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NBA News: Player News and Updates for 7/8/14

NBA Player Updates 7/8: LeBron, Carmelo, Off-Season Schedule and More

July 8, 2014

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The off-season intrigue is beginning to heat up in the NBA, and there are plenty of speculation and rumors to go around. With that in mind, let’s take our daily look around the league and check out what’s going on out there as we creep toward the 2014-2015 campaign.

LeBron/Carmelo Watch: As we continue to wade through what feels like an excruciatingly long free agency period, everything is at a standstill. It’ still anyone’s guess as to what the top two players (LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony) on the market may do. All we can attempt is speculation at this point, so let’s take a look at the facts and rumors as we try to figure out what’s going to happen.
We’ll start with Carmelo. He’s reportedly mulling max-contract offers from both his old team the Knicks, and also the Lakers, who positioned themselves as the main contenders for Anthony’s services with a strong presentation last week. L.A. has promised to pair him with a now-healthy Kobe Bryant (and maybe even Pau Gasol if he’ll take a pay cut) and a roster full of budding young talent. If he goes that way, the Lakers will immediately reemerge as a powerhouse in the West.
As for the Knicks, their strongest argument is that five-year max deal, as well as a promise of good faith that new president Phil Jackson has a master plan in mind.
Of course, there are still a couple of other spots he could land (Chicago, Houston, etc.), but the general consensus seems to be that he’ll opt for New York or L.A.

NBA News: Player News and Updates for 7/8/14

USA TODAY Sports

Then there’s LeBron James. He’s been taking his sweet time since opting out of his deal, which has limited Heat president Pat Riley’s options in signing on a supporting cast. James is the obvious focal point of the roster, and if he’s not on board the team really doesn’t have a compelling case to offer up to potential free agent acquisitions. That said, they were able to corral both Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger yesterday, which should look pretty good to LeBron.
There are unconfirmed rumors that say James is seriously mulling a move back to Cleveland, a scenario which would instantly lend credibility to that roster, positioning them as an Eastern Conference force for years to come.
Of course, the longer LeBron takes to make his decision, the more time other teams have to lure key pieces of the Heat’s championship runs away. Chris Bosh is probably the most apt member of the Big Three to take his talents away from South Beach, and we could very well see him on a team like the Rockets next season.

NBA 2014 Off-Season Schedule: It’ll be a long off-season, but we’ll have plenty of happenings (and rumors) around the league to keep us busy. The major events this summer will be the NBA Draft and the free agency period, so let’s check out the dates on those and a few others.

June 26: NBA Draft
July 1: Teams can officially begin negotiating with free agents
July 10: Players can begin signing contracts
October 4: Pre-season begins
October 28: First game of the 2014-15 season
April 18, 2015: Playoffs begin

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

 

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