The 2013-14 NBA season is just a week from tipping off, but that has not deterred general managers around the league from tinkering with their rosters and attempting to make moves before the upcoming campaign gets underway.
Every transaction that could help a franchise win would be worth it, and many of these front-office mavens are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to oust the Miami Heat and win an NBA championship next spring.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz on possible trades, contract extensions and more in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
Gordon Hayward Primed for Extension
The Utah Jazz have a budding star on their hands in Gordon Hayward, and the young swingman seems to soon be headed for riches with a potential contract extension.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, there are rumbles that the 23-year-old will receive a new deal before the Oct. 31 deadline on extensions.
Stein also noted that the Jazz have publicly acknowledged that talks are ongoing, although the organization wouldn’t shed any more light on the subject.
Sources are indicating, however, that Hayward could receive more money than the four-year, $49 million deal that Derrick Favors inked last week.
Under his current contract, the youngster would become a restricted free agent next summer and be a top target for a number of rival franchises.
Hayward is heading into his fourth season with the Jazz and holds career averages of 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He’s steadily improved in each of his first three years in the league and has developed into a tenacious defender capable of guarding multiple positions.
At 6’8”, 215 pounds, Hayward has the size, speed, athleticism and skill to become a standout star in this league and deserves to be well compensated.
Lakers Yet to Pull Trigger on Deal
The Los Angeles Lakers remain one of the most intriguing teams in the entire NBA, but they have had a relatively quiet offseason—outside of Dwight Howard’s defection—compared to last year’s surge of signings and trades.
FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico previously reported that the Lakers were attempting to pull off a “substantial” trade prior to the start of the 2013-14 campaign. Pau Gasol, the veteran big man playing out the last year of his contract, has the potential to be the centerpiece—but nothing has come to fruition with the clock ticking down.
It seems more likely that the Lakers go to war with what they have on the roster and hope that the return of Kobe Bryant is enough to compete in the West, but that doesn’t mean we should completely count the team out of making a blockbuster deal.
As Amico noted, Gasol is thought to be far from untouchable, and there are a handful of organizations that the 33-year-old Spaniard could assist. His $19-plus million contract is L.A.’s best trading chip at this juncture and quite valuable to both rebuilding teams and squads looking for another piece to get to the next level.
Don’t be surprised if more rumors concerning Gasol heat up sooner than later, especially if the Lakers struggle out of the gate.