NBA: Rumor Time!

Michael McGowanSenior Analyst IJune 15, 2008

As we listen to the terrible commentary for the NBA Finals and watch Kobe Bryant destroy his relationship with his team in trying to avoid to inevitable loss to the Celtics, I thought maybe we could talk some rumors about the upcoming NBA offseason. 

Of course this is all just talk, since no teams are allowed to make real moves yet. But it is still a ton of fun.

There are some teams that may really be looking to make over their squad because they feel like their talent has peaked.  Detroit is one of them.  They may actually move one of the centerpieces of their team—while trying to not lose a step in the Eastern Conference. 

Both Dallas and Denver may also be doing the same.  Rumors out of Denver have management possibly calling the Allen Iverson-Carmelo Anthony experiment a failure, and moving one of two players. 

George Karl may be turning to his former team, the Bucks.  Karl wants Michael Redd.  Anthony and Redd would match up, salary-wise, and such a deal could be beneficial for both teams.  If Iverson is ready to be the leader, while letting Redd do his thing, they could be dangerous next year. 

Denver could also be thinking about sending Iverson to the Bucks for Redd, but the Bucks would then have to include Charlie Villanueva or Desmond Mason. 

Denver could lose some fans if they lose Anthony, but word out of Denver is they are sick of his attitude and latest legal problems.  Available Nuggets right now are Nene, Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby, Anthony—and maybe, Iverson. 

The Bucks will trade either Redd or Mo Williams.  Miami may call for Williams. 

Detroit is also contacting Denver—mostly to see if they can find a replacement for Rasheed Wallace if they trade him, or to grab a scorer like Carmelo in exchange for Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, or Chauncey Billups. 

Next—word is that injury-prone Tracy McGrady may be available.  Can that be true?  The Rockets had a great stretch that started with Yao, but lasted because of Tracy McGrady.   This seems to be just speculation.

One thing these NBA Finals have shown is that the Celtics are not just the Big Three.  They have had great bench play all year. 

That is the good news. The bad news is that PJ Brown, James Posey, and Eddie House are all unrestricted free agents.  Posey will opt out, according to his agent, PJ may retire, and Eddie House could come back. 

So who has money this year to sign pretty much whomever they want?  Well, maybe three teams—but when it comes down to it, only two.  Memphis and Philadelphia both have around $12 million to spend.  Washington does too, but they will have to try and sign Gilbert Arenas and/or Antawn Jamison. 

Gilbert wants to be maxed out, after filing the paperwork to opt out of his contract last week.  Washington will be done after they spend that kind of cash, and may be able to sign a mid-level free agent. 

Teams can go over the salary cap to re-sign their own player, but can not go over to sign new free agents—unless using an exception. 

Some other teams could jump into the frenzy, if their players opt out.  For example, Miami is around the salary cap, but Shawn Marion could opt out of his deal—putting Miami under the cap, big time.  Players like Marion would be crazy to opt out, because with so many teams at or over the cap, they can not offer these players more money.

Elton Brand is looking to stay, or go, or stay—no, wait, now he wants to go.  Brand was on the radio in Philadelphia last week saying he would love to be in Philly, and he has connections in north Delaware.  He told the station to have Philly call his agent. 

Brand would be that front court scorer the Sixers need, with Sammy Dalembert and Reggie Evans both playing great defense but having graduated from the Dennis Rodman school for scoring.

Miami and Chicago are being talked about in the same sentence because of their top positions in the upcoming draft.  But they may also make a trade with each other, depending on who gets picked. 

If Chicago takes Rose, then they could send Kirk Hinrich to Miami for Udonis Haslem, while Miami takes Beasley and the need for a starting point guard. 

Miami is looking to make moves anyway they can.  They want to win now, and rebuild quickly like Boston, not like Atlanta.  They want this team back on track now, or Shawn Marion could be gone very quickly.  If they fail, his $17.4 million could be very valuable come the trade deadline—or even as early as the start of the season.

The NBA Draft is right around the corner, and so is this very exciting and possibly very busy off-season.