NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Around Association as Playoffs Approach

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 20, 2014

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, tries to move around Indiana Pacers' Paul George during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The NBA regular season is winding down, and as the postseason approaches, the rumors are continuing to swirl around the Association.

The playoffs are approaching, but so is the offseason. Several teams will be pushing hard for superstar free agents, while others will be looking towards the NBA draft, as there are a number of exciting young players expected to go pro after this season.

With that in mind, let's go ahead and take a look at some of the most recent rumors going on around the league.


Indiana's Noah Vonleh Expected to Go Pro

Jan 14, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Noah Vonleh (1) warms up before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers had a rough season, not even making the NIT despite having a very promising player down low in freshman Noah Vonleh. While the Hoosiers will be trying to make a push for the NCAA tournament again next year, they may have to do so without arguably their best player from this season.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports, Vonleh is leaning strongly towards entering the NBA draft:

Vonleh looked like a very promising prospects for the Hoosiers this season, averaging 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor and 48.5 percent from behind the arc. However, the Hoosiers didn't seem concerned with giving him the ball, as he took an insanely low 7.2 field-goal attempts per game. 

At just 18 years old, Vonleh looks a lot like a young Chris Bosh, as he has all of the tools to be a great power forward at the next level. While he won't be taken before names like Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, he should be taken very early in the draft, especially by a team like the Los Angeles Lakers that could use his services at the position to replace Pau Gasol, who will be a free agent.


Carmelo Anthony May be Staying in New York

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks stands on the court during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 19, 2014.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony has the option to terminate his contract after this season and become a free agent, but after the team brought in Phil Jackson, he may want to stay.

After Jackson said that Carmelo was involved in the team's future plans, Anthony reacted to his comments, according to Ken Berger from CBS Sports, saying:

I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans. I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. The only thing I said was I'm going to dabble and try the free agency out, that I was going to opt out and become a free agent. ... I'm excited about the opportunity to hopefully work with Phil.

According to Spotrac, Anthony is set to make $23.3 million if he stays in New York under his current contract next year, but he'd still be a free agent after the 2014-15 season.

That may be a lot of money, but Anthony might not be in it for the cash. At 29 years old, Anthony is in the prime of his career, but he has yet to even get close to winning an NBA title. With the season winding down, there's a good chance that the Knicks completely miss the playoffs.

Fortunately for Melo, there's a chance another superstar may be heading to New York, although the chances of that may not be great.


LeBron James Thinking About Leaving Miami for New York?

LeBron James is arguably the best layer in the NBA right now, and as he attempts to win as many rings as possible in his career, there's a chance that he could reportedly leave the Miami Heat after this year and go to the New York Knicks.

Frank Isola from the New York Daily News wrote that the Heat reportedly aren't convinced that LeBron will stay in Miami, saying:

But Dolan and Jackson can dream big. Heat executives, according to a source, are not convinced that James will stay, though in their heart of hearts they believe he will re-sign. But Jackson’s arrival changes things.

“There’s no way LeBron would have gone to New York under the current climate,” said a James confidant. “He had a falling-out with CAA (agency) and that was a problem as well. But with Phil there I think he will look at it.”

LeBron has the option to opt out of his contract after this season, although he could still make around another $40.7 million over the next two years if he stays, according to Spotrac. But LeBron has made it clear over the years that he wants to win rings, and there's a chance that the Heat aren't the best team long-term for LeBron to stay with.

While the Heat still have the Big Three, Dwyane Wade is 32 years old now and has dealt with knee issues for almost his entire career. If he decided to go to the Knicks, he could be playing with Anthony, and that combination could be deadly for the next few years.

Still, what are the odds LeBron leaves Miami? We don't know for sure yet, so we will have to wait and see what he decides to do after this season.