NBA Free Agency 2014: Examining Latest Reports After 2014 NBA Draft

Ryan DavenportContributor IJune 27, 2014

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 14: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots a free throw against the Golden State Warriors on April 14, 2014 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

For basketball junkies, this is without question among the most interesting summers in recent memory, primarily because there is so much uncertainty surrounding where many of the game's greatest players will be playing in 2014-15. 

It's not quite as chaotic as the summer of 2010, in which an unprecedented number of superstars hit the open market, but now that the 2014 NBA draft has come and gone, the NBA rumor mill is just getting started.

So, as we close in on the final days leading up to the opening of the free agent market, here's a look at the latest buzz surrounding the biggest names that could be up for grabs. 


Rondo on the move? 

With the No. 6 pick on Thursday, the Celtics may have given their first indication that the team is planning on moving on from current franchise player Rajon Rondo, as they took fellow point guard Marcus Smart. 

As CBS Sports' Matt Moore suggested, drafting Smart could serve as a precursor to the organization parting ways with the former All-Star. 

Getting rid of Rondo without having acquired Smart would've left Brad Stevens without a legitimate present or future No. 1 point guard, so there is a logical basis for this scenario. 

Apr 5, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks on during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons beat the Celtics 115-111. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, according to NESN's Ben Watanabe, whether Rondo remains in Boston could depend on whether Danny Ainge is able to complement the 28-year-old by bringing in another All-Star who appears to be on the move.  

It increasingly appears Rajon Rondo would be traded if the Boston Celtics fail in their pursuit of Kevin Love. At least one club looks to be preparing for that possibility.

For now, Rondo and Smart will coexist, but if Boston can't assemble a roster that has an inkling of hope at contending in the present, this may become the rookie's team sooner rather than later. 


King James to Cleveland with Love?

At this point, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Love will be donning a new NBA uniform in 2014-15.

However, due to the fact that his contract's up in just over a year, Minnesota's ability to get a sufficient return on its undisputed best player may depend on Love's interest in remaining with his new club beyond 2015. 

To recap, Love is definitely willing to go to the Cavaliers and stay for the long haul, but only if LeBron's signed on to do the same. 

James is without a doubt the player that is most likely to serve as the domino that starts a series of subsequent trades and signings, and, at least according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, that seems to be the case with the Timberwolves superstar. 

Until he's traded elsewhere, the Warriors should be viewed as the front-runner to land Love, because, as ESPN's Marc Stein reported, negotiations continue to stop and start between Minnesota and Golden State. 


What lies in store for Anthony? 

While we wait to hear where James, as well as his star running mates in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, will be suiting up in the fall, Carmelo Anthony appears to be narrowing down his list of suitors. 

And, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, it's looking like it'll be an open competition to secure the services of the perennial All-Star. 

A source said there is currently no frontrunner for Anthony's services. He is expected to meet with the Knicks, Chicago BullsLos Angeles LakersHouston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. There was no mention of the Miami Heat. Anthony hopes to visit the aforementioned teams in their respective cities during the opening days of free agency. At the moment, no other teams are expected to get a meeting.

So with four teams, in addition to Anthony's current team, the Knicks, in the running, who has the best chance at getting his signature on a new contract? 

The Bulls have long been rumored to be a favorite, but Chris Broussard is saying the Lakers have at least two plans of action to bring two elite players or more to L.A. to help Kobe Bryant chase at least one more title:

While this is a lofty aspiration, a lineup featuring Bryant, 2014 No. 7 pick Julius Randle and either tandem of superstars Broussard discussed is a pretty exciting possibility to entertain.