NBA Rumors Roundup: Chris Paul for Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard to Nets and More
However, Rondo's name isn't the only prominent one being mentioned in several scenarios, and it's clear that there are several teams looking to make a sizable upgrade in a variety of areas this season.
With a prized free-agent class in 2012 having many clubs chomping at the bit about what the future might hold, teams in contention for a title right now will look to make an emphatic move and shake up the structure of the league.
Memphis Grizzlies Won't Use Amnesty Clause
There had been some speculation floating around that the Grizzlies could look to use the amnesty clause on scorer O.J. Mayo, but that never really made much sense considering his contract expires in 2012.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal passes along a report that the team isn't expected to use the clause on any player this season, and that makes plenty of sense considering the Grizzlies don't need any additional cap flexibility this season.
There's also a distinct chance that Mayo is able to bounce-back after a subpar season left him with a relegated reserve role, or the possibility that he's used as trade bait going forward.
Jerebko is a restricted free agent who might fly under the radar of several teams as he was sidelined for the entire 2010-11 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
However, he does present some level of intrigue for a team that needs some help at the small forward position, and it certainly sounds as if he'll test the market according to the Detroit News.
While he did say that he would "love" to return to the Pistons, Jerebko is careful to note that he and his agent will talk to multiple teams, and that Detroit will be on that list.
The former Gonzaga standout was a monumental bust in the league as the third overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2006, but this is not the Adam Morrison we've been used to seeing.
Since flaming out stateside (but not before winning two championship rings with the Lakers), Morrison has revamped his image and rediscovered his passion for the game.
He was released from his contract in Serbia with Red Star Belgrade as a "good faith gesture," and he's now drawing enough interest that he could even earn himself an opportunity to make an NBA roster.
As a second round pick looking at an uncertain future in Detroit, Singler decided to play in Spain with Lucentum Alicante in an effort to earn a paycheck during the lockout.
Now, rather than return stateside to take a pay decrease and sit on the bench for Detroit, Singler has reached an agreement to continue playing in Spain, but he's switched teams and will now join Real Madrid for the remainder of the season according to Yahoo! Sports.
The Pistons will hold his draft rights for the 2012-13 season, and an extra year of development abroad could wind up working out in the best interest of both parties.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports dished out the heat on the Nene front, and from the way the picture has been painted, it certainly sounds as if a return to Denver is a long shot.
While the big man has reportedly had both Miami and Dallas on his radar as coveted landing spots, there are several other teams in the hunt: Houston, Golden State, New Jersey and Indiana.
Some teams might be willing to offer him a maximum contract (which would be a mistake), and there certainly won't be any shortage of interest in his services on the open market as several clubs could use his presence beneath the basket
Crawford has done nothing to quiet the rumors about his potential landing spot as he's been responding to fan inquiries on Twitter about what team he might join, but one place that does make sense is Indiana.
Beat writer Mike Wells wouldn't be surprised if the team made a run at the scorer, as there's no question that the Pacers need to find a player who can create his own shot off of the dribble.
Despite adding George Hill to the backcourt in the offseason, the Pacers could certainly be looking to deal Brandon Rush, Dahntay Jones or even A.J. Price going forward, and that would open up a definitive role for Crawford on this team.
Young is one of the most exciting restricted free agents available this offseason, and at just 23 years old, he could really make a huge impact for a team looking to give him an increased role.
He's absolutely oozing with athleticism, and his potential has yet to be unlocked as he's been vying for playing time in Philadelphia since originally entering the league.
Although the Sixers would like to retain him, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated hears that the team is "very nervous" about another team throwing an impressive offer in his direction, and it would make a lot of sense for a club with a hole at small forward (and adequate cap space available) to do exactly that.
Westbrook has been the subject of criticism since the 2011 postseason after several accused him of being unable to cede the alpha dog role to Kevin Durant, but this is one player with unbelievable potential.
Keep in mind that Westbrook is still learning to play the point guard position, and the development of his game in such a short span of time is illustrative of what the future holds for both him and his team.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Celtics tried to acquire Westbrook, as well as bring back Kendrick Perkins in exchange for Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo, but that's an offer that's simply not going to cut the mustard.
Oklahoma City wasn't interested in pursuing such a deal, and rightfully so, as it would've been a one-sided win for the Celtics, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti has too shrewd of a track record to do something along those lines.
The Rondo rumor-mill is smoldering, and it's becoming increasingly clear that Danny Ainge doesn't view his point guard as a player he can build a championship club around into the future.
Now, a new suitor has emerged in the pursuit of Rondo: the Indiana Pacers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Boston and Indiana have discussed the "preliminary framework of a deal," but the Pacers would need to find a third team to facilitate a deal.
It'd certainly be an intriguing fit should Rondo ultimately land with the Pacers, but with the team having traded for Darren Collison prior to last season, it will be interesting to see what the team might be willing to part with to land Rondo.
When news broke that the Boston Celtics would be willing to move point guard Rajon Rondo in the "right deal," it was believed that the trade would have to net a top 10-15 player in return.
Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated shed light on the situation, and confirmed that the point guard Danny Ainge is after is none other than Chris Paul, and that definitely qualifies as a sizable upgrade over Rondo.
The Celtics would have to be able to sell the idea of signing a long-term extension to Paul in order to keep him beyond this season, and that's not such an easy thing to do considering this group doesn't have an appealing long-term core locked up like some other teams do.
Additionally, the Hornets could receive a much better offer for Paul than one centered around Rondo, and ESPN's Ric Bucher writes that the Hornets aren't interested in a Rondo for Paul swap.
The Howard rumors aren't going to go away until he either gets dealt or becomes a free agent in the summer of 2012, and almost every team will inevitably be linked to him to a varying degree throughout the season.
After news was flying yesterday that the Los Angeles Clippers are willing to part with anything outside of Blake Griffin to land Howard, the New Jersey Nets have now stepped up as a legitimate suitor and are preparing to make an offer, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford.
Howard has previously listed both Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow as players he'd like to play alongside in the future, and Howard's arrival in New Jersey would almost certainly convince D-Will to sign a long-term extension with the team.