LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are clearly the two best free-agent forwards, but it could be argued that Trevor Ariza is next on the list.
The 28-year-old is coming off his best year as a professional. Ariza averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game with the Washington Wizards. He shot 45.6 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from three-point range.
Ariza talked about the past season and his future in the video below:
Even with his solid offensive performance this past season, his perimeter defense is his best attribute. He won a championship with the Lakers in 2009, and Los Angeles is reportedly interested in bringing him back.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne tweeted:
The Lakers are also interested in acquiring LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony. If they are able to get one but not the other (or neither), Ariza would be an decent consolation prize.
Utah Jazz Serious about Keeping Gordon Hayward
Despite the fact that the team didn't sign Hayward to an extension during the season, the Jazz are apparently serious about keeping the 24-year-old swingman in Utah.
Per Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, the Jazz are willing to match offers for their restricted free agent.
Coming off a season where he averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game, Hayward will be coveted by a few teams. The Jazz are daring a team to offer Hayward a max contract.
If they can call the bluff of Hayward's suitors, the Jazz could hold on to him for less than market value.
Nikola Mirotic Looks to Be Headed to Chicago
The Chicago Bulls and their fanbase have been waiting for the time when Mirotic would arrive from Spain. It seems as though that time is coming sooner than later.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders tweeted:
Former Bulls forward Andres Nocioni has signed with Real Madrid, presumably to replace Nikola Mirotirc, who could become new Bulls forward.— Joel Brigham (@joelbrigham) June 29, 2014
The 23-year-old sharpshooter is by many accounts the best European prospect. Last season for Real Madrid, the 6'10" forward averaged 12.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and made 46 percent of his threes.
He'd be an excellent sixth man for the Bulls, especially if the team is able to lure Anthony in free agency. There are high expectations for rookies like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, but you can bet Mirotic figures in the Rookie of the Year voting if he joins the Bulls this season.
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