The 2013 NBA offseason is humming right along, although this year there are a number of big-name free agents still on the open market that are seeking a new deal before the 2013-14 campaign begins in late-October.
With only a short amount of time remaining before training camp starts and the preseason tips off, August can certainly be considered crunch time for the talents yet to score a contract.
Let’s take a look at some of the players that are working hard to score some guaranteed money and the teams that may just give it to them in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
Al Harrington to Wizards?
Despite only participating in 10 games last season and averaging a mere 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds during the 2012-13 campaign, Al Harrington instantly became one of the best available players after being bought out by the Orlando Magic and clearing waivers last week.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Washington Wizards are currently the favorites to sign Harrington after “aggressively pursuing” the 15-year veteran.
Michael Lee of The Washington Post confirmed this “mutual interest” and noted that the two sides are actively engaged in discussions.
Although the team isn’t exactly being predicted to challenge the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, it features a promising nucleus of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter that should be—at the very least—exciting to watch in 2013-14.
Prior to being waived, Harrington told USA Today’s Sam Amick that he wanted to help a club win and would prefer to do that by coming off the bench, providing a scoring option in the frontcourt and mentor the younger players on the roster.
The 33-year-old power forward is definitely a prolific scorer, as he once put up over 20 points per game with the New York Knicks and holds a career average of 13.7 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting from the field and 35.2 percent from three-point land.
Harrington has been hobbled by a staph infection and other complications arisen from the decision to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in April of last year, which largely contributed to his shortened season in the Magic Kingdom.
The 6’9” shooter took to Instagram to declare himself “almost 110% back healthy” and should be able to make an impact with Washington or whichever team he ends up with in 2013-14.
Jason Collins Not Receiving Serious Consideration
The Detroit Pistons' interest in free-agent center Jason Collins may not be as strong as originally thought.
Over the weekend, ESPN’s Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported that the Motor City-based franchise had expressed interest in the first openly gay athlete in a major North American sport.
However, Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News has found that the Pistons are looking at several backup big men at this juncture and are “not likely” to extend a contract offer to Collins.
While he stands at 7’0” and 255 pounds and could be thrown into a frontcourt rotation for short stretches, the 12-year veteran is starting to get too old and slow to continue playing defense at a high level in the Association.
Collins has been utilized as a mediocre reserve for the past few seasons and is going to be hard-pressed to find a suitor this summer.
Goodwill’s source noted that it’s not at all because of the former Stanford standout’s sexual orientation, but rather his declining skills that will be the reason why he’s unable to find employment.
However, don’t expect Collins to give up hope. Stein and Shelburne pointed out that he signed contracts in mid-August of last season and September of 2010, while getting a deal just before the lockout ended in December of 2011.
The Pistons may not be truly interested, but Collins could be an injury away from catching on with a new team.
Baron Davis Still Working Out
Although he hasn’t played in an NBA game since April of 2012, Baron Davis is working out and trying to stay in shape.
According to ESPN New York’s Jared Zwerling, B-Diddy has been spotted around the Los Angeles Clippers practice facility and is “looking good” in pickup games.
The L.A. native and former UCLA Bruins superstar took the entire 2012-13 campaign off after an injury-plagued 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks.
At 34 years old, Davis may still have something left in the tank and could serve as a valuable mentor and reserve player for a contender.
He holds career averages of 16.1 points and 7.2 assists per game, but mustered just 6.1 points and 4.7 assists per game in 29 appearances during his short tenure in the Big Apple.
Needless to say, Davis is no longer the superstar he used to be, but a veteran with his skills and experience would be quite a solid addition to the end of a bench somewhere in the league.
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