Free agency has hit a late-August low point, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to talk about during the 2013 NBA offseason.
There are still plenty of unsigned talents on the open market, more than a handful of teams that must shore up their rosters before the 2013-14 campaign tips off and even a uniform change that has fans buzzing.
Let’s take a look at the latest on some of the top-name free agents and more in Thursday’s rumor roundup.
Ivan Johnson Ready to Jump Overseas
Despite two productive seasons in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, Ivan Johnson can’t seem to find a fair offer in free agency.
According to Chris B. Haynes of CSNNW.com, the 29-year-old big man just wants to play basketball next year and has reportedly informed teams around the league that they have less than two weeks to extend a reasonable contract offer his way or he will take his talents overseas.
Johnson played in Korea and Puerto Rico earlier in his career and understands the nature of international basketball.
Regardless, the big man is one of the toughest players in the game and injects a ton of energy coming off the bench. The 6’8” Johnson makes up for his lack of height with heart, hustle and determination when he gets his opportunities.
It would be downright surprising if he doesn’t get another chance to keep his NBA dream alive.
Dexter Pittman Looking for NBA Opportunity
Free-agent center Dexter Pittman isn’t looking to give up on his dream yet either, as the former Miami Heat player has reportedly turned down an offer from Sidigas Avellino—an Italian franchise—to try out for the Chicago Bulls.
According to the staff of Sportando.net, Pittman is going to the Windy City for training camp and hoping to convince the franchise to ink him to a guaranteed contract.
The three-year veteran holds career averages of 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in extremely limited action. Pittman won a ring after the 2011-12 campaign but had his expiring contract traded to the Memphis Grizzlies at the 2013 deadline.
As the No. 32 overall pick in the 2010 draft, there wasn’t much expectation for Pittman to succeed early in his career. However, the Heat continued to keep the 6’11”, 285-pound prospect on the roster as injury insurance in their razor-thin frontcourt.
Now that he’s out of a job and looking for work, Pittman must show some rapid improvement in order to garner a new contract in this league—otherwise his only option will be to take an offer from a team overseas.
Lakers to Rock Short-Sleeve Jerseys
The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise steeped in tradition, but that doesn’t mean the league isn’t going to force the players to wear new, short-sleeve jerseys.
According to ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin, the Lakers will be donning the fashion-forward look in several games during the 2013-14 campaign.
These short-sleeved jerseys—first displayed by the Golden State Warriors last season—will be white, which means the Lakers may be saving them for marquee Sunday matchups.
Considering the Lakers are going to be on national television a whopping 29 times this season, it’s no surprise that the franchise is being used to market the adizero short-sleeve jersey.
It’ll be quite interesting to see how the fans and players react to wearing something other than the sleeveless jerseys they have been accustomed to their entire lives.