• Nick Fay

2018 NBA Free Agency News and Rumor: 6-28-18


OTG gathers the latest intel around the league

*UPDATED 11:50 PM EST*

Qualifying Offers

The Timberwolves have indeed extended the qualifying offer for Nemanja Bjelica, sources tell @TheAthleticMIN. Thibs hinted they would earlier today - @JonKrawczynski

Sources: Chicago has extended the qualifying offer to guard David Nwaba, making him a restricted free agent. - @ShamsCharania

The Boston Celtics have tendered a qualifying offer to Marcus Smart. He's now a restricted free agent. The Celtics can match any offer sheet Smart signs with another team - @KeithSmithNBA

Releases

Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis has been released. - @ShamsCharania

Player Options

Sources on ESPN: Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George informs franchise that he is not opting into final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent.- @wojespn

Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young has exercised his $13.7M player option and will bypass free agency this summer, league sources told ESPN. - @wojespn

Rumors

DeAndre Jordan's decision to opt in or opt out of next season's $24.1 million will drag into Friday, league sources say, with a buzzer of 11:59 PM (EST) for the decision - @TheSteinLine

The Clippers are resistant to taking Wes Matthews back in a trade for DeAndre Jordan, league sources say, which means Dallas must either present an alternative trade scenario L.A. accepts or try to sign Jordan in free agency if he indeed declines next season's $24.1 million - @TheSteinLine

Sources close to LeBron: He didn't text KD and his going to the Lakers would not be sealed (or doomed) by whether or not they trade for Kawhi. ... Man, we'll all be better when this is over, one way or the other - @joevardon

The former University of Arizona star is expected to have interest from the Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns despite his restricted status, a source told The Undefeated. - @TheUndefeated

Potential offer sheet target for Indiana Pacers' anticipated $20M-plus in salary cap space, league sources tell ESPN: Orlando Magic restricted free agent forward Aaron Gordon. - @wojespn

@WindhorstESPN on Cavs acquiring Kemba Walker: "I think that door has closed" - ESPN Radio

Per source, the #Bulls, #Pacers and #Magic -- as well as the #Thunder -- are the current contenders for #OKC FA Jerami Grant. All four are in the mix for the 24-year-old PF. Grant averaged 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting a career-high 53.5 percent in 20.3 min. - @Schultz_Report

Report: Draymond Green, Kevin Durant lobbying for Warriors to sign Jamal Crawford - @NBCSAuthentic

The Sixers have yet to make a formal trade offer to San Antonio, but Philadelphia is internally discussing several trade packages the Spurs prefer in a Kawhi Leonard trade, sources say. - @JakeLFischer

Sources: As Dallas remains engaged on DeAndre Jordan talks with the Clippers, Mavericks have rescinded qualifying offer tender on Salah Mejri. - @ShamsCharania

Have yet to speak with anyone who believes Enes Kanter will opt out. Good, young big man with legit interest around the league, but that $18.6M is no joke, especially in a rather dry FA market like 2018. #Knicks - @Schultz_Report

The Latest on Kawhi Leonard

The Spurs are fully engaged in trade talks with several teams on Kawhi Leonard, including the Lakers and Celtics, league sources tell ESPN. Boston has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade. - @wojespn

The Spurs can still play long game with Leonard, try to repair relationship and get to a place where they're comfortable offering $219M super max. The urgency to get a deal done belongs to Lakers now, but circumstances and leverage can change quickly. - @wojespn

A source close to #LeBron tells me that #Kawhi Leonard reached out to James, telling him he very much wanted to play together. They spoke about Kawhi's lockdown defensive ability, which would alleviate pressure off of LeBron. - @Schultz_Report

This doesn't guarantee Kawhi Leonard is going to the Lakers this week -- since San Antonio could always trade him elsewhere and/or drag things out -- but league sources say of the Spurs: "They're ready" to move on from Kawhi - @TheSteinLine

Continuing to hear that Kawhi to the Celtics remains quite unlikely. Lots of variables and question marks with contract, injury, and Cs being reluctant to part with stars given that situation. - @AdamHimmelsbach

Speaking to league executive, one thing is clear. Celtics have not received any assurances from Kawhi Leonard that he wants to come here. - @Murf56

Rumors from Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA)

"Sources at several teams confirmed tidbits in those stories that the Lakers are reaching out across the league in search of an extra first-round pick, indicating they would take on some unwanted future salary to snare it -- a fascinating twist, given L.A.'s need to hoard cap space. That alone indicates the Lakers are at least a little worried, and interested in nabbing Leonard now. If the Lakers build a super-ish team, their own future picks over the next three or four seasons lose value; they will presumably fall in the 20s. Thus the search for others."

"Sources have denied reports that LeBron texted Kevin Durant about possibly joining him in L.A., but if Durant signs a one-year deal this summer (or a one-plus-one with player option in Year 2), you can bet your life savings that every desirable team will be circling him all season. Durant's motives remain a mystery to everyone in the league."

"Boston, for what it's worth, is confident it can retain Kyrie Irving next summer despite persistent rumblings he might consider one of the New York teams, per league sources."

"Only a half-dozen or so teams have pathways to meaningful cap space, and three of them -- Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento -- are signaling they plan to use it to take on bad salary, and extract draft picks as the price, sources say."

"Nurkic turned down a rich four-year extension in the fall, league sources say, and might struggle to find any team other than Portland willing to offer more the midlevel."

"Teams with starrier restricted free agents -- Orlando with Gordon, Chicago with LaVine, Milwaukee with Parker -- figure to bring heftier offers. None have reason to come out of the gates with a max offer. Remember: Parker and the Bucks cut off extension talks in the fall when it became clear that Milwaukee's parameters centered around the $18 million range over three seasons, sources have told ESPN."

"The Wolves have explored the possibility of getting far enough under the cap -- about $10 million -- to extend Butler up to his max salary this summer, sources say, but that would require dumping both Wiggins and Dieng. Unlikely."

"If they miss out on the big stars, the Rockets may approach Eric Gordon for extension talks once they are allowed to do so in July, sources say."

"Several teams called the Heat about Josh Richardson during the draft, but Miami showed no interest in trading him despite their tax bill, sources say. Something has to give here, too."

"There is some mutual interest between the Warriors and Jamal Crawford in a potential minimum deal, sources say."

"The easiest call on the board: Phoenix acquiring a point guard, either in free agency (Fred VanVleet is a name to watch) or via trade. The problem for Phoenix is that their best assets -- Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges -- are untouchable, and their young bigs (Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss) have limited trade value. Chriss was available on draft night, per league sources."

"Phoenix has shown no interest so far in Dennis Schroder, sources say."

NEWS AND INFO COURTESY OF @wojespn , @ShamsCharania , AND EVERYONE LISTED ABOVE

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