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:
Whiteside deciding between Mavs, Heat
Hassan Whiteside is viewed as the top center available in free agency, but according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, he is down to signing with either the Mavs or Heat:
Sources: As 12:01 AM nears, free agent Hassan Whiteside's focus is centered on Miami and Dallas. Decision could come quickly on July 1.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 30, 2016
Whiteside would reportedly favor staying in Miami, but wants a max contract and to be the focal point of the offense. The Heat do not plan on giving Whiteside a max offer, while Dallas will - and are promising to ensure he gets between 15-20 shots per game. Dallas is the frontrunner to land him because of that.
The Lakers and Blazers are also hoping to meet with Whiteside, but he is no longer seriously considering either team.
Conley also meeting with Mavs
Another factor helping Dallas in their pursuit of Whiteside is their other top free agent target, Mike Conley. The longtime Grizzlies point guard has received interest from several teams, including the Lakers and Rockets, but has named the Mavs as the only other team he will meet with, according to USA Today's Sam Amick:
Memphis is still in very good position with Mike Conley, I'm told, but he is still planning on meeting with Dallas Fri. (likely in Memphis).— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2016
All indications are that Dallas poses the biggest/only threat to Memphis for Mike Conley, and it will likely prove to be a nominal one.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2016
Dallas will also offer Conley a max contract, and are pitching him on the idea of forming a Big 3 with Whiteside and Dirk Nowitzki.
Though Conley is leaning towards re-signing with the Grizzlies, he is putting pressure on them to "be aggressive" and add talent to their roster. If Memphis is unable to make a splash, expect Conley to join Whiteside in Dallas.
Thunder working for second meeting with Durant?
The Thunder are meeting with Durant today, as they make their "pitch" to keep the superstar in Oklahoma City. However, the Thunder are hoping to land a second one as well.
ESPN sources say the Thunder, meeting with Kevin Durant as we speak, are also seeking to land a follow-up sitdown with KD in the Hamptons.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2016
Durant knows the Thunder already, so it's doubtful the second meeting would contain much of a pitch by the Thunder. However, it does allow the team to check-in with Durant and see where he is with his decision.
Toronto trading for Noel?
The Raptors have at least approached the 76ers about a trade for Nerlens Noel, reports ESPN Zach Lowe.
Toronto has already approached Philly about a deal sending out a rotation player -- perhaps Terrence Ross, and other goodies -- in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could then assume Biyombo's backup center role, according to league sources. The talks haven't gained much traction yet.
If a deal is reached with the 76ers, it likely will occur only after Bismack Biyombo leaves (if he does). If needed, Noel could play some power forward, an area the Raptors are looking to upgrade.
Kings looking to trade for Monroe
Even though DeMarcus Cousins has played center throughout his entire NBA career for the Kings, Sacramento is exploring other options at the position, thinking Cousins can play power forward. One player they're targeting in particular to pair with Cousins is Greg Monroe, according to Lowe:
The Kings are capable of untold horrors. Monroe is available, but Milwaukee can't wring anything good for a guy who could bolt in a year -- in part because this free-agency class market is packed with centers. The Pelicans have explored a Monroe-Anthony Davis partnership before, but they are hopeful Omer Asik will rebound after a dreadful season; they are in no rush to waive him via the stretch provision, allowing them to spread his remaining guaranteed money, sources say. Still: they will watch the market for centers, including Monroe.
Monroe had a down year in Milwaukee has he failed to really find his place with the team, but still averaged 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season.Back to the NBA Newsfeed
Related Topics: NBA Free Agency News, Kings News, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Grizzlies News, Hassan Whiteside, Nerlens Noel, 76ers News, NBA Free Agency, Mavs News, Raptors News, Bucks News, Greg Monroe, Thunder News, NBA News, Heat News, 2016 NBA Free Agency, NBA Free Agency Rumors