keep Brown’s poor work ethic and unmotivated style away from a group of young, impressionable talents.