The NBA Draft is over and teams are turning their complete attention to the start of free agency on July 1. Every team has cap space with the increased salary cap, and several big name players are set to get paid this offseason. With the start of free agency just days away, the NBA rumor mill is starting to crank up. Check out the latest NBA news and rumors below.
Celtics' Offseason Plans
The Boston Celtics didn't land the big-time veteran in a draft night trade like they were hoping, but they're going to try to find some help in free agency. Head coach Brad Stevens knows exactly what the Celtics are looking for.
"The biggest needs as we look at it are continuing to grow ourselves on the offensive end, and what we decide to do with regard to protecting the rim," Stevens told WEEI. "You can protect the rim in a couple of different ways. No. 1 is you have somebody in there to protect it. No. 2 is you don’t let the ball get there, and you need versatile guys at a bunch of different positions. You need to keep guys out of rotations. If you look at our team right now, No. 2 would be more of the option."
There are several notable big men set to hit the open market, including Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford and even Dwight Howard. The Celtics will make a run at Kevin Durant (more on him below), but targeting a big man is a route more likely to pay off.
The Favorite For Durant?
Kevin Durant will take meetings with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, but one team in particular is the favorite to land the superstar. Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman called the Thunder the favorite, which shouldn't be a major surprise. As Slater mentioned, Durant can make the most money with the Thunder and has a strong connection to the team and area. Plus, the Thunder still have a strong roster around Durant. Slater calls the Warriors the challenger and the Spurs the darkhorse. Also mentioned are the Celtics (unlikely threat), Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers (long-shot hopefuls) and Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets (delusional pipe-dreamers).
Who Will Sign Jan Vesely?
That name should ring a bell, as Vesely was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Vesely was a bust in the NBA and left the league to play for a Turkish basketball team. Vesely played well in Turkey and could return to the the NBA on a sizeable contract. Per Sportando.com, he could get as much as $30 million over three years. Among the teams interested are the Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans.