NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Michael Beasley, Eric Bledsoe and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 16: Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns in a game against the Sacramento Kings on April16, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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With the start of the NBA season still a long way away, front offices are doing anything they can to improve for the upcoming year. 

Some teams are using this period to lock up their own players, while others are trying to bring in final pieces that can help get the squad to the playoffs and beyond. Fans should also stay on their toes, because a blockbuster trade could go down at any time.

There are plenty of important transactions still to come this summer, and here are the latest rumors surrounding some that might happen soon.


Michael Beasley to the Lakers?

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against David West #21 of the Indiana Pacers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 28, 2014 in Ind
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Despite seeing his production drop last season, Michael Beasley could be in line for a new job this year.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald first reported that the Miami Heat were "non-committal" about re-signing the forward.

Obviously, Beasley is not going to just sit around and wait for Miami to complete a deal when there are other interested parties, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Lakers brought the former No. 2 pick in for a workout:

McMenamin also quoted a source who said, "[Beasley] looked very good and he has been working out. A tiny rust from layoff, but [he] did a good job."

Beasley averaged only 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game last season, but he was more efficient than usual in his limited time. His field-goal percentage of 49.9 was the highest of his career, and he made big plays off the bench for the Eastern Conference champions.

If he decides to join the Lakers, he should get a lot more playing time and will hopefully continue improving his all-around play. On a squad without too many go-to players outside of Kobe Bryant, Beasley could average close to 15-20 points per game.

As long as Los Angeles does not commit too many years to the inconsistent player, this could be a good deal for both sides.


Eric Bledsoe Cannot Complete a Deal with Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 28:  Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game against the New York Knicks at US Airways Center on March 28, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Knicks 112-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Eric Bledsoe was everything the Phoenix Suns could have hoped for in his first season with the team. 

The guard was finally given a chance to start after three years of backing up Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers. He responded with an average of 17.7 points and 5.5 assists per game, and he almost helped lead the Suns to the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the restricted free agent has still not completed a new deal. According to Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet, this is not something that will be resolved any time soon:

According to league sources, an “ominous development” has arisen with sides still “very far apart” in contract negotiations. It has even escalated to the point where the “relationship is on the express lane to being ruined,” a source with knowledge of the situation informed

ESPN's Chris Broussard previously reported the details about what each side was looking for in the negotiation:

In most cases, a restricted free agent can sign an offer sheet from another team, which would force the original franchise to either match or let him go. However, the fact that the Suns are willing to match almost any offer has forced teams to avoid the entire process.

As a result, the remaining option is to sign a qualifying offer and then become an unrestricted free agent next season. Moke Hamilton of recommends this option for both Bledsoe and Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons:

If Bledsoe becomes a free agent next season, he will likely be able to get the money he feels he deserves on the open market. He will also have the option of sticking in Phoenix if he so desires.

There is a risk if he suffers an injury, but this appears to be the smartest option for Bledsoe.


J.J. Barea Heading out of Minnesota

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 14: J.J. Barea #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game against the Golden State Warriors on April 14, 2014 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or usi
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been making plenty of headlines as they attempt to complete a trade involving Kevin Love. However, the All-Star power forward might not be the only one leaving town.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the addition of Mo Williams could signal the end of J.J. Barea's time with the Timberwolves:

Williams held out for more and found it with the Wolves, who have been shopping guard J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved in advance of this signing to ease a logjam in their backcourt.

The Wolves, sources said, have been looking to shed the contracts of swingman Kevin Martin or Barea in any Kevin Love trade.

Darren Wolfson of notes the point guard could end up in Philadelphia when all is said and done:

Barea has been a solid reserve guard for the Timberwolves over the past three seasons, averaging 10.1 points and 4.3 assists per game in that stretch. However, his inconsistent play and poor shooting have caused fans to turn against him.

Zach Harper of CBS Sports argues this as a reason Barea needs to leave:

At 30 years old, the guard still has the ability to be a quality backup in the NBA, but it seems to be about time for him to do it with a new team.


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