If the early rumors of teams' unhappiness with their current rosters or star Carmelo Anthony's possible interest in joining the Chicago Bulls are any indication, it is going to be a busy offseason.
With just days left in the NBA regular season, teams are either gearing up for the playoffs or for an offseason of change that will help them get to the playoffs. So, it should be no surprise that the rumor mill is already getting cranked up.
Let's dive into some of the latest and most interesting buzz. First, in case all of your thoughts are not yet fixed on the playoffs, this video will get you pumped up for the postseason:
Carmelo a Bull?
Anthony, a free agent this offseason, has caused a bit of stir by reportedly asking a simple and perhaps innocuous question. Frank Isola reported in the New York Daily News that Melo asked a former Bulls player, "What is it like to play for Thibs?"
Unless that player has played for two coaches with the nickname "Thibs," Anthony was asking about Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. This report quickly caught people's attention. Have a look at this tweet from Sports Mockery:
Isola is quick to point out how this may in no way reflect a desire to leave New York. Anthony could just be curious about Thibs' style while preparing to play for him as a member of Team USA.
Of course, considering he is a free agent and his current team just missed the playoffs, he could be doing his homework on teams he may like to join.
The thought of Anthony on the Bulls is indeed intriguing. The Bulls are currently tied for the No. 3 seed in the East, and have done so without the services of star point guard Derrick Rose. This tweet from NYT Sports passes along the potential possibilities of this pairing:
Before Knicks fans start dreading the thought of Anthony in a Bulls uniform whooping up on them, let's remember this is Carmelo Anthony and Tom Thibodeau we're talking about. There is a chance that Anthony heard the answer of the former Bulls player on the defensive-minded coach and thought, "Well, that sounds awful."
Of course, there are other teams to worry about. Anthony won't be hurting for lack of attention this offseason, and Isola mentions that the Lakers and Rockets are also expected to make a run at Anthony.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is not going to sit idly by while...anything happens. The owner who doesn't mind being in the spotlight appears to be a little salty over the fact that his team has not been a postseason participant since the departure of a certain superstar named LeBron James four seasons ago.
Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico hit fans with this report:
Still, Gilbert is clearly agitated after a disappointing season that will end with the Cavs failing to qualify for the playoffs a fourth straight year. One source said regardless of who is named GM, "they will make a major deal" this summer. Read: The owner is not a fan of the Cavs' roster as currently constructed.
I understand Gilbert's desire to improve his team, but perhaps this is not the best strategy entering the offseason. If Gilbert wants to hire a competent general manager who possess his own vision of success, dictating the moves that GM will be making is not a good way to start.
At any rate, it is hard to see who the Cavs would involve in a major deal. They don't have a lot of players good enough to be worthy of being the focus of a major deal.
It feels safe to assume that point guard Kyrie Irving is protected. Shooting guard Dion Waiters is the logical choice, except that, according to Amico, teammates have come to respect and rally around Waiters as the season has progressed.
I suppose Loul Deng could be a featured piece in a major deal, but he is a free agent, and according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Terry Pluto, the Cavs aren't even preparing that fair of an offer for him.
It will be interesting to see how the Cavs handle all of this.
Lakers Meek Interest in Free Agency
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to have cap room this offseason, and after an embarrassing season for the storied franchise, big changes are likely on the horizon.
Still, it doesn't look like they are intent on cleaning the entire house. One of the lone bright spots for the Lakers this season has been the play of guard Jodie Meeks.
Meeks is set to be a free agent this offseason, but he may not be going anywhere. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports the Lakers would like to bring him back, saying: "The Lakers are interested in Meeks, 26, a soon-to-be free agent who is paid $1.6 million in a league whose average salary is $5.5 million. He's interested in them, too."
Meeks is one of just three Lakers who managed to play in at least 70 games this season, and he is the only one to do so while playing more than 21 minutes per game.
He averages 15.7 points per game, third on the team, and is shooting 46 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc. Bresnahan passed along this quote from Meeks:
When I signed here two years ago, I told my family that I would love to be here the rest of my career. Learning from great players—Kobe [Bryant], Pau Gasol, and at the time, Dwight [Howard], Steve Nash. Obviously, I want to be here and it's a great organization and I love playing here.
But on the flip side it's a business. Both sides have to do what they do.
Meeks earned $1.45 million this year and is due a big raise. The Lakers surely realize this and will make him a fair offer to return. Unless a team comes in and blows Meeks away with a lucrative offer, I expect him to return.