The 2014 NBA offseason has been full of surprises, but there are still several free agents left on the open market who could have an impact on teams in contention.
With potential game changers like Ray Allen, Michael Beasley and Greg Monroe still available, prospective teams with salary cap room will continue to kick the tires on these free agents.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding the top remaining free agents.
Ray Allen Considering a Move to Cleveland?
One of the biggest names left on the market is shooting guard Ray Allen. After coming up just short in the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, the 39-year-old star is drawing interest from several teams.
There were reports that Allen was mulling retirement, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly come calling.
According to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, Cleveland could be looking to add Allen to the roster as a way of bolstering depth and familiarity for newly signed free agent LeBron James:
Former Celtic and Heat standout Ray Allen is leaning towards returning for a 19th NBA season and joining former teammate LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a league source.
Allen, who turned 39 Sunday, has been pondering retirement since the Heat lost in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs last month. But James, along with ex-Heat swingman Mike Miller, who signed with the Cavaliers earlier this month, have been lobbying Allen to join them with the resurrected franchise.
There are few who will question the fact that Allen has lost a step, but he is still one of the greatest three-point shooters in the history of the sport and a great presence off the bench and in the locker room.
Allen still managed to put up 9.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.5 minutes per game last season, and proved to be the outside shooter the team needed in key moments. Add in three-point specialist Mike Miller—he signed with Cleveland earlier this month—and the Cavaliers would have one less area of concern to address.
If Cleveland somehow pulls off the Kevin Love trade and moves 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, via Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the need for another shooting guard will be a glaring weakness. Bringing in Allen would be the ideal short-term solution.
Los Angeles Lakers Interested in Michael Beasley?
The Los Angeles Lakers have undergone major changes this offseason using the draft and free agency, but the franchise could be looking to add another piece to the puzzle before the preseason begins.
One player the team is reportedly interested in is small forward Michael Beasley.
In a report from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, he talks about the interest the former No. 2 overall pick is drawing and how the Lakers have the inside lane to land him under an affordable deal:
Beasley has not lived up to the expectations placed on a player selected as high as he was, but he has been bounced around the league during his short time in the NBA. While he wasn’t given the time to shine last season with Miami (started just two games and averaged 15.1 minutes per game), he still has an offensive presence and can attack the boards when motivated.
The key for Los Angeles would be to keep him working hard on and off the court.
During the 2010-11 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Beasley was a dominant player who looked to be living up to the hype. Not only did he start all 73 games he played in during the regular season, but he also amassed 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Beasley would have to continue playing off the bench if he signed with the Lakers, but with Nick Young and Wesley Johnson ahead of him on the depth chart, he could easily play himself into more minutes if he finds a rhythm and proves to his team that he will play hard.
Greg Monroe Stuck with Detroit?
Restricted free agent and Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe is one of the most promising young stars in the league, but he is still available to any team with the money that is willing to sign an offer sheet.
Unfortunately for Monroe, there are few teams with the right combination of salary cap room and desire to make a long-term commitment.
According to Nick Borges of ESPN.com, the Philadelphia 76ers were one of the few teams who could afford to make an offer, but they have chosen not to do so, leaving Detroit in the driver's seat:
Detroit Pistons restricted free agent Greg Monroe has yet to see an offer worth accepting and his options are limited with only the Philadelphia 76ers having enough salary cap room to extend a high-dollar offer sheet. The Sixers have no plans to do that, so Monroe needs to work out a long-term deal with the Pistons or sign the qualifying offer. Accepting the qualifying offer is something Monroe might do if negotiations drag on.
At only 24 years old, the Pistons should be doing whatever they can to re-sign Monroe to a long-term deal. The lack of real interest on the open market will put Detroit in a better negotiating position, but the team should be looking to keep him on board as part of the game plan.
While much of the focus since James signed with Cleveland has been the potential trade for Love, Monroe is another player who can score and rebound with the best of them. Last season, he averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Locking Monroe up to an extension should be the Pistons' next order of business this offseason, but any team with the salary cap room should be willing to make an offer for a player with as much upside as Monroe.
*Stats via NBA.com.