NBA Rumors Roundup: Clippers "Overwhelming Favorite" For Paul, Griffin May Consider Heat & More

The NBA offseason is starting to kick into gear with the draft now approaching, and that has led to some clarity around what could happen with some of the big names linked to trades and free agency. With only two teams still competing, the rumor mill around the NBA is kicking into high gear. Here are all the latest NBA rumors on free agency you need to know. 

Clippers "overwhelming favorite" to re-sign Chris Paul
The San Antonio Spurs have emerged as a legitimate threat to sign Chris Paul away from the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason, but LA is still the "overwhelming favorite" to sign him, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

"Not that I see," Wojnarowski said. "I don't know where that came from. I've spent a lot of time around the Spurs this spring. They would have to just tear up that entire payroll. It's almost unlike anything the Spurs would've done or would do to even have a chance at him. I mean, they'd have to really gut the roster. And to do that for a 30-plus year old point guard, who has a couple great years left, there's no question -- I think there's more pressure on the Clippers to have to re-sign him than for the Spurs to turn their whole franchise over to make a run at him.

"Listen, Chris Paul, financially, the difference with him staying in L.A. and to get paid, I'd have a hard time imaging him leaving there," continued Wojnarowski. "There's so much money for him to be made and at that Los Angeles market, just in terms of his marketing endorsements, I still think they're a pretty overwhelming favorite to re-sign him."

Paul averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game this season.

Blake Griffin will consider Heat
The Clippers are also trying to re-sign Blake Griffin, but he is expected to test the open market. He also wants to return to Los Angeles, but the Oklahoma City Thunder plan to make a run at him. And, according to Jared Dudley (via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel), he will consider the Miami Heat as well.

Although he ultimately expects his former teammate to sign back with the Clippers, Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley said if Griffin does decide to head elsewhere that the Heat could be the best alternative.

"Miami," Dudley said on an ESPN podcast, "is the only case scenario to be able to do if you say, 'Hey, you know what, I want to be the man of the team.' "

Dudley said such a decision would come into play as a tradeoff of salary in order to emerge as a leading man.

"What are his options?" Dudley said. "He could go to Miami and you can be the man and you’ve got [no] state tax. But that five-year max contract, you're going to lose about roughly $30 million. Right?"

Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games this season.

Knicks interested in Donovan Mitchell
The New York Knicks have already been linked to Frank Ntilinkina and expressed interest in Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the draft, but another player also appears to be firmly in the mix.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks have taken a strong interest in Louisville's Donovan Mitchell.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino doesn’t like to hear draft analysts downplay 6-foot-3 Donovan Mitchell as an undersize shooting guard. That won’t be his position in the NBA.

“Point guard is his natural position,’’ Pitino told The Post. “But because of Quentin Snider, who’s been around a while as a veteran, I played [Donovan] at the two-guard spot. I see him strictly as a one.”

That versatility, his defensive mindset and character are reasons the Knicks have more than a casual interest in Mitchell — whether at No. 8 or trading down a few notches to later in the lottery.

New York wanted to interview Mitchell at the combine, but were not given the opportunity (the NBA controls meetings at the combine). However, they plan to have him in for a workout before the draft. 

Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season.

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Related Topics: NBA Rumors Roundup, Chris Paul, Clippers News, Blake Griffin, Knicks News, Donovan Mitchell, NBA Rumors, NBA News, Heat News