NBA Free Agents 2021: Latest Rumors on Kyle Lowry, Carmelo Anthony and More
The start of NBA free agency is almost upon us. And with it, there are tons of rumors swirling about which players could be switching teams this offseason.
While free agents can't officially sign deals until Friday at 12:01 p.m. ET, they can start negotiating with teams on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. So that's when the excitement will begin, as there will likely be some notable moves occurring as soon as that period begins.
Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.
Which Teams Will Try to Land Lowry?
With rumors circulating about Chris Paul likely returning to the Phoenix Suns, that means Kyle Lowry could be the top point guard available on the free-agent market this offseason. The 35-year-old continues to play at a high level, and it seems unlikely he will return to the Toronto Raptors after spending the past nine seasons with them.
It appears numerous teams are going to be trying to land Lowry. According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are "expected to aggressively pursue" Lowry. The Heat's interest isn't a surprise because it's known Lowry is close friends with Miami forward Jimmy Butler.
Fischer also reported that the New Orleans Pelicans have "gained momentum" in their pursuit of acquiring Lowry. The Pelicans recently traded Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to the Memphis Grizzlies, so New Orleans now "has enough room to offer Lowry the same three-year, $90 million framework that Phoenix and Paul are expected to agree upon," per Fischer.
Lowry could be a great fit with any of those teams, especially considering how well he's still playing. This past season, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 46 games with Toronto.
Could Carmelo Team Up with LeBron in L.A.?
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are tied together because they were among the top players to come out of the 2003 NBA draft class. However, despite spending nearly two decades in the league, they have never been teammates. But perhaps that could soon change.
ESPN's Jordan Schultz recently reported that the Los Angeles Lakers are "very interested" in signing Anthony, who could give them another scoring option in addition to James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. Anthony is an unrestricted free agent after spending two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Anthony isn't the superstar he once was, but the 37-year-old was a valuable bench player in Portland this past season, averaging 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 69 games. He's played for five teams in his NBA career, having previously suited up for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
James and the Lakers are going to be looking to win their second NBA title in three years during the 2021-22 season, while Anthony has never won a championship in his 18-year career. And even though James and Anthony are no longer in their primes, it would still be fun to see them team up in the NBA for the first time.
What Does Dragic's Future Hold?
The Heat will soon need to decide whether they want to bring back Goran Dragic for an eighth season with the team. The 35-year-old point guard has a $19.44 million club option for the 2021-22 season, and Miami has to either accept or decline it Sunday.
If the Heat decline that option, Dragic would become an unrestricted free agent. And in that scenario, it appears there would be plenty of suitors for the 13-year NBA veteran.
"There's expected to be interest from several NBA title and postseason contenders in unrestricted free agency," The Athletic's Shams Charania recently tweeted.
Dragic hasn't been a starter the past two seasons, but he's still been a solid contributor off the bench. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 50 games during the 2020-21 campaign. So he could be a good fit with a championship contender as he looks to win his first NBA title.