NBA Rumors Roundup: Curry May Need Surgery, Whiteside Latest, Warriors To Trade Barnes?

The NBA Finals are in full swing, but most teams across the league are focusing on their offseason plans. The draft is less than two weeks away and teams are preparing for when free agency begins on July 1. Here are all the latest NBA rumors and news you need to know.

Curry to have surgery?
Stephen Curry has been dealing with a strained MCL he suffered in Golden State's first round series against the Houston Rockets, and though he returned against the Trail Blazers and has played in every game since, Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Curry may need surgery this offseason:

If Steph Curry has only been Steph Curry intermittently, there’s a reason.

He’s hurting ... even more than he acknowledged last week while withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic team.

It’s not just the ankle and the knee that he sprained, sidelining him for six games in the first two rounds.

A source says Curry consulted a orthopedist in Southern California. Steph’s MRI showed issues with both shoulders as well as his knees, some of which may require surgery this summer.

Curry did cite knee concerns as reasoning for pulling out of the Olympics, the first indication he has given that the injury is significant and still bothering him.

Warriors to trade Barnes if he wants to leave
Yesterday, the Warriors said that they plan to match any offer Harrison Barnes receives in free agency this summer (he's a restricted free agent), but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be on their roster next season. According to the Sporting News, several other teams plans to pursue Barnes on the open market, and the Warriors would be willing to do a sign-and-trade:

The one possible scenario in which Barnes leaves, the source said, would be if he approached the Warriors front office with a request to be elsewhere. If Barnes determines he would like to have a chance to be a more featured part of an offense, the Warriors would likely honor that — especially if a sign-and-trade deal could be worked out. A deal involving fellow free agent Nicolas Batum of the Hornets (Barnes played college basketball at North Carolina) has been rumored, but of course nothing along those lines has actually been discussed.

Several teams with significant cap space this summer — the Celtics, Lakers, Suns, Mavericks among them — have the intention of pursuing Barnes, especially as a fallback option for Durant.

Barnes averaged 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season.

Heat to offer Whiteside the max?
The feeling around the NBA for most of the season has been that the Miami Heat will have to let center Hassan Whiteside walk in free agency since they won't be able to afford giving him a max contract - something he'll undoubtedly get on the open market. However, the Heat may be willing to let other players walk or go well into the luxury tax in order to keep him in town, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson:

Though the Heat ideally would prefer to re-sign Hassan Whiteside at something less than a max deal (but ultimately might need to offer that), a competing and respected NBA general manager explained to me recently why it would be short-sighted for Miami to risk losing him over a few million dollars a year, why it’s easy to justify a max deal for Whiteside (starting at a projected $21.6 million) and why he’s going to be offered that by multiple teams. The GM, who cannot be named because of NBA tampering rules, listed four reasons:

Where else, he said, are you going to find a player so skilled at deterring shots (Whiteside’s blocked shots average was the league’s highest in 15 years), at rebounding (fourth in the league) and with a developing offensive game where he’s now seen as a player who could average between 15 to 18 points a game? There’s nobody else remotely like that in this free agent class, the GM said. 

With the big spike in the cap assured to drive up salaries for most everybody, the GM said it’s pointless to offer only $19 million to start – and allow yourself to be outbid – “because that extra $3 million is not going to get you” anything close to an impact player. So just give him the $22 million, the GM said.

His annual raises will be offset by another big jump in the salary cap in 2017-18. The cap is projected to be $92 million next season, then rise again to $107 million in 2017-18. The cap is then expected to fluctuate between $105 million and $112 million in the following three seasons, though that could change if the players opt out of the deal after next season (widely expected to happen by the December 2016 deadline) and get an even bigger chunk of the revenue.​

Miami will likely have to let some of their free agents walk to re-sign Whiteside without paying too large of a luxury tax bill, most notably Luol Deng, while re-signing Dwyane Wade for less than the $20 million he made in 2015-16.

Whiteside made just $981,348 this past season and averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blockers per game.

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Related Topics: Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes, Warriors News, NBA News, Heat News, Hassan Whiteside