NBA Free Agents 2014: Latest Rumors Surrounding Top Names on Market

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 2: Nick Young #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers in a game against the Sacramento Kings on April 2, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The 2014 NBA playoffs are winding down, and for most teams, the offseason is already in full swing.

Each franchise will be looking to improve over the summer—no matter its record from a season ago—and bringing in a top-tier free agent is one way to gain a significant boost.

This year, there are plenty of big names on the market. With those names come plenty of rumors regarding where they may end up next season.

Let's take a look at a few juicy rumors involving some of these players currently circulating around the web.


Kyrie Irving to Leave Cleveland?

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers grabs his arm after falling out of bounds with the ball against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

All right, so Irving isn't set to be a free agent this year; however, according to a report from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, he will not only become a restricted free agent next year, but could be traded this offseason:

The Cavs are making noises that they aren't going to offer Kyrie Irving "max money" this summer via a long-term extension. They don't want to deal the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, but it could come to that, especially if the West Orange product and his family continue to tell people that he wants out.

FiveThirtyEight breaks down the scenario, via their tweet:

This season, Irving is due a base salary of just over $7 million, according to

It could be conceived the Cavaliers would be open to offloading Irving, as he hasn't quite lived up to expectations since coming aboard.

Here's what one source said to Lawrence about Irving's situation in Cleveland: "He was just handed too much, too soon. You've got to make these young guys earn it, and that's where this team did a bad job with him."

If Cleveland can't find a suitor for him via trade, it appears Irving will be a name to watch during the 2015 free-agency period.


Nick Young to Test the Market?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 1: Nick Young #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends an inbounds pass against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on April 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Young's stellar perimeter shooting and average of 17.9 points per game last season should make him a very hot commodity if he does enter free agency.

According to a report from Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders, that may indeed be the case:

A source very close to Young recently told Basketball Insiders the Los Angeles native would prefer to wear a Lakers uniform next season despite the uncertainty of the team’s roster and the vacant head coach position.

However, the source fully believes Young will elect to opt out of his deal this summer in order to fully evaluate his options on the free agent circuit in July.

It seems rather interesting that Young would opt out of his contract with the Lakers despite his interest in remaining with the team. However, Greene's source went on to explain that Young may have a motive in mind: "According to the source, the purpose of opting out of his deal would be driven by the desire to lock up a more lucrative long term contract with the Lakers."

ESPN's Arash Markazi tweeted his take on Young's decision:

Sure, Young's plan could work; however, once he hits the free-agent market, his chances of remaining in Los Angeles are lessened. Could he really decline a more lucrative offer from another team?

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


Lakers Don't Want Carmelo Anthony?

TORONTO, CANADA - April 11: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks attempts a free throw against the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2014 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Anthony has been one of the biggest names floating around NBA circles since the New York Knicks failed to make the playoffs.

He's been willing to hit the free-agent market in hopes of landing a big contract with a potential contender. Although, according to a recent report from Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Lakers may be out of the picture.

He writes, "Meanwhile, the Lakers have cap space, but sources maintain they aren't too interested in Anthony as a fit with Kobe Bryant. Nor is Lakers president Jeanie Buss enthralled with stealing Anthony from Jackson, her fiance."

First things first. The second part of that rumor more than likely isn't a factor in the Lakers' decision. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweeted why:

The first part of the rumor makes plenty of sense.

Bryant wants the ball in his hands—we all know this. Unfortunately, Anthony wants the same thing.

With these players sharing the court, a seemingly stellar addition could quickly turn into a disaster if these two players can't coexist. In that case, Los Angeles would be dealing out a bunch of money for a "what if" scenario.