If you're a fan of wheelin' and dealin', then the upcoming NBA offseason is for you.
There will be a ton of player movement this summer, as multiple teams have cap flexibility and will look to acquire (via free agency or trades) top-tier talent. Day 1 of free agency is upon us, and that means that team general managers likely haven't put down their phones all day.
Of course, not all of these calls or texts are about free agents. Trades are certainly in the air, as teams that aren't willing to shell out top dollar for free agents will be more inclined to trade. There are big names on the trade market, and that means it's going to be an exciting few months.
Below are the hottest trade rumors on the first day of free agency.
Kevin Love has been involved in countless rumors since the NBA regular season ended. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have all shown interest, and now you can add the Houston Rockets to the list as well.
ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Wolves eye a potential sign-and-trade with Houston:
Minnesota, I'm told, also continues to monitor Parsons should Rockets decide to make trade run at Kevin Love. Melo has been HOU focus so far— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
This deal would make a ton of sense for Minnesota, as Chandler Parsons is one of the best young stars in the game today. He has good touch from outside and isn't afraid of slashing to the basket and finishing at the tin. He goes through flashes of inconsistency from time to time, but those will go away as he continues to mature.
The Rockets would also benefit here, even if losing Parsons will be a tough pill to swallow. Assuming no other major moves are made via free agency or trades, a Big Three of James Harden, Dwight Howard and Love would easily make Houston one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference.
This would make the Rockets a much deeper team. Terrence Jones, a power forward likely best suited for the bench, can assume a rotational role for head coach Kevin McHale.
The addition of Love would make the Rockets an even more dynamic team from outside. The amount of space Love will create in the middle by stepping out to the perimeter will allow Howard to have his way in the paint.
As a potential deal that could benefit both teams, it's worth keeping an eye on.
The Rockets figure to be busy this offseason. If the Love deal doesn't work out, the Rockets could look to go after big-name free agents. To do so, they'll need to clear some cap space. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck reports that they have a deal in place regarding Jeremy Lin if they need to make it happen:
Rival exec tells me Rockets already have a Jeremy Lin deal lined up and ready to execute if they need the cap room to sign Melo or LBJ.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 26, 2014
As I noted yesterday, Rockets plan to keep Lin unless they get a commitment from one of their top FA targets. But Lin deal is ready to go.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 26, 2014
Houston didn't reveal the name of the team they have apparently agreed to a deal with, but a likely suitor might be the Warriors.
Golden State was where Lin got his start in the NBA. Lin only played 9.8 minutes per game with the team in his lone season there. If you remember, "Linsanity" broke out in Madison Square Garden the following year.
Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Warriors might actually be interested in a reunion:
The Warriors, per a league source, have informed the Houston they would consider acquiring Lin from the Rockets via trade. Houston is reportedly shopping Lin in case they need to create cap space for Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.
The Warriors have a $9.8 million trade exception leftover from the trade that sent Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract to Utah. Though Lin is scheduled to make $14.9 million, only $8.37 will count against the salary cap. That means the Warriors can absorb Lin’s contract without giving up any players.
As a member of the Warriors, Lin would likely excel as the first guard off the bench. He won't start because of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but I firmly believe that Lin does better in a bench role than he does as a starter.
Lin is dynamic and provides energy when on the court. It's not an energy level he can keep up for 30 minutes per game, though, and that's how injuries often set in. In 20 or so minutes per night, Lin can excel.
Will Andrew Wiggins signal the end of Dion Waiters' career as a member of the Cavaliers?
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted that some executives see GM David Griffin moving Waiters during the offseason:
David Griffin said he sees Andrew Wiggins as "a big two-guard" on Friday, which has some execs believing Cavs may look to move Dion Waiters.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 1, 2014
Waiters has proved to be a valuable player in two years in the league, averaging 15.3 points and a 34.2 three-point percentage. He's a very good shooting guard that is capable of making plays for himself and his teammates, evidenced by his 3.0 assists per game during his career.
That said, he's quite the headache. Back in January, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote, "the whispers from other players growing tired of his act seem to be growing louder."
If Waiters is a chemistry problem, then it makes a ton of sense to trade him. The last thing a young team needs is a player who prevents the group from reaching success. Kyrie Irving and Wiggins give Cleveland a strong core to work with. Waiters can bring in a young asset or draft picks to continue building around.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR