NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and More
Most of the top-flight NBA free agents have already signed by this point, but there are still plenty of serviceable players available on the open market. Teams are always looking to fill out their rosters at this juncture in the offseason, and there is no shortage of players who can contribute to winning teams moving forward.
Because the elite talent is no longer out there, though, many of the better free agents remaining have a bunch of teams fighting over them. That could ultimately be good for them in the long run as they will essentially be able to either take the most money, choose the best situation or perhaps even both.
Here is the latest free agency buzz surrounding players such as Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and much more.
Forward Antawn Jamison is easily one of the most intriguing free agents still on the market. Although the 37-year-old veteran is clearly past his prime, he has excellent career numbers, and he has produced at every stop.
Last season was easily the worst of Jamison's career since his rookie year as he averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a reserve for the Los Angeles Lakers. Those were career lows for him, but he could improve his statistics in a better situation.
What's interesting about Jamison is he could fit in with literally any team in the league. He would be a great bench player for a contending team as he has some winning experience and offers some offensive punch and shooting range from the power forward position. He could also work out well with a younger team, though, as he can act as a mentor of sorts.
Several teams have taken notice of his qualities as no less than four organizations are considering signing him, according to Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk.
Antawn Jamison drawing interest from Bulls, Clippers, Grizzlies and Bobcats http://t.co/2cAC5CijHQ— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) August 1, 2013
It remains to be seen what direction Jamison will go as the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers give him a chance to make the playoffs and compete for a title. At the same time, Jamison attended the University of North Carolina and was linked to the Charlotte Bobcats last offseason. Regardless of where Jamison ultimately signs, there is no doubt that he will provide a positive influence and a calming presence off the bench.
While it can certainly be argued, point guard Mo Williams may very well be the best unrestricted free agent who remains unsigned. In the right situation Williams could be a starter, but there is no question that he could be a highly-effective bench player for any team. Williams started the bulk of last season's games at point guard for the Utah Jazz, and he was very productive as he finished the year with averages of 13 points and six assists per contest.
Williams is a former All-Star who has acted as a high-priority scoring option for much of his career, but he may not necessarily be needed in that capacity moving forward. Williams' most likely role next season would involve him coming off the bench as a sixth or seventh man for a championship-caliber team. One such team that has shown interest is the New York Knicks, but Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com has learned that Williams is seeking a contract better than the minimum, which is all the Knicks can offer.
Mo Williams is in the market for a higher deal than the veteran's minimum, so count the #Knicks out. Not a candidate.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 1, 2013
New York would be an intriguing option for him as he could either play behind or alongside Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. The Knicks already have a decent amount of backcourt depth, though, so Williams could probably play more elsewhere.
It's difficult to say where he will ultimately end up, but he has the luxury of continuing to wait until the perfect opportunity presents itself. A championship ring has eluded Williams, however, so he could put himself in a position to get one this year.
The focus isn't solely on unrestricted free agents right now, as restricted free agent center Nikola Pekovic has yet to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Pekovic is in a situation in which he can either sign with the T'Wolves or sign an offer sheet with another team, but Minnesota would have the option to match that offer sheet.
There is some concern regarding Minnesota's willingness and ability to secure Pekovic, but according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, president of basketball operations Flip Saunders believes a deal will get done.
So we are pretty much in a good situation, and I do believe that Glen (Taylor, Wolves owner) and our organization, that we’ve presented a very fair, more than fair offer to Pek and we’ll just see where it goes and how soon it gets taken care of.
Which free agent will be the first to sign?
With a strong starting lineup, as well as a continued influx of overall talent, the T'Wolves appear to be a team on the rise. Pekovic is a big reason for that as the 27-year-old big man put up fantastic numbers last year. He averaged 16 points and nearly nine rebounds per game, largely without the support of an injured Kevin Love. With Love alongside him, and drawing most of the defensive attention, Pekovic could be even better this season.
Pekovic certainly appears to be on the upswing, so it's somewhat surprising that a team hasn't signed him to an offer sheet yet. Even if that does happen, though, it's difficult to envision the T'Wolves letting him walk. By hook or by crook, expect Pekovic to be playing in Minnesota during the upcoming season.
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