NBA Rumors Roundup: Latest on Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Nene and More

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2011

NBA Rumors Roundup: Latest on Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Nene and More

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    Leading up to the 2011-2012 free agency period, Chris Paul trade talks are dominating NBA rumors.

    New Orleans appears determined not to endure its own version of the Carmelo Anthony saga that played out in Denver last season, and that could very well mean the Hornets deal Paul prior to Game 1.

    There are several intriguing big names being tossed around in trades and other notable contributors being heavily courted to sign with a new team, and there are a lot of possibilities as to what could transpire.

Grant Hill

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    Hill was expected to re-sign in Phoenix prior to the lockout, but he's received interest around the league, and that is no longer as sure of an outcome as predicted.

    New York would love to bring in the veteran as its starting shooting guard, and now Hill might be "leaning toward" signing with the Knicks.

    In addition to starting at shooting guard, Hill would also likely see some time at small forward behind Carmelo Anthony, because the Knicks have a fair amount of guards already on the roster.

Mike Miller

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    There is growing momentum for Miller to be an amnesty cut casualty, but despite recent hernia surgery, it doesn't sound like Miami is considering going that route right now.

    The Heat would love to get an opportunity to examine what the team is capable of doing with everybody healthy, and Miller is not going to be on a new team any time soon.

    Miami would still have to pay him even if he were to be cut, so it makes sense to bring him back and see what he can contribute before making a decision.

Jamal Crawford

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    Crawford is one free agent who doesn't get talked about enough, and he really has the chance to be a difference-maker if he were to land in the right spot.

    His reported preference is to head to Chicago in a sign-and-trade deal built around Ronnie Brewer, but the Hawks may not have interest in taking back such a package.

    If it doesn't work out with the Bulls, Crawford will entertain signing with a handful of other clubs, and he'll have no trouble whatsoever landing a multi-year deal to his liking.

Shannon Brown

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    Brown is going to find an offer that will price him out of Los Angeles, and some team is going to overpay him to play the biggest role in his career thus far.

    It would be surprising to see him take less money than he could generate elsewhere and join the Miami bench, but the Heat have had in-depth conversations with his agent about bringing him aboard.

    His athleticism is exciting to watch, but he has to be a better decision maker with the ball in his hands before he can tap into his real potential.

J.J. Barea

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    Barea would love to return to Dallas and continue his career with the Mavericks, but the team is offering just a one-year deal to the pint-sized point guard—and that's not enough to get a deal done.

    The Mavericks are angling to retain cap flexibility prior to the 2012 offseason. With Barea almost guaranteed to get at least two years elsewhere, it's hard to imagine him being back with the club.

    He emerged as a fan favorite during the postseason and played an integral role for Dallas, so it will be interesting to see how he's replaced and where he lands next.

Thaddeus Young

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    Young is one of the more underrated free agents available because he's restricted, but that doesn't mean he won't switch teams as a result.

    His athleticism shouldn't be overlooked; with youth on his side, he could really make a gigantic impact if he's given the opportunity for an increased role.

    The Nuggets have a ton of cap space to use, and after losing Wilson Chandler to China for the season, Young would really slide in well along the front line.

Samuel Dalembert

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    Dalembert is one of the best centers available, and the Houston Rockets have a major need for size in the middle with Yao Ming retired and Chuck Hayes hitting free agency.

    The Rockets appear committed to getting a sizable upgrade inside, and a defensively oriented center like Dalembert is exactly what the club could use.

    It wouldn't be a shock to see an agreement come together shortly after the free agency period officially begins.

Michael Redd

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    Redd needs to rebuild his stock after two consecutive ACL tears in the same knee, and he'll be looking to land a single-season deal to do exactly that.

    There is belief that he'll attempt to join a contender as a scorer off the bench, and the Mavericks could make an appealing offer to upgrade the second unit.

    A deal might work out well for both parties if Redd can show he's healthy, but that's a huge "if" considering his recent history.

Tracy McGrady

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    McGrady is another veteran scorer looking for a new home, and although he hasn't ruled out a return to the Pistons, it's unlikely a rebuilding Detroit team has a place for him on the roster.

    The Hawks might be interested in bringing him aboard to bolster the scoring in the reserve unit since the club is likely to lose Jamal Crawford in free agency, although he wouldn't play exactly the same role Crawford did for the club.

    It would probably be another one-year deal so McGrady can show teams that his comeback is for real, and he may play a bigger role than expected if he does sign in Atlanta.

Reggie Williams

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    Williams found his niche as a scorer with Golden State last season when asked to assume a starting role, but that doesn't make him a lock to return with the youth currently on the Warriors roster.

    The Bobcats could really use a lot of help on the offensive end, and the team has expressed an interest in signing him to play a role as a scorer in the reserve unit.

    There's definitely nothing imminent, but it makes sense for the team to explore anybody who could potentially contribute.


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    Nene rumors have been flying left and right about where might land next, but it's still entirely possible that he doesn't go anywhere at all.

    The Nuggets can offer him a five-year contract, and as long as the team does that, there seems to be a growing feeling that Nene would be willing to return to Denver.

    The team's front line would be absolutely depleted if he leaves, and that could play a strong factor in the offer the team decides to present him.

Rajon Rondo

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    Remember when Danny Ainge said he wasn't shopping Rajon Rondo? He's a terrible poker player.

    Whether or not the front office is ready to admit it, the team is clearly shopping Rondo in an effort to land Chris Paul, and Ainge is well aware that this is the final season his team can make a realistic title push with its current core.

    However, if the Celtics fail to land Paul and Rondo doesn't wind up being dealt, Ainge is going to have to enter full blown damage control mode, and these consistent rumors surrounding Rondo's name could really backfire.

    There is a report that the Celtics and Hornets actually agreed to a trade for Paul, but his unwillingness to sign an extension squashed the potential for it to come to fruition.

Chris Paul

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    What team is going to win the CP3 sweepstakes?

    It is becoming obvious that the Hornets would like to end this soap opera before the entire plot has a chance to play out in full, and the team is looking to take the best offer on the table in order to rebuild the roster going forward.

    The Celtics are dangling Rondo, but the Warriors and Clippers present enticing packages centered around Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon (if those teams will part with those players), and both of those players are legitimate candidates for the Hornets to build around.

    If Boston doesn't see Rondo as "the guy" to build the next team around, why would a New Orleans team that is desperate for offensive production hold a different view?