NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Dwight Howard, Tyreke Evans and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Although some of the top free agents have come off the market in the last two days, there's still plenty of business to be done. 

The free agents still available on the market are more likely to be added to rosters for depth purposes, but they still hold importance in the eyes of their potential suitors. 

Veteran players like Dwight Howard and Tyreke Evans have had their names mentioned in the rumor mill lately, as have some young prospects looking to take their games to the next level in a new location. 

Below is a look at the latest buzz swirling around the NBA free-agent market.   

      

Dwight Howard Generating Interest from a Few Teams 

With some of the top available big men off the market, more attention will turn toward Dwight Howard. 

Howard's bounced around from team to team in recent years, but he's still a valuable asset if he's at 100 percent. 

The Golden State Warriors are out of the picture now that they have DeMarcus Cousins, which leaves teams like the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards in play. 

USA Today's Sam Amick mentioned on the HoopsHype podcast the Pelicans and Wizards have shown interest, while a return to the Lakers is on his radar, as HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy pointed out: 

The Pelicans have a need to fill down low with Cousins gone as a complement to Anthony Davis, while the Wizards are in search of a center after trading Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

The Lakers are a peculiar option for Howard, as it would land him with an interesting cast of characters around LeBron James. 

JaVale McGee isn't good enough to be the singular option down low for James, which opens the door for Howard. 

Bringing in a 14-year veteran who averaged a double-double in every season of his career seems like it would work anywhere, but now it comes down to where Howard feels most comfortable and potentially where his best chance to win a championship is. 

If Howard is intrigued by winning more than anything else, he'd most likely join up with James and the Lakers, but don't be surprised if the Pelicans make a strong push for the 32-year-old with Cousins out of the picture. 

    

Tyreke Evans Meeting With Indiana

Tyreke Evans is one of two intriguing second-tier free agents garnering a ton of interest, with Jabari Parker being the other.

The latest potential suitor to come to the forefront of the discussion surrounding Evans is Indiana, who is meeting with him Tuesday, per ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski:

Evans would be a nice get for the Pacers, who already brought in Doug McDermott this offseason. 

With James out of the Eastern Conference, the Pacers should improve their roster within their financial capabilities to continue their rise and challenge Boston and Philadelphia. 

Adding Evans to Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young would give the Pacers a deep roster that at least makes them one of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference on paper. 

While Indiana is an intriguing landing spot for Evans, he could still land in the Western Conference, as ESPN.com's Chris Haynes reported the 28-year-old met with the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder: 

The Lakers and Thunder could lure Evans back to the Western Conference, but the Pacers present a more direct path to a championship in the open Eastern Conference, which should interest Evans quite a bit. 

       

Marcus Smart Taking Time on Decision

The Celtics have been linked with a handful of free agents and mentioned in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes, but one of their top priorities is keeping Marcus Smart on their roster. 

While some free-agent decisions occurred right after the window opened, Smart could wait to make the call on his future, as Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported: 

Since Smart is a restricted free agent, the Celtics appear to have the best chance of signing the 24-year-old, and it would be a wise move for both parties. 

The Celtics need a defensive-minded stopper on their roster to complement Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Smart's best opportunity to win comes from Boston, who is seen by many as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. 

The only concern Smart may have with a return to Boston is playing time. With the rotation growing once Irving and Hayward reach full fitness, Smart's minutes could decrease as head coach Brad Stevens looks to maximize the results from his roster. 

        

Kevon Looney Generates Look from Clippers 

Kevon Looney made a name for himself as a bench contributor on the title-winning Warriors side last season, and he's rightfully received interest because of that. 

The 22-year-old, who went to UCLA, talked with the Los Angeles Clippers, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times

With the Clippers in rebuilding mode, Looney could blossom into a key contributor on a roster that is going to need improvements with DeAndre Jordan out of the picture. 

In his third season with the Warriors, Looney averaged four points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. 

With fewer superstars on the Clippers roster, Looney would presumably receive an opportunity to boost those numbers, which is a case most franchises can make in an attempt to attract Looney. 

      

Wizards Showing Interest in Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute

The Wizards have been silent on the free-agent front after dealing Gortat to the Clippers in exchange for Austin Rivers. 

With the top free agents off the board, the Wizards appear to be in the market for veteran players, as Candace Buckner of the Washington Post noted Jamal Crawford and Luc Mbah a Moute were among the players they expressed interest in: 

Mbah a Moute would make more sense than Crawford given the need to fill the frontcourt void left open by Gortat's departure. 

Regardless of which veterans they go after, the Wizards need to make some type of improvement to their roster in order to help John Wall and Bradley Beal rise above the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference and challenge the top-tier teams like Boston, Indiana and Philadelphia.

                                         

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.

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