NBA News: Player News and Updates for 6/29/14
NBA Player Updates 6/29: James and the Heat, Kidd, Off-Season Schedule and More
June 29, 2014
The NBA off-season rumors are now generating at a fever pitch as we try and figure out where all the top free agents will land over the next few weeks. In the meantime, there’s plenty to talk about from around the league, so let’s take our daily look at the headlines and see what’s happening out there.
Knicks’ Carmelo Plans: Despite all the rumors and evidence to the contrary, the Knicks are sincerely hoping that Carmelo decides to re-sign in New York. They’ve even got some big plans if he does, and new president Phil Jackson will be working his connections to try and get a good situation for Anthony.
Once the free agency period begins Tuesday, Jackson will reportedly be recruiting former Laker Pau Gasol to switch coasts and come play in the Big Apple. The Knicks need a big man presence now that defensive dynamo Tyson Chandler is down in Dallas, and Gasol would make a stellar replacement.
The big drawback to any potential Jackson pitch is that the salary-strapped Knicks won’t be able to offer very much to Gasol--less than $4 million, to be exact--this coming year. On top of that, there’s no guarantee that Anthony would come back to New York to join Gasol (or anyone else for that matter).
Carmelo will be conducting meetings with the Bulls, Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers along with New York, and there’s some stiff competition in there. Both the Mavericks and Rockets are rightfully confident that they can steal him away. What’s worse for New York is that they’ve got the cap flexibility to give him an enticing scenario as well.
USA TODAY Sports
Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics: Ever since the draft late last week, the speculation has been swirling over the Celtics’ plans for veteran guard Rajon Rondo. Now that Marcus Smart is in town, fuel has been added to the proverbial fire that Rondo’s days with the Celtics are numbered, and that there’s surely a trade on the horizon.
Sources close to the team are quick to dispel that talk, however, noting that the Celtics’ first priority is retaining Rondo and surrounding him with capable talent (Kevin Love would be one such desirable piece). If that scenario isn’t plausible, however, they’re more than content letting him walk and taking the cap space instead of agreeing to a bloated late-contract trade that stifles their own rebuilding plans.
The Celtics sound like they’ve got the long-term in mind, so they’ll definitely be a team to watch over the next several years.
Other Notable Happenings: We’ll visit with these scenarios a little more later in the week when they develop, but for now let’s check up on a couple of noteworthy news items from yesterday.
Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade And Udonis Haslem will all be opting out of their contracts in order to give the Heat more cap flexibility to retool. This is also to help accommodate LeBron James, who is reportedly looking for a full contract extension (five years, $130 million).
Also, Nets coach Jason Kidd is in serious negotiations with the Milwaukee Bucks to potentially become that team’s president of basketball operations. He tried getting some front-office power in Brooklyn, but was not able. If he bolts New York, the Bucks would have to send some compensation the Nets’ way.
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.