With the NBA draft done, the offseason focus is set to shift to free agency and trades. Free agents can begin negotiating with teams on July 1. The biggest prizes will be the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony and the Miami Heat's LeBron James.
Both are expected to have a number of suitors but could elect to return to their current teams. More is known about Anthony's intentions, and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has the latest on Melo.
Announcement Could Come After the Holiday
Anyone in Chicago, Houston, Dallas or any of the other cities hopeful that their teams will sign Melo won't be able to have a Fourth of July/We Got Melo barbecue. Per Spears, who was reporting on information provided by sources of Yahoo Sports, an announcement isn't likely to come before the second week of July.
Per Spears, Anthony is scheduled to meet with the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
There's a substantial case to be made for each destination. The Knicks would seemingly have the least to offer him in the way of immediate on-court success, but New York does have the most money and years to offer.
Whatever team Anthony picks will probably ask him to take less money than his market value—including the Knicks. With the new collective bargaining agreement and the stiff penalty of the luxury tax, few teams can afford to spend wildly and pay star threesomes max contracts.
Because Melo wants to win a championship, the supporting cast around him will be important.
As of now, no team can really be called a frontrunner. Rumors on a team with an edge probably won't surface until after the meetings begin. Anthony discusses the possibility of moving on from New York in the video below.
In other news...
Thaddeus Young's Days as a Philadelphia 76er Seem to Be Numbered
Young has often been the target of trade rumors over the last three seasons, but he has somehow stuck with the team. Per Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers, who was quoting a source of the site, Young will opt out of his contract at the end of the upcoming season.
"So, Young is still a Sixer for the 2014-15 season. And, barring a trade that sends him out of Philadelphia during the season, Young will then opt out of his contract before the 2015-16 season, a source close to Young told Liberty Ballers Thursday night."
Young's announcement takes some of Philly's leverage in a deal away. Because teams know Young has every intention of moving on, they might low ball the Sixers with offers.
Minnesota Seeking Depth at Point Guard
Darren Wolfson of KSTP.com and 1500ESPN.com is indicating the Minnesota Timberwolves may be eyeing two veteran point guards.
Two of probably a handful of names to watch w/ #Twolves in FA: Shaun Livingston and Steve Blake. Early word is doubtful on Evan Turner.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) June 27, 2014
Obviously, the team is committed to Ricky Rubio as a starter, but both Livingston and Blake have the size to play alongside Rubio for stretches. Livingston was especially effective last season while with the Brooklyn Nets.
After years of battling injuries, Livingston finally looks to be hitting his stride. Playing for his eighth team, the 28-year-old appeared in a career-high 76 games, starting 54, and he averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
He'd seem to be the preferred option of the two.
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