This article will be continually updated throughout the day with the latest news and rumors for today and tomorrow.
Reports have been shown that LaMarcus Aldridge is 99.9% likely to leave Portland this summer. Aldridge has many suitors from the Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Spurs, Cavaliers, and Phoenix. The Lakers are soaring up his list of favorites to sign with. Most people think the Spurs are his best place to win, and I agree with that as well.
With Aldridge likely out, the Trailblazers are planning on offering Damian Lillard a max contract extension. Lillard is one of the better young point guards in the league, and gives the Trailblazers a franchise building block.
The Memphis Grizzlies traded Luke Ridnour to the Charlotte Hornets, in exchange for Matt Barnes. The Grizzlies plan on keeping Barnes to help their wing depth. The Hornets quickly flipped Ridnour and a 2016 second round pick for Jeremy Lamb of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Hornets, with additions of Batum and Lamb have given themselves wing depth to not have to worry about it in the draft. I expect them to target a player like Frank Kaminsky, as they look to trade Cody Zeller.
George Karl’s relationship with the Sacramento Kings owner has become “highly strained”. With Karl wanting to trade away the King’s current two best players, for players he liked in Denver, this tension was obvious to appear. I expect the Kings to continue to hear offers for Cousins and Gay, and would prefer they traded them away, but I do not expect the owner to let this happen. Depending on how bad the tension is, Karl could be let go soon after the draft, as the Kings look for a coach to work with Cousins.
The Boston Celtics are prepared to offer a huge offer to the Philadelphia 76ers if Jahlil Okafor slides past the top two. Not much is know what is in this offer, but the deal is likely centered around Marcus Smart and a bunch of draft picks. If Russell is unavailable I can see the 76ers trying to trade down, as they view him as the building block they needed out of this draft.
If Okafor, Towns, and Russell are gone, the New York Knicks are leaning towards drafting Emmanuel Mudiay. I have had this happening for my past few mock drafts, but with the latest mock draft, the Knicks get the player they really one.
Kevin Love opted out of his final year of his contract. Love has stated before he has intentions to stay in Cleveland, but was that just to keep the media off the Cavaliers during the playoffs? Where will Kevin Love end up? Los Angeles? Boston? New York? Phoenix?
To answer that last question, rumors have begun to swirl that the Celtics are targeting Kevin Love, Paul Pierce, and Robin Lopez this offseason. Getting all three, if even one will be a hard task. Love, has the option to stay in Cleveland, where they will compete for a title next season, or go running to Los Angeles or New York, and become a more prominent piece of the team. Boston offers little for development, besides Marcus Smart, and although they have a lot of picks, draft picks are full of uncertainty. Paul Pierce has the option of the Clippers or Wizards and both of those teams offer a way better chance to compete for a title next season, than what Boston can offer. Lopez is reasonable target to try and acquire, but the Trailblazers, assuming they lose Aldridge, will want to try and keep the rest of their team together. If they want any of these guys, they will have to overpay, minus Love, because no matter where he goes, a max contract is likely for him.
Memphis Grizzlies traded for Luke Ridnour. The Grizzlies traded Janis Timma, a 6’7 forward, who was selected in the 2013 NBA draft in exchange for Ridnour. Timma has yet to make an NBA apperance, and still plays in Europe.
David West has opted out of his final year of his contract for next season, and will become a free agent. I think West will be back with the Pacers next season, but is opting out to give the Pacers more cap flexibility, and a chance to extend his years on his contract.
Monta Ellis has opted out of his contract for next season. Reports were showing, if Ellis were to opt in, the Mavericks would look to trade him, but now they he has opted out, he can explore the market himself. Ellis is interesting in a deal with the Hawks and Heat. Both of these teams could use his ball handling skills and scoring ability to fight LeBron and Co. next season. I would expect the Hawks to make a greater run at Ellis, as they will have more cap space, and have a bigger need for him. Miami could use him if Wade Leaves, but I just cannot see that happening.
The Mavericks are interested in signing Danny Green. This would be a great bench addition for the Mavericks, as they could use more consistent three point shooting. Green has many suitors this offseason, and he will likely sign with the best title contender. I have Green going to Memphis in my free agent article, and I think he fits there better, than in Dallas.
J.R. Smith has opted out of his contract, and is set to become a free agent. Smith will have quite a few suitors for his ability to change games when he gets hot from the three point line, but his inconsistency, might cost him from getting the money he wants. Smith and the Cavaliers do have mutual interest in striking a new deal.
Portland Trailblazers have traded Nic Batum to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for, Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson. The Hornets were desperate for wing help so this allows for the Hornets to address this with a veteran player, and target the best player available now. The Trailblazers must know Aldridge will not be coming back, as acquiring Vonleh, must be their solution to replacing him. Vonleh struggled a great deal last season, but a change of scenario might help him development better. Henderson will make a nice addition to Portland’s bench.