NBA Free Agency 2020: Latest on Gordon Hayward, Anthony Davis Rumors, More
We've entered the second week of NBA free agency, and while many of the biggest names are off the market, several quality role players—and, of course, Anthony Davis—remain unsigned.
The second wave of free agency doesn't typically carry the same amount of excitement or spectacle as the opening weekend, but late additions can sometimes make the difference between a strong playoff squad and a title contender.
The coming days may not be filled with flashy signings or blockbuster deals, but the moves made will have an impact on the 2020-21 season. Here we will dig into some of the latest free-agency buzz.
Hornets Seeking 3rd Team in Hayward Sign-and-Trade
Gordon Hayward became one of the top available free agents when he decided to opt out of his contract with the Boston Celtics. The Charlotte Hornets quickly swooped in and reached an agreement on a four-year, $120 million deal.
Now, though, the Hornets face the challenge of trying to make that deal work financially.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the Hornets are expected to waive Nicolas Batum to clear salary if they cannot move him as part of a sign-and-trade involving Hayward.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added that the Hornets have also discussed a sign-and-trade option with Boston and are hoping to draw in a third team to take on Batum's contract.
"Boston and Charlotte have worked on a sign-and-trade for Gordon Hayward that would land Celtics a trade exception, but Hornets have first been trying to find a third team for Nic Batum's $27 million contract to see if there's a way to avoid waiving-and-stretching his money," Wojnarowski tweeted.
Finding another team to take on Batum's deal could prove tricky, but it's clearly Charlotte's preferred option. According to Bonnell, moving him instead of using the stretch provision would cut camp implications by roughly $9 million per season.
Davis Waiting to Re-Sign with L.A.
It's widely expected that Anthony Davis will eventually re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers to make another run at a title alongside LeBron James. However, Davis does not appear to be in a rush to get a deal done.
There are a couple of rumored reasons for this.
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Davis wants to know the roster composition before agreeing to a new deal in L.A.
"According to people not authorized to speak publicly, Davis and [Rich] Paul, who's also his representative, informed Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka that Davis wanted to see how the team would be put together before deciding the length of his contract," Turner wrote.
However, ESPN's Brian Windhorst believes that the delay could have more to do with the potential roster for 2021-22, recently saying on ESPN radio (h/t RealGM):
"I think there are two star players waiting to sign to see what Giannis Antetokounmpo does. That's Anthony Davis. He's coming back to the Lakers, but he may change the alteration of his contract, the way it's structured, to give the Lakers a window, if not for Giannis but for somebody in a one-plus-one. Because that's what LeBron James is now on."
Would the Lakers have a shot at bringing in Giannis to forge a superteam? It feels unlikely, but it also felt improbable when the Golden State Warriors were first rumored to be targeting Kevin Durant a few years ago.
The Lakers Wanted Dellavedova; Davis Wanted Morris
One player the Lakers reportedly wanted was one of James' former teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Matthew Dellavedova.
Dellavedova decided to return to Cleveland on a one-year deal. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, however, he was a serious target for L.A.
"Word is that the Lakers gave Dellavedova some consideration for one of their last open roster spots...but the Aussie guard will be extending his second stint with the Cavaliers to a third season," Stein tweeted.
The Lakers didn't get Delly, but they did re-sign Markieff Morris. According to Turner, Morris is a player Davis wanted back.
"How about this? There is a guy named Anthony Davis who wanted him back," Turner said (h/t Spectrum SportsNet). "He wanted him back because he's tough, because he plays defense, he rebounds, he can shoot the three, open up the court and again he's a versatile player."
If Davis does want to weigh the roster before committing, it makes sense that he would push for his desired players in free agency.