The NBA playoffs are still rumbling on, with the second round coming to a close in a few series. But that hasn't stopped rumors from spreading about what might take place this offseason.
With a multitude of teams looking to improve upon their seasons, plenty of changes are sure to come. Players will be signed to contending teams, new coaches will be hired and a franchise might even be moving this offseason.
Given the way the playoffs have unfolded, even teams in the postseason will look to improve for 2014-15. The Washington Wizards pushed the No. 1 seed Indiana Pacers to a Game 6 but are still looking for reinforcements next season.
As for franchises out of the playoffs, the Utah Jazz could be targeting a familiar face to take over coaching duties for next season. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks might no longer be in Wisconsin next year.
With all of this in mind, let's take a look at the most recent rumors swirling around the NBA.
Wizards Want Jeff Green in the Future
With their backs against the wall, the Wizards responded with a huge performance on Tuesday night.
Even with a second-round run that is still going on, Washington wants to make the process much easier in coming years. That might explain why the Wizards are looking at some free-agent options this year, per Zach Lowe of Grantland:
The Wiz have long liked Jeff Green, who has just two seasons left on his current deal. They could help Denver reboot by flipping one player for the combo of Wilson Chandler and J.J. Hickson, both with two seasons left on their deals. They could kick the tires on any number of useful wing players under contract in Minnesota and Memphis.
The first part of that is probably most notable. Jeff Green is only 27 years old and has proven to be a good scoring threat over the last several seasons.
During the 2013-14 season, Green was asked to step up as a scorer and finished with 16.9 points per game. But his trade value took a hit, as Jay King of MassLive.com points out:
But at the very least, the report is an indication that Green still has a trade market. Though he set a career high in points per game this season, he did not thrive as the No. 1 scorer. His efficiency took a big hit, he remained a poor rebounder, and when he wasn't randomly busting out for huge scoring performances he often failed to impact games.
All that being said, Green still holds the same strengths -- spot-up shooting and transition scoring -- that made him a key piece in 2012-13. Given the right circumstances, he's still the player who averaged 17.3 points on 58.6 percent shooting after last year's All-Star break. That appears to be his ceiling -- Jeff Green, an efficient complementary scorer as long as he has the right teammates -- but he's capable of filling that role, and it's a valuable one in the right situation.
Unlike the Boston Celtics, the Wizards wouldn't need Green to take over on the court. Green's scoring ability along with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat would make for a devastating offensive attack.
Bucks Up for Sale
It's no secret that the Bucks have been struggling for years. They have the most ping-pong balls for the NBA draft lottery after another miserable season.
The franchise might be on the move, and it could be soon, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:
The $550 million sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to hedge fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry is expected to be finalized by the NBA on Thursday, a source involved in the process told ESPN.com.
... The Bucks front office, led by general manager John Hammond, and coach Larry Drew have been going through standard preparation ahead of the June 26 draft. Edens and Lasry have given no indication yet of their plans, though it is common for new owners to make management changes.
So, could your city be in line for the Bucks? Well, that might not necessarily be the case.
Buyers Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry might keep the franchise in Milwaukee but will likely be looking at an upgraded arena to stay in the city. Longtime owner Herb Kohl has agreed to award the city with $100 million from the sale to build a new stadium.
Given the fact that the Bucks are in line for a top-three pick in the 2014 draft, the sale is all the more enticing for the group. With a potential franchise-changing player like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid still on the board, the team might finally have a marketable player on the court to play in its new arena.
John Stockton Back in Utah?
It was time for a change in Utah, but it might not be a drastic adjustment for fans in Salt Lake City.
John Stockton, who was inducted into the 2009 Hall of Fame class after a 19-year career with the Jazz, is likely to be a target for the struggling franchise. Marc Stein of ESPN.com notes the Jazz will gauge his interest in the position, per SportsCenter:
Jazz plan to reach out to John Stockton about interest in head coaching vacancy. He played 19 years in Utah. http://t.co/K1hLg0t2ES— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 14, 2014
Stein also listed a few more possible candidates for the position in his report:
Other candidates who have been mentioned include Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, current Jazz assistant Brad Jones, former Missouri coach and veteran NBA assistant Quin Snyder (who worked with Lindsey in San Antonio), and European coaching legend Ettore Messina.
ESPN.com reported last month that the Jazz are regarded around the league as one of the few teams that would give bona fide consideration to breaking the NBA's European barrier and hiring a head coach who wasn't reared in the United States, with both Lindsey and Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik known to be Messina fans.
Needless to say, this search is far from over.
With a recent trend in point guards taking over for franchises, Stockton could simply be the latest to continue the movement. Jason Kidd led his Brooklyn Nets to the second round of the playoffs while Mark Jackson was fired by the Golden State Warriors after a 51-31 record in the regular season.
Not all point guards have been successful in the coaching ranks, but Stockton remembers what it's like when the Jazz were great and might be able to help them return to being a contender in the West.
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