NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: LeBron Exploring all Options?

The Los Angeles Clippers aren’t the only intriguing contender LeBron could join… Rudy Gay discusses his contract… LaMarcus Aldridge willing to talk extension this summer.

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The Clippers, others, could be in the mix for LeBron James

But as LeBron James and the Heat visit the Los Angeles Clippers on this Feb. 5, the lessons from the past are a reminder to be careful making assumptions at midseason. Especially when it comes to James.

“This time is going to be different,” a source close to James said about James’ view of free agency. “If LeBron decides to look at other options it won’t just be teams with cap space. He has 30 options if he wants them.”

By this time in 2010, the Cavs were favorites to retain James and the Heat were just a contender with a plan, hoping circumstances would lead to an opportunity. Now in February 2014, the Heat are favorites. But once again there are a few teams hoping circumstances can lead to opportunity. James plays one of them tonight in Los Angeles.

Via Brian Windhorst of ESPN

Just when it seemed like James’ second run through free agency was not going to be as interesting as his first, this news breaks. When you open up the possibility of acquiring James to every team in the league, there a lot of intriguing possibilities even beyond the Los Angeles Clippers.

What if James were to join Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City? Or James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston? Could the appeal of playing with Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge draw him to Portland? Does Carmelo Anthony have the sales skills to lure him to New York?

For James to land on a team that is over the cap, they would have to be under the luxury tax threshold and be able to offer the HEAT, assuming their cooperation, roughly in the neighborhood of $18 million in assets to complete a sign-and-trade.

As Windhorst reports, the HEAT are the favorites, but there’s a chance things get really, really interesting if he doesn’t.

Rudy Gay Discusses His Contract

“I’m not sure. I have to go into the summer with my people, think about everything, weigh out the pros and cons,” Rudy Gay said. “I don’t know yet. But Sacramento’s been great to me thus far. Obviously I’m trying to tune it all out right now. All I can think about right now is how great Sacramento’s been to me.”

Via Marc Stein of ESPN

Last time we touched on Gay and the Kings, reports were that there had been no talks on an extension. However, that’s just because the Kings cannot currently offer anything that would resemble a smart business decision for Gay to accept. They can only offer a two-year extension right now, and in order to accept Gay would have to accept his player option for next season.

By simply waiting until this offseason, Gay can still opt in, but after July 1 the Kings would have the ability to offer him a three-year extension. That could be the most financially lucrative route for Gay, who could make $19.3 million by opting in. If he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he’s eligible to receive a five-year contract from the Kings, but odds are the first two years would just barely replace what he passed on by opting out. So, if he’s really not securing any additional cash until the third year, there’s no need to pass on a guaranteed $19 million next year, especially with the Kings looking like they have every intention of offering him a quality extension. If they don’t, then he can hit the free agent market next year when LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony aren’t looking for a new deal as well.

Aldridge open to new deal with Trail Blazers

“I haven’t gotten that far into it because I want to wait until this summer,” Aldridge said. “But at that point, we’ll sit down and talk about it. … If we’re all on the same page, then I’m looking forward to it.”

The economic options are for Aldridge and his agent, Arn Tellem, to discuss. What shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that Aldridge is open to such a discussion in the first place. Olshey’s plan and the Blazers’ (34-14) renaissance have made him a believer.

Via Ken Berger of CBS Sports

The Trail Blazers have gone from a team that Aldridge wasn’t sure could make the playoffs this year to now one he’s willing to talk extension with earlier than he has to. It’s in Aldridge’s best interest to wait until hitting unrestricted free agency to sign a new deal, because he could then get as many as five years from the Blazers. This summer he’ll only be eligible for a three-year extension, but he’s at least willing to listen. It’s a much different tune than the one he was singing last offseason; as of right now it doesn’t appear that the Blazers have anything to worry about in terms of their star big man going elsewhere, even if his current deal expires without a new one in place.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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