Leading up to the opening of the NBA free agency on July 1, the league is swirling with rumors and news about which teams want to trade, which players teams want to sign, and everything in between. To keep you informed, we have the latest from around the league with rumors, news, trades and analysis.
The biggest rumor of course is surrounding Kevin Durant?s potential move to the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are pulling out all the stops for their pitch meeting with superstar free agent Durant on Friday. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Warriors’ contingent in The Hamptons meeting with Durant will include All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, plus coach Steve Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob. They plan to sell KD their super lineup of players which could make their already best team even superb in the league.
However, according to CBS Sports, Durant’s friend said that his decision is ’90 percent’ made, and only “an amazing sales pitch” could keep him from re-signing with the Thunder. Apparently, Durant can make more money if he re-signs with the Thunder, which is why it will be hard for other teams to convince him to leave Oklahoma City. Still KD will be meeting with six teams. Aside from the Thunder and the Warriors, he will be meeting with the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors have become frustrated with Andrew Bogut and are looking to trade the oft-injured center. Trading Bogut will free up cap space for Golden State to pursue Durant, according to NESN. The Warriors selected Vanderbilt center Damian Jones in the first round (30th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft, which league sources say is an indication of Golden State?s growing frustration with Bogut, who could be moved if the team signs star free agent Durant. If the Warriors succeed in landing Durant, they?ll need to shed salary and they?d like to trade Bogut or they could end up getting rid of backup big man Festus Ezeli.
One of the other mysteries is where Nerlens Noel might end up. ESPN is reporting that the Toronto Raptors have contacted the Philadelphia 76ers about sending a rotation player, possibly Terrence Ross, and other add-on players in exchange for the center. The Raptors are reportedly eyeing the 6-foot-11, 225-pounder as a backup center as Toronto is aware that it could lose backup center Bismack Biyombo in free agency. The Raptors are looking for insurance in case Biyombo leaves. However, the talks haven?t gained much traction according to reports.
In other news, Dallas Mavericks? Chandler Parsons got the max he was looking for. The Portland Trail Blazers offered Parsons a $94.8 million max deal in the opening hours of the free-agent period. Parsons also has a meeting with the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday where another top offer is expected, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Los Angeles Lakers are interested in Parsons too.
Last week, it reported that the Mavericks had no plans to offer Parsons a maximum contract and the situation appears quite clear as a source said Parsons has ?no chance? of returning to Dallas.
Meanwhile, forward Nicolas Batum decided to re-sign with the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN’s MacMahon. Charlotte was considered the frontrunner since they own Batum’s Bird rights and could offer a fifth year. Batum averaged 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists to help the Hornets make the playoffs.
Also, Hassan Whiteside finally confirmed that he will return to the Miami Heat. Whiteside announced Friday on The Players’ Tribune that, “I’ve played on eight teams since college — from Reno to Sioux Falls to Sichuan, China. I am not ready for there to be a ninth.”
Whiteside was reportedly eyeing a max contract and even had a meeting scheduled with the Mavericks, however, it looks like Miami has convinced him otherwise.