NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Lance Stephenson Available?

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Lance Stephenson available?

The Hornets have been aggressive making trade calls, according to sources across the league.

The Hornets are searching for upgrades on the wing and at power forward, per those sources, and they are willing to talk turkey on basically anyone other than Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. Free agents signed this past offseason can’t be traded until December 15, and few would be surprised if the Hornets make and take calls on Lance Stephenson ahead of that trigger date.

Via Zach Lowe of Grantland

Going into the season, the Hornets were projected to be one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference. They were coming off of a surprisingly strong 2013-14 campaign, and had a good offseason in which they added Lance Stephenson and Marvin Williams in free agency and Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston in the draft. Yet, at 4-14, and coming off of a 105-75 drumming at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, they’ve been one of the most disappointing teams of the offseason.

Individually, nobody on the team has failed to deliver at the level Lance Stephenson has. He is scoring just 9.6 points a night. To his credit, he’s trying to contribute in other ways, grabbing 7.7 rebounds and handing out 5.4 assists on average, but his .367 shooting percentage, including .184 from distance, is crippling the Hornets’ offensive attack and spacing.

Stephenson’s contract with the Hornets runs through 2016-17 and pays him a guaranteed $9 million next season. The final year is a $9.4 million team option, so it’s quite possible that the short-term nature of his deal could still make him attractive to other teams despite his struggles. It would have to be to a team that is just really desperate for a talent influx, though, like the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder or someone of that nature.

Dario Saric finding his way

Dario Saric has been named Euroleague MVP for the month of November.

Saric averaged 15.5 points and 7.75 rebounds while making 61 percent of his two-point shots.

Saric has helped lead Anadolu Efes Istanbul to a first place spot in Group A. Saric is the youngest winner of the award in Euroleague history.

Via Real GM

Things are starting to come together for Saric with his new team after a bumpy start in which his father was asking for his release when his minutes were down early. Now that Saric is playing at an MVP level, though, it’s going to be really hard for the Philadelphia 76ers to pry him away any earlier than after his year-two NBA out clause.

There were reports surfacing at the time that Saric wanted out in order to join the 76ers. While that never came to fruition, Furkan Aldemir is suddenly is close to joining the team in an unexpected midseason addition. That shows how quickly things can take a quick turn when it comes to international contracts, but for now with Saric thriving where he’s at, expect him to stay put for a bit.

Grizzlies confident Gasol will stay

In yesterday’s NBA PM, Alex Kennedy went over just how strong the Grizzlies’ chemistry is, so it’s no surprise that the team is so confident that Gasol is going to re-sign. Gasol, who is now regarded as one of the best centers in basketball, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs are expected to make aggressive pitches for him, but Gasol has grown quite comfortable in Memphis, living there since high school, and does not appear to be overly interested in leaving, especially with how successful the team has become.