NBA free agency has been slow moving in comparison to NHL free agency, but the sheer volume of rumors we've had to sift through during these past few weeks has been enough to keep us waiting for the pen to hit paper.
We've had a few players sign on the dotted line so far. Marcin Gortat inked a monster contract with the Washington Wizards, Kyrie Irving agreed to a max contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Darren Collison signed a relatively big deal with the Sacramento Kings, reports Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Other players have also signed, but the three above deals represent the most notable thus far. Who else will sign in the coming days? Where will the NBA's top free agents land?
We don't have answers to those questions just yet, but below you'll find a few of the latest rumors surrounding a strong crop of free agents.
Carmelo Anthony has been one of the most talked-about free agents since he hit the open market, and the Chicago Bulls were thought to be one of his potential destinations. If the report by former point guard Kenny Anderson is true, then we might have to cross the Bulls off the list:
My sources say Melo not happy with offer bulls made it may be over Knicks fans can relaxs— Kenny Anderson (@chibbs_1) July 2, 2014
As we know, the Bulls apparently pulled out all the stops to impress Melo during his visit to Chicago. Marc Berman of the New York Post broke down the scene in Chi-town:
When Anthony emerged from a black van surrounded by a police escort, he was greeted by the United Center video marquee that had him pictured in a white-and-red Bulls uniform. Large electronic pictures of him in a Bulls jersey alongside a championship trophy hung on the sides of the arena. There were “Carmelo Anthony’’ and “Melo’’ video boards on the arena’s facing.
Anderson is aware that Anthony has multiple suitors attempting to court him this offseason, but he provided his choice for a dark-horse team that could swoop in and grab him:
Lakers might be dark horse don't sleep !— Kenny Anderson (@chibbs_1) July 2, 2014
Anthony will end up going to the team with the best mix of talent and money offered. Having never seen consistency in the playoffs during his career, it's time for Melo to seek a team that can help him reach the NBA Finals.
The Bulls offer that possibility, but apparently the money isn't there. If Anderson's sources are correct, then Chicago must step up its dollars in order to land its prize.
Isaiah Thomas is one of the best point guards on the market, and his numbers from last season for the Kings (20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game) are going to net him a nice deal somewhere.
While he's yet to sign anywhere, Thomas has been offered a contract by the Detroit Pistons, reports NBA.com:
A restricted free agent, Thomas might still wind up back with the Kings. Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee tweeted that the Kings still like Thomas as a talented player off the bench:
The Kings like Thomas as a 6th man, so they still could match an offer and keep him in that role.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 3, 2014
But is a sixth man worth $8 million per season? That's what the Kings will have to shell out to match Detroit's offer.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger tweets that the Kings aren't worried about their point guard situation given the signing of Collison:
If Thomas' offer sheet comes in too high, Kings have a replacement. If they decide to match, they can keep both by stretching Jason Terry.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 3, 2014
Thomas still might not have reached his full potential, so $8 million per year seems reasonable if that's the deal he signs. Of course, the Pistons likely view him as more than a sixth man. With the potential to drop 20 per night, Thomas is definitely more than that.
No longer is Vince Carter a perennial All-Star, but the former high-flyer still has a massive following this offseason. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets that Carter has multiple teams lined up with interest:
Mavericks badly want to re-sign Vince Carter, per source. Carter is receiving interest from a lot of teams though (MIA, POR, TOR, OKC, etc.)— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 1, 2014
The 37-year-old doesn't have too much left in the tank, but he can still be a valuable rotational player in the right system. He probably only has two years left, and that's the type of deal I bet he looks for during negotiations.
No longer a human highlight reel like he was with the Toronto Raptors and then-New Jersey Nets, Carter has evolved into a three-point threat and solid defender. He won't give you 20-plus points a night, but he can give you 20-plus solid minutes off the bench.
Carter is a good piece for teams close to contention, hence the interest from the aforementioned teams.
A reunion with the Raptors would be interesting, if only to see Carter back in the city where he got his start. That said, it remains to be seen just how interested the Raptors are in bringing him back.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR