The NBA offseason continues to roll along. We’re now a few days into free agency, and we’ve already seen quite a bit of action. Several marquee players have already been traded and several new deals have been agreed to. On July 6, teams will be able to officially sign their new free-agent toys.
We’re sure to see a lot more action in the coming days, especially since deals aren’t official yet. Situations can and will change between now and July 6, and new trades may emerge as rosters evolve.
Don’t believe the action is going to take a break for the Fourth of July, either.
We’re here to examine the latest NBA offseason storylines and rumors on Independence Day.
Hayward May Stay With Jazz
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is the most coveted free agent available on the open market. He’s naturally garnered a lot of interest to this point, particularly from the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Hayward met with the Heat on Saturday and was taken to Fenway Park by the Celtics on Sunday, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com.
Going to the Eastern Conference would give Hayward an easier path to the postseason—especially with the flurry of moves made in the West over the past few days. However, there’s no guarantee Hayward is going to take the easy route.
In fact, there is some indication that he’ll choose to return to Utah instead.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Hayward requested Utah make a move for point guard Ricky Rubio:
The Jazz did indeed trade to acquire Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah made the trade hoping to entice Hayward to return.
If Hayward does re-sign with the Jazz, there’s a good chance that landing Rubio will have played a part. Per Jones, Hayward plans to make a decision on his future by Wednesday.
Warriors, Others Looking at Nick Young?
One reason Hayward might want to get out of the Western Conference is the reality that the Golden State Warriors are one of the most talented teams we’ve seen in recent league history.
There was never a guarantee that the core of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala would remain intact. Iguodala, Durant and Curry all became free agents this offseason. All three have agreed to new deals with Golden State.
The Warriors may not be content to merely keep the team intact. The team may look to improve the roster be adding free agent Nick Young. The team reportedly has interested in adding Young, and—as Dalton Johnson of NBCS Bay Area pointed out—Green seems to be doing his part to recruit him:
The Warriors may have competition for Young, though. Sam Amick of USA Today reported that the pairing remains a possibility but that other teams are also interested:
According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Young is also drawing interested from the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Timberwolves:
Heading to Golden State would probably give Young his best chance to earn a championship ring, but OKC and Minnesota are both intriguing destinations. The ‘Wolves added Jimmy Butler to their young core recently, while the Thunder just added Paul George to pair with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.
Anthony Willing to Take Cavaliers or Rockets Trade
If the New York Knicks are wanting to rid themselves of Carmelo Anthony and the $54 million remaining on his contract, they’re going to have to work a trade or buy out his contract. A trade would be more beneficial to the Knicks. The problem is that Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract.
New York will have to get Anthony to agree to any potential trade.
The good news for the Knicks is that Anthony might not veto every deal. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets should either team make a move for him.
The bad news for New York is that Houston may not be seriously interested in acquiring Anthony and the Cavaliers may not be able to.
Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Rockets don’t have a veteran asset that could entice the Knicks and aren’t interested in acquiring one:
“With forward Ryan Anderson the next-highest paid Rockets player after Chris Paul and James Harden, the Knicks have not been interested in building a trade around a veteran signed longer than Anthony and who plays the same position as their most important player, Kristaps Porzingas.
…The Rockets are also not involved in talks to acquire assets to make a trade with the Knicks more likely.”
Cleveland may be interested in acquiring Anthony, but the team doesn’t have a lot of assets to make a move. The team already would also have to figure out how to justify paying Anthony’s hefty salary after already holding one of the highest roster salaries in the NBA.
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