This summer is set to be one of the most exciting in years for NBA fans, as a bunch of free agents are prepared to make moves that will greatly affect the future of the league.
While all eyes are on LeBron James, he has been relatively quiet at the start of the free-agent period. Fortunately, there are a bunch of other big-time players who are already touring the country, looking for potential destinations that represent a good fit.
Each of these players have multiple suitors, which also means that all of them will bring home a nice paycheck by the end of the offseason.
Here is a look at the latest buzz surrounding some of the top free agents on the market.
Although he is not necessarily a household name, Gordon Hayward has shown throughout the years that he is capable of becoming an elite player in this league. He has improved his scoring totals every season in his four-year career, averaging 16.2 points to go with 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game this year.
This makes it no surprise that plenty of teams are interested in signing the Utah Jazz's restricted free agent.
Windhorst points out that the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to give him a max contract:
Chris Towers of CBS Sports breaks down about how much this would cost the organization, noting that the price is different for each player:
Cavs believed to be preparing a max offer sheet for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, sources said. Yahoo reported he is visiting today— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 2, 2014
While this would be a lot of money, he would be a perfect fit as a versatile player who can make everyone around him better. Add him to a lineup of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao and now Andrew Wiggins, and this team could be a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
However, getting him will not be easy. Jody Genessy of the Deseret News points out that the Phoenix Suns are also interested in making a big offer for the former Butler star. However, general manager Dennis Lindsey will not let him go without a fight:
We’re really pleased with Gordon, who he is, who he’s become as a player. We think that he’s got some unique skills. We think Coach (Quin) Snyder’s system will bring out some of the skills he’s already shown, maybe even to a greater degree. We anticipate that Gordon will be with the Jazz for a long time.
Utah will have the chance to match any offer for Gordon as a restricted free agent. Even as the price continues to rise, this seems like the most likely scenario.
The good news for the guard is that the higher the offer from opposing squads, the more money he will bring in from his own team if he ends up staying.
Hayward's max is 4/~$63. Kyrie's was 5/~$90. Big difference there.— Chris Towers (@CTowersCBS) July 2, 2014
Whenever you have a chance to bring in one of the top scorers in the game, teams will figure out a way to bring him on board.
Carmelo Anthony will use the next few days and weeks to be wooed by as many teams as possible before making a decision about his future. Ian Begley of ESPN New York breaks down the teams with a legitimate shot of signing the All-Star:
The Chicago Bulls got the first visit with free agent Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday. But the New York Knicks expect to get the last.
The Knicks expect to meet with Anthony after he concludes visits with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers this week, sources say.
The Bulls were certainly happy about their presentation, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
Meanwhile, every other team involved also thinks they have a good chance of landing Anthony. However, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo provided a look at what the 30-year-old player is looking for in a new team:
Source who's at dinner with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau and others said that Bulls' pitch is "going great."— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 2, 2014
New York City might be a great draw as far as a living situation and the ability to remain a superstar, but the Knicks are clearly far away from a championship. On the other hand, the Bulls or Rockets could be legitimate contenders with the addition of Anthony.
If the forward truly wants to win a title, going to one of these two locations would probably be the best decision he could make.
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