NBA Rumors Roundup: Sixers Plan To Pursue LeBron, Raptors Want To Keep Valanciunas & More

With NBA Free Agency now pretty much over as virtually all of the big names that were on the market have signed new deals, and as such, the trade market is starting to heat up. The uncertain future of Carmelo Anthony remains a major storyline, as is the possibility of LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers next offseason. Here are all the latest NBA rumors you need to know:

76ers planning to pursue LeBron James
Questions about LeBron James' future with the Cleveland Cavaliers have centered around his frustrations with the franchise, the main of which being their lack of offseason moves. He wanted the team to improve their roster after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals and is reportedly mad they weren't able to do so. He also feels "liberated to leave" the franchise after winning a championship two seasons ago.

He has been linked to several teams, namely the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, but Joe Giglio of reports the Philadelphia 76ers may be in the mix as well.

Vegas odds give the 2017-18 Sixers the 10th-best odds to win the NBA title--without seeing a minute of Ben Simmons or Markelle Fultz on the court. If a playoff team emerges around Simmons, Fultz and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia will be looked at as a future contender in the East without James.

With him, the Sixers could be a favorite.

Adding to the intrigue: The relationship, through Klutch Sports, between James and Simmons. The two have been photographed together multiple times this summer.

Lastly, the Sixers--after insisting on one-year commitments to free agents this offseason--can have max cap space to pursue a free agent next summer. With so much of the league up against the luxury tax, few suitors will be able to offer LeBron a soon-to-be title contender and a max contract.

Cap space? Check. Rising team? Check. Cavs' issues forcing James out again? Check. Connection to one of Philadelphia's building blocks? Check.

According to Spotrac, the 76ers project to have over $61 million in cap space next summer, giving them enough room to sign LeBron and another star player to a max contract while not having to part with any of their young core. Joel Embiid will be a restricted free agent and could be in for a big pay raise if he stays healthy, but the Sixers are already working on a contract extension with him.

Next year's free agency class is loaded. Among the players who can or will be unrestricted free agents next summer include LeBron, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. Even if they can't land LeBron, the Sixers will likely target those players.

Raptors want to keep Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors were reportedly looking to trade center Jonas Valanciunas this offseason, but team president Masai Ujiri said that the team plans to keep him, according to Brandon Schlager of the Sporting News:

Jonas Valanciunas is still very much a part of the Raptors' future plans, according to team president Masai Ujiri.

Sporting News NBA insider Sean Deveney reported Monday that Toronto has been trying unsuccessfully since the trade deadline to find a taker for the 7-foot center, who'd fallen out of favor in the offseason remake of the team's rotation players. Ujiri responded with a vote of confidence in the big man.

"We're very comfortable with JV. We're not trying to give JV away," Ujiri told reporters during a press conference Tuesday to introduce newly acquired veteran C.J. Miles. "I'll be transparent, there were some scenarios where if we're trying to create space and do some other things in some of the other scenarios we had that maybe we make a move, but with this team now we're very comfortable."

Valanciunas averaged 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season.

Carmelo Anthony tells Knicks he's "not interested" in returning to team
The New York Knicks have broken off trade negotiations with the Houston Rockets about a Carmelo Anthony trade due to their desire to keep the 10-time All-Star. However, that desire in only goes one way.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Anthony has absolutely no desire to return to the Knicks next season.

One day after the Knicks new management team stated Carmelo Anthony potentially could return, it appears Anthony still has no desire to talk with Knicks president Steve Mills and new general manager Scott Perry about that possibility.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who commented on the Knicks’ situation during a “SportsCenter” appearance Tuesday morning, Anthony “has made it clear to [the Knicks]: I want to go to Houston. I am not interested in talking to you about being reincorporated back into this New York roster.”

According to an NBA source, the Knicks have yet to restart talks with the Rockets after breaking them off Friday.

Anthony was reportedly convinced that he would be traded to the Rockets, and as of now, that's the only place he wants to play next season.

New York and Houston were talking with the Blazers about being the third team in an Anthony trade, but Portland would rather have Anthony for themselves instead of facilitating a trade to sent him to another Western Conference team. The deal has since stalled as neither team has been able to find a taker for the remaining three years and $60 million on Ryan Anderson's contract.

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Related Topics: Cavs Rumors, NBA Rumors Roundup, Jonas Valanciunas, Rockets Rumors, Knicks Rumors, 76ers Rumors, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, NBA Rumors, Raptors Rumors