The 2014 NBA offseason has only just begun.
Tuesday marks the opening of the free-agency period, and due to the immense amount of talent on the open market this year, expect plenty of action right from the start.
As coaches and team executives prepare to make offers to their most coveted targets, fans wait with bated breath to find out where their favorite players will eventually call home.
With the free-agency period just getting underway, let's take a look at some of the latest rumors and news circulating around the web.
Plenty of big names are on the market, and Marcin Gortat is near the top of the list. Last season with the Washington Wizards, the center averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field.
Needless to say, he's a hot commodity.
One team reported to have interest in Gortat is the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
I've heard Marcin Gortat mentioned in connection with the Cavs, but he will be hot item on the market. The 6' 11", 240-pounder is a physical center. He averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in 33 minutes a game for Washington, and the Wizards really want to keep him. Any contender would love to have Gortat, because he sets serious picks and loves to defend.
We'll find out soon enough if the Wizards will be able to hang on to their center, or if he'll be wearing new team colors next season.
Another hot name on the market is Trevor Ariza.
Ariza is also coming off a great season for the Wizards, averaging 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from downtown.
According to a tweet from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, Ariza is highly coveted:
After his impressive season during the Wizards' run into the playoffs, expect a bidding war to ensue for the talented small forward.
The Indiana Pacers had a bit of a roller-coaster season, and the team's inconsistent play carried over into the playoffs. If they are to improve this coming season, keeping Lance Stephenson in the fold should be a top priority.
Apparently Indiana agrees with that notion and will be pulling out all of the stops to keep him around, according to a tweet from Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star:
The Pacers may have to dig deep into their pockets to keep their star around, as Stephenson could be looking for a max contract.
While free agency could mean a new beginning for some players, it could mark the end for others.
That's the case for 17-year veteran Chauncey Billups, as Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press tweeted the Detroit Pistons would not be opting to keep him around:
During his NBA career, Billups played in 1,043 games, averaging 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the field.
While this news may signify the end of Billups' playing career, it may also be the beginning of his next chapter in life, according to David Mayo of MLive.com:
The Celtics are looking to make big waves in free agency this year. The team floundered terribly in a bad Eastern Conference last season, and president Danny Ainge is looking to prevent that from happening again.
Here's what Ainge had to say about the Celtics' role in free agency, via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
The Cavaliers are looking to keep one of their own from heading to another city.
Kyrie Irving may not be a free agent this year, but he's slated to become a restricted free agent in 2015, and according to early reports that he was disgruntled with the team, things weren't looking good for his future in Cleveland.
Well, that appears to have changed.
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Cavaliers appear to be offering Irving a max contract:
That alone may not be newsworthy due to the fact Irving may be inclined to reject the offer and leave Cleveland; however, Broussard tweeted otherwise:
Apparently, David Blatt is already making a big impact for the Cavaliers.
These are just a handful of recent happenings around the NBA—there's plenty more news and rumors circulating at this time of year. With a whirlwind of activity expected within the next few days, expect a wild ride to ensue.
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