All is rather quiet on the NBA rumor mill front, with the exception of one potential trade before the All-Star break involving Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller.
Much of the latest chatter revolves around the upcoming offseason's free-agency period, which is headlined by New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony. However, he isn't the only marquee name getting the latest buzz.
Let's take a closer look at each of these scenarios and what they would mean for the franchises involved.
Andre Miller to the Minnesota Timberwolves or Sacramento Kings?
The feud between Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw and Miller is well-documented, so it comes as little surprise that the veteran floor general is at the center of trade talks.
Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com cites a league contact who says that Miller will be in Minnesota or Sacramento by the time the All-Star break hits:
Miller is 37 but can still get the job done as a post-up scorer, solid passer and capable perimeter defender. However, his spat with Shaw kept him off the court since the dawn of the calendar year—a span of 12 games.
That can't do much good for his trade value, but it is clear that Denver is willing to get rid of him and that at least two teams are seriously interested. The Timberwolves have Ricky Rubio, but the youngster could benefit from an experienced player like Miller—particularly with regard to his offensive game.
Then there's the Kings possibility, which would provide Isaiah Thomas with a nice complementary backup since the squad doesn't have any truly viable point guards coming off the bench.
Carmelo Anthony Prefers Chicago over L.A.?
Indications suggest that Anthony isn't likely to stay in the Big Apple, but he may go to the Windy City rather than play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Anthony is considering leaving the Knicks to play for the Chicago Bulls:
Within the past several weeks, a longtime confidant of Carmelo Anthony confesses, something changed. Never did he believe there was a chance Anthony would leave the– never the Madison Square Garden stage, never the $129 million contract extension...
"Chicago is much more in play for him than L.A.," the source said.
Imagine the prospect of a healthy Derrick Rose and Anthony on the hardwood together. Well, it's kind of hard to, because both players are exceptional at the one-on-one game and can get their own offense at anytime.
Rose is a capable distributor, though, and would form an incredible pick-and-roll combination with Anthony if they were able to join forces. Anthony is only aiding his cause for other teams after some frustrating years in New York, lighting up Madison Square Garden with 62 points in the Knicks' Jan. 24 win over Charlotte:
Wojnarowski also reports that the Bulls are leaning toward amnestying Carlos Boozer's contract, which would create a ton of cap room to bring Anthony in on a maximum contract.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is an outstanding defensive coach and has made Chicago competitive despite the consistent lack of a go-to scorer. In that context, it would be thrilling to see what he could do if Rose and Anthony were in full force.
Marcin Gortat Reportedly to Seek Better Contract in Free Agency
The Washington Wizards may be 21-22 at the moment, but that's good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. With a likely playoff appearance on the horizon and a promising backcourt of the future featuring John Wall and Bradley Beal, it makes sense to keep the current nucleus intact.
According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Gortat—the starting center who averages 12.1 points and just under nine rebounds per contest, has other ideas:
...Gortat has been presented with the option of signing a contract extension between now and June 30 by the Wizards...The Wizards, though, are apparently resigned to the idea that Gortat will become a free agent July 1 after playing out the final season of his current contract, which is valued at $7.27 million.
The 29-year-old is about to enter the back end of his career. How Washington closes out the 2013-14 campaign should go a long way in impacting his perception of the team's future and whether or not he should be a part of it.
So while it would be nice for the Wizards to have some reassurance from their vital big man—with whom they feel comfortable enough to extend a contract offer—he is actually making a savvy move by waiting it out.
Stein also reports, though, that the front office is "determined" to keep Gortat and is making re-signing him a top priority.
A dearth of centers in general exists around the Association, so Gortat should be able to gain leverage in negotiations with Washington or any of the other teams interested in him when he hits the open market.
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