Even though the season isn't over, the NBA rumors are already swirling around like crazy.
Four teams remain in the playoffs—the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder—but the remaining teams are already gearing up for moves that will potentially make them contenders next season.
There will certainly be player movement this offseason, but who will be changing area codes? Will big names be heading to different cities?
No one knows for sure just yet, but the rumors swirling right now indicate that we could be in for an exciting offseason.
Rajon Rondo More Available Now Than Ever Before?
Will he stay or will he go?
That's the question Boston Celtics fans have been asking themselves about Rajon Rondo for the past several years. General manager Danny Ainge generally scoffs at the thought of dealing Rondo when it comes to the media, and he did so again recently.
That said, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald heard that Rondo is very available:
But what we’ve been hearing for a while and in more concerted tones here is that Rajon Rondo may be more available now than ever before. Danny Ainge yesterday dismissed a report that the Knicks had turned down a deal for the All-Star point guard as 'maybe the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.'
Ainge responded with this statement, via Bulpett:
That’s all speculation. Those aren’t facts. People don’t know that, so it’s just people speculating on Rondo’s free agency next summer. That’s all that you’re hearing. You’re not hearing any facts from anybody. Those conversations haven’t even been discussed, so that’s just speculation.
A trade of Rondo would drastically shift the power of the NBA's elite. If he's traded away from Boston, the Celtics will likely suffer in the coming seasons. It will be a time to rebuild, however, so it wouldn't be something that came as a surprise.
If Rondo goes to a contending team, then that team will have made a significant upgrade toward its quest to win the NBA Finals. If a team like the New York Knicks were to go after Rondo, then that would presumably be enough to lift them to the playoffs—barring other minor acquisitions, of course.
We'll have to see how this plays out.
Houston Wants to Deal Omer Asik to Make Room for a Superstar
The Houston Rockets performed poorly in the postseason against the Portland Trail Blazers. The dynamic duo of James Harden and Dwight Howard showed promise this season, but they lack another partner to make even more noise in the Western Conference.
That partner could very well be Carmelo Anthony.
Sam Smith of Bulls.com reports that the Rockets are open to moving Omer Asik if it means bringing in someone like Melo:
Houston is looking to unload Asik and [Jeremy] Lin to make a run at Anthony. I don’t think you can move Lin and the $15 million backloaded he’s due next season. But you may be able to move Asik, whom I’ve already heard several teams, like Atlanta to move Al Horford to four, are pursuing.
In losing Asik, the Rockets would presumably hand full-time power forward duties to Terrence Jones. Lin would forfeit the point guard duties to both Patrick Beverley and Isaiah Canaan.
A trio of Harden, Howard and Anthony would make waves in the West. It might seem like a stretch, but with the right supporting cast, this trio can rival the trio of the Miami Heat. That trio has seen a ton of success in the past three seasons, just in case you haven't been paying attention.
Washington Wants to Re-Sign Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat
Fresh off losing to the Indiana Pacers in Round 2 of the playoffs, the Washington Wizards now have a few contractual issues to address. The team isn't far off from making serious waves in the East, so the moves they make now will have a direct impact on their future.
Two key contributors this year were Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat. Both happen to be free agents, and Zach Lowe of Grantland is reporting that the team has interest in re-signing each player:
Ariza is almost 29, and Gortat is 30. Executives around the league figure they will get something between $15 million and $20 million per year combined on the open market, likely on three- or four-year contracts.
The Wiz are interested in re-signing both, and you can’t really blame them. They are surely hoping the market for Ariza dampens amid concern over the red light blinking “CONTRACT YEAR” and whether Ariza would get the same juicy corner 3s without Wall’s freakish fast-breaking.
Re-signing both players to expensive contracts could inhibit the future spending of the team, but it's obvious the type of impact each player can make for this young team.
Ariza averaged 14.4 points in 35.4 minutes per game this season, while Gortat chipped in 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per night.
Replacing the duo won't be easy, so retaining them is the best way to go.