The 2013-14 NBA season is in full swing, but that hasn’t stopped the surge of trade rumors and other buzz that began in the offseason from carrying over into the new campaign.
There are plenty of whispers concerning veteran talent that could be on the move, job opportunities for free agents that didn’t find a new home over the summer and more.
Let’s take a look at the hottest buzz in the Association in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
Steve Nash Could Go
The Los Angeles Lakers have been getting decent—if inconsistent—production from Nash since they traded for the future Hall of Famer last summer. Injury has been a big concern for the 39-year-old, as he only played in 50 regular-season games last season and already missed a contest at the start of this campaign.
It seems that L.A. could explore potential trade options for the aging veteran, with Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld noting that the Toronto Raptors are one possible destination:
Steve Nash is another vet who may be traded this year. I've heard Toronto as a possible landing spot for Nash from multiple league sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 4, 2013
Nash grew up in Canada and would certainly be a major star if acquired by the Raptors. Even though he’s averaging just 7.0 points, 5.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game this year, his presence would have the fans north of the border buzzing.
He’s currently in the second year of a three-year, $27 million deal he signed ahead of the trade to Los Angeles and could net a reasonable amount of cap relief and future assets from Toronto or another party.
The Lakers boast a respectable 2-2 record heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. However, if they struggle during this season, expect the rumors surrounding Nash to heat up.
Jason Collins Won’t Join D-League
Collins hasn’t caught on with a new club for the current season, but he’s reportedly not willing to join the D-League while he waits for an NBA opportunity.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the 34-year-old is confident in his ability to play at the highest level and is opting to work out around the Los Angeles area rather than join the Association’s equivalent of the minor leagues.
Collins, a 12-year veteran, finished out the 2012-13 season with the Washington Wizards but also spent time with the Boston Celtics. He’s been a part of six teams since being selected No. 18 overall in the 2001 draft. The 7-footer holds career averages of 3.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game.
At this stage of his career, he’s a capable defender but a liability on offense. If Collins actually gets an opportunity to break back into the NBA, he is not going to make a huge impact on the court, but he is a solid option to bolster the bench and help mentor some of the younger bigs around the league.
Possible Rift Between Eric Bledsoe and Phoenix Suns
The Suns organization raised some eyebrows by not extending emerging star guard Eric Bledsoe by the Oct. 31 deadline.
That line of thinking has apparently caused a “gulf” between the player and team, a rift that will only grow larger if Bledsoe puts together an elite campaign.
Will the Suns retain Bledsoe after this season?
However, Phoenix is allegedly willing to handle any lucrative offer sheet that may come his way in restricted free agency this summer, whether that is through matching the contract or dealing him away via sign-and-trade.
Considering Bledsoe is averaging 22.0 points, 8.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds through three games, this move could easily backfire. The 23-year-old star will command a sky-high contract—likely well above the $10 million per year he was asking for initially—if he can keep pace.
With a weak crop of expected free-agent talent at the point guard position, Bledsoe will be one of the top targets for a number of teams around the league.