While the 2014 NBA Finals are still raging on, rumors are swirling for all 28 teams not named the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs.
Some teams are in search of the next superstar to help them make it back to the playoffs, while others are simply hoping to keep core players. One of the hottest names on the market has been Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, who isn't even entering free agency this season as he has one year left on his contract.
Then there is a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers who, despite not making the playoffs last season, are looking to lock up Kyrie Irving to a long-term deal. After watching LeBron James walk years ago, the Cavs have high hopes that Irving will be their leader for seasons to come in Cleveland.
Before the free-agency period officially gets underway on July 1 and the Finals come to a conclusion, let's take a look at the latest rumors from around the NBA.
Irving's Contract Coming?
The same man who was MVP of the All-Star Game last season is now looking to strike it rich with his current team.
While players like Love and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony might be looking at other franchises for their future, Irving will be offered a max contract to stay in Cleveland. Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer provides the latest rumor for Irving:
My sources tell me that the Cavs have had no doubts about offering Irving the 5-year deal, and will do so. Once July 1 arrives -- the first date that an extension can be offered -- the Cavs will set up a meeting with Irving. They will present their All-Star guard with a contract extension, a 5-year deal in the $90 million range (or whatever is the maximum number).
Cleveland might not have made the postseason this year, but its wealth of young talent makes this look like a promising team for the future. Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and this year's No. 1 overall pick will make a good, young core for the next several years.
This move is similar to another All-Star point guard who was recently locked up by a contending team, as Pluto notes:
The hope is that he will sign the five-year deal, much like John Wall did with Washington before the 2013-14 season. That was a signal to Washington's players and fans that he was committed to the team. And yes, Wall's commitment did help the Wizards come together as a team and make the playoffs, upsetting Chicago in the first round.
The 22-year-old is a blossoming star in the league and would help the Cavs continue their efforts toward eventually winning a championship. After a disappointing finish to the 2013-14 season, things are on the rise yet again for Cleveland and could be even brighter with Irving locked up.
Phoenix Suns Looking to Make a Deal for Kevin Love
He's done just about everything he can with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Kevin Love will likely be making a move during free agency next summer. But before he does, the T-Wolves are hoping to get good returns for the superstar.
One team that might be interested in striking a deal with Minnesota is another franchise that narrowly missed out on the postseason. Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears has the most recent information about Love's potential landing spot:
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 7, 2014
The Phoenix Suns made a huge push in the 2013-14 season to make the playoffs but weren't able to take the final spot from the Dallas Mavericks. Already equipped with young players like Mason Plumlee and the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff), the Suns might just look to secure Love for one season to make the jump.
Warren Shaw of Dime magazine provides his thoughts on the potential move:
Had been waiting for the #suns to join the Kevin Love conversation. So many picks but players are all manageable deals hard to make $ match— Warren Shaw (@ShawSportsNBA) June 8, 2014
Though it doesn't seem extremely likely that the Suns would ultimately make the deal, the idea of Love moving to any team is always intriguing. Add on the fact that the Suns are surrendering two of their best players, which would limit their future if Love ultimately decides to walk next summer.
Derek Fisher No Longer a Candidate for Lakers
The coaching carousel continues to spin, but Derek Fisher might just be losing steam with one notable team.
Following rumors that the former Los Angeles Lakers mainstay would be a candidate for the franchise's head coach, those talks appear to be over. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported the news over the weekend:
The Lakers have decided they need a coach with previous NBA coaching experience, which means one thing for Derek Fisher: He isn't a candidate.
The Lakers think Fisher will be a solid NBA coach or executive at some point, but their initial curiosity about him has been replaced by a desire for actual experience, the latest turn in a deliberately slow coaching search approaching the six-week mark.
After dispelling rumors about Fisher to L.A., Bresnahan mentioned the fact that the 39-year-old is still considered a candidate for the vacant New York Knicks coaching position.
There is also a report that the Lakers have interviewed Kurt Rambis, per Bresnahan. That certainly goes along with the need for experience for the position, but Rambis was also a member of the coaching staff last season with Mike D'Antoni.
While discussions about Fisher coming to the Lakers might be over for now, the coaching search still appears to be far from it.
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