The NBA free agent rumors are flying ahead of the draft later this month.
Check out the latest on two of the top players.
Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love
Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony may be the most talked about free agents so far,
Love is being linked to the Boston Celtics after visiting Rajon Rondo in Boston, and an insider at RealGM.com told Rappler (of note–a Philippines news website) said that “The Love deal is pretty much done”–and that the Celtics want to get Anthony too.
“I think the fact that Kevin Love is so out and about in Boston is something that Danny [Ainge] wants out there so he can show someone like Melo that he means business,” the insider said.
“The Melo thing is the one that is on the hush. Melo is the primary target. They need a scorer from the wing position. Cs need to get Love first in order to work one (with) Melo. That’s why Kevin Love is in town, he knows he is headed to Boston. Love is a done deal, the focus now is Melo. He was the primary target. Love opting in on his final year allows the Cs to sign Melo to a long-term deal first. Then work on a team-friendly deal with Rondo and then take care of Kevin. Also, could Tyson Chandler be dealt to Boston?”
Some analysts are dismissing the report because of the questionable origin, although the Love deal does appear in the works. Love seems to have a say in where he goes after telling the Minnesota Timberwolves that he wants out, with many reports saying he has an “interest” in one team, or is not interested in another. This is mainly because Love only has one year left so whichever team acquires him (apart from the Sacramento Kings, apparently) would like to sign him to a contract extension.
Love is in fact interested in going to the Celtics although the Chicago Bulls, among other teams, have made a better offer, according to ESPN.
Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves attempts to drive the baseline in a game against the Boston Celtics in this 2013 file photo. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
More on Anthony
Another intriguing connection made recently is the Houston Rockets moving to try to get Anthony without giving up any major pieces.
The Rockets have two stars in Dwight Howard and James Harden and two more solid players in Patrick Beverley and Chandler Parsons.
Sources previously told Yahoo that the Chicago Bulls and Rockets have risen above the rest of the teams in regards to where he could go if he does leave the Knicks.
Now Basketball Insiders reported that “Houston would trade almost anything not named Dwight Howard and James Harden to get at Anthony and they would go all in on a contract too. There has been talk that Houston has offered up Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in a ‘give away’ trade that could include their draft pick in the first round or a roster player like Terrence Jones to get those salaries off the books.”
In preparation of making a run at stars who could be available, including Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dirk Nowitzki, the Rockets plan to decline the option on Parsons’ contract, freeing him to become a restricted free agent this summer, reported Yahoo.
One of the advantages to letting Parsons into restricted free agency now is enabling the team to clear the necessary cap space to make that run.
“In one scenario, Houston could secure three max-out players – including Howard, Harden and a potential star free agent – and then re-sign Parsons to an extension below the max-level range. Parsons could command in the $12 million to $13 million annual range,” Yahoo reported, citing league executives.
Basketball Insiders also noted that the Bulls and Dallas Mavericks are also in the running for Anthony. Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki has already told his team that he’ll work with them to get the neccessary cap space to give Anthony a good offer, and the Mavs could present a team built around Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Nowitzki, and coach Rick Carlisle.