NBA teams around the league are making their final preparations for the start of free agency on July 1. With the rising salary cap, many players are due for significant pay raises - and virtually every team has cap space. Check out the latest NBA news and rumors below:
Hassan Whiteside to sign with either Heat or Mavs?
Whiteside is considered to be the best big man on the open market this summer, and several teams are pursuing him. However, he is favoring a return to the Miami Heat, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
Want to be clear on Hassan Whiteside, he'd like to stay in Miami - they can offer biggest deal, but he's not romantic about it. Its business— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 28, 2016
Whiteside is expected to receive a max contract this offseason, yet the Heat appear to be reluctant to give him that much money - especially given their limited cap space and pursuit of Kevin Durant.
That pleases the Dallas Mavericks, who are known to be "aggressively pursuing" Whiteside and "feel pretty good" about their chances to land him, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
After hearing what Hassan Whiteside said when he met the Miami media over the weekend, the Dallas Mavericks probably feel pretty good about their chances of signing the Heat’s free agent center.
On his Snapchat last Friday, Whiteside wrote: "I’m a businessman that plays basketball.’’
And when he talked to the Miami-area media over the weekend, Whiteside didn’t exactly sound like he owed the Heat anything.
"I really don’t think it’s about loyalty,’’ he said of his free agent destination. "I think it’s about the best situation for myself.’’
Dallas has a few factors going for them which has made them the frontrunners to land Whiteside. First off, they plan to offer him a max contract as soon as possible, pleasing Whiteside's "businessman" side. They're also hoping to sign Mike Conley to a max contract, creating a Big 3 with Conley, Whiteside and Dirk Nowitzki.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Mavericks plan to make Whiteside the focal point of their offense, something he openly desires. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Mavs "will tailor their offense around him and make sure he gets between 15-20 field goal attempts per game."
Whiteside plans to make his decision on July 1, and the Lakers and Trail Blazers are also pursuing him. He averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game last season.
Jamal Crawford latest
Crawford has been a crucial player for the Clippers over the past four seasons, but several teams are interested in signing the 36 year old this summer, reports the Orange County Register:
Crawford, who does have a meeting scheduled with the Clippers, is also drawing interest from a number of teams in search of a scoring guard. Crawford is expected to receive interest from the New York Knicks, the Miami Heat, the Toronto Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks, the Orlando Magic and the Brooklyn Nets in addition to the Clippers.
“I definitely have to keep an open mind and see what’s out there,” Crawford said. “That’s why you’re in this position. My preference, like I’ve said from the get go, is to go back to the Clippers. But, I’m definitely very, very open-minded about the whole free-agency process.
It doesn’t have to be a team that’s a contender. I don’t want to go to a team that’s only won a few amount of games, but it doesn’t have to be a contender. At the end of the day, only one team wins. You want to put yourself in the best position to try and win.”
Crawford averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists per game last season.
Wizards make Ryan Anderson top free agent target
The Washington Wizards have moved on from their pursuit of Kevin Durant after they failed to land a meeting with him, and have now made Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson their top target this summer, reports CSNMidAtlantic's J. Michael:
Now that Kevin Durant has dropped from the wish list for the Wizards with free agency set to open at the end of the week, Ryan Anderson is their next priority, multiple league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Monday, and they’ll make an aggressive move in hopes of securing the three-point shooting forward.
The Wizards will have a lot of competition for Anderson’s services. He may command in the range of $17 million in the open market, one league GM projected in an interview with CSN recently. Anderson, 28, made $8.5 million last season and the salary cap is rising by $24 million, up to $94 million, for 2016-17.
Anderson, sources tell CSN, likely won’t make a decision until Durant makes his on whether or not to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. Some of the teams that have their sights on Durant have Anderson high on their radars, too. This is why the price for Anderson is projected to rise but the Wizards will have about $30 million in cap room.
Washington is looking to add frontcourt depth, and Anderson would give them an excellent stretch four to pair with Marcin Gortat. Anderson averaged 17.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season.Back to the NBA Newsfeed
Related Topics: Jamal Crawford, NBA Free Agency News, Clippers News, Wizards News, Hassan Whiteside, NBA Free Agency, Mavs News, NBA Free Agency Rumors, NBA News, Heat News, 2016 NBA Free Agency, Ryan Anderson