The Draft is the unofficial start to the off-season for the NBA. After the dust settles and the draft day trades get finalized, you start to hear rumors of players opting out, trades that didn’t happen, and rumors of players on the move. The post-draft activities is no different from past years, all of the above is happening.
After Shaquille O’Neal was traded to Cleveland, he mentioned that there could have been a trade that sent him to Portland. He told Steve Kerr that he didn’t want to play in Portland, so all the talk stopped there. The deal was proposed back in February, before the trading deadline last season. How would that trade work? Cleveland made the trade work with expiring contracts that totaled near the total of Shaq’s salary. Portland didn’t have cap space then, but had the expiring contract of Raef LaFrentz is now off the books. If the same trade would have been proposed a couple of weeks ago, it would have been difficult for Portland to make it. Martell Webster and Joel Pryzbilla could have been sent, but it’s all clearly speculation and not sure if the final numbers would have worked out.
Hedo Turkoglu finally sent word to the Orlando Magic that he will definitely opt out of his contract. He would be the prize of this year’s free agency class, but he could try and see if they can settle on a long-term deal to stay in Orlando. The trade for Vince Carter could have sealed Turkoglu’s fate, there may not be enough money to sign their post-season stud.
Is he or isn’t he? The rumors have been swirling about where Amare Stoudemire will end up. Rumors were circulating that Stephon Curry was going to be part of a deal that sent Stoudemire to Golden State, but Don Nelson has been vocal that Curry is staying in Oakland. We should know more this week about the fate of Amare Stoudemire.
Is Ricky Rubio staying in Spain or will he face the cold in Minnesota? A decision should be made in the next few weeks. The New York Knicks are rumored to be working on a proposal to land the talented point guard. If Rubio ends up in New York, you could possibly put an end to the rumor that Steve Nash will sign with the Knicks when he becomes a free agent.
America’s White Boy’s official NBA team, the Indiana Pacers, are saying that they will be very active this off-season. They drafted Tyler Hansbrough and A.J. Price, but those picks didn’t fill any pressing needs for the team. They are shopping T.J. Ford around in hopes of finding another point guard. They have plenty of expiring contracts, but with the state of the economy, don’t look for them to be buyers and taking on extra payroll. They are setting up for a run at a few free agents in a year. They need another young scorer to match up with Danny Granger.
A rumor that is starting to gain steam is Ben Wallace will be traded from Phoenix to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler. The Hornets need to get rid of Chandler’s multi-year deal and Wallace is in the last year of his deal. He has even said that he may retire, if that is true, the Hornets could buyout his contract and save some money.
With free agency starting on Wednesday, Glen “Big Baby” Davis could be looking for a starting job. He said that he is in a position to make more money and maybe even a starting gig. Davis was crucial in the Celtics run last year and with Garnett’s status still up in the air, they should try and work out a deal.
Wondering where Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells may end up? It looks like he will be playing for Dallas on their summer league team. He could end up with a spot on the Mavericks or more likely, this is a gig to showcase his skills and possibly land on an NBDL squad.
Other undrafted free agent landing spots…Temple’s Dionte Christmas accepted a spot on the 76ers summer league team. BC’s Tyrese Rice will be playing for Washington, UConn’s Jeff Adrien will be playing for Memphis, and Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt will suit up for Golden State on their summer league team. Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo could end up on Portland’s summer league, but no official word as of today.