NBA free agency is finally off to the races, and there are a ton of rumors and news to go through. As you might know, the top free agents generally sign with teams first, while the less coveted names have to patiently wait their turn when teams look for backup plans. So here are the latest news on the top free agents and their potential desinations.
Howard is meeting with every potential suitor, and the first team on the list is the Houston Rockets.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets and Howard have concluded their meeting in LA, and Dwight will be talking to other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. The Mavs will be represented by Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki, among others.
While Howard’s camp has tried to stress that he is not making a decision before he has talked to all the teams that are interested in his services, the consensus around the league is that the Rockets are huge favorites, and according to Wojnarowski the team believes that it is anchored as the favorite to land Dwight.
According to Alex Kennedy, the Rockets had a pretty impressive lineup of representatives — Yao Ming, Hekeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, James Harden and Chandler Parsons were among the players that gave Howard their view on why the team would offer him the best chance to win a championship.
Houston has already traded Thomas Robinson, which has freed up enough cap space to sign Howard for the max.
Howard is expected to make a decision by July 10, which is also when all the trades that have been completed around the league will be official.
Nothing new on the Paul front, and everything is seemingly going as expected – Paul’s representatives are telling everyone around the league to not bother reaching out to CP3, as he will sign a max extension with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul has been upset with the organization, but the Clippers went out of their way to try to swing some deals that would please him. While they were not able to land Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers will be moving to LA and coaching the Clippers next season.
Al Jefferson is probably the next best thing in terms of big men if you miss out on Howard, which all but one team will. According to CBS Sports, the Charlotte Bobcats, of all teams, are in pursuit of the Utah Jazz free agent.
Utah has ton of cap space this summer and it’s highly unlikely that the team will spend it on re-signing Jefferson. Al will probably be demanding a max contract, and the Jazz would be smart to remain cautious with how they spend their money. They have a young core of big men in Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, and just added a young prospect in Trey Burke.
The Bobcats drafted Cody Zeller with the fourth pick in this year’s draft, and while he is athletic enough to play both the center and the power forward position, Charlotte will likely insert him at the four. A top free agent would probably not be very interested in playing in Charlotte at this point in time, but if the team throws big money at him, he could potentially bite.
Tyreke Evans has declined since winning the Rookie of the Year award, and is a restricted free agent this summer. He could very well stay with the Sacramento Kings, but some teams are interested in his services.
Pelicans will have a face to face with Tyreke Evans tonight after free agency commences at 12:01 AM ET, ESPN has learned
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2013
Evans is big enough to play both of the guard positions, and with the Pelicans trading for Jrue Holiday, the plan would probably be to put him at the two-guard spot, which Eric Gordon is currently occupying. However, rumor has it that the Pelicans, who now have a couple of young players to build around, wouldn’t mind shipping Gordon out of town. The team had to protect its investment when matching the offer sheet Gordon signed with the Phoenix Suns last summer, but as he continues to struggle with injuries, the Pelicans could look in another direction.
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