The NBA offseason continues to roll on and to control headlines as it does so. One of the most prolific offseasons in recent memory has been filled with notable trades, a strong draft class, some exciting summer-league play and, of course, plenty of rumors.
One of the biggest rumor-generating storylines of the offseason has been the future of NBA veteran Carmelo Anthony. He’s the biggest name still sitting on the trade market, though there is no certainty of when or if he’ll be dealt.
While Anthony is virtually alone atop the potential trade pile, there are some quality players still available on the free-agent market. We’re here to examine the latest storylines and rumors surrounding both groups as the offseason continues to unfold.
Speights Still on Market, Could Return to L.A.
Veteran forward/center Marreese Speights is a well-traveled journeyman who is looking for his sixth NBA team this summer—or perhaps just a return to one of the previous five.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old is coming off a solid, if unspectacular, season with the Los Angeles Clippers in which he averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Speights has also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Speights was in talks over the past week with the Atlanta Hawks. However, Wojnarowski reports that Atlanta has decided to pull its free-agent offer:
While Atlanta is apparently out of the market for Speights, there could still be a desire for him from other teams. One of those teams could be the Clippers.
Speights was originally under contract with L.A. before he decided to opt out of his contract in order to test the market:
According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers are interested in bringing back Speights, though the team isn’t close to making a deal:
If L.A. is looking to maintain some continuity in the wake of trading away Chris Paul, it would make sense to bring back Speights. He appeared in a career-high 82 games for L.A. during the 2016-17 season.
While he isn’t a centerpiece like the returning Blake Griffin, Speights is an experienced role player with team familiarity.
Carmelo Expects Trade Talks to Resume
The drama surrounding the future of Carmelo Anthony has been a bit of an on-again, off-again affair. While the New York Knicks still would likely prefer to deal the veteran and the $54 million he’s to earn over the next two seasons, talks with the Houston Rockets have reportedly stalled.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Wojnarowski, New York is interested in bringing Anthony back into the fold:
“The New York Knicks are pausing trade talks centered on Carmelo Anthony and want to pursue a conversation with the 10-time NBA All-Star about possibly reincorporating him into the organization, league sources told ESPN. After talking with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers for nearly a month to help engineer deals for Anthony, the Knicks told both teams that they’re stepping back from trade talks for a short time.”
The Rockets and the Cavaliers are the two teams Anthony has shown interest in joining this offseason. This is significant because he holds a no-trade clause in his current contract.
Per Wojnarowski, Anthony does expect talks with Houston to resume:
“As New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry pursue a meeting with Carmelo Anthony in the coming days, league sources told ESPN that the 10-time All-Star is counting on the franchise to carry out its previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets. Whatever stance a post-Phil Jackson front office is taking now, Anthony expects the Knicks to resume trade talks soon and honor the franchise’s long-standing goal to rebuild without him, league sources said.”
Selling Anthony on a future with the Knicks could be difficult, even with Phil Jackson out of the equation. New York isn’t a franchise close to competing for a championship, and the 33-year-old isn’t getting any younger.
While the Warriors have the talent to dominate the Western Conference for the foreseeable future, Carmelo would have a more realistic shot at a title playing alongside James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston.
Bucks Interested in Rose
It’s pretty easy to forget that former MVP Derrick Rose is only 28 years old. It’s also easy to overlook the fact that he had a quietly solid season with the Knicks last season—he averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
It’s easy to do both of these things because before injuries derailed Rose’s career, he was one of the most dominant players in the game. Now, he’s just another above-average role player.
The Milwaukee Bucks are one team that still appears to see value in Rose. According to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes, the Bucks have already met with the player this offseason and are interested in signing the point guard.
The problem, per Haynes, is that Milwaukee can only use $4.4 million of its $7.6 million mid-level exception to pay Rose before hitting hard salary cap. This could be why talks between the two parties have cooled.
While Haynes reported that the Bucks were going to meet with Rose a second time, no such meeting has taken place. According to USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt, no second meeting is on the immediate horizon:
This leaves Rose as one of the more notable free agents still on the open market. While he isn’t the player he once was, he can still be a solid contributor and certainly brings name recognition.
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