More than a month into NBA free agency, and there are still a slew of notable players and stars on the market to choose from as teams round out their rosters.
Whether it be Greg Monroe or Eric Bledsoe, the market is still rich with players worthy of a max deal—or very close to it. Whether it is aspirations to play elsewhere or a larger offer desired, these players remain without a contract as the season draws nearer.
Don't forget to keep an eye on role players like Shawn Marion, Ray Allen and others still available who could make a big impact on championship contenders during the 2014-15 season.
Here's a look at the latest rumors in free agency, along with predictions for each player noted.
It figured to be a long offseason for Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons as the two sides try to work out the future of the restricted free agent. And in that regard, it has not disappointed.
With the calendar turning over to August, the idea that Monroe wants to move on to greener pastures hasn't quelled over a month into free agency. In fact, Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski went on Aime Mukendi Jr.'s podcast to make that clear.
Here's a transcript of Wojnarowski's comments:
Detroit has tried to help him with some sign-and-trade possibilities around the league. Monroe doesn’t really have a great interest in going back and playing with the Pistons. But if they’re going to move him in a sign-and-trade, they’ve got to get value for him. And they’ve got to get back some significant players, some significant talent, to compensate for that loss. They haven’t been able to find a deal for him.
Stan Van Gundy is now running basketball operations in Detroit. Surely, the thought of continuing to pair Monroe with budding star Andre Drummond in the post is enough to make Monroe valued for the Pistons moving forward.
Drummond certainly wants that and even told USA Today's Vince Ellis that he was "pretty sure" Monroe would return to the Pistons when the offseason concludes.
But if it's a change of scenery that Monroe desires, then there's not much the Pistons can do—other than get the proper return for him, of course.
As a restricted free agent, Monroe won't leave Detroit unless another team signs him and the Pistons don't match the offer. This late into the period, most contenders targeting players of Monroe's ability don't have the cap space to move for him—or the talent the Pistons would want in a sign-and-trade.
With plenty of cap space and no true replacement in the fold, Detroit will do all it can to keep its big man in the Motor City. After that, it's up to the Pistons roster to prove Monroe can achieve his aspirations there.
Prediction: Monroe re-signs with Pistons on one-year deal
Former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley has gone from a budding star to a targeted role player to a free-agent regular, but not lost among NBA front offices is the potential of the 25-year-old.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one team taking a very close look at the free agent, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin:
The Los Angeles Lakers are considering signing free-agent forward Michael Beasley and brought in the six-year veteran for a workout at their El Segundo, California, practice facility Wednesday, according to multiple sources.
'[Beasley] looked very good and he has been working out,' one source said. 'A tiny rust from layoff, but [he] did a good job.'
It goes without saying that there is plenty of risk involved with signing Beasley—a player who has shown an incredible amount of inconsistency both on and off the court.
But for a team like the Lakers, such a move would be far from boneheaded.
After swinging and missing in free agency, L.A. has added pieces like Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer to surround Kobe Bryant. There are impact players like Nick Young around but still plenty of room for Beasley to make his impact.
There are deficiencies to Beasley's game, but his ability to score the ball and have big games is well documented. With a disciplinarian like Byron Scott now at the helm, Beasley and the Lakers looks like a decent fit.
Prediction: Beasley signs with Lakers on short-term deal
After a few decent outings late in the 2013-14 season, an unheralded guard buried on the New York Knicks roster is getting another look from the team.
Toure Murry is being considered by the Knicks as an option to re-sign, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley. But they aren't the only team courting him.
Per Begley, the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz are also in play for Murry.
The 24-year-old went undrafted out of Wichita State in 2012 but got onto the Knicks roster entering last season after showing out in the D-League. He only averaged 2.7 points per game but finished with 24 combined points in the season's last two games.
Murry won't do much to threaten the playing time of Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith at the 2, but having a player of Murry's caliber on the bench waiting for his chance is never a bad thing.
With Carmelo Anthony's return and the addition of Jose Calderon, the Knicks aren't in a bad position entering 2014-15, and that should make Murry's decision even easier.
Prediction: Murray re-signs with Knicks on two-year deal
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