As the NBA season nears its conclusion, rumors surrounding some key players set to potentially become free agents are starting to pop up around the league.
This offseason will feature a number of big names that will be free agents. A few superstars, including Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, will have the choice to opt out of their current contracts and test the free-agent market.
There are more than a few players that are going to be free agents this offseason, but let's take a look at some of the latest buzz surrounding a select few players.
Note: All contract information is provided by Spotrac.com.
Chandler Parsons Set to Become RFA
It was a career year scoring-wise for Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons, and while he doesn't have a huge contract, it doesn't look like the team is prepared to pick up the final year on it.
Brian Windhorst from ESPN.com reported that the Rockets are planning to decline the team option for Parsons, who is set to make just under $1 million next season. It may seem like a no-brainer to pick up the option for so little, but the decision makes sense in the long run.
If the Rockets don't pick up the option, Parsons will be an unrestricted free agent, and the team won't be able to match any offer given to the 25-year-old. By declining his option, the Rockets can now match any offer another team makes him, which could drive the asking price down.
Parsons was a terrific value for the Rockets last season, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field, and he's mentioned that he wants to stay with the team.
"I want to be here," Parsons told Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. "I love Houston. It's a great situation for me, the city, my teammates, Coach (Kevin) McHale, Daryl, (Rockets CEO) Tad (Brown), all of them are great."
The Rockets will probably wait to see what happens in the NBA draft and free agency, but if they can't find a big name at small forward, there's almost no chance that they let Parsons go to another team.
Nick Young Wants To Stay With Lakers, But He'll Test Market
In a season where the Los Angeles Lakers went just 27-55, Nick Young emerged as a very solid contributor for the team. He has a player option, and while he may want to stick with the Lakers and help in the rebuilding process, he apparently wants to at least test the open market.
According to Lang Greene from Basketball Insiders, the 29-year-old will opt out of his contract but wants to stay with the team:
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.
Young is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 17.9 points per game despite starting in just nine of 64 games played. If he does opt out of his deal, which would pay him just over $1.2 million next year, the Lakers definitely have the cap space to pay him. According to Eric Pincus from the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have $28.2 million in cap space for next season.
Of course, the Lakers may want to use that money on a superstar small forward instead, which brings us to the next rumor.
LeBron James Interested in Playing With Carmelo Anthony
The biggest free-agent story all season has been with LeBron James, who has an early termination option after the end of this season. It is also well known that Carmelo Anthony has a player option, and the two may apparently be open to playing with each other.
Sam Amick from USA Today wrote on the potential pairing, saying:
Yet according to two people with knowledge of the situation, Anthony's part in this fluid free agency situation is worth monitoring as James is known to be interested in eventually playing with his close friend. Anthony also has a player option on his deal for next season (worth $23.5 million), and his connection to James has teams like the Lakers, Knicks and even the Heat wondering whether he may be able to join the four-time NBA MVP. The people requested anonymity because of sensitive nature of free agency talk.
Both players will be expecting big contracts if they play together, but we've seen with LeBron that he's willing to take a pay cut to play for a championship contender, as his current deal with the Heat isn't a max contract.
Teams with a lot of cap space will be trying to lure both players to their teams, and of course with that $28.2 million number, the Lakers stand out. A Big Three of Carmelo, LeBron and Kobe Bryant would be one of the most talked-about pairings in NBA history, but it would be interesting to see how they would try to make it work.
Of course, LeBron could end all the drama by staying in Miami, but we won't know what his decision will be until the NBA Finals are over. However, if he's truly determined to win as many championships as possible, joining forces with Carmelo wouldn't be a bad idea.
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